Limiting Elite Benefits, Running Away from Delta, Seeking Refuge in the (Business Lounge) and Exploring a New Terminal (Bits ‘n Pieces for January 25, 2014)

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • As Delta ramps up in Seattle, going for erstwhile partner Alaska Airlines’ jugular, some speculate that the carrier from Atlanta wants the Eskimo to cry uncle until agreeing to be purchased. The risk of course is that they wind up driving Alaska into the arms of their Dallas-based partner American’s arms. An Alaska Vice President seems to hint in that direction.

  • Here’s the status of various offers for Regus business lounges. It seems like only American and Virgin Atlantic elites can still take advantage of free ‘Gold’ memberships with unlimited use of workspace, while other Regus travel partners are being limited to ‘Preferred’ memberships.

  • There are some new limitations on Kimpton Hotels’ exceptionally generous elite benefits.

  • An inside look at San Francisco’s new terminal which opens to flights next week.

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. I see NO WAY the FTC allows a merger between AA and AS. Anything that looks for any approvals on the part of the FTC/FAA (JV, etc) I think would be declined, or only approved with MANY MANY givebacks…I think DL knows that at this point AA has its hands full with US.

  2. Any merger with the big 3 should be blocked by the DOJ on antitrust grounds. To reiterate the history:
    1) Delta/Northwest was necessary to preserve competition as both airlines would disappear if left to standalone.
    2) United/Continental should have been blocked. Both were fine standalone. Something underhanded must have occurred to let this one through.
    3) Once 2) was allowed, AA/US Air became a necessity to restore balanced competition. Something underhanded must have occurred to cause DOJ’s last minute attempt to block on spurious grounds.
    In any case, we are look forward to 3 balanced opponents on a relatively level playing field. Some short turn turmoil and some inevitable fare increases, but in the long run this balance will foster competition.
    Any merger of Alaska with the big 3 will destroy that balance. Any merger of Alaska outside the big 3 would probably be ok.

  3. Have they set a date for ending UA operations at SFO’s T1 and migrating to T3? I’ve heard that the transfer between T1 and T3 stinks.

  4. As I understand it, Regus Businessworld Gold still comes free with Delta Sky Club memberships, which the linked post neglects to mention.

  5. No. More. Mergers. We’re already going to lose with the AA/US merger. Less competition is always bad for the consumer.

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