You better have a skinny butt to fly United Airlines across the pond –

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I really can’t believe what all the airlines are doing to their customers. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that UA is remodeling their Boeing 777-200 fleet and adding their new Polaris business class seating. At the same time they are adding two dozen more coach seats in economy class. You ask, “How can they do that?” Currently they have nine seats across and the new configuration will add one more seat and have 10 seats across. Can you imagine how tight those seats will be to sit in? If you weigh more than 150 pounds you will be miserable flying the ten hours across the pond. The good news is that the pitch (distance between seats, front to back) in economy class will remain 31 inches. Once again, I have never been a big advocate for the government messing with private business, however, in this case, I would support some kind of a passenger bill of rights that includes a guaranteed amount of seat space. Recently a judge ruled that the space between rows of seats represents a “life-and-death” safety concern and ordered the FAA to review their rules. Maybe it is time for regulation. CLICK HERE to read more.

Delta service getting better while its frequent flyer program is getting much worse –

Gary Leff writes an interesting article about how he feels that DL is leading the pack in upgrading their customer experience while at the same time pushing their frequent flyer program into the dumpster. I travel a lot using frequent flyer miles for many of my trips. I must say I have almost stopped looking at Delta to use frequent flyer miles as they are often twice as much as the other airlines. If you are flying coach class domestically you almost always will pay 50,000 to 100,000 miles round trip. On other airlines the costs run 25,000 to 50,000 miles. And if you want to fly Delta using miles for an international business class ticket they have basically raised the miles required so high that they have sent the message they don’t want people redeeming miles for business class seats. It would appear they are sending a message that those of us who use credit card points to convert to airline mileage programs better look elsewhere. READ THIS if you want more.

Delta leads industry with automatic check-in –

Delta last week announced they are launching a new feature that automatically checks passengers into their domestic flights 24 hours before departure. According to Business Travel News Delta will send travelers an email or push alert notifying them their boarding pass is ready. Passengers then acknowledge the government mandate for restricted items through Delta’s app to access the boarding pass. Through the app, customers can add checked bags, change or upgrade seats. This new service will also benefit Delta as more and more people will download their app to have easy access to this service. These guys are really smart cookies.

Westin Times Square in New York City to offer $1000 bagel starting next month –

You have to give the marketing department at the Westin a purple ribbon for coming up with this P.R. bonanza. Starting in November they are adding a $1000 bagel to their menu. The bagel will feature Alba white truffle cream cheese, goji berry-infused Riesling jelly and golden leaf flakes, Yum,Yum. All this for the amazing low price of only $1000. On the surface this looks crazy indeed, however, they are doing this in hope that people will buy the bagel as a fundraising scheme as all the proceeds go to a local charity. We have a group staying at the Westin in November. I hope they will get me a good picture of this decadent delight.

After 47 years United Airlines is retiring the amazing Boeing 747 –

On November 7th United is retiring the “Queen of the Skies”. This is my favorite airplane of all time. Last week I flew on the fancy new Boeing 787 which the industry raves about. But in my book it does not hold a candle to flying on the beautiful 747. There is something special about flying in the second deck of this plane. While most of the new planes today have 2 engines the trusted 747 has 4 massive engines that make me feel safe and sound. I once studied to be a private pilot and learned every thing there is to know about how an airplane flies. The physics of thrust, lift, drag all explain how a plane takes flight. But everytime I see a 747 my jaw drops in amazement to think that a plane that weighs 970,000 pounds at takeoff can actually get off the ground. I am glad that the German airline Lufthansa still flies the 747. I may have to fly the “Queen” to Europe in the future. CLICK HERE for a moving video of the final 747 flight on United.

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