Friday, March 29, 2013

American Airlines Allow Passengers without Carry-ons to Board First

Airlines are trying to figure out how to reduce boarding times so that get their planes out faster.  With more passengers taking along large carry-on bags because they don't want to spend money to check their bags, boarding times have gotten a lot longer.  Some airlines have come up with creative ways of trying to shorten the boarding time.  Spirit Airlines is notorious for charging $100 for carry-on bags to encourage passengers to check in a bag.  US Airways is willing to check your large carry-on bag for free at the gate.  American Airlines is trying out a new boarding process where it will allow passengers who don't have carry-ons to board before passengers with carry-ons.  First, American will board First Class passengers, then the elite passengers who are frequent flyers and have achieved some sort of status, then passengers without bags.  Finally if you have a carry-on, you are allowed to board last.

I agree with this.  I'm tired of waiting for passengers with carry-on bags delaying other passengers to get to their seats because they can't find overhead space.  I prefer going to my seat and sitting down and letting those passengers fight it out for luggage space. I've never understood why so many people were either too cheap or too attached to their luggage that they can't check it in.  And I'm talking about people who have bags that really should have been checked in, in the first place.  If this new boarding process works for American Airlines, it'll be a different world for passengers without bags and passengers with bags.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

LATAM is now part of oneworld

The merger of two of South America's biggest airlines LAN Chile and TAM Brazil becomes the powerhouse LATAM and it has chosen to become part of the oneworld frequent flier alliance.  This is a big deal because it strengthens the travel opportunities for oneworld, the weakest alliance of the three major frequent flier alliances.  The other two are Star Alliance which is headed by United and Skymiles which is led by Delta.  American Airlines along with British Airways leads oneworld.  While it is a coup for oneworld, it is a blow to Star Alliance because it loses TAM.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Are You OK with Tagging Your Own Bag?

We all know that we can check in at home or at a kiosk in the airport to get our boarding passes but we still have to see an agent to tag our bags.  Now American Airlines is expanding the program at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC where you can also print out and tag your own bag.  It first started in Orlando International Airport in November 2012.  American was not the first airline to start this process, Alaska Air launched a similar program out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in May 2012.

Delta is testing out their own program in Atlanta and Las Vegas.  An American Airlines spokesman said that it speeds up the check-in process much faster.  I guess we won't have a chance to talk to a customer service agent any more.  It seems customer service gets less attention nowadays in the new American Airlines.