Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Free" 300 Northwest frequent flyer miles

Northwest Airlines "WorldPerks University" is an ongoing program where you can earn 100 frequent flyer miles for each course you complete. Each course takes about 2 or 3 minutes.
Currently there are 3 courses available. Every mile helps the frequent flyer account!

Viagra for your next (jet-lag) experience

A recent study conducted on mice suggests that Viagra may help with Jet-Leg, caused when the bodys internal clock is modified when traveling through different time zones.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mortgage payments: Charge'm to the credit card

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that American Express has joined in partnership with two leading mortgage companies in the U.S to allow customers to charge their monthly mortgage payments to their credit card. This program has many pros and cons to it. Rebate programs, such as travel, hotel or cashback awards with AMEX could eventually offset the one time $395 fee, but some may find using their credit card to pay their mortgage ends up costing them more in the long run if they arn't paying the credit card off monthly. Regardless, this is an interesting development in how credit cards can be used in the United States.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The devaluation of United e-500-mile upgrades

Goodbye, my friend!

United has long offered a program of earning or purchasing e-500 mile upgrades. As an elite member, the upgrades come complimentary after a certain amounts of miles are flown. One can also purchase packages of e-upgrades. Then, buy a coach ticket, apply for an upgrade to the next class of service, and as (if) seats are available people are upgraded.
People unable to use the e-upgrades because no upgraded seats become available, or they simply don't fly enough to use them up could at least look forward to those e-500 mile upgrades to be converted to regular United miles. This occurred 1 year from the date the e-500 mile upgrades were issued.
New Policy: United states the 500 mile upgrades will no longer be converted to miles.

UA flyers who fly often have accrued many upgrades and will take a big loss with this new policy. Infrequent travelers may not even notice the change. Others will fall somewhere in between. United however made this policy change quietly (small blurb at the bottom of a page on their website) and with very little notice. Many have criticized United not simply for this policy change, but the method they used to do so.

Here is the link discussing their e-500 mile upgrade program; at the bottom of the page is their new policy.
Update: 6/3/07 United Airlines has modified this policy and in certain cases Premier Exec flyers and higher can ask to have upgrades coverted to miles. Low or no status UA flyers are still out'a luck. Thumbs down to United!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

UNITED: SFO-Cincinnati Ohio $98+ tax roundtrip

Fare has been around several hours this afternoon - what a deal.
SFO-CVG valid now through end of flight schedule with a 14 day advance purchase. "L" fare
$98+ tax. About $130 "all in"
Connections could include Denver, Chicago, and for some real fun, Las Vegas, Ontario, Dallas or Phoenix work on some days.
Base mileage earned 4000-5000 depending on stops.
http://www.travelocity.com/ - use "flexible dates" feature

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Routes and Added Service.

San Jose Airport NONSTOP to:
Los Angeles Delta (Express Jet) July 1st
Chicago (midway) Southwest May 13th

San Francisco Airport NONSTOP to:

Chicago (Midway) Southwest August 2007
San Diego Southwest August 2007
Las Vegas Southwest August 2007
Salt Lake City Jet Blue July 27th
Columbus, Ohio SkyBus June 12th

Oakland Airport NONSTOP to:

Kona, Hawai'i ATA June 14th
Lihue, Hawai'i ATA June 15th
Honolulu, Hawai'i ATA June 15th
Denver Southwest June 17th

Sacramento Airport NONSTOP to:

Vancouver, BC Air Canada June 15th

Frontier drops some SFO routes

Amidst stiff competition, F9 is pulling out of the San Francisco - Los Angeles market, and it seems SFO-Las Vegas route as well, both beginning in July.
They will continue to operate SFO-DENVER flights with connecting service throughout North America, including its newest destination Costa Rica.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Virgin begins SFO flights by end of Summer

Press Release:Virgin America Cleared for Take-Off--
Airline Receives Final Approval to Launch from Dept of Transportation --Burlingame, Calif.

(May 18, 2007) --The Department of Transportation (DOT) today granted final approval for Virgin America, a new low fare U.S. airline, to begin operations. “We are absolutely thrilled to be cleared for take-off and for the opportunity to serve San Francisco, the Bay Area, California, and the American public,” said Virgin America CEO Fred Reid. “I applaud the DOT for approving our application and fulfilling their long-standing commitment to competition and new choices for travelers.”

In its final order, the DOT found that the company fully complied with all requirements regarding fitness, U.S. citizenship requirements and control. The DOT also acknowledged that this final approval had been contingent upon the Company's acceptance of several additional conditions that were made public in March when the DOT tentatively approved Virgin America’s application.One of these additional conditions included a requirement for Mr Reid to step down following launch. That condition will remain although he now will be permitted to stay on as CEO for six months following airline certification.“This has been quite a journey but I’m truly happy that we will be able to launch our airline. I plan to spend every minute of my time between now and then supporting my 200-plus talented teammates in that endeavor,” said Mr Reid. “When I said that this was never about one person, I meant it. Virgin America has a wonderful team who will take this airline to great heights, bringing exciting innovation and competition.”Now that the company has been formally approved, the next step will be to seek a waiver to start selling tickets.

The company is planning a mid-summer launch.Virgin America’s first flights will be between its home base of San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK). The airline also plans to serve Los Angeles (LAX), Washington/Dulles, San Diego and Las Vegas within its first year of operations.The airline expects to serve as many as 10 cities within a year of operation and up to 30 cities within five years of service. Additional cities under Virgin America’s consideration include: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, Portland, Ore., Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose, Calif., Sarasota, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa and West Palm Beach.# # #

SkyBus Starts OAK Service June 12

Skybus, a big time budget carrier begins OAK service next month. The carrier is based out of CMH - Columbus, Ohio and is offering $10 seats on 10 seats of each flight anywhere they fly those birds.

Of course, just like Consumer Reports magazine might do, we put it to the test. Yupp. It seems to be true.

This airline has brother and sister airlines all around the world - RyanAir, Air Asia, etc who offer low frills (or perhaps NO frills) at low fares. The greyhound buses of the sky. They take you from point A to point B, and you C your way off the plane. Want something more? No problem, for a small fee, you to can enjoy your favorite beverage, movie, or the die-cast model airplane.

A true test in "you get what you pay for". They have an interesting business model. If nothing else, a test to other carriers who were previously hailed "budget carriers" such as Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue.

More information about Skybus can be found here

Welcome to inFLIGHTout

Welcome to the inFLIGHTout blog.

Today is day #1.

This blog was formed directly from the monthly inFLIGHTout newsletter published from 2005-2007. The mission of the web-based format is to provide current news tid bits, mileage earning opportunities, and general travel information for air travelers from the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the coming weeks I will upload the archived newsletters. In the meantime, feel free to share your stories, experiences, thoughts, information...you get the point....with me. Any airline flying out of the greater Bay Area is fair game.

A very special thanks to the friends who offered content to the newsletters and the support to make inFLIGHT out a success.

Thank you