Basics of Better Air Travel and Why Delta Charges More for Tickets

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • It’s now possible to use Delta’s international confirmed upgrades available to Diamond members for Korean Air travel. (HT: One Mile at a Time) These can only be booked on Delta codeshares booked in Y, B, and M fare classes (so basically full fare coach), must be confirmed 24 hours in advance, and can’t be waitlisted. Still, it’s something.

  • Mother of Parkland shooting victim didn’t think she should have to pay for the private jet she chartered to get to Florida (HT: Joe R.)

  • The New York Times has a new guide with basic airline booking tips, my contributions:

    “Later in the day, anything that’s gone wrong due to mechanics or weather delays stack up and make it harder to make up time, so the likelihood of having a problem later in the day is greater,” said Gary Leff, author of the blog “View From the Wing.”

    ..“Watch fares for a little while on the route and learn what normal is,” said Mr. Leff. “Look at different times of the year and over the course of a couple weeks and see how things change.”

    ..“Airlines like short connections and people like to book the shortest trips possible, but I like longer connections for infrequent travelers,” said Mr. Leff. “I like to assume I might have a 30-to-45-minute delay on the first flight. Since you still want to make that connection, I like 90-minute connections for infrequent flyers.”

    ..“If you’re among the first 75 percent to board, you’re O.K.,” said Mr. Leff. There may not be room directly over your seat at that point, but in that case try to find bin space in front of your seat. “When you land it’s tough to go backwards. It’s much easier if you’re walking forward and grab the bag on way out the door.”

    ..“Most premium credit cards, they’re going to have trip delay coverage,” said Mr. Leff. Many also have delayed baggage coverage. Find out what’s covered and make sure you use that card to pay for the booking, then save your receipts and submit them to the credit card company for reimbursement.

  • Delta continues to earn a revenue premium over American and United stemming from its Atlanta hub, less low cost carrier competition, and higher fares from business travelers. On this latter point,

    The highest 10 percent of one-way Delta fares started at $521 last year, down 12 percent from 2014… United Continental Holdings Inc.’s fares in that category fell 16 percent, while comparable ticket prices at American Airlines Group Inc. dropped 21 percent.

  • TSA searches for the watch.

  • Lovely.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “Mother of Parkland shooting victim didn’t think she should have to pay for the private jet she chartered to get to Florida (HT: Joe R.)” Read the actual story. That’s not at all her position.

  2. @02nz–
    I read the full story. Here’s the lowdown.
    1. She expressed willingness to pay whatever it took to get her from NY to FL (one way).
    2. Her bill came out to $18k NY-FL + $18k FL-NY.
    3. She felt she should not have to pay for the FL-NY return.
    4. The private jet company eventually waived the entire bill.

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