Airlines Travel Update American and Delta

Alaska Airlines

American AAdvantage Reduces Mileage Accrual, But Drops FF Booking Fee
American Airlines’ AAdvantage no longer offers minimum mileage guarantee for its non-elite status members for shorter flights on American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, oneworld member airlines, AAdvantage participating airlines as well as rail service and codeshare service booked under an AA flight number.

Customers now will earn AAdvantage miles only for the actual miles flown or, in some cases, for the applicable percentage of miles flown. But, in a give-back for travelers, American has eliminated the $5 fee to book frequent flyer miles. (Source: American Airlines press release).

New Delta Three-Tiered Award Structure Gives More Flexibility for Redeeming Miles
Delta Air Lines new three-tiered Award structure allows customers to combine dates, as well as Economy, First and BusinessElite cabin seating at various mileage levels to create their itineraries.

SkyMiles members also are able, once again, to use miles to book the last seat on a flight. For booking a round-trip flight, tiers now start at 25,000, 40,000 and 60,000 miles rather than 25,000 and 50,000 miles. Customers may search for and book Award Travel using the new structure online. Members cam earn miles with Delta, Delta Shuttle, the Delta Connection carriers, Delta AirElite and other SkyTeam airlines as well as with more than 100 partners, including the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card. (Source: Delta press release)

American Offers Priority Check
in and Boarding to Eite and Premium Travelers at JFK American Airlines is now offering PriorityAAccess privileges at John F. Kennedy International Airport to AAdvantage elite status members, First and Business Class travelers, AAirpass customers, and full-fare Economy Class customers.

They get a dedicated check-in area at the ticket counter, go through exclusive security screening lanes and have a separate boarding lane at JFK departure gates.

Signs clearly mark special check-in areas and security lanes. Priority AAcess security lanes are also available at Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare, Miami, Los Angeles, New York La Guardia, St. Louis, San Francisco, Boston and San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Source: AA press release).

Global Entry Program Speeds Frequent Travelers Through Passport Control
at Chicago

US. Customs has opened Global Entry centers at Chicago O’Hare International to expedite international arrival processing for returning U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

Global Entry travelers go to a special kiosk and insert their U.S. passports or lawful permanent resident cards into a document reader. The kiosk will direct travelers to provide digital fingerprints and will compare that biometric data with the fingerprints on file.

Global Entry is in place at JFK, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston and Washington Dulles airports. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release).

TSA, Continental Test Paperless Boarding in Cleveland
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Continental Airlines are testing Paperless Boarding Passes at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The boarding passes are passengers’ cell phones or PDAs. The passes have bar codes and passenger and flight information; security officers check them with handheld scanners. (Source: Continental press release).

TSA Expands Self Select Lanes to Newark
The Transportation Security Administration has expanded its Self-Select Lanes to Newark International Airport; 44 airports now have these lanes, which direct travelers based on their travel needs and knowledge.

Casual are for less frequent travelers, Family/Special Assistance for those traveling with small children or strollers or with elderly people or those who need special assistance. (Source: TSA press release).