Rick Seaney, co-founder of FareCompare.com - is a world-class air travel expert.
FareCompare.com presides over a kingdom of sophisticated software that searches out fares and destinations at a billion combinations per query - while keeping track of 500 airlines serving more than 270,000 markets around the globe.
And all of Rick's data is updated continuously - in real-time.
No wonder he's the media's go-to guy for all things air travel. He's got the answers. And he loves to share his knowledge.
That's why Rick and the team created FareCompare.com - to help everyone become an air travel expert, and get the best deals first -- every time they fly.
In this case, a United Airlines flight was heading from San Francisco to Washington Monday – until the captain detoured to Omaha after a woman allegedly screaming about terrorists pushed her way to the front of the plane.
She was quickly subdued by two passengers.
Everything changed for travelers after 9/11 – passivity, it seems, is no longer an option for many who bravely act as a sort of “last line of defense” for their aircraft’s security – and their own – without being asked, without any drama, and without any expectation of thanks.
In my latest weekly column for ABCNews.com, I tackle the weighty issue of what might happen to Frontier Airlines animals if owner Republic decides to revamp branding.
I’m talking about those wildlife photos that grace the tails of Frontier’s aircraft: you know, Larry the Lynx, Rudy the Raccoon, Grizwald the Bear and more (yes, those are their names – it says so right on Frontier’s website).
If you read the column, here are a few things you’ll learn:
Qantas’ kangaroo once had wings
Three “animals” made the list of Top Advertising Icons of the Century: Tony the Tiger, the Energizer Bunny, and Elsie the Cow
A film parody shows “Hitler” ranting in support of Frontier’s wildlife: “Griz is going to tear someone a new one!”
Here’s how I end the column:
“For Flip and his associates, I hope it all works out. Otherwise, they’ll be headed to the Old Icons Retirement Home, where they can sit on the porch with Speedy Alka-Seltzer, the Frito Bandito, Mr. Whipple, and the Taco Bell Chihuahua – and reminisce about the days gone by.”–Rick Seaney, ABCNews.com, 3-31-10
I was mentioned in a recent Bloomberg news article – which began by noting that a nonstop airline ticket from New York to Paris on the first weekend in May actually cost less than a nonstop to Omaha, Nebraska – the scene of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting.
You know, the event that some refer to as Warren Buffet’s “Woodstock for Capitalists”.
However, the picture the reporter painted was a little dark for me – so I’m going to give some advice: if any of you financial wizards out there still want to go, but worry about the cost – here’s one of my Top Five Secrets to Finding Cheap Airfare:
In the article, I point out that when seats are selling out, prices go up – but apparently they didn’t all sell out; and the article does note that fares can and do change – boy, do they ever! And I’ll add that shopping starting on Tuesday afternoon is a smart thing to do – in fact, it’s one of my Cheap Airfare Secrets (because Tuesdays are when you often see a flurry of sales).
Of course, a lot of this will be moot for some BuffetFest participants – those arriving on their private jets.
I saw a story today about actor Jim Belushi’s alleged “in-flight altercation” with an American Airlines flight attendant, but I think the real story is the discretion and good sense of the airline so as not to add to the drama – or acknowledge a celebrity customer.
The whole thing supposedly started, says TMZ, when a flight attendant tried to wake Belushi up as his LA to Las Vegas flight was coming in for a landing. Per the tabloid, the actor supposedly made a scene and Vegas cops were called but there were no arrests or anything like that.
I suspect most airlines are similarly discreet – and that’s a good thing. Although it begs the question: how did TMZ hear about it?
Guess who might be offering you a Diet Coke on your next British Airways flight? A pilot. Maybe.
While the strike continues (the latest segment ends tonight), the union representing striking cabin crew members accuses British Airways of using some of its pilots to fill in – and the union claims these subs get their regular salary which works out to about $250 an hour. Regular flight attendants with five years experience, says the union, make about $25 an hour.
Understandably, the union delights in pointing out the irony: the carrier is trying to save money by imposing a pay freeze on its cabin crews. All British Airways will say is, a “number of crew [are] reporting for duty”.
Meanwhile, both sides say they are open to further talks, but that’s sort of up in the air at this point (sorry).
I will note that British Airways is doing an excellent job at keeping its customers informed of all developments during this difficult time – its website is constantly updated with information about flights and options for fliers.
This week, we’re seeing something a little bit different in the course of airfare sales: instead of an airline inaugurating a brand new sale with accompanying media splash, a number of them are very quietly simply extending existing sales.
For example: American had a great U.S. cities sale that was supposed to have expired last week – now, it’s been extended through April 1.
Virgin America has extended its sale, not once but twice – and now you can take advantage of their specials that begin at $49+ one-way through April 5.
We’re seeing the same thing with Delta’s very good prices to Europe for travel in April, May and June (I only wish these fares were good for later in the summer, as well) – the sales been extended through April 5.
Be sure to keep up with our Deals Blog – and we’ll keep you up on these latest trends.