When they’re not dragging passengers down the aisle of an aircraft, knocking them to the ground by the ticket counter, cancelling their flights for spite or kicking them in the airport chapel, United is hard at work becoming the best airline in the entire world according to CEO Oscar Munoz.
Three years ago Virgin Atlantic used Google Glass to provide customer service to premium customers, the idea was for instance for premium passengers, “[a] Virgin rep would greet you at your limo, confirm that your travel itinerary is up to date, and clue you in on the weather expected for your destination, all without breaking eye contact.”
Southwest Airlines began scheduled air service out of Dallas Love Field in 1971. At the time they flew only intra-Texas routes, escaping regulation by the federal government’s Civil Aeronautics Board which at the time set airline routes and prices.
Southwest Airlines is known for alcohol — from Herb Kelleher’s love of Wild Turkey, to the free drink chits that used to come with award redemptions, to becoming the largest liquor distributor in the State of Texas to fend off competition.
Airlines are more aggressively discounting business class than before, not just economy, even if most of the eye-popping sales are in coach (and even if $1450 is of course still a lot of money). When I can buy paid business class for not substantially more than I ‘expect’ to ‘usually’ pay for economy that’s a very good deal.
$50 a month gets you waived green fees up to twice per location around the country and two 4-course meals per month (pay just the service charge), per club as well — just use the benefits at clubs which are at least 100 miles from home.
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For years American Express has had an ‘International Airline Program’ for Platinum and Centurion cardholders which amounted to 2-for-1 business class tickets provided you were buying full fare.
Quietly it seems that American Express has revamped the International Airline Program. They no longer offer ‘two for one’ instead they offer discounts on premium cabin tickets from one to eight passengers. You have to price and book by phone. Early results appear highly promising.
Delta’s first Airbus A350 rolled out of the paint shop this week. This is notable because it’s the first Delta aircraft that will offer 48 premium economy seats and also 32 business class suites with doors.
Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays will open a new departure ‘lounge’ next year in Barbados. It’s a departure beach that includes check-in and baggage dropoff.
If your cruise terminates in Barbados or you have to check out of your hotel at noon but Virgin Atlantic’s London flight leaves at 5 or 6 this gives you a place that’s not the airport to spend your last few hours of holiday.
If you have Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles you can fly beyond Singapore to Darwin or Cairns in Australia, Siem Reap in Cambodia, about 8 destinations in China and 9 in India, and many more (like a dozen airports in Indonesia).
Fortunately Singapore Airlines loves the U.S. bank money, and their KrisFlyer program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. And they regularly discount awards.