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Alaska offers free companion fare? Really?

Yup — it was a short-term promotion in early September — and with not much advance notice — Alaska Air offered a companion ticket FREE to anywhere in their system — only charges were for taxes and fees — pretty good deal!! Here’s betting they’ll do it again — pay attention to their site and get on their email sales pitch list — bring and wear your face mask!! Such a deal!!

Looks Like US INTERNATIONAL Travel Opening Inbound — Will US Travelers Now Again Be Welcome Around The World???

The U.S. currently only permits 15 airports to receive flights from Europe (including the U.K.), China, or Brazil. That’s because passengers arriving on flights from these places are supposed to be specially screened for COVID-19, since they along with Iran are deemed high risk areas. These airports are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Newark, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington Dulles. American Airlines hubs Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Phoenix aren’t on this list. Neither is Delta’s Minneapolis hub.

The passenger screening requirement expired on September 14th. And that means there will be no more need for ‘funneling’ airports, opening up the possibility of flights between the U.S. and Europe especially from more airports.

Disney Blames California for Layoffs?

YUP   — the MOUSE is laying off more than 28,000 employees — most from their popular “cash cow” theme southern California parks – and blaming the States tough business restriction environment as well as COVID health concerns.  The State has denied Disney and other big theme park operators — to open until crowd virus concerns are better under control.  Disney and some big Parks in Florida have been open since mid-summer — even with attendance restrictions and social distancing requirements — but that’s Florida, a mecca for the easy life!!  When will California theme parks open — when when when???

Big Just got Smaller fro UAL and AA?

October looks like the month most BIG US carriers are becoming SMALLER — UAL plans to drop more than 20,000 employees (including 1,000 management jobs);  and American says it will have 40,000 fewer workers this fall;  SOUTHWEST says it “expects” to avoid any furloughs or layoffs — but earlier this year, nearly 17,000 employees took extended “voluntary” time off or early retirement.  Look for ticket prices — for the time — to be reasonable and frequent flyer mile bargains galore !!!

US AIR CARRIERS TAKE A DIVE IN SEPTEMBER???

Passenger loads were off the charts last month — in the NEGATIVE — with schedules about 35% of what they were a year ago! International travel to just about anywhere is hard to find – with domestic loads higher on weekends and fairly soft during the week.  Most US carriers have cut schedules to about 50-70% of what they were pre-Pandemic with massive employee layoffs and furloughs in the works.  The only positive side of travel is less expensive airfares — that is if you can find some place to visit?

looking down the center aisle of a mostly empty airplane being boarded during the coronavirus pandemic

Looking for Weekly Travel and Airline News Insight?

Check out the podcast “AIRLINE CONFIDENTIAL” hosted by a former CEO of Spirit Airlines and a public broadcasting wannabe. The podcast, though somewhat long and wordy, on occasion do have good information and travel suggestions — but usually buried in the overly dull chit chat — give a listen and tell us what you think?  Maybe the TC should get in on the podcast circuit???

The Skies not so friendly to American??

It looks like American will reduce their total employee numbers by 20,000 or more — unless US carriers receive another big government bailout — layoffs, furloughs, early retirement buyouts, and position eliminations are across the board — so don’t be surprised to see service — both at airports and inflight — slow down!  Remember when it used to be FUN to travel by air???

SMELLY FEET NEW PROBLEM FOR AIRLINES???

Yup — with business travelers way way down, looks like it’s the package tour folks that are filling planes — especially on weekends. Biggest complaint to airline crews is folks taking their shoes — and most often socks — off during the flight. Amazing how many folks even go bare feet into the aircraft lav …. If you must take your shoes and socks off inflight, then keep them in your own space.  In Russia, one passenger actually stabbed another over bare smelly feet!  Mind your manners and feet!!!