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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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BMI Number One Lounge

 

This year for Thanksgiving I decided to visit one of my favorite cities, London.  Yes, I realize there is a certain irony about visiting England for Thanksgiving, that's part of the fun.

On my way back, I had the opportunity to stop in the new BMI Number One Lounge.  It was an amazing lounge, even at 6am.   Parts of the lounge reminded me of night clubs in the aspect of design and features (there were even beds in one of the corners).  The true challenge was finding the lounge itself as it's as hidden as the bat cave, but in the end I did manage to find it.

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Why US Airways is awful.

 

Regular listeners of the podcast know that there is no love lost with US Airways.  For any number of reasons there are valid reasons for it but against my better judgement I decided to give them a try for a mileage run this past weekend.

My run this weekend started in Chicago and the destination was Spokane.  The routing I purchased was Chicago->Phoenix->Spokane->Phoenix->San Francisco->United.  When I purchased the ...

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Discussing FF Miles on CBS News

 

A few weeks ago I was invited to do an interview for CBS news covering the topic of Frequent Flier miles.  Well the piece finally aired and you can see it here.

 

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BMI's future

 

For a few months now there has been a lot of speculation as to what will happen with BMI (British Midland) and its Frequent Flyer Program, Diamond Club since Lufthansa acquired the remaining shares earlier this year. 

This was one of the questions that was raised frequently at the Star MegaDO.  The answer?  None yet.

In various conversations, Lufthansa execs stated that they were "assessing" BMI.  They went so far as to say they weren't sure if they would keep it or sell it.   They also indicated it is up to the airline itself to decide to forego its own mileage program and join with Lufthansa's Miles & More. 

So, for the time being it appears Diamond Club is safe.  If Lufthansa does decide to keep BMI then we'll need to start lobbying for BMI to keep their own program but for the time being it sounds like it's safe.

Eight Wonders of the World

 

As a quick interlude to the ongoing Star MegaDO stories, I wanted to share an auction that Continental is currently running.   As some may know, Continental has had an auction site that one can use Onepass miles to purchase merchandise, trips and tickets to special events.  One can bid on this trip with their Onepass miles. 

The Eight Wonders of the World contest offers the contestant and one guest to win a trip, in Business class, with the ...

Star MegaDO Day 4: Winding down

 

Finally the last day of the Star MegaDO arrived.  Fortunately, for a select few it was discovered late on Thursday night that the morning sessions were being repeated in the afternoon, which meant more sleep!

After catching up on some of the lost sleep it was time to get down to the airport for lunch, marketplace and to hear Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa and Thierry Antinori, Lufthansa AG executive vice president of sales and marketing ...

Star MegaDO Day 3: Blazing across Europe

 

Day 3 of the trip was by far the longest and most fun.  The 4:00am wake-up call was rather painful but we did need to be at the gate by 5am.  Today's activities included a charter flight that would start in Frankfurt, head to Oslo where we would pick up some folks and spend the morning with SAS and then head off to Toulouse for a visit to Airbus.  While we had official cabin crew for all of the legs, some of the Flyertalk moderators also participated as ...

Star MegaDO Day 2: We're walking, we're walking...

 

Upon arrival into Frankfurt, we wandered down to the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge which was a nice breath of fresh air.  The Welcome Lounge has 28 showers for patrons to use.  I decided to skip the shower and get a bite to eat.  The food selection included fresh frutis, hot foods, and a plethora of bread (including fresh pretzels).  

After the lounge it was time to check-in to the hotel and then meet-up to start the day. 

As we all met ...

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The Star MegaDO Day 1: Let the insanity start!

 

As some may have noticed, I've been a bit quiet this week and with good reason.  This week marked an amazing event, the The Star MegaDO. 

In a nutshell, this was an event that was hosted by Flyertalk, United, Continental, Lufthansa, SAS and Airbus.   It involved a charter plane, much press and all told somewhere north of 200 people.

The event started in Chicago on Tuesday the 3rd.  Unfortunately I was unable to attend this part, but ...

Will in-flight Internet survive?

 

In the last year a lot of buzz has been surrounding in-flight internet.  To some it seems great, to some it is the end of the world.  Personally, I am somewhere in the middle.  While I appreciate the convenience it brings, I also dread the same convenience.  Why?  My time on airplanes is my "quiet" time and it lets me disconnect. Having the ability to be on the internet takes that away and also raised the possibility that I may ...

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Global Entry

 

A few months ago I signed up for a service called Global Entry.  This is a service that the US Customs and Border Protection offers for a quicker entry when coming in from international destinations.  More info can be found here. 

When it was launched, only a few airports were equipped and it was very limited.  Over the last few months they have been able to install the facilities in many more airports.  The service is still in a ...

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Delta... you sad pathetic airline.

 

Obviously there is much "buzz" about Continental joining Star Alliance today.  I just received an email from Delta which made me laugh out loud as to how pathetic their attempt to steal some attention was.

Dear Mr. fozz,
Things may look a little different the next time you fly from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

As Delta and Northwest Airlines® join forces, we're working behind the scenes on an airport ...

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Welcome to Star Alliance

 

Well it's official, Continental is now a part of Star Alliance.

In even more exciting news?  It appears that Star Alliance rewards are bookable on Continental's website!  I just pulled up a number of itineraries involving any number of Star carriers.


Kudos to CO for pulling this off and having this on day 1 of the migration!

Buh-Bye kids that were picked last...

 

One of my all-time favorite lines about Skyteam is "we were the kids that were picked last".  While an amusing line it is also quite true.  The carriers in Skyteam are the ones that were left out of Star and Oneworld.  Skyteam was also the last to be formed of the three.

As of 12:00am CDT earlier today, any thing related to Skyteam was being removed from Continental's website.  I have yet to run into someone, at least from the ...

When does coach beat first?

 

I just returned from two back-to-back trips.  The first was a mileage run to Tokyo that started in Seattle and the second was a quick trip to San Francisco and back. 

My itinerary was:

   EWR-DTW-SEA on Northwest    SEA-IAH-NRT-IAH-SEA on Continental    SEA-JFK on Delta    JFK-SFO-EWR on United

Total mileage: 27.033 miles.  Total time: 4 days.  All of the ...

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United's new upgrade policy

Earlier this week United announced that it was going to follow the Continental model of upgrades.  Free for all elites and automatic.   Up until now United and American (with the exception of AA"s top tier) used an "instrument" based upgrade system.

The instruments used to be paper certificates on United or stickets on AA.  As technology has progressed these became virtual yet the names remained. 

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so ...

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Ten days and counting.

With less than two weeks to go as a part of Skyteam, the time is ticking if you want to redeem for a Skyteam award.

Changing alliances has a bit of confusion surrounding it.  The biggest point of confusion is that some people believe they have to fly their Skyteam award by 10/24/09, which is the day Continental leaves Skyteam.  Not true, your award just needs to be ticketed by that date.

What does that mean?  You can book an award for up to 330 days out (this is the furthest out a airline reservation can be).  So if you want to book a trip for the spring or summer on Skyteam, now is the time. 

So if you wanted to book that trip to Tahiti, now would be the time.

 

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