[Roundup] A Sophie’s Choice For New York LaGuardia

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Air Canada is offering free snack and drink for top tier elites sitting in coach. I suggested this would be coming last month when outlining the new program. The value caps, though, seem cheap. You can get an inexpensive drink and a snack, but it’d better not be a fresh snack.

    Beginning when we reintroduce Air Canada Bistro service onboard, and subject to the product selection available on your flight, Aeroplan Super Elite members can enjoy one free alcoholic beverage and one free snack item when traveling on Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada Rouge in Economy Class. Note that alcoholic beverages up to a value of $6.95 are eligible, while meal and fresh snack options (such as sandwiches and salads) are not eligible.

  • Jet Fuel Is Now So Cheap It’s Being Blended for Use by Ships (HT: Tyler K.)

    Only in a situation where the economy is in complete tatters, do we see usually more expensive components heading straight into [very-low sulfur fuel oil],” [Eugene Lindell, a senior analyst at consultant JBC Energy GmbH.] said.

  • Good visualization.

  • Sophie’s Choice: It’s Willets Point or Nothing for LGA AirTrain

  • Critics say more should be done before re-certifying the 737 MAX

  • Reminiscing about the ‘hidden magic’ of business travelLocked down, I reminisced just as much about eating by myself in the bar in downtown Detroit for four days in a row, becoming a “regular,” as about going to the Louvre.

  • Hotel compulsory mask rules make no sense in low virus countries. For instance while mask wearing is common in Taiwan, and compulsory in its schooles and on public transportation, it’s not clear what benefit a hotel chain rule brings there with as little virus there’s been. In Sweden mask wearing simply isn’t common.

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. Air Canada still illegally refuses to Refund tickets the airline has cancelled. They are criminals, and DOT does nothing to enforce their rules. Meanwhile, innocent victims are out thousands.

  2. Doing nothing would be much better than throwing money at a wrong-way LGA AirTrain that’s less convenient for most people than the current options.

  3. Sophie’s choice was between two beautiful children.

    The LGA air train “dilemma” is a choice between a dog and no dog.

  4. While the cost/benefit analysis may not be supportive; I’m not convinced the Willets Point option would be a “dog” from the west side of mid-town travelers point of view. It’s approximately 15 minutes to or from Willets Point from Penn Station and then it would be another 5 or so minutes on the Airtrain (plus connection time). From mid-town or the West Side, that would undoubtedly be faster and cheaper than Taxi/Uber,

  5. On compulsory masks in hotels, it’s presumably to keep guests from complaining, and to reduce their liability.

  6. @Jerry, even for the growing number of people who live inside Penn Station, I’m not sure your math works, but for the rest of us it assuredly does not.

    Let’s take a person who is on the West Side of Manhattan. I randomly picked Radio City Music Hall because it’s two stops away from Penn Station on the 1 train.

    Right now that trip on the subway would be 53-55 minutes on the W train and M60 bus, including walking, according to Google.

    The trip would look like this:

    3 min walk to subway 1 train
    3 min wait for subway (on average — trains run every 6 minutes)
    3 min on subway to Penn
    4 min walk to the LIRR
    5 min wait for the train (very optimistic assumption of trains every 10 minutes to Willets Point)
    16 min train ride (based on the letter in the attached article)
    5 min walk over the pedestrian bridge from the LIRR to the 7 station
    (it seems that the Air Train meets the 7 station — from the map in the linked article)
    3 min wait for the Air Train
    5 min train ride to terminal
    [the Air Train to JFK stops about a 3-5 minute walk further from check in than a cab drops you off. I can’t tell from the map if that’s the case here so I’ll leave that out.

    So that’s 47 minutes on average. If you think you need to plan to be at Penn Station 15 minutes before the train departure, you can make that 57 minutes.

    According to Google Maps, a cab ride the same distance is 18-35 minutes until about 3 pm. Add 5 minutes average wait for cab or Uber gives 23-40 minutes.

    After 3 pm Google says 20-40 minutes, so make that 24-45.

    If my analysis is correct, most people who currently take a cab to LGA will continue to do so unless they are leaving after 3 pm, in which case some will switch to the Air Train because it’s almost as fast and much cheaper.

    So the primary benefit of the $2BN AirTrain would be to shave an average of 6-8 minutes off the public transit trip for people who currently take the subway.

  7. Instead of AirTrain, I would extend the N train from Astoria/Ditmars Blvd to the airport. One seat ride along Broadway/7 Av from the entire southern end of Manhattan through midtown. Distance about the same as from Mets-Willets Point.

  8. I’ve never commented on your postings before, but must do so today. Equating routings of a train or car or whatever to the airport to the actual choices presented in the movie “Sophie’s Choice” is a horrendous analogy. One is about the time it takes to reach the airport or number of changes or whatever inane point you are trying to make. The other was about a woman forced to choose between which of her children would be certainly murdered first in a fictional, but entirely realistic scenario where evil men fomented hatred and othering, leading to genocide and mass murder. You should remove this posting or retitle it at once and correct this use of the language within if it is kept..

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