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Puckinflight

An all things aviation blog

Tag Archives: US Airways

Last week I took a trip on Delta to a destination in the Southeast. For those that follow my blog you may remember the last time I got on a Delta flight was at the end of 2012 and that was because I had a Delta voucher. Well this trip was for business and the organization that made the arrangements purchased the ticket for me. So, I had no say in the ticket which was fine. The ticket was fairly last minute and when booked therefore I was in the middle-seat on Phoenix-Atlanta. That wouldn’t do so I availed myself of the only option to get out of the middle-seat, I paid $60.00 for an economy comfort seat.

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The DOT yesterday issued a “show cause” order detailing how the new Brazil slots for this year and next year are to be divided among the bidders. Here was my prediction.

This year

DL gets JFK-GRU

AA gets LAX-GRU

Next year

AA gets ORD-GRU

US gets PHL-GRU

Those were my predictions. Here is what the show cause order says

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I originally started planning this trip last July when I booked the “4-mile” deal with United and after they canceled the tickets I said shoot I am going anyways. Michelle and I began truly planning the trip in October when we booked the tickets. So after the jump you have a full trip report from the planning stages to the last flight home.

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In what is almost non-news United Airlines announced to Milepoint.com and Flyertalk.com that they will be retrofitting their narrowbody airbus fleet. The upgrades include wifi internet and AVOD and power in first and economy plus. However, the upgrades are almost entirely overshadowed by the notice that United will be installing Recaro’s slimline seats. These seats have been adopted by Southwest and numerous European carriers to universal disappointment of travelers. The seats allow the airline to reduce pitch and cram in more seats into an already cramped space.

How far we have fallen from the days of more “room in coach.” You may remember the ads from TV and here is a 2000 NYT article detailing American Airlines plan to put “more room in coach.”

United Airlines has pledged to pay for extra padding, head rests, and adjusted the seat design so that travel will not be as painful as it is on Southwest or the other European carriers that have adopted the seat. However, this remains to be proven true. Based on the description provided it looks like the seat will probably look like Recaro’s current long-haul seat the CL3620 imaged below.

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While the current design is up in the air the other development, wifi, interests me more. Again taking a page out of Southwest’s book, United is going to add wifi internet and streaming AVOD. Southwest’s current offering is described here. I think we can expect to see something similar adopted by United, just more expensive. United previously made available to its first class passengers free Direct-TV on flights with Direct-TV. This will probably not extend to the wifi equipped plane and we will start to see first class passengers being asked to pay wifi. Cramped planes, expensive wifi, no other IFE, UA’s airbus fleet will have the same experience as US Airways’ fleet, just with more pitch and worse food.

The race to the bottom continues.

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Happy Travels!

Colpuck

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Today the DOT released its decision on what to do with the DCA slot pair that Spirit Airlines returned to the DOT when it shifted service from DCA to Baltimore/Washington Airport. There were three bids for the slot pair and today the DOT awarded Southwest the slot to start HOU-DCA.

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What is Standby, basically you show up to the airport in advance of your flight and try to hop on an earlier flight. Airlines used to do this as a matter of routine because it is a win-win. The airlines fill a seat that would have gone out empty and they get an open seat on a later flight that can be used for IRROPS. The passenger wins because they get to go somewhere sooner. However, US Airlines discovered this could be a revenue stream and have changed their policies to get customers to pay for the privilege.  Some airline force customers to use the “Same day confirmed or SDC” this means for a reduced fee airlines will confirm the passenger on to an earlier flight. We’ll discuss that policy in another post. So when you see references to SDC that’s what that means.

Here is the list of US Airline policies:

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Cute title aside US Airways is giving out bonus miles for people who purchase US Airways miles for the month of May. It is up to a 100% bonus on miles purchased, but is it a good deal?

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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.

American Airlines Brazil Application

Delta Airlines Brazil Application

US Airways Brazil Application

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.

 

Happy Travels!

Colpuck.

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Sorry for being away for the past couple of days, I’ve been kind of sick. But anyways on the with the show.

Previously, I reported on American applying to start LA-Sao Paulo this year and Chicago-Sao Paulo next year. Now airlines had 15 days to file bids. After those 15 days had expired, US Airways and Delta both filed bids. You can read all of the information in the bids in the regulations.gov link at the bottom of the page. Now lets start with U.S. Airways bid.

U.S. Airways is asking for 7 frequencies starting this October for Charlotte-Sao Paulo and 7 starting in 2014 for Philadelphia-Sao Paulo. Currently, U.S. Airways is leasing the frequencies to run Charlotte-Sao Paulo from United, so getting these frequencies would obviate the need for the lease.

Delta is asking for 14 frequencies to run Atlanta/JFK- Sao Paulo to start this year and 7 frequencies to start Detroit Sao-Paulo next year.

So there are 14 frequencies to be allocated this year. Delta wants all 14, American wants 7, and US wants 7. There are also 14 slots next year Which Delta wants 7, AA wants 7, and US wants 7. More applicants than frequencies so some will win and some will lose. Let’s start with this year.

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