Monday, October 20, 2014

SHARE: Domestic Routes with International Business and First Class

I've talked about how generally lame US Domestic First is, and I've mentioned the "Fancy USA Domestic First" options that exist almost exclusively on the JFK — LAX/SFO routes.

Today, there's a great article over on The Points Guy about other domestic USA routes outside the LAX/SFO/JFK market with Fancy First.

Check it out!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

JetBlue and Porter announce interline agreement

I love Porter Airlines. They have a fleet of Q400 planes that fly out of a tiny airport (YTZ - Billy Bishop) on a tiny island in the harbo(u)r right in front of downtown Toronto. The whole terminal is theirs and it feels like a giant Business Class lounge. And until the tunnel is finished, you get to take the world's shortest ferry ride to get there.

Riding the 121m ferry to YTZ airport
The route map is fairly regional (but they have big expansion plans) and all flights start or end in Toronto. If you live in one of their larger markets (Chicago, NYC, Montreal) you wouldn't take a connecting flight with them, but if you're in a smaller market and have to connect anyway, you could potentially do a one-stop itinerary with them.

you live in one of the larger cities they serve, you can probably just get a direct flight to your destination if you're going someplace else within their network. 

porter route map

They just announced an interline agreement with JetBlue to allow combined JetBlue + Porter itineraries through Boston. I've done this in the past with Cape Air and it worked out perfectly. Porter currently flies into a different terminal than JetBlue at Logan, so I wouldn't book a tight connection at this point. (One of the nice things about our CapeAir flight was that we deplaned right next to my connecting JetBlue flight to PDX...).

Sadly, I can't find any of my pictures from our flight, but the seats are all leather with 34" of pitch, which helps make the small Q400 feel a lot less cramped. That and the lounge-like airport and the real glassware on board make this probably the nicest puddle jumping experience I've ever had. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 adds LOT booking support

LOT Polish Airlines is in Star Alliance and they have some fancy new 787's flying between North America and Warsaw. In years past, you've had to phone them to redeem United miles but that's finally changed.

A round trip in Business Class will set you back 140,000 United Miles (sorry, I'm still in post-devaluation shock and that number seems ridiculously high). When we took their 787 flight in 2013 it was 50,000 each way, so it's not *that* different, but still... 

All that said, you might still want to call them. I'm seeing virtually no Business Class availability in the coming 12 months (a few dates in Jan/Feb, but trust me, you really don't want to go to Warsaw in February...) but when we booked our flight we were able to talk the phone rep into opening up another reward seat for us. Tip for their US call center: make sure you use the phone prompts to route you to the Business Class booking center – shorter hold times.

Warsaw's airport just had a major overhaul and you could use Warsaw as a jumping point to elsewhere in Europe (don't forget to check out low-cost carrier Wizzair's fares for short hops).

(Keep in mind that partner award visibility is constantly changing... United removed Singapore Airlines flights a few months back...)

Wizzair's WAW routes