|US Airways E175 at IND|
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Small to medium airports have their benefits, mainly they are more relaxed experiences. This is especially true during bad weather because they can better handle problems with their excess runway capacity. You can get a direct flight from SFO to almost anywhere, but a little fog cancels dozens of flights. Interesting trade offs.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Airbus and Boeing have a very long debate going on who makes the better aircraft. Mostly this debate focuses on fuel consumption per seat and aircraft cost. Both of those items are surprisingly difficult to compare. Airlines always bargain the purchase price down and then get deals on parts, service, or financing. Fuel economy is a though one because it depends on configuration and different airlines rarely have a the same configuration. Airbus is now trying to win on coach seat comfort. Boeing seats are 17in wide and Airbus seats are 18in wide. That extra inch makes all the difference or so says Airbus. As a frequent traveler, I like the focus on the customer experience, but how far can airlines go without losing revenue?
|17" Seats on a 737|
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Usually when I fly, there is always a chance of an upgrade. If I'm number 10 on the list and first class is full, I just need 10 people to miss their flight and I'm in. Always the optimist, I still think that no matter what number I am, though its more silly than serious when I'm number 24. There's only no hope on turbo props and 50 seat regional jets. Frontier, Southwest, and Jet Blue have the same problem on every flight. Complete lack of hope takes some of the fun out of being an elite member because the best benefits (upgrades, first class miles tickets, etc.) aren't guaranteed. I'm flying with no upgrade hope today and it takes some of the fun out of the experience.
|No Upgrades Ever|
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
$5029 for a round trip in Lufthansa first class is a pretty good deal. The fare is from Boston to Moscow; two city pairs I have no interest in, but it is still eye catching. Business class fares start at $2000 round trip with tax too. That might be worth it just for the elite mileage and bonuses. It's a slow time of year for Lufthansa, so now is the time to jump on these fares because they should be twice as much. That is if you are inclined to pay for premium cabin travel with money. I've paid with miles and enjoyed the experience.
|First Class Awaits|
Monday, October 21, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
United used to mail all members a MileagePlus membership card on joining the program. Now they send an email. Airlines will send cards to their elite members, but general members are left out of card collecting, unless you look abroad. ANA mailed me a card quickly after joining, so did Qatar, British Airways, and Air Berlin. I’m still signing up for programs here and there, but I haven’t seen anything in my mail box recently.
|ANA 767 at NRT|
oneworld is boasting about being the best airline alliance as rated by Skytrax, Global Traveler, and World Travel Awards Impressive right? It isn’t because these surveys are horribly subjective and even if you tried, there’s no empirical way to determine the best airline alliance. Ultimately the best alliance is the one you enjoy flying the most; so the best airline alliance as rated by FrequentFlyerGuy.com is the Star Alliance. oneworld is good too, the bulk of my back up miles are with oneworld carriers. Skyteam is just Delta and a few other off brand carriers, they’ll let anyone join if Delta approves and Star Alliance or oneworld passes. Some of the best alliances are between carriers and not part of a larger branded agreement. Alaska Airlines has an outstanding list of partners and reasonably priced awards; Alaska is also a great way to pool American and Delta flights if you don’t travel with either enough for elite status. Etihad has 21 airline partners so they can provide an alliance style product while maintaining control of the process. So what is an alliance and who’s is the best? It depends (the #1 answer in grad school when there is no clear answer).
|American Airlines MD|
Monday, October 14, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
I want to fly to Moline, IL for vacation. Seriously. I'm going to see Bob Newhart on stage outside Iowa City and MLI is my best option. I have spent a considerable amount of time at MLI because of a missed connection, but this time I'll leave the terminal. MLI has direct flights from Denver too. Except I don't want to fly direct. I'm short on miles and need do go as circuitously as possible. For an extra $45 over the direct fare, I was able to book via SAN, LAX, and ORD.
|Sample Search For Unnecessary Connections|
Friday, October 11, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Register and stay one night at an Embassy Suites hotel and get a free Callaway wedge (full rules). This is a sweet promotion that makes me want to spend a night at Embassy Suites on my next business trip, and I don't even golf. Crowne Plaza was giving away Taylor Made clubs in 2008. I could have earned a free $1,200 set, but decided to stock up on SPG points instead. I stand by that decision.
|I Mostly Take Airplane Photos|