Airlines Updates, February part 1

Airlines
JetBlue Offers Refundable Tickets
JetBlue Airways has introduced refundable fares. The new option allows customers to make unlimited reservation changes, including name changes, or opt for a full refund any time prior to the flight’s departure.

If customers can’t notify JetBlue of changes to their reservations before the flight departs, any unused funds are converted to a JetBlue credit valid for one year from the date it was issued. This credit is fee-free and fully transferable.

To celebrate the launch of its new fare option, through Feb. 13 JetBlue is offering TrueBlue Customers who book refundable travel quadruple TrueBlue points each way when they book online at www.jetblue.com, or triple TrueBlue points each way when booking through other channels.
(Source: JetBlue press release)

United Allows Economy Passengers Just One Free Checked Bag
United Airlines now allows customers who purchase nonrefundable domestic economy tickets and who do not have status in Mileage Plus or Star Alliance just one free checked bag. Passengers may check a second bag for a $25 service fee.

For all customers, the cost to check up to four additional bags will be $100 per bag. Previous charges ranged from $85-$125 per bag.

The cost to check items that require special handling because they are large, overweight or fragile will now be either $100 or $200, depending on the item. United’s most frequent fliers – customers who have Premier status or higher in Mileage Plus, or Silver status or higher with Star Alliance – will continue to receive the benefit of checking two bags for free.
(Source: United press release)

British Airways To Introduce All-Business Class Transatlantic Flights
British Airways will launch double daily business class-only flights from London City airport to New York next year.

The new flights will operate on Airbus A318 aircraft with 32 seats onboard. It will offer 15-minute check-in for passengers in both New York and London. It’s a clear challenge to other all-premium carriers, including Eos, which flies between New York’s JFK and London Stansted and has 48 seats on 757s, and Silverjet, which operates 767s with no more than 100 seats between London’s Luton and Newark.

BA is not the first major carrier to level its sites on the all-premium class transatlantic carriers.

Many industry observers believe American Airlines dealt a deathblow to the late premium carrier MAXjet when American started flying from JFK to Stansted, MAXjet’s key route. In another effort on BA’s part targeting the high-end market, in May, a BA-backed startup, OpenSkies, will begin offering mostly premium-class service (two thirds of the plane will be business or premium economy), flying between either Brussels or Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and an as-yet-to-be determined New York airport.
(Source: Modern Agent)

Delta Resumes Atlanta-Edinburgh Route for Summer 2008
Delta Air Lines customers looking to reach Scotland for a summer fortnight will again be able to fly the world’s largest trans-Atlantic airline between its largest international gateway in Atlanta and the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Nonstop Delta flights between Atlanta and Edinburgh will operate seasonally between June 2 and Oct. 1, 2008 and will complement new year-round service between Edinburgh and New York-JFK, beginning May 1.

Denver Airport Offers Free Wi-Fi
FreeFi Networks, which provides free, advertiser-sponsored airport Wi-Fi, is offering its program at Denver International. The switch to FreeFi Networks allowed the airport to eliminate a $7.95 daily charge for Internet access. As a result of the change, Denver International is now the largest airport in North America to offer free wireless Internet access terminal wide.

In addition, FreeFi Networks has partnered with Disney-ABC Domestic Television to provide popular video on demand rentals as they become available from The Walt Disney Studios. That means travelers can download and rent movies before they board their flights.
(Source: FreeFi Networks press release)