Matthewonlive and let's fly

United Airlines Comes Through in a Pinch. Again.

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It is easy to rag on United Airlines for its many shortcomings, but United once again came through in a pinch over the weekend, leaving me very pleased to be a Premier 1K member and wondering whether I can ever give up this status. 

Last June I had a death in the family that required a next-day flight to Denver. At that time I was determined to divert my business to American Airlines, but United's schedule and price were too convenient to pass up for that particular journey. I ...

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Sneak Peek at New Redesigned united.com Homepage

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Hidden in one of the new United Airlines television ads is a sneak peek at the redesigned united.com homepage:

Here is the commercial:

Very sleek, slightly reminiscent of delta.com, and hopefully highly functional. United.com is stuck in the 90s right now, but I have become accustomed to it and in a way I hate to see it ...

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United Airlines Puts a New Twist on "Fly the Friendly Skies" Campaign

United Airlines released a new ad campaign today that offers heavy doses of Gerwshin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and brings back the classic "Fly the Friendly Skies" slogan that has been shelved since 1996. In a series of four made-for-TV ads, United returns to its aspirational roots, offering a welcome change from the drab ads embracing hard product that the Continental side of the airline had embraced since the merger. But the disconnect between ad and reality is readily apparent to every frequent ...

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Diagnosing a Problem: Booking Lufthansa Award Space with US Airways Dividend Miles

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14 NOV 13 UPDATE: Leaked US Airways Memo: Agents Forbidden to Manually Request Award Space

US Airways has not left Star Alliance yet, but if you are trying to book a Lufthansa award next year it might as well have. Something very odd is going on right now at US Airways with Dividend Miles agents unable to see any of Lufthansa's inventory, unless travel commences on a Wednesday or Saturday.  Irritated that I continually had to tell clients that US Airways could not book ...

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New Bar Menu in Domestic United Clubs

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United Airlines recently unveiled a revised bar menu at United Clubs across the United States that adds more choice but also increases prices, notably charging for some drinks that were once free and downgrading the branding of some top-shelf liquor.

The changes are not all bad--regional specialties will be available at select clubs and your Chase United Club credit card or Presidential Platinum credit card will give you $3 off. Still, the cutbacks continue and the consolation prize ...

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Why United Airlines Must Honor Its Errors

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Imagine you are looking for an award trip to Toronto with your spouse and infant child and are open to routing, travel dates, and enroute stops--you just want the best deal. You have United miles and use united.com to search for a fare, specifying two adults and one lap child.

Note the double asterisk above--

Infant Travel Policy. Additional charges may apply. For award travel, any ...

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United Will Honor $0 Mistake Fares

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United Airlines announced on Twitter yesterday that it would honor the mistake fares that allowed many to book fares for as little as $5 round-trip.

The wording is important--while legacy United explicitly vowed to honor fare mistakes, United doing business as Continental went to great lengths to state that this was a case-specific decision. That's a reasonable corporate strategy to take, but I am not sure it matters if the DOT is willing to ...

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Massive Fare Mistake Leads to $0 Domestic Tickets on United Airlines

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Someone must be sweating tonight, as United Airlines has confirmed (though it was quite obvious) that human error led to a widespread "fare sale" today in which domestic trips ranging from shorthaul flights from Minneapolis to Houston to longhauls between Honolulu and Washington were selling for $0--with just the 9/11 "security fee" added, meaning final prices were $5-10 for round-trip travel. 

Bargain hunters went crazy and some--just check out this thread on Flyertalk--booked ...

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Flying on 9/11, 12 Years Later

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It has been three months since I have flown on United Airlines—it seems like yesterday that I was running for my connection in SFO—but today I took to the air again, flying from Los Angeles to Newark. In the dozen years since the 9/11 attacks, I have never had opportunity to travel on 9/11 and I was curious if the experience would be any different on this day.

It was not. And that is a good thing.

Same airport check-in at LAX with United agents not acknowledging me ...

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Singapore Airlines Video Ad - “Understanding Your Needs”

Singapore Airlines has launched a new “The Lengths We Go” ad campaign and the first installment is entitled “Understanding Your Needs:” 

It is a powerful ad emphasizing the Singapore personal touch and it successfully reinforces the mystique that Singapore depends upon to sell premium tickets. 

But I cannot help thinking about my recent trip to Australia on Singapore Airlines, where I did enjoy wonderful tea and some of ...

Royal Jordanian Award Space Now Bookable on AA.com

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American Airlines has added Royal Jordanian to the growing list of carriers that you can now redeem AAdvantage miles for online. RJ is a oneworld partner based in Amman that serves Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Montreal in North America and has an extensive route network throughout the Middle East and Asia.

The list of partner awards now bookable on aa.com has grown to include:

Air Berlin Alaska Airlines British Airways Finnair Hawaiian Airlines Royal ...
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Now Hiring: Award Expert Executive Aide

I have chosen the non-conventional career path of working for myself instead of working for others, and as Award Expert has grown, it has consumed a growing chunk of my time. Even with an excellent team already lending support, growth has been limited by the hours of the day and I am approaching a plateau if I do not bring in more help. I hate turning clients down, but I refuse to provide subpar service—I cannot in good conscience take on your trip if I cannot provide effective, timely, ...

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Last Call for 30K Starpoints Bonus from Starwood American Express Card

UPDATE: Offer now expired.

Today is the final day to take advantage of the enhanced sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and Business Card from American Express. 

Starwood points are great for booking Starwood hotel properties, but they are also a valuable means to top up your mileage balances in 30 airline loyalty programs, including many not reached by American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate ...

Last Day for 100% Bonus on Purchased US Airways Miles

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Update: Offer Expired.

US Airways has been good about offering a 100% bonus on purchased Dividend Miles every second or third month for the last two years, but today is the last day for the current promotion. 

Buy 10,000-19,000 miles and receive a 50% bonus Buy 20,000-29,000 miles and receive a 75% bonus Buy 30,000-50,000 miles and receive a 100% bonus

Read this post for FAQs on US Airways Dividend Miles Star Alliance ...

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The Bigotry of Fear Exposed at JFK

The story of Aditya Mukerjee, a Hindu-American who spent three hours detained at JFK for triggering an explosives alert at a TSA checkpoint is a troubling story and cause for deep introspection. I must admit, even my first reaction was "better safe than sorry." But that was the wrong conclusion--to defend the government and defend JetBlue is to defend paranoia, intimidation, and bigotry. I will not defend such conduct, and you shouldn't either.

Some, like Flying with Fish, are ...

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New United Airlines Transpac Route from SFO: Chengdu

United Airlines will announce a new transpacific longhaul route from San Francisco tomorrow and an insider tells me the new destination will be to Chengdu (CTU).

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China and home to more than 14,000,000 people. 80% of the world's pandas live in the Sichuan province and Chengdu is an Air China hub and also served by other Star Alliance carriers including ANA, Asiana, Thai, and EVA.

The flight will purportedly be operated three times weekly by a 787 aircraft beginning in June 2014. More details after the official announcement...

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False Alarm: Still No Fuel Surcharges on Most AA Awards

I awoke to news this morning that American Airlines would begin imposing fuel surcharges on all award travel, including flights on its own metal, and my heart sank. Currently fuel surcharges are imposed on British Airways flights and a moderate fuel surcharge is imposed on Iberia, but no fuel surcharge is collected for all other partner awards and AA's own flights. Until last night...when people began finding their award taxes were several hundred dollars more than anticipated. AA even ...

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American Airlines Adds New Flights at LAX

American Airlines is growing at Los Angeles International and today the carrier will begin service to five new cities:

Indianapolis, Indiana Columbus, Ohio Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Hartford, Connecticut Bentonville, Arkansas

Earlier this year AA began serving Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and Eugene and Redmond, Oregon from Los Angeles and this November AA will begin non-stop service to West Palm Beach from LAX. In December, service between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil ...

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Disgruntled Former United Airlines Purser Extracts Revenge by Phoning in Bomb Threats

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A former United Airlines purser has pleaded guilty to to making a false bomb threat against a United flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow. He could face up to five years in prison and has agreed to pay $250,000 in damages to United.

Court documents suggest Patrick Cau was a disgrunted flight attendant, who worked for United for 15 years and rose to the rank of purser, but left the company after United declined to investigate his claims that a male supervisor sexually ...

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