Saturday, September 29, 2007

United Airlines awarded non-stop service San Francisco to Guangzhou, China

Other new U.S to China routes to follow under new airways agreement
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a new direct route to China to United Airlines, making it the first U.S. carrier to offer daily, nonstop service between San Francisco and Guangzhou. The San Francisco to Guangzhou service will begin in spring of 2008 utilizing a Boeing 777 aircraft, including United First, Business, Economy Plus and Economy classes.

Also awarded was a Atlanta-Shanghai route to Delta Airlines. Delta will be the first U.S carrier to offer this route as well.

These new routes mark the first additions since the Chinese government signed an open airways agreement with the U.S this past July. Other new routes being considered are Chicago to Beijing (American), Newark to Shanghai (Continental), Detroit to Shanghai (Northwest), and Philadelphia to Beijing (US Airways).

Friday, September 28, 2007

Engine fire forces American Airlines plane into emergency landing

All passengers & cabin crew walked away uninjured.
Reuters is reporting an American Airlines flight from St Louis bound for Chicago was forced to turn around and return this afternoon after 1 of the 2 engines on the MD-80 aircraft caught fire. None of the 137 passengers or 5 crew were injured.

Separately, a Delta Airlines flight on Thursday aborted take-off when it was discovered that an engine on an Atlanta bound MD-88 plane was on fire. Everyone was evacuated without injury.

$1 ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles

The original story of MEGAbus first appeared in inFLIGHTout back on August 5th - here

Then last week the L.A times did a write up on the Mega experience. Could this be a good alternative to flying to/from L.A? Could long lines at the airport, plane delays and tiny seats be a thing of the past? Or, do you get what you pay for? (As low as $1.00). Check out the L.A Times MEGAbus tour review here.
Thanks Andy for the Friday Funny
Airline Terms
Open- Jaw: What clients do when they find out what their full-coach fare will be

Passenger: Cargo that talks.

Airline Club: Paradise-like kingdom guarded by dragon-like creatures.

Fog: Weather condition generated by airports.

Airline Sales Rep: Underpaid demigod expected to perform superhuman tasks. Rare species

NO REC: The passenger went online and booked his own flight.·

Direct Flight: 1) Connecting flight in disguise. 2) What civilians think a nonstop flight is.

In-flight Snacks: Little treats sealed in a bag impervious to all but chainsaws.

Baggage Sorting Area: See ' Bermuda Triangle.'

Codeshare: Magic trick in which aircraft from several different airlines leave from the same gate at the very same moment

Gate Announcement: Vital information delivered over a sound system rejected by Taco Bell.

Remain Seated’ Announcement: Phrase that creates an instant urge to go to the lavatory.

Blankets and Pillows (archaic): Sleep-inducing objects said to have existed in primitive times

Minimum Connecting Time: Time it takes for an Olympic gold medal sprinter to run between two gates.

Hotel Shuttle: Vehicle subject to paranormal effect. While waiting, every hotel van will come by multiple times -- except yours.

Overhead Luggage: Rectangular object expected to magically shrink from the size of a refrigerator to the size of a loaf of bread.

On Time: Obscure term, meaning unknown.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oakland-Las Vegas $36/each way Tue/Wed/Saturdays, Oct 9-Nov 17th only.
San Jose-Washington (IAD) $91/each way Tue/Wed/Saturdays, Oct 9-Nov 17th only.
Sacramento - Ontario, CA $41/each way Monday-Saturday, Oct 8-Nov 17th only.
These are Southwest DING! fares (expire at 12noon Pacific Time today)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Virgin America begins SFO-IAD service today

Virgin America debuts San Francisco to Washington-Dulles Airport today and continues to offer intro fares as low as $129 each way for this market.

A race to the finish line: Which U.S airline will offer internet first?

First came Southwest, followed by American, now Virgin America is in the race...the race to see who offers Internet first onboard their U.S flights. But, we've been here before. Sift through your archived Business Week and Technology mags, and you will locate mounds of chatter about how planes are "ready" for Internet service. Many airlines have taken an interest, some have even tested the product since receiving FCC approval back in 2001. But, now in 2007, still no carrier has actually launched the service. That may soon change.

Now a company called AirCell, partnering with Virgin America (and other airlines), has asserted that Wi-Fi will spring to life sometime in 2008. In a press release, AirCell said passengers can "check e-mail, surf the Web, tap into an office network and stay current on the latest news, using either Virgin America’s Red™ in flight entertainment system or their own Wi-Fi enabled laptops, Smartphones, PDAs, BlackBerrys and portable gaming systems - while in flight."

United, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska and American are all somewhere between considering and testing stages for Internet service on their planes. Hopefully with Virgin America advancing to the head of the pack, this will encourage the other carriers to speed up their techie folks and make the Internet an industry standard in the coming years.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FAA Radar failure in Memphis, TN caused flight delays nationwide

Radar failure in Memphis for 2 hours temporarily caused nationwide delays and some cancellations through early afternoon. Air traffic controllers had to use cell phones to reroute some planes. Details here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A few good fare finds this morning:
San Francisco to Los Angeles $78/roundtrip + tax on Virgin America
San Francisco to Cleveland, OH $144/roundtrip +tax on United Airlines
Both fares available 7 days a week including weekends.
virgin america sale and farecompare

Bad (very bad) U.S. Airways Dividend Miles "promo"

Bad promotions are typically not posted on inFLIGHTout, but this one is so ridiculous, it must be reported on. In an email to dividend members, U.S air says it will permit passengers to redeem 10,000 dividend miles for $50 bucks off a flight during the months of January and February.

A) January and February are slow travel months, they should be enticing people to fly with double mile promotions and fare discounts

B) The value of 10,000 miles is is worth A LOT more than $50.00. The most basic measure is a free roundtrip ticket in the Continental U.S; 25,000 miles on U.S. Air. So dumping 10,000 of your miles is worth almost a free 1 way ticket across the country, which is worth far more than $50.

If you have miles "just sitting" in your U.S air account (or other airlines for that matter), even if your not close to a free ticket yet, I recommend you "let it ride". You need to have activity in most frequent flyer programs within 18-36 months otherwise you forfeit your miles. Simply renting a car from Avis for example can earn you frequent flyer miles, and count as activity in your frequent flyer program. In my opinion this is a wiser choice than falling for this U.S Airways "promotion".

From the email: Coming soon! Starting October 22, you can reduce the fare of a US Airways roundtrip ticket by $50 by redeeming 10,000 Dividend Miles. This offer will be valid on all published US Airways roundtrip fares flown in January and February 2008 with a 14-day advance purchase.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday comic relief

have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

72 hour sale from Orbitz (today is the last day to book!) $50 off 2+ night hotel stays. Travel must be completed by November 15th. Use code 72HRSAVE50. For example, I was able to pull up a mid-week rate at the Imperial Palace or Hilton Grand Vacations Club - both 3 star hotels on the Las Vegas strip for under $100 bucks for both nights, taxes included. Click here for more info

Cathay Pacific 15,000 mile bonus flying SFO-Hong Kong

Likely to promote the additional San Francisco to Hong Kong flights beginning in October, Cathay Pacific is offering a 10,000 Asia miles bonus (economy class) or 15,000 Asia miles bonus (business or first class) for upcoming flights. Click here for more details and to register.
Cathay Pacific has been ranked one of the top airlines in the world for onboard product, cabin service and lounge access, and is part of the OneWorld alliance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pre-Boarding at Southwest Airlines: No longer for families & kids

Southwest Airlines has announced that families with small children can no longer pre-board ahead of all other passengers. The airline, which currently doesn't offer pre-assigned seating, assigns seating by groups - A, B, C etc.. based on how early one checks in; group A boards after families with kids, followed by groups B & C. Under the new policy, such families will board after group A or whatever boarding Group their boarding pass indicates. Article here
This change is reportably one of other boarding changes Southwest will announce in a press conference later today.
4pm Update: (thanks Ktjen) Southwest announced "open seating is here to stay" in an email to RapidRewards members. There is a slight change to current procedure, as noted in their text:
"Open Seating is Here to Stay!You spoke and we listened. Today, Southwest Airlines is thrilled to announce that you will continue to be able to choose your favorite seat once onboard the aircraft. And it doesn’t stop there! We’ve figured out how to make our open seating method even better by doing away with the so called “cattle call” and eliminating the need to “camp out” in the boarding line.Beginning in early November, you will be assigned not only a boarding group (A, B, or C) but also a number within that boarding group based on the time you check in for a flight (for example: A32)..."

Alaska Airlines adds online change tool, raises fees

In a press release today, Alaska Airlines announced the addition of a new online tool which enables customers to make changes to their reservation. More importantly, the tool will immediately provide up to 20 alternate routing's and any applicable fare increase.

Also, in an effort to keep people online for their travel needs, change fees performed by an Alaska Airlines phone or airport representative will cost $75 for tickets purchased after October 2nd; the fee for changing online remains at $50.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

HOT FARE! San Jose to Los Angeles $80/roundtrip, taxes included! American Airlines
Travel Tuesday & Wednesdays in October and first 2 weeks of November.

New SF TransBay Terminal proposal: Awesome!

Stretching beyond the newly constructed 605 foot tall One Rincon tower, sweeping past the 853 foot TransAmerica pyramid, and about the size of the Empire State Building - the new San Francisco TransBay terminal. At least that's what the Final Jury verdict voted for.

Pelli Clarke Pelli and Hines Architects were chosen as the winning design, which when completed would include massive public space and a 24-hour vitality missing from the existing space. The glass design will allow for natural lighting and energy conservation throughout. Residential and retail will occupy space above the multitude of regional transit agencies, and eventually California's high-speed rail system.

We're talking on the order of Grand Central Station folks!
Click here for more details on the planned design and to submit public comments.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Delta Airlines SiteSeer Challenge: 2000 free Delta Miles

TODAY September 17 marks round 4 to earn an additional 250 Delta Airlines bonus miles - plus a 1000 mile bonus if you voted in all 4 rounds. If you havn't voted in previous rounds, you can still vote for this 4th round and earn 250 miles.

Free and Easy 2000 Delta Airlines Miles
This afternoon Delta is expected to launch round 1 of a new contest where different people compete to win trips. You can watch their short video clips (5 of them in each round) and vote for your favorite team. You receive 250 miles per vote, and a bonus 1000 miles for voting in all 4 rounds. More information about the contest and Delta's new website SiteSeer can be found here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Plane crash in resort island of Phuket kills 88 people

A One-Two-GO airliner has crashed in the resort island of Phuket Thailand Sunday, killing 88 people on board. The airline, one of a handful of budget air carriers in Asia, was making a 2nd attempt of landing in strong winds and heavy rain. Despite the many fatalities, Health Ministry officials report several survivors managed to escape before the plane burst into flames.

Read more here
Weeekend Fun

Friday, September 14, 2007

HOT! Oakland-Orange County $30 each way (not a typo) DING! Fare from Southwest Airlines
Fare is valid for travel Monday-Thursday and Saturday, October 1 through November 15, 2007 only. You must have DING! from Southwest Airlines installed on your computer as these rates are not available at the Southwest website.

American Airlines: Fly 2 trips, 3rd one is free

American has joined other airlines the past couple weeks by offering some pretty decent promotions this fall. On Wednesday American airlines announced if you fly 2 non-stop round-trips in certain markets, you get a 3rd one free.

Qualifying markets include:
San Francisco - Dallas, Chicago
Oakland - Dallas
San Jose - Dallas, Chicago, Austin

You must book your trip between September 13, 2007 and November 15, 2007.Travel between September 13, 2007 and November 15, 2007.

To participate in this offer, simply register before you travel. Register online at using promotion code AA25X. Read all T&C

Southwest, JetBlue and United are other airlines that have recently offered similar promotions, or bonus miles for flying routes in/out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

San Francisco to Orlando, FL $199RT taxes included. Frontier Airlines. 14-day advance purchase required, and the fare is available 7-days a week through early next year.
Visit or

Horizon Airlines cancels up to 25% of flights Wednesday.

Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines canceled more than 100 flights Wednesday after aircraft manufacturer Bombardier advised airlines to ground some Q400-model turboprops (pictured left).

According to the Associated Press, some cities that had Horizon flights canceled included: Spokane, Bellingham and Pasco, Wash.; Portland and Eugene, Ore.; Boise and Idaho Falls, Idaho; Billings, Bozeman and Kalispell, Mont.; Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, and Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.

An airline spokesperson said that the aircraft may be out of service for several days while they investigate landing gear problems that occurred on similar model planes in Europe. Alaska Airlines has substituted some of their planes into service temporarily in some effected Horizon markets.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bay Area to Ketchikan, Alaska - $185 round-trip + tax

FareCompare is reporting a great fare to an interesting little city in Alaska. Fly Alaska Airlines from SFO/OAK to Ketchikan "the gateway to Alaska" for about $230 with taxes. This route often runs over $400. The low fare is valid Tue, Wed and Saturdays during September and October - great months to visit Alaska in general.

Fare is available for purchase as of 11:55am
Visit or for available dates. This cheap fare won't be around long...
Want info on Ketchikan? Click Here

U.S. Helicopter: $99 bucks to downtown Manhattan

Of course, you need to fly to the New York area first
On your next flight to New York, consider being flown directly into Manhattan from your arrival airport. U.S. Helicopter Corporation is offering a $99/one way - 10 minute flight from JFK or Newark to downtown Manhattan (and vice-versa). Instead of being part of the morning or evening commute, simply fly over it. Plus the cost isn't much more than a cab ride. Plus plus, it sounds fun! The special $99 promo is valid through October. U.S Helicopter partners with some airlines to handle checked baggage. Visit U.S Helicopter here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Midwest Airlines 10% off discount code. (Thanks to the friends over at Flyertalk)
Midwest has daily departures from SFO (i've flown them to Kansas City & Orlando), complete with leather seats and warm chocolate chip cookies on many flights. mm mm just like momma makes em' good. Coupon isn't valid during the holidays. Coupon Code LG465 Visit

Monday, September 10, 2007

Horizon Air Announces Introductory Fares and Double Miles on New Service from Portland to Sonoma County/Santa Rosa
Horizon Air, part of parent company Alaska Airlines has announced a special introductory fare of $99 each way for the airline's new service between Portland and Sonoma County/Santa Rosa, which starts Oct. 28. Additionally, for a limited time, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn Double Miles on the new route. Both offers are valid for travel through Dec. 13, 2007.
The daily nonstop flight departs Santa Rosa at 2:20pm. Visit for more information.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A 'Beach' of an encounter with a 747

Love it! Love it!
St Maarten Airport (SXM)

According to the San Jose Mercury News, a bomb threat phoned in Friday afternoon toward a Southwest Airlines flight departing Oakland, caused the already airborne plane to turn around and deplane. All 123 passengers were reportably resent through security and interviewed by the FBI.

Travel adventure: The Magic 'Fish Spa'

Here's one to consider for your next trip.

Forget the lava rock or seawood treatment or the mineral water body detox - go straight for the what's hot in Asia; the 'Magic Fish Spa.'

"When placed in the spa, these fish can feed themselves on the dead cells of the human body, since they only consume such cells, leaving the healthy skin of the human body to grow. The whole process is reportedly free of pain. It won’t hurt and the bather might feel a pleasant tingling on his or her skin."
From More information on Doctor Fish from Wiki

Friday, September 7, 2007

Alaska Airlines discontinues the non-stop San Francisco to San Diego flight this weekend.
The airline, which has been operating this route only since October 2006 will discontinue service effective September 9th. Southwest Airlines can largely be to blame for Alaska Airlines pulling out of this market. Southwest currently operates 2o daily non-stop flights from Oakland to San Diego, and began flying 8 additional daily flights from San Francisco to San Diego (haven't even included San Jose and Sacramento)- with cut-throat fares as low as $39 bucks each way. Probably best for Alaska to move on to greener $ pastures...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Begenning next week American Airlines will test a cashless buy-on-board system in which passengers pay for purchases with plastic only (credit or debit cards). San Francisco was selected as the test market, and includes all American flights flying out from September 10th-30th.

Currently American flights permit payment of headseats, food and alcohol using cash or plastic. Under this 20 day test, the airline will determine if going to a cashless system makes for better business.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

JetBlue promotion: FLY now, earn a free $50 Electronic Credit for future travel, and 20 bonus TrueBlue points.
Fly round-trip anywhere JetBlue flies (ie: to Long Beach), and they mail you a voucher for $50 bucks off future travel plans, plus 20 bonus points. Typically you earn 2-6 points on flight depending on the length of the journey. 100 points for a free trip anywhere they fly - including Puerto Rico. Click here for T&C and to register for the promotion.
250 American Airlines miles for completing a 3 minute survey about AAvacations
Click here
Thank you for taking the time to fill out the AmericanAirlines VacationsSM Travel Survey. In appreciation of your participation we will credit your AAdvantage® account with 250 bonus miles within the next 8-10 weeks.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ExpressJet Inaugurates Sacramento-Bakersfield this week

Airline begins non-stop service from Sacramento to Bakersfield CA on September 9th.

Scheduled daily departute out of Sacramento is 635pm arriving Bakersfield at 7:37pm.

The route will be operated by an Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft configured with no middle seats. ExpressJet also offers premium in-flight service including upgraded entertainment with more than 100 channels of free XM® Satellite radio, complimentary recognized name-brand snacks and cushioned leather seating.

ExpressJet flies non-stop to other small to medium size markets as well: Sacramento, CA
Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Spokane, Tucson and Tulsa.

They also flight non-stop between Monterey and San Diego and Ontario.

Official Website for ExpressJet

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Travel Advisory: Hurricane Felix now a Category 5 Hurricane

Hurricane Season is in full force! Hurricane Felix (to the left), currently located Southeast of Jamaica has just been upgraded to a Cat 5 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph. The projected path takes it through the Caribbean then at for Belize and/or the Mexican Yucatan by Midweek. After crossing inland, the storm is expected to reemerge, over the Gulf of Mexico late next week.

Also, Tropical Storm Henriette, about 300 miles Southeast of Cabo, Mexico is expected to become a Hurricane within the next 24 hours, making landfall somewhere along Southern Baja Peninsula Tuesday.

Folks traveling to these areas over the next week should be aware of potential travel interruptions.
SuperShuttle offers door to door shuttle service to/from local airports.

Here's a coupon for $3.00 off each way, when you use your American Express Card for payment. Book online here, and use code 72MMA

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Lightning Bolt Strikes Plane Taking Off

Check out this awesome video of a lightning bolt striking an airplane in Osaka.

LINK: High Voltage: Lightning Bolt Hitting Plane Taking Off in Osaka - Gizmodo

Then read viewer comments on how airplanes are not always susceptible to damage from lightning.