Bits ‘n Pieces for April 25, 2013

News and Notes from Around the Interweb:

  • US Airways is partially matching United’s move by increasing domestic change fees to $200. This match makes it more likely that American and Delta do as well, but there’s no hurry in a decision for any carrier.

    If Delta and American do not, and United and US Airways see any booking away effect, they could pull back. But if they don’t pull back, either Delta or American may follow suit — and if one does, the other is unlikely to remain the last carrier at a standard $150 in my view.

  • Back in December I flagged Southwest’s plan to charge a fee on tickets not flown and not cancelled prior to flight. This new no show policy has been announced for purchases May 10 onward and travel beginning September 13. A requirement to cancel prior to departure doesn’t bother me.

  • Registration is now available for Starwood’s May 1 through July 31 double points (at most hotels) promotion, which also earns 500 bonus points for reservations booked on Starwood’s mobile site or iPhone/Android mobile apps.

  • US Airways and American want to offer reciprocal mileage earning and redemption very quickly once their merger closes. Not a surprise. Of concern though is this:

    They also want to let passengers earn and redeem miles on the other carrier’s frequent-flier plan, and harmonize some product offerings such as food and beverages on board and align some passenger processing procedures, Mr. Isom said.

    “Harmonizing” is exactly what I worry about, since US Airways doesn’t serve meals on flights under 3.5 hours.

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. Does harmonizing mean we are all going to lose some weight on board?
    US Air is already harmonizing the wrong tune with almost everything they do from award availability to online booking fees and the list goes on
    I may just leave American after 14 great years

  2. I agree with Southwest and am surprised it took this long. I think they should make the cancellation 1 hour prior to departure, giving gate agents time to fill no-shows seats. Of course, still keep the flat tire rule and get people on later flight, if available.

  3. Gary, (after the awards and the FTU) US and AA “harmonization” sounds lovely, but what I really, really want is to burn LAN km and Avios for the heaps of shorthauls US runs out of DCA. Being able to fly to CHS and/or AVL on minimal miles is so very attrative. Any speculation on when US might actually move to OW or, at a minimum, become a non-OW partner for LAN or BA?

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