The airline industry is changing fast right now, and it’s hard to keep up with the news every day. At Cranky Concierge, we’ve been following closely and putting out an internal newsletter. Now, we’re making our Cranky Coronavirus Daily Update available to everyone for a small fee.
We’re asking you to contribute the amount you think is appropriate with a $25 minimum. It’s certainly going to be provide you with more value than that! We publish it every evening, Monday through Friday, and will continue through the end of April. We will consider extending it if the need exists.
How do you know what’s appropriate? Well, just keep in mind that you’re supporting Cranky Flier and Cranky Concierge during a difficult time. That being said, you certainly want to see what the content looks like. Here’s a sample of content taken from previous newsletters.
United Tries to Get People to Cancel Their Plans Now, Forgo Refunds
United announced that customers holding a United ticket for travel through December 31, 2020 can make changes to their itinerary with no change fees — provided that the customer makes the change by April 30.
With United having recently allowed credits to be converted into Electronic Travel Certificates that won’t expire until two years after the date of issue, any already-booked travel on United for the remainder of 2020 can be canceled and remain in a full credit into 2022.
This may sound generous, but there is a downside for travelers. If the original flights later cancel or waivers change, the traveler will no longer be eligible for a refund. This is certainly in United’s interest to help stem the tide of cash flowing out, but travelers should think through the ramifications before participating.
In a similar move — but one that doesn’t pressure travelers to make decisions now — American has announced that anyone holding a ticket valid for travel on AA through September 30, 2020 is permitted to cancel their travel and retain the value of their ticket — without a change fee — for travel through December 31, 2021. American’s new policy is applicable to both paid and AAdvantage award redemptions, and allows customers to change their origin and/or destination cities when making their new booking.
American’s New Schedule Change Policy Makes It Harder to Get a Refund
American’s newest refund policy for schedule changes has been released, and it is more strict than before. On the bright side, it is a more reAAsonable way to make a change than what others have done in that it only applies to new tickets purchased beginning today.
For new bookings, any schedule change where new flight options are more than four hours earlier/later than the original schedule can be refunded. Previously, anything over one hour could be refunded.
In addition, for flight cancellations or delays within 72 hours of travel, American will allow refunds for changes of more than 90 minutes. That used to be a 60 minute cut-off as well.
For existing tickets purchased prior to today, the original policy still applies.
Those that choose to delay their travel on AA will have more options this fall & winter (maybe) as American returns many of the international destinations that it has shelved this spring. Visit crankyflier.com for this week’s post on American’s schedule updates for this summer and beyond.
JetBlue Reduces Co-Terminal Flying
JetBlue on Wednesday received permission from the DOT to consolidate its flying in cities where it serves multiple airports.
JetBlue will be consolidating its service in the following cities:
- Suspended: Providence (PVD)
- Service Remains: Boston (BOS)
- Los Angeles
- Suspended: Burbank (BUR), Ontario (ONT)
- Service Remains: Los Angeles (LAX), Long Beach (LGB)
- New York
- Suspended: LaGuardia (LGA), Stewart (SWF), White Plains (HPN)
- Service Remains: Kennedy (JFK), Newark (EWR)
- San Francisco
- Suspended: San Jose (SJC)
- Service Remains: San Francisco
- Suspended: Baltimore (BWI)
- Service Remains: Washington/National (DCA)
If you were previously booked on a JetBlue flight departing or arriving at one of the suspended airports, please check your itinerary as you’ve likely been rebooked (or will need to be rebooked) into a different airport near your destination. If you’re unhappy with your rebooked itinerary and want help, Cranky Concierge’s Refund Hunter is here to help you find options to retrieve the full value of your ticket.
Delta Blocking Middle Seats and Pausing Automatic Upgrades
In order to further promote social distancing, Delta has announced that it will be blocking middle seats on all flights through May 13. Additionally, it is temporarily pausing the automatic medallion upgrade process, instead leaving the upgrade process to the gate agent prior to departure. Delta will continue to follow its normal upgrade priority, but will give the gate agent greater discretion to seat passengers based on social distancing guidelines and weight & balance needs.
Delta passengers will be free to change their seat once on-board the aircraft, provided they remain in the same class of service and do not move more than three rows forward or backward from their original seating assignment. If they go further, they won’t get any Biscoff.
The Bright Side: Delta Donating 200,000 Pounds of Food
With the closures of most Sky Clubs and a dramatic reduction in on-board service, Delta has found itself with 200,000 pounds of food that it does not need. Rather than see it go to waste, the airline has mobilized employee teams who are seeing that it gets to those who need it most. Hospitals, medical facilities, food banks and other organizations on the front lines of fighting the COIVD-19 battle are receiving perishable and non-perishable food items that would have been served on-board Delta plans and in Sky Clubs around the world.
Airline Operation Potpourri
- Condor has removed its twice-weekly flights from its Frankfurt hub to Seattle from its schedule for April, leaving the airline with only short-haul service to Gran Canaria (1x weekly); Jerez de la Frontera (1x weekly); Palma Mallorca (3x weekly) and Tenerife South (2x weekly).
- Jet2 will not restart its operations until June 17 at the earliest. The low-cost UK carrier had originally reduced its schedule through April, with an expectation of re-starting service sometime in May.
- Lufthansa is moving forward with its first restructuring package. Lufthansa has decided to retire six A380s; seven A340s and five Boeing 747s, as well as remove 11 A320s from service for the time being. Additionally, the airline will withdraw three A340s from service from Lufthansa Cityline while Eurowings will be parking an additional ten A320s.
- Wizz Air has suspended service from its Bucharest hub to destinations in Great Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands through April 18. The current reductions leave Wizz Air with service from Bucharest to Billund (Denmark), Brussels/Charleroi, Dubai, Malmo, Malta, Stockholm, Warsaw, and Tel Aviv.
Andrew’s Moment of Levity
I finally ran out of toilet paper, so I’ve been forced to use newspaper…. The Times sure are rough.
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