Sunday News Roundup 10/27/19: 11 Quick Takes On What’s Going On In Aviation, Credit, And Deals That You Should Know About

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Some stories and deals don’t get their own post, but should get some coverage. I’ll round them up here and let me know what you think of making posts like this in the future 🙂


United’s CRJ-550 takes to the skies today, you can take a 3D tour of it now!

I wrote about the innovative project here previously. United stripped 20 seats out of the CRJ-700 and added luggage closets, more first class seats, and more Economy Plus seats. By getting the plane down to 50 seats, they avoid the 70/76 seat aircraft scope limitations and can add virtually as many CRJ-550s as they want to their fleet. Plus they can operate the plane with just one flight attendant.

The strategy is to use them on short-haul flights that didn’t previously have business class service.

The legroom on the plane in first class and Economy Plus looks amazing. You can see it for yourself by clicking on 3D View here. The 3D tour feature is great and United is planning on adding it for their other planes as well. Hopefully all airlines will offer this soon!

Want to fly on the CRJ-550?

Here is where you’ll find them, via RoutesOnline:

Effective 27OCT19
Chicago O’Hare – Allentown
Chicago O’Hare – Bentonville
Chicago O’Hare – Cedar Rapids
Chicago O’Hare – Cincinnati
Chicago O’Hare – Columbus OH
Chicago O’Hare – Des Moines
Chicago O’Hare – Grand Rapids
Chicago O’Hare – Greensboro
Chicago O’Hare – Harrisburg
Chicago O’Hare – Indianapolis
Chicago O’Hare – Madison
Chicago O’Hare – Oklahoma City
Chicago O’Hare – Richmond
Chicago O’Hare – St. Louis
Chicago O’Hare – Tulsa

Effective 04DEC19:
Chicago O’Hare – Sioux Falls
Chicago O’Hare – Wichita

Effective 18DEC19:
Chicago O’Hare – Greenville

Effective 19DEC19:
Chicago O’Hare – Green Bay
Chicago O’Hare – Syracuse NY

Effective 06JAN20:
Chicago O’Hare – Akron/Canton

Effective 13FEB20:
Chicago O’Hare – Knoxville
Chicago O’Hare – Lexington
Chicago O’Hare – Little Rock
Newark – Cincinnati
Newark – Columbus OH
Newark – Greensboro
Newark – Richmond

These routes should be a bargain with Lifemiles. Hopefully I’ll get to try it out from CAK-ORD in the near future.

Step aside Qantas, Air New Zealand will fly nonstop from Newark to Auckland in October 2020.

Qantas got a ton of media attention for their JFK to Sydney nonstop flight. They gave the press a business class flight and added gimmicks like checking their blood pressure to see how they would cope with the 19.5 hour flight.

I flew on a 19 hour flight in 2013 from Newark to Singapore and somehow survived to tell the tale without in-flight yoga classes and health monitoring.

In the meantime, Air New Zealand announced they will connect NYC with the South Pacific with their own nearly 18 hour nonstop service on a specially configured 787-9 Dreamliner with more premium economy and business class seats than in the regular configuration.

My brother (and fellow DansDeals contributor) JJ flew on Air New Zealand nonstop from Chicago to Auckland on the business class glitch from earlier this year. Hopefully they’ll give us another glitch when the NYC flight goes on sale 😀

American’s horrendous rebooking policies turned a 7 hour flight into a weeklong nightmare.

American Airlines is an operational mess. They cancel and delay far more flights than their competition and they make matters worse by refusing to rebook passengers on other airlines.

I’ve personally suffered from this policy many times. I’ve written off even trying to fly American as it seems like all of my American flights wind up delayed or cancelled. They messed up multiple trips to London, to my grandfather’s 90th birthday party with delays, cancellations, and refusals to rebook us on other airlines. On my last American flight I didn’t have any other options but to take American home from my nephew’s bris in Miami in order to catch the Home Run Derby in Cleveland and hope that my horrible streak of delayed AA flights would finally crack. But of course, that flight was delayed several hours. At least I had Centurion Lounge access to drink off the misery of another delayed AA flight.

But while American has stranded us overnight, I’ve never experienced something like what these passengers went through trying to get from Peru to Dallas. American cancelled the flights for 3 days in a row while failing to get another aircraft or rebooking customers on other airlines until they had waited around for days.

American’s rebooking policies make their operational failures so much worse. It’s been amazing to watch USAirways management ruin what was once a decent airline with a valuable mileage program.

When you’re trying to save money on a low-cost airline, be sure you know the risks.

  • My heart goes out to Naama Issachar, who was caught with 0.33 ounces of Marijuana in her checked luggage as she flew from India to Israel via Moscow and now has been sentenced to 7.5 years in Russian prison on drug and smuggling charges. She took the Aeroflot flight as it was $200 cheaper than other options. There’s little doubt that she’s a political pawn as her stash was clearly for personal use and Russia tried her as a distributor. It shouldn’t need to be said, but you should never, ever fly with drugs. There are countries that will execute people flying with drugs! But traveling with any illicit goods through a country with courts that take orders from above is certainly a risk. Hopefully reasonable minds will prevail in Naama’s case.
  • It’s old news that Ukraine Airlines plays dirty with carry-on bags. Every time there’s a Jewish holiday, stories pop up about them discriminating against Jews. But the truth is they play dirty with everyone. If you decide to save a few shekels by taking Ukraine Air to Israel just take a personal item like a small backpack as they will lie about the size of wheeled carry-ons in Kiev in order to charge a small fortune to continue onto your connecting flight with it. Officially they do allow a hat in a case and tefilin in a case in addition to carry-on allowance.
  • Chabad once again came to the rescue of hundreds of Jews connecting from Tel Aviv on a Norwegian flight that was cancelled from Barcelona to Newark. Rabbi Dovid Libersohn of Chabad of Barcelona brought hot food to the airport. Don’t forget that every Chabad House needs to raise their own operational funding, so be sure to donate generously. When you fly on a low-cost carrier it may seem like a bargain, but when things go south they typically won’t rebook you on other airlines and you may need to wait a very long time until they have the space to accommodate you on another flight.

El Al Tidbits: Goodbye 747 jumbos, hello tiny 787-8s onto their flagship route.

El Al’s jumbo 747 carried over 400 passengers from JFK to Tel Aviv for years. It recently flew its last flight on that route without fanfare.

The final El Al 747 flights will be from Tel Aviv to Rome on November 1, with the return from Rome to Tel Aviv on November 3. Will you book travel on these flights? Nothing will be as fun as the United 747 retirement flight that I took to Hawaii a couple years ago.

In the meantime, El Al is now flying between JFK and Tel Aviv with smaller 787-9s that have 32 business seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 222 economy seats, for a total of 282 seats.

However on some dates next year, including many Wednesdays, El Al will fly their 787-8 between JFK and Tel Aviv. That plane has just 20 business seats, 35 premium economy seats, and 183 economy seats, for a total of 238 seats. The plane was intended to fly in markets with low demand, so it’s surprising to see this plane show up on their flagship route.

I’m seeing the 787-8 scheduled to fly from JFK to Tel Aviv on:

March 12
April 1, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20
June 3, 10, 17, 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
August 5, 12, 19, 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
October 7, 14, 21

Check the airplane bathrooms before you go…

Earlier this year a Houston man was caught planting a hidden camera on a United airplane bathroom.

A Southwest flight attendant now alleges that she caught pilots streaming from an on-board camera placed in the bathroom.

I’ll be sure to take an extra look around before using an airplane bathroom!

Boeing heads are finally starting to roll for the 737MAX fiasco.

Boeing is finally taking action against executives for the 737MAX disaster by firing the head of their commercial aviation unit. 

That comes after text messages that showed Boeing knew about problems with the MCAS software.

Had Boeing not been as frugal and designed MCAS to take input from both sensors instead of just one, the 737MAX may not have become the disaster it became. With the fixes. MCAS will take input from both sensors, will be able to overruled by pilots far more easily, and will only activate once so that it will never again force an airplane to crash.

That being said I expect the plane to return to the skies in early 2020. Personally I won’t avoid the plane due to safety, I’ll avoid it as it’s been outfitted with uncomfortable slimline seats with little legroom and bathrooms so tiny you won’t even be able to bend down and check under the sink for a hidden camera.

OK, in a pinch I’d still fly it without reservation once it comes back online. But if you’re uncomfortable, just call your airline and they should allow you to change to another flight for free. Unless you’re flying American, good luck with them. Southwest and United have official policies allowing free changes from 737MAX flights.


Verizon will give free Disney Plus subscriptions.

Everyone wants to take on Netflix.

Disney will throw their hat into the ring on November 12 with their Disney+ streaming service.

If you have a Verizon Unlimited plan you’ll get 12 months of free Disney+ service. I’ll make a post when you can enroll in that offer and whether it works on $30 grandfathered unlimited plans like the one I’m on.

You can earn Hyatt points for booking a cruise with Lindblad.

Lindblad left a bad taste in my mouth when they I tried to bid Starpoints to cruise to Antarctica on 11/6/16. They point-blank refused to allow me to bring kosher food onto their boat.

All worked out in the end, as a couple of weeks later, I got to throw out the first pitch and get 2nd row seats to game 7 of the 2016 World Series on our wedding anniversary.

And 2 years after that, I got to lead a group of over 50 Jewish passengers who shared my dream and passion of making it to Antarctica, but were never able to due to the lack of kosher food availability.

But if you are booking on Lindblad, you may as well claim a bunch of extra points. Best of all the 5 points per dollar spent will count towards earning Hyatt elite status. Hyatt has the last of the valuable hotel points. Hopefully they stay valuable for years to come.

You can get a great deal for staying in a Vancouver hotel through 2/29/20.

Select the Visa promo from the drop-down menu and you’ll get a C$125 Visa gift card for 1 night stays and an additional C$50 added onto the gift card for each subsequent night.

This will stack well with the last chance to fly on North America’s best flight.


The Equifax hack keeps getting crazier.


My only question, did Equifax hire a 5 year old or a 95 year old to make their “password” for keeping our credit safe?

Share your thoughts on these stories or post a comment about what other stories that I missed!

Leave a Reply

69 Comments On "Sunday News Roundup 10/27/19: 11 Quick Takes On What’s Going On In Aviation, Credit, And Deals That You Should Know About"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Lord Dima

Please don’t. Already too much “roundup” bs posts out there all just for the SEO. You are posting enough on here already…

Keep em coming

I actually enjoyed the post


The difference between those and this, is unlike those, this post contains no click-bait titles, no ads between every paragraph to increase revenue, and no long winded speculation and such to increase lengths of articles.


@Lord Dima
Have you invested heavy money in DansDeals? Either that or perhaps you’re Dan’s boss

Either way, nice to have Dan’s back

Moishie Hersko

Love the concept, keep em coming.






How did you get color in your name?


He’s a photographer don’t forget. Lighting and colors is what he does


גם אני מצטרף להנ״ל




thanks Dan we love this posts


Really nice post! I’d appreciate seeing more of these.


Really like the roundup! Especially avgeek news

Alex V

Love this post. Keep them coming please.

Thank you.


Keep it up! Love these kinds of posts!


Please do again. Very informative. Short and sweet.


Love the roundup


more like dans take on travel, cc and related news but i like it


These are great, as the summary gets the main juice of the story without needing to actually open the links.
If it was just a link post, it would not be as great.


To quote doc only prison sentences will stop these credit breaches


Keep it up!
I love the this roundup.
Whoever doesn’t enjoy it, feel free to skip it


What a simple great idea!


Awesome posts. Please keep these coming. Would much rather get the news here than from other blogs.


Maybe add some news about al-Baghdadi and the likes in your Sunday’s news roundups

Liam K. Nuj

Must we denigrate the elderly (“95 year olds”) to make a point about the incompetence of Equifax?


I liked your editorial analysis in the roundup.


Someone who has money making fun of people who don’t have any trying to save a few bucks is always looked down upon in my book.


“and bathrooms so tiny you won’t even be able to bend down and check under the sink for a hidden camera.”

That’s creative!

Jeff B

Would love to have one of those tv scam busters expose the ukraine airlines scam.

There must be a way to get some justice. Perhaps a class action or something like that.




Dan this was amazing dont stop


Love it. Awaiting your next kuntres sikum with commentary.


The 787-8 will have Economy Plus, in addition to Premium Economy.


Love the post keep it up!




7.5 years is less than life sentence … Drugs = death

Ukraine does it just for Jews and only Jews


Any thoughts onto why UA chose those routes for the 550? They make no sense on the surface.

That plane can be a massive competitive advantage, and you’d think they’d deploy them as such. I would’ve expected these to fly routes that are either ultra competitive, high-yield, or targeting a competitor’s hub (i.e. ORD-ATL; ORD-MIA etc.).

Chicago to Harrisburg? For an aircraft with 50 premium seats?


+1 thanks loved the post very informative


Love this post. Quick. Succinct. Informative. More please…

y s

Thanks Dan!
I’m still waiting for the Antarctica trip part 5






Just a quick add on about thinking before you pack, my friend was on a plane to TLV a couple months ago. Just before takeoff, the police stormed the plane a removed an entire family. One guy packed in his suitcase a package that his (fill-in-the-blank) aunt sent with him, which she wrote on it “don’t open before the flight, it might explode – Ha Ha”. Security happened to open his suitcase and noticed the package which they didn’t think was so funny. Huge mess for this poor boy. They didn’t let him fly, and put him on the no-fly list!!!!


I think u should do this only on email if u didn’t check every day threw the week


I Can’t wait for the free Disney subscription!! Looking forward to that post! My kids will be thrilled! Thanks dan for all! I love the site!


I actually enjoyed this post, but only because it’s not often that you post these things, I would say post them about once a week
Thanks Dan for all your wonderful work

Shlomo Vizel

I an booked on the last 747 flight with ELAL. Is anyone being in Rome for Shabbos?