Intelligence – December, 18 2002

Intelligence – December, 18 2002

As of this issue, frequent flyers will no longer be able to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles on Asiana flights. The partnership between the two airlines is ending as Asiana is poised to join the Star Alliance. All confirmed award travel must be completed by June 30 … If you have been planning to purchase AAdvantage upgrade vouchers for the upcoming year, you should get started now. Starting Jan. 16, the price for upgrades is going up, both in terms of real money and when redeeming miles for upgrades. The new price per upgrade will be $40 for each single purchase through aa.com or the AAdvantage dial-in system, or $50 per electronic upgrade through American Airlines personnel. It will take 50,000 miles for eight electronic upgrades, regardless of the method of purchase — that’s double the previous mileage redemption cost … In an attempt to turn a profit, US Airways has cut about 100 weekday flights. Though some of the cuts were seasonal, others reflect the weak economic conditions. US Airways filed for bankruptcy protection last August … Delta is now allowing its domestic passengers to move into empty first-class seats on selected off-peak flights in exchange for $50 to $150. The amount of the charge will depend on the mileage of the trip. These upgrades will be allowed on a standby basis. Elite frequent flyers will be given priority, followed by holders of non-restricted tickets. Speaking of Delta, they are tight-lipped about the proposition of their new low-cost carrier which is scheduled to begin flying this year, and it is as yet unclear whether the new carrier will honor SkyMiles and allow travelers to earn miles while they fly … Think $2,737.50 is a cheap price to pay for worker morale? Then business leaders may want to think about buying frequent flyer miles from Midwest Express. The minimum order is 100,000 miles for $2,737.50 … You won. That’s what American and Delta seem to be saying now that they have simplified fare structures in a small number of markets. This new structure lowers last-minute fares by as much as 40 percent in an attempt to lure forced-to-be-frugal business travelers to American and Delta (and to stop them from seeking cheap Internet fares, which often need to be purchased well in advance of travel) … So much for a free market. At least that’s what Canada’s Jetsgo was left saying after Air Canada and the Quebec government formed a deal that says the government would pretty much use Air Canada exclusively — and at full fare — for business trips, provided the airline dropped its princely fares to 15 of the provinces. Jetsgo, a discount carrier, has filed a complaint with the Federal Competition Bureau.

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