Feast your eyes on United’s new London lounges

United's big bright new Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDESHOW

United’s big bright new Club at London Heathrow Terminal 2. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDESHOW

United Airlines invited a small group of media folks (including The BAT!) 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. See slideshow

United will be the first airline to operate from Terminal 2 when it opens on June 4, finally bringing its 17 daily Heathrow flights – currently split between Terminals 1 and 4 – “under one roof.”  Later this year, the operations of United’s 22 Star Alliance partners at Heathrow will progressively move to Terminal 2, the alliance’s new home at the airport.

The airport is moving airlines in slowly at T2– it does not want a repeat of the fiasco that occurred when British Airways moved into the massive Terminal 5 overnight.

Conversation nook in United Club along with vintage photos (Chris McGinnis)

Conversation nook in United Club along with vintage photos (Chris McGinnis)

Together, the two lounges occupy 22,000 square feet of space near United’s gates in Terminal 2’s T2B satellite concourse. Both feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of runways, modern décor and walls adorned with vintage black and white photos from United’s archives. Like T5, the Queen’s Terminal is comprised of a main terminal (T2A) and a satellite (T2B) connected by an underground walkway.

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Warm canapes from the elaborate United Club buffet (Chris McGinnis)

Warm canapes from the elaborate United Club buffet (Chris McGinnis)

Both the Club and the Lounge will offer elaborate meals (unlike anything you’ll see stateside), plenty of high end booze, wine and, of course speedy, free Wi-Fi.  It remains to be seen whether the quality and quantity of the spread laid out for the media will be the ongoing standard.

Nearly every seat in the joint is within a foot or two of a power outlet. And there are seven private “phone booths” set up with desks and glass doors for private conversations.  See slideshow

Global First Lounge

The United Global First Lounge is for United or Star Alliance customers traveling in first class. The centerpiece of the lounge is an oversized Big Ben-style clock in the tea lounge section.  Other features include a buffet area, an intimate dining room, private phone booths and a quiet zone with loungers and privacy drapes.

United Club

The United Club is for United Club members, those traveling in business class and Star Alliance Gold members. It’s the first Club outside the U.S. to feature the new United Club design concept– which we’ll likely see at SFO when the new United Club opens by T3E in 2015.

The Club has a big bright and open layout with seating over 280 guests.  Against a backdrop of runways is a 25-seat full service bar, two buffet areas, a TV lounge and seven private phone booths. See slideshow

There are eight well-appointed and spacious shower suites

There are eight well-appointed and spacious shower suites

There are eight spacious shower suites with complimentary toiletries and valet service– put your suit in the valet door while showering, and an attendant will press it and have it ready by the time you dry off.

While United executives would not reveal a dollar figure for the cost of the London clubs, they did say that this is part of a $50 million investment in club renovations across the system.

United operates 17 flights per day from Heathrow to six US cities: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C./Dulles. See slideshow

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Busy week at Bay Area Airports…phew!

Virgin profit + Bevy of new nonstops + Free Gogo w tablet + Southwest warning + United plugs in

Aer Lingus + Changes at DCA + Marriott downgrades + United menus + Delta-LinkedIn

Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

SFO by the numbers

 

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

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Aer Lingus arrives at SFO. What you need to know.

Air Lingus A330 touches down at SFO on Weds, April 2 (Photo: Aer Lingus)

Air Lingus A330 touches down at SFO on Weds, April 2 (Photo: Aer Lingus)

Storm clouds parted for the arrival of Aer Lingus’ distinctive big green plane from Dublin on Wednesday afternoon.

This is the first time the Irish flag carrier has touched down at San Francisco International since departing during the dark recessionary days of 2009.

Here’s what you need to know:

>Aer Lingus operates a 267-seat Airbus A330-200 on the SFO-DUB route. There are 24 business class and 243 economy class seats (no first class).  The flight, which will operate five days a week, departs for Dublin at 5:20 pm and returns to SFO at 3:20 pm. The flight takes 10-11 hours depending on direction and winds…it’s the longest flight in the Aer Lingus route network of 70 cities.

>At the moment, fares on Aer Lingus’ SFO-DUB nonstops are looking about standard for June flights. Business class on the nonstop flights is running about $5,500 roundtrip  and economy is running from a low of around $950 to a high of about $1300 round trip. (You’ll find cheaper fares in both business and economy on one-stop flights from competitors.)

Currently, business class seats on Aer Lingus are "angled lie flat"

Currently, business class seats on Aer Lingus are “angled lie flat”

>Business class seats on Air Lingus are angled lie-flat vs the more comfortable true-lie flight (horizontal) favored by frequent travelers. At an airport reception for the flight yesterday, I asked CEO Christoph Mueller about this, and he broke some good news: Since the San Francisco-Dublin route is the carrier’s longest flight, it will be the first route to get new true-lie-flat seats (from Thompson) in business class later this year.

>Currently, there are power ports in every first class seat, and every other economy seat and the plane offers satellite based wi-fi. Each business and economy seat has its own seatback video screen with a wide selection of movies, shows and games. Aer Lingus offers a unique bidding process for upgrades to business class. Details here.

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

>Having a new nonstop on SFO-DUB should be music to the ears of execs from Bay Area tech companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn who will likely be flying to/from their European headquarters in Dublin. The Irish Examiner reports, “There are 179 companies employing more than 36,000 people in Ireland from the West Coast of the US. These companies are primarily based in the technology and digital media sectors.”

>Aer Lingus is not a member of the Star Alliance, Oneworld or SkyTeam. However, it is a United code share partner. But the SFO-DUB route is not a route where the carriers share a code. Nonetheless, due to the partnership, United Mileage Plus members can earn miles on Aer Lingus flights… but there are limits based on fare paid. Business class fares earn 150% of base miles flown, but economy fares earn just 50%-75% of base miles. Many of the lowest fares do not earn miles at all. You can redeem 60,000 MileagePlus miles for economy round trips on Aer Lingus, or 140,000 for business class. Details here. In my conversation with CEO Mueller, he said that the carrier is working on boosting its frequent flyer program, but did not offer any other specifics.

>One of the best things about flying Aer Lingus is that passengers pre-clear US customs and immigration in Dublin before boarding the plane. That means when you land at SFO, it’s just like a domestic flight… you can hit the ground running as soon as you touch down. Aer Lingus currently flies into the international terminal (Boarding Area G).

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Busy week at Bay Area Airports…phew!

Virgin profit + Bevy of new nonstops + Free Gogo w tablet + Southwest warning + United plugs in

Aer Lingus + Changes at DCA + Marriott downgrades + United menus + Delta-LinkedIn

Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

SFO by the numbers

 

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

 

Busy week at Bay Area Airports…phew!

Late March and early April is when airlines switch from winter to spring and summer schedules, and there is so much going on at Bay Area airports this week, my head is spinning! Some happy arrivals and sad departures.

Here’s what you need to know:

A festive scene greeted those departing on Saturday's inaugural United nonstop to Taipei.  (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

A festive scene greeted those departing on Saturday’s inaugural United nonstop to Taipei. (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

>United launched SFO-Taipei nonstops on Saturday with a big colorful celebration at Gate 92 in the International Terminal. The gate area was festooned with about 100 paper lanterns, dancing dolls and a free dim sum buffet. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee remarked that the rainy send off was a sign of good fortune for the route. SFO-Taipei now has service from United (B777), Eva Air (B777) and China Airlines (B747). Check out our Facebook page for more pics of the fun party!

SFO welcomed LAN nonstops to South America in 2010. Now there are none.

SFO welcomed LAN nonstops to South America in 2010. Now there are none.

>LAN’s nonstop B767 flight to Lima, Peru departed SFO for the last time on March 31. This is particularly sad because it leaves the Bay Area without any nonstops to South America.

>Aer Lingus revives its SFO-Dublin nonstops Wednesday afternoon with a lot of fanfare and a “dry salute” (weather permitting) at the airport. Stay tuned to The BAT for a Q&A with Aer Lingus CEO Christophe Mueller.

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

If you are headed to Atlanta, be sure to drop by The Varsity at the airport or downtown for a naked dog, FO and onion rings served with sassy southern hospitality. (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

If you are headed to Atlanta, be sure to drop by The Varsity at the airport or downtown for a naked dog, F.O. and onion rings served with sassy southern hospitality. (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

>Starting Tues, April 1, United will use 737-800s to revive its nonstop service on SFO-Atlanta, Flights depart SFO at 8:54 am and 3:33 pm and return from ATL at 6:55 am and 5:24 pm.

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

>Delta’s final SFO-Tokyo nonstop took off last Friday March 28, leaving United,  ANA and Japan Airlines (to Haneda on a 787) offering nonstops.

>Air France’s A380 is back for the season and will be flying SFO-Paris through the end of October.

>KLM is now flying a nice Boeing 747-400 on SFO-Amsterdam sporting its nice new true lie-flat business class seat. (So glad to that ancient MD-11 go away!)

>Later this week, United will crank up a second daily nonstop from SFO to London for the season. United’s flights will arrive and depart at Heathrow’s stunning new Terminal 2– :

>Both Virgin America and Alaska Airlines have announced that they will skedaddle from the overcrowded San Jose-LAX market. At the same time, Southwest is bulking up at SJC with additional frequencies to: Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Orange County.

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Virgin profit + Bevy of new nonstops + Free Gogo w tablet + Southwest warning + United plugs in

Aer Lingus + Changes at DCA + Marriott downgrades + United menus + Delta-LinkedIn

Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

Busy week for Bay Area airports…phew!

Late March and early April is when airlines switch from winter to spring and summer schedules, and there is so much going on at Bay Area airports this week, my head is spinning! Some happy arrivals and sad departures.

Here’s what you need to know:

That BAT editor Chris McGinnis and contributor Nancy Branka at the Taipei inaugural send off. Click on photo for more.

That’s BAT editor Chris McGinnis and contributor Nancy Branka at United’s Taipei inaugural send off. Click on photo for more pics.

>United launched SFO-Taipei nonstops on Saturday with a big colorful celebration at Gate 92 in the International Terminal. The gate area was festooned with about 100 paper lanterns, dancing dolls and a free dim sum buffet. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee remarked that the rainy send off was a sign of good fortune for the route. SFO-Taipei now has service from United (B777), Eva Air (B777) and China Airlines (B747). Check out our Facebook page for more pics of the fun party!

SFO welcomed LAN nonstops to South America in 2010. Now there are none.

SFO welcomed LAN nonstops to South America in 2010. Now there are none.

>LAN’s nonstop B767 flight to Lima, Peru departed SFO for the last time on March 31. This is particularly sad because it leaves the Bay Area without any nonstops to South America.

>Aer Lingus revives its SFO-Dublin nonstops Wednesday afternoon with a lot of fanfare and a “dry salute” (weather permitting) at the airport. Stay tuned to The BAT for a Q&A with Aer Lingus CEO Christophe Mueller.

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

If you are headed to Atlanta, be sure to drop by The Varsity at the airport or downtown for a naked dog, FO and onion rings served with sassy southern hospitality. (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

If you are headed to Atlanta, be sure to drop by The Varsity at the airport or downtown for a naked dog, F.O. and onion rings served with sassy southern hospitality. (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

>Starting Tues, April 1, United will use 737-800s to revive its nonstop service on SFO-Atlanta, Flights depart SFO at 8:54 am and 3:33 pm and return from ATL at 6:55 am and 5:24 pm.

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

>Delta’s final SFO-Tokyo nonstop took off last Friday March 28, leaving United,  ANA and Japan Airlines (to Haneda on a 787) offering nonstops.

>Air France’s A380 is back for the season and will be flying SFO-Paris through the end of October.

>KLM is now flying a nice Boeing 747-400 on SFO-Amsterdam sporting its nice new true lie-flat business class seat. (So glad to that ancient MD-11 go away!)

>Later this week, United will crank up a second daily nonstop from SFO to London for the season. United’s flights will arrive and depart at Heathrow’s stunning new Terminal 2– :

>Both Virgin America and Alaska Airlines have announced that they will skedaddle from the overcrowded San Jose-LAX market. At the same time, Southwest is bulking up at SJC with additional frequencies to: Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Orange County.

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Virgin profit + Bevy of new nonstops + Free Gogo w tablet + Southwest warning + United plugs in

Aer Lingus + Changes at DCA + Marriott downgrades + United menus + Delta-LinkedIn

Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

 

 

Virgin profit + Bevy of new nonstops + Free Gogo w tablet + Southwest warning + United plugs in

Virgin America's star spangled wingtip over downtown SF. What a sight! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Virgin America’s star spangled wingtip over downtown SF. What a sight! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

KUDOS TO THE HOMETOWN CARRIER. Virgin America declared its first ever full-year profit this week. The SF-based carrier’s net income was $10.1 million in 2013, compared with a somewhat staggering loss of $145.4 million in 2012. How did it pull this off? By selling more tickets at slightly higher prices: It boarded 6.3 million passengers in 2013, up from 6.2 million in 2012. Average fares nudged up to $204 from $195 in the previous year. And its load factor increased a smidge…up just 1% from 79% to 80%. It grossed $1.425 billion in 2013, $92 million more than it did in 2012. Numbers like that will likely help Virgin with its proposed IPO later this year. Regrettably, this good news comes on the heels of the announcement that Virgin is pulling out of the crazy crowded San Jose-LAX market, and deploying those planes on money-making long hauls. Have you been flying Virgin America more this year? Why or why not? If it pulls off an IPO this year, would you invest? Leave your comments below! 

BEVY OF NEW NONSTOPS TO THE BAY. Starting April 1, United will use 737-800s to revive its nonstop service on SFO-ATL, a market already well served well by Delta, Southwest and AirTran. Flights depart SFO at 8:54 am and 3:33 pm and return from ATL at 6:55 am and 5:24 pm. A quick look at fares is showing the lowest coach roundtrips at $390 for May trips. In additions to new ATL flights, SFO will see new United nonstops arrive from Taipei (Mar 29) and Aer Lingus flights from Dublin (April 2). Norwegian Air’s new 787 nonstops arrive in Oakland in May. 

DELTA OVERWATER WI-FI ROLLOUT. FINALLY! This week Delta launched new satellite based Gogo wi-fi service on three B747s flying to Tokyo from Atlanta and Los Angeles-LAX. Delta says that the service should be on all its 16 747s by mid 2014, and its entire international fleet by the end of 2015. Rates start at $15 per hour and $25 per flight. Speaking of Gogo wifi, the onboard internet provider announced this week it will join forces with Samsung to offer a full year (up to 36 flights) of Gogo Inflight Internet access with the purchase of a new Samsung tablet. Accessing the free sessions from a new tablet is easy:  just launch your browser on any Gogo equipped flight and you will automatically be directed to a special landing page that will grant Internet access.

More power at United gates! (Photo: United)

More power at United gates! (Photo: United)

MORE JUICE AT GATE. United is rolling out 500 charging stations at airport gate areas at key hubs throughout the US. First to get them is Chicago O’Hare, Concourses B and C.  Each station offers six, 110-volt power outlets and two USB ports, and feature a design with a large power outlet icon to help quickly locate the units in gate areas.

SOUTHWEST DEVALUATION. If you’ve been hoarding your Southwest Rapid Rewards points, you might want to consider redeeming them before March 31. Wanna Get Away reward flight bookings made on or after March 31, 2014 will require 70 points per dollar, an increase from the 60 points per dollar that is currently required.

DELTA-ALASKA AIR DIVORCE. The breakup between Delta and Alaska Airlines is becoming long and ugly. Earlier this month, Delta basically declared war on Alaska when a top executive stated its intentions to make Seattle, Alaska’s base of operations,  a Delta hub. This week both carriers announced that some of the reciprocal benefits their elite customers have enjoyed, such as waived baggage fees, access to priority security lines, discounts on premium economy,  are getting yanked starting May 1. Delta changes here. Alaska’s here. The best news here is for Seattle residents, who are getting wooed with bonus mile offers, status matches, free Uber rides to the airport and more as both carriers battle for their business.

MEAL VOUCHERS FADING…Been delayed on a Delta flight recently? Whether it is a mechanical issue, weather or total cancelation, don’t expect Delta to print out meal vouchers anymore. Instead, some gate agents have told The BAT that it’s more likely that a cart will be rolled out with pretzels, snacks, water, and soda to tide you over. Five hour delay? Same cart. Agents stated that it is up to the station manager if they want to order in additional food for lengthy delays. Meal vouchers are printed at agent discretion, but apparently the new policy is that they are no longer part of irregular operations. Do you think airlines should provide vouchers to passengers when the delay is a mechanical and lasts several hours… is cart service at the gate okay by you? Leave your comments below. 

SFO-TOKYO ENDS. Delta will end its San Francisco-Tokyo nonstop flight, effective March 30. Delta spokesperson Anthony Black confirmed the move to us stating,  ”We are ending service between SFO and NRT with the last westbound service effective Friday, March 28, 2014, and final eastbound service effective Sunday, March 30, 2014. Delta is suspending its nonstop service due to an unstable revenue environment caused by yen devaluation.”

Arrival kiosks like these at Delta's new T4 at JFK are coming to Atlanta. Nice! (Photo: Delta)

Arrival kiosks like these at Delta’s new T4 at JFK are coming to Atlanta. Nice! (Photo: Delta)

ATL GETS IMMIGRATION KIOSKS…Following in the footsteps of JFK’s terminals one and four, Chicago O’Hare, Houston, and Seattle-Tacoma, Atlanta is finally getting automated immigration kiosks that speed up the arrivals process for international passengers. Those with Global Entry may be a bit miffed, however, that everyone is getting a speedier option for entering the United States as it only takes a swipe of your passport and a few screen clicks to print out a ticket. Travelers then present that ticket to an immigration officer before heading through customs and save almost half the time versus waiting in a traditional line. Still, it is not quite as fast (or exclusive) as Global Entry, but it is better than before. The system also means you no longer need to complete an immigration card/customs declaration card on arrival. No word yet on when the speedy kiosks may show up at SFO.

Help us help you by getting a new credit card via links from The TICKET!

CREDIT CARDS DESPERATE TO GIVE YOU $400. Last week  Time Magazine ran a story about how banks are battling for the biz of folks with good jobs, good credit and high spending. Sounds like the typical BAT to me! The two best cards with the biggest bonuses for business travelers: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. Why don’t you take the banks up on their offer? You’ll get $400 in award travel, and you’ll help out The BAT when (and only when) you order up a new card from our links. So just do it!

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Aer Lingus + Changes at DCA + Marriott downgrades + United menus + Delta-LinkedIn

Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

Aer Lingus + Changes at DCA + Marriott downgrades + United menus + Delta-LinkedIn

Aer Lingus will use Airbus A330's like this one on SFO-DUB (Photo: Flickr - Steven Little)

Aer Lingus will use Airbus A330′s like this one on SFO-DUB (Photo: Flickr – Steven Little)

DUBLIN. Lovely deep green Aer Lingus jets will float into SFO from Dublin again stating on April 2. MileagePlus members should be happy to know that Star Alliance partners Aer Lingus and United have a code sharing alliance. Air Lingus nixed the SFO-DUB route in 2009 as the global economy sputtered, but came back due to deep ties to the booming tech sector in both cities. If you love business class, you might want to check this out: Aer Lingus offers a unique bidding process for upgrades to the front of the plane. Details here. Aer Lingus’ return to SFO has sparked a fare war, with several carriers offering some rather remarkable deals (in the $700 range) for one-stop flights– these have been short, flash type sales during the slow spring months and will not last into the summer. (LIKE our Facebook page and we’ll keep you up to date on fare sales like this one.)

DRY SALUTE. Speaking of Aer Lingus—when the first flight arrives at SFO on April 2, it won’t get a water cannon salute. And that’s not because this is not really an inaugural—just a relaunch. It’s because of the drought. Airport spokesperson Doug Yakel said, “…in support of water conservation efforts, Aer Lingus will receive a ‘dry salute’, with firefighters and their equipment positioned on the tarmac, but with no water used.” The same thing will happen down at LAX when the first Saudia B777 arrives from Riyadh and Jeddah. Apparently a water cannon salute from firetrucks uses about 3,000 gallons of water. (Check out this gorgeous watery welcome for Air France’s first A380 at SFO!)

MUSICAL GATES AT DCA. If you fly Southwest, Virgin America or JetBlue into Washington Reagan National Airport, you need to read this about their plan to swap terminals. Virgin and JetBlue will move into more modern digs in Terminal B/C.  Southwest will expand at the older Terminal A, which is slated for a major re-do to be completed in late 2015.  

Rooms like this one at the swank Cosmopolitan Las Vegas bump up from Marriott Rewards Tier 8 to Tier 9. (Photo: Cosmopolitan)

Rooms like this one at the swank Cosmopolitan Las Vegas bump up from Marriott Rewards Tier 8 to Tier 9. (Photo: Cosmopolitan)

MARRIOTT REWARDS DOWNGRADES. It’s getting downright tiring to write about loyalty program downgrades. But I’ll carry on! Marriott has increased the number of points needed for free nights at a slew of properties around the world. Most of the properties that you’d really want to stay at are increasing from Category 8  to the newly created Category 9. Here’s the list. Read it and weep.

TAIPEI.  United is reintroducing nonstop B777 service between SFO and burgeoning Taipei on March 29. To prime the pump, it’s offer up to a 100% MileagePlus bonus on all except the cheapest economy fares.

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

UNITED MENUS. United announced that it’s bumping up options for flyers trying to avoid gluten. You soon see more soups, salad dressings and fruit/nut bars labeled as gluten free. The “savory snack box” on sale in coach will soon be 100% gluten free as are most items packed into the “classic” and “tapas” boxed snacks. In addition, it’s replaced regular yogurt with Greek yogurt in business class and on p.s. flights between SFO and NYC.

Fabulous new "grand lodge" interiors at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (Photo: Hyatt)

Fabulous new “grand lodge” interiors at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (Photo: Hyatt)

WORTH CHECKING INTO. Last week I was able to snag a super nice room at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe for just $100 per night by bidding low on Priceline. (Probably has something to do with the lack of snow there!) Having stayed there about five years ago, I was surprised at the REALLY nice full re-do of the 398-room high rise lakeside property in Incline Village, NV. The style is “grand lodge” and there’s lots of stone, leather and timber. The renovation project wrapped up this past December, with each room getting a $45K makeover… the total tab was about $25 million and it shows! Check it out! Overall, I’ve been impressed with Hyatt re-dos all over the world… have you noticed?

DELTA BOOSTS LAX AGAIN. Beginning this summer, Delta will add twice-daily nonstop service from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas aboard Boeing 717 and 737 planes. New daily service to Boise, Idaho will be added via Delta Connection, and a daily international link to San Salvador, El Salvador makes a comeback to the Delta network from LAX with 737 service each day. These moves in addition to a recent declaration that it intends to make Seattle a hub show Delta’s serious about building up its west coast presence.

DELTA PARTNERS WITH LINKEDIN. Delta has linked up with LinkedIn to offer business travelers the opportunity to fly with industry influencers on specific flights. Travelers that are intrigued with flying with a bigwig in their specific industry submit an application at Deltainnovationclass.com. Then, Delta will select and pair applicants with industry leaders. These pairings will be chosen throughout the year, and the winners will have the chance to fly side by side with their role model or industry icon giving them the chance to share ideas or discuss business topics along the way. Would you be up for some mentoring on a flight? If so, who would you most like to sit next to? 

DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU ARE READING?? If so, help out The BAT by signing up for a new credit card! Check out our picks for Best New Credit Cards for Bay Area Travelers. When you sign up, we earn a commission, which helps us help you! Thank you for your support!!

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

***

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Runway closure at SFO to impact summer travel

SFO's North-South Runways 1R & 1L will close. Arrivals and departures will use 28R & 28L.

SFO’s North-South Runways 1R & 1L will close for 4 months. Arrivals and departures will use 28R & 28L.

Plans to close half San Francisco International Airport’s runways for four months this summer could result in significant flight delays, especially for those departing during peak hours.

Today, SFO invited the media out to the airport to explain the runway closure. Here’s what you need to know:

>SFO has four runways, two of which will be closed for about four months from Saturday, May 17 until mid-September.

>Runways will close so the airport can construct new, federally mandated “Runway Safety Areas” (RSAs) at the end of runways 1L and 1R.

The engineered material arresting system – or EMAS – uses crushable concrete placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight concrete and the aircraft is decelerated as it rolls through the material (Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation)

2010 photo from Charleston, WV runway overrun. The engineered material arresting system – or EMAS – uses crushable concrete placed at the end of a runway to stop an aircraft that overruns the runway. The tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight concrete and the aircraft is decelerated as it rolls through the material (Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation)

>RSAs are large wide swaths of crushable concrete-like material that are designed to allow aircraft that overshoot, undershoot or veer off the runway to come to safely come to a stop (and not barrel on to Highway 101 or into the Bay!). Think of them as runaway truck ramps like you see on freeways… but for planes.

>Every time it rains at SFO, the airport shifts to a two-runway landing pattern, so the closure is not unprecedented. As a matter of fact, airport officials say that SFO operated with only two runways 101 times in 2013. (That’s 101 times… not 101 full days, but still…)

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

>SFO says that has worked closely with the FAA and airlines to minimize delays associated with the closure. For example, Delta’s hourly shuttle service to LAX will not operate at 11 am or 1 pm this summer according to its schedule. Those flights resume in October. A Virgin America spokesperson said,  ”We have proactively adjusted our schedules to allow for longer taxi times at SFO this summer and to minimize the impact for our guests.”

>SFO says that new flight procedures implemented last year to allow more planes to land during foggy conditions should help.

>Arriving flights will be given priority, which means that departures are most likely to be delayed. Those delays are most likely to occur during peak hours– between 10 am and 2 pm.

(Courtesy SFO)

(Courtesy SFO)

>All planes will take off to the west. Flights headed to Southern California and Asia will depart SFO, fly up and over the San Bruno gap, then head out over the Pacific. Flights headed to the east and to Europe will also take off to the west, but will make a sharp right turn shortly after take off, then head east over the Bay Bridge and Oakland. (It’s going to create some awesome plane spotting from cars on Hwy 101!)

>The airport will implement a metering system that will assign departure times during peak hours– this system will ensure that if your departure is delayed, you will wait at the gate area and not on the tarmac.

>Runways 28L and 28R had some minor adjustments made last year to meet the spatial requirements set by the federal government. This construction only required runway shutdown for a few days.

>When I asked airport spokesperson Doug Yakel if SFO’s delay problems might ever be permanently fixed by expansion into the Bay, he said no… “beyond the environmental concerns, building new runways out on the bay would simply be cost prohibitive.” He added that many of SFO’s delay issues would likely be solved by new technology instead of new runways.

How will this news impact your summer travel plans? Are you more likely to fly from Oakland or San Jose? Please leave your comments below!

DO YOU LIKE WHAT YOU ARE READING?? If so, help out The BAT by signing up for a new credit card! Check out our picks for Best New Credit Cards for Bay Area Travelers. When you sign up, we earn a commission, which helps us help you! Thank you for your support!!

--Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Best new credit cards for Bay Area Travelers

American Airlines’ brand new A321T now on SFO-JFK – Trip Report

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

 

Mercedes transfers at SFO + United Closer to Tokyo + Virgin’s new menu + Uber not here + Slick SkyTeam lounge

Take me to the plane, James! United to roll out Mercedes tarmac transfers at SFO

Take me to the plane, James! United to roll out Mercedes tarmac transfers at SFO

TO THE PLANE, JAMES! United is bringing its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service to SFO, offering  Global Services members “greater comfort and convenience throughout their travel experience.” United will offer the tarmac service this spring – using Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC SUVs with environmentally friendly clean diesel technology – to whisk a handful of lucky Global Services members and United Global First customers to their connections in San Francisco. United representatives will meet customers at the aircraft, escort them to the waiting Mercedes-Benz vehicle and drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flight. United says it will give priority to customers with close connections. United introduced its tarmac transportation service last summer at Chicago ORD and Houston IAH. (Not sure how much utility locals will get out of the service, but it’s sure nice for transferring passengers!) Delta Air Lines started this trend when it began offering its top customers transfers via Porsche Cayenne at its sprawling airport hub in Atlanta. It proved so popular that it expanded the service to airports in Los Angeles (LAX) and New York JFK.

Tokyo's Haneda Airport is much more convenient than distant Narita.

Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is much more convenient than distant Narita.

TOKYO HANEDA. If you’re tired of the 60-90 minute haul from Tokyo’s Narita airport into the city after a transpac United flight, take heart: The DOT has tentatively approved plans for United to add SFO flights to the more convenient and close-in Haneda Airport, located about 25 minutes south of downtown. No word yet on when those flights might start. Currently, only Japan Airlines offers nonstops from SFO to Haneda. ANA’s flights from both SFO and SJC land at Narita. As we reported last year, Delta’s nonstop flights from SFO to Tokyo Narita come to an end on March 30.

Soba noodles with lemongrass shiitake broth on the menu up front on Virgin America

Soba noodles with lemongrass shiitake broth on the menu up front on Virgin America

CLASSY FOOD. Virgin America is rolling out a classy new first class menu on its long hauls from SFO & LAX to: New York, Newark Boston and Washington DC (Reagan National only). The new menu will include the addition of cocktail hors d’oeuvres of roasted tomato, marinated artichoke heart, olive and mozzarella skewer, served with warmed mixed nuts — as well as a choice of two appetizers and three entrées in-flight. The ‘cherry on the top’ of the new service is the debut of the airline’s first custom ice cream flavor, developed in collaboration with San Francisco’s cult favorite ice cream maker, Humphry Slocombe. NICE: anyone with a Virgin America boarding pass can get a free scoop between March 4 and June 30 at either Humphry Slocombe store in SF (in the Mission and at the Ferry Building).

VIRGIN GETTING LOTS OF DALLAS LOVE. Remember our post last week about Virgin America’s desire to go big  at Dallas Love Field? Well, this week the Department of Justice pretty much ruled Delta out of the competition, leaving it to a decision between granting gates to Virgin America… or to Southwest, which already controls 16 of the airport’s 20 gates. Southwest has said that if it gets the gates, it will add service to all three Bay Area airports.

ECO-CUP. United is introducing a new “eco-friendly” insulated hot beverage cup this month. It’s made from 50% recycled material and due to its thickness, does not need a sleeve, which helps reduce waste. The new cup replaces the polystyrene cup currently in use.

Screen grab from Bloomberg video of new Google terminal at SJC

Screen grab from Bloomberg video of new Google terminal at SJC

GOOGLE AIRPORT. By now you’ve likely heard that Google is building its own airport terminal (used to house the company’s 12+ aircraft) in the grounds of San Jose International Airport. Here’s a peek at what it will look like.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.33.55 AMUBER NOT EVERYWHERE. Nearly every Bay Area Traveler is big on the new generation of ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. (If not, sign up here and get $20 off your first ride!) While calling up an Uber car in SF is almost second nature, you might be surprised to learn such services are NOT available in: Austin, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Portland, St. Louis. Low cost UberX is no longer available for rides to or from LAX, although its black cars are still permitted.

LOUNGE AT LAX. The Virgin America lounge in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles now accepts the Priority Pass card for entrance. That means American Express Platinum cardholders, who have Priority Pass Select, also have free access. Non members can pay a $40 per visit fee. Have you checked out Virgin’s lounge or “Loft” at LAX Terminal 3? What did you think? Leave your comments below.

The swank new SkyTeam Lounge at Istanbul (Click on photo for 360 degree tour!)

The swank new SkyTeam Lounge at Istanbul (Click on photo for 360 degree tour!)

NEW SKYTEAM LOUNGE TO OPEN IN DUBAI…SkyTeam is boosting its own branded lounge network (operated jointly with airlines at a specific airport). London Heathrow was the first, and recently a SkyTeam lounge opened in Istanbul. Plans to open a lounge in Dubai are in place with a projected opening date of early 2015. SkyTeam lounges are open to premium cabin travelers and SkyTeam Elite Plus members (Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion) on international itineraries.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 9.56.23 AM

PLEASE, RECRUIT YOUR FRIENDS. If you like The BAT, would you please tell your friends and colleagues about it? The ONLY way we grow is via word of mouth from happy readers. Like every online publication, we need more eyeballs and appreciate your support.  Here’s something you can copy and paste into an email TODAY!

Have you ever heard about The Bay Area Traveler—The BAT– for frequent travelers? It’s a free local travel blog that I subscribe to. It’s full of helpful news and advice for frequent travelers who live in the Bay Area…just like us.  I think it’s definitely something you could use. See “Subscribe” in the upper right margin of the blog, or just sign up right here. Thanks! [ADD: *Your signature*]

–Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

Best credit card for Bay Area Travelers?

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

Spring Break Warning + United in London + Air New Zealand upgrade + TripIt hack

Let’s do some catching up on Bay Area Travel News!

Spring in Portland (Photo Ian Sane - Flickr)

Spring in Portland (Photo Ian Sane – Flickr)

SPRING BREAK. Cold, dark winters back east nearly always lead to very busy, crowded and expensive spring breaks. For example, advance bookings for the rest of March and April at Best Western’s 2,100+ hotels in North America are up 10.4% compared to this time last year. The good news about this year’s spring travel season is that it is spread out over a six week period. That’s because the peak of collegiate spring break will last from now through about March 22. Then there’s a nice long lull until Easter, which comes relatively late this year on Sunday April 20. A late Easter means you’ll find a spring travel “sweet spot” during the first two weeks of April when the college kids have gone home (for the most part) and families have yet to embark on Easter trips. That’s when you’ll most likely find the best last minute deals and smallest crowds.

UAL AT LHR. United says that it will consolidate all operations from London Heathrow (now spread between Terminals 1 & 4) to the brand new Terminal 2, “The Queen’s Terminal” on June 4. The big, bright new terminal will sport a state-of-the-art 22,000 sq-ft United Club and United Global First lounge with floor to ceiling windows, a big spread of complimentary food and bevs and free wi-fi. Eventually, all of United’s Star Alliance partners will move in, too.

Air New Zealand's SkyCouch seat finally coming to SFO! (Photo: Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand’s SkyCouch seat finally coming to SFO! (Photo: Air New Zealand)

MORE ANZ AT SFO. Air New Zealand will bump up its 7x week service between SFO and Auckland to 10x per week during peak season (Dec-Mar) later this year. The double daily service (Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays) from SFO-AKL on Air New Zealand will begin on December 12 and conclude on March 4, 2015. Aircraft will be a mixture of the new 777-300 and refurbished 777-200 (when when the current 747 flies away). You’ll only find the popular Premium Economy Spaceseat  and Economy Skycouch on the newer 777-300. The 777-200 will offer the Skycouch, but not the Premium Economy Spaceseat.  To determine which plane you’ll be on, click on “view full itinerary” when booking on airnewzealand.com

Lufthansa's new Premium Economy seat (Photo: Lufthansa)

Lufthansa’s new Premium Economy seat (Photo: Lufthansa)

NEW LUFTHANSA SEAT. Lufthansa is rolling out a new premium economy seat on its long haul fleet. Starting this May, the seat, which offers 50% more space than standard coach, will be available only on Lufthansa’s 747-8 (which does not serve SFO). However, the carrier says it’s entire 106-aircraft long haul fleet (including the A380 serving SFO) will have the new seat by the end of 2015. Upgraded services include meals served on china, headrests and larger personal video screens. With the new seat, Lufthansa hopes that more passengers will upgrade from coach to premium economy versus downgrading from business to the new seat. What would YOU do?

NEW TRIPIT HACK. Mobile travel organizer TripIt is offering a new way for TripIt Pro members to track frequent-flier miles for the four airlines (American, Delta, Southwest and United) that were temporarily unavailable in Point Tracker. To do so, all you have to do is forward your monthly or quarterly points statements from these carriers to points@tripit.com. Using the same proprietary technology behind its itinerary creator, TripIt parses the data from those emails.

DELTA RELEASES AWARD CHART. Delta’s biggest public relations mistake in the rollout of the new rules for 2015 was that it only offered us half the equation. Initially, Delta only told us how much we’d earn… but it did not tell us how much we’d pay for award travel. Irritatingly, Delta said it would release a new award chart – but not until this fall. After a thorough lashing on that point, it released the chart last week. Much to everyone’s surprise, the chart is not much different than before. Instead of three tiers, there are now five. And the best news is that Delta is finally going to offer one-way awards starting at 12,500 miles.  It still remains to be seen how easy it’s going to be to get a round trip for 25K or a one-way award for 12.5K. Our guess is that the true lowest tier is will be Tier 2, with lowest domestic round trips at 35K (coach) and 65K (first) and Europe at 75K (coach) 160K (Biz).

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 9.56.23 AM

PLEASE, RECRUIT YOUR FRIENDS. If you like The BAT, would you please tell your friends and colleagues about it? The ONLY way we grow is via word of mouth from happy readers. Like every online publication, we need more eyeballs and appreciate your support.  Here’s something you can copy and paste into an email TODAY!

Have you ever heard about The Bay Area Traveler—The BAT– for frequent travelers? It’s a free local travel blog that I subscribe to. It’s full of helpful news and advice for frequent travelers who live in the Bay Area…just like us.  I think it’s definitely something you could use. See “Subscribe” in the upper right margin of the blog, or just sign up right here. Thanks! [ADD: *Your signature*]

–Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Boeing 747s flying away from SFO?

Virgin America’s big plans for Big D

United carry-on “crackdown” not all it’s cracked up to be

Another spin on the frequent flyer merry-go-round

SFO by the numbers

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

Best credit card for Bay Area Travelers?

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

 

 

SFO by the numbers

Earlier this month, San Francisco International released some stats that BATs will finding very interesting. Let’s take a look:

(Photo: Angelo DiSantis / Flickr)

(Photo: Angelo DiSantis / Flickr)

>Despite the bad rap SFO gets for weather-related delays, 2013 set an all-time record for number of passengers—45 million, up from 44.5 million in 2012. (Why don’t more of you use Oakland or San Jose? Please explain below.) 

>In 2012 it ranked as the eighth busiest airport in the US by number of passengers, after New York-JFK at #7, while Atlanta and Chicago led the pack at #1 and #2. (Eighth place is lucky. Plus SFO is sooo much nicer than most other airports near the top of the heap. Okay, I admit that it’s hard not to love SFO.) 

>United is dominant at SFO with 46% of the market. Virgin America has 9% and Delta’s #3 in market share with 8%. (Keep an eye on the combined American and US Airways, which could upset this status quo next year.)

Norwegian will fly a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Oakland, Oslo and Stockholm next year.

Norwegian will fly a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Oakland, Oslo and Stockholm starting this May.

>SFO owns 66% of the Bay Area air travel market. It also has 96% of the Bay Area’s international flights. (Norwegian Air’s arrival at Oakland later this year can’t come soon enough! And we keep hearing rumors about another Asian carrier at SJC, but nothing ever seems to come of it.) 

>OAK has 18% of the Bay Area market and SJC has 16%. (When SFO shuts down two key runways this summer, I bet a lot of you will be–or should be– seeking alternatives at OAK and SJC, which will help their market share numbers this year.)

>SFO generates 33,580 jobs– from a variety of different employers– and $2.1 billion in personal income. (Wow. In a way, SFO contributes my job as BAT blogger, so thanks!)

>A new capital improvement program, including projects like the renovation of T1, will create 36,000 new jobs. (The Bay is booming, no?)

>15 domestic carriers now offer nonstops from SFO to 78 cities in the US. (Which city does NOT have a nonstop flight that you wish did? Please leave your comments below)

Shiny new EVA Air 777-300ER flies SFO-TPE (Photo EVA Air)

Shiny new EVA Air 777-300ER flies SFO-TPE (Photo EVA Air)

>There are 34 international carriers providing nonstop flights to 30 destinations outside the US. (Which nonstop destination from SFO feels the most exotic to you? Please leave your comments below)

>In 2013, SFO added new flights to:

  • Anchorage (Virgin America)
  • Austin (Virgin America)
  • Copenhagen (SAS)
  • Ft Lauderdale (United)
  • Guadalajara, Morelia, Leon (Aeromexico)
  • Newark (Virgin America)
  • Paris (United)
  • Shanghai (China Eastern)
  • Sun Valley (United)

– Chris McGinnis

And just in case you missed it, here are some of our most popular, recent Bay Area Traveler posts :

Shoes + New STL flight + New A321T + Where’s the luv? + T3E cities + Free ice cream

Bikini-clad safety video

Stormy weather slowing you down? Here’s why

What’s next for SFO?

United biz class giveaway + New Chicago flight + MileagePlus deadline + Southwest overwater + Rocketmiles

First look inside United’s new terminal at SFO

New Year. New credit card?

***

Subscribe to The Bay Area Traveler- The BAT-  via e-mail!

Why don’t you join the 25,000+ people who get insider info, news and tips from The Bay Area Traveler every month? Sign up here to receive posts via email. Don’t miss out!

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