Frequent Flyer information March 2008

Alaska Airlines

Following are policy changes to the US Airways frequent flyer program:

Tickets purchased on or after March 1, 2008 for travel on US Airways on/after May 1, 2008 will earn the actual number of miles flown and will no longer earn a minimum of 500 miles per segment.

Tickets flown on partner airlines after May 1, 2008 will earn the actual number of miles flown. Tickets purchased prior to March 1, 2008 will continue to earn the 500 mile minimum for travel after May 1, 2008. Accrual on flight segments greater than 500 miles in length are not impacted by this change. Members redeeming miles for award travel online within 14-days of departure will be assessed a quick ticketing fee of $50 per ticket.

A quick ticketing fee of $75 per award ticket will continue to apply for award tickets purchased from US Airways Reservations. Chairman’s and Platinum Preferred members booking within 14-days (both online and by phone) are exempt from the fee.

Many business travelers are taking a ho-hum attitude about staying connected to the office while in flight.

According to a survey by Orbitz for Business, 44% of business travelers would alter their flight plans to have a wifi connection available while airborne, but only 8% would sacrifice convenience or pay more to get a flight with Internet access.A majority of business travelers polled, 56%, don’t see an airborne wifi connection for laptops, phones and PDAs as a necessity.

Thirty-six percent said they would look for a wifi connected flight but would not sacrifice schedule convenience and price to get one.

Several carriers plan to test wifi connections, even as the debate over the security of air-to-ground wireless communications continues.

The results of the Orbitz survey would indicate that public pressure to provide wireless service in the air may be lower than anticipated, at least among business travelers.

“Technological advances have made business travelers today more productive than ever before,” said Dean Sivley, chief operating officer at Orbitz for Business. “While there are those who use flight time to catch up on work, and wifi will enhance that ability, there are also many who view it as valuable downtime.”

The survey found 57% are opposed to cell phone use in flight. The debate around cell phone use continues to center on the privacy of other passengers and the annoyance level although security concerns also remain.

“If ever endorsed, many travelers feel it would be hard to rest with the person next to them talking on a cell phone,” Sivley said. Business travelers generally see themselves as respectful of others, according to the survey; 84% said they tried to be as quiet as possible when making a wireless call in a public place, and said that those who didn’t extend that courtesy were intrusive.

Some business travelers look forward to a flight as quiet time.

Twelve percent of respondents said they used travel time to relax from the cares of work and didn’t want to talk on the phone.