Monthly Archives: June 2014 - Page 2

United’s De-Hubbing of Cleveland Is Official: Terminal D Shuts Down

Cleveland’s Terminal D was shuttered yesterday as United wrapped up its de-hubbing at the airport. 39 cities lost nonstop service from the longstanding former-Continental hub, with the last of the flights being dropped Wednesday.

I spent a lot of time at Terminal D in the late 1990s commuting at 6am Mondays from Cleveland to White Plains. Wow, consulting sure is sexy.

The most interesting tidbit is that United will continue to pay debt service on the Terminal – to the tune of $1.1 million per month – until 2027.

A Great Read about Delta’s Attempts at Fuel Hedging…And How It Led to A Huge Loss

I realize that this doesn’t sound like the most interesting subject, but a CNBC reporter has written a book about commodities traders (seriously) and it includes chapters about a man hired to head up fuel hedging at Delta (with a $1 million signing bonus).

This excerpt from the book talks about how he went from earning more than $400 million in profits for Delta in one year, followed by him being subpoenaed as the government believed that he was both personally profiting from his Delta trading and racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for the airline.

Well worth a read…

Delta Upgrades Amenities in Economy Comfort on Transcon Flights

Delta is throwing down the frozen yogurt gauntlet and upgrading amenities in Economy Comfort on its JFK-LAX, JFK-SFO, and JFK-SEA routes beginning today.

In addition to the free booze, and extra legroom, Delta now offers:

– Pillow & blanket
– Eye Shades and Earplugs (sounds like a mid-70s Willie Nelson album)
– Luvo snack wraps
– Luvo frozen yogurt bars
– Full-size bottle of water

Sure, you may be saying, weren’t those “amenities” included with virtually all flights 10 years ago? Sure. But it’s not 10 years ago, so pipe down.

Economy Comfort costs $99, or it’s free if you have Gold Medallion Status or higher.

PEOPLExpress Announces June 30th Launch Date

PEOPLExpress, the Ford Pinto of airlines, makes its triumphant return to the skies when new service is launched June 30th from Newport News to Newark, Boston and Pittsburgh. Fares start at $76 each way.

Flights to Atlanta, St Petersburg, West Palm Beach, and New Orleans will launch later in the summer.

PEOPLExpress gave up on operating its own fleet and will instead launch with service operated by Vision Airlines operating 737-400s under the PEOPLExpress brand.

Best of luck over there.

British Airways Dead Passenger Protocol No Longer Includes Sunglasses and Newspaper

British Airways has decided that the propping up a deceased passenger, putting sunglasses on him and having him hold a newspaper was not – repeat NOT – the best way to handle the death of a passenger on board. Nor is pretending the dead passenger is sleeping.

The new protocol for deceased passengers calls for flight crew to move the passenger to an empty seat in the First Class cabin (future Flyertalk thread: “FA Gave My First Class Seat to Dead Passenger…What Compensation Do They Owe Me?”). The new protocol also reiterates not – repeat NOT – to place dead passengers in the toilet, because with rigor mortis it could become difficult to remove the body from the lav.

No word on where they’ll place the body if First Class seats are taken.

Dog Poop Causes US Airways Plane to Divert to Kansas City

A US Airways flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia diverted to Kansas City after a large dog thrice pooped in the aisle, emitting a smell that was unbearable for passengers.

Passengers reported that flight attendants had run out of paper towels after the second mid-aisle pooping, and the smell was overpowering. The pilot decided that an emergency landing in Kansas City was the best option.

The plane had already been delayed 2 hours on the tarmac at LAX prior to its departure.

Hm, Where Have I Read This Before?

Does it feel like the frequent flyer world has been coming to an end? That your favorite program has just destroyed what was once wonderful and made it terrible? Do you feel like the programs you use have been, what’s the word, devalued? I think I may know why:

What We Can Learn from the Recent American Airlines AAdvantage Devaluations

Delta Announces Yet Another Award Chart Devaluation Starting in February

United MileagePlus Award Chart Devaluation

Southwest Devalues Rapid Rewards Redemptions on Wanna Get Away Fares

Alaska Mileage Plan Award Chart Devaluation

Major Flying Blue Air France KLM Devaluation

British Airways Devaluation Update

Aeroplan Announces Major Miles Devaluation

Hyatt Announces Gold Passport Points Devaluation

Marriott Rewards Devaluation: New Top-Tier Category and Other Changes

Another Hilton Devaluation – HHonors Discontinues Points and Fixed Miles Earning Option

The SPG Devaluation By The Numbers: A 6% Mark-Down

Big Club Carlson devaluation announced, but it’s not all bad

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Makes Massive Devaluation

That’s basically every air and hotel program out there.

I brought this up for two reasons:

– I feel like no matter what I search for online around frequent flyer programs, “devaluation” always comes up.
– Just about all of these “devaluations” are devaluations only for business/first travel (not all, but most). If you are willing to fly coach (as, apparently, I am the only blogger on the planet to repeatedly suggest you might want to consider), those articles don’t apply to you. You can still fly United’s partners for 30k points each way to Europe, and you can still fly to France for 25,000 Flying Blue miles, an underrated option since they’ve lowered their fuel surcharges. Yes, flying business class has, in many cases, gotten more expensive. But as I’ve been helping people plan summer travel to Europe, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much low-level coach inventory is available out there (Delta excluded, of course), at the same mileage requirements we’ve had for a while.

And while churning isn’t as great as it was at the peak of its hayday (where you could basically print American Airlines and Hilton points), I think the 60k Bold offer, the 30k SPG offer, the 20k Freedom offer, the Wells Fargo Amex Propel offer, and the continued churnability of the Alaska card and AA Biz cards show that there are ample opportunities to generate miles. We still have it pretty good…

(Just a little optimism for a Tuesday morning…)

Get a $50 Amex Statement Credit When You Spend $250 at a Hilton

American Express is offering a $50 statement credit when you spend $250 at a Hilton Hotel or Resort in the US and Puerto Rico between June 2nd and September 2nd. To earn the credit, you’ll need to have an Amex card that’s sync’ed to Twitter (details here).

Once your card is connected to your Twitter account, just tweet using #AmexHilton and you’ll receive a confirmation back that the offer is tied to your card.

DETAILS:

Offer Valid 6/2/14 – 9/2/14

Offer valid only on Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand only. Other brands in the Hilton portfolio are excluded. Must book directly with Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Offer valid only for charges to the room, including room rate, in US and Puerto Rico only. Offer not valid for stays that are paid for before or after the promotion start and end dates. Enrollment Limited.

Get a 1X $50 statement credit by using your connected Card to make a single purchase of $250+ on all charges to your room, including your room rate, when you pay for your stay at Hilton Hotels & Resorts between 6/2/14 and 9/2/14. Tweet using #AmexHilton to add this offer to your connected American Express Card. This offer does not require a coupon at the point of sale – so once you’ve received a confirmation response message from our Twitter handle @AmexOffers that the offer has been added, just shop with your connected Card to redeem!

Offer Terms:
To be eligible to receive the statement credit:

(i) you must have an American Express Card that is connected with Twitter (see sync.americanexpress.com/twitter for more details on how to connect your Card);
(ii) you must tweet using #AmexHilton;
(iii) you must receive a response message from @AmexOffers stating that this offer has been added to your connected Card; AND
(iv) you must use your connected Card to make a single purchase of $250 or more at Hilton Hotels & Resorts by 9/2/14.

You must receive a confirmation response from @AmexOffers stating that the offer has been added to your Card before you can redeem the offer. This confirmation response will begin with your @username and will appear in your Mentions tab on the @Notifications page. These terms will be available to you via a link in the confirmation message. If you do not receive a response message about this offer from @AmexOffers, please Contact Us or direct message us at @AskAmex. Limit 1 statement credit per American Express Card across all American Express offer channels. Enrollment is limited. Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 90 days after 9/2/14, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase. Statement credit may be reversed if qualifying purchase is cancelled. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as qualifying for the offer, you will not receive the statement credit. For example, your transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, you will not receive the statement credit if your transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process it. Program Terms and Conditions apply; see below for details. Click the ‘Add to Card’ button and use your connected American Express® Card to redeem this offer today! POID: BDNP:0001

30% Off Promo Code for Silvercar Rental for All of June

I just got word of a Silvercar promo code that’s good for all of June that offers 30% off the price of your next rental. Enter promo code HEYJUNE at Silvercar the next time you rent.

Silvercar is available at both Dallas airports, Austin, LAX and San Francisco and offers a fleet of all Audi A4s.

(If you enter my referral code – JBLANK2 – you’ll get $25 when you complete your rental).