Baseball fever airline style, award fee changes, suing Orbitz, ATC shakeup & fortune cookie miles

Here’s a summary of other news that caught my attention this week:

  • United Airlines brings close-in award ticketing fees back for trips booked less than 21 days before departure, and modifies fees to change or cancel award tickets. Global Services and 1K members still enjoy a no fee policy across all changes. Premier Executives and below now incur tiered close-in ticketing, change and cancellation fees depending on status. Changes take effect June 15, 2011, with full details found here.
  • American Airlines sues Orbitz and Travelport claiming they engage in “exclusionary and anticompetitive business practices.” This is all related to American pulling their flights & fares from Orbitz as I mentioned here, and their inability to get the OTA to commit to Direct Connect technology. Travelport is named since they provide Orbitz with incentives to refrain from using the technology as I posted here.
  • The head of the federal Air Traffic Control system resigns after more controllers were caught sleeping on the job. Hank Krakowski and his predecessor, Russ Chew, were both pilots and “airline people,” according to FAA head Randy Babbitt, but that experience doesn’t translate into adequate leadership to manage the skies over America.
  • United Airlines and the San Francisco Giants have signed a Letter of Agreement for the carrier to transport the team to all road games, and provides advertising opportunities with a “significant presence” at home stadium AT&T Park. They had previously used Delta for charter flights, and this partnership makes more sense given United is the largest carrier at SFO.
  • American Airlines gives you a chance to win up to 25,000 AAdvantage miles by entering their current Fortune Cookie Promotion. You’re limited to one entry per email, and most winners, including myself, have reported earning 200 miles for their effort. My effort? Well… I’d say I won on my ~80th try. I wasn’t going to give up!

And finally, some of you may have noticed a few strange things happening to my blog throughout the week. I’ve been tinkering around with new themes and custom header images (mostly offline), and will be officially changing the look of Frequently Flying shortly. My apologies in advance should this cause temporary formatting and/or readability issues, but the new look will be a fantastic improvement. This change comes with my slightly increased web skills, and will allow me to expand to include new features and services down the road. Stay tuned!

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