Back at the end of October Delta launched its first flights on the Boeing 717s they acquired from AirTran / Southwest. On October 25th, Delta’s first 717 jets configured in a 110 seat layout flew passengers from Atlanta (ATL) to Newark (EWR). By the end of 2015, Southwest will have turned over its entire fleet of 88 Boeing 717s to Delta. Adam Levine-Weinberg from The Fool notes that:

The 717 is likely to become a workhorse of the Delta fleet for the next 10-15 years, particularly for shorter flights. This fleet could be a competitive advantage for Delta for years to come. Any other carrier that wanted to replicate Delta’s strategy of replacing 50-seat jets with small narrowbodies would have to invest billions of dollars to acquire planes in that size range from Embraer or Bombardier.

While the 717 carries the Boeing name, it was originally designed by McDonnell Douglas and marketed as the MD-95. The 717 was meant as a replacement option for the popular DC-9, a small narrowbody plane that typically had 100-130 seats, depending on the variant. However, over time, the evolution of the airline business has led airline executives to prefer larger aircraft. Furthermore, Boeing and Airbus both offer aircraft families that cover the whole range of narrowbody sizes (roughly 100 seats to 200 seats). By flying planes from the same aircraft family, an airline can save on crew training and maintenance costs while still enjoying the benefits of using different-sized aircraft for different markets. These factors conspired to undermine sales of the Boeing 717: only 156 were ever delivered.

Delta and the Boeing 717 are a natural fit for each other. First, Delta still has a small fleet of 16 DC-9s that are roughly 35 years old. The rapid arrival of 717s will allow Delta to retire all of these dated aircraft by early January, taking advantage of the 717’s 24% better fuel efficiency. While Delta’s 717s may not be “new”, on average they are more than 20 years younger than the DC-9s they are replacing. Second, Delta has been anxious to reduce its… KEEP READING BELOW

Check out the interesting analysis and full article from The Fool here.

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Posted by Adam | One Comment

The pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight gave passengers quite a scare Tuesday when he announced over the loudspeaker that the plane was “going down.” From Yahoo! News:

At first it sounded like someone was coming over the PA to talk,” Grace Stroud, another passenger, told CNN. “Then it sounded like shots through the cabin, twice, back to back. Seconds later, the panicked captain said, ‘We’re in trouble, we’re going down.'” A Southwest spokeswoman confirmed there was an emergency. “Flight 3426 experienced a maintenance alert as they were on descent into RDU,” Southwest said in a statement. “The captain declared an emergency and descended the aircraft to 25,000 feet where the alert was resolved. Throughout the remainder of the descent the flight was normal, landed uneventfully, and was not met by emergency vehicles.

Passengers were of course extremely spooked after the announcement and quick dive to 25K feet, messaging loved ones, crying, and consoling those next to them.  Upon safely landing, passengers erupted in cheers and applause.  Full details and video news at Yahoo! News.

Posted by Adam | 2 Comments

This week everyone was talking about the United double miles promo, but there are actually some really great promos available across most of the major carriers including other double points offers (though much more restrictive). Here’s a rundown of all those promos:

United

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American Airlines

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Delta

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Alaska

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US Airways

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Southwest

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Virgin America

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JetBlue

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What about hotel promos? Major Hotel Q3 & Q4 Promos – Are You Registered?

Posted by Adam | 2 Comments

Southwest today is running a Halloween sale offering 31% off roundtrip Wanna Get Away Fares for travel September 17th – October 31st, when using promo code TREAT31 and booking by 11:59pm tonight in the originating city.

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Terms and Conditions

  • This multi-use code (“Treat31”) is required to be used in the Promo Code box on southwest.com® or SWABIZ.com in order to receive 31-percent discount off roundtrip Wanna Get Away® Fares during the valid travel date listed below.
  • Roundtrip travel required. Reservations can include up to eight people.
  • Discount is valid on new reservations only, and purchase must be made starting Sep. 16, 2013 and prior to 11:59 pm, for the respective time zone of the originating city, on Sept. 17, 2013 for travel Oct. 31, 2013 only.
  • Valid for Southwest Airlines® domestic and San Juan, Puerto Rico scheduled flights only.
  • 31-percent discount code is valid for the Wanna Get Away Fares only and is applied before taxes and fees.
  • Some flights may be operated by AirTran® Airways.
  • 7-day or more advance reservation may be required.
  • To obtain discount on existing reservations meeting all requirements of this discount offer, the reservation must be cancelled and a new reservation booked using the discount code (fare rules apply).
  • Discount will apply only on the valid travel date. If one direction of the trip is outside the valid dates and one is within the valid travel, only the portion of travel falling within sale dates will be discounted.
  • Changes made to the itinerary after purchase will eliminate qualification for this promotion. The discount is only valid with the provided Promotion Code and is not combinable with other Promotion Codes or fares available exclusively through the web tool DING!.
  • Discount is not valid on reservations made using Rapid Rewards Points.
  • Discount is not valid on Group Travel and Jackpot Deals® products.
  • Air Fares for Southwest VacationsSM package deals have been discounted by 31% for eligible markets and dates. Discount Code is not needed to receive 31% off the air fare portion of the Southwest Vacations package deal.

Posted by Adam | One Comment

DISH Network is offering 500 Rapid Rewards points for free! Their Southwest partner page has the standard offer of 12,500 Rapid Rewards Points for signing up for service, but scroll to the bottom and you’ll see the message below:

Dish Promo

Yes, you’ll have to provide your name, address, and email, but it’s easy enough to use one of your junk email accounts to avoid future SPAM. Enjoy, points post in 8-10 weeks.

Posted by Adam | 2 Comments

Southwest is offering 1,000 bonus points each way for flights to their five new destinations.  The promotion runs until August 1, 2013 and you must register prior to ticketing your flights. Reward flights are not eligible. Promo cities include:

  • Charlotte, NC
  • Flint, MI
  • Portland, ME
  • Rochester, NY
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

Also, don’t forget to register for double points and double tier qualifying points prior to booking your flight.

Not yet a Southwest Rapid Rewards member? Sign-up via this special promotion for up to 1,000 bonus points (500 for signing up, 250 for receiving Rapid Rewards Report email summaries, and 250 more for receiving Rapid Rewards email updates). Don’t worry about the Texas Exes verbiage, all are welcome to sign-up via the link.

Finally, if you are already a Rapid Rewards member but not yet signed up for email updates, you can earn 500 easy points here.

Posted by Adam | 4 Comments

Here is the full list of 2013 updates with a few changes in bonus amounts…

Are your credit cards relegated to the back of a drawer once the sign-up bonus posts? While your still in possession of those cards you acquired during your past few churns, why not put them to use and earn some additional miles or points? Remember, holding cards instead of canceling right away makes sense as you can use them as leverage in your next churn, offering to give up the card in exchange for a new card and a new bonus.

Priority Club – 2,013 points after $40 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration (registration now closed)
Delta – 1,500 miles after $40 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration.
American – 1,000 miles after $40 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration.
United – 1,000 miles after $40 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration.
US Airways – 1,000 miles after $40 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration  (remember these will become AA miles down the road).
Hilton – 1,000 points after $40 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration.
Alaska – 500 miles after $30 of spend on a single dine within 30 days of registration.
Southwest – 300 miles after $25 of spend on a single dine within 60 days of registration.

Each promotion is for a “new” profile, meaning both a unique credit card and email address is required (in my previous post reader Elaine noted that she has used the same email address with a different cc for all programs without any problems, YMMV). Additionally, each of the promotions above requires you to complete a review in order to qualify for the bonus. The link to the review is emailed after your dine and is a simple multiple choice survey.

Posted by Adam | 6 Comments

Sometimes you win and sometimes you loose when playing the mileage game. Last weekend, I posted about an easy way to earn 1500 AA, 1400 UA, 1300 WN, 1000 DL, and 950 US miles. The deal was removed from all the shopping malls last Monday, but I was still hopeful that at least some of the miles would post. Well, a week later and the miles I was least excited about earning have posted.

Unfortunately, I’m not showing any pending activity for any of the other programs. Reader results are also all over the place, several report receiving their UA miles but have not received any others while some received their AA miles but no others. It does not seem to have anything to do with the order in which you applied for the digital subscriptions. I started with UA, then moved to AA and US, before finishing with DL. Others have had only their second program post, it all seems very random. In any case, the T&Cs state that “after you make a purchase with a participating retailer, miles will typically post within 3-5 days; however it can take up to 8 weeks for the miles to post to your account.” Even if the others are never awarded, my whole experiment had a total cost of $3.96. I would not recommend contacting customer service for unposted miles. If they post great, if not it’s no big loss. Remember, subscriptions cancelled prior to 120 days (and I have a feeling many of you will be canceling before then)do not qualify and the offer was limited to one per household. So be happy with what’s posted!

What’s been your experience??

 

Posted by Adam | 23 Comments

Yes, that Southwest! No-frills no longer, Southwest announced via their blog today that they have completed wifi installation across 70% of their fleet. The wifi service includes high-speed satellite internet, live TV, and movies-on-demand. There are no seat-back monitors, instead services are available via your own personal devices.

This past January we began testing movies-on-demand in order to round out our offering and introduce more variety for our Customers. As of today, our TV package – which includes unlimited access to live and on-demand television – and movies-on-demand are available on all WiFi-enabled planes! Southwest has long studied inflight entertainment but the cost and complexity of a seat-back device was never a fit for our lean and mean business model. WiFi, and specifically Row 44, our satellite-based WiFi provider, presented us with the unique ability to offer both broadband WiFi and a robust inflight entertainment solution through a single system. That combined with more and more Customers bringing their own wireless devices onboard means we’re delivering cutting edge technology and entertainment inflight.  How’s that for a “low frills” carrier? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08G4Wetm5Oo

Pricing:

WiFi access: $8

TV: $5 (includes unlimited access to live television channels and on-demand television episodes)

Movies: $5 per movie

How it works:

Once onboard a WiFi-enabled plane and a Flight Attendant has indicated it’s safe to use electronic devices, simply connect to “southwestwifi” and launch your web browser to get immediate access to the Inflight Entertainment Portal. From there you can purchase one of the above products or browse the free portal offerings including a cool flight tracker, games, and southwest.com.

FAQs:

Q: Which planes have movies-on-demand and TV?

A: WiFi, TV and movies are now available on all -700 and -800 aircraft. This represents over 70% of our fleet.

Q: I just want email. Won’t the addition of these entertainment options require a ton of bandwidth?

A: The movies and TV do not interfere with the bandwidth onboard. The live channels are delivered through a dedicated “pipe” designed specifically for that reason and the on-demand content is stored on a server onboard the aircraft.

Q: How is Southwest able to offer live television inflight?

A: Southwest chose Row 44 as our WiFi provider. Row 44 is a satellite-based service that allows us to offer a wide range of entertainment in addition to some of the most robust WiFi in the skies. As we expand to overwater destinations, the WiFi will continue to work ensuring Customers are connected wherever they fly.

Q: Can’t I just purchase a movie or watch TV through the WiFi?

A: Being in an aircraft means that the bandwidth is shared among the users onboard. Video requires a lot of bandwidth which can result in a less-than-stellar experience such as buffering and pixelating. Because our service utilizes a dedicated pipe for live television and stored onboard content for movies and tv episodes, the result is flawless and instantaneous..no waiting for something to download. The quality is something you have to see to believe.

Q: Will you be getting more live television channels?

A: Yes! We will be adding up to 20 channels of live television this year including children’s and general interest programming.

Q: If I purchase a movie and don’t finish it can I finish it on the ground?

A: Not at this time. All the products are only available on WiFi-enabled planes above 10,000 feet.

Q: So, let me get this straight, if I have a stop or connection, my purchase is good all day?

A: Correct! Your purchase of WiFi, television, or a movie will be available on the device you purchased it on all day so long as you are on a WiFi-enabled plane. 

Q: How do I know if my flight has WiFi?

A: It’s denoted on the checkin confirmation on southwest.com and through the WiFi widget located at www.southwest.com/wifi 24 hours prior to your flight (you’ll need your confirmation #)

Posted by Adam | 4 Comments

Flyertalk member Samson7256 had a great first post yesterday, highlighting a potential way to earn some easy miles with AA, DL, UA, US, and WN.  He was looking for a way to add some extra miles and came across a New York Times offer in the UA MileagePlus Shopping portal awarding 1400 miles for new digital subscribers. For the first four weeks it is only 99 cents and you can cancel at any time. However, he notes that the miles posted within only two weeks and he was then able to repeat the offer for the same MileagePlus account. Even better, other posters confirmed that the offer is also available in the portals for American, Delta, US Airways, and Southwest. DEAL NOW DEAD 2/20/13 Here’s how to get the deal:

United – 900 or 1400 miles
1) Browse over to the UA MileagePlus Shopping portal and log in.
2) In the top right corner type in New York Times in the search bar.
3) Now, if you’re a UA Mileage Explorer Card holder you should see a 1400 mile offer, otherwise you’ll see a 900 mile offer.

4) Click shop now…

5) Next, you’ll be asked to enter your zip code. If you enter a zip code that has NYT delivery available, you’ll only receive these standard delivery options, the cheapest starting at $6.35 per week.

6) However, if you put in a zip code where the NYT does not offer delivery, you’ll be given the option for a digital subscription at 99 cents for your first 4 weeks (38883 works). You can use your actual address when entering your billing information during the next step.


7) That’s it, according the original poster, miles posted to his and his wife’s account within two weeks.

American – 1500 miles
1)Follow the instructions above but start your browsing at the AAdvantage eShopping portal. Use a different browser.

US Airways – 950 miles
1)Follow the instructions above but start you browsing at the Dividend Miles Storefront. Use a different browser.

Delta (1000 miles) & Southwest (1300 points) – Even easier. You don’t have to trick the system into offering you the digital subscription as it’s an option right from the start. Use a different browser.
1)Start at the SkyMiles Shopping Portal or Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping.
2) Select the digital subscription option.

Important Notes – Besides the original poster, no one can confirm at this time the following:
1) Whether you can earn the miles from all portals at the same time. If you attempt this I would recommend using different browsers, emails, and credit cards.
2) Whether you can earn the bonus more than once per portal and across portals. The T&Cs state “new subscriptions will be eligible one time only, not eligible on subscriptions cancelled prior to 120 days”, however the original poster earned the UA bonus more than once by using different emails and credit cards even when canceling prior to 120 days.

Also, you must call 877-698-5635 to cancel your subscription which can surely be a hassle. A recent post seems to indicate that online canceling may also be available. Refer to the post for full details. I only personally subscribed this morning and do not have any data to report back yet as to what works and what does not. Try to exercise some restraint and don’t go crazy, let’s keep the deal alive for other readers!

HT – Samson7256 FT

Posted by Adam | 23 Comments

Virgin America
There’s still three more days to take part in the Virgin America New Year, New Itinerary sale with flights priced $72+ each way. All tickets must be Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm CST January 7, 2013 for travel January 12 – March 20 – 2013. Some sample one-way fares include:  SFO-LAX $72, ORD-LAX/SFO $164, and JFK-PSP $145 (saturdays only).

Southwest
Southwest has a great one day 35% off sale that expires tonight at 11:59 pm for the respective time zone of the originating city.

  • Roundtrip travel required.  Reservations can include up to eight people.
  • Travel period is January 29, 30, February 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 and March 5, 2013.
  • Blackouts apply as follows:
    o Fort Myers (RSW) is excluded from this offer.
    o New Orleans is excluded on 2/13/13
  • 35 percent discount code is valid for the Wanna Get Away Fares only and is applied before taxes and fees.
  • Discount will apply only on the valid travel dates.  If one direction of the trip is outside the valid dates and one is within the valid travel, only the portion of travel falling within sale dates will be discounted.
  • Changes made to the itinerary after purchase will eliminate qualifications for this promotion. The discount is only valid with the provided Promotion Code and is not combinable with other Promotion Codes or fares available exclusively through the web tool DING!
  • Discount is not valid on reservations made using Rapid Rewards Points.
  • Air Fares for Jackpot and Southwest Vacations package deals have been discounted by 35% for eligible markets and dates.  Discount Code is not needed to receive 35% off the air fare portion of the package deal.

PS – I’m still laughing at some of the comments from today’s other post Unruly Passenger on KEF-JFK Flight Restrained & Gagged with Duct Tape…picture and all

Posted by Adam | No Comments

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