Thursday, February 19, 2015
While we all know this is not easy for anyone, the tight capacity and limited options can wreak havoc for days even when the weather improves. Airlines have very limited slack and changes cannot easily be made. So who loses? The traveler is always the number 1 loser in these events. Airlines grant "waivers" and "flexibility", but when you are going to a specific event on a certain day and you hold a non-refundable ticket, this flexibility does not mean much.
Here's an excerpt of one airline's policy:
Due to weather in the Eastern U.S., XYZ Airlines offers the following flexibility options to ticketed customers whose travel may be impacted by this event. Customers ticketed to travel , departing from the affected airports may change flights
On the following dates: February 16, 2015 - February 17, 2015
And your ticket was issued no later than: February 15, 2015
You may travel: February 16, 2015 - February 20, 2015
Original inventory required? No
Origin/Destination/Stopover Changes allowed? No
The ticket reissue charge will be waived for one ticket change.
To change travel dates, contact our Reservations personnel at 1-800-XXX-XXXX within the United States or Canada.
As you see from above, the flexibility offers the same dates that flights are cancelled (February 16 and 17), and only allows 3 additional days to make the trip. Problem #1, you may no longer have the need to travel. Problem #2, if you do travel, you have to compete with other passengers on what looks like already oversold flights in a very tight window. Problem #3, if you choose not to travel or cannot find seats, you will have to pay a penalty for using your ticket on a future flight.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Thursday, December 18, 2014
United modifies Asia/Pacific baggage allowance policies
United has changed its seasonal checked baggage allowances to be year-round for tickets purchased on/after December 18, 2014 and for travel on/after January 8, 2015. As a result, United and joint venture partner ANA now offer aligned, year-round free baggage allowances in most key Pacific markets.
The following free baggage allowances apply to MileagePlus Premier Silver, General and non-members traveling in the United Economy cabin. Note: the policy is applicable for travel based on the first point of origin. For example, if a customer originates in Shanghai (PVG) to Los Angeles (LAX), the customer will receive free baggage allowance for 2 pieces (based on the chart below) on both the outbound and return.
Countries To Pacific From Pacific
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
* Value of frequent flyer points will be further diluted.
* The term: "frequent flyer" will have less meaning. New term: "Higher Fare Flyer"
* Different tiers of economy fares (i.e.: be prepared to pay more) will be the new normal.
* Achieving "status" with mileage will be much harder.
* Hotel fees and pricing will resemble the airline model. Prepare to pay more.
* The difference between the "have more" and "have less" travelers will be more visible.
* New or higher ancillary fees for travelers
* Major domestic airlines, despite billions in profits, will not pay any taxes.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
So what will 2015 bring us? These are the myths that pundits are predicting:
* Service and travel experience will improve: Not a chance. U.S. airports are not adapting to today's (or tomorrow's) needs. From TSA, outdated facilities, overcrowded terminals and lounges, there is no relief in sight. Don't expect domestic carriers to improve either.
*Fares will go down: Not really! With less competition and reduced capacity, airlines might claim that fares will stabilize, but once you add an increasing number of ancillary fees on very basic things such as seat assignments, the fares will be up again in 2015. Also, forget any savings from cost of jet fuel going down.
* There cannot be more ancillary fees-airlines have maxed them out: Wrong! Fees will increase on many "services" and a tiered fee structure will make the previous fees look tame in comparison.
* Fuel Surcharges will be eliminated: Nope! Airlines are always quick to introduce or add fuel surcharges at the hint of rising fuel prices, but when we have a dramatic sustained drop such as the 40%+ drop in the past several months, airlines either do not react or they shrug it off in anticipation of a future increase.
The next edition will be the predictions for 2015. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014