What to Know Now
I’ve been tracking a series of underground business class fares between the U.S. and Europe for the past week that’s still floating around the metacrawlerverse. Summertime fares, as you know, can be more expensive than WiFi at a luxury hotel, so seeing anything in economy cabins from the U.S. to Europe for under $1,000 can a blessing.
Right now we’re seeing not only sub-$1,000 fares in economy for high season to Europe but also business fares for around $1,800 from various points of departure. That’s a ridiculous price for a business class seat across the Atlantic — let alone in the summer.
I could get into how I think Norwegian is pushing the price of U.S.-EU travel down and their importance in the transatlantic fare economy, but I don’t think you care. Here’s what you need to do to get seats booked:
Read the last few pages of this thread on Flyertalk. Then start your flexible (+/- 3 day) search on Kayak from your home destination to Oslo, Trondheim, Stockholm, and Copenhagen (Big Norwegian Air destinations). Expand your search parameters and dig up the best deal.
This should get you started. Business from New York City to Oslo for $1,800.
A fun-if-not-a-bit-irrelevant study on airline complaints came out last week that effectively proves what every business traveler knows: the customer experience on Spirit is pretty awful. And among the legacies, United passengers are the most unhappy. It’s hard to split hairs on passenger experience with such globby data though — most of us are driven to carriers by home location first and cost second. We take what we get in the passenger experience department.
Still, it’s nice to track the grumpiness of passengers as a function of time and the industry. A cursory read of the report shows a spike in complaints about United during the Continental-United merger, an obvious effect of mashing two legacy carriers together. Considering the recent missteps, one wonders how well American will fare in next year’s report.
Social Quote of the Day
Violinist Itzhak Perlman wants a personal apology from Air Canada’s CEO for the way he was treated – http://fw.to/CVSJ14c
Allegiant Air Just Did Something it’s Never Tried: Improve the In-Flight Experience: Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air has rolled out a roomier seat dubbed the “Giant Seat.” It represents the latest way the airline industry has created new seating options for travelers willing to pay more for extra elbow room. Read more at Skift
An Epic Tarmac Delay as Cathay Pacific Passengers Were Stuck on Plane for 16 Hours at Chinese Airport: A Cathay Pacific flight from New York to Hong Kong was stranded for more than 16 hours in a Chinese city with all 256 passengers kept on board for the entire time late last month because of immigration regulations, bad weather and limits on the crew’s work hours. Read more at Skift
14-Year-Old Allegedly Tweeted Terrorist Threat And Then Freaked Out When American Airlines Responded: Sunday morning, a Twitter account allegedly belonging to a 14-year-old girl named Sarah tweeted the following message at American Airlines: “@AmericanAir hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye” Read more at Business Insider
Dubai Airport to Get Runway Overhaul, Forcing Airlines to Different Airport: Officials say Dubai airport, the Mideast’s busiest, will undergo a major runway overhaul starting next month that will see more than a dozen airlines shift flights to another airport in the city. Read more at Skift
Feast Your Eyes on United’s New London Lounges: United Airlines invited a small group of media folks to London Heathrow Airport this week for a preview of its two brand new lounges for premium customers – a United Global First Lounge and a United Club in the airport’s new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal. Read more at The Bat
The New Pay-as-You-Go Model for Airport Lounges: The Club at PHX airport lounge opened Wednesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for fliers who want a club lounge environment, but either they don’t have a club lounge membership or they’re seeking an alternative. Read more at Skift
Senator Wants to Call Out Airports that Don’t Screen Passports Adequately: U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk wants the federal government to alert American air travelers about which airports around the world are failing to routinely check passengers for stolen passports. Read more at Skift
The Battle in the Sky to Bring Airline Passengers the Fastest Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi in the sky is taking off, promising much better connections for travelers and a bonanza for the companies that sell the systems. Read more at Skift
Alibaba Group Buys China’s Most Popular Mobile Mapping Service for $1.5 Billion: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. agreed to acquire AutoNavi Holdings Ltd. in a deal that values the Chinese company at $1.5 billion, bolstering its Internet mapping tools ahead of a possible initial public offering. Read more at Skift
The Math Formula That Promises to Help Defeat Jet Lag: Lots of apps claim they can help you fight jet lag. Now Michigan researchers say mathematical formulas suggest it’s possible to adjust to new time zones a bit faster than previously thought, and they created their own free app to help.
Hilton Garden Inn To Become Third U.S. Hotel Chain to Open in Haiti: The new Hilton Garden Inn would be the third U.S. brand — after the 106-room Best Western Premier, and still under construction 175-room Marriott –and the fifth internationally branded hotel. Spanish Occidental operates the 128-room Royal Oasis, and NH Hoteles runs the 72-room El Rancho. Read more at Skift
Best Western Tries To Ease Mobile Booking Pain with Google Wallet: Hotels, airlines, car rental companies, tours and activities providers, online travel agencies, and travel-metasearch players are all trying to figure out how best to avoid losing their users on mobile to competitors since it can be so difficult to book a transaction on a small-screen device. Read more at Skift
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Photo credit: Trans-Atlantic fares are down this summer. In related news, Norwegian Air began its low-cost flights in January. Kyrre Lien / Reuters/Scanpix