At the end of the year, it is common to hear that someone is XXX miles short of elite status. I’ve been there myself. Some years ago I flew to Minneapolis Mall of America for Christmas shopping just because I needed the miles for status. Up in the morning, shop all day, return in the evening. It was actually a very cool trip that I would do again if I needed it to meet my status level.
In years past, sometimes airlines would offer ‘soft landings’ where if you were a bit short of the requirements, they might give it to you anyway. The last holdout, American, made it clear earlier this year that this won’t be happening anymore. Of course, there still may be some exceptions but they are rare events now.
So it’s December, only a few weeks left to achieve elite status levels with the airlines. What are the options?
Mileage runs are always popular in Read More…
I recently wrote about Is Your Child Flying Solo? Here’s What You Need to Know! and did a couple of TV segments on this topic, but didn’t expect to witness first-hand just what can go wrong when a child is entrusted into the care of an airline.
On a recent flight, my boarding was delayed because the arriving aircraft’s flight attendants couldn’t find an unaccompanied child who had just deplaned. It was a bit unnerving to hear the flight attendants – in very rough voice – telling each other at the gate, “I thought YOU were watching the kid.” Of course they would not allow anyone to board until the child was found, either on the plane or elsewhere. The question of “What does he look like?” was asked repeatedly at the gate and went unanswered.
Long story short, the child was eventually found. Apparently the child hopped off the plane with everyone else and did not wait to be escorted by a flight attendant. The adults meeting the boy most likely received gate passes to meet the child at the gate. Once this boy saw his relatives, it was off to the races. Why didn’t the flight attendant know this? Because each one thought the other was responsible for deplaning with the boy. Meanwhile, no one was.
What was the world’s longest commercial flight came to an end. Singapore Airlines just discontinued their non-stop flight from Singapore to New York (Newark). It was a monster at nearly 19 hours. According to Wikipedia, this flight was so long that the airline installed special lockers for corpses in the event of tragedy aboard the aircraft.
Since the airline also discontinued their Singapore-Los Angeles flight, the new longest distance flight is now owned by Qantas flying Sydney to Dallas, comparatively tame at a little more than 15 hours. For avgeeks who just love to be in the air, consider Delta Air Line’s flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta. While the distance is about a hundred miles less than Qantas, it actually takes almost 17 hours. For those who are curious, flights from Dubai to the U.S. also are generally longer than the Qantas flight in terms of hours, as are many other flights primarily to Asia.
So, the distance winner is Qantas while the time in the sky winner is Delta. Regardless, all of these flights have to be downright painful sitting in an economy middle seat in the back.
Win an opportunity to have someone else carry your bag! Three lucky winners will have an opportunity to experience Bags VIP luggage delivery service.
I recently wrote about my great experience with Bags VIP Luggage Delivery Service, and now I’m giving three of you a chance to try it out for yourselves.
With the holiday approaching, you may be checking a bag heavy with winter clothes, gifts or even be traveling with skis or a golf bag. Let Bags VIP retrieve your bags at the airport, deliver them to you and ease your hectic holiday travel plans. Entering is easy: Just head on over to the Smart Women Travelers Facebook page and leave a comment on our post (look for the picture below). Finish this sentence for us – “Waiting for luggage at baggage claim is like ___________”
Three random comments will be selected, and each winner will receive a promo code for one VIP Luggage Delivery of your bags for your next flight. The contest ends Sunday night, 01.December, 2013 at midnight eastern time.
I almost never check my bag. The primary reason is not because I fear having my luggage lost, but because I despise waiting at baggage claim for my bag. I want to be on my way quickly — not shuffling from one foot to the other waiting for many minutes for the start of the bag parade. Ugh, such unproductive time! Then holding my breath until I see my bag come along the belt (ok, my secondary fear is forever lost luggage).
This past week, however, I needed to check my bag. I had liquids greater than the 3 oz. size to get home. A perfect time to try out Bags VIP Luggage Delivery. I used a promo code given to me by company execs I met at trade shows to try out their service.
Bags VIP’s business is to recover and deliver your luggage to your home or hotel within 4 hours of your arrival. They service over 250 airports. They pick your bag(s) up in baggage claim so you don’t have to.
My flight was scheduled to arrive at 11:30pm. I didn’t want my luggage Read More…
United Airlines recently announced an apparent change in their carry-on policy for bags. New bag sizers are already appearing at UA ticket counters and gates and will extend throughout their network by the end of this year. The new sizers now have two compartments, one each for carry-on luggage and a second sizer for what is still called a “personal item.” The larger carry-on size remains the same at 9” x 14” x 22”. The personal item sizer is limited to 9” x 10” x 17”.
While the sizers seem to make the maximum carry-on dimensions clear, United offers an exception. Carry-on luggage may not exceed a linear size of 45” while the limit for a personal item is 36”. In other words, a thick personal item exceeding 9” would still be acceptable as long as it, along with the height and width, does not exceed the 36” linear requirement. Some backpacks and laptop bags are good examples that may be too thick for the sizer but nevertheless may fit – albeit not comfortably – under a seat.
While that is UA’s published website policy, their Contract of Carriage says something different. On page 22, they add a caveat: Carry-on baggage may not be longer than 22” in any direction while the personal item may not be more than 17”. This rule eliminates many carry-on items that have previously been accepted. Think garment bags and some musical instruments.
Maybe the biggest problem with the bag sizers is Read More…
I’ve already explained all of the great benefits of Twitter chats. I’ve also shared some amazing reasons to visit Jamaica. Today, I’m here to tell you about a way you can win an all-inclusive 4 Day, 3 Night trip to Jamica with – you guessed it – a Twitter chat!
The Jamaican Tourist Board (@VisitJamaicaNow) is hosting a Twitter chat today (Nov. 19th) at 2 P.M. EST. The hour long chat with use the hashtag #GetAllRight and will focus on winter Jamaican travel. To enter, all you have to do is participate (and make sure you’re following @VisitJamaicaNow). A random winner will be chosen from the chat and will receive a 4 day, 3 night all-inclusive trip to Jamaica (and airfare is included).
Good luck and I’ll see you on Twitter!
My recent post on Yes, We Want Airlines Profitable, But …, along with a recent Wall Street Journal article How Airlines Mine Personal Data In-Flight got the attention of FoxTV in Orlando.
I will be meeting FoxTV on Monday for a segment on this topic called “Airline Data Mining: Value or Invasion?”
Please share your thoughts on this contentious topic:
- What is your biggest hope with how airlines can enhance our travel experience with this data?
- What’s your biggest fear of what they’ll do with this data?
Putting your child on a plane to visit dad, mom or grandparents? The number of kids flying solo will be skyrocketing as this holiday season approaches. Flying these days is confusing enough for us adults. Now add in the myriad of fees and rules for solo-traveling kids and your head will spin!
- What fee does the airline charge?
- Are connecting flights allowed or not?
- Are there different rules depending on the child’s age?
- What if you have two or more children who will be flying together?
- How does a child buy a snack box when they’re too young to by carrying a credit card?
To make it more complicated, the rules differ by airline (of course)! Long gone is the one price across all airlines – the price called ‘free’ that existed when my kids flew solo.
Tune in to Houston’s KHOU 11 News this Saturday morning and hear Pearls of Travel Wisdom’s Carol Margolis as she shares what parents need to know.
Here’s a source of airline websites and “unaccompanied minor” rules to get you started: Is Your Child Flying Alone? Here’s What You Need to Know!
Virtually all the major airlines reported profits in the last quarter, a predicted outcome once the airlines got control of flight capacity. In economic terms, the airlines now own the supply side of the supply and demand curve. This is good in the sense that the carriers no longer fear reorganization and bankruptcy in the event of an economic downturn so with the feast or famine days behind them, the industry focus today is simply profitability.
This blog reported before about airlines acquiring personal data about passengers which, the airlines say, is to provide more personal experiences. Now they want to go a step further and use targeted marketing for airfares. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has proposed a scheme, Read More…
Earlier this year, American Airlines announced that soft landings would disappear. This means for those who are only a bit short of elite status miles, the airline will not comp those miles to help someone hold on to their elite level. However, AA recently announced they are offering a soft landing buy-up for those elites who are short of status miles. However, this is a bit different than the Delta Air Lines program of the last few years.
The American program is effective in January of next year while Delta’s status buy-up miles has been promoted in December. Also, American offers both a boost and a renewal option while Delta’s offer was only a boost. Neither of these are like the US Air program that simply offers the purchase of status outright.
So is a buy-up worth it? For that matter, is a mileage run still worth it? The answer is, Read More…