Airlines Pitch Frequent-Flier Mile Deals to Travelers Wary of Covid

Besides wearing a mask on an airplane, there’s one other thing you should definitely do if you are traveling this fall or over the holidays: Use your miles.

A survey of pandemic award prices finds airlines are making award seats available at very cheap prices in miles or points. First-class seats, which give you a bit more social distance on board, are a particularly good value.

In its 10 busiest markets, United’s award seats for various travel dates in November averaged only 12,833 miles round trip, about half the cost of what traditionally has been a standard domestic coach ticket of 25,000 miles.

JetBlue

averaged only 15,167 points round trip. For first class, American was only 42,500 miles round-trip, Delta only 49,100 miles.

“The answer is a resounding yes—it is a good time to

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Indian airlines tap international routes under ‘travel bubbles’

NEW DELHI — At a time when the global aviation industry has been drastically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s airlines appear to be turning the crisis into an opportunity by expanding their international operations under the ongoing “travel bubble” arrangements.

The latest company to join the bandwagon is low-budget carrier SpiceJet, which earlier this month announced that on Dec. 4 it will launch non-stop services connecting Delhi and Mumbai with London’s Heathrow Airport.

“For SpiceJet, this is a big step [as] it’s the first time we are starting scheduled long-haul operations,” said Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh during an online briefing to announce the London flights. The airline has until now been flying to international destinations closer to India such as Bangkok and Hong Kong.

“More importantly, we are the second-largest airline in India and connect destinations in small towns [in the country],” he said, pointing out that

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American Airlines Boosting Flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.) is expecting a major increase in American Airlines flights, beginning next month. Commissioner of tourism Joseph Boschulte announced that the Fort Worth, TX-based carrier is responding to strong travel demand from the Northeast, the Midwest and the South Central regions of the mainland United States.

He reported that beginning in November, American will serve St. Thomas with two daily flights from Charlotte; daily flights from Philadelphia; and Saturday service from both Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth during the first half of the month, followed by daily flights from both cities in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The additional flights will complement the existing thrice daily service between Miami and St. Thomas.

St. Croix will also register an increase in service from American in November with two flights a day from Miami as well as daily Charlotte flights during the second half of

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Airlines Offering ‘Flights to Nowhere’ Amid COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

How are people who love travel coping during a pandemic that has left a lot of us stuck at home, a lot of borders closed. Right? Well, they are coping not well. Some airlines in Asia are trying to offer a solution – flights to nowhere. Seriously, these flights start and end at the exact same airport. A skeptical Michael Sullivan investigated.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHIME)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Non-English language spoken).

MICHAEL SULLIVAN, BYLINE: It’s late afternoon, and I’m standing in Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport waiting to board my flight home to Chiang Rai. It’s about an hour north. The airport is about half full. The Thai government still isn’t allowing foreign flights in due to COVID, but people here can get where they need to go in Thailand as long as they wear masks. And if the weather’s good,

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After Mismanaging Their Companies With Stock Buybacks And Lucrative CEO Pay Packages, Airlines Demand Another $25 Billion From Taxpayers

In March, the coronavirus—the name used at the time—wreaked financial havoc on the airline industry. Health experts and government officials strongly advised people to avoid nonessential travel due to the risks of catching or spreading the disease. Fear over the fast-moving virus among passengers on cruise ships terrified potential air travelers. Cognizant of the dangers associated with being confined in tight quarters with people who may have the virus (plus a required quarantine period), air travel came to a halt. It was the worst economic conditions for the airline sector since Sept. 11. 

Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, announced at that time that he would voluntarily take a 10% pay cut, in response to the dramatic drop in air travel. “The velocity and the severity of the decline is breathtaking,” Kelly said. He somberly added,

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Airlines slashing holiday schedules following mass furloughs, experts advise when to book

Experts say if you’re flying for the holidays booking sooner rather than later would be wise, especially with airlines offering more flexibility than ever.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Congress is facing off tonight over the fate of airlines. President Trump has urged legislators to pass 25 billion dollars for airline payroll support, but house speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing back. 

All of it could affect your travel plans and your wallet. 

With Congress unable to agree on a new relief bill, the deadline for a deal passed October 1, pushing more than 32,000 airline employees onto the unemployment line.

“These are people who have been on the front lines since the beginning of this virus-fighting, it’s cruel and it’s got to be reversed,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Airlines have already started slashing flight schedules. American removed 86,000 flights, 46 percent from its November schedule alone.

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Airlines, Hotels, Workspaces Get Creative in Effort to Buoy Business Travel

As the global aviation industry begins to take flight again, U.S. airlines are starting to get creative about keeping their most valuable flyers: business travelers.

U.S. airlines, on average, are looking to replace roughly 86.5% of their revenue from 2019. United Airlines’ revenue is down 85% so far this year.

Now, United, the nation’s third-largest carrier, is partnering with meeting and event space company Peerspace, to bundle flights alongside office space. The airline is homing in on professionals whose jobs are again requiring long-distance travel.

“We’re an airline; we’re not in the office space business or the meeting space business. But how can we solve that problem of having people come together safely?” said BJ Youngerman, who leads United’s California market strategy. “Regardless of where someone may be living on a temporary or permanent basis, we have the ability to bring people together.”

Peerspace’s platform touts nearly 20,000 spaces in

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Travel Bubble to Continue Till April-March; Domestic Airlines to Increase Capacity to 75%



a large air plane on a runway at an airport


© Sharmita Kar | India.com News Desk



On Thursday in a press conference, Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri answering a query on travel bubble arrangements said that the future of international flights is highly dependent on the availability of a vaccine. The minister clarified, “It is difficult to say as there is no country which has completely opened its borders for all. It depends on the availability of a vaccine as countries will feel more confident once a vaccine is there.” In an air bubble agreement between two countries, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines to repatriate respective stranded citizens who are stranded COVID-19 pandemic. Since the time of the outbreak of the coronavirus, scheduled international flights have been suspended in India. International passenger flight services are suspended until October 31. During the press conference, Hardeep Singh Puri said that the suspension might carry
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Southwest Airlines Announces $49 Flights To, From Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, CA — Southwest Airlines Co. on Thursday announced deals on flights in and out of Palm Springs after announcing last month it would begin offering service in the desert.

According to the company, ticket prices will drop as low as $49 on nonstop flights in and out of Palm Springs International Airport starting Nov. 15:

  • As low as $49 one-way nonstop between Palm Springs and Oakland (twice daily in each direction)

  • As low as $49 one-way nonstop between Palm Springs and Phoenix (three times daily in each direction)

  • As low as $79 one-way nonstop between Palm Springs and Denver (once daily in each direction)

“For years our residents and visitors have expressed how much they desire Southwest Airlines at Palm Springs International Airport and their imminent arrival will greatly enhance Palm Springs as a major tourism destination,” said City Manager David H. Ready. “We thank Southwest for investing

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EasyJet urges government to help stricken airlines survive Covid-19 as it slashes flights to 25% of normal levels

EasyJet today demanded government help for the aviation industry as it announced it was having to slash its flight numbers to just 25% of normal levels due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group warned it was likely to make a loss in the year to 30 September of £815 million to £845 million compared to last year’s pre-tax profit of £427 million.

For the fourth quarter covering the busy summer months, the group expects to lose £295 million to £325 million compared with last year’s profit of £528 million.


“Aviation continued to face the most severe threat in its history and the UK government urgently needs to step up with a bespoke package of measures to ensure airlines are able to support economic recovery when it comes,” said chief executive Johan Lundgren.

His renewed calls came as Donald Trump suggested further assistance for US airlines, triggering 4% rises

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