Fully Flat Seats Spreading to More Domestic Routes and Plane Catches Fire in Orlando as Passengers Get Off

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • 27 ways to use worthless Verizon Smart Rewards points

  • Apparently American plans to try to fix existing ‘Concept D’ seats so that they don’t shake when the adjoining passenger moves. But ouch:

    [T]he approach to taking other airlines’ previously certified seats, which the carrier has done on its 777-200ER, 787-9, 777-300ER and 767-300ER, lacks innovation. While that’s relatively smart in terms of getting certified seats swiftly, it causes eyebrows to be raised when a seat certified by another airline — and not customised by American — is submitted to passenger experience innovation awards by American’s team.

  • Delta has notified DOT that it plans to swap its ‘beyond perimeter’ Washington National – Salt Lake City flight for Washington National – Los Angeles, where it will compete with American and Alaska.

    They intend to operate the flight with a Boeing 757 which features fully flat business class seats (though hardly their latest product).

    Since about two-thirds of miles are earned through things other than flying, and upgrades are much harder to come by as airlines monetize their first class cabins on the cheap, I’m increasingly inclined to buy the best product available at the right price nevermind (whether Delta, Virgin America, or JetBlue’s Mint). In this case I’d value SkyMiles at next to zero but focus on comfort for the six hour Westbound.

  • Chinese carrier Juneyao Airlines will join Star Alliance as a ‘connecting partner’ next year, meaning you’re only guaranteed Star Alliance benefits when traveling on an itinerary that includes a full Star Alliance airline.

  • Two baggage handlers were hospitalized in Orlando after equipment caught fire while they were offloading an Aer Lingus aircraft on Thursday evening. Passengers were in the midst of being offloaded. (HT: Ken A.)

    Aer Lingus flight EI120 from Orlando to Dublin was cancelled and the airline provided hotel rooms for the 193 passengers scheduled to take the trip.

  • Norwegian says they will hire US pilots and base them in Fort Lauderdale in hopes of shutting up the Air Line Pilots Association impersonation of Donald Trump as it seeks to stop Norwegian’s US flying as a threat to ‘Merica and jobs.

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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  1. About time we see a real premium product on one of the DCA transcon routes. It’s been astonishing to me that no carrier has offered it to date, given the business environment in DC.

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