For those who might have been out and about and too busy to keep up with travel news, here’s what’s important to BATs this week:
>First off, let’s take a look at our poll from last week: If BAT readers had anything to do with it, the name of San Francisco International Airport would remain just that. At last count, 82% of BAT readers said that airport name should remain the same. Just 18% think we should insert Harvey Milk’s name into it. Might be good for city leaders to consider the opinions of those who use the airport most– BATs! Don’tcha think?
>San Jose’s much ballyhooed new flights to Tokyo have gotten off to a very rocky start. I’m sure glad I was one of the last people to ride on this fine bird… at least for a while. The latest news about the 787 is that no one really knows yet what is going on with the batteries. This week, overcharging was ruled out as a root cause...and until a root cause is determined, and a remedy made to fix that root cause, the plane is not going to fly. As of Friday, all ANA 787 flights, including those on the San Jose-Tokyo run, have been canceled through at least Feb 18. And ANA tells The BAT that it does not have necessary permissions to substitute another aircraft (like a 777) of the route. So San Jose waits…and as before, if you wanna go to Tokyo, the only choice is SFO.
>As expected, all the seats on Southwest’s extra flights between SFO and New Orleans for the Super Bowl sold out like hotcakes at $1,270 each. Go Niners!
>A BIG THANKS to the CLEAR CARD which has just signed on as a BAT sponsor for a whole year! Woo-hoo! Support the BAT by clicking on the CLEAR ad to the right and learning about its free offer for BAT readers! Are you interested in reaching the Bay Area’s most frequent and affluent travelers? Contact us about being a BAT sponsor!
>United is adding a larger aircraft on its SFO>Austin,TX nerd bird flights, adding a full-size A319, A320 or B737 to its current line up of Canadair RJs on the route.
>United is canceling nonstops to Toronto on April 6, leaving the route as a monopoly for Air Canada. Virgin America tried, and failed, to make the route work– canceling its Toronto flights on (coincidentally?) April 6, 2011.
>United has confirmed to The BAT that its new SFO-Paris CDG nonstop flights on April 11 will use a B767 (we thought that with the recent announcement about SFO being a new base for Boeing 747s, it might be switching aircraft.
>United has still not started the deployment of new-configuration B757 PS flights between SFO and JFK. United had said that the newly outfitted PS flights would begin flying last October… but we have not seen or heard much about them… and cannot get a straight answer from United as to whether there are any on the route. United has only told The BAT that the new PS flights “will begin in the first part of 2013.” Vague!
>This week, United posted a fourth quarter loss ($190 million) that was less than analysts expected. Executives now claim that its operational issues (such as the reservations system meltdown last summer) and the integration of Continental operations are now behind it. It’s begging business travelers (and their corporate handlers) to come back. Will you?
>Did you know that BATs will soon be able to fly Hawaiian Airlines between the Bay Area and Auckland, New Zealand (via a stopover on Honolulu)? The BAT received an invite to participate in the inaugural A330 flight in March so stay tuned for a fun post about that! It is interesting to watch Hawaiian turn into a true transpac carrier, with new flights to many points beyond Hawaii, such as Sydney, Taipei, Brisbane, Sapporo, Manila and Seoul. Would you consider flying Hawaiian and making a stop in HNL on your next transpac trip?
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