Monday, June 30, 2008

Gogo To Connect Flyers To The World - At 30,000 feet

Those needing an Internet or email "fix" during flights will soon get it. Several airlines are working on installing technology which will enable passengers to connect - textually - to the rest of the world, even at 30,000 feet.

A program called Gogo, combined with ground towers positioned throughout the United States, will provide reliable connectivity, at a fairly decent speed, to passengers flying high above. Check out this marketing video describing Gogo, followed by a review by USA Today, putting Gogo to the test.

So how well does the technology work? Check out this review (text & video) from USA Today's Walter S Mossberg, who tested Gogo during a recent flight from San Francisco to Denver.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gay Pride San Francisco 2008

San Francisco Pride Weekend
June 28-June 29, 2008

Travel Sponsors Include: Virgin America, Air New Zealand, Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, The Handlery, Joie de Vivre Hotels, Hotel Whitcomb, Renoir Hotel, AAA, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Click here for pride weekend information.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Delta To Add Fuel Service Charge To "Free" Award Tickets

Redeeming frequent flyer miles for a "free" ticket
on Delta Airlines will soon cost you

In yet another setback for consumers, Delta airlines announced this morning they will begin charging customers a fuel surcharge fee when redeeming Delta SkyMiles for an otherwise "free" flight. In a press release, Delta stated effective August 15th, a $25 fee will be charged for flights within the United States and Canada, and $50 elsewhere in the world. The fuel surcharge will not impact existing itineraries or tickets purchased before August 15th.

This is the first known U.S-based airline to institute a fuel surcharge to customers redeeming banked frequent flyer miles. In the press release, managing director of Delta's SkyMiles program said, “This was a difficult but essential decision in the face of record-high fuel costs. We hope this is temporary, and should fuel prices subside from current levels, we will reevaluate this surcharge."

With the cost of oil exceeding $140 a barrel, airlines are struggling for ways to recoup operating losses. The fuel surcharge on award travel is surely seen as one possible solution. But already, consumers are crying foul, as the once advertised "earn a free trip" when redeeming 25,000 miles no longer applies. With the added fuel surcharge, it will soon become impossible to obtain a free trip with Delta.

Earlier this month, and with less uproar from the traveling community, American Airlines quietly announced they would add a $5 charge for all award tickets redeemed on their website effective June 21st. Without a huge public backlash - yet, in effect, American's move may have helped pave the way for Delta to institute the fuel surcharge announced today.

Emirates Postpones San Francisco Launch By 3 weeks

As we mentioned in April, Emirates Airlines rolled out plans to begin flying between San Francisco and Dubai this October. According to the airline routes news blog, the airline now says it must postpone the launch by about three weeks as they await the delivery of new Boeing 777 aircraft, delayed because of galley installation issues. Emirates hopes to be flying the route by November 20th.

For travelers with a sense of wonder, any trip is rewarding

(San Francisco Chronicle)
Summer's coming, so let's see where we are.

In a recession. (Your president may not be able to say it, but a travel editor can.) For people worried about keeping their jobs and their houses, vacation may enter the realm of the unthinkable.

The lucky ones who are able to travel face the prospect of shocking airfares if they fly and soaring gas prices if they drive. The train is an option for students, retirees and trust-fund babies, but not the average American who gets a measly two weeks off.
"One of the good things that could come out of this
recession is a realization that travel is less about the place than it is about the displacement"
With flying, the cost is not the only drawback. Our air system is in disarray. A means of transportation that was once Merely Uncomfortable became, after 9/11, a Major Hassle, and then last year - with its bonanza of delays and cancellations - moved to Totally Maddening. Nobody today envies the person who's heading to the airport.

If you're on a plane that's leaving the country, you're in for a thrill as soon as you land and try to buy a cup of coffee. The dollar has plummeted in much of the world, especially Europe, a perennial tourist attraction.

And while you're counting your change, keep your voice down, as there are a lot of people out there who aren't terribly fond of Americans these days.
We're the once-loved nouveau-poor.
So what are we to do?
Go. Somewhere. Anywhere. It doesn't really matter how far - or how much time you spend there. The great thing about travel is that it's not a contest (contrary to what the reality show "The Amazing Race" may have taught us), it's a change of scenery - and the various changes (of perspective, attitude, heart) that often accompany it. Certain changes are more dramatic than others, obviously, but the important thing is change itself.

And movement. There is something about it that improves our mood. It is why mothers rock their crying babies. The pleasure's increased if you're not at the controls - a passenger on ships, trains, planes, even buses (though here the pleasure can wear off fairly quickly). A popular segue in country songs is feeling low followed by hitting the road.
But if you don't hit it very far, how do you get your culture-shock kick? Where's the thrill in seeing the next county?

Depends on the county. A few summers ago my wife and I took a little Florida road trip. We set off in the morning and stopped for lunch in Vero Beach. The special that Thursday at Mrs. B's just off the interstate was mullet, which Hania ordered with mustard greens. The tables around us were filled with ranchers; the talk was of cattle. We felt very far from home.
It used to be that the one quality deemed necessary for a traveler was a sense of adventure. The world was less known, less present, less furnished with ATMs.

Today the world is wired and YouTubed nonstop. The impression sometimes is that this has made it less interesting, less surprising, less foreign. Of course it hasn't; if anything, the world is more varied and complex than ever. Rather it's we, bombarded by the world, who have become less interested in it.

The quality necessary to the traveler today is a sense of wonder. For those who have it, a road trip to Oregon is just as enjoyable as a vacation in Italy. For it involves the same fundamental gift: a journey out of the house, to another place, one with a different landscape, culture, way of doing things. All of these are more striking in Florence than they are in Ashland, but our capacity for wonder gives us the ability to appreciate them in any degree. Nothing beyond our backyards is boring to us.

It's a kind of travel relativism, which can only be helpful in a period of economic gloom. Hard times have always given birth to positive developments, and one of the good things that could come out of this recession is a realization that travel is less about the place than it is about the displacement.

It's not really important where we go but that we go, marveling every step of the way.
Thomas Swick is the travel editor of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where this essay originally appeared. To comment, visit and follow the links.

This article appeared on page E - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle June 8, 2008 edition.
Photo by J. Griffin Stewart (Flickr)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Early Fall International Airfare Sale Now In Progress

Certainly not the best fares we've seen historically, but these deals aren't to shabby either.
The examples below are all confirmed airfares for early Fall travel (September/October) but may be available on other dates as well. All fares displayed include taxes and fees. If you don't see your favorite city displayed, by all means...start looking for it. and (flexible dates option) and are all good places to start.

San Francisco to Hong Kong $784 RT (Asiana Airlines)
San Francisco to Cancun $306/ RT (Mexicana Airlines)
San Francisco to Frankfurt $599/ RT (U.S Airways)
San Francisco to Dublin $712/RT (United)
San Francisco to Madrid $895/ RT (US Air)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Win A Trip For (2) To Scotland From The History Channel

Enter the History Channel's Monster Crave sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for (2) people to Scotland, or one of several $45 gift certificates to Outback Restaurant. Sweepstakes ends July 16th. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Royal Caribbean Mega-Ship To Include AquaTheater, Boardwalk

By Mike Grasso
Royal Caribbean's massive Oasis of the Seas, expected to be the largest most innovative ship at sea, is making a buzz throughout the travel industry. The 220,000-ton, 5,400-passenger mighty ship has a December 2009 launch date. So what's all the talk you ask?

The design of the ship follows what companies officials call, "neighborhoods," which is expected to offer something for everyone. Where families with kids may appreciate the lively boardwalk area with carnival games, a first-of-its kind carousel at sea (upper right picture), and a ice cream parlour, couples can relax in the Central Park neighborhood under one of the live trees while perhaps watching a street performance. Afterward, everyone will enjoy the outdoor show venue called the Aqua Theater (upper left picture), featuring water, light and acrobatic shows into the evening hours.

The plans for the Oasis of the Seas are unlike anything else experienced in cruise travel; loft-style cabins, an outdoor park the size of a football field, including live trees and grass, the largest freshwater pool in the industry, and a zip-line at sea suspended nine decks above the Boardwalk.

The Oasis of the Seas will be based in Ft. Lauderdale and cruise in destinations throughout the Caribbean. Tickets go on sale in August for the first sail, but at this time, no word what price tag will be placed on the excitement and experience Royal Caribbean has planned for those planning a sail on the Oasis of the Seas.

Click here for more information from Royal Caribbean.

Monday, June 23, 2008

American Airlines Plane Departing SFO Makes Emergency Landing

An American Airlines jet made a safe emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday after the pilot reported smoke and the smell of fuel in the cockpit, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

American Flight 442 was en route from San Francisco to Miami when the pilot declared an emergency, diverted to Los Angeles and landed shortly after 2 p.m., said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. There was no fire on the plane, which carried 180 passengers, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman d'Lisa Davies. Read more from CBS5

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Free Hotel Room Using The 'Best Rate Guarantee'

By Mike Grasso

What's better than finding a good quality hotel at an inexpensive price? Finding the same hotel and paying nothing for it. Not talking about working for a hotel, not speaking of becoming a hotel secret shopper, you simply check into your hotel and pay nada for it. Have I hooked you in yet?

Here's how it works:
Many hotels have a 'best rate guarantee' (BRG) policy on their website. After you purchase the room from the hotel if you find an identical room at a better rate from a competitor, such as Orbitz or Travelocity, many hotels will refund your money and give you the room at no charge. The 'best rate guarantee' of course is a way for hotels to drive customers purchase directly from the hotels website, rather than them having to pay commissions when you book on other travel websites. While many hotels offer 'best rate guarantees' not all of them give you a free room. Others will give you a discount or hotel points.

A'las a blog that seeks out best rate guarantee deals has arisen. Each day the good folks at best rate guarantee hunt for free accommodations using hotels' BRG policy. Recent posts include free nights in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Susanville, Redding, Reno, Burbank and Anaheim.

Most of the BRG opportunities (the fully refundable ones), you don't actually need to prepay - all you need to do is enter a credit card. Then, your rate is changed, without real money ever being involved.

In addition to finding these slick deals, they provide step by step instructions on how to properly submit a BRG claim to the hotel.
Two thumbs up to this site for providing travelers another useful tool when planning their next journey.

Friday, June 20, 2008

United Adds Minimum Stay Requirements & Bumps Up Fares

Late Breaking News...
In the continuing battle against rising costs, United Airlines announced in a press release today that they will bring back minimum-stay requirements on nearly all routes, even in markets where they compete with low-cost carriers. The minimum stay requirements apply to those flying on the cheapest fares and for flights starting October 6th. Under the new rules, in order to score the cheapest ticket prices, a minimum stay of 1-3 nights will be required.

And about those cheapest fares...United also announced a system wide increase in fares, from $1-$90 each way. That now makes the least expensive ticket on United Airlines to be $69 each way. It seemed like just yesterday we were showered with $39 airfares from the Bay Area.

inFLIGHTout recommendation: If you have a same-day return flight and you want to avoid the minimum stay requirement but still score the best fare, consider purchasing one-way tickets in each direction. (This does not work in some markets, as United often charges extra for a one-way ticket). For example, rather than a round trip ticket from SFO-Las Vegas, purchase a one-way ticket there, and one way ticket back. The price might be better than the round trip price since it circumvents the minimum stay requirement. $50 Gas Card When Booking 3+ Night Stay

Book a 3 night stay at by July 6 for travel through September 1, and you will receive a $50 pre-paid gas card from ARCO. Click here to find your hotel and enter promo code GAS50 prior to purchase.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Continental To Join United's Star Alliance

Falling short of a merger, Continental Airlines announced they will join with United Airlines in an effort to battle against rising fuel costs. The two airlines will sell tickets on each of the two airlines and offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. Continental says it will be leaving the SkyTeam alliance as soon as possible. Read More.

Flashback: Carol Burnett Show - 'No Frills Airline'

In response to the MAD TV clip of the "No Frills Airline," I posted last week, a reader forwarded this classic from the Carol Burnett show; a fun poke at the dreadful service passengers receive riding in economy class. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Southwest Airlines $37 Fares To SoCal

Southwest DING! fares (available only if you have the free software downloaded from Southwest) are running $37 bucks from the Bay down to Southern California. Today's DING! fares expire at 12:52 PM!!

Fly to destinations such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Burbank or Ontario for just $37 one way through September. These cheap cheap fares are not available on every flight every day, so give yourself some time to hunt and peck for the ones that best suit your needs & budget.

Kimpton Hotels: 'We Got Your Bag' Promotion

While most of the major airlines have instituted a charge for checking in more than one piece of luggage, San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels has found a way to offset this added cost to travelers with the "We Got Your Bag" promotion.

With this promo, guests who had to pay an extra baggage fee from the airline will receive an equal credit, up to $25, applied to their hotel stay. The boutique hotel chain will be running this deal through September 9, 2008. Click here for more information on this offer.

TSA's Badges Are A Sore Spot For Cops

(USA Today)
Screeners at the nation's airport checkpoints are going to start wearing police-style badges - but real officers aren't too happy about it.

Some sworn officers fear airline passengers will mistake screeners for law-enforcement officials with arrest powers.The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is starting to equip its 48,000 screeners with 3-inch-by-2-inch, silver-colored, copper and zinc badges that will be worn on new royal-blue police-style shirts. Read More

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

$20 Off Your Next JetBlue Flight When Booking With AMEX

Here's another discount offer from JetBlue. Use your American Express to purchase a ticket at
and receive a $20 savings.
-Purchase now through July 31, 2008 for travel June 19 through August 28, 2008.
-You must be a registered Trueblue member (the free frequent flyer program with JetBlue)

Click here for more information

Air Canada To Drop San Francisco to Montreal Route

San Francisco to Montreal routing will soon be part of history as Air Canada has plans to discontinue the route later this Fall. The route will be discontinued on November 2nd.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vertical Challenge: A Helicopter Air Show Coming to the Bay Area

On Saturday June 21st, the ninth annual "vertical challenge" Helicopter Air Show will return to the Bay Area. The event allows visitors to see first hand helicopter operations. The show is devoted to demonstrating to the public of how helicopters affect our daily lives from traffic and news reports to its unique life saving ability, to the National Defense of our Country.

The event takes place at Hiller Aviation Museum at the San Carlos Airport, right off Highway 101. Click here for ticket information, a line-up of scheduled performances, and ticket information.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

100 Free 'Thank You' Points

(From FatWallet)
Another new offer for 100 Free "Thank You" points is available.
Login to your Thank You account
Enter the following promotion code: DPR1CDW408WK
The 100 points will be credited immediately.

A previous offer for 100 points was posted in May.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Orbitz Offers Flight Ticket Reimbursement Plan

In an effort to gain marketshare over other online competitors, Orbitz announced it will reimburse customers who buy airline tickets if the price of those seats fall. Orbitz will reportably track the price of the ticket from the day it was purchased until the day of the flight and will issue cash refunds of $5 to $250 per traveler according to its website. Read more from Reuters.

SkyWest Launches 2 New Routes From SFO Today

Enjoy the great outdoors with United Express/Skywest Airlines' new seasonal service from San Francisco to both Kalispell and Missoula, Montana. Flights begin today, and will be operated by Bombadier Regional jets, such as the one pictured to the left.
Visit for more information.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oakland To Loose Continental Airlines

In a notice to employees Thursday, Continental Airlines announced they will eliminate flights to 15 cities, including Oakland International. The airline has 3 daily flights from Oakland to its Houston hub. Flights will be discontinued in September.

Oakland has been hammered recently after carriers ATA, Aloha and Skybus ceased operations leaving several Oakland passengers stranded. American Airlines previously announced it too will end Oakland operations later this fall, they also had 3 daily flights to their Dallas hub.
No surprise that airline traffic is down 20% off last years numbers at OAK, making it one of the hardest hit airports in the country. Officials at the airport are planning on cutting jobs, and shelving plans for a third terminal.

Affected Continental passengers holding confirmed reservations can receive a full refund, accommodated on another airline, or fly from San Francisco or San Jose.

U.S Airways Eliminates Preferred Mileage Bonus

Considered a key benefit for being a loyal frequent flyer to an airline, the preferred mileage bonus perk will soon be eliminated to customers holding elite status with U.S Airways.

How it works: Once a customer achieves status with an airline (often after flying 25,000 qualifying miles with an airline in a calender year) they receive a handful of perks such as priority boarding, waiver of certain fees, and preferred seating. A huge benefit however was a 25-100% bonus of actual miles flown. So, where a non-status passenger flying San Francisco to New York would earn about 5,000 miles roundtrip, an elite passenger would earn between 6,250 and 10,000 for the same trip. With the new U.S Airways policy, elite (preferred) passengers will no longer receive the bonus mileage for tickets purchased on or after August 6, 2008.

This unprecedented move by U.S Airways will most certainly be watched by the rest of the airline industry and loyal flyers. While U.S Air may find their most frequent flyers abandoning them for the competition, it is possible other airlines will follow U.S Airways and make similar modifications to their frequent flyer programs.
Yesterday, U.S Airways announced the addition of two new fees: Onboard soft drinks, water, coffee or bottled water will soon cost $2.00. And, checking in the first piece of baggage will soon set you back $15.00. They also upped other administrative fees.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

United & U.S Air Institute Charge For First Checked Bag

Breaking News: U.S Airways announced they will also begin to charge $2.00 for coffee, bottled water, juice and soda.
This afternoon United Airlines joined on and announced they too will begin charging $15 for the first baggage checked. U.S Airways quickly matched the United fee. The move follows American Airlines announcement of this new fee last month.

United said they will begin charging the fee for tickets purchased tickets beginning Friday for domestic flights of August 18 or later. The fee does not apply to Star Alliance elite passengers, those traveling in business or first class, or passengers flying internationally, excluding Canada. Based on current data, United expects about 1 in 3 passengers will be affected by this additional fee.

Jet Airways Launches SFO Service Saturday

This Saturday marks the inaugural launch of Jet Airways from San Francisco. The airline will begin operating flights from SFO to Mumbai, including a stop in Shanghai. The daily service departs SFO at 8:45PM, arriving first into Shanghai, then continuing on to its India hub in Mumbai. Visit for more information.

Emirates First To Launch Airbus 380 Flights To United States

Emirates Airlines announced it will launch its first Airbus 380 commercial service on the
Dubai - New York route beginning August 1st, making it the first airline to bring passenger service utilizing the Superjumbo into the United States.

Considered one of the leading airlines in the world in terms of service, Emirates has said the Airbus 380 will offer a "high quality experience previously associated with private jets" (HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airlines).

Separately, Emirates previously announced it would begin flying Dubai to San Francisco October 26th utilizing a new Boeing 777-ER aircraft.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Domestic Airline Fee Chart

Rick Seaney from FareCompare has compiled a comprehensive list of fees sorted by each domestic airline. As I've talked about extensively here, there have been many fee increases over the past several months, as well as a few circumstances where the airlines have instituted a new fee for services previously free. Kudos to FareCompare for providing this information to the traveling public. Click here for the list.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

120 Feared Dead In Sudanese Plane Crash

At least 120 people were feared dead last night after a Sudan Airways plane carrying more than 200 passengers burst into flames shortly after landing at Khartoum airport. The flight, which had stopped at Amman en route from Damascus apparently veered off the runway after touching down in bad weather. Read more

Mad TV Sketch: No Frills Airline

Originally posted this back in early April and had a few good comments since. Thought I'd go ahead and post again for others who have not seen this Mad TV clip.

Here's the "No Frills Airline" from Mad TV. Does this airline look familiar? =)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hilton Goes Pet Friendly

Hilton Hotels announced last week plans to welcome dogs and cats into hotels in the United States by later this summer. "Hilton focuses on providing a hassle-free and inspired experience for the world's travelers - and for many travelers, being able to include a four-legged friend is critical to achieving a relaxed and productive stay," said Jeff Diskin, senior vice president - brand management, Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

But your four-legged friend won't simply have a corner to sleep in. Part of the pet friendly program includes offering premium pet amenities such as stain-, water- and microbial-resistant pet bed, as well as food and water bowls with placemat, and an exclusive pet amenity kit complete with dog waste clean-up bags and treats. Participating hotels will also offer a pet concierge, including providing information about local veterinarians and dog runs.

Visit for more information.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

How Changes In The Airline Industry May Affect You

By Mike Grasso

The past few months have been turbulent ones for the airline industry. Put simply, the airlines are shrinking. We already lost Aloha, ATA, and SkyBus - among others. Remaining airlines are finding ways to "trim the fat" and find reasonable ways to limit costs/increase revenue while being hammered with record high oil prices. These changes will affect most passengers in some form.

Reuters has reported that more than 50 towns and small across the United States will reportedly loose airline service alltogether by 2009. Existing service to major cities, including right here in the Bay Area will be trimmed where necessary. Having a plane 80% full was the industry gold standard, now the bar has been raised. The airlines can no longer sustain flying planes 20% empty with the current cost of crude oil at all time highs. This means you can plan on flying fuller plans in the future. On average, that empty middle seat will now be filled with a warm body.

A method the airlines will use to ensure fuller flights is to limit the number of daily flights to particular cities. For example, City A to City B may have previously operated 6 daily flights, that may be cut down to 5. It may seem insignificant, but if the demand is the same, you can bet those 5 flights will operate near capacity, not to mention cost you more.

Fewer flights mean that during irregular operations, such as weather or mechanical cancellations, finding another flight to standby on will become more difficult. On the other hand, fewer flights may help already congested airports, such as Chicago's O'Hare, and get flights off the ground sooner.

You can also expect that your airline ticket price includes a seat and few other amenities.
American Airlines for example announced plans to charge $15 to check in your first bag. They also announced a $5 fee to book award travel on their website. U.S Air and United are now charging $150+ to make changes on non-refundable tickets. The cost of alcohol and food on some airlines is also climbing. Expect other fees in the future, and adjustments to existing ones.

Finally, frequent flyer miles. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I am an advocate for using your miles. The airlines will continue to find methods to devalue your frequent flyer account, or resort to options limiting the number of new miles you can accrue, such as a recent policy change by United & U.S Air eliminating the 500 mile minimum rule on short-haul flights.

Although it may not sound it, I am an ally of the airlines. They are under extreme pressure to change a business model that is simply not working in this high-price-of-fuel environment. They are making adjustments the best they can, and ultimately some of these decisions will impact all of us during future travels.

Friday, June 6, 2008

JetBlue To Show Hollywood First-Run Movies

New York-based JetBlue airlines announced an agreement with six major Hollywood studios to launch premium first-run movies during flights. Each month six new titles will be offered.

For June, the movies are:

  • College Road Trip
  • Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who

  • Vantage Point

  • The Other Boleyn Girl

  • Fool's Gold

  • 10,000 B.C
The movies will be available on flights greater than 2 hours, and for a nominal fee of $5. Direct-TV and XM radio programming will continue to be offered at no charge.

Win A Trip To Italy Compliments of Olive Garden

Olive Garden is giving away an 8-day guided trip tour for two to Rome, Florence and Tuscany. Plus, enter daily for a chance to win a $25 Olive Garden gift card.
Click here for rules and to enter the contest.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

San Francisco to Orange County or Ontario $41/each way

Southwest DING! Fares have been running about $41 each way from the Bay Area to Southern California all week. Today, they are specific from San Francisco to Ontario (good airport to fly into for a trip to Palm Springs) and Orange County (think Disneyland).

There are also great fares from Sacramento to Los Angeles and Ontario for $41/each way.

Travel is restricted to certain flights through the end of July 2008.

Want to know more about DING! Fares? (Hint: you won't find these on the Southwest website).
Click here for more information.

Continental Shrinks; Cutting Jobs, Reducing Capacity

Following in the footsteps of American, Delta and United, Continental airlines today announced they will cut domestic capacity a full 16% and cut 3,000 jobs. “The airline industry is in a crisis,” two company executives said in a message to employees. “Its business model doesn’t work with the current price of fuel and the existing level of capacity in the marketplace. We need to make changes in response.” The airline will also reportedly retire 67 Boeing aircraft as part of the downsizing.
More from the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

United Airlines To Slash Capacity, Drop Ted

United Airlines will be reducing domestic seat capacity by 12%, including grounding 70 non-fuel efficient 737 & 747 aircraft, and slashing over 1000 jobs by 2009. Additionally, the airline is dropping Ted Airlines, its all-domestic fleet, and reinstalling first class seats. All this in response to record high fuel prices. Read More.

Tips and Tricks To Flying The 'Unfriendly" Skies

Was forwarded this video from Peter Zane, a columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer. He delights us with some humor in response to recent fee announcements from the airlines.

Earn Bonus WorldPerks Miles For Joining E-Miles

For a limited time, earn 275 Northwest Worldperks miles for joining e-Miles. With e-Miles you earn at least 5 miles for each ad you look at (usually takes 5-7 seconds), with bonus points if you opt to purchase a product or service from the ad. Once you reach 500 e-miles, simply transfer it to your Northwest account - for free. Click here for more information.

Signing up for E-Miles may qualify for bonus points as described in yesterdays 'Miles To Go' post.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Northwest Airlines 'Miles To Go' Promotion

Each year Northwest has a special promotion where you can earn bonus WorldPerks miles for flying, renting a car, shopping online, and signing up for various offers. These promotions are usually in addition to miles you would already earn for participating in these activities.

Northwest has rolled out another such program, this time called "Miles To Go." Here is a comprehensive list of activities and corresponding point value for completing them. To the right is a conversion chart of points to miles. The more activities you complete, the more points you earn. The more points you earn, the more Northwest WorldPerks miles you bank.
Of course flying Northwest will earn you the most bonus points/miles, but there are plenty of other easy-to-do ideas listed. For example, unlike past promotions you can simply enter the daily instant win game to earn 5 points a day (every day!), or enroll in the Northwest WorldPerks program for 25 points.

Miles to Go runs through July 31st. Be sure to read all the rules, then register before completing any of the activities.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another great travel quote...

"What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do - especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road."

-William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways

$10 Off Each Way On JetBlue - September 2008

Receive $10 off each way when you book your September travel at
You must purchase tickets by June 5th and travel between September 3rd and 30th to qualify for the discount. On the search page, enter promo code: SEPJET. The discount will appear prior to the confirmation page.