First Class, First Class, No Class

3 stories about comfort today:

–United Airlines announced a promotion (sorry, I received an email, but I can’t find it on their site) where you get 1 first class upgrade for every $1,000 you spend on the airline. Upgrades are usable on flights within the US, Hawaii (yes, part of the US, I know), Central America and the Caribbean. I like the value-based promotions vastly more than the typical fare-class based promotions where you have to figure out whether you’re flying in a fare class that applies (“K”) or a fare class that does not apply (“Q”). Many airlines don’t make it obvious on their website which fare class you’re booking. In any case, making a promotion based on dollars spent is easier for the consumer.

–America West has revamped their first class fare structure, introducing a 2 new non-refundable first class fares (a 0-day advance purchase and a 7-day advance purchase). Fares top off at $499 each way, well below the fares of major carriers (in fact, according to the press release, it’s up to about $2200 less for a transcon round trip. America West is currently my favorite airline that I never fly.

–And finally, Ryanair is taking no frills to a whole new level, ordering new planes that have seats that do not recline and windows without window shades. Well, that’s what you’re going to get when fares cost $.01.

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