Travel

The Mystery Of American’s Los Angeles To Cabo Route…

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I’m writing this post not because I’m trying to be an armchair CEO and tell the airline they’re doing something wrong, but rather because I’m genuinely curious if anyone has an explanation.

If there’s one thing that US airlines have gotten good at, it’s filling just about every seat on a plane. They’ve gotten so good at it that I get genuinely giddy when I get an empty middle seat in economy nowadays, as it’s quite rare (well, except between Los Angeles and Toronto).

Airlines are also great at optimizing capacity to meet projected demand, which can be done by adjusting the type of plane that’s scheduled to operate a route, or changing up the frequencies. Of course there are other motivations with which airlines operate routes:

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American & British Airways Are Adding Basic Economy On Transatlantic Flights

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American introduced basic economy early last year — they first rolled it out in 10 markets, and then over the summer they rolled it on virtually all domestic flights. The good news is that basic economy hasn’t worked out quite as well for American and United as they had hoped, as they failed to account for the number of people who would simply book elsewhere when presented with basic economy. Instead they took their customers for granted, and assumed that the only choice customers had was to book basic economy or regular economy, rather than considering them taking their business to Spirit, Southwest, etc.

Today American has announced a pretty significant expansion of basic economy. As of April 1, 2018, transatlantic oneworld airlines (American, British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia) will begin to offer basic economy fares. This will initially roll out on a limited number of routes, so that they can train their airport and reservations teams to make sure they get things right.

Basic economy on transatlantic flights will work slightly differently than on domestic flights. Here’s a chart that explains the differences and similarities:

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Check If You’re Eligible For Starwood’s Newest Targeted Promotion

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Every so often Starwood offers Select Member Exclusive promotions, where members are targeted for different offers. Typically members will be emailed when they’re targeted for a promotion, though often they aren’t, so you can log in with your SPG number on this page to see if you’re eligible. I’ve been targeted for offers in the past without receiving an email about it.

It looks like Starwood has just come out with some new Select Member Exclusives, for stays between March 1 and May 31, 2018. With Select Member Exclusives, some SPG members are targeted for additional bonus offers. This is the second such offer in a short period, as Starwood also published a set of offers in early February (so if you were targeted for that one you’re unlikely to be targeted for this one, as they’ll typically only give you one offer at a time).

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The Citi ThankYou Premier Card Has A Big New 50K Sign-Up Bonus

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The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering a big new 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. As far as I know, we’ve never seen a bigger sign-up bonus on the card. The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months.

This is the most rewarding Citi credit card for everyday spend, as it offers:

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Why A United Regional Jet Flew To China With Five Stops

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It’s not unusual for turboprops or regional jets to make long trips across oceans with many stops. However, typically that happens when an airline is taking delivery of a plane, and the plane needs to get from the factory to where it’s going to be based.

However, at the moment a United Express Embraer 175 operated by Mesa Airlines is making a different kind of trip, which sees it flying to Russia and China. What’s the reason for this strange trip? Bloomberg notes that aircraft manufacturer Embraer is leasing the plane from Mesa, so it can show off the plane to an unnamed, prospective buyer in China.

The airline agreed to a short term lease for the plane, and expects it to be back in service by the end of the week. Since Mesa has 53 of these planes in their fleet, they can lease it without any operational impact, since presumably they usually have at least a couple of planes in maintenance.

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Getting Locked In A Gate At Heathrow For 30 Minutes

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This only applies in Europe, because I can’t imagine how this would have played out in the US. Then again, airports tend to be less automated in the US, so I doubt this happens as frequently.

Two weeks ago, I arrived at Heathrow Terminal 2 from a European city that will go unnamed. I never get recognized, but coincidentally the pilot, purser, and ground crew on this flight had seen my videos. After the flight, I stayed and chatted with the pilot before heading toward passport control. No other passengers were in sight at this point, but I didn’t figure it would be a problem.

Well, a minute later I got to the room between the jetway and the hallway to passport control. The only problem? The door was locked. I motioned to activate the motion sensor. I pushed and pulled. Nothing.

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Drunk & Threatening Guy Jumps Over Railing At Atlanta Airport (Disturbing)

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A sad incident occurred at Atlanta Airport today, where a man jumped over the railings at the airport, from one floor to another. It doesn’t appear as if it was a suicide attempt, but rather the passenger was just really drunk and got into fights. According to CBS46, the passenger was taken to the hospital, though is in stable condition. The incident occurred in Concourse D, outside of Terrapin Taphouse. According to the story:

“A spokesperson for the airport told CBS46 the man got into a disagreement with another passenger prior to falling, adding that he suffered significant injuries. Meanwhile, an Atlanta police spokesperson told CBS46 that the man appeared to be intoxicated, and was threatening other travelers prior to jumping.”

There’s video of the incident on Instagram. If you’d like to watch it, you can do so here (I don’t want to embed it directly), though it’s quite disturbing. You’ve been warned.

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Ukraine International Airlines Wants To Add Flights To Chicago, Miami, Toronto, And More

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Ukraine International Airlines is improving nicely. I flew the airline a bit over a year ago from Kiev to New York, and the route was operated by one of their extremely outdated 767s. One of the ways that the airline will improve is that they’re taking delivery of four 777s, featuring flat beds in business class. Going from their 767 business class (which is more like premium economy) to a 777 with flat beds is a huge improvement.

The airline presently has a fleet of 39 aircraft, and they have a further 17 aircraft on order, including three 777s, six 737s, and eight Embraer regional jets. However, it looks like the airline has lofty expansion goals that way surpass what you’d expect based on their fleet.

The Kyiv Post quotes the head of Ukraine International Airlines’ supervisory board as saying that the airline is planning significant growth over the next five years. Their plan sure is detailed, given that they’ve listed the routes that they plan to add every year. Here are the details of the new destinations they’re hoping for, by year:

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A Day In The Medieval City Of Norwich, England

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In England, there’s something of a ‘new tradition’. This ‘new tradition’ is all about celebrating local heroes… not that the celebration of local heroes is new in England – even the Queen’s done that ages with the Honours Lists, but this one’s different. This one’s about celebrating the people who help us travellers see even … Continue Reading

The post A Day In The Medieval City Of Norwich, England appeared first on Hand Luggage Only.

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Qatar Airways Will Offer Qsuites To Chicago As Of April 1, 2018

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Qatar Airways’ Qsuites, which they’re referring to as “super business class,” debuted between Doha and London Heathrow as of June 23, 2017. Since then they’ve also started offering them between Doha and Paris, as of September 23, 2017, between Doha and New York JFK, as of December 16, 2017, between Doha and Washington Dulles, as of January 16, 2018, and between Doha and Seoul Incheon, as of January 22, 2018.

On top of that, Qatar Airways now also has their first A350-900 and A350-1000 with Qsuites, so the number of planes with Qsuites should be increasing nicely over the coming months. I had the chance to fly Qsuites from New York to Doha in January, and was blown away by what a good product it is. This truly is the world’s best business class, by a long shot.

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