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Spirit Airlines Opens New Routes – and New, Cheap Flights

April 30, 2009 | Posted in: Airfare News,Airline News | 0 comments

Just thought I’d mention this.

After all, for years I’ve been telling you to keep your eyes open for cheap airfares anytime an airline inaugurates a new route.

Well, Spirit Airlines has three new routes to promote: flights between Boston and Atlantic City, Ft. Lauderdale and Las Vegas, and Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles.

Check out the Spirit post on our Deals Blog - the prices on these new routes are hot.

Hot, as in…$9 one-way.

Huh? Boy, 13 – No Credit Card*, No Photo ID – Flies Cross-Country

April 30, 2009 | Posted in: News,Security,Southwest | 0 comments

*UPDATE: The story is still “unusual” but not quite as weird as we first thought. Apparently this youngster did have a credit card — his Dad’s – which he used to purchase his tickets. And as Southwest told us, no airline rules were violated, nor were any TSA rules broken: if you are under 18, you can go through security with just a boarding pass.

EARLIER: 13-year old Kenton Weaver is an autistic youngster who (says his dad) has long been absolutely “fascinated” by planes and airports.

I guess so. One night, he heads for the airport near his home in Boca Raton – all by himself – and flies to Chicago, then San Jose, California. Kenton had no credit card, no driver’s license, no photo ID of any kind, yet – managed to buy a ticket from Southwest – and managed to get through security.

Perhaps you’re wondering how Kenton got to the airport in the first place. Why, the 13 year old “borrowed” his father’s car, and drove there. Where there’s a will…

American Airlines Not Panicking

April 30, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,News,Travel Tips | 0 comments

Actually, from what I can see, none of the airlines are panicking over the flu outbreaks – despite Vice President Joseph Biden’s recent intemperate remarks about commercial airline travel (“I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now.”).

We heard from Tim Smith over at American Airlines, and he says, once again, the carrier will be operating its normal schedule to and from Mexico today (42 flights to 14 cities).

Yes, he told us, some passengers have cancelled their flights – and yes, travel to Mexico is definitely down some, but “you have to remember that all international travel was already slower than last year due to the recession.”

He’s absolutely right.

Oh, and a spokesperson for Mr. Biden quickly clarified the Vice President’s remarks, claiming that what the Veep meant to say was, “avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico.”

You Knew This was Coming, Pt. I – Cheap Flights to Mexico

April 30, 2009 | Posted in: Airfare News,Destinations,Travel Safety | 0 comments

Want to go to Mexico City or Cancun? The deals are out there.

Airlines are slashing prices – we’ve seen Delta and American flights to Mexico City for as little as $260 – plus, flights from Atlanta to Cancun for $300.

Blame it on the swine flu. But remember, while the flights are cheap – tourist delights will be limited thanks to the Mexican government’s efforts toward keeping people from congregating (like shutting all of Mexico City’s 30,000+ restaurants).

But, you can’t say it’s not cheap – as I told reporters from Bloomberg, “If you’re paying more than $300 right now to anywhere in Mexico, you’re nuts.” The question remains – do you really want to go there now?

Update: European Airlines OK Free Ticket Changes; US Extends Window

April 29, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Europe,United | 1 comment

As you know, many U.S. airlines (and Aeromexico) are allowing travelers to Mexico to make a ticket change at no cost, and now Bloomberg reports the Europeans are joining in.

The Air France-KLM Group, Lufthansa and British Airways are allowing passengers to postpone flights, and Air France and BA say their passengers can change destinations.

U.S. NOTE: It appears some airlines are extending the length of their “no change fee” policy – United, for example now covers travel to, from or through Mexico – on tickets purchased by April 26th – until May 15. Check with your airline, for the latest information.

Swine Flu Airline Scare: False Alarm (Thanks to Idiot Passengers)

April 29, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Travel Safety | 1 comment

The airlines are plenty jittery these days – so when an AirTran flight from Cancun radioed ahead to Baltimore-Washington International this week that two passengers onboard were feverish and nauseous, people at the airport took it very seriously, and jumped into action..

The airport’s fire and rescue teams met the plane, and the passengers (more than 100) had to wait onboard the aircraft while the two male passengers were isolated and examined for swine flu.

The verdict? No flu. The men had another malady – commonly referred to as, “too much to drink”.

Understandably, the airlines can’t be too careful – but what a terrible inconvenience to all those passengers – not to mention the airport personnel – all because a couple of lunkheads overindulged.

Going Overboard, Onboard? Flight Attendants Want Masks, Gloves

April 29, 2009 | Posted in: Flight Attendants,Travel Safety | 1 comment

UPDATE: US Airways flight crews ARE wearing gloves (but no masks) on flights to/from Mexico.

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) has asked the FAA – and the airlines – to provide them with gloves and masks – and to allow them to stay home if they have flu symptoms, and not have it count against sick leave. No response yet that I’m aware of.

The AFA, which represents more than 50,000 flight attendants on 20 airlines, notes on its website that “a surgical mask will provide limited protection, but is better than nothing.”

A spokesman for American Airlines points out that they already have such equipment onboard, in case a crew member has to deal with any sick passenger.

Readers, tell me – would you freak out if you boarded a plane and saw all the flight attendants wearing masks? Another question: would we be provided with masks?

Business Travelers Told, Hold Off on That Trip to Mexico

April 29, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Destinations,Travel Safety | 0 comments

Tough times for the airlines, and it’s not getting better as more cases of swine flu are cropping up – plus the first death in the U.S. has now been reported.

I did a quick survey of some of the bigger U.S. airlines and did a check of the websites, and so far, none of them are cancelling flights – or as Tim Smith at American Airlines put it, “not at this time.”

Still – businesses are cancelling or putting off travel. According to Reuters, Chemicals maker DuPont Co has suspended travel to and from Mexico until May 6th, Finland’s Nokia of mobile phone fame is saying, postpone all nonessential travel from and to Mexico, and auto-parts maker the Denso Corp, said it has recommended that the families of its expatriate staff in Mexico temporarily return to Japan.

The list goes on: organizations as diverse as the Moline-based Deer & Co. and the University of Arizona are saying recommending no non-essential travel to Mexico.

As I said, tough times for the airlines. Let’s see, first the soaring gas crisis, then the economic meltdown, now a global health emergency – give the airlines credit for surviving, and may it continue.

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