Monthly Archives: April 2013
Well loyal readers it has been year of writing this blog. I have enjoyed it immensely and I have learned a lot about the world of travel blogging.
It’s time for a change.
I am confronted about where to take this blog, if there is a place to go at all. Looking at the world of travel bloggers, consultants, and others I have noticed several things. These things have bothered me. These things make me want to do something different. So, it’s time for a change.
This is not the end of the puckinflight blog, far from it. The blog will continue. I am in the process of designing a new space on Squarespace.com where there will still be a blog, and something more. 😉 I don’t want to give out too many details, but it’s exciting. I know you will want to see it, and you will be the first to know.
The transportation business has been fraught with fraud since the time it came into being. Ever since there were commercial sailing vessels there have been people unable to pay who tried to stowaway on the ship. Of course in ye ol days, stowaways would get tossed overboard at least there was the deterrent factor of a watery death to dissuade people from stealing a ride. With the invention of airlines fraud came as well. Apparently, it used to be easy, or at least purported to be. Helen Hays plays the part of an airline stowaway in the 1970 film “Airport” and goes into great detail about how to stowaway on airlines. In addition to stowaways there are other ways to defraud airlines through their loyalty programs.
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Delta, American, and US Airways have submitted their complete applications for the new Brazil routes to the DOT for approval. Basically all of the follow applications say the same thing, why the applying airline would be a better choice than the other airlines. You can read all three applications in the links below if you want.
However, there was only one thing that really interested me in the application. That one this is the projected fuel burn numbers for the route. The Airlines complain a lot about how expensive fuel is, these numbers may provide the best insight into how much the airlines actually spend. Lets have a look shall we?
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Being the not so good blogger I am, I went back to the docket today to have a look at the what the DOT is saying about awarding the available Brazil-US slots. Currently, the slots have not been awarded. According to a published timetable the DOT plans on having a final decision issued no earlier than the middle of next month. The only thing of interest so far was that Delta wanted US Airways and United to disclose the lease agreement that allows US Airways to use United’s slots for their Charlotte-Brazil flight. The DOT denied that motion.
In the age of decreasing benefits and angry elites (how many times has UA been sued over benefits?) one airline is bucking the trend. ANA has tweaked their program providing some awesome benefits for Japan based flyers. First, for middle and top tier (Gold and Platinum) they will get unlimited upgrades to premium economy on international flights. Even though this benefit is contingent on availability at boarding it’s available on any fare class. NH’s product isn’t just UA’s Economy Plus, it’s an actual premium product, NH’s premium economy product has the same pitch as United’s domestic first and only slight less with 18.5in v 20in. Either way on a 10hr flight I’ll take it.
The less sexy but fundamentally more interesting addition, are the “Super Flyers” credit cards. These credit cards which are only available to mid and top tier elites grant a sliding scale of benefits based on the annual fee. For about $120.00/year the holder gets Star Gold status (lounge access), international premium economy upgrades, and 50% bonus redeemable miles. Seriously, this is greatest travel credit card ever made. Of course the catch is you have to be elite to apply, but not to renew every year.
My suggestion to any Japan based flyers is to get status one year, then get this card. Then it doesn’t matter if you fly or not, you still have basically the best mid-tier airline status in existence.