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When it comes to ticket flexibility Southwest Airlines is probably one of the best carriers out there. At this point everyone knows that bags fly free with them, and they’re also pretty generous when it comes to changing your flight. They don’t have any change fees if you need to switch things up, as you’re only responsible for paying the difference between your old fare and your new fare.
The change fee policy is staying the same, but we wanted to let you know that there’s another policy that just recently changed—so pay attention if you’re flying with Southwest anytime soon. The carrier is now instituting a kind of no-show policy, as passengers need to give them a call if they’re not going to make their flight.
Interstate 5 between Seattle and Bellingham had something of a major problem just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. As you've probably heard, the Skagit River Bridge collapsed into the water below, but thankfully the injuries were minor considering the situation. Now it’ll be weeks before some temporary supports and spans can be hoisted into place, so in the interim travelers must take the long way or call up Alaska Airlines.
The carrier is looking to help out those stuck by the bridge collapse, and they’re offering up special fares between Bellingham and Seattle. As they put it, they’re helping to “bridge the gap,” and the one-way specials begin at $99 each way.
Super Bowl Travel / Football Travel / Airfare / Super Bowl XLVII / New Orleans Travel / Sports Travel / → All Tags
In case you were doing something a little more productive yesterday than snacking your way into a food coma, let us fill you in on the outcome of Sunday’s football games. Our congratulations goes out to both the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, as the teams will hit the field in a couple of weeks down in New Orleans in this year’s Super Bowl. There’s plenty of chatter, analysis, and other filler to discuss until the kickoff finally arrives, but until then you need to figure out how to get to the game.
Flights to New Orleans for the weekend of this year’s big game were already selling at a premium, and now it looks like prices are shooting skyward if you’re heading from either San Francisco or Baltimore.
Booking airline tickets used to be fairly straightforward. Call ‘em up and tell ‘em where you want to go, and then book your ticket and countdown the days until departure. Tickets included meals, snacks, and of course a couple of checked bags. Now there are all kinds of different options before, during, and after the airport, and now it looks like American Airlines is the latest carrier to shake up the way it goes about selling its tickets.
The new American Airlines fare system gives you the option to choose exactly what you want, so if you want to score a couple freebie checked bags or waive change fees—the option is yours. Of course this is great for business travelers needing to change things up or for families that suffer from analysis paralysis, but this flexibility is going to cost you.
Travel Deals / Black Friday / Sales / Cathay Pacific / Cruise Travel / Airfare / Celebrity Cruises / LAN / TAM / Cyber Monday / → All Tags
We know you've planned your itinerary for overindulgence this week, but there’s still time to tweak things a little bit in advance of the shopping bonanzas known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sure you can head out into the dark of the early morning hours in search of a discounted television, computer, or toaster, or you can just fire up the laptop, tablet, or phone and look for some travel deals. We’re not exactly sure who will be offering what—that’s the surprise of Black Friday—but here’s some hints.
· Cathay Pacific is doing something, but we’re not sure exactly what. They have a landing page set up and ready to go promising a “Black Friday Exclusive,” and requesting us to check back with them at midnight on November 23. A little research reveals that it may be a 15% off airfare deal. Expect the discount to apply for travel through February 2013, and it sounds like those booking tickets will even be entered into a special contest.
At some point this week you’re going to need to kill a little time. Whether it’s the last few hours of the shortened workweek or just the last few minutes before the turkey is done, holiday boredom must be kept at bay. This week’s distraction is thanks to tea company Celestial Seasonings, as they’re giving away some airfare and cash so you can hang with family and friends this holiday season.
Here’s the deal—they’re calling it The Great Holiday Get Together Sweepstakes, and it’s pretty darn easy to enter. All you have to do is enter the usual bits and pieces of personal information and click submit. They want to know if you use Twitter and Facebook, but no linking or sharing is required to participate.
Airline News / Finnair / Airlines / Airfare / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Fresh off their partnership with Marimekko it looks like Finnair is already back in the news, as they’re spiffing up some of your passenger options before you even board the plane. It all starts when you go to book your flight, as the carrier has all kinds of new ticket types from which to choose.
In total they’re introducing six levels of tickets which will go up for sale beginning at the end of November. First of all, all ticket flavors will thankfully include one free checked piece of baggage, and they’re even throwing in a meal or beverage service. After that things get all crazy, as you’re welcome to package amenities and options with your ticket.
Social Media / Southwest Airlines / Southwest / Airline News / Airfare / Travel Deals / Facebook / → All Tags
Last week—August 3 to be specific—Southwest Airlines held a flash sale only advertised within their Facebook page. To celebrate reaching three million Facebook fans, those fans could book for up to 50% off certain flights on certain dates in September, October, and November. Depending on when you booked and where you wanted to go, there were some decent deals, and even a transcontinental flight could be had for well under $200.
Unfortunately things didn’t go as smoothly as they thought, and there was a little bit of a snafu. Thankfully tickets are still to be honored and all the deals and discounts stand, but billing issues linger into this week. Some customers were double billed or more, and those paying with their debit cards might even have been hit with overdraft fees—yuck.
Airline News / Airlines / Airfare / Travel Deals / DTW / Delta / → All Tags
We really thought Delta was standing tall when compared against the competition; after all we don’t just hand out Jaunty awards to anyone and everyone. Alas, it doesn’t look like they’re going to repeat in 2012 as we’re a little concerned about one of their latest “innovations” of ticketing and fares.
Delta has introduced a new ticket option—something they’re calling Basic Economy. With this new fare class—it books into the E fare bucket for those interested—you might just save a few more bucks, but you'll also loose out on some basics usually associated with the major carriers. With a Basic Economy ticket there’s no advance seat assignment, and that’s even the case for some of the airline’s best frequent flyers.
Delta / Airline News / Airlines / Airfare / Delta SkyMiles / → All Tags
We’re not really big fans of upselling at the airport, but it seems that the airlines won’t quit when it comes to offering up this and that for a fee. Delta has long been charging for checked baggage—just like all the other legacy carriers—but now they’re moving some of their extras right into the airline booking page. This is hardly something new for the airline industry, but Delta is quick to advertise it as a cross between a convenience and a perk.
Things like Priority Boarding are now available to be added onto your base airline fare—kind of like an order of fries—for as low as $9 per segment. Sure it’s a nice option to have, and we guess it’s best to take care of things all it once. However, we’re usually kind of fine with pushing and shoving ourselves to the front of the boarding line, and then just tossing our carry-on up and over an elderly grandma before finding our middle seat—we’re kidding of course.
Super Bowl Travel / Football Travel / Airfare / Super Bowl XLVI / Indiana Travel / Sports Travel / → All Tags
After a busy Sunday we now know that there’s going to be a Super Bowl rematch between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Fans from the Northeast—and the rest of the country—are already submitting vacation request paperwork as they roll into the office. We took a quick look at the flight situation, and here are some ideas on how to get to Indianapolis for this year’s big game on February 5.
You’ve only got two weeks to finalize your travel plans, but figuring things out sooner rather than later is the best plan. If you’re looking to fly from Boston for the weekend, expect to pay around $1100 for a nonstop option on Delta that gets you in on Friday and sends you home—hopefully with a championship t-shirt—on Monday. Staying a little longer and making a connection can save some serious coin, as leaving on Thursday and coming home on Tuesday will set you back around $500 instead. Flights from other parts of New England like Hartford and Providence are just as pricey—with must-do connections—so the smaller airports won’t save you any cash.
Around the World Travel / Airfare / oneworld / Star Alliance / SkyTeam / Airline News / Airfare Deals / → All Tags
If the usual travel destinations have gotten a little boring, it might be time to consider something a little more adventurous. Traveling around the world is slightly intimidating, but doing it by airplane isn’t too tricky. There are plenty of options for flying around the globe, and there’s three main ways to get you to and from your home with time for pit stops on most continents. The best part is things are somewhat flexible, so feel free to skip over countries you’ve seen before or ones you’d rather avoid. Here’s a rundown of where to go to get things done.
· Star Alliance
Star Alliance is ready, willing, and able to take you to your dream destinations, and they can do it with help from lots of airlines including United Airlines, ANA, and Singapore Airlines. Tickets are priced depending on total mileage planned for your trip, and you can choose from 29,000, 34,000, or 39,000 miles. For those that enjoy the pain and suffering of a seat in the back of the plane, there’s a special economy option available with a 26,000 mileage allowance—in case you only have a week to finish exploring.