United’s Monopoly on US-Guam Routes Challenged: Guam Seeks To Open The Skies

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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. The strong dollar is hurting GUM just as it hurts Hawaii.

    It is no longer the crown jewel of CO and then UA’s Pacific network but is now a lead weight.

    Of course GUM sees that UA’s commitment is shaky and wants a back up plan – as if that need for a backup plan was answered for Puerto Rico which at least can tap into US tourists which some airlines will fight for.

  2. I flew the island hopper this winter and sat next to a nice man who has worked in the Marshal Islands for two decades. He said (and I fully admit this is just regurgitating what another person has said) that China eastern has been wanting to step
    In and have some flights from guam to some of the Micronesian/Marshal Islands.

  3. “Travel between the U.S. mainland and Guam is largely served by United Airlines”. Let me correct you. It’s the ONLY airline that serves that route. That’s the problem. Only US airlines can fly from one US destination to another. No other US airlines are stepping up to provide flights so UNITED is raping us on rates.

  4. I intrinsically trust Hezbollah as they’ve proven themselves to be so honest and forthright in their dealings with adversarial groups.

  5. Air Nauru is attempting to lobby with Air Marshall Islands to do Gum and HNL flights into the island hopper region. Air Fiji is lobbying to go from Fiji up through Kiribati and then onwards through MAJ to HNL.

    Recently the President of The Marshall Islands publicly called for competitors to United in the region. The flight has always been expensive (looking at $1000-1200 on average for the 4 hour MAJ-HNL segment) , but at least the miles rate was 17,500 MAJ-HNL. Then it was 22,500 which was OK. Now its suddenly jumped to 45,000 miles minimum and dates with that rate are increasingly harder to find. Moral of the story? Charge what you want to gvt travelers, but don’t take away people’s miles redemption options else the presidents, governors and people are going to start looking to replace you

  6. @Someone Youdontknow: You can still cobble separate tickets together through a foreign country.

    @Matt: GUM-Micronesia won’t be cabotage.

  7. @Matt GUM to Micronesia or the Marshall Islands wouldn’t be cabotage anyway. However, it would require 5th-freedom rights. The odds of the USDOT granting 5th-freedom rights to China Eastern, especially after all of the harassment of U.S. airlines flying to China (directly from the U.S.) in recent years seems extremely unlikely. Though I’d be surprised if China Eastern actually wanted to serve routes between Guam and FSM or MI anyway.

    @Gary I think you meant to say the cabotage is NOT permitted.

    @Someone You can buy tickets between the U.S. and Guam on Delta. Delta flight from the U.S. to ICN, then Korean Air operates the segment to GUM. This is allowed as long as the flight from the mainland to ICN is operated by Delta. Granted, this is significantly more out-of-the-way than when Delta still had the old NWA hub at NRT and you could fly Delta mainland-NRT-GUM. Of course, you can also fly a U.S. carrier to NRT and then fly either United or a Japanese carrier to GUM from there.

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