Category Archive for 'Airline Information'

DDFB Question Of The Day: Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck?

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

In 2008 the DansDeals Forums (DDF) was launched for people to be able to discuss deals, miles, and destinations at length and the DansDeals Facebook group (DDFB) was founded to provide email alerts about hot deals. Facebook took away the ability to send out email alerts, so Twitter took over that feature and the Facebook group has remained as an alternate, far messier version of DDF. Eventually I also made a Facebook page for people looking for Facebook notifications of new deals and finally opened an Instagram account where I post some pictures from my travels.

I spend hours every day browsing DDF and DDFB looking for tips and trying to help people out. I’ve occasionally featured questions here that are relevant to a wide audience, and perhaps I should do that more often.

Today this question on DDFB caught my eye,

“Should I get the global entry or the TSA pre? I could either one for free with my platinum AMEX”

TSA PreCheck is the best thing since sliced bread. It makes flying bearable once again and I can’t imagine not having it.

Without a doubt, it’s better than having low-tier elite status on an airline.

After an in-person interview you are assigned a known travel number. You just enter that number into your reservation and PreCheck will appear on your boarding passes when flying on domestic airlines (except for Frontier and Spirit currently).

PreCheck lines are significantly shorter than regular lines. I’ve walked right through security when the regular lines have been over an hour long. Without a doubt I’ve made flights that I would have otherwise missed thanks to PreCheck.

In San Francisco, after watching the Cavs win their first NBA Finals, the PreCheck line seemed significantly longer than the already long regular line. I had never seen that before and was almost tempted to join the regular line with my brother JJ who didn’t have Pre-Check. I stuck with Pre-Check though and finished a full half an hour before he came through security.

But aside from that, PreCheck allows you to keep your shoes, belt, and jacket on. You can keep your laptop in your bag. And you get to go through the old style metal detectors rather than assuming the position for a nude-o-scope.

Adults that have PreCheck can also bring their kids with them even if their kids don’t have PreCheck.

PreCheck costs $85 for a 5 year membership. Many premium credit cards, including the AMEX Platinum Consumer Card, AMEX Platinum Business Card, Citi PrestigeCiti Executive AAdvantage, Chase Ritz Carlton, and the upcoming Chase Sapphire Reserve will refund that fee.

But you shouldn’t use that credit to signup for PreCheck.

Global Entry offers everything that PreCheck offers and it also allows you to skip the lines when you return from abroad.

With Global Entry you don’t need to fill out the blue form when you return to the US, you skip the long line and go right to special Global Entry kiosks where you just scan your passport.

You also get a Global Entry card, though you don’t need that when you fly, it only helps when you drive into the US as it allows you to use the Nexus lane when returning from Canada to the US or Sentri lanes from Mexico to the US.

I still carry the card with me when I fly and it came in handy earlier this month when flying on Cathay Pacific from Vancouver to JFK. That flight has customs and immigration after you land in JFK, but the regular security line in Vancouver airport had a 30 minute wait. There was a no first class line, but there was a Nexus line with no waiting and they accepted our Global Entry cards to use the Nexus line.

Kids of any age are required to have their own Global Entry membership in order to use the kiosks when returning from abroad. However you can still bring kids that don’t have their own memberships with you in the PreCheck security line even if you have a Global Entry membership rather than a PreCheck membership.

Global Entry costs $100 for 5 years and is also refunded by those premium credit cards.

You can even add 3 additional users to your AMEX Platinum Consumer Card for $175 total ($58.33 each) and each of those cards will also get a Global Entry/PreCheck fee refund in addition to full Airspace, Centurion, Delta, and Priority Pass lounge access.

The only advantage to PreCheck over Global Entry is if you are paying for them out of pocket to save $15 over 5 years. But that savins will only be worthwhile if you never leave the country. Aside from that, PreCheck also allows walk-in applications while Global Entry applications must be scheduled in advance.

Finally there’s also Nexus. Nexus allows expedited entry into Canada in addition to full Global Entry and PreCheck privileges.

And get this, despite offering the most benefits of all 3 memberships, it only costs $50 every 5 years!

However for whatever reason, the credit cards don’t officially refund Nexus membership fees.

I originally enrolled in Nexus on my AMEX Platinum card. Of course it didn’t automatically credit the $50, however a chat agent was able to manually refund the $50 fee.

The main caveat of Nexus is that you must apply for it at the Canadian border. I had planned to apply in Detroit or Buffalo, but in the end I wasn’t able to make it up there. I wound up applying for Global Entry for myself, my wife, and our 2 kids as we were able to apply for it locally in Cleveland and those fees were automatically refunded.

It’s the best money I never spent.

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What Exactly Is American’s AAdvantage?

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Update: American’s revenue based mileage program goes into effect today, regardless of when you purchased your tickets. On its surface it’s a match of Delta and United’s programs, but as this article and the related articles below show, it’s actually significantly worse than the other network carrier’s loyalty programs.

Related posts:
-American Joins Delta And United In Revenue Based Mileage Earning
-A Comparison Of AA, Delta, And United Saver Award Space: Is AAdvantage The New SkyPesos?
-Is AAdvantage A ScAAm? See For Yourself And Let The DoT Know


Originally posted on 6/14:

American’s AAdvantage program has been undergoing death by a thousand cuts.

Clearly the mergers of the last decade have decimated airline loyalty programs. The loss of AirTran, America West, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways have meant that the remaining oligopoly of airlines no longer need to compete on the same level that they used to. Hubs have been eliminated and will continue to disappear. Miles have become harder to earn when flying and become less valuable when cashed in.

In the meantime Delta has put all of their focus into their airline operations and they no longer even publish award charts.
United devalued their program in 2014 in one fell swoop. But after American’s changes, the United mileage program is far superior and the airline’s operations have been rapidly improving since they fired Smisek.

American’s trickle style roll out of bad news since the merger coupled with poor airline operations and abysmal award availability has been nothing short of a horror film.

1. They removed the ability to get a free stopover on award tickets without warning. Their own partner Alaska allows a stopover on one-way tickets even when redeeming for American flights. Competition like United still allows for a stopover and open jaw on awards that make using miles very valuable when utilized properly.

2. They removed their lucrative round-the-world award chart without warning. We got great use out of it on a trip around the world in 2010 and would have liked to have known before it was removed. United and ANA still have good round-the-world options.

3. They increased their AAnytime award flight options to have multiple levels of expensive awards, making it cost prohibitive to redeem for flights on peak dates. United still maintains one rate that makes the higher award level far more reasonable than American.

4. They still don’t provide free upgrades for lower and mid-tier elites as Delta and United do.

5. The new Platinum Pro level is the most unimaginatively named level ever and is the 3rd type of Platinum in American’s program. Worse than its unfortunate name, it won’t have the fee-waiver benefits provided by Delta and United like free award cancellations and free confirmed standby and it only gives 2 free 50 pound checked bags compared to 3 free 70 pound bags with Delta or United Platinum.

6. They’re finally rolling out domestic upgrades on award tickets, but only for top-tier Executive Platinums (though that comes after cutting their international upgrade certificates in half). Delta offers this for Gold and higher while United offers this to all elites who have a United credit card.

7. They’re devaluing their Gold and Platinum lifetime status levels by introducing higher levels and upgrades that are prioritized by the amount of money you’ve spent on flights in the past 12 months, something that no other airline does. So much for long-term loyalty.

8. They’re now requiring $3K in spending on top of flying to earn Gold, $6K for Platinum, $9K for Platinum Pro, and $12K for Executive Platinum. That’s copying Delta and United’s requirements. However Delta and United waive the spend requirement for foreign members while American will not.

9. Delta and United also waive the elite spend requirement if you spend $25K in a calendar year on their co-brand credit cards (excluding the ability to earn 1K status on United), while American did not announce any such waiver.

10. Their saver award space availability has deteriorated to the point that I’m not even sure it’s better than Delta’s. Both of those airlines lag miles behind United, especially if you have a United credit card.

11. Their award chart was once a bright spot, but was mAAsacred earlier this year and no longer provides a competitive advantage.

12. They have draconian routing rules, such as not allowing a flight from the US to Australia to transit via Asia and not allowing a flight from the US to Southern South America to connect in Central or Northern South America. American also requires that there be a published fare for award flights that you take, that you take the most direct routing, and they limit the total distance you can fly to MPM+25%. These restrictions exacerbate award availability issues. United has none of these restrictions.

13. American charges a massive fuel surcharge to fly on British Airways and a small fuel surcharge to fly on Iberia, making it tough to fly to Europe without paying outrageous fees. United has far more partner airlines than American and doesn’t charge a fuel surcharge for travel on any of them.

14. Operationally speaking, American has the worst tarmac delays, cancellation, and mishandled bag rates among all domestic carriers. Delta is by far the best domestic airline from an operation standpoint, and United is better than American and has been improving.

15. American cancelled their interline agreement with Delta as it became too expensive to keep sending their delayed and cancelled passengers to Delta. United still has an interline agreement with American and Delta, meaning they have more options to accommodate passengers when issues arise. I experienced pain from this issue firsthand.

16. American ended their El Al mileage relationship in 2014 and ended their own flights to Tel Aviv this year, leaving them with zero partners that fly between North America and Tel Aviv compared to 7-11 weekly Delta flights to Israel and 28 weekly Star Alliance flights on United and their partner Air Canada.

17. The OneWorld alliance no longer requires airlines to interline bags to other carriers even within the  alliance if you purchase 2 separate tickets. American claims they will still do so, but in my experience it was very hard to get them to do that and will likely become impossible. Delta and United still interline within their alliance on 2 tickets and United will interline to other airlines if you have elite status or even if you just ask nicely.

18. Many of American’s award partners are still not available online, which means having to call and play call center roulette to book awards on airlines like Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, and others. Just today I had an American phone agent outright lie to me about award space that I knew was there. I HUCA’d and received it, but they have seemingly stopped making progress in getting more airlines on their website. Progress has even gone backwards as airlines like AirBerlin have shows more award space on Iberia’s site than on American’s.

19. American’s flight status on their website and app are very primitive. It’s updated very late and often displays incorrect information in delay situations. United’s flight status on their website and app provides far more useful and timely updates and information.

20. American’s customer service is horrendous. I’ve experience this firsthand on a few occasions, but every aspect of their airline from gate agents, club agents, luggage agents, Twitter agents, executive office agents, and DoT representative agents have dropped the ball on our cancelled flight to London and their failure to provide a refund or alternate flight afterward. Delta and United would have had this solved in no time, but nobody at American cares or has the power to fix anything.

21. If you do want to redeem for an American flight, you’ll always do better by using miles from partner airlines like Alaska, BA, or Etihad, so there’s no longer much of a point of collecting miles from American. If you do fly on American you should credit your flights to a partner like Alaska.

22. I’ve found American to be very inflexible to deal with for schedule changes on award tickets. Delta and United are typically quite accommodating when flight times change in my experience, while that can’t be said for American.

23. The bottom line is that if you want operational excellence then your default choice ought to be Delta. If you value your miles then your default choice ought to be United.

But unless you find a cheap fare or you’re stuck in an American captive hub like Dallas, what exactly is American’s AAdvantage and why do they deserve your loyalty?

Did I miss any other disAAdvantages? If you’re an American loyalist, are you planning on sticking around or are you jumping ship?

Hit the comments!

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A Comparison Of AA, Delta, And United Saver Award Space: Is AAdvantage The New SkyPesos?

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Last Tuesday I showed in 23 bullet points just how far American has fallen as the USAir merger has dragged down their airline operations and mileage program. One of the points was that, in addition to a massive mileage devaluation and a ridiculously bad elite status devaluation, they also have cut back saver award space. Not long ago American had the best saver award space, but anecdotal evidence has been that American may now be the worst.

To make matters worse, AA has also massively increased the cost of a standard award. On United a standard mileage award is typically about double the cost of a saver award. On American that cost can be 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 times as much as a saver award!

Historically Delta has long had the crown of the worst saver award space availability. Have things changed?

So I put it to the test last week and checked out nonstop saver award availability on several routes from June 19, 2016-May 12th, 2017.

Of course saver award availability can change dozens of times per day, which is why it’s always critical to just keep checking. But over the course of a year it gives a snapshot of how things look.

(more…)

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Roundup Of Routes Where Kosher Meals Are Served By North American Airlines

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Kosher meals, or KSMLs in airline speak, can be a hit or miss, though the latter is more common. In this post I wrote about some of the best and worst that I’ve received.

Hermolis out of London is famous for their very good kosher meals, though this salmon meal (there are also steak and chicken options) that we had in United business class from Honolulu to Newark in February was outstanding:

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Kosher meals need to be ordered 24 or 48 hours in advance and you should never rely on an online request or a request from a codeshare airline, you should always call the airline that you’re flying with to confirm a kosher meal request. It’s also a good idea to remind flight attendants to warm up the meal in the double wrapping and to serve it double wrapped. I’ve been served meals where the food has been opened and it’s worthless in those cases.

On long-haul flights I often bring my own double-wrapped meal (Nicknamed BYOK, as in, Bring Your Own Kosher meal) and ask the flight attendant if they can heat it up. I’ve only been refused on Cathay Pacific and just showing a flight attendant a bad kosher meal is usually enough in case they are on the fence. Often times the airlines forget to load your kosher meal and that’s a good enough reason for them to warm your own meal up and for some compensation afterward.

Either way, it’s good to know when you can order a kosher meal. Almost all major foreign carriers offer kosher meals in all classes of service on longer flights, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

As for North American carriers, Air Canada and Delta have the most generous KSML policies, while United is stingier and Ameircan takes last place. JetBlue has a simple policy and excellent kosher meals, but not many of their flights offer Mint class.

Air Canada:
-Available in all classes on international flights that depart or arrive outside of North/Central America.
-Available in first/business class on all routes.

American:
-Available in all classes on international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific.
-Available in all classes on international flights to/from Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and the following Brazilian cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Sao Paulo.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from JFK and Los Angeles.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from JFK and San Francisco.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from Miami and Los Angeles.

Delta:
-Available in all classes on international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific.
-Available in all classes on flights to/from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
-Available in first/business class for domestic flights that are at least 900 miles long that depart between 5am-1:30pm and 4pm-8pm.
-Available in first/business class for domestic flights that are at least 1,400 miles long that depart between 5am-8pm.
-Available in first/business class on all flights to/from JFK and Los Angeles.
-Available in first/business class on all flights to/from JFK and San Francisco.

JetBlue:
-Available in Mint class on all routes. Menu can be viewed here.

United:
-Available in all classes on international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific.
-Available in all classes on flights to/from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
-Available in first/business class on flights to Hawaii
-Available in first/business class on flights from Honolulu or Maui.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from Newark and Los Angeles.
-Available in first/business class on flights to/from Newark and San Francisco.

Alaska, Allegiant, Frontier, Hawaiian, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, Virgin America, and WestJet do not offer any kosher meals.

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British Airways Claims To Have Fixed Kosher Meal Snafu For Business Class Passengers

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Related: On The Topic Of KSMLs; Not Having A Reserved Kosher Meal Costs Lufthansa How Much?!?


British Airways offers a number of routes with “sleeper service” in business class. You can view the exact flight numbers of those routes here.

On sleeper service routes there is just a quick snack service before the lights are turned off. Previously BA would serve kosher meals in the lounge for these flights, but on May 10th they stopped offing special meals in their lounges.

I had some readers let me know that the lounge agents told them that they would have food on the plane, while on the plane there were no kosher meals loaded because it was a sleeper service flight. And there were reports online that confirmed that experience. BA’s flight attendants were never informed of any changes and told passengers that their meal was in the lounge. Flight attendants reported the issue multiple times to BA to no avail.

The irony is that passengers in coach and first class are able to order kosher meals, but business class passengers could not.

I emailed customer service on BA.com and got a response from “Utkarsh” that he checked on BA.com the kosher meals are still available. Helpful.

Then I emailed BA public relations and they responded last week,

For sleeper service, customers can order a Kosher meal, but it must be done 48 hours in advance and it’s offered at the lounge, not onboard.

Of course that wasn’t true anymore. It seems like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and that’s probably why people have been having issues. So I pushed again and said that the lounge agents are saying that kosher meals are no longer available in the lounge and sleeper service flights weren’t being catered with kosher meals for business class passengers.

And finally the right people appear to be in communication with each other as they responded to me earlier this week,

“British Airways made some changes to their catering recently for sleeper service flights and customers can book special meals in advance. These meals will now be served onboard where previously they were served in the lounge.

We apologize for any misunderstanding this may have caused with your readers.”

So hopefully they’ve solved this issue now and you will get a kosher meal in business class onboard the flight even on sleeper service routes. If you are flying business class on a BA sleeper service flight please post a comment about the current kosher meal situation.

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On The Topic Of KSMLs; Not Having A Reserved Kosher Meal Costs Lufthansa How Much?!?

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

I always preorder a kosher meal when it’s available. More often than not it seems like KSMLs (that’s airline speak for kosher meals) are reheated dog or cat food at best, or completely unfit for human consumption at other times. But I do enjoy taking pictures of just how bad the food can be.

Stogel long-life kosher meal served in USAirways business class from Paris to Philadelphia in December 2012:

 

 

 

The rock-hard frozen gefilte fish is always worth a chuckle. I mean, who is eating this stuff??

Weiss kosher meal served in SAS business class from Newark to Oslo in March 2016:

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Sometimes the food is good though. Hermolis meals are usually decent enough.

Hermolis sliced lamb stew kosher meal served in Cathay Pacific first class from Hong Kong to Toronto in January 2011:

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My favorite kosher meals have been from even more exotic locales. The KSML on Singapore from the Maldives catered by Sydney based Lewis caterers and the KSML on United from Honolulu catered by Oahu Kosher stand out the most.

 

Oahu Kosher supplies fresh salmon, ribeye steak, and chicken for their kosher meals on United. This delicious salmon was served in business class from Honolulu to Newark, February 2016:

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JetBlue Mint class KSMLs between JFK and LAX or SFO also get decent reviews.

JetBlue Mint class kosher meal. Photo credit: Daniel T Allen

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More often than not though, I don’t eat the KSML. I use it as leverage to get a flight attendant to heat up my BYOK, as in, Bring Your Own Kosher meal (double wrapped) so that it can be warmed up onboard.

Most flight attendants will warm up your own wrapped meals, but some flight attendants are hesitant to so. The strictest airline by far is Cathay Pacific, but once I showed a flight attendant the lousy KSML served from Vancouver they were happy to warm up the divine Maple BBQ Chipotle burger and onion rings that I had bought at Maple Grill earlier that day.

Most airlines are pretty easygoing, but it isn’t always that way. The USAirways flight attendant from Paris was hesitant, but when I asked if she would serve that KSML to her pet, she became more than happy to warm up the felafel I brought from L’as du Felafel in Paris.

 

TAM First Class was amazing:

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Their KSML that they served us in October 2014 from Miami to Sao Paulo…not so much:

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But they had no problem warming up my BYOK:

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When we flew to Israel last year USAirways moved us to United. Connecting in Newark meant getting delicious Sesame Chicken with free delivery from New Kosher Special. The flight attendant was more than happy to warm some up on the plane as we didn’t have kosher meals because of the flight switch.

There are times when the kosher meal doesn’t show up at all. Some people will say that I shouldn’t complain about that, but if it’s something that’s included in the ticket I don’t see why it shouldn’t be brought up. If nothing else, it also helps the airline correct procedures for the future.

When United forgot my kosher meal when flying from Newark to Honolulu before the Island Hopper last May they compensated me with 10,000 miles, which is my general preference over frozen gefilte fish 😉 Besides, the flight attendants had no problem heating up the Pomegranate travel meal that I brought along. The Pomegranate meals are tailor-made for BYOK, if only an airline would contract with them to supply their kosher meals!

Getting some miles or a travel voucher is typical, though some airlines won’t give you anything.

Isaac Kopfler booked a Lufthansa ticket from Zurich to Sao Paulo on a codeshare flight operated by Swiss.
When you request kosher meals from a partner airline it often gets lost in translation, if you actually want the meal you should confirm it directly with the operating carrier, not from the airline that sold you the ticket. And that’s probably what happened in his case and why he didn’t get a kosher meal on the flight.

He sued Lufthansa for $5,000, saying that he fasted for 14 hours due to the lack of a kosher meal.
I think that’s beyond the pale.
Do Observant Jews really travel relying on the kosher meal served on an airline? Was there no fruit on the plane? And is that really something that merits litigation?

At any rate, the Brazilian court ordered Lufthansa to pay him $1,400 for “moral damage” and Lufthansa has committed to paying him. The airline also says they will offer him further compensation in miles.

$1,400 and bonus miles for a kosher meal gone missing? That’s a whole lot of gefilte fish!

What are your best and worst KSML experiences?
Do you rely on kosher meals from the airline or do you bring your own food?
Have you tried my BYOK method to get a flight attendant to warm up your own double-wrapped kosher meal from home or from a restaurant?
Hit the comments!

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Trip Notes: 4 Consecutive Transoceanic Itineraries With IRROPS, Here’s How We Handled Them

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

-Find dozens of trip reports by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
-Follow my travels on Instagram @DansDeals
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IRROPS is industry jargon for irregular operations, when delays or cancellations force you to be accommodated on another flight.

We’ve had a string of IRROPS flights running back to our last 4 transoceanic itineraries. Some would call that bad luck, but I’m definitely of the attitude that everything happens for a good reason. Some of them worked out better than can be imagined, others are still in the works, but here’s how we handled the IRROPS.

1. Monday, March 2, 2015, USAirways CLE-PHL-TLV:
When USAirways migrated their fare classes to match American’s it released award seats on routes that almost never had awards available. I quickly nabbed 4 business class awards to spend Purim in Israel.

On the day of the flight I always use the airline’s website or flightaware.com to track the inbound segments of flights I’m going to take. Our Cleveland to Philadelphia flight was coming from Charlotte and Louisville before that. In the morning, those were showing on time, but about 5 hours before the flight, the flight from Charlotte to Louisville was delayed for mechanical reasons. I called USAirways, but as they didn’t post a delay yet for the Cleveland to Philadelphia flight there was nothing they could do.

Rather than play the waiting game at home we all packed into the car 4.5 hours before the flight to try our luck at the airport. On the way to the airport I got the automated phone call that the Cleveland to Philadelphia flight would be delayed. We called several USAirways and American agents, but they all said the same thing. As it was a mileage ticket the only thing they were allowed to offer was coach class on another airline or the next available USAirways flight to Tel Aviv in 6 days.

Airport agents always have more power than phone agents, so that’s what we were banking on.

Alas at the airport, the agent repeated the same thing, since we were on award tickets she was only able to rebook us on another airline in coach. Then the agent proceeded to tell me that the flight would be leaving Louisville for Charlotte shortly and would be able to get us to Philadelphia on time. The agent next to her overheard her say that and laughed, saying that there was no way that we would make our connection in Philadelphia.

Time to charm her.

“But we’ve been saving up these miles to fly in business class to Israel for years.”

OK, so it didn’t take me years to earn the miles, but for many years I had indeed been saving and waiting to use the miles to fly USAirways business class to Israel as it was the best seating option from the US to Israel, and I had already flown on Delta and United to Israel in business class. Finding enough business class seats on this flight for the whole family is extremely rare.

After going on a charm offensive she was ready to fight for us. She called her help desk who repeated the same story, but she went to bat for us. They wanted her to find another OneWorld option, but there was nothing that would work out of Cleveland that night. So finally they agreed to move the 4 of us to United. Luckily, we arrived at the airport early as that allowed us to catch United’s flight to Newark.

It’s actually pretty rare for United to have 4 empty business class seats to Tel Aviv just hours before the flight, but luckily for us one of the United flights to Tel Aviv the day before was cancelled, so they operated 3 flights to Tel Aviv on March 2nd. We were in coach to Newark, but got the all aisle access middle business class seats in rows 8 and 9 which were great.

Of course we didn’t have kosher meals, but New Kosher Special delivers $40+ orders to Newark airport free of charge, and they make some of the best Sesame and General Tso chicken around. I double wrapped some in tinfoil and the United flight attendants were more than happy to warm it up for us. BYOK FTW!

United actually found a kosher meal for us for breakfast.

We had some friends booked on our flight from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv and they had plenty of kosher meals due to us not making that flight 😀

We were booked in the middle of row 2 and 3 and they told us there was actually a large dog in row 1 in the middle. At the time Rafi was terrified of dogs, so the United flight actually worked out for the best.

OK, it really worked out for the best as we were booked into paid business class and each earned a boatload of miles:

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And I did get to try the USAirways configuration a week later on the return. Much better for solo travelers, but not significantly better for couples. And United’s service was better than USAirways. All a moot point now as American has discontinued that flight for mysterious reasons.

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2. Monday, April 27, 2015, United: HNL-MAJ-KWA-KSA-PNI-TKK-GUM-ROR

No need to rehash this one, you can read all about it here. An undocumented dog was brought onto the Island Hopper flight, causing a delay that made us misconnect in Guam.

At first we declared the trip in vain and were rebooked to go home early the next morning in order to get back to our families before Shabbos, as originally planned. But that night I made a phone call to my amazing wife who forbade me from coming home without snorkeling in Palau’s otherworldly Jellyfish Lake, and AJK refused to allow me to experience that without him. After some cajoling, United rebooked us to Palau and allowed a bonus 2 night stopover in Tokyo before flying home on Sunday.

With 25 hours in Guam I got in some great snorkeling at Ypao Beach, with a day in Palau we had the time of our life, and then we spent an amazing Shabbos in Tokyo and a night at the awesome Park Hyatt Tokyo.

United gave us 10K compensation miles and a couple hundred dollars in vouchers for the inconvenience, plus AJK also made out like a bandit with tens of thousands of Aegean miles due to being rebooked in revenue classes. Alas I tried crediting my ANA revenue first class flight to United and wound up with nothing…lesson learned!

———————————————————————————————————————–

3. Wednesday, November 11, 2015, American: CLE-JFK-LHR

The worst flying experience of my life as told here.

I thought we had booked the bargain of the century, $446+30K Avios for business class tickets with 37K Avios rebated after the flight.

Instead it was just a nightmare.

We ran around the airport, from gate to gate, from club to club, and making phone calls trying to get re-accommodated after our American flight was delayed for mechanical reasons, but only Delta had 4 business class seats available that night and American refused to rebook on Delta due to the termination of their interline agreement.

When the lounge agent told us that our best shot at getting to London was running to another American flight and flying in coach, we did just that. Only to learn that first we had to personally go to baggage claim to recheck our bags as American’s policy was that their baggage agents couldn’t do that. The flight doors were closing, so there was no time to do that and we weren’t about to fly to London knowingly leaving our clothes, stroller, diapers, wipes, kids toys, and everything behind.

Back at the lounge the agents told us they confirmed with baggage that they reloaded our bags onto our original flight that was still awaiting a part being flown into LGA and then driven to JFK.

After waiting from 3 pm until after midnight our flight was cancelled. We accepted tickets on British Airways early in morning and turned down hotel vouchers. No point in shlepping to a hotel for a few hours with kids, we’d just get our bags and hang out at the gate. The lounge agents confirmed that our bags would be waiting for us.

They weren’t anywhere to be found.

American’s Twitter team promised me several times that an agent would come help us, but nobody ever showed up. After camping out the night in JFK agents arrived, but they still had no clue where our bags were. Rather than travel to London and arrive before Shabbos with no bags or stroller we opted to declare the trip in vain. American refused to book us on Delta from JFK, so we had to go to LGA to catch a flight home.

Our bags were discovered in Chicago 3 days later and returned to us. I still have no idea why they were sent to Chicago and why that information wasn’t scanned into their system. American reimbursed us for $147 of incidentals spent in the meantime.

An automated email apologized to all of the passengers on the cancelled flight and offered 20K miles each in compensation.

For reasons I don’t understand, we all got credit as if we flew the British Airways flight, despite the AA agent cancelling that ticket. That also triggered half of the transatlantic bonus, meaning we each got another 20K miles.

In the mess, Rafi left his tablet at the gate. Miraculously AA found it and I asked and was promised that it would be sent via Ground. AA sent it custom critical express and I wound up being charged $100 by Fedex. AA refused to reimburse that charge, but promised 10K miles to make up for it, though they have yet to post those miles.

AA refused to allow us to rebook the trip. I filed a DoT complaint but the DoT has been silent.

AAs Twitter team did have a customer service executive reach out to me, but she hasn’t fixed much.

They won’t compensate for anything more than the original 20K miles that all passengers on the flight automatically received. They won’t rebook the trip.

They did promise to work with BA so that I’d get a refund. 3 months later and I haven’t received a refund of the 30K Avios per person used for the tickets. They refunded $1,100 of the $1,784 used for the tickets, though I have no idea why they refunded that amount.

I nag AA’s Twitter team once a week for an update, and all they ever say is that it’s being worked on. Everyone seems completely unempowered to fix a thing.

Over 3 months after the incident I’m no longer holding my breath.

There’s a good reason American captured last place in the Wall Street Journal’s ranking of the airlines. They’ve managed to take the worst of USAirways and American to become a truly bumbling airline, worst overall, worst in cancelled flights, worst in mishandled baggage, a complete embarrassment:

 

 

 

 

Still trying to find the positive in this one, but I’m sure our families were happy to have us safe at home. The Paris terrorist massacre occurred on the weekend we were supposed to be in Europe.

———————————————————————————————————————–

4. Monday, January 25, 2016, United: CLE-EWR-HNL-LIH:

I nabbed lie-flat business class seats from Newark to Honolulu and back months ago. It’s a bargain award at just 30K Singapore miles or 40K United miles for a flight that’s nearly as long as Newark-Tel Aviv.

Then along came Jonas. I knew it would be bad, I just didn’t know how bad.

But I wasn’t taking any chances. As soon as the monster predictions started coming in I nabbed 4 United Global First class saver award seats from Chicago to Honolulu on Thursday (These are 40K miles via Singapore or 50K miles via United). When I had previously searched this route it was operated with lame recliner seats in business class, but it had been switched to a 3 class international plane with lie-flat first and business classes. The same plane that will operated transcontinental flights over the next few months.

 

Newark-Honolulu didn’t have 4 seats available for another week after our flight, but I grabbed those as well.

And sure enough, United cancelled our Monday morning flight from Cleveland to Newark. The next available flight they were able to offer in business class was 1.5 weeks later.

Instead, I just had United cancel the flight and I used the backup that I booked. The agent was more than happy to open up award space back to Newark 2 days after our originally booked return flight due to the cancelled flight.

We had flown in Global First to Hawaii 2 years ago with carseats. Unfortunately, United installed shoulder seat belts in Global First in the meantime and the flight attendants would not let us use our carseats with them and downgraded us to business class while making 4 business class passengers very happy. That worked out OK though. United’s business class is an antiquated 2-4-2 configuration with alternate rows facing backwards and forwards. 4 seats aren’t ideal for most people, but it worked out well for our family of 4, probably even better than first class would have been for us. Plus, United refunded the extra 40K miles used for the difference between business and first class and awarded us with 35K miles and $600 in travel vouchers as compensation for being downgraded.

Overall, we were blown away by the service from United and by their excellent new kosher meals that they now serve from Hawaii. But more on that in the trip report…

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Have an IRROPS story? Share it in the comments!

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“Hacking” United’s Mobile Site To Find Out If Your Plane Will Have Wi-Fi, DirecTV, And Other Amenities

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Related post: The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands
Related United “hacks”:
United Plan B: Pretty Much The Most Awesome, Underutilized, And Underappreciated Thing Ever.
How To Use And Decrypt United’s Powerful Expert Mode
-United.com’s “Remember Me” Blocks Expanded Saver Award Availability That Cardholders/Elites Have Access To.

————————————————————————————————-

United has great close-in award availability in lie-flat first class seats on their 11 hour nonstop flight to Newark to Honolulu:

ua

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you’re a DansDeals reader, so you’ve studied the ultimate Hawaii award chart and know that the best way to get there in first class is with 30,000 Singapore miles. No close-in fees, just $20 to make a date change or $30 to redeposit your miles. And you can transfer AMEX, Chase, Citi, or Starwood points over to Singapore.

And what better time to fly off to paradise than now?

But 11 hours without internet? There’s nothing better than 25 hours of shabbos where you spend quality offline time with the family, but when stuck in a metal tube, that can be considered a form of 21st century torture.

The only question is do you fly Thursday or Sunday?

Alas United.com won’t let you check the flight details and amenities for a flight more than 2 days in advance, so it makes things hard to compare :

ua1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You jump over to the unofficial United fleet site and confirm that while most of the 767-400s (764) that operates the route do have WiFi, there’s a couple pesky ones flying around that still don’t.

United’s mobile site can be accessed at mobile.united.com.  So you click flight status and check for flights from EWR to HNL tomorrow, select the nonstop, click on amenities, and then in-flight entertainment.

No-mention of WiFi:

ua2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just to confirm things you double-check the exact aircraft, #3065:

ua3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which indeed has no Wi-Fi:

ua4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, Thursday is out.  But how about Sunday?

Here is the URL that you will have at the top of your screen after clicking on amenities for that flight.

ua4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you need to do is manually change the URL to the date you want, here’s the link to the page for 04/26.

And sure enough it has Wi-Fi:

ua5

 

 

 

 

 

And just to be double-sure, you confirm that aircraft 3066 does have Wi-Fi on the fleet site.
ua7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knows…maybe you’ll even bump into someone hopping onto the wackiest trip you’ll ever hear about?

Of course the aircraft is subject to change, so it does pay to watch it, after all it’s just $20 to change the date on your award ticket.  United’s mobile site and app also provide excellent info on incoming aircraft so you know about any changes or delays before they’re even posted for your flight.

This same system will work to see if your aircraft has DirecTV, lie-flat seats, in-flight power, etc.

This won’t work for flights too far in advance as they don’t have a specific aircraft assigned to them yet, but it’s dead useful in situations like this.

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Aegean Airlines: 19,000 Miles And You’re Star Alliance Gold!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Updates:
-DDF moderator Chaikel confirms and posts the firsthand proof that Aegean will indeed shut down your account if you fail to credit a flight to it every 36 months.
If you have earned Aegean Star Alliance Silver or Gold status be sure to credit at least 1 Star Alliance flight to it before 36 months of inactivity go by or you may lose what can potentially be a lifetime of elite status.  If you are about to lose the status it can definitely make sense to take a “mileage-run” flight to keep it alive for another 3 years.

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This article was originally posted on 02/06/12:

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but finally am getting around to it…

Aegean, a Greek airline, is one of the many member airlines of the Star Alliance.  They are a relatively recent entry to the alliance.

All miles earned for signing up and crediting flights to the program are elite qualifying and you get 1,000 miles for enrolling and those miles count towards elite status!

Here’s the cool part, they only require 4,000 miles for Blue card status (which gets you Star Alliance Silver status) and 20,000 miles for Gold card status (which gets you Star Alliance Gold status).  Contrast that to the 25,000 miles required for Silver and 50,000 miles required for Gold on an annual basis with the US based carriers.

Not only that but according to the published terms of the program you just need to credit a single flight to Aegean in that time period and it will extend your account and the gold status for another 36 months.  The thing is that nobody has actually had their Aegean gold status expire yet as the program only started in 2010, so it is possible they will add more requirements in the future to keep the status, but for now it’s really easy to attain and really easy to extend.

You have 1 year from when you signup to the program to get 3,000 more flight miles to reach Silver status at 4,000 total miles.

You then have 1 year from when you earn Blue/Silver status to credit 16,000 more flight miles to Aegean and earn Gold status until the end of the 3rd year from when you qualify.

When flying on any Star Alliance carrier just give them your Aegean frequent flyer number to get credit for the flight in Aegean miles.

Earning rates:
Aegean Mileage Earning Fare Class Table

This is where things get a little tricky and it’s important to note the fare class of the ticket you buy, but here are the general rules:
Always check the fare class before purchasing a ticket and crediting it to Aegean. If you are booking a mileage run it may pay to book a more expensive fare class to get more miles.
-All USAirways coach fares earn 100% of the flown miles when credited to Aegean. Some business fares earn 150%.
-Some United deeply discounted fares don’t earn any miles, most United discounted fares give only 50% of the flown miles when credited to Aegean, medium fares give 100%, full Y earns 150%, all business fares earn 200% and all first class fares earn a whopping 300% of flown miles when credited to Aegean.
-Some Air Canada fares don’t earn any miles at all when crediting to Aegean.

You can lookup how many miles there are between cities by using the Great Circle Mapper.  For example a $550 mileage run on USAirways from NYC to Alaska can get you more than halfway to the 19,000 miles you need for gold.  Or a first class ticket nonstop from Houston to Honolulu on United will give you more than enough miles to reach gold after the 300% miles you get for flying in first.

Thus mileage runs for Aegean elite status should either be done in coach on USAirways or in business or first on United.

Elite Benefits:

-Star Alliance Silver gets you and your travel companions a free checked bag on Star Alliance carriers like Air Canada, United, and USAirways.

-Star Alliance Gold gets you and each of your travel companions 3 free checked bags on Air Canada, United, and USAirways.  United even allows each bag to weigh 70 pounds.

-When you have Star Alliance Gold status from United or USAirways you can’t access any of their lounges when traveling domestically, but when you have Star Alliance Gold status from a foreign carrier like Aegean you get free access at any of the 900+ Star Alliance lounges worldwide, even when traveling domestically in the US, for you and a companion.

-Star Alliance Gold status also gets you priority baggage, priority checkin, priority security, priority boarding, priority waitlisting, etc.

-When flying on United having Star Alliance Gold status will allow you to make the free same-day confirmed changes to your flight when done in the online check-in process.

Caveats:
-Aegean miles aren’t worth nearly as much as United or USAirways miles, so once you get the status you want you will want to switch back to earning miles from those carriers. Most airlines will allow you to switch your mileage program from Aegean to one like United after checking in your luggage.
-You won’t get upgrades on United or USAirways like you would if you earned elite status in their programs.
-You won’t get bonus miles on United or USAirways like you would if you earned elite status in their programs.
-You won’t get expanded elite award availability on United like you would if you earned elite status in their programs.

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Another Air Canada Aeroplan Devaluation

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

I never really trusted Aeroplan. They were sold off by Air Canada to become its own company and that was part of the reason why it worried me.  Most airlines control their own mileage programs.
In 2010 I wrote that I don’t accumulate Aeroplan miles because they scare me. And that was even though at that time you could fly in first class to Europe for 100K, Asia for 120K, or Australia for 140K and have 2 free stopovers along the way.

A year afterwards in 2011 they devalued their miles by significantly raising the miles required for long-haul awards. Those 100/120/140 rates became 125/175/185.

In 2012 they added fuel surcharges to book travel on Adria, Air Canada, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal, and THAI. (There is currently no fuel surcharge if you redeem their miles for travel on the following carriers: Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca/TACA, Brussels, Copa, Croatia, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA, SAS, Singapore, South African, Swiss, TAM, Turkish, United, and USAirways. That can change though without notice.)

Effective 01/01/14 there are more changes for the worse:

-Travel from the US to Israel and the Middle East will go up from 135K business/190K first to 165K business/230K first. Coach remains 80K. Compare that to Star Alliance partner United requiring 120K in business and 150K in first. Plus United never charges fuel surcharges.

-Travel from the US to Australia will go up from 135K business/185K first to 160K business/220K first. Coach remains 80K. Compare that to Star Alliance partner United requiring 135K in business and 160K in first.

-Rates to Asia will go up significantly as well with rates on some routes a full 95,000 more miles than United would charge and that’s before Aeroplan fuel surcharges on select carriers!

Aeroplan does throw a couple bones.

-You will be able to book one-way travel for half the rate of round-trip travel starting 01/01/14.  United already does that.

-Aeroplan miles will no longer have a 7 year expiration policy effective 01/01/14.. They still require activity every 12 months (compared to  the industry standard 18 months) but at least they won’t expire regardless of activity anymore.

I’ll concede that there are a few nice things about Aeroplan:
1. They have one of the best lap child policies out there. You pay a flat fee of just $50 in coach, $100 in business, and $125 in first for a lap child. Compare that to 10% of the paid fare with other airlines.
2. They allow for 2 free stopovers
3. There are no expedite/close-in fees.
4. Cancellation of an award is just $90 but you need to do it more than 21 days before departure or else you’ll have to pay a $90 date change fee to make it after 21 days and then pay an additional $90 to cancel it.

Want out of Aeroplan? It’s not too late!

If you open a Points.com account you will be able to transfer points from Air Canada Aeroplan into USAirways at a 100:84 ratio. This is much better than other typically terrible points.com exchange rates.
You need to transfer a minimum of 15,000 points.
15K Air Canada would net 12,601 USAirways miles. 100K Air Canada miles would net 84,011 USAirways miles.

You can learn more about the value of doing such a transfer and about United versus USAirways miles in this post.

Note that currently USAirways is part of the Star Alliance but in the not-so-distant future they will become part of American and the OneWorld alliance. Overall that’s probably a positive thing for USAirways miles and it may even be worth transferring American Express Membership Rewards points via this method before it’s too late.

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When Do My Miles Or Points Expire?

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

-Airline/Hotel credit cards where the points are deposited monthly into your airline/hotel account remain even if the card is no longer active, subject to the normal expiration dates listed in the chart below.
You will not instantly lose any earned Hyatt/Starwood/American/BA/Delta/Southwest/United/etc. points just for closing their credit card.  Some representatives use scare tactics and say your points or tickets will be lost if you cancel the card but it’s just misinformation.

-Proprietary credit card point programs (American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, Chase Ultimate Rewards) do not expire as long as you keep at least one card open that is enrolled in their respective program.

Below is a chart of 27 programs where you can easily see when your airline miles and hotel points will expire as well as where you can transfer points from which usually will extend the life of your points and miles.

See the chart and more info after the jump…
(more…)

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6 Ways To Access The Dan Lounge In Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport

Monday, February 4th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Being named “Dan” alone won’t cut it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
…But wallet candy like this will.

There are Dan Lounges in the B and C corridors in TLV.  Here’s how you can access them.

Option 1: Lounge Club.
You can get a free Lounge Club membership with a card like the Chase Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Cash cards.
You can apply here for the free membership with code: CHASEINK
You get 2 free visits per year with this membership and you will be billed $27 for additional visits or guests.
The good news is that additional user cards are free on Ink cards and they also qualify for their own Lounge Club membership cards!

Option 2: Priority Pass
You can get a free Priority Pass membership with a card like the The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.
You can apply here for the free membership
While with the Platinum card lounge program on American, Delta, and USAirways you can bring in 2 guests or your entire family for free, that is not the case with lounges that require Priority Pass access. Additionally while the Platinum card access continues to work even if you cancel your Platinum account, the Priority Pass membership does not.
With Priority Pass you get unlimited free visits per year but you will be billed $27 for guests.
Additional user cards do qualify for their own free Priority Pass membership. On the consumer Platinum card you can add 3 additional users onto your account for a $175 annual fee ($58.33/card).

Option 3: Chase United Club
You can get a free United Club membership with the Chase United Club card. You can access that card from the Club tab on the Chase United Explorer card.
The United Club membership provides free access for you and 2 guests or your entire family to United and USAirways lounges even if you are not flying that day. However when you access other partner lounges you generally need to be flying on a Star Alliance airline (like Aegean, Air Canada, Austrian, Brussels, LOT, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, Turkish, United, or USAirways) to access the lounge and you are typically limited to one or two guests, depending on the lounge and the mood of the agent.

Option 4: United Club Membership
You can also access the lounge with a United Club membership the same way as a Chase United Club cardholder would. Though a club membership typically costs more than the credit card does.

Option 5: Star Alliance Gold
If you have Star Alliance Gold elite status you can access the lounge with 1 guest when flying on a Star Alliance airline.
It’s ridiculously easy to get Star Alliance Gold status via Aegean and that status may be even be good for life! Fringe benefits of Aegean Star Gold status when flying an airline like United? Free confirmed flight changes at online checkin, 3 free 70 pound bags for you and all your companions, and Star Alliance lounge access worldwide.  That even includes free lounge access in the US where United blocks its own top-tier elites from accessing their own lounges as they want them to buy a membership or get the United Club card!

Option 6: Fly Business or First!
When you fly in premium classes most airlines will give you a lounge pass to access the Dan Lounge.  Even if you aren’t gives a pass at checkin you can also try to access the lounge with your boarding pass.  You can even give your business/first class lounge pass to a friend flying coach and access the lounge via any of the other methods as well!

Thanks to everyone who posted in this DDF thread!

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Award Fees Roundup

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Notes:
-Fees are per passenger and apply for one-way and round-trip awards (Delta and USAirways do not have one-way awards).
-Airlines charge a phone fee for award tickets. However United and USAirways will typically waive this fee upon request if it can’t be booked online. Delta agents can hold a reservation and then you can book it online without a fee. American typically won’t waive their $25 phone fee.
-Elite fee waivers are based on the passenger’s account redeeming the miles, not the traveler’s account.
-Post a comment if you catch any mistakes!

Airline: Booking within 21 days of departure fee.Date change or change to connecting cities fee.Change of airline fee.Change to origin or destination city fee:Award cancellation and mileage redeposit fee:Fuel Surcharges
AA-$75.

-$0 for elites.
-$0 except for a $75 fee to change to a flight within 21 days of the original ticketing date for non-elites.

-$0 for elites.
-$0 except for a $75 fee to change to a flight within 21 days of the original ticketing date for non-elites.

-$0 for elites.
-$150

-$0 for AAnytime AAwards

-$0 for Executive Platinum.
-$150 for the first passenger.

-$25 for additional passengers or for additional mileage tickets redeposited at the same time.

-$0 for Executive Platinum.
-Collects a fuel surcharge for travel on British Airways ($$$) and Iberia ($).
Delta-$0-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No changes allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No changes allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No changes allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No cancellations allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-Collects a fuel surcharge for flights on select partner airlines and for all flights originating in select regions such as Europe.
United-$75 for non-elites.

-$50 for Silver.

-$25 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-$0 for United Club credit cardholders.
-$0 except for a $75 fee to change to a new flight within 21 days of the day the change is made for non-elites

-$50 for Silver within 21 days.

-$25 for Gold within 21 days.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-$75 for non-elites.

-$50 for Silver.

-$25 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-$75 for non-elites

-$50 for Silver.

-$25 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-$150 for non-elites.

-$125 for Silver.

-$100 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-None.
USAirways-$75.

-$0 for Gold elite or higher.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred.

-No changes are allowed once travel has begun on partner airline itineraries.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred

-No changes are allowed once travel has begun on partner airline itineraries.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred

-No changes are allowed once travel has begun on partner airline itineraries.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred
-Collects a $25-$50 "award processing fee" for non-elites and Silver elites on all awards.
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The End Of Continental Is Near, Sort Of.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The final flight with a Continental flight number will be Continental 1267 which is scheduled to depart on March 2nd from Phoenix at 11:59pm and arrive in Cleveland at 5:46am.

Saturday March 3rd is the switchover date, and there’s a decent chance it will be a nightmare travel day as the systems are combined and United agents start using the Continental SHARES system.

On March 3rd your Continental OnePass and United MileagePlus accounts will be merged.  The fun part (well, at least for a Continental guy like me) is that everyone’s surviving number will be the Continental 8 digit alphanumeric number.  The United number will be history.  If you only have a United number you’ll be generated an 8 digit alphanumeric number.  So the name United MileagePlus survives, but the Continental number lives on.

If you earned Continental or United elite status in 2010 and didn’t requalify in 2011 that status will expire on March 2nd.

Continental.com will automatically forward to United.com…except that it will look exactly like Continental.com looks like it does now but with the United name and logo (which now has the Continental globe instead of the tulip).  That’s a good thing as Continental.com is far more adept and advanced than United.com.

-If you have miles in your United account transfer them to Continental now. Miles in Continental accounts won’t start expiring until 09/30/13, so you’ll get a nice extension on any possible mileage expiration.

-The Continental OnePass Plus card will be going away, probably on or before March 3rd, so now is the last chance to apply for that card, which along with the United MileagePlus Explorer card can both be matched from 30K up to 50K after you receive the card.
Both cards also give primary rental car insurance (almost all other cards only provide secondary coverage to your own personal car insurance), they make your miles never expire, give free checked luggage and priority boarding, in-flight food, drink, and TV discounts, last seat EasyPass award availability, 2 annual lounge passes, 10K bonus miles for spending $25K annually, upgrades for elite cardholders on award tickets, and double miles for Continental and United purchases.

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Updated: The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart.

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Worth noting: USAirways is the last airline flying from North America to Israel that still gives 2 free bags.

This chart can be accessed at www.dansdeals.com/baggage

The chart below has been updated with all of the latest baggage fee changes for 21 US and Canadian carriers. It first displays in alphabetical order the US based network carriers, followed by all other US based carriers, followed by Canadian carriers.

-All fees listed are for each way, simply double the fee to calculate the cost for round-trip travel.

-The following chart is applicable for economy class travel only.

-Prices for US carriers are for travel from the United States to the listed destination.

-Prices for Canadian carriers are for travel to or from Canada and the listed destination.

-Generally if one person on an itinerary is exempt then everyone of that reservation is also exempt from baggage fees!

Airline:1st Bag2nd BagOther domestic feesExempt
AAUS & Canada: $25.
————-
Other locations: Free
US & Canada: $35.
————-
Latin America: $30.
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Europe & India: $60.
————-
Brazil, China, and Japan: Free.
Over 62 linear inches: $200.
————-
51-70 pounds: $100
————-
71-100 pounds: $200
————-
3rd bag: $150
AA, Alaska, and OneWorld alliance Elites AND Full “Y class” refundable tickets AND AAnytime mileage awards all get 2 free 50 lb. bags

Citi Executive AAdvantage cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
DeltaUS & Canada: $25
————-
Other locations: Free.
US & Canada: $35
————-
Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean: $40.
————-
Brazil, Japan, and Philippines: Free
————-
Other locations: $60 online, $75 airport.
Over 62 linear inches: $175.
————-
51-70 pounds: $90.
————-
71-100 pounds: $175
————-
3rd bag: $125
Delta, Air France, KLM, and Alaska Elites get 2 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
Full “Y class” refundable tickets get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Delta AMEX Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
United/ContinentalUS , Canada, and Caribbean: $25.
————-
Other locations: Free
US & Canada:$35.
————-
Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean: $30.
————-
Brazil, Japan, and Venezuela: Free
————-
Other locations: $70
Over 62 linear inches: $100
————-
51-70 pounds: $100
————-
Over 70 pounds: $200
————-
3rd bag: $100.
Star Alliance Gold Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
United and Continental Star Alliance Silver Elites, Pres Plus cardholders, and Full “Y class” refundable tickets, get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Star Alliance Silver Elites and Continental or United Chase cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag
USAirwaysAll flights except Europe, Israel, and Brazil: $25
————-
Europe, Israel, and Brazil: Free.
All flights except Europe, Israel, and Brazil: $35
————-
Europe: $70
————-
Israel and Brazil: Free.
Over 62 linear inches: $175.
————-
51-70 pounds: $90
————-
71-100 pounds: $175
————-
3rd bag: $125
USAirways and Star Alliance Elites get 2 or 3 free 50 lb. bags depending on status.
AirtranSystemwide: $20Systemwide: $25Over 61 linear inches: $49.
————-
51-70 pounds: $49
————-
71-100 pounds: $79
————-
3rd bag: $50
Airtran elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Corporate members get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
AlaskaSystemwide (note exceptions below): $20
————-
Guadalajara and Mexico City: Free
————-
Travel wholly within the State of Alaska: Free
Systemwide (note exceptions below): $20
————-
Guadalajara and Mexico City: Free
————-
Travel wholly within the State of Alaska: Free
Over 62 linear inches: $50.
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $20
Alaska, AA, and Delta Elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
AllegiantSystemwide: $35

Online discounts may apply.
Systemwide: $35

Online discounts may apply.
Over 80 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $50
FrontierUS:$20
————-
Other locations: Free.
Systemwide: $20Over 62 linear inches: $75.
————-
51-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $50
Frontier elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
GoSystemwide: $15Systemwide: $17Over 62 linear inches: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $25
————-
71-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $25
Corporate members get 2 free 50 lb. bags
HawaiianMainland: $25
————-
Interisland: $17
————-
International: Free
Mainland: $35
————-
Interisland: $17
————-
International: Free
Over 62 linear inches: $25 interisland, $100 mainland.
————-
51-70 pounds: $25 interisland, $50 mainland
————-
Over 70 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $125 mainland, $25 interisland.
Hawaiian Elite and Corporate members get 2-3 free 50 lb. bags
Island AirSystemwide: $15Systemwide: $303rd bag: $35
JetblueFreeSystemwide: $35Over 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $75
SouthwestFreeFreeOver 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $50
SpiritCarry-on baggage that doesn't fit under the seat: $30 online, $40 at ticket counter, $45 at gate.
————-
Domestic checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $38
————-
International checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $43

Online discounts may apply.
Domestic checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $45
————-
International checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $50

Online discounts may apply.
Over 62 linear inches: $100
————-
41-50 pounds: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $95 domestic, $100 international
Fare Club membership entitles you to discounts.
Sun CountrySystemwide: $20 online, $30 airportSystemwide: $25 online, $35 airportOver 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $75
USA3000US: $15 online, $25 airport
————-
Other locations: Free.
Systemwide: $25Over 62 linear inches: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $25
————-
Over 70 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $25
Virgin AmericaUS: $25

International: Free
Systemwide: $25Over 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-70 pounds:$50.
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $25
Main Cabin Select fares allow 1st bag for free.
Air CanadaBetween US (excluding PR) and Canada: $25

Other flights: Free

Within Canada and on all flights to Central America and Caribbean: $20
————-
Between US (excluding PR) and Canada: $35
————-
Other flights: $70
Over 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $75
————-
71-100 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $100.
Air Canada Elite and Super Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
Star Alliance Gold elites get 3 free 50 lb. bags
————-
Star Alliance Silver elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
PorterFree$20 (and limited to a total of 50 lbs. total checked weight per passenger.)Over 62 linear inches: Not allowed.
————-
Over 50 pounds per passenger: $5/kg. (2.2lbs.)
————-
3rd bag: $50
Passengers flying on the reservation can pool their 50 pound weight allowance together.
WestJetFreeSystemwide: $20Over 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $50

©2011 Dansdeals.com Research. Policies are current as of 11/01/11 for tickets bought on that date. Always double-check current policies with your airline before flying!

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Updated: The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart.

Monday, March 14th, 2011

This chart can be accessed at www.dansdeals.com/baggage

The chart below has been updated with all of the latest baggage fee changes for 21 US and Canadian carriers. It first displays in alphabetical order the US based network carriers, followed by all other US based carriers, followed by Canadian carriers.

-All fees listed are for each way, simply double the fee to calculate the cost for round-trip travel.

-The following chart is applicable for economy class travel only.

-Prices for US carriers are for travel from the United States to the listed destination.

-Prices for Canadian carriers are for travel to or from Canada and the listed destination.

-Generally if one person on an itinerary is exempt then everyone of that reservation is also exempt from baggage fees!

Airline:1st Bag2nd BagOther domestic feesExempt
AAUS & Canada: $25.
————-
Other locations: Free
US & Canada: $35.
————-
Latin America: $30.
————-
Europe & India: $60.
————-
Brazil, China, and Japan: Free.
Over 62 linear inches: $200.
————-
51-70 pounds: $100
————-
71-100 pounds: $200
————-
3rd bag: $150
AA, Alaska, and OneWorld alliance Elites AND Full “Y class” refundable tickets AND AAnytime mileage awards all get 2 free 50 lb. bags

Citi Executive AAdvantage cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
DeltaUS & Canada: $25
————-
Other locations: Free.
US & Canada: $35
————-
Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean: $40.
————-
Brazil, Japan, and Philippines: Free
————-
Other locations: $60 online, $75 airport.
Over 62 linear inches: $175.
————-
51-70 pounds: $90.
————-
71-100 pounds: $175
————-
3rd bag: $125
Delta, Air France, KLM, and Alaska Elites get 2 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
Full “Y class” refundable tickets get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Delta AMEX Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
United/ContinentalUS , Canada, and Caribbean: $25.
————-
Other locations: Free
US & Canada:$35.
————-
Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean: $30.
————-
Brazil, Japan, and Venezuela: Free
————-
Other locations: $70
Over 62 linear inches: $100
————-
51-70 pounds: $100
————-
Over 70 pounds: $200
————-
3rd bag: $100.
Star Alliance Gold Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
United and Continental Star Alliance Silver Elites, Pres Plus cardholders, and Full “Y class” refundable tickets, get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Star Alliance Silver Elites and Continental or United Chase cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag
USAirwaysAll flights except Europe, Israel, and Brazil: $25
————-
Europe, Israel, and Brazil: Free.
All flights except Europe, Israel, and Brazil: $35
————-
Europe: $70
————-
Israel and Brazil: Free.
Over 62 linear inches: $175.
————-
51-70 pounds: $90
————-
71-100 pounds: $175
————-
3rd bag: $125
USAirways and Star Alliance Elites get 2 or 3 free 50 lb. bags depending on status.
AirtranSystemwide: $20Systemwide: $25Over 61 linear inches: $49.
————-
51-70 pounds: $49
————-
71-100 pounds: $79
————-
3rd bag: $50
Airtran elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Corporate members get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
AlaskaSystemwide (note exceptions below): $20
————-
Guadalajara and Mexico City: Free
————-
Travel wholly within the State of Alaska: Free
Systemwide (note exceptions below): $20
————-
Guadalajara and Mexico City: Free
————-
Travel wholly within the State of Alaska: Free
Over 62 linear inches: $50.
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $20
Alaska, AA, and Delta Elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
AllegiantSystemwide: $35

Online discounts may apply.
Systemwide: $35

Online discounts may apply.
Over 80 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $50
FrontierUS:$20
————-
Other locations: Free.
Systemwide: $20Over 62 linear inches: $75.
————-
51-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $50
Frontier elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
GoSystemwide: $15Systemwide: $17Over 62 linear inches: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $25
————-
71-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $25
Corporate members get 2 free 50 lb. bags
HawaiianMainland: $25
————-
Interisland: $17
————-
International: Free
Mainland: $35
————-
Interisland: $17
————-
International: Free
Over 62 linear inches: $25 interisland, $100 mainland.
————-
51-70 pounds: $25 interisland, $50 mainland
————-
Over 70 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $125 mainland, $25 interisland.
Hawaiian Elite and Corporate members get 2-3 free 50 lb. bags
Island AirSystemwide: $15Systemwide: $303rd bag: $35
JetblueFreeSystemwide: $35Over 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $75
SouthwestFreeFreeOver 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $50
SpiritCarry-on baggage that doesn't fit under the seat: $30 online, $40 at ticket counter, $45 at gate.
————-
Domestic checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $38
————-
International checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $43

Online discounts may apply.
Domestic checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $45
————-
International checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $50

Online discounts may apply.
Over 62 linear inches: $100
————-
41-50 pounds: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $95 domestic, $100 international
Fare Club membership entitles you to discounts.
Sun CountrySystemwide: $20 online, $30 airportSystemwide: $25 online, $35 airportOver 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $75
USA3000US: $15 online, $25 airport
————-
Other locations: Free.
Systemwide: $25Over 62 linear inches: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $25
————-
Over 70 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $25
Virgin AmericaUS: $25

International: Free
Systemwide: $25Over 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-70 pounds:$50.
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $25
Main Cabin Select fares allow 1st bag for free.
Air CanadaBetween US (excluding PR) and Canada: $25

Other flights: Free

Within Canada and on all flights to Central America and Caribbean: $20
————-
Between US (excluding PR) and Canada: $35
————-
Other flights: $70
Over 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $75
————-
71-100 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $100.
Air Canada Elite and Super Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
Star Alliance Gold elites get 3 free 50 lb. bags
————-
Star Alliance Silver elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
PorterFree$20 (and limited to a total of 50 lbs. total checked weight per passenger.)Over 62 linear inches: Not allowed.
————-
Over 50 pounds per passenger: $5/kg. (2.2lbs.)
————-
3rd bag: $50
Passengers flying on the reservation can pool their 50 pound weight allowance together.
WestJetFreeSystemwide: $20Over 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $50

©2011 Dansdeals.com Research. Policies are current as of 03/13/11 for tickets bought on that date.  Always double-check current policies with your airline before flying!

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Updated: The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart.

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The baggage fee chart has been totally redone to make it more readable!

The new chart includes all of the latest prices changes for 21 airlines for checking bags online and at the airport, domestic and international, and it includes the price for excess bags, large bags, and heavy bags.  It also has a list of exempt passengers for each airline.  Generally if one person on an itinerary is exempt then everyone of that reservation is also exempt from baggage fees!

You can also reach the updated chart at dansdeals.com/baggage

If you have trouble with the chart layout on your computer or catch any mistakes please post a comment!

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Award Fees Roundup!

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Update: The chart has been updated with AA now waiving the award expedite fees for all elite members.  Congrats to all those that became lifetime AA elite members by transferring Starwood points into AA miles last month!

Notes:
-Fees are per passenger unless otherwise noted.
-USAirways also charges an “award processing fee” of $25-$50 depending on the destination.
-Many airlines charge a phone fee of $20-$25 for tickets even if it’s a ticket that can’t be booked online (such as a ticket with a stopover or a ticket on a partner airline). The notable exception to this is USAirways which does not charge a fee if the ticket can’t be booked online. With other airlines you can ask for a fee waiver, but you may or may not get one.
-Airlines that have tiered fee schedule are based on the redeeming (not the traveling) member’s elite status, as outlined below.
-Post a comment if you catch any mistakes!

Airline: Booking within 21 days of departure fee.Date change or change to connecting cities fee.Change of airline fee.Change to origin or destination city fee:Award cancellation and mileage redeposit fee:Fuel Surcharges
AA-$75.

-$0 for elites.
-$0 except for a $75 fee to change to a flight within 21 days of the original ticketing date for non-elites.

-$0 for elites.
-$0 except for a $75 fee to change to a flight within 21 days of the original ticketing date for non-elites.

-$0 for elites.
-$150

-$0 for AAnytime AAwards

-$0 for Executive Platinum.
-$150 for the first passenger.

-$25 for additional passengers or for additional mileage tickets redeposited at the same time.

-$0 for Executive Platinum.
-Collects a fuel surcharge for travel on British Airways ($$$) and Iberia ($).
Delta-$0-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No changes allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No changes allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No changes allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-$150

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-No cancellations allowed within 72 hours of departure.
-Collects a fuel surcharge for flights on select partner airlines and for all flights originating in select regions such as Europe.
United-$75 for non-elites.

-$50 for Silver.

-$25 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.

-$0 for United Club credit cardholders.
-$0 except for a $75 fee to change to a new flight within 21 days of the day the change is made for non-elites

-$50 for Silver within 21 days.

-$25 for Gold within 21 days.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-$75 for non-elites.

-$50 for Silver.

-$25 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-$75 for non-elites

-$50 for Silver.

-$25 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-$150 for non-elites.

-$125 for Silver.

-$100 for Gold.

-$0 for Platinum elite or higher.
-None.
USAirways-$75.

-$0 for Gold elite or higher.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred.

-No changes are allowed once travel has begun on partner airline itineraries.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred

-No changes are allowed once travel has begun on partner airline itineraries.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred

-No changes are allowed once travel has begun on partner airline itineraries.
-$150

-$0 for Chairman’s Preferred
-Collects a $25-$50 "award processing fee" for non-elites and Silver elites on all awards.

Award Expedite Fees

Airline:14-20 days prior to travel:7-13 days prior to travel:0-6 days prior to travel:
AAFree for Elites

$50 for the first passenger.

$25 for additional passengers or for additional mileage tickets booked at the same time.
Free for Elites

$50 for the first passenger.

$25 for additional passengers or for additional mileage tickets booked at the same time.
Free for Elites

$100 for the first passenger.

$25 for additional passengers or for additional mileage tickets booked at the same time.
Continental$75 non-elites.

$50 Silver.

$25 Gold.

$0 Plat.
$75 non-elites.

$50 Silver.

$25 Gold.

$0 Plat.
$75 non-elites.

$50 Silver.

$25 Gold.

$0 Plat.
DeltaFreeFreeFree
UnitedFreeFreeFree
USAirwaysFree$75

$0 for Chairman’s Preferred
$75

$0 for Chairman’s Preferred
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Got BMI Silver Elite Status? Here’s How To Get Your Free Baggage On Continental!

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Update: You can call BMI at +44 (0)1332 854274 (2 cents per minute via Google Voice) to request that your Star Alliance Silver card be expedited. In the package are some other goodies like a Star Alliance Silver luggage tag.

Did you get free Silver status on BMI? Lucky you! You now can get free checked bags for yourself and your traveling companions on airlines like Continental, United, and USAirways.

On Continental.com go to “Manage Reservations” and find your itinerary or enter your confirmation number.

When you are viewing the reservation click on “Edit traveler information”

At the very bottom of that page you will find “Frequent Flyer Information (Optional),” select British Midland (BMI) Diamond Club and enter in your BMI member number.

24 hours before your flight you can checkin at Continental.com and select bags. If you have BMI Silver status it should allow you and everyone else on your itinerary to select 2 free 50 pound bags. On your boarding pass it will also display your BMI number along with *S. *S stands for Star Alliance Silver.

If for whatever reason it does not allow you to select bags for free you can try calling Continental up, but your best bet may be at the airport. At every airport is a sign saying how much luggage costs and it’s very clear that Star Alliance Silver members get 2 free bags. Below is a pic that I took at LAX of the sign with my phone last week.  Just show the agent that your boarding pass says *S and they will be able to waive your luggage fees.

After checking your luggage at the airport using one of Continental’s kiosks you can go back into your reservation at the kiosk and change your mileage number from BMI to any Star Alliance mileage number that you perfer to earn miles with.  I had no problem changing from my BMI/Star Alliance Gold number to my Continental Silver number, but it did cost me an upgrade 🙁  More about that in my trip notes…

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Baggage Fees

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart:

The chart below has been updated with all of the latest baggage fee changes for 21 US and Canadian carriers. It first displays in alphabetical order the US based network carriers, followed by all other US based carriers, followed by Canadian carriers.

-All fees listed are for each way, simply double the fee to calculate the cost for round-trip travel.

-The following chart is applicable for economy class travel only.

-Prices for US carriers are for travel to or from the United States and the listed destination.

-Prices for Canadian carriers are for travel to or from Canada and the listed destination.

-Generally if one person on an itinerary is exempt then everyone of that reservation is also exempt from baggage fees.

Airline:1st Bag2nd BagOther domestic feesExempt
AAUS & Canada: $25.
————-
Other locations: Free
US & Canada: $35.
————-
Latin America: $30.
————-
Europe & India: $60.
————-
Brazil, China, and Japan: Free.
Over 62 linear inches: $200.
————-
51-70 pounds: $100
————-
71-100 pounds: $200
————-
3rd bag: $150
AA, Alaska, and OneWorld alliance Elites AND Full “Y class” refundable tickets AND AAnytime mileage awards all get 2 free 50 lb. bags

Citi Executive AAdvantage cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
DeltaUS & Canada: $25
————-
Other locations: Free.
US & Canada: $35
————-
Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean: $40.
————-
Brazil, Japan, and Philippines: Free
————-
Other locations: $60 online, $75 airport.
Over 62 linear inches: $175.
————-
51-70 pounds: $90.
————-
71-100 pounds: $175
————-
3rd bag: $125
Delta, Air France, KLM, and Alaska Elites get 2 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
Full “Y class” refundable tickets get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Delta AMEX Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
United/ContinentalUS , Canada, and Caribbean: $25.
————-
Other locations: Free
US & Canada:$35.
————-
Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean: $30.
————-
Brazil, Japan, and Venezuela: Free
————-
Other locations: $70
Over 62 linear inches: $100
————-
51-70 pounds: $100
————-
Over 70 pounds: $200
————-
3rd bag: $100.
Star Alliance Gold Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
United and Continental Star Alliance Silver Elites, Pres Plus cardholders, and Full “Y class” refundable tickets, get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Star Alliance Silver Elites and Continental or United Chase cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag
USAirwaysAll flights except Europe, Israel, and Brazil: $25
————-
Europe, Israel, and Brazil: Free.
All flights except Europe, Israel, and Brazil: $35
————-
Europe: $70
————-
Israel and Brazil: Free.
Over 62 linear inches: $175.
————-
51-70 pounds: $90
————-
71-100 pounds: $175
————-
3rd bag: $125
USAirways and Star Alliance Elites get 2 or 3 free 50 lb. bags depending on status.
AirtranSystemwide: $20Systemwide: $25Over 61 linear inches: $49.
————-
51-70 pounds: $49
————-
71-100 pounds: $79
————-
3rd bag: $50
Airtran elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags.
————-
Corporate members get 1 free 50 lb. bag.
AlaskaSystemwide (note exceptions below): $20
————-
Guadalajara and Mexico City: Free
————-
Travel wholly within the State of Alaska: Free
Systemwide (note exceptions below): $20
————-
Guadalajara and Mexico City: Free
————-
Travel wholly within the State of Alaska: Free
Over 62 linear inches: $50.
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $20
Alaska, AA, and Delta Elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
AllegiantSystemwide: $35

Online discounts may apply.
Systemwide: $35

Online discounts may apply.
Over 80 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $50
FrontierUS:$20
————-
Other locations: Free.
Systemwide: $20Over 62 linear inches: $75.
————-
51-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $50
Frontier elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
GoSystemwide: $15Systemwide: $17Over 62 linear inches: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $25
————-
71-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $25
Corporate members get 2 free 50 lb. bags
HawaiianMainland: $25
————-
Interisland: $17
————-
International: Free
Mainland: $35
————-
Interisland: $17
————-
International: Free
Over 62 linear inches: $25 interisland, $100 mainland.
————-
51-70 pounds: $25 interisland, $50 mainland
————-
Over 70 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $125 mainland, $25 interisland.
Hawaiian Elite and Corporate members get 2-3 free 50 lb. bags
Island AirSystemwide: $15Systemwide: $303rd bag: $35
JetblueFreeSystemwide: $35Over 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $75
SouthwestFreeFreeOver 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $50
SpiritCarry-on baggage that doesn't fit under the seat: $30 online, $40 at ticket counter, $45 at gate.
————-
Domestic checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $38
————-
International checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $43

Online discounts may apply.
Domestic checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $45
————-
International checked baggage (40 pound limit!): $50

Online discounts may apply.
Over 62 linear inches: $100
————-
41-50 pounds: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $50
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $95 domestic, $100 international
Fare Club membership entitles you to discounts.
Sun CountrySystemwide: $20 online, $30 airportSystemwide: $25 online, $35 airportOver 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-100 pounds: $75
————-
3rd bag: $75
USA3000US: $15 online, $25 airport
————-
Other locations: Free.
Systemwide: $25Over 62 linear inches: $25
————-
51-70 pounds: $25
————-
Over 70 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $25
Virgin AmericaUS: $25

International: Free
Systemwide: $25Over 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-70 pounds:$50.
————-
71-100 pounds: $100
————-
3rd bag: $25
Main Cabin Select fares allow 1st bag for free.
Air CanadaBetween US (excluding PR) and Canada: $25

Other flights: Free

Within Canada and on all flights to Central America and Caribbean: $20
————-
Between US (excluding PR) and Canada: $35
————-
Other flights: $70
Over 62 linear inches: $75
————-
51-70 pounds: $75
————-
71-100 pounds: Not allowed.
————-
3rd bag: $100.
Air Canada Elite and Super Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.
————-
Star Alliance Gold elites get 3 free 50 lb. bags
————-
Star Alliance Silver elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
PorterFree$20 (and limited to a total of 50 lbs. total checked weight per passenger.)Over 62 linear inches: Not allowed.
————-
Over 50 pounds per passenger: $5/kg. (2.2lbs.)
————-
3rd bag: $50
Passengers flying on the reservation can pool their 50 pound weight allowance together.
WestJetFreeSystemwide: $20Over 62 linear inches: $50
————-
51-100 pounds: $50
————-
3rd bag: $50

©2010 Dansdeals.com Research. Policies are current as of 01/20/10.

Please do not post this article in its entirety on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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Updated: The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart.

Monday, January 18th, 2010

01/20: Updated with today’s Hawaiian Airlines changes.

01/18: Updated with today’s AA changes.

01/15: Updated with today’s USAirways changes.

Instead of posting the full baggage fee chart for all 21 US and Canadian airlines every time their baggage fees change, I have named one of the under-utilized tabs on top of this site “Airline baggage fees.”

The chart includes the price for checking bags online and at the airport, domestic and international, and it includes the price for excess bags, large bags, and heavy bags.  It also has a list of exempt passengers for each airline.  Generally if one person on an itinerary is exempt then everyone of that reservation is also exempt from baggage fees.

You can also reach the updated chart at dansdeals.com/baggage

You can’t post comments on that page so if you have any questions or see any mistakes please post them here!

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GoGo In-Flight Free Wi-Fi Codes!

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Each code is valid once per email address.

General code: SURFGOGOFREE
AA: AATRYGOGO
AA: 1939admiral70aa
Delta: DELTATRYGOGO

HT: Eli, Via the Dansdeals Forums.

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Updated: The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Special welcome to Consumerist.com readers! This chart is updated daily with all of the latest baggage fees. Be sure to check out dansdeals.com daily to read up on all of the great deals and how you can get your baggage fees waived!

The Ultimate Airline Checked Baggage Fees Chart:

Have questions about this chart? Click here to post a comment about it!

The chart below has been updated with all of the latest baggage fee changes for 21 US and Canadian carriers. It first displays in alphabetical order the US based network carriers, followed by all other US based carriers, followed by Canadian carriers.

-All fees listed are for each way, simply double the fee to calculate the cost for round-trip travel.

-The following chart is applicable for economy class travel only.

-Prices for US carriers are for travel to or from the United States and the listed destination.

-Prices for Canadian carriers are for travel to or from Canada and the listed destination.

-Generally if one person on an itinerary is exempt then everyone of that reservation is also exempt from baggage fees.

Airline 1st Bag fee: 2nd Bag fee: Other fees: Exemptions
AA US: $25.

————-

Canada:$15.

————-

Other locations: Free.

US: $35.

————-

Canada:$25.

————-

Europe/India: $50.

————-

Other locations: Free.

-Over 62 linear inches=$150.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$50

————-

-71-100 pounds=$100

————-

-3rd bag=$100

————-

-Some International rates may be higher.

AA and OneWorld alliance Elites AND Full “Y class” refundable tickets AND AAnytime mileage awards all get 2 free 50 lb. bags
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Continental US/Canada:$23 online, $25 airport.

————-

Other locations: Free.

US/Canada: $32 online, $35 airport.

————-

Latin America excluding Brazil: $27 online, $30 airport.

————-

Europe: $45 online, $50 airport.

————-

Other locations: Free.

– Over 62 linear inches=$100.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$50

————-

-Over 70 pounds=Not allowed.

————-

-3rd bag=$100

-Continental Gold/Plat Elites and Star Alliance Golds get 3 free 70 lb. bags.

————-

-Continental Pres. Plus. cardholders get 2 free 70 pound bags, other Continental credit/debit cardholders get 1 free 50 lb. bag.

————-

-Full “Y class” refundable tickets AND Continental Silver Elites and Star Alliance Silvers get 2 free 50 lb. bags

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Delta US/Canada:$23 online, $25 airport.

————-

Other locations: Free.

US/Canada: $32 online, $35 airport.

————-

Latin America excluding Brazil: $25 online, $30 airport.

————-

Europe: $50.

————-

Other locations: Free.

-Over 62 linear inches=$175.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$90 domestic, $150 int’l.

————-

-71-100 pounds=$175 domestic, $300 int’l.

————-

-3rd bag=$125 domestic, $200 int’l.

Delta and Northwest Elites AND Full “Y class” refundable tickets.get 2 free 70 lb. bags.
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
United US/Canada:$23 online, $25 airport.

————-

Other locations: Free.

US/Canada:$32 online, $35 airport.

————-

Carribean/Mexico: $27 online, $30 airport.

————-

Europe/India: $45 online, $50 airport.

————-

Other locations: Free.

– Over 62 linear inches=$175 domestic, up to $250 int’l.

————-

-51-100 pounds=$125 domestic, up to $400 int’l.

————-

-3rd bag=$125 domestic, up to $400 int’l.

United 1K, 1P, and Star Alliance Gold Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.

————-

United 2P, 3P, and Star Alliance Silver Elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags.

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
USAirways All flights except Europe, Israel, and South America: $23 online, $25 airport

————-

Europe, Israel, and South America: Free.

All flights except Europe, Israel, and South America: $32 online, $35 airport

————-

Europe: $50 online, $55 airport

————-

Israel and South America: Free.

-Over 62 linear inches=$100.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$70 for the 1st bag, $80 for the 2nd..

————-

-71-100 pounds=$120 for the 1st bag, $130 for the 2nd..

————-

-3rd bag=$100

USAirways and Star Alliance Elites get 2 or 3 free 50 lb. bags depending on status.
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Airtran Systemwide: $15 Systemwide: $25 – Over 62 linear inches=$39.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$39

————-

-71-100 pounds=$79

————-

-3rd bag=$50

Airtran and Frontier elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags.

————-

Corporate members get 1 free 50 lb. bag.

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Alaska Systemwide: $15 Systemwide: $25 – Over 62 linear inches=$50.

————-

-51-100 pounds=$50

————-

-3rd bag=$50

Alaska Elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Allegiant Systemwide: $15 online, $35 airport Systemwide: $25 online, $35 airport – Over 80 linear inches=$25.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$50

————-

-71-100 pounds=$75

————-

-3rd bag=$50

—————— ———————– ———————– ———————– ——————
Frontier US:$20

————-

Other locations: Free.

US:$30

————-

Other locations: Free.

– Over 62 linear inches=$75.

————-

-51-100 pounds=$75

————-

-3rd bag=$50

Frontier and Airtran elites get 2 free 50 lb. bags
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Go Systemwide: $10 Systemwide: $17 – Over 62 linear inches=$25

————-

-51-70 pounds=$25

————-

-71-100 pounds=$50

-3rd bag=$25

Corporate members get 2 free 50 lb. bags
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Hawaiian Mainland-$23 online, $25 airport

————-

Interisland-$10

Mainland-$32 online, $35 airport

————-

Interisland-$17

– Over 62 linear inches=$25 mainland, $50 interisland.

————-

-51-70 pounds=$25 mainland, $50 interisland

————-

-Over 70 pounds=Not allowed.

————-

-3rd bag=$125 mainland, $25 interisland.

Hawaiian Elite and Corporate members get 2-3 free 50 lb. bags
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Jetblue Free Systemwide: $30 – Over 62 linear inches=$75

————-

-51-70 pounds=$50

————-

-71-100 pounds=$100

————-

-3rd bag=$75

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Midwest Systemwide: $20 Systemwide: $30 – Over 62 linear inches=$75

————-

-51-100 pounds=$75

————-

-3rd bag=$50

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Southwest Free Free – Over 62 linear inches=$50

————-

-51-100 pounds=$50

————-

-3rd bag=$50

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————

Spirit

Systemwide: $19 online, $25 airport Systemwide: $25 – Over 62 linear inches=$100

————-

-51-70 pounds=$50

————-

-71-100 pounds=$100

-3rd bag=$100

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Sun Country Systemwide: $15 online, $20 airport Systemwide: $25 online, $30 airport – Over 62 linear inches=$75

————-

-51-100 pounds=$75

————-

-3rd bag=$75

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
USA3000 US:$15 online, $25 airport

————-

Other locations: Free.

Systemwide: $25 – Over 62 linear inches=$25

————-

-51-70 pounds=$25

————-

-Over 70 pounds=Not allowed.

————-

-3rd bag=$25

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Virgin America Systemwide:

$20 (70 lbs)

Systemwide:

$20 (50 lbs)

– Over 62 linear inches=$50

————-

-51-70 pounds=Free for 1st bag, $50 for additional bags.

————-

-71-100 pounds=$100

-3rd bag=$20

Main Cabin Select passengers get one free 70 lb. bag.
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Air Canada Free US: $27 online, $30 airport

————-

Europe, Israel: $45 online, $50 airport

————-

Other Locations: Free

– Over 62 linear inches=$75 in North America, $100 elsewhere.

————-

-51-70 pounds==$75 in North America, $100 elsewhere.

————-

-71-100 pounds=Not allowed.

————-

-3rd bag==$100 in North America, $225 elsewhere.

Air Canada Elite and Super Elites get 3 free 70 lb. bags.

————-

Star Alliance Gold elites get 3 free 50 lb. bags

————-

10% off all bag fees when purchased online.

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
Porter Free Free (limit of 50 lbs. total checked weight per passenger.) – Over 62 linear inches=Not allowed.

————-

-Over 5 pounds per passenger=$5/kg. (2.2lbs.)

————-

-3rd bag=$25

Passengers flying on the reservation can pool their 50 pound weight allowance together.
—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————
WestJet Free Free – Over 62 linear inches=$40

————-

-51-100 pounds=$40

————-

-3rd bag=$75

—————— ——————– ——————– ——————– ——————

©2010 Dansdeals.com Research. Policies are current as of 01/20/10.

Please do not post this article in its entirety on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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Current Airline Checked Baggage Fees Roundup…

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Recent Updates:
-Effective for tickets bought on or after 11/06/08 for travel on or after 12/05/08 Delta has eliminated the first free bag and lowered the 2nd bag from $50 to $25.
United has rolled back the 2nd bag fee from $50 to $25 after no other airline matched.
Airtran has added a $15 first bag fee for tickets bought on or after 11/12/08 for travel on or after 12/05/08. They also raised the price of the 2nd bag to $25.
Continental will waive the first bag fee for Continental credit cardholders and their traveling companions.

The following chart is for economy class travel only.

Airline

1st Bag fee each way:

2nd Bag fee each way:

Affected Travel Locations:

Exemptions

Exemptions

Exemptions

AA

$15

$25

US and Canada.

AAdvantage and OneWorld alliance Elite members

Anyone traveling on the same reservation as an elite member

Full “Y class” refundable tickets.

AAnytime mileage awards.

Continental

$15

$25

1st bag: U.S./Canada

2nd bag: North and South America, excluding Brazil.

Onepass and Skyteam alliance Elite members as well as Continental Pres Plus Mastercard holders get 2 free bags.

Continental credit/debit cardholders get 1 free checked bag.

Identical exemption for anyone traveling on the same reservation as the exempt  member

Full “Y class” refundable tickets.

Delta

$15

$25

US only.

Delta and Northwest Elite members only.

Northwest

$15

$25

U.S./Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean

Worldperks and Skyteam alliance Elite members

Anyone traveling on the same reservation as an elite member

Full “Y or B class” refundable tickets.

United

$15

$25

US and Canada.

Mileage Plus and Star Alliance Elite members

Anyone traveling on the same reservation as an elite member

USAirways

$15

$25

U.S, Canada, Latin America and Caribbean

Dividend Miles and Star Alliance Elite members

Anyone traveling on the same reservation as an elite member

Airtran

$15

$25

systemwide

A+ Elite members

Anyone traveling on the same reservation as an elite member

Jetblue

Free

$20

systemwide

Southwest

Free

Free

©2008 Dansdeals.com Research.

Please do not post this entire article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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Dansdeals.com Guide To Everything You Wanted To Know About Standby Policies!

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Here are the current standby policies of the major carriers as of 07/31 and incorporates the policy changes by AA, Frontier and USAirways that have occurred during July.

Prediction: Traditional free unconfirmed standby will be the next victim of $150 oil.


AA:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $35 $50. This can be confirmed within 12 hours of the departure of the new flight. Confirmed standby requires special inventory (“E”) to be available on the new flight which will require a phone call to AA to check on and confirm.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is still available for free for flights departing on the same day as the original flight.

-Standby is only available for travel within the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and the Caribbean.

Airtran:
-Confirmed standby is available only at the airport for flights on the same day as your original flight for $25.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is still available for free for flights departing on the same day as the original flight.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Continental:
-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing within 24 hours of your original flight for $50. However, this can only be confirmed within 12 hours of the departure of the new flight. Confirmed standby requires inventory available in the fare class that you are currently booked into. As long as any seats are available, Continental will open up availability in all fare classes at exactly 12 hours before their flights to allow for confirmed standby changes.

-Confirmed standby is $25 for Continental Gold and Platinum elites.

-It is free to be added to a regular unconfirmed standby list, but you will be charged $50 if you clear the list ($25 for Continental Gold and Platinum elites.)

-Standby is available systemwide.

Delta:
-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $50. This can only be confirmed within 3 hours of the departure of the new flight. Confirmed standby required special inventory to be available on the new flight which will require a phone call to Delta.

-Confirmed standby is free for Delta Gold and Platinum elites.

-Delta has completely eliminated unconfirmed standby except for Delta Gold and Platinum elites.

-Standby is only available for travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Frontier:

-Confirmed and unconfirmed standby is now only available for Summit level elite members.

-Changes may only be made for flights departing the same day as your original flight by paying the difference between the fare paid and the walk-up fare for the new flight. The $150 change fee will be waived for same day flight changes.

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $50 at the airport within 4 hours of the departure of the new flight.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free for flights departing the same day as your original flight.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Jetblue:
-Confirmed standby is available beginning at midnight in the time zone of your original flight to change to any other flight on the same day for $40.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is available for the flight prior to your original flight for free. If you are flying on the first flight of the day then you may use unconfirmed standby to go on the flight right after your original flight for free. If there is only one flight between your city pairs then you may use unconfirmed standby to go on the flight the day before your original flight for free.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Midwest:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as the original flight for $35 at the airport within 3 hours of the departure of the new flight.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free for flights departing the same day as the original flight.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Northwest:
-Confirmed standby may or may not be available for select flights only when you initially checkin online, for the same day as the original flight for $25. The program is called FlyNow and nobody at Northwest really knows what it’s all about or how it works. Good luck with that one.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is $25 for flights departing earlier on the same day as your original flight.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free for all Skyteam elites.

-Standby is only available within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Southwest:

-Southwest does not have Standby. Southwest never charges a fee for ticket changes, but you will have to pay the difference in fare.

United:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $75. This can only be confirmed within 3 hours of the departure of the new flight. It can be confirmed over the phone or at the airport. Confirmed standby requires inventory to be available in your original booking class or in “H.”

-Regular unconfirmed standby is still available for free for flights departing on the same day as the original flight.

-Standby is only available within the U.S.

Regular unconfirmed standby is still available for free for flights departing on the same day as the original flight.

USAirways:

-Confirmed standby is available only at the airport for flights departing the same day as the original flight for $25 $50 within the US48, Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and Alaska.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free, but is only available if confirmed standby is not available.

-Standby is not available to Hawaii or Europe.

Virgin America:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as the original flight for $25 at the airport only.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free for flights departing the same day as the original flight, but must be requested at the airport before the departure of your original flight.

©2008 Dansdeals.com Research.
Please do not post this entire article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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Domestic Airlines Joining The Fuel Surcharge Club…

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Just a month ago I noted that while most foreign carriers charge a fuel surcharge on award tickets, none of the US carriers charge one.

What a difference a month makes…

4 US carriers now charge a fuel surcharge on award tickets, although at the present the time the surcharge is significantly less than the hundreds of dollars that foreign carriers charge.

The airlines claim that miles are now worth significantly more now than they were a year ago because tickets cost much more now.  While this is true, the fact remains that people are paying more money now for the tickets to earn those miles, so it’s not a valid argument.  This is plain and simple a new way to devalue what was once pitched as free travel.

(Side note: Is this really legal? When flying the flight attendants still announce that you can be earning “free travel” by signing up for the airline’s mileage program. How can they promise free travel and then charge for it?)

At any rate, here are the latest fees:

AA: Effective 06/21: $5 fee on all award tickets.

Delta:
Effective 08/15: $25 fee for US and Canada travel, $50 fee for international travel. Up to $400 fee for flights originating in Europe.

Northwest: Effective 09/15: $25 fee for intra-North America travel, $50 fee for Trans-Atlantic travel, $100 fee for Trans-Pacific travel, $50 fee for most other itineraries.

USAirways:
Effective 08/06: $25 fee for US and Canada travel, $35 fee for Latin America and Carribean travel, $50 fee for Hawaii and Europe travel.

Remaining carriers with no fuel surcharge on award tickets:
Air China
Airtran
Alitalia
Alaska
Continental
Emirates
Jetblue
LAN
SAS
Southwest
United

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United To Start Charging For All Luggage…

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Related:
United Airlines: We Really, Really Don’t Want Your Business. (Honest!)
Airline Ticket Change Fees Are On The Rise…
2nd Checked Bag Fee Roundup…
United Airlines Continues On Its Downward Spiral Into Oblivion…
AA: No More Free Domestic Checked Luggage For Non-Elites

United just announced that they will start charging for all checked luggage starting with tickets bought on 06/13 for travel on 08/13 or later.

This affects coach travel within Canada/US/Puerto Rico/USVI.

The first checked bag will be $15 each way, the 2nd checked bag is $25 each way.

Additionally, checking a 3rd bag or an overweight or oversized bag will now set you back $125!

United and Star Alliance elite members, along with anyone traveling on the same itinerary as an elite member, will continue to be able to check 2 bags for free.

In other news, United has won the title of Worst. Airline. Ever. Congrats UA!

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Stealth Mileage Deflation: Airlines That Charge Fuel Surcharges On Award Tickets…

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

In today’s hostile environment for airlines the most profitable part of their entire operation is often the selling of frequent flyer miles. Companies, such as credit card issuers, prepay for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of frequent flyer miles to offer as incentives to consumers. AMEX kept Delta afloat during their recent trip to bankruptcy court buy prebuying billions of Delta Skymiles in order to keep the airline, and by extension the Delta AMEX, alive.

Recently a scary trend has been the introduction of the fuel surcharge to award tickets. This is a completely arbitrary charge that is labeled as a tax on on a mileage ticket. Now, there are some real taxes for international award tickets, but they are minimal. The fuel surcharge (which may labeled as “YQ” under taxes) on the other hand can add anywhere from a somewhat palatable $50 to an outrageous $500 to the cost of what is advertised as a free ticket. How this is all legal is beyond me, but I’ll leave that one up to the lawyers out there to take on. In the meantime I have compiled a list of airlines that charge a fuel surcharge when redeeming for award tickets on their own metal (i.e. Using Air France miles to book travel on an Air France airplane).

To make things far more confusing, some airlines only charge a fuel surcharge on award tickets for travel on their own metal, but not for redeeming for a partner award. For example Air Canada charges a fuel surcharge when redeeming for travel on Air Canada, but not for redeeming Air Canada miles for travel on Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines, even though if you redeem Singapore Airlines miles for travel on Singapore Airlines you will be hit for a fuel surcharge! Continental Airlines doesn’t charge a fuel surcharge when redeeming Continental miles for travel on Continental or SkyTeam partner Air France, however Air France does charge a fuel surcharge when redeeming Air France miles for travel on Air France and they even have the blatant chutzpah to charge a fuel surcharge when redeeming Air France miles for travel on Continental, even though Continental themselves has no fuel surcharge!

Due to research required that is far beyond the scope of this article, what is listed below is just whether each airline charges a fuel surcharge for travel on their own metal. The amount of the surcharge can vary wildly depending on the airline, origination country, routing, etc. Travel on partner airline can vary depending on which miles you are using and which partner you are flying on, and would take much exhaustive research to figure out. However, this much I can tell you: The rule of thumb is airlines that don’t charge a fuel surcharge for redeeming miles for travel on their own metal also don’t charge a fuel surcharge for redeeming miles for travel on partner airlines, even if the partner charges a fuel surcharge. There is no set rule however for airlines that charge a fuel surcharge for redeeming miles for travel on their own metal, they may or may not charge a fuel surcharge for travel on partner airlines, and incredibly it has absolutely nothing to do with whether the partner airline charges a fuel surcharge.

Hopefully that was somewhat clear and understandable!!!

US-based Airlines that do not charge a fuel surcharge for award redemptions when flying on their own metal:
AA (OneWorld, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Alaska (Multiple partners, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Continental (SkyTeam, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:20,000 with direct deposit)
Delta (SkyTeam, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Important: Delta has recently started charging a fuel surcharge for award travel on Delta metal and on select partners for flights that originate in Europe! To see how this works for yourself search for a RT award ticket from JFK-CDG-JFK which has $77 in taxes, whereas a RT award ticket from CDG-JFK-CDG has $403 in “taxes” which includes a fuel surcharge of about $325 RT)
Northwest (SkyTeam, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
United (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:20,000 with direct deposit)
USAirways (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)

International based Airlines that do not charge a fuel surcharge for award redemptions when flying on their own metal:
Air China (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Alitalia (SkyTeam, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Emirates (Multiple partners, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
LAN (OneWorld, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:50,000)
SAS (Star Alliance, No Starwood transfer, Diners club transfer @ 2:1)

International based Airlines that charge a fuel surcharge for award redemptions when flying on their own metal:
Air Canada (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Air France/Flying Blue (SkyTeam, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Air New Zealand (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,020:385)
Asiana (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
ANA/All Nippon (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
British Airways (OneWorld, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Cathay Pacific (OneWorld, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
El Al (Multiple partners, AMEX transfer partner @ 1,050:15, Starwood transfer via direct deposit)
JAL/Japan Airways (OneWorld, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
KLM/Flying Blue (SkyTeam, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Lufthansa (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Qantas (OneWorld, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Singapore (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:20,000 with direct deposit)
Swiss (Star Alliance, No Starwood transfer, AMEX UK transfer @ 1:1)
Thai (Star Alliance, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)
Virgin Atlantic (Multiple partners, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000)

So, here’s the million dollar question: Why haven’t the fee-happy US airlines added a fuel surcharge to award tickets yet? Is it because of legal fears of advertising free tickets and then charging for them? Is it the fear of killing the the goose that lays golden eggs? As you saw, Delta is now charging a fuel surcharge for award flights from Europe, perhaps they are now testing the waters…

©2008 Dansdeals.com Research.
Please do not post this entire article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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As Seen In LGA…

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

In keeping with the airline theme of the day…

I had to snap a photo with my treo of this sign in LGA that I recently came across on my way to Continental’s airport club…TWA has been out of business for how many years again?

photo_110407_003a.jpg

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Delta: No External Hard Drives Onboard A Flight…

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

According to Delta.com,
“For safety reasons, you may not operate the following devices onboard:
-Peripheral devices for computers or games connected by cable.”

Anyone know what kind of safety reason there is to not be allowed to use an external hard drive on a plane???

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Find Out The Real Reason Your AA Or UA Flight Is Delayed!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

We’ve all heard the excuse while traveling, “Sorry but the incoming flight is delayed due to bad weather, so we are not responsible for any compensation and we cannot reaccommodate you.”

Now you can prove them wrong-and demand compensation or a ticket on another airline!

American and United both have cargo websites that state the actual reason for the delay.

I tested it out-on a flight that AA.com merely said was “delayed,” AA’s cargo website said “delayed-mechanical issues.

So keep these links handy-and the next time you’re stuck at the airport when flying with AA or UA you’ll be armed with the real story!

www.aacargo.com

www.unitedcargo.com

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Plane Delayed? The WSJ Reviews Flight Status Alert Services.

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

They’ve reviewed a bunch of sites and alert services in this neat article:

“Some Flight-Status Alerts Aren’t So Alert”

The conclusion is that flightstats.com is the top dog.

Another neat feature of the site: Flight Ratings.

With flight ratings you can find out the true historical on-time performance for every single flight on every airline!

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Why Can’t I Get The Fare For The Dates That I Want? A Guide To Purchasing Airline Tickets!

Friday, July 20th, 2007

From my inbox,
“Dan, I live in New York and I always look forward to your fare postings.
My problem with your farecompare links is that most of the time the fare says sold out for the dates that I want. Can you explain to me this phenomenon?”

You’re in luck-there are 3 great deals out of NYC tonight!

Here’s some behind the scenes info.

Airlines publish airfares 3 times daily. From the time they are published it takes between 3-5 hours for it to reach all of the booking sites.
Often I post the deal soon after the fares are published-so they are not yet bookable.

Airlines have a very complicated system of class codes. In coach itself an airline can have 20 different fare codes. The price that I write about is the lowest published fare code-of which there are only so many available on any given flight.

When farecompare tells you “sold out” after you try to price out an itinerary that means that on at least one of your flights there are no more seats available in the low fare code.

Mind you, sometimes if you go directly to the airline’s website, it will actually have availability for the dates that you want even though farecompare said sold out!

I passed on the essence of your question to farecompare, and the CEO of farecompare, Rick Seaney, answered me that later this year they will roll out a new system that will actually tell you if the lowest published fare code is available on any given day, before you have to go and price out the Round-Trip ticket.

Until that point, there are a few other options.
One is to use Travelocity.com’s flexible booking tool. Just type in your origin and destination and choose “dates flexible.” What comes back is a listing of the lowest published fares, separated by airline. By choosing a fare it will take you to a calandar, of which you choose your preferred dates. If the date you chose turns into an X, that means try again-the fare code is sold out for that date. Keep trying until it allows you to choose a return date and prices out the itinerary.

Travelocity however will only do this for a domestic flight. For an international flight, Zuji will give you the same functionality with the flexible search.

Other Booking Tips:
-Unless you require a highly complicated itinerary, it is almost always best to buy directly from the website of the airline that you are traveling on.

-If you do find a cheaper fare on a site like orbitz, be sure to take advantage of the airline’s price guarantee policies!

-Always search for 1 ticket, even if you are a larger party. Many times there will only be 1 seat in a lower fare code-but if you search for 2 seats it will sell you both of them at the higher fare code!

-Nearly all domestic fares that I post are valid in either direction.

-Take advantage of credit cards that give you 3-5% in cash rebates in addition to earning you miles. Examples are the Continental Mastercard for Continental tickets and the Delta business Amex, the Starwood business Amex, or the Jetblue business amex when flying Delta or Jetblue.

Have any more helpful tips? Please share them!


©2007 Ctownbochur.com
Questions, Suggestions, Errors? Please leave a comment!
Please do not post this article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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Standby Policies

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

AA:
-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $50. This can be confirmed within 12 hours of the departure of the new flight. Confirmed standby requires special inventory (“E”) to be available on the new flight which will require a phone call to AA to check availability and confirm.

-Traditional unconfirmed standby is available for free on flights departing on the same day as the original flight only for:
-AA and OneWorld Alliance elites
-Full fare (Y, B, H) coach passengers.
-AAnytime mileage tickets
-Business and First Class passengers

-Standby is only available for travel within the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada and the Caribbean.

Airtran:
-Confirmed standby is available only at the airport for flights on the same day as your original flight for $49.

-Traditional unconfirmed standby is still available for free for flights departing on the same day as the original flight.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Continental:
-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing within 24 hours of your original flight for $50. You can confirm flights up to 24 hours before the new flight’s departure time. Confirmed standby requires inventory available in the fare class that you are currently booked into. As long as sufficient seats are available, Continental will open up additional availability in lower fare classes at 24 hours, 12 hours, and 3.5 before flights to allow for confirmed standby changes.

-Confirmed standby is $25 for Continental Gold Elites and free for Platinum Elites.

-It is free to be added to a traditional unconfirmed standby list, but you will be charged $50 if you clear the list.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Delta:
-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $50. This can only be confirmed within 3 hours of the departure of the new flight. Confirmed standby requires inventory available in the fare class that you are currently booked into.

-Confirmed standby is free for Delta Gold and Platinum elites.

-Delta has completely eliminated traditional unconfirmed standby except for Delta Gold and Platinum elites.

-Standby is only available for travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Frontier:

-Confirmed standby is available at the airport for flights departing the same day as your original flight for:
-“Economy” tickets: $100.
-“Classic” tickets: $50.
-“Classic Plus” tickets: Free
-Frontier elites, Midwest executive elites, and Airtran elites: Free

-Frontier has completely eliminated traditional unconfirmed standby.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Jetblue:
-Confirmed standby is available over the phone beginning at midnight in the time zone of your original flight to change to any other flight on the same day for $40.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is available for the flight prior to your original flight for free. If you are flying on the first flight of the day then you may use unconfirmed standby to go on the flight right after your original flight for free. If there is only one flight between your city pairs then you may use unconfirmed standby to go on the flight the day before your original flight for free.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Midwest:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as the original flight for $50 at the airport within 3 hours of the departure of the new flight.

-Midwest Executive elites receive free confirmed standby.

-Midwest has completely eliminated traditional unconfirmed standby.

-Standby is available systemwide.

Southwest:

-Southwest does not have Standby. Southwest never charges a fee for ticket changes, but you will have to pay the difference in fare.

United:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as your original flight for $75. This fee is waived for United 1K members. This can only be confirmed within 3 hours of the departure of the new flight. It can be confirmed over the phone or at the airport. Confirmed standby requires inventory to be available in your original booking class or in “H.”

-Regular unconfirmed standby is $50 for flights departing on the same day as the original flight. 1K members can standby for free.

-Standby is only available within the U.S.

USAirways:

-Confirmed standby is available only at the airport for flights departing the same day as the original flight for $50 within the US48, Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and Alaska.

-Confirmed standby is free for all USAirways Elites.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free, but is only available if confirmed standby is not available.

-Standby is not available to Hawaii or Europe.

Virgin America:

-Confirmed standby is available for flights departing the same day as the original flight for $50 at the airport only.

-Regular unconfirmed standby is free for flights departing the same day as the original flight, but must be requested at the airport before the departure of your original flight.

©2010 Dansdeals.com Research.
Please do not post this entire article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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HURRY! Zoom Airlines Inaugurates New JFK-London Service!

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

There are now 4 airlines specializing in the NYC-London market.
The previous 3 airlines, Silverjet, Maxjet, and EOS, offer a premium product. Zoom is the first discount carrier to specialize in the market.

www.flyzoom.com
If you only want to get to London, then you’re in luck!
The JFK-London flights in June/July are $76+$23 in taxes for a total of just $99!
Coming home however is about $300 after taxes…
Still a good deal for London travel during the high season!

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An Introduction To Cathay Pacific Asia Miles-Part 1.

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

One of the numerous uses of starpoints is the ability to transfer points into airline miles at a 20,000 starpoints=25,000 miles rate.

Cathay Pacific is arguably the best airline in which to transfer points to.
Note that Cathay Pacific has no US based credit card, so the Starwood Amex is the absolute best method to earn Asia miles from credit card spending.

People have been asking for months to help clarify the highly complicated Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program, so here’s a start.

The confusion stems from the fact that the program is very different than normal US based mileage programs, but its primary value is owed to that uniqueness.

First of all, about the airline, Cathay Pacific.
-They operate with their hub in Hong Kong.
-They are part of the Oneworld (AA, BA, JAL, Qantas, etc.) Alliance.
-They consistently win awards for their top-notch business and first classes, and even economy is much better than US based airlines.

Cathay Pacific has 2 programs, the Marco Polo club and Asia miles.
Marco Polo club is only for recognition for frequent fliers. If you are just transferring starpoints you will never need to worry about the Marco Polo Club, so just ignore it.

US based mileage programs charge based on the country of flying. If you want to go from New York to Tel Aviv or Los Angeles to Tel Aviv on Continental it will be the same 70,000 miles in coach or 100,000 in business/first.
At the same token, Los Angeles to Hawaii and New York to Hawaii will always be 35,000 miles.

Asia Miles charges based on the distance of the flight. For regular mileage tickets there are 7 mileage zones.
Mileage Zone Chart Linky
Here’s how it works:
First go to the great circle mapper to research the one-way distance of a flight.
For example type in ORD-LHR(Chicago/O’ Hare-London/Heathrow) to discover that the distance is 3,953 miles, or that JFK-GRU(New York/JFK-Sao Paulo) is 4,745 miles.
Then plug the number into the Asia Miles award chart to discover that both of those distances will fall into Zone C.
While you use the one-way distance to figure out the zone, the miles shown is the price for a round-trip ticket in that zone.
So a round trip ORD-LHR on AA or British Airways or JFK-GRU on AA or JAL will be 45,000 in coach, 60,000 in business, and 90,000 in first.
These rates, especially for business class, are significantly less than if you have miles on AA, BA, or JAL.

Here’s where the program gets really bizarre:
Look at the distance from LAX-HNL(Los Angeles-Honolulu) and SFO-HNL(S. Fransisco-Honolulu).
Believe it or not, LAX is further from HNL than SFO is. 157 miles further to be precise.
Because of that very small difference though, SFO-HNL falls into Zone B, while LAX-HNL falls into Zone C!

To be continued…


©2007 Ctownbochur.com
Questions, Suggestions, Errors? Please leave a comment!
Please do not post this article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

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The Key To Being Able To Use Your Miles: Alliances!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

The number one frustration with airline miles is that after you’ve racked up lots of miles on an airline, there are no cheap mileage awards available for when you want to go.

The problem stems from the fact that when looking for mileage tickets most websites don’t tell you that you have other airline alliance options.

The real solution that needs to be implemented is an alliance wide award search tool.

The only thing that I know of that currently comes close is ANA’s Star Alliance wide mileage search.

Until then you have a few work-arounds:
1. Call up each partner airline.
2. Join the mileage program of the partner airline that you wish to check and you’ll have online access to their inventory.
3. Call up the mileage desk of the airline that you have miles on and have them check alliance partner availability.(It’s extremely hard to find an agent who can competently check this)

Another caveat is that many airlines also have earning and redemption possibilities with airlines not in their alliance, so be sure to look up on each airline’s website to know what those are as well!

Below is a list of the 3 global alliances, and their primary members.

Star Alliance:
Air Canada
Air New Zealand
ANA
Asiana
Austrian
BMI
Lot Polish Airlines
Lufthansa
SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Singapore Airlines
South African Airways
Spannair
SWISS
TAP Portugal
THAI
United Airlines
US Airways

Oneworld:
American Airlines
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Finnair
Iberia
JAL-Japan Airlines
Lan
Malev
Qantas
Royal Jordanian

SkyTeam:
Aeroflot
AeroMexico
Air France/KLM
Alitalia
Continental Airlines
Czech Airlines
Delta Airlines
Korean Air
Northwest Airlines

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Ever Wonder About Where All The Airport Codes Come From And Stand For? Here’s A Neat Article!

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Airport ABCs Linky

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