Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Alaska’s New Scheme, JetBlue Retreats in LA

Cranky Weekly Review

Alaska’s Latest Scheme: $5 For What?

Alaska Airlines rolled out a new $5 per month subscription which it describes as being ideal for “savvy, price-conscious customers.” Others may view it as “an alternative to lighting a $5 bill on fire once per month.”

What do you get for your $5? Let’s have a look. A monthly wifi voucher which must be used during the calendar month it’s issued and only by the savvy, price-conscious sucker chump patsy customer who subscribed. It also comes with early access to fare sales, supposedly a night before they’re made public. This unprecedented access will only be available in the app, so I guess you have to check the app every night to see what deals are loaded? And lastly, and perhaps best, a personalized fare page is all yours where you’ll be able to view the lowest fares using money or miles to more than 500 global destinations — or as most of us call it — Google Flights.

If you fly every month, and buy an $8 wifi pass every month, then this could make sense, and it’ll save you $3. Otherwise…it’s a no for me, bro.

JetBlue’s LAX Retreat

After nearly a quarter-century of trying, JetBlue’s dream of making Los Angeles a primary focus of its west coast operations is coming to an end. The carrier dropping a chunk of service from the city to eight destinations: Cancún, Las Vegas, Liberia, Miami, Puerto Vallarta, Reno, San Francisco, and Seattle. Despite the draw back, JetBlue will maintain its minty-fresh cross-country service from LA to Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York/JFK, and Newark along with a handful of other routes on regular A320s.

In addition to drawing down in Los Angeles, JetBlue is pulling out of four other airports including Kansas City domestically, along with Bogotá, Lima, and Quito down south. It is also formally ending service to New York/Stewart, where its lone two routes at the airport had been suspended since the pandemic.

Other routes on JetBlue’s chopping block include Tampa to Aguadilla, Orlando to Salt Lake City, and New York/JFK to Detroit. For a more detailed look at JetBlue’s changes in Los Angeles, please visit Thursday’s post on

Southwest Has Peace for Its Time

Southwest Airlines has nearly achieved labor peace with its entire workforce after reaching a tentative agreement with its flight attendants just before ramp agents overwhelmingly approved their five-year tentative agreement.

The carrier’s ~20,000 flight attendants — repped by Transport Workers Union Local 556 — came to terms Wednesday. The union is sharing the full details of the deal with its members this week. While the contents of the deal haven’t leaked yet, sources close to the situation tell us the FAs will receive a complimentary pair of throwback Southwest hot pants and gogo boots to be worn at the discretion of the flight attendants.

The ramp workers received a raise and a bonus, and the airline agreed to their request to place a strong set of handlebars on the underside of the wing of each aircraft, allowing the staff to grab on and take a free ride while the airplane taxis to the runway. Staff will be required to let go before the plane begins its takeoff roll due to FAA safety regulations.

United Jumps into the Pool

United Airlines will be the first domestic airline to allow for pooling of miles — letting MileagePlus members share their bounty with friends or family.

Any member of the program 18 or older can open a pool and invite up to four others to join, with each individual member deciding how many miles to contribute to the group. There’s no limit to the number of miles than can be added to a pool, and the miles can be used for purchasing an award ticket on The catch — there’s always a catch — is the pooled miles can only be used for a flight on United or United Express — it isn’t valid for flights on Star Alliance or other MileagePlus partners, a huge blow for those looking to pool miles in order to subscribe to Midwest Living magazine.

Members of the pool can leave any time — which makes it safe (safer?) to invite those in a new relationship to pool their miles — but any miles shared with the group will remain with the group after their donator leaves. In order to prevent gaming of the system, there’s also a 90-day waiting period required after leaving a pool to prevent customers from jumping into one pool, getting out, and then diving into another.

SAS’s Restructuring Plan Approved

SAS continues to move towards a post-bankruptcy world after its restructuring plan was approved in U.S. Bankruptcy Court this week, leading the airline to announce it expects to exit the Chapter 11 process by the start of the summer.

The plan includes a $1.2 billion investment from Air France-KLM, the Danish government, and a couple of investment firms. Nearly 99% of its creditors approved the deal, which makes sense when taking into consideration that a $1.2 billion investment is probably good for them. SAS has been embroiled in bankruptcy procedures for almost two years now, and has worked at cutting costs across its entire operation. It was able to renegotiate leases with its 15 aircraft lessors to lead to a savings of nearly $100 million a year in fees.

Once the process is complete, the airline will bid farvel to Star Alliance and join SkyTeam.

  • Air Baltic looks like it could be eyeing new service from sea to shining sea.
  • Air France is adding capacity to the United States prior to this summer’s Paris Olympics.
  • Air Samarkand is a thing now.
  • Air Serbia revealed 2023 was a good one.
  • AirAsia Cambodia is ready to begin domestic flight ops in May.
  • Alaska is adding daily, year-round service on October 1 between Santa Rosa and Las Vegas. Take that, Avelo.
  • American is finding new ways for you to purchase slow, unusable wifi.
  • Avelo is adding three from New Haven, all beginning mid-June: Houston/Hobby (2x weekly), St. Louis (2x weekly), Traverse City (1x weekly).
  • Cathay Pacific expects its first B777-9 to be delivered next year.
  • China Airlines will resume nonstop service from Taipei to Seattle with 5x weekly flights beginning in July.
  • Delta frontline staff are getting new threads.
  • Eastern is buying 28 B737s.
  • Flair believes its owed about C$25 million.
  • Frontier‘s latest frontier is New York/JFK.
  • HOP customers will jump for joy when they see the Air France regional carrier is refreshing its cabins.
  • IndiGo hasn’t made a decision a widebody order, but it might soon.
  • JAL announced an airplane order.
  • JetSmart began domestic ops in Colombia. It’s also adopting AAdvantage as its loyalty program.
  • Korean also announced an airplane order.
  • Pacific Airlines is shutting things down for the time being.
  • Qantas is being asked nicely to use more SAF.
  • Scoot is adding 5x weekly flights to Tokyo and 1x to Seoul beginning next month.
  • TAP Air Portugal is still the apple of IAG’s eye.
  • Virgin Australia confirmed the delivery of its MAX 8 and MAX 10 aircraft on order will be delayed. Word travels slowly Down Under.
  • WestJet is going to test the theory that the Pen is mightier than the sword.

A guy walks into a lumberyard and asks for some lumber. “How long do you need them?” the worker asks. “A long time,” the guy says, “we’re building a house.”

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13 comments on “Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Alaska’s New Scheme, JetBlue Retreats in LA

  1. Flair is not long for this world. Newspaper reports today say that they have cancelled 600 flights this spring. They owe a tax bill of $67 million and Peoples Group is withholding $25 million due to Flair. (Is that credit card ticket purchases?) The government has registered a lien on Flair’s flight simulator and some real estate. In March last year, aircraft leasing companies seized four Flair aircraft for missing rental payments over several months. For Canadian travellers it’s ‘caveat emptor’. But they won’t and there will be pathetic tears on TV from those stranded in Mexico or – gasp! – Toronto.

  2. I was under the impression that an airline’s main function is to transport people and goods from one place to another safely and on-time, not to provide wi-fi. Nowadays, it seems that most airline commentators care mostly about wi-fi. And safety doesn’t seem to matter much.

  3. I thought Jet Blue allowed mile pooling, so wouldn’t United be the second domestic airline to offer it?

    1. So technically JetBlue is points not miles, but yes I have been pooling my family’s points for several years now. But have just moved from BOS to SFO glad to see I can now do that on UA now

  4. I really have my doubts about Frontier flying out of JFK, especially with B6 and DL having Puerto Rico covered. Anyone know where they’re getting slots from?

    And a little sad to see B6 reducing LAX (more competition is generally always better than less), but it’s necessary. Over time perhaps they can add some more flights to the East Coast (maybe San Juan? The other focus cities are covered.)

    1. Frontier should try to buy JetBlue in an all-stock deal, especially if we end up with a more merger-friendly administration next year. JFK and BOS would be big additions to their network, and I think they could potentially do more with those slots and gates than JetBlue currently is.

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