News Posts

United Airlines Mimics Delta, Raises 2016 Elite Requirements

united-airlines-new-elite-2016-eqm-requirement

The consultants United Airlines hires to provide strategic advice on loyalty innovation and how to increase profit must have a pretty easy job...watch Delta, then copy. Once again, United has mimicked Delta in increasing elite status thresholds for 2016 in a move that makes sense in a season of ...

3 Comments

Chinese Tourist Visas Now Valid for 10 Years

chinese-visa

President Obama is in Asia this week at APEC and the headline has been the climate change deal he announced with China...but wait, there's more! Of particular interest to travelers is another deal cut with China to extend visas for short-term business travelers, tourists, and students. The new ...

8 Comments

5 Things to Know About the Latest Lufthansa Strike

lh-pilots-strike-01

Lufthansa pilots are striking again over proposed cuts to a lucrative early retirement program and will continue until 23:59 CET tonight. While the 35-hour strike was originally planned only to affect regional traffic within Europe, longhaul pilots have joined ...

Ontario, CA Fights for Control of ONT Airport

ontario_la_international_airport

Southern California’s Inland Empire is a vast sprawl of affordable housing and big box stores east of Los Angeles that also is home to Ontario International Airport (ONT).  The once-bustling airport now looks like a ghost town at most times of day, with even further cutbacks under ...

1 Comment

Airplane Food Delivered to Your Door!

united-iad-kwi-09

I have a confession to make about airline meals. While most curse United Airlines for the "unchanging" "nasty" "disgusting" "tried" breakfast entrée pictured below, it is one of my favorite meals and if I had the chance to order it for home consumption, I would gladly pay for it.

9-Seat Airliner Coming to California

visalia-airport-2

I have family that lives in Visalia, California and while my uncle was still alive, I made frequent trips up there - often once per month. A 3hr drive on I-5 is not a horrible thing, but the drive from LA over the Grapevine through ...

5 Comments

United Cuts JFK-IAD Service, Effective October 25, 2014

Even I am not too old to remember when New York Kennedy was once a United focus city, with service to Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. JFK was also once the home of UA1, United's (and PanAm's) former around-the-world service from New York - ...

20 Comments

German Court Lifts Ban on Uber

A Frankfurt court that had banned Uber ride service from operating within Germany late last month has lifted the ban: Uber is back in business in Germany.

Uber is mobile app based ride sharing service that offers an easy way to hail a driver - all transactions are handled by credit card, ...

1 Comment

Kidnapping Forces United Flight from Washington to Beijing to Divert

united-airlines-kidnapping-washington-to-beijing

I love the movie Argo, which tells the story of how Canada and CIA operative Tony Mendez smuggled out a cadre of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis. In the gripping conclusion (full of artistic embellishment but nevertheless riveting), hearts pound as the Swissair 747 ...

2 Comments

United Airlines' CFO Disses His Company's Global First Class Product

united-cfo-john-rainey-foot-in-his-mouth

John Rainey, United Airlines' infamous CFO who claimed that elites are over-entitled, has put his foot in his mouth again...this time by trashing his company's three-cabin international first class product, dubbed "Global First". But it was not just a curious ...

13 Comments

Additions and Subtractions to Virgin Atlantic Route Network

delta-virgin-atlantic-02

Virgin Atlantic, strengthening its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines, has announced new routes that will bring the two carriers closer than ever before. With the lastest shuffle, the USA wins while Canada, India, Japan, and South Africa loses.

The new Virgin Atlantic routes ...

3 Comments

Orbitz and American Airlines Fighting Again: Who is to Blame?

american-airlines-orbitz

American Airlines has pulled fares from Orbitz (again) and will also pull US Airways' fares starting on September 01, 2015. Though AA is a partial owner of Orbitz, the carrier and the online travel agency have been unable to agree on a fee arrangement for selling AA/US flights. History makes me ...

2 Comments

U.S. Secretary of State Rescued by United Airlines

john-kerry-us-air-force-757

It is not just us hoi polloi that run into mechanical delays that foul up our schedules and cause us to shift travel plans…it even happens to the Secretary of State of the USA.

Sec. John Kerry has been on a whirlwind tour on his Air Force Boeing ...

A New Problem for Malaysia Airlines

In light of two deadly crashes and the questionable handling of each incident, beleaguered Malaysia Airlines faces an uncertain road ahead. The state-run carrier is 70% government owned and the privately-held 30% will soon be acquired by the government. MH will be de-listed and a restructuring ...

2 Comments

Air India: Rats on a Plane

Despite my love of German autos, I do not own one and instead use public transportation daily in Frankfurt. While the system is great for getting just about anywhere in town (and indeed, in the country), the underground stations have a serious rodent problem - it is not uncommon to be waiting for ...

5 Comments

Onboard Photos: The Hidden Hypocrisy in United's New Safety Video

united-saftey-video-photography-las-vegas

Another passenger was thrown off a United Airlines flight yesterday for taking pictures. 

Full details here, but here's my summary: Passenger is on a flight from Austin to Denver. He has top-tier status with United and is a million-miler flyer, so he has witnessed the politics ...

6 Comments

U.S. House Shamefully Passes Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

In a bipartisan vote yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 which would roll back 2012 legislation requiring that the full fare be displayed at all steps of the airline ticket booking processing. We've had this discussion before, so there is ...

7 Comments

Breaking: Malaysia Airlines 777 Shot Down Over Ukraine

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 enroute from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has been shot down by a ground-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers/crew onboard are believed to be dead.

As Malaysian continues its struggle over the still-unsolved mystery of the ...

6 Comments

BREAKING NEWS: MALAYSIA AIRLINES' 777-200 CRASHED ENROUTE FROM AMSTERDAM

lifenews

0825am PST: July 17 brings us another disheartening day in Air Travel as initial reports are claiming that Malaysia Airlines flight 17 to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam appears to have crashed 50 miles shy of the Russian boarder, inside Ukraine. This news hits hard, as Malaysia Airlines is still ...