Airlines are extremely competitive, complex and ever changing beasts. Things that make very little sense to passengers often make perfect sense to airlines. One thing passengers understand perfectly well however, is that they’re generally getting squeezed.  From earning and using miles to loyalty benefits, things generally aren’t getting easier and today we’ve got some bad news for United mileage holders and some frustrating news for Etihad frequent flyers. There is however an interesting new Emirates route…

United New Award (Free Flight With Miles) Rules Are In Effect…

On the surface, United doesn’t have a very friendly chart for how many miles a passenger needs for a free flight. It’s often fairly high. For those in the know, they did however offer incredible flexibility and opportunity if you knew how to take advantage of their very loose rules for which cities you could “connect” through, stopover, etc. Effective this week, United put an end to the flexibility, allowing you to fly through another region to reach another, unless of course the computer says you can. Essentially, you can NO LONGER manually make clever itineraries using miles, visiting countries of your choosing along the way. IF the COMPUTER on the other hand spits out one of these such itineraries, you can. OMAAT has a good write up…

Etihad Cuts Lounge Access For Silver Frequent Flyers…

Etihad Guest, the frequent flyer program of Etihad has generously allowed lounge access on any Etihad ticket for Silver frequent flyers, even when flying economy. As of January 15, 2017, Silver frequent flyers with Etihad will be excluded from lounge access, with the exception of lounges in Abu Dhabi, Mahe, and Belgrade. To get in, Silver and below members will need to fly business or first class. This is a tightening of the rules which though not necessarily unfair, is another example of the squeeze airlines balance, offering competitive elite status programs while maintaining high levels of service in their lounges and cabins. 

Emirates Launching Dubai To Fort Lauderdale 16+ Hour Flight…

Emirates is expanding rapidly in the US and they’re now taking their talents to South Beach (leave a comment if you get the reference). Beginning December 15th, Emirates will launch EK213 and 214 with service to Fort Lauderdale operated by a Boeing 777-200LR. One very interesting element of the flight is Emirates partnership with JetBlue, who are a major player at Fort Lauderdale Airport. Essentially, Emirates passengers will have perfect connection options to 45 destinations in the US and Caribbean which JetBlue serves, with the morning landing in Fort Lauderdale an ideal feeder time onto connecting flights. Smart business.