This will probably be the busiest travel week of the year. I was at DFW yesterday and it was already pretty busy. Fortunately, though, I was’t traveling. I was just dropping someone off at the airport.
I have a friend from Sydney that was in town for a week on business. He usually travels to Dallas on Qantas and American Airlines, but he had to make this trip at the last minute and because the fare on Qantas was so expensive, he decided to book a trip on United (in economy).
We had arranged to meet yesterday for lunch and I had offered to give him a ride to the airport to catch his return flight. He was supposed to fly from Dallas to San Francisco and then connect to a United flight to Sydney. When we got to the airport I decided that rather than just dropping him off, I’d park and go in with him just to be certain that his flight hadn’t been cancelled or anything.
So we go over to the UA ticket counter to get him checked in. The agent tells us that his flight from DFW to SFO was delayed and that it looked unlikely that he’d be able to make his SFO connection, but that he thought he might be able to book him through Los Angeles so that he could connect to a United LAX to SYD flight.
My friend said to the agent, “I know you’ll do your best, but if at all possible, would you please try to put me in an aisle seat?”
After a few minutes typing at his keyboard the agent told my fried that he had some good news and some bad news. The good news was that he was able to get my friend on the LAX to SYD flight. And then the agent frowned and said with an apologetic voice, “I’m afraid that I wasn’t able to get you an aisle seat in economy, and that the best I can do is to put you in aisle seat in Business”.
He delivered the news so grimly that it took a second for it to sink in: he had upgraded my friend (who has no elite status on United) to business class.
Nice! A little holiday miracle (courtesy United).
oneword MegaDO News
December 14 was the deadline to enter a video in the American Airlines contest to become the official video blogger of the oneworld MegaDo. And now through December 21, you can go to the AAdvantage Facebook page and vote once per day for your favorite submission.
The winner will receive two passes to attend the MegaDO and the five submissions that receive the most votes will earn their creators 25,000 AAdvantage Miles.
There were lots of good videos but the choice was easy for me: I recognized one the contestants.
His name is Brian. He’s a fellow AAdvantage Geek, and because he’s been one of my long time readers and has frequently left comments on this blog (as IPBrian), I thought I’d give him a little plug and tell you to be sure to view his video.
Go here to the AAdvantage Facebook page to view all the videos (including Brian’s) and to cast a vote for your favorite (good luck IPBrian!!).
Win a trip to South America on LAN Airlines
From now through December 24, oneworld member and American Airlines parter LAN Airlines is giving away a prize each day plus a grand prize: a five day vacation to Ecuador. To enter their “12 Days of Christmast Giveaway, just go to the LAN Airlines US Facebook page. Good luck!
Speaking of LAN, they’re offering pretty cheap fares to Easter Island. Tickets are usually a little pricey, but through the end of the years they’re offering fares for as little as $999. Before you rush out and purchase a ticket, check out hotel prices. Easter Island is one of the world’s more expensive destinations.
Premium Economy seats on AA.com
Mike Reed wrote about this a few days ago over on his Getting Status blog, but British Airways premium economy (World Traveler Plus) seating is now being displayed and sold on AA.com:
American Airlines’ customers can purchase Premium Economy seats on their partner airlines – before, customers would have to purchase through British Airways to buy this class of service.
I was looking at flights to Tokyo and noticed that it’s now possible to book JAL premium economy seats on AA.com. Take a look:
Something else you might notice in the screenshot: $84 fares from LAX to Narita. Don’t get too excited. This fare requires a round-trip purchase and the return fare is still more more than $900.
British Airways upgrades premium economy service:
In case you missed it, Jaunted gave British Airways’ Word Traveller Plus, premium economy product a pretty bad review. Of the food they wrote:
Ah, British Airways, perpetuating all those outdated stereotypes about crap UK food. We were hoping for something more palatable than “chicken and beef”; we got the same food as economy. A gin and tonic and some snack things, followed by a tasteless roast beef dinner and inedible pasta salad and the ironically-named “cherry creamy delight”, then an equally unpalatable sandwich and muffin before landing.
Now they’re reporting “British Airways’ Premium Economy Food Gets the Upgrade to Business Class“.
Photo credit: Christmas at DCA by Goddess Adrasteia via Flickr