Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Midwest Airlines announced plans to begin talks with would-be acquirer AirTran airlines. AirTran which has been attempting a takeover of Midwest Airlines in recent months had always been flatly rejected by Midwest. Now Midwest seems a little more open-minded. Midwest said a nine-member board had formed a committee to explore strategic and financial alternatives...

Midwest Airlines offers daily service from San Francisco to Kansas City and other destinations across the U.S and is known for their superior inflight service, including complimentary fresh basked cookies.

Which plane picture hasn't been altered?

OK, a break in the news to test your airplane and photoshop skills out. Which of these 4 plane pix has NOT been altered and is in fact a true flying machine? Answer below.

Source: IndianSpencer

(keep going....answer below)

Answer: all of them have been photoshoped. See IndianSpencer's blog for more pics

Monday, July 30, 2007

Grabbing a cup'o joe at SFO (and other airports) will cost a few more pennies starting this week at Starbucks location across the country.
Starbucks has announced brewed coffee and Batista-made beverages will increase an average of 9 cents starting July 31st. Spokeswoman Bridget Baker attributed the increase to a rising "cost of environment," including increased dairy, fuel, and energy costs. The actual price change will vary by region and drink.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Northwest Airlines continues to cancel flights across the nation today. Friday and Saturday reports indicate up to 8% of NW scheduled flights had been canceled. (Usually an airline cancels no more than 2% of daily flights for various reasons). San Francisco and Sacramento airports are included on the list of cancellations this weekend, which are expected to continue as a result of ongoing pilot shortages. Be sure to check your flight status with the airline before heading on down to the airport. Northwest Airlines.

Alaska Airlines HOT Summer & Fall Award Redemptions

Hot! Alaska Airlines has expanded their already generous award redemption opportunities.
Travel roundtrip to select California destinations in August by redeeming 15,000 Alaska Miles.
For example: San Francisco/Santa Rosa or Oakland to Southern California.

Hotter! Travel roundtrip to select Mexico destinations in September and October by redeeming 20,000 Alaska Miles.
For example: San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta/Mexico City/Los Cabos/La Paz

Friday, July 27, 2007

Alaska Airlines Fall Sale announced today. Selected city examples;
San Francisco - San Diego $39 each way ($98 roundtrip, taxes included)
Sacramento - Palm Springs $69 each way
Sacramento - Portland $49 each way
San Francisco - Los Angeles $44 each way

Book now, for travel September 5-December 18th.
JetBlue commences San Francisco
- Salt Lake City flights today

The airline is offering introductory $79/one way fares booked now through August 8th for travel between September 5-November 14th.

JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, and is the only airline to offer free seatback satellite television -- featuring the airline's signature 36 channels of DIRECTV(r) -- on all flights to/from Salt Lake City International Airport. They have plenty of complimentary munchies and drinks on board as well.

The 1X daily flight leaves SFO at 420pm arriving Salt Lake City at 715pm except on Saturdays when the flight leaves at 220pm, arriving SLC 535pm local time.

On May 3rd, JetBlue began offering flights out of San Francisco. This new daily Salt Lake City service compliments the nonstop flights already offered to Boston and New York City.

Three global airline alliances include 82% of the world's top 60 carriers

Oneworld 21.6% (ie: American Airlines)
Star Alliance 27% (ie: United Airlines)
SkyTeam 22.5% (ie: Northwest Airlines)
Unaligned 28.9% (ie: JetBlue)

All three airline alliances are seeking to sign carriers out of such emerging markets as China and India.

For the consumer, the added benefit may be more opportunities to earn and spend frequent flyer miles with airlines in each alliance without having to belong to each airline's frequent flyer program.
Contributing source: Business Travel News

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Monterey - Miami, FL $143 + tax roundtrip on United Airlines
Valid for travel through May 08, Saturday night stay required.
Fare Basis: LE14NNX

Some other decent deals available from Oakland/San Francisco/San Jose to Ft.Lauderdale/West Palm Beach starting at about $25 more with varying restrictions. Travelocity

Competition heating up for flights to Australia

V Australia Airlines, Virgin Blue's new trans-pacific airline received Australian regulatory approval to start flying from Australia to the West coast of the United States. Airline officials declined comment on which cities would be served, but San Francisco and Los Angeles are considered the most uncompetitive long-haul air routes in the world, with Qantas having a strong-hold over all other carriers. Additionally, based on demand, the San Francisco Bay Area has demonstrated a need for additional service to to Australia. The initial rollout calls for 10 weekly flights to the U.S West coast.

V Australia still needs U.S government approval, but says its plans are to fly by the 4th quarter 2008 when brand new 777-ER planes are delivered.

JetStar, another Australian based low cost carrier had previously reported targeting the Bay Area with service direct to Australia by the end of 2007.
Contributing source: The Australian

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

San Francisco to St Louis, MO $88+ tax roundtrip on United Airlines
Prices at $128 taxes included. Valid through May 2008, 7 days a week.
First Airbus 380 Flight to be sold to charity
Singapore Airlines, the first commercial airliner to fly the long awaited double-decker Jumbo Airbus 380 airplane is auctioning off seats for their first flight scheduled for October 2007. Money raised will be donated to charity organizations.

Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Chew Choon Seng says "the first commercial A380 flight will be a moment in aviation history. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, on an aircraft that will mark a new chapter in air travel"
Click here for more information or to place a bid

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

AirTran has announced an increase in change fees effective September 30th. Per their website, "all AirTran Airways fares are subject to a $60 change fee per person for any change made after purchase through September 30, 2007, plus any applicable increase in airfare. A $75 fee per person will apply to changes made after September 30, 2007, plus any applicable increase in airfare."

JetBlue announced earlier this month an increase in their change fee as well. Before the policy change customers we're out $25 bucks, now it's $35 for online changes, and $45 if an airline rep assists with the change (plus any increase in airfare).

In comparison, Southwest has no change fees (you pay only in change in the fare).

Monday, July 23, 2007

TSA: Breast milk, welcome aboard

The TSA has relaxed its rules on lighters and breast milk. Effective August 4th the U.S Transportation Security Administration will begin permitting passengers to carry regular ciggarette lighters (not torch lighters) on flights. Easy enough to understand.

But the real story rests on the breasts.

The TSA has indicated passengers traveling with a small child can bring a larger quantity of baby formula or breast milk (larger than the 3.4oz permitted for other liquids) through security. The liquid/food is subject to inspection, but according to the TSA's "straight answers" page, "security officers will not test or taste the formula or breast milk."

Receive $15 when you take JetBlue and use your American Express card
A great promotion to combine with the recent JetBlue airfare sales out of the SF Bay Area. Book by July 31st.
United Airlines announced plans to install the first 180ยบ, lie-flat business class seat to be offered by any U.S. airline. Seat amenities will include configurations allowing for a 180-degree recline to a full 6-foot, 4-inch bed, an ottoman, 15.4" personal TV monitor (3 times larger than the previous ones), ergonomically designed tray table that comfortably accommodates a laptop and other items and an iPod adapter that enables customers to play their own music and videos on the seat's entertainment unit while recharging the iPod. Planes will soon begin configuration to the new Business Class product, expected to be changed on all fleet by 2009.
See more on United's new International business class product here.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

BART considering airport parking for SFO

Last week, BART's Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to a plan to offer long-term parking for travelers at four stations near San Francisco International. BART officials still need approval from federal officials to implement the plan.

The cost would be $6 a day, cheaper than most other parking lots at or near the airport. But travelers would have to pay extra for the trip required from the BART station to the airport. For example; drive to the Millbrae BART station, park your car and hop on BART to SFO.

The plan is to offer 500 spaces — 100 each at the Colma, South San Francisco and San Bruno stations, and 200 at the Millbrae Station. But the number may vary month to month. The four stations are on "The Peninsula" extension of the line that reaches the airport. If the spaces reserved for airport parking aren't occupied by 10 a.m., they will be available for general use. BART hopes that the program would improve the line's ridership, which has fallen short of original estimates.

Airfare War Continues: Bargains for Bay Area travelers

Round 2 of the fare war comes 24 hours after United Airlines temporarily dropped fares in markets the new airline Virgin America will be flying starting August 8th.

Late Friday evening JetBlue and Southwest matched or beat Virgin America's introductory fare offerings for routes from the Bay Area (OAK/SFO) to Los Angeles and New York. For example: Southwest is offering $99 each way OAK-NY LaGuardia. Fares are available for non-peak travel days, usually Tue/Wed/Sat for travel beginning on or after August 8th.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Comic Relief
(Thanks Laurie)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

United punches away at Virgin America's intro fares

ROUND 1 630pm
After nearly 16 hours of swift ticket sales by San Francisco startup airline Virgin America, United Airlines is punching back hard, beating away at Virgin's introductory fares.

United has loading the following amazing fares;
SFO-Los Angeles $65rt taxes included (that's $22 each way + tax!)
SFO-New York $160rt taxes included
SFO-Washington $150rt taxes included
These fares are confirmed and available for travel August 9th through November 11th and are subject to availability. Looks like the New York flights require 1 stop (Chicago, Washington, etc) for that fare. "L" class inventory. Use Farecompare.com to find these fares. Get'em while they last.
Good Fare: Just posted - Oakland to Kansas City $98 roundtrip + tax on Delta Airlines
1245pm Virgin America Update
VirginAmerica website seems to be having difficulties handling the masses. The site has been up and down through the morning.
Alternatively, you can book Virgin America tickets through ORBITZ

Here is a run down on their offerings:
-from$44/each way to/from Las Vegas or Los Angeles and San Francisco
-from $139 each way to/from New York and San Francisco

Flights start August 8th to L.A and N.Y
You can call 1-877-FLY-VIRGIN to make reservations ( I was able to get through in less than 10 minutes).

Be sure to sign up for their flying club frequent flyer club program on their website.

Virgin America begins selling airline tickets

Breaking News 10:30am: After years in the making...Virgin America began selling tickets early today on their website http://www.virginamerica.com/. Initial flights are San Francisco - New York and San Francisco to Los Angeles.
A few decent fares from the Bay Area this morning:
San Francisco - San Diego $39 each way on United for travel starting August 16th
San Francisco - Salt Lake City $59 each way on JetBlue for travel starting July 27th
Oakland- Long Beach $44 each way on JetBlue for travel starting August 9th

Search tools: Travelocity & Farecompare utilizing "flexible dates" tool

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The 'Capsule Hotel' at London Gatwick

Resting somewhere between a cramped airport seat with security announcements blasting overhead and and a quiet, spacious hotel with complimentary health club access lies the Capsule room by Yotel. The first Yotel opened June 30th at Gatwick Airprort and essentially offers private resting accommodations for delayed or in-transit passengers. Each room sleeps 2 people, includes flat screen TV's with 60 stations, 24 hour "room" service, restroom and free Wi-Fi. A premium capsule measures 75 square feet and runs $80US for four hours, with different pricing options for overnight stays or standard cabin stays. Another Yotel is expected at London Heathrow Airport within a year.

Related: Sleep Stations coming to SFO

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Breaking News 425pm
A Tam Airlines Airbus 320 plane carrying over 150 people has crashed into an airport and burst into flames shortly after landing at the Sao Paulo Brazil International Airport. So far no report on injuries or casualties. Updates from Reuters.
Good Fare.
San Francisco to Minneapolis, MN $128rt+ tax (About $168) on United Airlines
Valid for most of the remaining 2007 year.

Later and L a t e r flight arrivals

U.S. based airlines had their lowest on time performance rating in nearly 3 years; just 68% of flights arrived on time during the month of May according to the Department of Transportation.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Redeem 15,000 American Airlines miles for short hop awards
American announced today the return of their Short-Hop Economy MileSAAverSM Awards which allows folks to redeem 15,000 AA miles (instead of the regular 25,000 miles) for flights up to 750 miles. In the Bay Area that means SFO or San Jose-Los Angeles or Orange County and San Jose to San Diego. Valid for travel September 1 - February 28, 2008.
American Airlines officially released Dealfinder today, a downloadable desktop tool reportably to offer people more options and control when booking travel. The program was available on a limited Beta basis before today. Some say it has the same feel as Southwest Airlines Ding! downloadable program, but has fallen short since it focuses on more vacation packages and less on bargain basement cheap down and dirty give it to me for next to free fares, that Southwest sometimes offers. Also unlike Southwest, American hasn't so far announced any free miles/credits for giving the program a try.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sacramento to San Juan, Puerto Rico $331rt taxes included

Another great deal from Sac-Town. Fare is available now, must travel Sept 4-Nov 15th.
Available on United or American using "flexible dates" option. Earns 7500-8500 base frequent flyer miles depending on how many connections you desire. "W" booking class.

A lack of "Sun" at San Francisco Airport (soon to change)

Have you seen this plane hanging around at San Francisco Airport?
(probably not)

Sun Country Airlines, recently named top 5 on the list of Top Domestic Airlines in Travel+Leisure’s 2007 World’s Best Service Awards has daily service out of SFO. So where are their planes?
Well according to its schedule, the planes are on the ground at SFO for a mere 50 minutes - a quick drop off and reload of passengers, hardly time to gatch a glipse of their fairly new & crisp planes.

So who are they? The privatly owned company initiated its first flight in 1999 and today has over 1200 employees on staff. Based in Minneapolis, Sun Country offers year round service from San Francisco to destinations in the U.S such as New York's JFK, Washington Dulles and Dallas via its Minneapolis hub. Sun Country is really known however for its flights to Sunny destinations including Miami, St.Petersburg/Tampa, South Padre Island, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Acapulco, Montego Bay and San Juan.

The airline just announced a "UFLY" frequent flyer program in attempt to attract new business. For coach passengers this means 10 round-trip flights=1 free flight with no blackout dates or restrictions.

Beginning later this month, Sun Country will add to its existing 1240am "red eye" service to include a 605pm departure to its Minneapolis hub (arriving at almost midnight). The airline's entire 737 fleet is young, averaging less than 5 years old. Each plane has leather seats in both first and coach class, along with high fidelity audio programming.

With this added 2nd plane you may be seeing more "Sun" at SFO.
More information about the airline can be found here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Some Friday Afternoon comic relief =)

7 hours sitting on a plane - without leaving the ground

We are beginning to hear more stories about airlines refusing the let passengers off the plane when it's clear the aircraft will be stuck at the game for a while. Robert McKee (thanks Consumerist.com) shot this video of a recent Delta Airlines flight where passengers were provided multiple excuses for the problems. My favorite line is when one of the airline employees explained to customers that after calling Delta headquarters, they could not provide food to the passengers because the flight was not scheduled for food service - despite the many hours stuck on the tarmac.

While we here at inflightout try not to report on individual complaints, this video helps capture the many other incidents that have been reported on other airlines and other airports. In some incidents, such as this one, the airline is simply following federal policy about maximum hours flight crew can work. But often it's more important how the airline responds to such delays and treats its customers. It's likely we'll see more videos like this going forward.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

JetBlue to offer free onboard internet

According to BrandWeek, JetBlue will begin offering Internet access on its flights by the end of the year, and at a low cost of $0. Other airlines, including Virgin America, Southwest and Continental have discussed offering enhanced on board communication amenities as well but specifics, timing and cost are relatively unknown.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

HOT! San Francisco to Zurich Switzerland $399/rt tax included!!

HOT FARE: 310pm
San Francisco - Zurich, Switzerland on American Airlines $399rt, taxes included.
Off-peak travel only; October-February. February 15-23rd worked for me.

Virgin America: Ticket sales and schedules coming in weeks

The Department of Transportation (DOT) this afternoon gave thumbs up to Virgin America to begin selling tickets. This was considered the final hurdle for the airline. Now, with the airline staffed and ready for business, all that's missing are reservations. In a press release today, Virgin America says ticket sales will begin in the 'coming weeks' with first flight in August.

Santa Rosa Airport expands commercial air service

Santa Rosa - Sonoma County Airport which in 2006 reintroduced commercial air service is about to expand even further. Currently Horizon Airlines, the only commercial air carrier at SRA airport, provides twice daily service direct to Los Angeles, and one flight daily to Seattle. Starting October 28th, Horizon will introduce a flight direct to Portland Oregon, and an additional flight to L.A, all on Q-400 turbo prop planes.

Horizon Airlines is known for their complimentary wines and microbrews and great onboard customer service. Horizon is affiliated with Alaska Airlines who combined offer service to destinations across North America.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Security Breach at Oakland Airport this morning is causing some flights to be delayed up to 2 hours.

'Bumping' compensation rules by Airlines being reviewed

Getting "bumped" off a plane usually really pisses people off, or it makes them quite happy. The later is likely a voluntary bump and the former an involuntary bump. You know when something is involuntary is just can't be good; indeed the case here.
Scenario: Your flight is oversold by 10 seats. The gate agent asks for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for some denied boarding compensation (free air credit, ticket, upgrade etc) and put on a later flight. Lets say they can round up 9 good ol' folks to accept the voluntary bump- they walk away happy with some freebies in hand; that leaves the airline now 1 seat overbooked. The airline then initiates an involuntary bump; some lucky passenger will be pulled off the flight and accommodated on another flight - whether they like it or not. I've seen ordinary calm and pleasant passengers become hysterical in a matter of minutes once they've found out the ticket they have in hand is useless because of an involuntary bump.
It is here, the involuntary bump where the federal government steps in and monitors what's going on. Mandated reporting of INvoluntary bumps by the airline can show trends and whether the airline is just overbooking flight to frequently. The government also specifies mandatory compensation for INvoluntary bumps, whereas voluntary bumps are negotiated (in theory) between the passenger and gate agent.
INvoluntary bump compensation is being discussed by the Department of Transportation, specifically whether the compensation levels should be increased. The press release is here. Essentially 5 proposals, most to increase a displaced passengers compensation to a higher amount for being inconvenienced. DOT is accepting comment on the proposed changes.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Today Southwest Airlines announced an across the board fare hike of up to $10 per round-trip ticket on most routes. Depending on the market, ticket prices are up $1, $2, or $5 each way, matching similar prices increases last week by United, US Air and American. The airlines have cited increases in jet fuel costs as forcing the increase in fares.
Temporary Relocation of San Jose Airport's Terminal C July 10-12th 7am-4pm, effecting gates C12- C16. During the restricted hours on these days, Alaska Airlines aircraft and gate operations will be relocated to gates C5A and C5B.Frontier Airlines aircraft and gate operations will be relocated to gate C11.

A Bidet coming to a lavatory near you

Japan-based All Nippon Airlines (ANA) announced yesterday they plan to introduce the first bidet in the air. Increasingly popular in Japan and a few other countries in the world, the Bidet will "refresh the parts other airlines cannot reach," said ANA's chief executive.

The Washlet will shoot warm water allowing passengers to clean themselves, as an alternative to traditional TP.

ANA is in line to acquire 50 of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes starting in May 2008. It is expected the Bidet will come installed on each of the planes.

ANA offers daily service from San Francisco to Japan, and last month initiated service on new 777-ER planes with optional premium onboard service.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

No heart-stopping airfare deals the past couple weeks. But, if history repeats itself, expect some hot Europe airfares to come out later this Summer valid for travel dates after October.

SAN FRANCISCO - SAN DIEGO $78+tax round trip ($98 all in) Alaska Airlines
SAN FRANCISCO - LAS VEGAS $88+tax round trip United and US Air
SAN JOSE - CABO SAN LUCAS $178+tax round trip ($286 all in) American Airlines
Be sure to check rules & terms of each airfare. Las Vegas deal for example is valid for travel August 27-October 31st on non-peak travel days only.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, July 6, 2007

JetBlue ready to sock it to you.
Airline to collect more when you change or cancel your flight reservations.
Before: $25 change/cancel fee.
Now: $45 via a phone rep, $35 via the Internet + fare difference.
Effective: Now

Long live the days of the empty middle seat

Most U.S. airlines are reporting that planes are the fullest they have ever been in operating history according to the U.S DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This has direct implications to passengers.
2006 79.2% (percent of seats filled on aircraft)
2005 77.6%
2004 75.5%
2003 73.5%
2002 71.8%
2001 70.0%
2000 72.4%

First, on average, you're more likely than ever in history to not have an empty seat next to you. So don't you dare move that armrest in the up position just yet.

Second, and probably more significant relates to cancelled flights. A fully booked flight where all seats are taken, then subsequently cancelled by the airline, can become a battle (or war) trying to accommodate all those unhappy folks on other flights. Less of a problem when planes were less full. Ahh, remember those days.
Third, if you are flying standby it also becomes more difficult because - you guessed it - there are fewer seats likely to be "open" for you to slip into. Miss your flight, and you may have a long wait at the airport. "Grande Latte please..."

Of course loads vary by time, market and revenue management techniques by the airline.

But, overall, those planes are running pretty darn full these days. Northwest, JetBlue and United have 2006 loads of 84%, 81.6% and 81.7% respectively. Southwest and AirTran have the lowest loads, 73.1% and 72.8% during the same year - meaning on average those planes are only about 3/4 full.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Travelocity has extended their $50 off coupon which applies to selected hotel stays of 3 days or longer. Use coupon code HOTEL50 or click here. Must book by July 31st and discount is valid for hotel stays through October 31. I selected some random dates for hotels on the strip in Las Vegas and came up with a couple (decent) options priced under $75/night before the discount.

Emergency Travel - Bereavement Fares

Sorting out flight arrangements is often the least concern when a distant family member has recently died or is imminent. Search engines likes Travelocity and Expedia make it much easier to sort schedules and fares for most of the airlines allowing you to choose what makes the most sense. But, sometimes you need some flexibility.

One option is redeeming frequent flyer miles for an air ticket. They often have more flexibility than a standard purchased ticket, with many airlines allowing you to change dates/times of departure at no fee providing there are still available seats.

A more classic option, Bereavement fares, can also provide customers options such as open return dates - because who knows how long you may need to stay at the destination to work through family matters. This program is usually available to immediate family members including domestic partners. But, not all airlines offer Bereavement fares any longer, so you need to call the airlines directly to find out.

Prices range from 10-75% off the FULL FARE price of a ticket for the same routing. Therefore, Bereavement fares are not always the least expensive - but again, can offer a greater ability to make changes as needed during your travel.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

D A Y!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Surviving Flight Delays & Cancellations

(Thanks Jason V)
Summer months bring Summer travelers eager to fly. But with less Domestic capacity this year (airlines have cut back on flights) your more likely to have a fellow passenger seated next you than in years past. Did you really think you could have the whole row to yourself? =)

U.S. News & World Report (June 18, 2007) published an article a couple weeks ago highlighting some good tips on how to survive Summer Travel despite potentially packed planes and busy airports. These are great tips to remember year round as well. I've included a few excepts from the article and included a few more of my own.

1. "Smaller Airports are Better" such as Oakland (versus) San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Stats show more on-time and less full flights out of Oakland.

2. "Consider the hub your flying though" Memphis over Minneapolis, and avoid Chicago O'Hare at all costs where just 58% of flights depart on time.

3. "Make contingency plans" no matter how well you plan, things happen. Have plan B available. If you miss a connecting flight, immediately speak to an agent, rebook yourself in a self-service kiosk (available in some airports) and/or call the airline.

A. Hydrate yourself before, during and after your flight. With recent examples of planes being delayed for hours or more on the runway and/or flight cancellations, remember not to let your health deteriorate along with your trip.

B. Verify your seat assignments before the day of your trip. Occasionally airlines swap planes out for various reasons. Your seat 37A may no longer exist if the aircraft is downgraded to something smaller. Check your reservation online or call the airline directly well in advance of your trip to make sure your bossom still has a place to park itself.

C. Related to the contingency plans recommendation above; know alternatives for getting to your destination. If your return flight into San Francisco is cancelled, ask the agent to rebook you to Oakland (sometimes they don't think of this.)

D. Save the anger and frustration of flight cancellations for later. If your flight is cancelled, remember that everyone else on that flight is just as eager to get the next flight out (your have competition). Run, don't walk to a gate agent for rebooking. If there is a line already formed, get on the phone with the airline as well.

Monday, July 2, 2007

500 United miles for joining MyPoints (free)

Through July 27th, new members of MyPoints will receive 500 UA mileage plus miles for signing up.

MyPoints is a rebate/rewards website where they essentially pay you to shop online merchants through their website. For example, clicking through to United.com and purchasing a ticket would earn you 250 MyPoints. Other merchants such as Overstock.com and Travelocity earn points at tiered levels. Points can then be redeemed for gift cards, discounts and other goodies.

If you shop online already, MyPoints is a good way to earn some extra bonus goodies while in effect, not changing your shopping routine all that much. "Something for nothing" as I say.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

500 Northwest bonus miles when using Paypal for purchase

Northwest Airlines just added a new promo which provides 500 Northwest Worldperks miles for any roundtrip ticket paid through PayPal. Purchase must be made by September 30, 2007 for travel through the end of the year. You can continue to use any payment method that Paypal accepts (ie: Visa/MC, checking) for your purchase.

Scottsboro, Alabama and your lost luggage

Unclaimed baggage, or as the airline calls it, "bags that didn't make the flight" and later unretrieved by the passenger are farmed to the South in a town call Scottsboro. According to an article this week in THE WEEK magazine, millions of bags are handled each year, with only a small percent of them never again becoming reacquainted with their owner.

Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior are just a few of the brand-name goodies found in lost luggage; "people tend to take their best things on trips" said Bryan Owens owner of United Baggage Center (UBC) who buys all those lost pieces of luggage by the pound, "it's a bit like an archaeological dig."

Once items are sorted and cleaned, as needed, they are sold in the UBC store in Scottsboro where shoppers are bound to find new "treasures" as they sift through the next batch of lost goods.

Source: The Week Magazine July 6-13, 2007