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Continental vs Delta: The Upgrades

 

Upgrades are one of the most popular perk amongst elite travelers so I'm going to touch on it first.


The biggest thing that lured me over was the upgrades.  See, at this point my only experience was with United and upgrades at United weren't exactly easy.   With Continental, one could buy a Prestige Pack and have six one-way upgrade coupons along with a slew of other useful goodies (including some miles).   But as I found myself ...

Continental vs Delta: Not Dogs vs Southern Hospitality

So you live in the New York metro area and find yourself wondering who you should fly or what airline is best.  If you've noticed, there appears to be an ongoing turf war between Continental, the incumbent, and Delta, the newcomer.  Both spend enormous amounts of money on marketing and both have hubs in region, though at separate airports.

For those that don't know, I'm a big Continental flier.    I've been a Platinum for over ten years and  my ...

Who's worse: Delta or US Airways?

 

The Consumerist is currently running a poll asking people which company is worse, US Airways or Delta?

Link here.  Stroll over there and vote your choice.

Even for me, who has been very critical of both in the past, it was an easy choice.

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American Airlines launching partnership with jetBlue and growing New York presence

American Airlines today announced that it was entering into a new partnership with jetBlue and also growing its operation at JFK and LaGuardia. 

The announcement is here

Some key points are

American adding 31 new destinations None of the routes involved between the two carriers overlap Launching of key business routes LGA-ATL/MSP/CLT Introduction of CRJ-700s on many routes that include thew new regional jet first class product Extensive ...

More on the fuel-dump

 

Last night's post was quick as it happened as I was on my way to bed.  Now, that said it is interesting that Airfarewatchdog has not only censored all the comments on their blog but also on their Facebook fan page.   I'm a firm believer when an organization or individual censors things said about them, they have something to hide.   No matter how good you are, you will always have negative press.  By hiding negative press you're admitting your ...

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Bye bye fuel dump.

 

Earlier today Airfarewatchdog.com posted an article about how to drop the fuel surchage from certain itineraries. 

This has been something that was commonly known by a number of folks and used.  The airlines didn't seem to care as the number of people capable of using it was minimal. 

Sadly, within hours of them posting it, the "bug" was fixed and is no longer available.

Personally, I've lost any respect for airfarewatchdog.com ...

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JFK Airtrain launches Ten Trip card

 

On my travels yesterday I discovered that the MTA has launched a new ten-trip Airtrain card.  Previously, one had to pay $5 every time the Airtrain station was transited. 

The new 10-trip card costs $25 thus providing a 50% discount per transit.  This is great for people who travel to and from JFK regularly.  The card I bought yesterday is good until July 2011 so there doesn't appear to be a "short" window for usability either.

Now if only the people at NJ Transit would do the same for EWR...

ETA: It appears this has been around for a while though not very commonly known.   So, I stand corrected on it being new, but it is still a neat thing for those who don't know about it.

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The Battle for Haneda

 

As predicted, the battle for Haneda has commenced.   For those that don't know, Haneda is the second airport in Tokyo Japan.  Since the opening of Narita in the 70s, Hanada was limited to domestic flights and flights from neighboring countries.   Recently, a new runway was opened up at Haneda increasing the capacity and due to a recent agreement with the Japanese government, the US has a four flight authorities to give away.

The ...

bmi 20,000 mile promo

 

With our recent podcast on BMI and the growing interest, I figured i'd share a great promo.  Wyndham rewards has recently become a partner of bmi and is offering 5,000 miles per stay, up to a total of 20,000 miles.

Details can be found here.

In the states, this promo includes such fine brands as Howard Johnson, Super 8, Travelodge and Ramada. 

This is an amazing return for a small outlay of cash.

DOT hinders the Delta and US AIrways slot swap

 

As expected, the Department of Transporation has put restrictions on the proposed slot swap between Delta and US Airlines and LaGuardia and DC National.

Both airlines were told they can engage in slot swaps if they divest some of their current slot allocations.   The DOT has requested that the airlines divest 14  pairs of slots  at National and 20  at LaGuardia.  Assuming the airlines aren't willing to divest additional slots then ...

A shamless plug

 

As most people may have read the blog back in November, an amazing event took place called the Star MegaDO.  Well, the event just got quite a bit of coverage in the February issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

Yours truly was interviewed for the article and it was a blast.  Kudos to the author for jumping in head feet and joining in on the fun!

You can find the article here.

Is Delta losing the transcon battle?

 

This morning I received an email from Delta promoting its JFK-LAX/SFO premium BizElite product.  While I've received a few of these over the last few months, this one was different.  Apparently Delta wants the transcon business so bad, that it is offering double-MQMs and a dollar-amount credit.  The credit varies on the class of ticket you purchase.

This follows up on another promotion a few weeks ago where Delta was promoting a flat $1000 (before ...

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US Airways continues to be awful

 

Back in November I posted about an incident I had with US Airways and the initial follow-up. 

Having made no progress with the "normal" channels, I decided to escalate and sent an email to John Romantic, Director of Customer Service.  A few hours later I was contacted by someone from his office, lets call her Jenn.

In speaking to Jenn, she informed me of what had gone on with my itinerary.

I book an itinerary on ...
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To wait or not to wait

 

Given all the recent additional security in flying, the airlines are advising folks to arrive three hours prior to departure when flying to the US from abroad. 

Today in Paris, our departure was delayed about two hours as we waited for people to clear the additional security.  Now, I had a one hour connection which required the obligatory hike from 2F to 2E for my flight and a re-clear of security and I managed to make it with at least 20 mins ...

It's the small things that matter

 

They say that it's the small things that matter and they couldn't be right.

I'm currently in BCN on my way back to New York.  I flew Delta out and am flying Air France back.

On my departure out of JFK, I learned that Delta does not priority tag companion bags.  It didn't matter that I was Platinum, they just weren't doing it.   This is an issue I've NEVER had with Continental or United, especially when they are on the same ...

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Stay Classy Delta

 

I found this gem of an article yesterday.  Apparently the delays and customer service at Delta's JFK hub is so bad that a riot ensued and police were called.

I know I've been pretty vocal about how bad T2/T3 at JFK are and this just proves my point that Delta's JFK operation is remiscent of a third world country.

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Continental's Biggest Weakness

As most listeners know, I'm a very big fan of Continental Airlines and they are my preferred carrier.  As background, I've been a Continental platinum for eleven years, so I 

have a bit of experience with them.  That said, their biggest weakness is Irregular Opeations or IRROPS for short. 


As an example.  Two weeks ago I was in Montreal for work and was flying back to Orange County, CA.  My original itinerary was YUL-EWR-SNA as that ...

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Air France and the A380

 Air France seems to be having a number of issues with their sole A380.  After much fan fare of launching the aircraft a few weeks ago, they've had a number of issues. 

They've had to cancel flights and in some cases return to the airport. 

A few nights ago the flight returned to JFK after departure and a spare aircraft was dispatched to pick up passengers.

So, for those of you thinking of taking a ride on Air France's A380, you may want to wait and stick to Singapore or Emirates. 

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Continental announces fourth tier and SWUs!

 

Earlier this evening, Scott O'leary (a previous guest of the show) announced a few changes upcoming in 2010 to the Onepass program.  (The original thread can be found here).

The highlights:

A fourth tier that will be revenue based, like United's Global Services. System Wide Uprgrades

 First, the System Wide Upgrades.  At 100k miles, members will be granted four SWUs.  No word if additional thresholds exist for accumulating ...

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Tired of International WiFi rates?

 

On my recent trip to London I found myself craving connecvitivy to the internet and as some folks know, internet rates internationally, particularly Europe, are awful.   My hotel was charging £20 which is close to $35 USD.  Needless to say, a bit excessive.   While walking down Regent Street in central London I came upon my solution and it's something I noticed on another trip to Asia back in October.  Prepaid Wireless ...

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