Wednesday, April 30, 2008

San Francisco to London $625rt, Tax Included For May

If you can overlook the U.S Dollar/British Pound conversion, then consider this great early Summer fare from San Francisco to London for $625 round-trip, taxes included. The fare is available throughout much of May on Virgin Atlantic, U.S Air and Delta Airlines.

New Hawaiian Flight Starts Thursday

Hawaiian Airlines will start flying from Oakland to Honolulu International this Thursday. The 9am daily departure comes as a result of Aloha and ATA airlines having gone bankrupt and ending service between Oakland and Honolulu.

Passengers can make reservations for this flight at

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

$20 Back From Paypal When Booking a JetBlue Flight

Paypal has partnered with JetBlue, offering $20 back for flights purchased at now through Midnight April 30th. The promotion is limited to the first 2000 customers who pay for their ticket using their paypal account. Click here for more information.

Alaska Airlines Announces Several Fee Hikes

Citing "a need to raise certain fees to better align them with the current costs of providing added services," Alaska Airlines announced several hikes in fees. In a press release, the airline stated these added costs are part of a larger strategy to further increase revenues and reduce expenses.

New Alaska Fees Effective May 21, 2008:

  • Booking an airline ticket through phone reservations: Increases from $10 to $15.

  • Fee for overweight baggage: Increases from $25 to $50.

  • Charge for transporting pets in the cabin: Was $75, will increase to $100.

  • Unaccompanied minor fee: Originally $30-$75, new charge $60-$75 each way.
The airline announced it will begin charging a second checked bag fee of $25 this summer as well, a move most of the major airlines will be implementing as well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Orbitz: $50 off a 3+ Night Hotel Stay

From Orbitz: Book a qualifing hotel by May 1, for three or more nights for travel by July 1, 2008 and instantly recieve $50 off your purchase. Use Promotion Code: 50DMOPA

Orbitz- Keeping You A Step Ahead! 468x60

$25 Off Your Next Midwest Airlines Flight

Midwest Airlines is offering a discount of $25 on your next flight, when you purchase it with a Mastercard. The discount offer is valid on flights to/from Kansas City, and between Milwaukee and Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York (LaGuardia), Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Use promo code MC25 at The discount is valid on flights through September 2008, and must be booked online by April 30 at midnight CT.

United Airlines Commerical From 1971

Here's another oldie but goodie airline commercial from the 70's. It's United Airlines launching their newest big bird - the DC-10, featuring the "friendship lounge" on non-stop flights into San Francisco.

Hawaii Vacation Packages

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eos Airlines Files Chapter 11, To Cease Operations Today

New York-based Eos Airlines announced Saturday they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will cease operations by Sunday afternoon. Established in 2004, Eos is known for their all business class flights, operating daily departures from JFK to Europe. They had announced plans to expand their routes, including flights from Los Angeles.

Jack Williams, Eos' CEO said they were unable to secure additional financing to keep the airline and its unique business model flying. In a press release, Williams added, “there are times in business when even though you execute your business plan and even though your employees do their jobs beautifully, external forces prevent you from controlling your own destiny."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Southwest Airlines Vacations

Friday, April 25, 2008

SPOT - Call Home Without a Phone

Planning a trip to the great outdoors, or perhaps up Mt. Everest sometime soon? A new product on the market allows you to contact home in locales where a traditional or mobile phone would otherwise not work. SPOT, which employs GPS satellite technology keeps track of your whereabouts and sends messages to family and friends of your progress. In case of an emergency, you can press a 9-1-1 button which will trigger a call for help. The device is waterproof and floats on water. $170 + annual service fee. Visit

Here is Gizmo Report of some pros & cons of the product.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Magazine Subscription to Sherman's Travel

Sherman's Travel is fairly well known for great travel deals by way of daily emails and occasional pop ups when visiting certain travel sites. Now they have moved into the print business, bringing in-depth destination discussion into a colorful quarterly magazine. Best of all, and for a limited time, they are offering a free subscription. Click this link. Enjoy!

SuperShuttle and Northwest Partner Up, Offer Frequent Flyer Miles

Northwest Worldperks members who book a ride online with SuperShuttle will now earn frequent flyer miles. In a press release this week, SuperShuttle announced the new partnership with Northwest, which will reward passengers riding SuperShuttle 50 Worldperks miles for each one way trip to or from the airport.
SuperShuttle also has partnerships with Frontier Airlines and U.S Airways frequent flyer programs.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Airplane Trolleys, Now Available For Purchase

Fans of the infamous onboard trolley can now roll one into their own home. While on a recent Lufthansa flight, I browsed the WorldShop catalogue and discovered this great find.

Instead of the airlines dumping their bruised and dented trolleys into the garbage, they decided to paint them over and re-brand them as one-of-a-kind treasures. Bordbar has some fancy ideas of how trolleys can add decor and excitement to your home or party.

Drinks and meals (snackboxes in the U.S) sold separately
Cost: $1800 (apx) shipped to the United States

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

United Airlines Promo: Double Elite-Status Qualifying Miles

United Airlines just released a promotion offering double elite-qualifying miles for all flights between now and June 15th. This promotion is for those working toward achieving or maintaining elite status with United. These are not miles redeemable for travel.Click here to be directed to the UA promotions website and to register. This promotion matches one American Airlines offered earlier in the month.

What A Traveler Can Do For The Earth

Here are some great ideas to help the environment while enjoying your travels.

In Transit:
-Bring an empty water bottle through airport security, then refill it as your journey progresses
-Reuse drinking cups provided by the airlines during beverage service
-Take only brochures and pamphlets you really need
-Use public transportation instead of a rental car. Or use a Hybrid.

-Eat with a conscience; eat local food rather than items imported in by ship or plane

At A Hotel:
-Reuse your towels and linens during your stay
-Keep showers short
-Bring your own toiletries
-Unplug the in room refrigerator/mini bar if you don't plan on using it
-Turn off the lights and TV when leaving the room
-In warm climates, close the drapes to avoid afternoon heating of the room
-Recycle the complimentary newspaper offered by many hotels
-Check-out of the hotel electronically (often using the in-room TV)
Partial Contribution to this story from

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Several New Airline Routes & Destinations Begin This Summer

By Mike Grasso
Despite the recent pullback in the airline industry, new routes and destinations are being introduced throughout the Bay Area this summer. Although the airlines are thinning the total number of available seats in some markets by reducing plane size and limiting daily departures, they continue to expand in markets they deem profitable, either by anticipated market demand and/or government subsidies.

I've compiled a list of new routes, sorted by departure city, which will begin operating this summer, many in May and June alone. The list includes many exciting visits soon accessible from San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and Monterey Airports.

With these added destinations, now is the time to begin thinking about Summer vacation plans!

San Francisco to:
  • Austin, TX - JetBlue
  • Milwaukee, WI- AirTran (seasonal service)
  • Victoria, BC- United Express
  • Bellingham, WA- Allegiant Airlines
  • Kalispell, MT- United Express (seasonal service)
  • Missoula, MT- United Express (seasonal service)
  • Zurich, CH- BelAir Airlines (charter/seasonal service)
  • North Bend, OR- United Express
  • Klamath Falls, OR- United Express
  • Dubai, UAE- Emirates Airlines (Begins October 26)

San Jose to:

  • Denver, CO- Southwest Airlines
  • Long Beach, CA- JetBlue

Oakland to:

  • Honolulu, HI- Hawaiian Airlines
  • Austin, TX- Southwest

Sacramento to:

  • Philadelphia, PA- U.S Airways
  • Charlotte, NC- U.S Airways

Monterey to:

  • Las Vegas, NV- Allegiant Airlines

United Airlines Increases Change Fee

By Mike Grasso
In what could result in a domino effect among other mainline carriers, United Airlines has raised change fees for non-award tickets to $150.00. The change appears to be effective immediately.

The news was initially mentioned on flyertalk, and although United has not made a public announcement of the increase, I just confirmed the change in the q&a section of the ual website.

Most mainline carriers, including United, charged no more than $100 (plus any applicable fare change) for making changes to a reservation. With the increase, United is making a bold move, one likely to upset business & leisure travelers worldwide.

But, in February United announced they would pioneer a special $25 fee for checking in a second bag, and despite grumbles from flyers, within weeks most of the larger U.S-based airlines announced a matching the fee. Here, they were successful.

In addition to increasing change fees, in the coming months I expect many airlines to find other creative ways to charge passengers, far beyond the price of the ticket. As fuel costs rise to an all-time high, the industry must find solutions to offset the higher cost of flying planes.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Southwest Airlines 15% Off Discount Code

Coupon came through this morning with the airlines' Ding! fares. 15% off a round-trip Southwest flight, systemwide. Book your trip no later than April 21st, for travel dates between August 23-October 30th. Labor Day weekend is not eligible for the discount.

Visit enter promotion code: DING15

Discarded Toiletries From Airports May Be Donated

Despite established TSA rules limiting the amount of liquids that can be brought through security, each day thousands of pounds of toothpaste, shampoo and other liquid products are discarded at airport security.

According to a KOVR-13 (Sacramento) news report, a successful trial in Fresno and Bakersfield is prompting one state lawmaker to consider mandating discarded items be donated to charity, rather than simply thrown away.

Read more here. Video is located to the right of the article.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Denied Boarding Compensation going up to $800

Starting next month, if you are involuntarily denied boarding on a U.S-based carrier, the airline must pay you up to $800 for the inconvenience. You can thank the Department of Transportation for following through with their commitment to improve the passenger flying experience.

How it works: You have a confirmed reservation, but the flight is oversold. The airline will ask for volunteers to be "bumped." If too few people volunteer, the airline is forced to involuntarily deny boarding to selected passengers, often those who check-in late or without seat assignments.

Under previous rules, the airlines would pay $200 for many involuntary denied boardings, and $400 if you arrived more than 4 hours later than your originally scheduled time. This compensation hasn't been revised since 1978. But starting in May, these payouts double!

American Airlines Promo: Double Elite-Status Qualifying Miles

American Airlines just released a promotion offering double elite-qualifying miles for all flights between now and June 15th. This promotion is for those working toward achieving or maintaining elite status with American. These are not miles redeemable for travel.

Click here to be directed to the AA promotions website and to register.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

InterContinental San Francisco $129/night

Travelzoo just posted another great deal for the brand new InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco. Rates are available from $129/night (lowest I've seen yet!) on select days, including weekends, through September 1st. Have friends or family coming to town - why not have them stay at this luxury property in the SOMA?
Click here for more information from TravelZoo.

Allegiant Airlines to begin San Francisco to Bellingham Flights

In a press release Tuesday, Allegiant Airlines (G4) announced it will begin summer flights from San Francisco to Bellingham, Washington (BLI) on June 6th. Bellingham is about 1 hour South of Vancouver, BC.

Three weekly non-stop flights - Wednesday, Friday and Sunday will be offered, utilizing a full size 150-seat MD-80 aircraft. Introductory rates from San Francisco start at just $59 each way and are available for purchase through May 10th, valid for travel until August 31st.

Allegiant Airlines operates flights throughout the United States. In addition to the San Francisco service, Allegiant plans to debut a a Monterey to Las Vegas route on May 30th. They specialize in linking small and mid-size communities to world class leisure destinations.

** 11am Update **
How about a nice summer weekend in the great Northwest? is showing a $8 one-way fare to Bellingham on June 6th and June 8th only, with a $59 return fare. Total cost $88 roundtrip with taxes included.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

United Delays the San Francisco - Guangzhou Route

United Airlines announced it is delaying the launch of its San Francisco-Guangzhou route, originally expected to start June 18th. According to, the carrier blamed soaring fuel costs for its decision to postpone the route. "At the time United originally applied for the right to serve the route, United paid on average US$72 a barrel of oil," United is quoted as saying in a statement. "With prices in excess US$110 a barrel today, we face a cost increase of more than US$2 billion."

Northwest & Delta become Delta Airlines

As expected, Northwest and Delta Airlines announced the two will merge and become the world's largest airline. The process of merging is expected to take 6-8 months, and is subject to government approval. Delta will retain the name for the new airline. The airlines have contacted members of their frequent flyer programs stating their frequent flyer miles and status will be unaffected by the merger.

Meanwhile, the airlines created a new website to boast of the new airline and positive effects they feel will result.

Monday, April 14, 2008

7-Day sale from Orbitz starts today. Book a 1+ night qualifying hotel stay and receive 20% off. Travel valid through August 31, 2008. Click the banner below to save.
7-Day 20% Off Sale- Exp  4/20/08 (468x60)

Emirates to Begin San Francisco to Dubai Flights

Following news of only four weeks ago that it would start services to Los Angeles, Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing international airlines announced plans to launch an additional service to the West Coast. The award-winning airline will fly non-stop from San Francisco to Dubai starting October 26th, 2008, taking its total number of U.S. destinations to four.

Emirates has received multiple recognitions over the years, including being named top airline in the world, for their 5-star quality and service.
The airline is not part of any alliance, but has mileage arrangements with both United and Continental Airlines.

The daily flight to Dubai Emirates departs San Francisco at 4:45pm daily and arrives at 7:25pm the following day. As of November 2nd, the flight will depart an hour earlier, at 3:45pm. The route will be operated by a new Boeing 777-LR ("long range") aircraft.

Earn Frequent Flyer Miles for Grocery Shopping

Grocery Miles from United Airlines has been around for a while, and while the payouts in miles are pretty slim, they do come automatic and pretty free of effort.

Here's how it works: Link your United Airlines Mileage Plus number with your Safeway Club Card Number. Then, after you spend $250 at Safeway, or, you receive 125 United bonus miles automatically. Great deal for those who already shop at Safeway. Click here for more information or to enroll.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Delta, Northwest Merger imminent - source

It looks like the airline industry will continue to make headlines this week as a merger between Northwest and Delta is reported to be imminent. According to the Associated Press, people close to the merger talks said it may happen as early as Monday. If it does, the joined companies would result in the largest airline in the world.

The two airlines hoped to announce a deal in February, but their pilots' unions were unable to agree on how to merge their seniority lists. The airlines are now hoping to proceed with merger talks without compiling a list, a move that could potentially cause strong opposition to the merger by pilots.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Continental, Delta Match 2nd bag fee

A bit late posting this one...been out of the country.

Checking in more than one bag will cost you $25 bucks; you can now term it the industry standard. The most recent adopters of the fee are Continental and Delta, but United and U.S Airways were the leaders in implementing it. Northwest announced their bag fee last week, and Dallas-based American Airlines has filed an intent to charge the fee as well. Some elite fliers and those in first class may not be subject to the new fees however.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Remembering 'Soul Plane'

In lite of all the dim airline news lately, thought I would post some laughs.
Soul Plane (2004) was and continues to be laugh out loud funny. For those who haven't seen it, I've included a trailer. Rated NC-17 for content. Enjoy.

American Cancels 900 More Flights for 3rd Day Of Inspections

3rd day of cancellations has affected more than half the companies regularly scheduled flights across the United States. More than a quarter-million passengers directly impacted. American says it is reaccomodating stranded passengers and providing refunds to customers scheduled to travel this week on MD-80 aircraft. Meanwhile, the company is getting hammered by substantial financial losses as a result of the inspections and irregular operations.
More from CNN

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oasis Hong Kong Ends Operations, Passengers Stranded

Low Cost Carrier Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, recently voted "World’s Leading New Airline" at the Annual World Travel Awards 2007, appears to have flown its last flight. Record high fuel prices and stiff competition triggered heavy losses to Oasis Hong Kong.

In its 17 months of operations, the airline flew International routes from its base in Hong Kong, including to Vancouver, BC. It was expected that Oasis Hong Kong was going to introduce flights into Oakland in the coming months.

American Cancels 1000 flights Wednesday

American Airlines cancelled 1000 flights Wednesday, more than one-third of its entire schedule. Wednesday's cancellations follow 500 flights axed on Tuesday, all as a result of aircraft inspections. Similar inspections and audits have forced several other carriers to ground aircraft over the past couple weeks. More from CNN

Win a Pair of Business Class Tickets to Hong Kong from Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Airways is a proud sponsor of the 51st San Francisco International Film Festival and would like to invite you to enter our contest for a chance to win a pair of roundtrip Business Class tickets or a pair of roundtrip Economy Class tickets to Hong Kong!
Click here for more details and to register. Sweepstakes closes May 15, 2008.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jet Airways Postpones Debut of SFO flights

In a short note, Jet Airways Public Relations stated the April 24th launch for flights to Shanghai and Mumbai from San Francisco have been postponed. They did not specify the reason, but said updates on the revised date will follow.
Click here for past stories discussing the Jet Airways introduction at SFO

SkyBus Airlines Cancels Flights, Calls it Quits

Does this sound familiar? Last week it was Aloha and ATA, this week Skybus. All three airlines abruptly shut down, leaving passengers across the country scrambling looking for alternate flights.

After less than a year of operations, including flights out of Oakland, Skybus Airlines announced a halt to all passenger operations effective April 5th. The airline, which prided itself on offering seats from $10 each way, simply could not stand in the face of record high oil prices, taking a toll on the entire airline industry.

450 Skybus employees have been laid off, and passengers with confirmed reservations are on their own to find flight alternatives.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Updates will be limited for the next 7 days as I'll be traveling overseas. Thanks for your patience. Back Soon!

Wine Bar Takes Flight

(Sherman's Travel)

These days, serving time in airport limbo is an expected part of travel. Vino Valo, a wine bar and retail chain popping up in airports around the country, is ameliorating the experience glass by glass. Debuting at Dulles International in 2005, it has since opened outposts in Seattle, Baltimore, Sacramento and New York. Up to 10 more locations are planned for 2008. Wine comes by the glass, bottle, or location-appropriate flight ('Sierra Reds" in Sacramento). Volos are post-security, so customers can bring their favorite bottles on the plane (from $4; -BB.

Friday, April 4, 2008

San Francisco to San Juan $205 RT/Tax included

Another low price for this market; Continental Airlines is offering flights from SFO to San Juan, PR for $205 "out the door" which includes taxes, fees and fuel surcharges. The flights conveniently connect in Houston. Books in "L" inventory, and the fare is available into May, then goes up about $30 for flights for the remainder of the year.

U.S Airways is runner up, pricing at $234 "out the door" with a variety of connections available. Those in search of extra frequent flier miles might consider SFO-Philadelphia to San Juan, which nets 8,000 miles roundtrip. Books in "R" inventory.

To book, visit or and search using the flexible dates option.

Hawaiian Airlines to launch Oakland - Honolulu Service

According to, Hawaiian Airlines plans to launch its first ever Oakland to Honolulu Service beginning May 1st. The airline added the route in response to Aloha and ATA airlines sudden end to flight operations earlier this week. Both airlines operated non-stop flights to the islands from Oakland, and accounted for 5% of total passengers through the airport.

The schedule is as follows:
HA #47 Departs Oakland 9am and arrives Honolulu at 11:05am
HA #48 Departs Honolulu 130pm and arrives Oakland at 9:25pm

Tickets go on sale today, and the flight will be operated by a wide-body Boeing 767 aircraft.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

ATA Airlines Files for Bankruptcy, Cancels All Flights

Breaking News
Second airline this week to cease operations
Low-fare carrier ATA Airlines said it has filed for Bankruptcy Court protection and ordered the grounding all flights as it halted operations. The last scheduled flight landing early this morning. Nearly all of the airline's 2,230 employees were let go. Meanwhile, thousands of passengers were stranded at Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago-Midway, and other airports across the U.S.

Earlier this week, citing chronic financial problems, Aloha Airlines announced the immediate end to all passenger flights. This left passengers scrambling to find new flights.

ATA airlines, which operated several daily flights from the mainland U.S to Hawai'i, blames the loss of a key military charter contract. In addition to scheduled airline service, ATA also provided charter service for the Pentagon.

ATA said passengers should seek alternative travel arrangements on their own. This morning Northwest Airlines announced that for a $100 fee, passengers confirmed on an ATA flight can standby for a flight on their airline. Southwest Airlines, which codeshared flights with ATA said they too will assist affected ATA customers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

United Grounds Flights Today For Safety Checks

United Airlines sent out a press release this morning saying they are pulling all 52 of its Boeing 777 aircraft, mainly used for International flights. About half a dozen international flights destined for SFO were cancelled as of 9am today.

In their statement, United says passengers traveling April 2 may experience flight delays or cancellations for fire-system maintenance checks. United said the checks resulted from a review of maintenance records and discovery that the functional test that checks the firing system on one of the five bottles in the cargo fire suppression system on Boeing 777 was not performed. Not all the aircraft can be checked today, and the company warned of additional flight delays or cancellations over the next 24-36 hours.

In their statement United says it "is currently working to provide additional aircraft where available and is accommodating customers on other flights and other airlines. Customers can check which aircraft they are scheduled to fly on at"

Emirates Airlines: Shower facilities onboard flights by October

Environmental Impact Yields to Luxury Travel
One of the most luxurious airlines in the world, Emirates, is taking luxury and service to an even higher level. Beginning this October, Emirates will offer onboard shower facilities to first class passengers. The showers will be available on their Airbus A380 aircraft, operating a New York to Dubai route.

But talk about working against eco-friendly travel solutions. The London Times estimates aircraft will need to haul around an extra ton of water per flight, and the extra fuel to move it.

This results in a “carbon cost” of 48,455 pounds for every round trip flight.

It's fantastic technology has evolved to a point which permits people to bath themselves at 40,000 feet...and I suppose passengers paying $15,000+ for a first class flight have a right to it. And of course it would be great to try it and say, "wow!" But hopefully this doesn't become a standard for the que of other Airbus 380 aircraft on wait lists and assembly lines. There are other methods of "wowing" first class passengers that result in less harm on the environment.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Delta Airlines Promo: Double Medallion Qualifying Miles

Flights booked now through April 30th, with travel through June 30th will earn double medallion qualifying miles on Delta Airlines. According to the Delta promotions website, you must register, then book a Delta-coded flight on their website to qualify. Keep in mind this is double qualifying miles for those seeking elite status, this is not banked miles you can redeem for trip awards.