Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meanwhile, back at the airline debacle . . .a call to action!

Use up your frequent flyer miles ASAP!

As of Aug 15 Delta will add a $25 fuel surcharge for frequent flyer tickets booked for trips within the U.S. and $50 on tickets booked for travel "elsewhere." Delta says it is also coming up with a "new multilayered award program" in the next 60 days. Look for increased numbers of miles required for a free (?) ticket among other things. American is already charging $5 to book frequent flyer tickets and US Airways will drop the hammer Aug 6 with a $50 fee. Northwest is kind of laying in the weeds on this one as with other "fees" thus far, and is instead encouraging folks holding frequent flyer miles that don't add up to a free ticket to apply what they've got towards a paid ticket. Could this be an effort to absorb as many frequent flyer miles as possible in anticipation of changing the program a.k.a NWA's mother ship Delta?

What else happened. Oh yes. Gary Chase, an industry analyst for Lehman Brothers predicted that air fares, which have already risen about 17% this year may rise another 8% by the end of the year and as much as 40% over the next four years. Destination cities are falling off the map. By year's end roughly 100 American communities will be left without regular commercial air service and that number may double next year. People who live in smaller communities that lose air service will have to drive an hour or two on their own gas to get to a regional airport. Hundreds of airplanes will be parked. Parked planes and fewer destinations mean employee layoffs. Most of us are cluelessly doing our lives as usual during this crisis. We hear what is in store but we haven't seen it yet. A classic state of denial. But when we want our kids home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, or want to take a little break in the sun over next winter, the moment of truth will be here.

By comparison the absolute frivolity of my last post (a little internet ditty about Lutran Airlines) seems like a giggle richly deserved, doesn't it? Oh, and apologies to any Lutheran folks out there who took exception. I guarantee clean stuff, but classy sometimes eludes.

In closing it seems current events in aviation are taking their toll in unexpected ways. A United airlines flight was cancelled because the pilot decided he was "not calmed and focused enough" to fly after an argument at the gate with colleagues over whether or not he had to wear his uniform hat. The pilot announced his decision to the passengers who then emitted a collective groan before they were let off the plane.

More frivolity anyone?


Anonymous Della said...

I have unused frequent flyer miles.

August 11, 2016 at 4:32 PM  

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