Big news this week as Southwest Airlines announces that their flight credits no longer expire
The pandemic caused the airlines to issue billions of dollars of flight credits. Before last week these credits expired in 12 months and then had no value. Southwest’s announcement now allows great flexibility as the flight credits do not expire at the end of 12 months. I hope other airlines follow Southwest’s lead in this area. CLICK HERE to read more.
Things are starting to settle down in the travel world – For the last month you have heard of all the disasters of canceled flights, overbookings, long lines, and lost luggage. However, this past week I flew to Europe and back, and almost all of my flights were on time. I only take carry-on luggage so that was one more worry off my mind. Yes, the planes, airports, restaurants, and lounges are full but it appears that every week the airlines and airports are adding more staff, larger planes, and things will begin to normalize quickly. I think travel after Labor Day will be strong and back to normal levels of service.
United Airlines CRJ 550 is a carry-on traveler’s delight – On my Sunday return from Europe I saw on my itinerary that I had a regional jet on my final flight leg home. I hate RJs as they have short headroom and very limited overhead storage. Many also don’t have first class for upgrading. To my delight, I boarded the plane and found two massive luggage bins to complement the overhead bins on the CRJ 550. This airplane has been around for several years but I’m sure the pandemic kept it from being expanded into the system. I hope we will see more and more of these wonderful planes. They are the next best thing to flying a full-sized jet and may actually have more carry-on luggage space. CLICK HERE for more photos and info on the CRJ550.
Global Entry Pass is almost a must if you travel internationally – This past weekend, I was returning home from a trip to Europe, and I arrived in Chicago and was headed for the customs and immigration checkpoint. I was amazed to see a line of 500 people waiting in a 60-minute line to see immigration officers. I have a Global Entry Pass that allows me to check in at a kiosk, and within one minute, I bypassed the 500 people waiting in line and walked directly out of the building. If you fly internationally at least once a year the $100 fee for the Global Entry Pass will pay for itself many times over as it lasts for 5 years. Many credit cards now will cover the cost of your global entry fee. One giant benefit of buying a global entry permit is you also get a TSA PreCheck registration along with it at no additional cost. This saves you time for domestic flights.
Here is a pet peeve of mine when flying – The airplane boarding process at the airport is a disaster. Everyone crowds up to the front and blocks everyone from boarding, whether they are ticketed in zone 1 or zone 5 seating. When the airline staff invites boarding, it is almost impossible to get through the hoard of people standing in the way. The airline team also often does a crummy job as they read all the different boarding zones so fast that everyone crunches their way forward all at the same time.
Biscoff cookies voted best airline snack by our readers – Last week, I asked you what was your favorite airline snack from the list of Stroopwafels, pretzels, or Biscoff cookies. I am a big Biscoff cookie fan, so I was amazed to find that you agreed with me. The 337 surveys taken said this is how you rate your favorite airline snack: Biscoff cookies 69%; Stroopwafels 26%; and pretzels came in third at 5%.