Saturday, June 30, 2007
According to InSide BayArea, Virgin America is now waiting on one final government hurdle - authorization to sell tickets. They've been cleared to have the airline, a-OK to have planes and use the airports - but to sell tickets, have passengers, and make money on flights, well, that's one last government hurdle. Once that is completed, likely sooner than later according to company big Whigs, expect a million seats to go on sale over a 4-5 month period.
Virgin America is a start-up airline based in San Francisco (Burlingame). Over the past couple years the airline has worked to get the airline operational, most recently pleading with the public and government to allow them to open for business. Virgin America has announced they will start flying by late summer with an initial route SFO-New York's JFK, followed by other popular routes within the U.S. They have marketed the airline as offering enhanced on board entertainment and customer service - without the hefty price tag.
Friday, June 29, 2007
South America fares are typically pretty high, in part because of limited service from the U.S.
That makes this deal hot. Keep in mind Brazil has a $100 Visa fee and several travelers have reported petty theft and elevated levels of fear in Rio over the years. That said, Brazil is a wonderful country to visit, and spending a few days in Rio than venturing elsewhere in the Country may be a good option.
San Francisco to Las Vegas $108 round-trip TAXES INCLUDED on United Airlines
Valid for travel from August 27th through October. Not valid on Friday or Sunday travel.
Use Expedia or Travelocity "flexible dates" option
The program is available to Delta, Continental, and US Airways members as well, though not with a sign-up bonus.
I've used e-miles for the past several months. I recommend not using your primary email address as new offers and other associated junk mail may soon fill your box. The earned miles post too your respective frequent flyer program each quarter in 500 mile increments.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
be adjusting its schedules and slowing anticipated growth in 2008. Still, the airline plans on adding 19 new planes to its fleet next year.
A listing of flight changes impacting the Bay Area are detailed below and go into effect later this Fall.
Also of interest, Mr.Kelly says that Southwest will unveil a new boarding/seating procedures during the 4th quarter this year. Some speculate Southwest may charge for certain seats, following other airlines lead, in order to generate revenue outside of simply selling air tickets. Southwest has also said they are considering higher cargo loads, changing their frequent flyer program and offering onboard entertainment as additional options to strengthen profits.
-Sacramento & San Jose airports are only slightly impacted by the changes.
-Oakland Airport to:
Tucson (New Service) 1 flight a day
Salt Lake City - added 1 flight a day
San Diego - minus 2 flights a day (20 daily flights down to 18)
Reno - minus 1 flight a day
Philadelphia - minus 1 flight a day
Baltimore - minus 1 flight a day
Also, Southwest begins flights out of San Francisco in August.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
As of this morning, Southwest began accepting reservations on its website through January 11, 2008; time to start shopping Holiday and New Years flights? Unlike mainline carriers who allow bookings nearly a year in advance, Southwest restricts its schedule usually to 6 months or less. Some have reported finding some really great fares the first couple days Southwest opens up its schedule.
The program requires you to register your credit card; some may be concerned about releasing this personal information to 3rd parties. 1) I've personally joined the "Thanks Again" program and received the 500 miles from United - took a couple weeks. 2) You could provide a pre-paid debit/gift credit card with a balance on it, or perhaps try registering a virtual credit card number offered by banks.
Here are links to the respective programs:
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
A game of 'He said, she said'. Nobody is taking blame for massive Northwest Airline flight cancellations over the weekend through today, including flights to the Bay Area. Pilots blame poor management planning and staffing issues. NW bosses point fingers at bad weather and disrupted work schedules. Some warned this was inevitable, still others warn of more to come. Some customers have reported receiving phone calls from the airline hours or days in advance of the scheduled flights to offer alternatives. Others, less happily have found out when they check-in at the airport.
If you have plans to fly Northwest over the next several days, be sure Northwest has your current contact information. Also, you can register for NW's free flight update alerts via their website in case of schedule changes or cancelations.
San Francisco - Fayetteville/Northwest Arkansas (XNA) $88+ tax round trip on American
Looks like you need to travel outbound on a Saturday, with departures mostly in September. Use AA.com or Travelocity and choose the "flexible dates" option.
Having visited Arkansas recently, I can attest to the natural beauty of the region. This makes for a great couple days visit to escape the buzz of the city and relax in the great outdoors.
The Clinton Library isn't to far from here either.
UPDATE: Fare gone!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Per their website, service between Oakland and Hong Kong will begin shortly after the Vancouver service commences followed by other worldwide destinations.
What makes Oasis unique is its long-range International flights. Most LCC operate within regions of the world. Oasis, which says it offers basic meal and beverage service in the main cabin, will be utilizing 747-400 aircraft formerly owned by Singapore & ANA Airlines. Their business plan asserts that by flying long range routes, they can save on preset expenses incurred when flying multiple shorter distance cities thereby offering lower fares to its customers.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The quiet, the relaxation, the temptation...ugh, the price. Business and First Class for international flights can set you back well over $5000-$10,000. But, there are other options. First, consider this sampling of luxuries that await you when flying business or first class on some of these top international airlines:
Forget standing in long lines at the airport. Qatar airlines will have your personal escorted to the plane by way of a ride in a 7 series BMW. Once aboard and relaxed they offer a 10 course meal, "that typically includes caviar, lobster, prawns, Arabic mezzas, fine chocolates, cheese platters, freshly brewed cappuccinos, and the finest wines from the old and new world."
Singapore Airlines rolled out the SkySuite on some of its flights (ya can't just call it a seat), which fully reclines to any angle - right down to a flat bed. Also offered is turn down service, fresh bed linens and a down filled duvet.
Malaysia Airlines features 15" LCD monitors in first class, including video, TV and music on demand and tempting cuisines from around the globe. Malaysia Airlines also offers advanced onboard lighting systems, which replicates outside lighting providing a more natural feel to your journey.
Virgin Atlantic prides itself on having the longest fully flat (79.5") bed in its upper class suites, an upper body massage and mini-manicure.
Emirates Airlines 500 channels of on demand entertainment await their customers, along with Internet access on board for laptop enabled laptops and currently a promotion for 2 complimentary nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai for first class travelers. First class cabin reportably comes with the highest ratio of crew-to-passengers of any airline in the world.
Wake up. Dream is over. These amenities (and really, this is a short list of them) do make hops over the Oceans a lot easier. An alternative to paying cash for these great seats is to redeem frequent flyer miles. For example, United frequent flyer members can redeem points toward business class travel on its partner Singapore Airlines. Another way are operational upgrades (rare), where an airline may be oversold in economy class and "bumps" folks (typically high paying or elite passengers) to business or first class.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
UPDATE: 2pm. American Airlines has matched the fare increase.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Hint: Visit http://www.aircanada.com/ and choose dates after August 21st (click the 'dates flexible' option) to see what is available at these great fares. I checked this morning and most of September and October is available.
Most airlines allow you to pick the place to park your bosom on board the plane well before you hop on board. With AirTran, most customers select their seats day of departure. This new optional service allows mid and low priced ticket holders the ability to reserve certain seats in advance, including emergency row for a fee from $5-$15 each way rather scooping up whatever seats may be left on day of departure. Premium class and high priced Y,B, & M fares are not subject to the fee.
For a family of 4, an added cost of up to $120 to sit together cuts into the budget of a vacation.
For a solo 6'2 traveler, $30 for an emergency exit row seat might be appealing.
Good and Bad.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Also, Rocky Mountain news reports Frontier will be swapping out seats, for a thinner and lighter version, ultimately adding 4 additional seats on most planes and a reduction of seat pitch of 1-2 inches, though reportably no loss to leg space.
Frontier Airlines currently operates flights from San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, and is one of only a few U.S based airlines still offering round trip Domestic U.S & Canada award redemption's starting at only 15,000 miles.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Several credit card companies offering first-use bonuses for signing up for their card have been around for a while; United & American have a 20,000 miles sign-up bonus, Delta 17,500 miles, Alaska 15,000 miles, just to name a few. But here are two gosh darn good (great) deals worth really checking out:
For a limited time, American Express is offering a FREE domestic round-trip ticket (25,000 membership reward points) after you are approved and use the Business Gold Rewards card.
No annual fee the first year.
A personal favorite of mine is the AMEX Starwood Preferred card, offering 10,000 Starwood points on approval and 1st purchase. 10,000 points is worth a few nights hotel stay at many Starwood properties throughout the world, with no blackout dates. Or you can transfer these points to airline miles. No annual fee the first year.
Monday, June 18, 2007
LCC are cheap, sometimes offering seats as low as a penny + tax each way. But everything else than your body in a seat may cost ya. Some airlines charge for checked luggage, many for food or drinks. Change fees can be steep and restrictive, and flights often packed. But if you play by the rules, LCC offer an inexpensive option for connecting to cities outside major international hubs.
It seems every day there is a new Low Cost Carrier (LCC) opening up shop - last I checked I've counted over 80 on the Internet alone. Rather than listing all these out, i've provided a links to search engines in Europe and Asia offering LCC options. In Australia, I recommend JetStar, and in South America, where the LCC airlines are a bit slower in forming, there are fewer options. One Brazilian carrier, WebJet is provided for reference. Be sure to shop around.
Europe Search engine for city pairs in Europe
Asia Listing by each country in Asia (I recommend Air Asia)
Wikipedia has a good listing of several other LCC airlines
Sunday, June 17, 2007
October might be a great month to visit; just coming out of peak summer travel, but before the harsh winter. One valid trip at this price I checked on was October 24-29th, with a stop in Philadelphia.
Fare found on Farecompare and Orbitz and U.S Air
ALSO A GOOD DEAL...
San Francisco to San Diego $39 each way + tax on Alaska airlines through the summer (weekend travel permitted at this fare, though limited dates left)
Oakland (Or SFO) to San Diego $39 each way + tax on Southwest Airlines
(Southwest starts flying from San Francisco on August 26th)
Saturday, June 16, 2007
In light of upcoming Summer Pride festivities in San Francisco and around the world, visitors should take a few steps to properly pack sex toys and other naughty goodies when going thru airport security. Whether a small discreet lube packet, or the giant Jeff Stryker extended-plus vibrator, travelers should educate themselves on how TSA security might deal with such goods.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Check out this promotional video highlighting the interior of the new Virgin America A320 aircraft. Snug leather seats, specialized interior lighting, and the best in-seat entertainment for a domestic carier.
Hmm...wonder how much that will cost.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Flight attendants have seen their pensions disappear, their payroll slashed and a one-time lucrative career become little more than a minimum wage job w/benefits. I'd be a little pist too.
This USA Today story discusses how the skies have become quite unfriendly these days.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
AC is part of the Star Alliance network, United Mileage Plus members receive credit for flying many Air Canada flights. Alternatively, Aeroplan members can earn double miles for flying this route by registering here first.
Air Canada will be operating 50-seater regional jets, with 7:40am and 4:30pm departures from Sacramento.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Travelocity $50 off 3+ night hotel stay
$50 off a 3 night or more hotel stay when booking at Travelocity.com and using coupon code
HOTEL50 or clicking this link. Offer expires June 30th valid for stays through October 07.
Must use a Mastercard for the purchase.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Also today, United began 2 X daily SFO-Palmdale service on its 50 seater CRJ-200 planes.
Palmdale is located 60 miles Northeast of downtown L.A near Lancaster.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Many people have complained about how frequent flyer programmes are stiffening policies, and this is yet another example. In reality however, the policy is not that difficult to follow. One car rental every 18 months, where American Airlines is a valid partner is a qualifying activity to keep your account active. Opinion Place, an online survey site allows you to earn AA miles for voicing your opinion; again, a valid activity to keep your AA frequent flyer program active.
In the end, this policy will allow airlines to truly drop infrequent flyers & people uninterested in keeping a relationship with the particular airline.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Local government approved the trial of these individual sleeping units where a traveler can catch some quick comfy rest rather than resting in standard airport chairs at the gate. The units will cost around $20 for 20 minutes and initially be tried in the International Terminal. It is reported that showers may be optional.
FWIW, the cost of a chair massage at the airport runs about the same price. If you find comfort and relaxation in a massage, that may be the better way to go.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
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