Bits ‘n Pieces for September 13, 2013

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • It’s hard for me to overcome my mental models and remind myself that United sometimes has wifi now and it’s not even that rare anymore. Meanwhile, Gogo inflight internet is getting faster speeds but not yet overwater coverage.
  • United was selling $0 base fares (tickets pricing out at $5-10) yesterday. At one point they shut down their booking process to stop these from selling.

    One of the sad things about not doing this travel thing full time is that my ‘real job’ had me in meetings all day yesterday and I didn’t get to be a part of the drama. We’ll see what sort f position United takes on these tickets.

    My guess is that domestic coach mistakes that weren’t booked by nearly as many people as some past mistakes won’t be that hard for United to swallow, but they have not yet announced their intentions.

  • Korean Air is making some changes to their award chart effective April 1. They are getting rid of lower priced awards for their old premium products (they don’t fly much long haul with the old product anymore) and increasing the price of some premium cabin Skyteam awards, although relatively modestly.

    Korean Air does add fuel surcharges onto awards, and the booking process can be cumbersome but is one of my favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners because of their many flights between the US and Seoul (and beyond) and their amazing first class award availability (Delta members do not get to book those).

  • American’s bankruptcy judge approved its reorganization plan contingent on overcoming regulatory objections to its merger with US Airways. Tom Horton’s $20 million severance package gets kicked out, though one imagines he would get the payment post-bankruptcy if the US Airways deal goes through and wouldn’t be getting it if American emerged as an independent entity in any case.

  • Pakistan International Airlines may get privatized. That’s not an investment I would make! (HT: @sariasheikh)

  • United will end service to Grand Forks, North Dakota. (HT: sobore on Milepoint) I have only flown into Grand Forks once, and that was 21 years ago. The national finals of high school debate were being held in Fargo, and apparently lots of flights were quite full when we booked and Grand Forks was cheaper. I remember driving along a freeway and passing what were clearly missile silos. Those were the days just after the collapse of the Soviet Union! While not generalizable, my lack of need to fly there since is easily reconcilable with the lack of viability of United’s Denver flight.


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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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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