Reservations and Frequent Flier Program Charts

Reservations
Airline Book round-trip ticket by phone Preferred seat Ticket change fee:
Domestic-International
Fee to change flight to same destination on day of departure1
AirTran $15 $6 or $20 $75-Not applicable $75
Alaska $15 Not available $75 online; $100 on phone; $125 at travel agency-$100 0
Allegiant $23.50 per one-way flight; $33.50 for roundtrip $5-$25 $50 per one-way flight-Not applicable Not allowed to change ticket within 24 hours of departure
American $20 Not applicable $150-$150-$250 $50
Continental $15 Not available $150-$150-$250 $50
Delta $20 Not available on Delta; $5-$35 on domestic flights, $15-$75 Northwest international flights $150-$250 $50
Frontier $25 Not available $50 or $150-$150 $75 or $150
Hawaiian $10-$25 Not available $150 or $200 per flight-$150 or $200 per flight $150 or $200 per flight
JetBlue $15 $10-$40 $100-$100 $40
Midwest $25 $20-$50 $100-$100 $50
Southwest 0 priority-boarding fee $10 0-Not applicable 0
Spirit 0 $7-$20 $100 online; $110 on telephone-$100 online; $110 on telephone $100 online; $110 on telephone
United $25 $14-$119 $150-$150-$250 $75
US Airways $25 domestic ticket; $35 international ticket $5-$30 $150-$250 $50

 

Frequent Flier Programs
Airline Book free ticket:
on phone-online2
Change free ticket's origin-destination:
domestic-international
Buying miles-credits
AirTran 0-0 $75- Not applicable $39.50-credit
Alaska $15-0 $75 online; $100 on phone; $125 at travel agency-$100 $25-1,000 miles when buying a ticket online; $27.50-1,000 miles when redeeming miles
Allegiant Not applicable- Not applicable Not applicable- Not applicable Not applicable- Not applicable
American $20-0 $150-$150 $27.50-1,000 miles
Continental $25-0 $150-$150 $32-1,000 miles
Delta $20-0 $100-$100 $27.50-1,000 miles
Frontier $25-0 $75-$75 $28-1,000 miles
Hawaiian $10 or $20-0 $30 or $50-$50 $30-1,000 miles
JetBlue $15-0 $100-$100 $5-point, plus $20 fee
Midwest $25-0 $50-$50 $25-1,000 miles, plus $20 processing fee
Southwest 0-0 0-Not applicable 0-Not applicable
Spirit 0-Not available $70-$70 not available
United $25-0 $150-$250 $32.25-1,000 miles, plus $35 processing fee
US Airways $55 domestic flight; $70-$95 international-$25-$50 $150-$250 $25-1,000 miles, plus $30 processing fee

June Footnotes for Airlines

Airlines Up Fares Again for 16th Time This Year
Airlines continued to increase fares and search for new revenue streams to help them cope with soaring fuel prices.

United Airlines initiated what was the 16th fare hike to stick since the beginning of the year, with fare increases that ranged from $10 to $60, depending on the route. Other legacy carriers—Continental Airlines, US Airways and Northwest matched.

American Airlines upped some fares and other carriers tacked on increases as well.

Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, an airline comparison website, said that airlines have no choice but to pass on the cost of fuel to consumers and when passengers do begin to push back in significant numbers the airlines have no choice but slash capacity by that same amount. (Source: FareCompare.com.)

American Cuts Flights, Staff, Charges for First Checked Bag, Ups Other
Fees

American Airlines said it would charge its passengers $15 for their first checked bag as well as cut domestic flights by 11 to 12 percent as part of its efforts to cope with fuel costs.

At press time, no other carrier had followed American’s lead in charging for the first checked bag; Southwest Airlines, in fact, pointedly stated that it continues to let its customers check two bags—for free.

American, meanwhile, upped other fees, including those for oversized bags (from $100 to $15); ticket change fees from $100 to $150 for domestic tickets and from $100 to $200 to $150 to $250 for international tickets. It also upped its reservation service fee and AAdvantage Award ticket fees up by $5 each to $20. US Airways took another tactic—it said it would eliminate free snacks, although it will continue to serve free soft drinks.

And Midwest Airlines said it would begin charging $20 to check a second bag.
(Source: American, Southwest, Midwest Airlines press releases).

Major Carriers Continue to Experiment With All-Business Class Flights
The number of air travelers flying first or business class is dropping at increasingly faster rates, according to the International Air Transport Association, an industry group.
And three transatlantic carriers that offered premium seating—MAXJet, Eos and Silverjet—have ceased flying. But major carriers continue to experiment with the oncept. Singapore Airlines has introduced all-business class flights between New York and Singapore.

In October, Lufthansa will introduce all-business class service between Boston and Munich. That’s in addition to the all-business class service it operates between Chicago and Düsseldorf, Newark and Düsseldorf and Frankfurt and Düsseldorf.

Meanwhile, on June 19, OpenSkies, a British Airways-backed carrier that has three classes of service but has allocated nearly two-thirds of the plane to premium seats, will begin to fly between New York and Paris. And L’Avion, the all-business class French carrier, is now code sharing with OpenSkies to offer three flights daily between Paris and JFK (Sources: IATA, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, OpenSkies and L’Avion press releases.)

Network Carriers Add International Flights, Low Cost Carriers Add
Domestic

Some U.S. carriers are adding flights, many focusing on international routes. Northwest Airlines has begun flying between Memphis and Columbia, Mo., and began serving Taipei via Tokyo. Delta Air Lines began flying from New York to Georgetown, Guyana and will start flight from Atlanta to Kuwait in November.

On the domestic front, JetBlue has begun daily service from Boston’s Logan International Airport to Chicago O’Hare and New Orleans. Southwest Airlines is adding flights from Denver to San Francisco and from Denver to Omaha in September.
(Source: Northwest, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest press releases).

New Virgin Atlantic Boston Clubhouse
At last, it’s here – the new Boston Clubhouse has opened its doors and is now accepting Upper Class flyers and Flying Club Gold members for some preflight rest, relaxation and pampering. Boston Clubhouse features a deli counter and bar, dedicated business area with PCs, free WiFi connection, charging facility for mobiles and blackberries, dining, lounge seating, free newspapers and magazines.

Airlines Information, May 2008

Airlines Up Change Fees, Institute Minimum Stay Requirement

In airlines ongoing quest for additional revenues in the face of $120-a-barrel oil, several network carriers have upped their change fees and re-instituted Saturday night stay and/or minimum stay requirements.

Airlines

United Airlines increased its change fees by 50 percent to $150 and added a Saturday night stay requirement on routes in about 65 percent of its markets.

Continental upped its change fee to $150 for domestic and $250 for international flights. US Airways upped the cost of its change fees by $50, to $150 for domestic and $250 for international flights.In some instances, top customers, such as elite members of airline loyalty programs, are exempt from these fees.

In addition, United, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Continental have instituted minimum stay requirements on all or many of their routes.

Meanwhile, most network carriers and some low cost carriers, including JetBlue and AirTran have added fees for checking a second bag; fees range from$10 to $25. (Source: airline press releases).

Compensation Doubles for Involuntary Bumping
If you’re involuntarily bumped from your flight, you’ll get twice as much as you used to get. Effective this month, if you’re bumped you can receive up to $400 if you’re rescheduled to arrive within two hours of your original arrival time on domestic flights, four hours on international flights, and up to $800 if you’re not rerouted within that time frame.

The rule now covers aircraft seating 30 people or more; it previously covered flights with 60 seats and up. Reimbursement is determined by the price of the ticket, its refundability and the length of the delay. (Source: DOT press release).

DOT, FAA Announce Plans Designed to Ease Congestion
Even though airlines are reducing their domestic capacity, many by as much as five percent, aviation congestion remains a problem.

The Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have announced a new routing alternative that will provide an “escape route” into Canadian airspace so that aircraft can fly around summer thunderstorms and high winds. And, the FAA is opening a second westbound route for aircraft, which will provide a parallel route along a heavily traveled corridor, which should cut westbound delays out of New York.

The DOT has also proposed auctioning off a limited amount of slots-the number of flights airlines can operate in a single day-at LaGuardia. The Air Transport Association, an airline trade group, is opposing such market-based solutions, saying that the DOT doesn’t have the authority to institute auctions and congestion pricing and that they are inconsistent with international practices. (Source: DOT, ATA press releases.)

Fare Expert Finds Majority of Airline Attempts to Hike Fares Are ticking
When Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines announced their proposed merger, they said that stratospheric oil prices have fundamentally changed the economics of aviation.

Oil prices are fueling mergers and other alliance, bankruptcies (more than a half dozen this spring, with the latest being the premium transatlantic carrier Eos), capacity reductions and ongoing fare hikes.

Rick Seaney, CEO of the airfare monitoring site FareCompare.com, has been tracking airline fare increases and reports that the airlines have attempted 14 price hikes so far this year; nine have been successful.

Summer demand and soaring fuel prices are making airlines comfortable with these increases, meaning travelers need to lock in summer travel now. (Source: FareCompare.com)

Virgin Atlantic Adds Second Dulles-London Flight for Summer
Virgin Atlantic has begun a second daily flight between Washington Dulles International and London Heathrow. The flight will operate until October 26. (Source: Virgin Atlantic press release).