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Watch your United reservations

A little bit ago I received an updated eTicket receipt from United for a trip in Novemeber.  But I was a bit confused since this new itinerary was for a trip to Chicago and back and I had no plans (at least that I remembered) of going to Chicago.

After a bit of digging, I realized it was for a trip to Portland, OR.   What's interesting is that my routing had been EWR-PDX-ORD-LGA yet somehow the system thought I was going to ORD. 

So I rang the 1K desk and the agent was as perplexed as I was, but she rebooked the proper flights and had to wait for it to be reticketed.  Fortunately, since the wait was a bit long, she offered to call me back after getting it all resolved. 

In all my years as a CO flyer, I've never seen anything like this happen so this was definitely a new one.  So pay close attention to any updated receipts you get and make sure your destination is still the same. :)



Austrian Airlines Chef Experience

So as I posted a few weeks ago I was in a bit of a conundrum as to wheter to fly Austrian Airlines or not.  In the end, I opted to stick with it and the final result is mixed.

While I really enjoyed the onboard experience (and the uniforms of the Flight Attendents), the seat was downright awful.  Within an hour of sitting in the seat my bottom was numb and I was shifting to try to find a somewhat comfortable spot. 

Sleeping in the seat was no picnic either.  The seat greatly lacked some serious padding.  But I do give high marks to the blanket.  It was unique and comfortable.

On the bright side, I've heard the seats will be getting replaced over the summer so this may just be a temporary problem. 

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Austrian Airlines' Chef or Nonstop?

As Lufthansa continues to struggle with it's loss-making Austrian Airlines there may be little time left to try Austrian Airlines' chef on board program. If you are not familiar, there is a professional chef onboard in addition to the compliment of flight attendants. I've been looking forward to seeing how the food and service is for some time - but there is one gotcha.

A 12 hour layover.

While I can get plenty of work done in that time, I have another award ticket booked with a more direct routing. So what would you choose? The nonstop or the Austrian flight before it final departure?

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Are American's Unions Blind?

Last week news started breaking out that US Airways has buy-in from the American Airlines (AA) unions to support a merger of the two airlines.  

So why would the American Airlines unions so agree to a merger?  And when someone comes out ahead, someone loses.   The answer?  Apparently Doug Parker has committed to the AA unions to just about anything they want and most important, seniority over the US Airways and America West unions.   ...

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United Airlines' new Club Credit Card Promo

unitedclubcard

United and Chase recently released a new version of their club card.  Dubbed the United MileagePlus Club Card, the card mimic's most of the featurs of the legacy Continental Presidential Plus Card.  The biggest difference between the legacy and new product is that the new card no longer offers Flexible Elite Qualifying Miles (Flex EQMs) and that the new card now gives 1.5 miles per each dollar spent instead of the 1 mile per dollar.  Additionally the annual fee has gone up $20 ...

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SHARES vs APOLLO an in-depth look

As a number of United fliers are aware, March 3nd marks the day when United and Continental move to a single Passenger Service System or PSS for short.  Over the last few months, there has been a lot of animosity, particularly from the legacy United fliers about how awful this will be.   But will it really be that awful or is this the general over sensationalism that the legacy UA fliers are so keen on projecting?

Let's start with a bit of a background.  Apollo ...

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United moves Buenos Aires flights

It appears that United is in the midst is shuffling their routes and my April trip to Buenos Airies now departs from Newark instead of Washington, DC.   It appears that United is abandoning the route from Dulles. 

It appears the changes goes into effect in April.

The rumored Mileage Plus changes

I've been sitting back and watching the fallout from the rumored changes to Mileage Plus the last few weeks and the response from some folks has just been staggering.  

First, I believe the rumored changes are false.   The one thing United has demonstrated in their merger so far is that they are not undertaking any drastic changes as their plates are pretty full.   To impelement the list of changes is substantial and would go away from that ...

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United announces $500M in onboard enhancements

In traditional United fashion, a plethora of "good" news is following the leak of upcoming Mileage Plus enhancements.

The highlights:

  • The 767-200s and Domestic 767-300s are being coverted to with the new BusinessFirst seat.
  • Economy Plus is rolling out on the 767-400, the first one will return to service this fall will include the new BusinessFirst seats as well as Economy Plus. 
  • First class and Economy Plus is being added to all Q400s
  • Channel 9 is coming to the Continental fleet, the first of which will be the first 767-400 that returns to service in the fall.
  • Bigger overhead bins on the AIrbus 319 and 320s.
  • Streaming in-flight video and WiFi on the 747-400s.
  • And the long awaited P.S. annoncement, which will now be two cabin with 26 of the new BusinessFirst seat and also introducing standard Economy into these planes along with the existing Economy Plus.
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Skymiles: Race to the Bottom

A few hours ago I received an email from Delta in regards to update to Skymiles.  The email reads:


Over the past year, more than 1,000,000 Award Tickets were canceled or changed within 72 hours of departure. As a result, almost all of these seats departed empty as other members did not have enough time to book them.

In an effort to make these seats available to others and to improve Award Travel availability, we need to implement a policy change. Effective ...

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Economy Plus and First Class coming to Q400 Turboprops

united-q400

In the latest earning call, United announced that they are bringing Economy Plus and First Class to Bombardier Q400 planes.

While one may wonder why they are putting first class on a prop plane, it does actually make sense.   Currently, the Q400s fly for Continental and a large number of them are based at Newark.   As many folks know Newark is known for it's ATC delays, along with it's other NYC area counterparts.  The regional carriers are generally the first ...

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Mileage Plus Survives

 

Earlier today United announced that the surviving frequent flyer program would be Mileage Plus and that Onepass will terminate on Decemeber 31.  No big news, this is what was being expected all along.   But all this really means is that the program name will be Mileage Plus.

United has seperately stated that it will be migrating off of Apollo onto the Continental IT infrastructure, known as SHARES.   Everything that lives on United for Apollo, ...

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Malaysian Airlines Rocks!

In a recent memo sent to travel agents, Malaysian Airlines has dictated that infants are not permitted in First Class cabins of 747-400s.   I, for one, applaud this decision and can only hope other carriers follow.

Before anyone starts, it's not that I have an issue with children in premium cabins.  The real issue is parents who decide to ignore their kids or keep them inline.  I'm not saying all of them do, but a large enough contingent of parents will put their ...

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StarMegaDO 3: Awesome or Bust?

A few months ago the next chapter of the StarMegaDO was announced.  The first StarMegaDO took us to Europe to visit Lufthansa, SAS and Airbus.  The second StarMegaDO found us visiting Lufthansa in Germany and then followed by Continental, US Airways and Boeing in the US.  At the kickoff party in New York, it was announced that the third destination would be Brazil with a trip to the Embraer factory which led to people warming up their mileage earning credit cards.

A few ...

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Service Dogs fly Free!

As the airlines raise fees associated with pets being brought onto aircraft, a number of people are flocking to a new haven.  The haven?  They are certifying their pets as service animals.  Thanks to the Americans With Disability Act enforced in the US, individuals can't be denied from bring their pet, err service animal on board.  The best part?   There's no fee and Fido gets to ride in the cabin.

So what exactly does it take to be a service ...

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Ten Days and Thirteen Airports

The last few weeks have been a bit insane due to work and in the midst of it all I have one of the Seattle to Newark trips booked (via GRU of course).  As I sat there thinking this morning, I realized that in the span of eight days, I will have touched fourteen airports and flown over 25,000 miles. 

The insanity started on Wednesday and will continue through next Wednesay.   The list of airports is EWR, BOS, IAD, DCA,  PHL, MSP, SEA, PDX, ORD, GRU, MCO, JFK, LAX and SFO. 

Maybe it's time for a new hobby. ;)

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United to bring back 500 milers

If this page is any indication of what the future holds, then we'll see the return of United's 500 mile certificates.

In reality, it's likely an aged page that was never removed.  Unfortunately .bomb is cluttered with these types of items which makes getting reliable information a challenge.  Take for instance Connoisseur Class.  United renamed it close to ten years ago, yet the electronic receipts still reflect the old name. 

Aside from United not paying ...

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Delta and US Airways Slot Swap, Take 2

Not accepting denial from the first attempt, Delta and US Airways announced they are reattempting their slow swap, albeit with different terms.

The new proposal has Delta giving US Airways 42 slot pairs at DC National, $65.6 million in cash and rights for flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In exchange, US Airways is giving Delta 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia. 

Lets break this down a bit.  Delta wants to grow its operation at LaGuardia, seems honest enough.  Delta ...

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Foursquare coming to a hotel near you!

In the last two weeks we've seen two hotel chains jump on the Foursquare bandwagon.  In both cases, the chains are giving out points to woo people into checking-in at their properties.

Starwood announced two weeks ago they would offer 250 points for each check-in in conjunction with a stay.   Last week Intercontinental followed-suit with a paltry 50 points per night for checking-in at their properties. 

Coincidentally Starwood announced their initiative ...

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And the winner is...

Since the merger between Continental and United there has been rampant speculation as to which reservation system will survive.  United currently uses a system called Apollo which is hosted by Amadeus.   Meanwhile Continental uses an in-house system called Shares. 

In this article from Travel Weekly is reporting that United has terminated its agreement with Amadeus to move to the new Altea platform and has decided to standardize on Shares. 

As with ...

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