- A lawsuit filed by a United Airlines Million-Miler will proceed, as a judge threw out United’s request to have it dismissed. Well… parts of the lawsuit were dismissed, but others are still in play. The judge said, “At this stage of the litigation, the court finds it plausible that defendants had a contract with Million Miler members which differed from the contract they had with other Mileage Plus members.” Will Regional Upgrades and 100% bonus miles return?
- In other United news, Seth at Wandering Aramean reports that United will drop a second appetizer choice from existing service on two-cabin international BusinessFirst flights (think legacy Continental). Not a big loss and the single cold appetizer is certainly nothing special. The change takes effect March 1.
- Hyatt Regency will take over and reflag a former downtown Los Angeles Marriott property in May. It marks a return for Hyatt to downtown L.A. after an eight year absence. And in other Marriott news, the chain is adding/reflagging seven hotels in Thailand in the upcoming months.
- A JetBlue flight was diverted because a passenger was miffed that a fellow traveler didn’t pay for the “premium seat” next to her. Apparently, a passenger was moved from his non-premium seat to one next to her due to an inop seatback monitor and she couldn’t handle it. Really people?
- In other bad behavior, American Airlines apologized and refunded Kristen Chenoweth a pet-in-cabin fee after a flight attendant allegedly made a mistake in claiming the actress/singer failed to properly document her pooch. The FA reportedly yelled at Chenoweth causing her to break down in tears.
- Allegiant Air began scheduled Las Vegas-Reno-Las Vegas service today. The twice-weekly service occurs on Fridays and Sundays, and a look at their fares today reveals a decent bargain on many dates for less than $100 round-trip (assuming you don’t assign yourself seats, buy with a credit-card or check bags). I’ve been meaning to try out the likes of Allegiant and Spirit just for the hell of it. Now that I’m Reno-based, I might just have to give the Vegas flight a try.
- And finally, in exciting news to my Amenity Kit Series, Delta Air Lines will begin issuing new BusinessElite amenity kits this month. The new offering will feature a bag by Tumi and skin care products by Malin+Goetz. Sounds (and looks) like an upgrade to me.
Delta BusinessElite Tumi Amenity Kit
Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: January 31, 2013
Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: January 30, 2013
Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel News: January 29, 2013
I stumbled across this video from SpiceJet Airlines and thought it was a unique way to promote the hot meal options available on the low-cost Indian carrier. Avoiding cold meals on the undisclosed carrier he’s flying, the featured passenger’s stomach growls loudly as he reads “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” much to the annoyance of fellow passengers.
SpiceJet began operations in 2005 and currently operates a fleet of 26 next-generation Boeing 737 single-class aircraft flying to 22 destinations in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The airline doesn’t have a frequent flyer program (yet), but touts itself as “India’s most preferred airline” and even won a Skytrax award for best low-cost airline in the South Asia/Central Asia region in 2007.
Last week I had a work trip to New York and flew American Airlines instead of my favorite United Airlines p.s. flights between LAX and JFK since I’m taking the challenge to achieve Platinum status in the AAdvantage program. I’ve been fortunate to have always flown in United’s Business Class on this route, so this was my first time in economy and I received the following email a few days before my trip.
American started this trial pre-order offer for the LAX/SFO-JFK flights April 1st and it runs through August 31st this year. Wanting to continue experiencing all things American Airlines, I signed up and was offered the following selections for my early afternoon flight to JFK:
These seem to be the same food options found on regular American flights and I chose the chicken Caesar salad. When I arrived at the airport I ended up eating at a restaurant having a full lunch before I headed for the boarding gate. The terms of pre-order service (appearing below) state no cancellations are allowed, so I figured I’d ask to have the salad later in the flight since I wouldn’t be hungry when the initial service began.
I assumed the pre-order process would be similar to a special meal order where flight attendants have a galley manifest showing the names and seat locations for those passengers with requests. As such, I expected to be approached and/or paged once the flight attendants worked the list, and waited patiently for that to happen. After the first hour or so went by and not feeling particularly hungry, I decided to instead just let it ride to see if there would be any contact attempted. None was, we landed in New York and I made my way to my hotel.
I believe United also used to offer a pre-order option for the premium service flights to/from JFK, but hunting through the website just now it appears they no longer do. My guess is there just wasn’t enough interest or activity to keep it going, and I’ll predict American’s program will end after the trial period, especially since there didn’t seem to be any onboard accountability. As it was, very few people around my seat seemed to order anything at all and I think the vast majority of people flying coach these days know what to expect and plan their food options accordingly, often not relying on what the airline might offer. So, I’ll just tally it up to another experience with American I hadn’t had before, but certainly wouldn’t repeat. Have any of my readers pre-ordered food & had a different experience?
Hope everyone has a safe & happy Forth of July weekend!