Jared Blank points to $598 + tax ($786 all-in) fares from New York to Auckland, New Zealand on Air Tahiti Nui. Tickets must be purchased by February 22 for travel between March 27 and June 10. A stopover in Tahiti is permitted. The explanation for fares like this is simple. Air Tahiti Nui’s service out of New York is failing miserably.[T]he New York and Paris trips are clear disasters with passenger loads of only 25-35%, way below the 70% minimum needed for profit.
Pursuant to Regulation FD, United filed its presentation to the JPMorgan Annual High Yield Conference with the SEC. It makes for interesting reading. United has cut labor costs per available seat mile by 32%. Only USAirways — which went through two bankruptcies — has gone further. Northwest, just entering the bankruptcy process, has only cut their labor costs 3% over the same period of time. Northwest has the highest costs of any major carrier. Shocker — United has far less debt after bankruptcy. The reduction is all centered around rejecting pensions, retirement benefits, and some leases. Playing with numbers — United compares its operating margins with Southwest’s by removing Southwest’s fuel hedges. Going forward United plans to de-peak hubs (more continuous flow of aircraft so they don’t pay people to sit around, people wait for…
Lincoln is offering American Airlines miles — 250 miles for watching a short online promo video, 2500 miles for test driving a Lincoln Zephyr, and 25,000 miles for buying or leasing one. Here’s the video (or just skip the video and give them your mileage number). Here’s the test drive certificate. And here’s the purchase certificate.
My greatest fear is that the awards offered by airlines and hotels will go away, that the great values will disappear. What if I can’t use 60,000 Cathay Pacific miles to fly British Airways business class to Europe anymore? What if 90,000 United miles no longer buys a business class ticket from the US to Australia? I have this recurring nightmare, I hope speaking it aloud doesn’t make it more likely to come true, and fortunately it’s just my worrying and not something based on insider information. United’s award chart is so much better than any of their U.S. competitors’. Many other airlines devalued their award charts in the past few years while United was in bankrupty (the Qantas term for it was ‘rebalanced’). United didn’t make award chart changes, I assume they didn’t want…
I’ve mentioned Fare Alert before, a website that sends out emails when amazing travel deals like $51 tickets to Fiji shows up. Now there’s a new entrant into the mistake rate game. Free Traveling posts hotel deals, some of which are outstanding and others of which are just plain odd … like $5 a night for the Travelodge in West Dennis, Massachusetts. Still, this is the place to go for truly great hotel rates, even if a large number of them will be in obscure places or available only for a small set of nights. I just wish they either emailed out their deals or set up an RSS feed so I didn’t have to keep hitting that refresh button!
KLM was an Alaska Airlines partner. Then it wasn’t. Now it is again, along with Air France. And Alaska is giving out double miles for KLM and Air France flights credited to an Alaska Mileage Plan account through April 30. Best part is that this seems to apply to all fares. So fares where the Flying Blue program would only award 25% of miles, through April 30 Alaska will be awarding 200%! Naturally, registration is required.
In addition to discounted coach awards to Sydney, United is offering coach awards between the U.S. and London for 35,000 miles for travel through March 31.The text of the offer says You must book your award ticket online only. However, the terms and conditions of the offer sayYou may purchase the reduced award through united.com or through United Reservations (call 1-800-UNITED1). The $15 booking fee is waived. Either way, it appears as though awards are still pricing at 50,000 miles even though the promo should have gone into effect February 1.Flyertalk.com discussion of the offer is here.
Via InflightHQ, here are instructions on how to use a Blackberry to get internet access for your laptop. If you don’t have a wireless subscription, don’t have access to free wireless, and don’t want to pay connection charges this is a reasonably decent second-best.
Starwood is offering 3000 bonus points for every three stays between February 15 and March 15. It is not targeted, and it is combinable with other offers. Registration is required. It’s a ‘special Flyertalk offer’ and was announced on Flyertalk yesterday. Strictly speaking the terms and conditions of the offer require you to be a Flyertalk.com member to receive the bonus. You should be one anyway. It’s not clear to me how they would exclude non-members, though. (In theory they could look at the referral URL you used to click on the promo, but even if you click on the link from this blog it will say blogs.flyertalk.com and even that wouldn’t show whether you were a member or not. Odd terms and conditions, but a much appreciated offer!)
United is apparently offering coach awards between the U.S. and Australia for 45,000 miles. I say ‘apparently’ because though the terms and conditions suggest the promo should be active and redemption possible online, awards still seem to be pricing out at 60,000 miles. (Perhaps the web page meant to say that the award could not be booked online, which is also why the page says that the $15 award booking fee would be waived. That would explain why the website spits out a 60,000 mile price in spite of the promo. I’ve been too busy to call and find out the truth myself.) Flyertalk discussion of this offer is here.