Notable Airline, Hotel and Travel Industry News: September 17, 2012

  • Gary noticed an alarming statistic from yesterday and today. American Airlines canceled about 5% of their flights on Sunday and Monday, causing some to think it might be a pilot “sick out.” Last week American imposed new work rules on its pilots.
  • Meanwhile at American, hundreds of flight attendants reportedly took a $40,000 cash buy out to leave the company early. The downside: they will give up all seniority, lose their company-subsidized health benefits, and can’t be rehired.
  • US Airways president Scott Kirby spoke at the Boyd Aviation Summit today and was tight-lipped about a potential merger with American, which is understandable given the NDA in place. He did answer some questions about US Airways’ expansion plans, including new flights to Europe and Brazil, as well as mentioned an expansion to Asia would wait for the A350.
  • On the mileage-earning front, US Airways is offering double miles (redeemable and elite qualifying) for purchases using the US Airways Mastercard, or just double redeemable miles for purchasing a ticket on any Mastercard. It’s valid for new bookings made today through October 31 for travel through December 31.
  • July 2012 was a lousy month for tarmac delays. A total of 28 planes exceeded the three-hour mark during the month, 18 of which were operated by U.S. airlines. Sixteen occurred at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on July 13, a day of terrible thunderstorms.
  • Remember that video of a 727 being deliberately crashed in a Mexican desert? Well, the results show that you have a better chance of surviving such a crash if seated further towards the rear of the aircraft. It’s sorta nothing new to report and it certainly won’t get me to forgo and upgrade to seat nearer the pointy end.
  • How about a tour of Antarctica via a Boeing 747? The 12-hour sightseeing tour leaves from Auckland and spends four hours over the continent. A coach ticket reportedly costs $1,325 and business class (what they’re calling “Ice Class”) runs $7,700. Does it accrue frequent flier miles, though?
  • Ever wonder how to override a hotel room thermostat? Here’s a quick “how to” video that could help you cool or heat your room to a more desired temperature assuming that’s the model in your room.


  1. Regarding a tour of Antarctica via a Boeing 747…the flights are actually operated by Qantas.

    However T&C state that these will be ineligible for points.

    9.4.1 Points are not earned for travel on:
    (a) flights or booking classes that are not listed in or are excluded in the Airline Earning Table;
    (b) infant fares (infant fares do not include infants travelling in their own paid seat);
    (c) charter flights;
    (d) freighter flights;
    (e) free tickets or Qantas & Partner Classic Awards;
    (f) travel industry rebated tickets;
    (g) competition prize tickets;
    (h) transport other than air transport unless specified by Qantas;
    (i) tickets acquired at an auction; or
    (j) tickets which are restricted from earning Points or are subject to any specific provisions excluding the accumulation of Points

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