Monthly Archives: June 2012

Qantas and Jetstar Awards Now Bookable on AA.com

AA.com just got a whole lot more useful: You can now check (and book, obviously) Qantas and Jetstar award availability on AA.com instead of having to use Qantas’ website to that. 2 things worth noting:

1) Coach seats are available all the time.

2) The longstanding rule about getting business class seats on Qantas has been to call 330 days out to get seats. That’s mostly still true, but I do see scattered dates (check out October) where you can get 1 (and occasionally 2) business class seats for 125,000 miles round trip (pretty good, right?). How? From the West Coast, the Jetstar flight from Honolulu to Sydney has dates available here and there. The LAX-HNL portion is frequently available as well. However, from the East Coast, it’s tough to get business class seats to Honolulu on the same days that the Jetstar flights are available. From the East Coast, the Qantas flights from Dallas to Brisbane have sporadic availability for 1 business class seat. I can’t find any days with 2 available right now.

Also, don’t be spooked when it says your desired class of service is not available on one of the legs (when you choose Business class). That often just means that the domestic leg will be a two-class aircraft where the premium service is listed as “First” not “Business.”

Nice enhancement to AA.com.

(Hat Tip to Milepoint)

Up to 50% Off Yankees Tickets from Delta Air Lines

Yankees fans (and haters) can get up to 50% off Yankees tickets thanks to this promo from Delta:

In short, there are a bunch of games during the rest of the season where you can save up to $175/ticket (that’s because tickets at Yankee Stadium are absurdly expensive). To purchase, go to this page and enter 12DELTA in the promocode box.

JetBlue and Emirates Now Have Frequent Flyer Partnership….No, You Shouldn’t Be Excited

My primary (actually, only) issue with JetBlue is that their frequent flyer program is weak. Or terrible. Or terribly weak. In fact, I never fly them anymore because of that. I will sit uncomfortably on another airline (United, usually, but sometimes US Airways) for 4 hours because of Mileage Plus, rather than sit in comfort watching TV on JetBlue. Yes, I feel like an idiot when I read that sentence.

So I was excited last month when I read about the JetBlue/Hawaiian partnership, that would allow me to earn Hawaiian miles (which can be transferred to Hilton on a 1:2 basis) when I fly JetBlue. Except that the earning table is horrible. So much for that.

So I was excited again this morning when I read that I can earn Emirates Skywards miles when I fly JetBlue (and vice versa). Alas, there is nothing to be excited about.

What you earn on JetBlue when you fly Emirates:

What you earn on Emirates when you fly JetBlue:

What does that mean? It means that you’ll earn 1/4 of a mile for every mile flown on JetBlue when you fly on a cheap(ish) ticket. Sad, really.

I’ll continue my quest to find a partner to which I should credit JetBlue flights.

Anyone credit JetBlue flights anywhere interesting?

Air Finland Shuts Down (No, Not Finnair, Air Finland)

Air Finland, a Helsinki-based airline flying charters and scheduled services to leisure destinations in Europe, shut down yesterday due to the typical financial issues cited in these cases.

The airline launched in 2003 and flew chilly Finns to sun destinations in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

The only positive note here is that some airline is going to get to pick up 3 757-200s (which comprised the totality of their fleet).

More than 1,000 passengers were stranded by the shutdown.

And The Award for Best Travel Related Headline Goes To…

Governor Points Out That Not All of Colorado Is Burning

Yep – that’ll get the tourists back.

go!Mokulele Airlines to Change Name Back to go!

See if we can follow this:

In 2006 or so, Mesa Airlines entered the then-crowded inter-island market in Hawaii by launching an airline called go!

It turns out that they were able to enter the market because, a judge later ruled, while doing diligence for a possible bid for then-bankrupt carriers Hawaiian Airlines and Aloha Air, Mesa took confidential information and used that to launch their own service.

Hawaiian and Aloha sued, and Mesa eventually settled with Hawaiian Airlines for $50 million or so. The best piece of information to emerge from that lawsuit is that when Hawaiian accused a Mesa executive of purposefully deleting relevant files from his computer, he denied it, saying he was only deleting the pornography he was watching on his computer, not files related to the case (the old “that’s my porn, not my stolen documents” defense).

Mesa tried to settle with Aloha, with Mesa assuming the Aloha name as part of the agreement. A judge blocked that, and did not allow Mesa to use the Aloha name.

go! soonafter merged with a subsidiary of Republic Airways called Mokulele Airlines and changed the company’s name to the clumsy go!Mokulele Airlines.

Well, we’ve come full circle, as the airline has now announced that it is returning to its roots and going back to being go!.

Thought you’d like to know…

Southwest Will Match the Number of Frontier EarlyReturns Miles In Your Account (If You Live in Wisconsin)

The battle for Wisconsin continues: Southwest Airlines said it will match the number of Frontier EarlyReturns miles you have in your account (up to 50,000) if you live in Wisconsin. In addition, if you have Ascent or Summit Status, they will match it with AirTran A-List and A+ Rewards Elite Status. With Frontier basically pulling out of Milwaukee, the fight is on for their frequent flyer members.

From their release:

To take advantage of this one-time offer, Wisconsin EarlyReturns members should take the following steps:

If they haven’t done so already, enroll in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program.
Submit a copy of their Frontier EarlyReturns statement that denotes their current account balance along with their name, Rapid Rewards account number, and phone number to RapidRewards@wnco.com.

To take advantage of this status-matching offer, EarlyReturns Ascent and Summit members should take the following steps:

If they haven’t done so already, enroll in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program and the AirTran A+ Rewards program.
Submit a copy of their current, valid tier card or statement along with their name, Rapid Rewards account number, A+ Rewards account number, and phone number to RapidRewards@wnco.com.

A Word about Orbitz Supposedly Charging More to Mac Users

There’s a story in the WSJ this morning about Orbitz realizing that Mac users spend more money than PC users and how, because of that, they decided to show Mac users more expensive hotels.

That story has been picked up everywhere and the headline is changed a bit to, for example, “Mac Users May See Pricier Options on Orbitz‎.”

For clarification: Orbitz is testing showing Mac users a different set of results for a hotel search, with pricier options at the top than those shown to PC users. They are NOT showing the same room with 2 different prices, as perhaps you may have been thinking, based on some of the headlines out there.

100 years ago I wrote about companies doing just this (and it’s finally catching on, woo!). I think we’ll see LOTS more skewing of how results are shown to users, especially for hotels. Here at the clothing company, our iPad users purchase more than our PC users, for example. It may make sense to show them pricier options at the top of their pages.

We’re just at the tip of the iceberg, but never trust that a website is automatically showing you the cheapest options – unless you specifically choose “show me the lowest price options first” they’re getting much, much smarter about how results are displayed (in part because the technology to do this is now widely available through 3rd parties, and it’s pretty reasonably priced. Thanks, Monetate!)

Get a 50% Bonus on Your Hyatt Credit Card Purchases through August 31st

I received a mailing from Hyatt announcing a promotion where you’ll get 1.5 points on every purchase on the Hyatt credit card between July 1st and August 31st (that’s a 50% bonus from the regular 1 point) and 3.5 points for all Hyatt spend.

This is really a fantastic deal if you’re looking to bank some Hyatt points. Category 6 (top category) hotels can run $1000 and cost 22,000 points. You can spend $14,667 during the promotion to get a hotel room priced at $1,000, effectively a 7% rebate on all spend (if I were an economist I would say that’s not exactly true, as there are cheaper substitutes for the $1,000 room, and since I wouldn’t have spent $1,000 of my own money, it’s really worth the cost of the substitute — in my case probably $300 — which would still be a 2% value on that). In any case, it’s a good deal for these two months.

It appears that the promotion is not targeted and you don’t need to register.

On a side note, Hyatt is selling points with up to a 30% bonus through August 31st — that room at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris will cost you $456 if you just outright buy the points — about half the price of paying for the room. You can buy up to 40,000 points a year (though with the bonus you can earn 52,000 points when you buy 40,000 points for $960).

LOT Polish Airlines Will Move Newark Services to JFK

Beginning October 29th, LOT Polish Airlines, which currently serves both JFK and Newark, will consolidate its service to JFK, eliminating Newark services from that date. Also, they plan to launch their 787 service to New York next January, which is good news as the new aircraft have lie-flat beds in business and a pretty nice looking Premium Economy section. Plus, at least with their awful 767 service, their business class fares are about half what United and Lufthansa charge to Europe, so that’s a good thing (assuming fares stay low with the new product).