Colorado braces to wave of new winter flights as Americans flock to ‘snow and sun’ destinations

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

Americans are getting ready to lace on their boots and snap on their skis this coronavirus pandemic winter. Mountain communities in Colorado are gearing up for at least an equal number of visitors to the slopes, even as COVID infections continue to rise across the country. Airlines are doing their part by adding a new …

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How United Airlines keeps ‘critters’ out of parked planes and gets them ready to fly again

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

A line of Boeing 737s and 777s, as well as several smaller birds, fill the ramp outside of a United Airlines hangar in a remote corner of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The planes are here for a variety of reasons. Most are in for standard maintenance — needed even during the coronavirus pandemic — as …

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Flying during COVID-19, for one pilot, is easier — except when everything is harder

Written by Patrick Smith @ The Points Guy

Mostly, this has been an exercise in stress. I suppose that’s an ambiguous term, so constituently we’re talking about fear, dread, and uncertainty. Not a fear of the virus. Coming down with COVID-19 isn’t what scares me. What scares me is what the airline business might look like by the time things settle out — …

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New York’s LaGuardia Airport now offers COVID testing — and it’s free

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

COVID testing plays an important role in restarting the travel industry. However, in many parts of the country, getting a fast, reliable and affordable COVID test remains a challenge. That’s no longer the case if you’re traveling through New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The Port Authority along with NYC Health and Hospitals and the New York Tracing …

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United pilots free COVID testing for select London-bound passengers

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

Until there’s a readily available vaccine, testing remains one of the most effective ways to track — and prevent — the spread of the coronavirus. Preflight testing is also one of the best ways for airlines to stimulate demand during the pandemic. After all, if flyers know they’re sharing an enclosed metal tube with fellow …

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United is bringing back inflight food and beverage sales — with a twist

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

Early in the pandemic, airlines quickly suspended most inflight service offerings. On some of the shortest flights, you wouldn’t receive anything — not even water. With the holidays approaching and more people taking to the skies, carriers are slowly resuming pre-pandemic service, with an increased focus on crew and passenger safety. On Oct. 1, United …

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Silver Airways returns to Jacksonville amid 3-city growth spurt

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

Silver Airways is putting its new ATR turboprops to good use as the coronavirus pandemic grinds on. The Florida-based regional carrier will return to Jacksonville (JAX) this December after a two-year hiatus. The northern Florida city is the third new destination added by recently by Silver. Its others are both in South Carolina, where flights …

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Delta significantly improves Global Upgrade Certificates on partners

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

Each year, top-tier Diamond Medallions get a pick from an exclusive collection of Choice Benefits. The options range from 25,000 bonus SkyMiles to a Sky Club membership to a $200 travel voucher and more. Here at TPG, one of our favorite Choice Benefits are Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs). These upgrade vouchers are valid on Delta …

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Here’s Delta’s new (unofficial) award chart for partner redemptions – and you’re not going to like it

Written by Andrew Kunesh Benji Stawski @ The Points Guy

Although Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, and the amount of SkyMiles you need to book a Delta flight can fluctuate wildly, partner redemptions have relatively fixed prices. That being said, without award charts, Delta can choose to raise these rates at any time. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what it just did. Delta has quietly …

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United Airlines eyes finish to Polaris retrofits on the 787, wants ‘consistent product’ during pandemic

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

United Airlines is pushing ahead with its effort to update the Polaris business-class cabins on its wide-body jets during the pandemic. The Chicago-based carrier aims to fly mostly Boeing 767s, 777s and 787s that have its posh business-class product to give flyers a “consistent” experience, United vice president of international network and alliances Patrick Quayle during …

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Southwest Airlines unveils 10 new Chicago O’Hare, Colorado Springs routes

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

Southwest Airlines will launch 10 new routes when it begins flights to Chicago O’Hare and Colorado Springs early next year, two of nine new destinations that it is adding to its map during the coronavirus pandemic. The carrier will debut with five routes at each the cities. Flights to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) begin in February …

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4 reasons to upgrade to United’s latest mobile app

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

In the years leading up to the pandemic, airlines were already focused on modernizing the end-to-end airport experience by making it more touchless. Some recent developments include self-check-in kiosks, automated boarding by facial recognition and touchless lavatories. But then the pandemic took hold, accelerating the need for a touchless future. A key element to (safely) …

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JetBlue Airways may slow European ambitions as it pushes back Airbus A321 deliveries

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

JetBlue Airways plans to land in London by the end of next year, maybe even at the city’s popular Heathrow airport. But London has always just been a jumping off point for the New York-based carrier. JetBlue has painted a vision of possible flights to more than 20 European cities with the Airbus A321LR and …

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ExpertFlyer just became even more valuable to American Airlines’ flyers

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

If you’re a pro-traveler, odds are that you’ve heard of ExpertFlyer. But even if you haven’t, the latest change from American Airlines should make you consider subscribing. For the uninitiated, ExpertFlyer is one of the best — and most advanced — tools around for travelers and frequent flyers. The site, which is owned by TPG parent …

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United, Hawaiian improved refund policies this summer. Others didn’t, and it showed.

Written by Zach Griff @ The Points Guy

We’ve now been in the midst of the pandemic for nearly seven months. When the coronavirus first came stateside, governments were quick to impose lockdowns and quarantines. This suddenly halted the economy — and brought travel to a near standstill. As airlines began adjusting to the new normal, many tightened their refund policies. Some of …

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US signs off on Delta and WestJet partnership, if they give up LaGuardia slots

Written by Edward Russell @ The Points Guy

U.S. officials have signed off on a long-planned partnership between Delta Air Lines and WestJet on flights between the U.S. and Canada. Two years after the airlines applied for government approval, the Department of Transportation OK’d the pact with minimal conditions on Friday. Delta and WestJet must divest eight slot pairs — one slot is …

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How I plan to socially distance when flying

Written by Benji Stawski @ The Points Guy

Between airlines ramping up safety protocols and the Department of Defense suggesting that the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard airplanes is virtually non-existent, I feel much more comfortable getting on a plane today than I did a few months ago. Nevertheless, to give myself some more peace of mind, I’m taking extra precautions as I return …

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