The Good Times Are Ending With Delta, Hawaii’s Reopening Not So Smooth, United’s Change of Heart Is Good For Passengers & More

by joeheg

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far. Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

  • Almost every US airline restricted seating on planes by limiting capacity or blocking seats. Some of them have kept these policies in place to some extent, while others have slowly added passengers to planes. Delta has been at the forefront of the blocked middle seat movement seeing it as a chance to differentiate it from the other airlines. Unfortunately, the good times couldn’t last forever and it was only a matter of time until they had to relent and start putting more passengers on flights.
  • Banks added new bonus categories to their premium travel cards to make up for the lack of value from the cards’ travel perks. The Sapphire Reserve added a DoorDash credit and the American Express Platinum card added credits for streaming services and cell phone bills.  The Citi Prestige‘s one concession allowed you to use your $250 travel credit for supermarkets and restaurants. The benefit started on May 1st but it took 15 days to send an email announcing it to cardholders.  In another typical Citi move, their PR team is alerting major travel blogs that the Prestige will earn 5x points on online purchases and cable/streaming expenses thru the end of the year. I guess I’ll see an email from Citi in a few weeks telling me about this offer.
  • The saga of Hawaii’s reopening has been going on for months. The star of the show has been Hawaii’s Governor David Ige, who had come up with multiple plans only to back off when cases on the islands started to rise. Until now, Hawaii allows people to enter but with a mandatory 14-day quarantine, eliminating almost any tourists from visiting. Finally, there was an agreement that on October 15th, visitors could skip the quarantine if you have a negative test within 72 hours of arrival.  As it turns out, not all of the islands are on board with the plan. Hawaii’s Big Island has opted out of the plan and will require a 14-day quarantine for new arrivals. Kauai wanted to require guests to take a second test after arrival but the governor overruled that plan. Maui still is yet to decide if they’ll follow the plan or opt-out. If you’ve made plans to visit Hawaii after the opening, I hope you were staying on Oahu.
  • It was 2015 when United Airlines made a huge gamble and pulled out of JFK and moved all of its New York flights to Newark Liberty Airport. It seemed to make sense because Newark is United’s northeast hub. Transatlantic flights could connect to the US network headed across the country. United immediately realized that unless you live in New Jersey, Newark is a terribly inconvenient location for most other people in the Tri-State area to get to. If you live in New York City or Long Island, the last thing you want to do is drive to Jersey. We really didn’t care at the time because we were getting fed up with United and eventually gave up on them altogether. The reduction in flights worldwide is giving United a chance to correct its error and they have announced plans to return to JFK in 2021.
  • Before the coronavirus pandemic, Orlando International Airport was host to many unique international flights. I always found the most interesting flight to Orlando was the non-stop to Dubai on Emirates. I dreamed of taking that flight and connecting to some distant destination all while sitting in the blinged-out cabin. With global travel shut down, an airline that exclusively flies to international destinations is in a tough spot. It turns out that Emirates is a major driver for Dubai’s economy, which is also feeling the hurt of losing tourists and the local economy dependent on that business. It sounds like what’s going on in Orlando right now with the themepark and convention business operating at a fraction of former levels.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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