Browsing Tag: Mileage Plan

An American Boeing 787-8 (N812AN) at LAX.

An American Boeing 787-8 (N812AN) at LAX. Southwest does not have any 787s.

A few weeks ago, my esteemed colleague JL Johnson penned a piece extolling the virtues of his favorite carrier, Southwest Airlines. He laid out nine reasons why Southwest was tops in his mind, and quite honestly I didn’t disagree with any of the facts he laid out on why the airline is so immensely popular with so many people.

However, with all the positives Southwest has under its belt, I personally can’t remember the last time I stepped foot on a Southwest 737… at least seven-to-eight years, I think. So if Southwest isn’t so bad, and I think it’s a perfectly fine airline, why have I clocked about 800,000 miles without a single Southwest flight?

First, let’s get one thing clear: This piece isn’t meant to be a hostile response to JL or his story, or even as a “Southwest is bad” take-down rant. Like I said, he has valid points, and Southwest is a fine airline, one that I even recommend others to fly. The goal of this piece is to give those who are wondering some insight into why someone might choose not to fly Southwest.

Hainan's inaugural flight, operated by a Boeing 787-8 (B-2739), from Changsha to Los Angeles on final approach.

Hainan Airlines’ inaugural flight, operated by a Boeing 787-8 (B-2739), from Changsha to Los Angeles on final approach.

Hainan Airlines, the largest privately operated carrier in China, commenced Los Angeles’s newest non-stop service to the Chinese mainland on January 21. The twice-weekly flights, operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, will connect LAX to the capital of Hunan province, Changsha (CSX). AirlineReporter was invited to be on the ramp at LAX for the arrival of the inaugural flight from CSX.

My travel map for the USA... Could I tick an extra state off that list?

My travel map for the USA… Could I tick an extra state off that list? – Image: TravBuddy.com

Each year I set some travel goals for myself; that way throughout all the craziness that may happen during the year, I have a guideline of the things I want to see or do. OshKosh was on my list, as well as my trip home to Australia back in April. I was able to complete those and needed some additional challenges.

I realized fairly late in the year, after returning from New Zealand, that I had left a goal off my list. Being new to living in the USA, I want to see more of this country that I now call home. I had set a goal to add at least one more state to my list of those visited (I was sitting at 42 and I decided that I wanted to make it to at least 43 by the new year).

My colleagues at Airline Reporter found out about this and thought they would have a bit of fun with it. I could check off a state, but I had to do it for less than $100 and make a whole weekend out of it. I accepted the challenge.

Emirates and Alaska Airlines are now working together with a shared mileage plan.

Emirates and Alaska Airlines are now working together with a shared mileage plan.

During an Emirates press conference today held in Seattle, WA, Alaska Airlines announced a mileage partnership with the Dubai based airline. Passengers will be able to earn and redeem miles on either airline, plus miles accumulated while flying on Emirates will count towards Alaska MVP elite level program. From March 1, 2012 to May 31st Alaska will offer double miles on any Emirates flight.

“As part of our commitment to Seattle, we are launching our service by partnering with Seattle’s hometown airline to offer customers the convenience of a frequent flier partnership as well as one-stop check-in and through checked baggage,” said Nigel Page, Emirates Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for the Americas.

As reported previously, Emirates will start non-stop service from Seattle (SEA) to Dubai (DXB) starting on March 1, 2012. The new flight will help connect the northwest to the Middle East, Africa and India. Emirates new flight (#’s EK229 and EK230) will depart daily from Seattle and Dubai and take 14.5 to 15hrs to complete. Emirates Boeing 777-300ER will we set up in a three class layout and the price for a first class suite will cost $15,279.00, while business will cost $9479.00 and economy will be around $1448.00. With Seattle having so many large companies and a decent demand for people to visit their families in the middle east and India, the airline expects their new route to do quite well.

When asked if Emirates might be interested in upgrading their 777 service to Seattle to an Airbus A380 Nigel stated,  “As we build the business up we will certainty look at that.” However, he stated that they have not been in talks with the Port of Seattle about bringing the A380 to SEA. Previously, Perry Cooper with the Port of Seattle communications told AirlineReporter.com that, “We can handle the A380 in emergencies, however we do not have facilities for regular use, such as the multiple gate loading ramps, for the aircraft. At this time, if an A380 were to arrive and need to access a gate, safety guidelines would require all traffic to stop until the aircraft stopped at its gate, due to the width of taxiways and safety zones next to the runways.”

Currently, the Airbus A380 is not able to make it from Dubai to Seattle non-stop and Emirates stated that they are working with Airbus to increase the range to handle cities, like Los Angeles non-stop.

Emirates will also be starting service to Dallas starting February 2nd and has voiced interest in expanding to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The fact the airline has so many aircraft currently on order (70 Airbus A350s, 70 Airbus A380s and 87 Boeing 777s), my guess is all these cities will be seeing Emirates service soon.

Images:
Emirates by Robin Bilgil
Alaska by Leezpics