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AIR TRAVEL

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Major Domestic Carriers

The airline industry loosely classifies airlines based on the type of service and pricing structure and markets served. The following table lists the airlines covered in this chapter, their IATA code and type:

Airline

Code

Type

Airline

Code

Type

American Eagle

AA

Regional

Horizon Air

QX

Regional

AirTran

FL

Low-fare

JetBlue Airways

B6

Low-fare

Alaska

AS

Major

Midwest Airlines

YX

National

America West

HP

Major

Northwest

NW

Major

American

AA

Major

Southwest

WN

Low-fare

ATA

TZ

Low-fare

Spirit

NK

Low-fare

Continental

CO

Major

United

UA

Major

Delta Air Lines

DL

Major

US Airways

US

Major

Frontier Airlines

F9

Low-fare

 

 

 


AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways is one of the largest low-fare airlines and is the second largest carrier at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport. Slightly more than a third of AirTran flights originate out of Hartsfield. AirTran flies to more than 40 destinations, primarily in the Midwest and along the East Coast, as well as to Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

AirTran offers a business class, advanced seat assignments, and full participation in travel agents' computer reservation systems. AirTran's regional flights fly under AirTran JetConnect, which is operated by Air Wisconsin Airlines. Service to and from Los Angeles and Las Vegas is operated by Ryan International Airlines.

AirTran Airways' A2B corporate travel program is available for companies that have at least five active travelers who, once enrolled, take at least 25 trips within the next 12 months. The EventSavers program is available for groups, meetings, or conventions with 10 or more people and offers a 10% discount on most fares.

Fast Facts: AirTran Airways

Airline Code: FL

Hub: Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport

Frequent Flyer Program: A-Plus Rewards

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.airtran.com

Corporate desk

888.301.5809

Reservations and flight status

800.247.8726

Group sales

888.419.6109

Customer relations

866.247.2428

EventSavers

866.683.8368

Refunds

866.573.3863

Corporate headquarters

407.251.5600

A-Plus Rewards

888.327.5878

 

 


Fares

All fares are one-way and, except for business class, nonrefundable. For each flight, a limited number of 14-day and 7-day advance purchase discounted fares are available. AirTran.com also sells special Internet-only fares.

Fees

Standby—No charge for same-day standby.

Change—Flight itinerary change fees are $50 plus any applicable increase in airfare. Unused airfare may be kept in a credit file for one year from the date of the original itinerary booking.

Upgrades—Business class upgrades are available at the airport for $35 over the full one-way coach fare for most nonstop flights, and for $70 over the full one-way fare for connecting flights.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Passengers may check in online within 24 hours of their departure time, and up to 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—AirTran began rolling out the service in 2003; expect the service at most airports by the end of 2003.

Minimum Check-In—Flights close 10 minutes prior to departure time.

Cabin Service

AirTran does not serve meals on flights. Complimentary coffee, juices, Coca-Cola products, and snacks are served. Cocktails, beer, and wine are $4.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

AirTran has an arrangement with Airpath Wireless Service (866.724.7728, http://www.airpathwireless.com) to provide Wi-Fi access at its gates. Rates are $3.95/hour, $9.95/day, or $39.95/monthly.

Fleet

AirTran flies Boeing 717-200 and McDonnell Douglas DC9s. By the end of 2003, when the Boeing 717s will comprise 100% of the fleet, AirTran will have one of the youngest jet fleets in the nation—and will be the largest operator of the 717. These planes feature more headroom, cleaner and quieter engines, roomier overhead EasyFit bins, 100% fresh air circulated throughout the cabin, and more aisle and window seats than similar aircraft. AirTran Jet Connect, operated by Air Wisconsin, flies six 50 seat Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets.

Aircraft

Boeing 717-200

DC9 - 30

Number of aircraft

58

6

Average age

2 years

32 years

Business

12

16

Configuration

2-2

2-2

Economy

105

90

Configuration

3-2

2-3


(Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Airline Lounge Club

None

Frequent Flyer Program

AirTran's frequent flyer program is called A-Plus Rewards.

Earning Credits—Each one-way coach flight earns 1 credit. One-way business class flights earn 1.5 credits. You can earn additional credits for using the AirTran Visa card. Credits expire within one year.

Awards Redemption

Award

Credits

One-way coach ticket

8

One-way business class ticket

16

Round-trip ticket on another airline

32

One-way business class upgrade

4


Elite-Level Programs—When you earn 20 or more base credits flying within any 90-day period or earn 50 or more base credits flying within any 365-day period, you qualify for A-Plus Rewards Elite Membership.

Partners—None

Rules and Charges—No charge for award redemption. Credits expire within one year.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is a major carrier that serves 38 cities in six Western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington), as well as Canada and six cities in Mexico. Alaska also provides nonstop service between Seattle and four Eastern cities (Boston, Miami, Newark, and Washington, D.C.), between Seattle and Denver, and between Anchorage and Chicago.

Alaska is owned by the Alaska Air Group, Inc., which is the holding company for both Alaska and Horizon Air. Alaska and Horizon coordinate their flight schedules to provide service between any two points served by their systems. Both airlines distinguish themselves from competitors by providing a higher level of customer service than the norm.

Alaska has an e-ticket interline agreement with American, American Eagle, Horizon, and United. Alaska also has a marketing alliance with Northwest; this alliance provides reciprocal frequent flyer mileage accrual and redemption privileges and code sharing on certain flights. The carrier offers group discount programs for groups of 10 or more traveling together.

Fast Facts: Alaska Airlines

Airline Code: AS

Hub: Seattle

Frequent Flyer Program: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Airline Lounge: Alaska Airlines Board Room

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.alaskaair.com

Customer service

800.654.5669

Reservations

800.252.7522

Mileage Plan

800.622.2680

Alaskaair.com

877.502.5357

Mileage Plan awards

800.252.7522

Ticket refunds

%206.431.3753

Baggage service

206.988.9797

Consumer affairs

%206.870.6062

 

 


Fares

Alaska offers both first/business and coach classes, along with full-fare, refundable and discounted, nonrefundable fares.

Fees

Standby—You may standby for any earlier or later same-day flight for which your fare is applicable. No service or other fees are charged.

Cancellation/Change—On nonrefundable tickets, you may make changes to your itinerary for a $50 fee plus any applicable increase in airfare.

Upgrade—Upgrades are available for $50 for each 1,250-mile segment on the day of flight.

Check-In

Online Check-In—You may check in online 1 to 30 hours prior to the scheduled departure time if your complete itinerary is solely domestic, includes only flights operated by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and is without paid upgrades or mileage plan redemptive upgrades.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Available at most airports.

Minimum Gate Check-In—You must be checked in and available to board at the designated boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight is scheduled to depart (30 minutes for international flights to Mexico or Canada).

Cabin Service

Alaska offers meal service on select flights. Special meals are available on flights with meal service if ordered at least 24 hours in advance. The special meals offered are bland, diabetic, low sodium, low fat/cholesterol, low calorie, kosher, vegetarian, children's, and fruit plate.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

The Alaska Air Web site (http://www.alaskaair.com) offers online flight status and downloadable timetables. The Alaskaair.com Anywhere service offers a range of mobile services for wireless-enabled Palm OS PDAs and Web-enabled cell phones, including wireless check-in, flight status, flight schedules, and mileage plan account information.

On-Board Technology

None

Fleet

Aircraft

Boeing 737-200

Boeing 737-400

Boeing 737-700

Boeing 737-900

Boeing MD-80

Number of aircraft

9

40

16

6

31

Average age (years)

21.9

7.7

2.6

1.3

12

First class seats

0

12

12

16

12

Coach seats

111

126

108

156

128


(Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Airport Lounge Club

Board Room Clubs.

Locations—Board Room Clubs are located in six airports: Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver. Members traveling to or from Chicago or Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport on Alaska may use American Airlines Admiral's Clubs in those cities. Members traveling on Northwest Airlines can use Northwest WorldClubs. Board Room members traveling to and from Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport may access the WorldClub at that airport without a Northwest Airlines boarding pass.

Services—Standard amenities include complimentary beverages and snacks, free local phone calls, fax machines, and an assortment of current newspapers and magazines. Conference rooms are available in all Board Room locations except San Francisco; the cost for Board Room members is $25 per hour (includes up to four guests; $5 for each additional guest). For nonmembers, conference rooms cost $50 per hour plus $25 for a day pass (includes two guests; $5 each additional guest).

Rates—There is a $100 initiation fee and a $225 annual renewal fee. Nonmember one-day passes cost $35.

Frequent Flyer Program—Mileage Plus

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plus program was voted the 2002 Best Airline Frequent Flyer Program in the 15th annual Freddie Awards.

Earning Miles or Credits—Flight mileage credit is based on the greater of actual miles or 500 miles. You can buy miles for $25 per 1,000 miles.

Awards Redemption—Alaska has two award levels—Saver and Peak. Saver awards offer travel at lower mileage levels and are subject to seating limitations and blackout dates. Peak awards are offered at higher levels and allow travel without seating limitations or date limitations.

One round-trip ticket within or between the continental U.S. and Canada can be redeemed as follows:

Award

Peak

Saver

Coach

40,000

20,000

First

80,000

40,000


Upgrades require 10,000 mile redemption for one-way travel.

Elite-Level Program—Alaska has two elite levels—MVP and MVP Gold. Benefits include bonus miles, upgrades, and Express Security lines at select airports.

Qualifying Miles per Calendar Year

MVP

Gold MVP

Miles flown on Alaska/Horizon

20,000

40,000

Miles flown on partners

30,000

55,000


Partners—Alaska has 11 airline partners, including American, Continental, and Northwest. It also partners with most major rental car and hotel companies.

Rules and Charges—If no mileage is credited to an account during the first nine months after an account is opened, or if an account is inactive for longer than three years, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan reserves the right to delete an account and reassign the number.

If you make your reservations three weeks in advance or online, there is no service charge for changes; otherwise, there is a $60 service charge.

America West Airlines

America West Airlines is a major carrier—the nation's ninth largest. It differs from other majors in that its fares share some of the same characteristics of low-fare carriers.

The carrier is based out of Phoenix Airport, from which it serves more nonstop destinations with greater frequency than any other carrier. Its coast-to-coast route system includes 92 destinations across the United States, Mexico, and Canada, with more than 800 daily departures.

America West's regional service flies under the name America West Express and has code-sharing agreements with Mesa Airlines, Air Midwest, and Chautauqua Airlines. (The first two of these airlines are wholly owned subsidiaries of Mesa Air Group, one of the largest regional airlines in the world.) America West has an e-ticket interlining agreement with American.

America West claims that its Corporate Awards small-business incentive program is the most generous of its kind. The program offers a 5% minimum discount on most airfares; accounts must meet a minimum of $4,000 revenue flown on America West every six months. The airline also offers discounts for groups of 10 or more.

Fast Facts: America West Airlines

Airline Code: HP

Airport Hubs: Phoenix and Las Vegas

Frequent Flyer Program: FlightFund

Airport Lounge Club: America West Club

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.americawest.com

Lost baggage

480.693.6738

Domestic reservations

800.235.9292

Lost and found

480.693.4182

International reservations

800.363.2597

Corporate

480.693.0800

Flight information

800.235.9292

Customer relations

480.693.6719

Americawest.com

800.327.7810

Refunds/lost tickets

800.835.7779

FlightFund

800.247.5691

Meeting services

800.548.7575

Group travel rates

800.634.2312

 

 


Fares

America West has first and coach classes of service and offers discounted, nonrefundable, restricted fares and fully refundable, unrestricted fares. America West claims that it is the only major full-service airline that always discounts its refundable, unrestricted walk-up fares, and that in most markets unrestricted fares are 50% lower than competitor fares. The carrier offers three-day advance purchase one-way fares that are fully refundable and changeable without penalty. They also offer discounted lower fares that do not require Saturday night stay requirements.

Fees

Standby—America West allows you to fly standby on nonrefundable tickets on another flight the same day, free of charge.

Cancellation/Change—Customers may change flight itineraries for a $50 fee plus any applicable increase in airfare. Unused tickets retain value after day of departure.

Upgrades—You may upgrade your coach ticket to a first class ticket on the day of travel for $50 per 500-mile segment. This service is available 4 hours before the original departure time, and up to 30 minutes prior to departure for all paid fares, based on first class seat availability. The upgrade fee is based on the mileage between cities.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Online check-in is available for customers with an e-ticket, enrolled in FlightFund, traveling domestically, and departing from Phoenix. You can check in online as early as 3 a.m. the day of departure and up to 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—America West's QIKCHECK-IN service is available for customers with e-ticketed and domestic reservations. America West is rolling out this service across its airports; check online (fhttp://www.americawest.com/services/checkinservices/default.htm).

Minimum Gate Check-In—Customers with advance seat assignments must obtain a boarding pass at least 20 minutes (60 minutes internationally) before scheduled departure. If not checked in at least 15 minutes before scheduled departure, your reservation may be cancelled, and you will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation. Plan to be on the aircraft at least 10 minutes prior to departure.

Cabin Service

America West offers meal service only to those passengers in first class. At time of publication, the airline is testing a buy-on-board in-flight meal program for coach. Special meals offered include diabetic, kosher, low calorie, low cholesterol, low sodium, and vegetarian.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

America West's Web site offers online flight status, as well as a low fare finder that searches for fares on the customer's preferred travel dates, as well as on surrounding days—one day before and one day after. You can also download your timetable as a Palm OS or PDF file.

The airline offers mobile service for Palm PDAs, Web-enabled phones, and BlackBerry pagers. This service transmits flight status, flight schedule, FlightFund account balance, and contact information directly to your electronic device.

On-Board Technology

None

Fleet

As of December 31, 2002, American West's fleet consisted of the following aircraft. The company intends to add additional Airbus aircraft over the next several years.

Aircraft

Boeing 737-200

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 757-200

Airbus 319-100

Airbus 320-200

Number of aircraft

10

37

13

32

49

Average age (years)

22.1

15.9

17.2

3.3

8.0

First class

8

8

14

12

12

Coach class

105

126

176

112

138


Aircraft

CRJ-900

CRJ-700

CRJ-200

Dash 8 (turboprop)

Number of aircraft

3

10

22

9

First class

6

6

0

0

Coach class

74

58

50

37


(Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Airport Lounge Club—America West Club.

Locations—America West has five clubs. Three are located in Phoenix airport, one in Las Vegas, and one in Columbus. Standard members also have access to the Northwest WorldClubs.

Services—Club amenities include continental breakfast, complimentary beverages and snacks (including espresso), magazines and newspapers, fax and email services, data ports, copiers, and conference rooms with speakerphones (nominal fee).

Annual Fees—America West offers two airport club membership options. The Hub Club membership limits access to the Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Columbus clubs. Standard members have access to all America West clubs and Northwest WorldClubs.

Annual membership

FlightFund Elite

Non-Elite

Hub Club

$225

$300

Standard

$325

$400


You can also purchase a nonmember day pass for $35, or passbooks in quantities of 2, 5, or 12 at a discount.

Frequent Flyer Program—FlightFund.

Earning Miles or Credits—Mileage credit is based on the greater of 500 miles or actual flight mileage, with a 50% bonus for first-class travel. You can also earn miles with America West's program partners.

Awards Redemption—America West has two award levels: Value Awards and Top Value Awards. Value Awards are limited and subject to availability and blackout dates. Top Value Awards have no restrictions.

One round-trip ticket within the continental U.S. and Canada can be redeemed as follows:

Award

Value Awards

Top Value Awards

Coach class

20,000

40,000

First class

40,000

80,000


A one-way upgrade from full-fare coach cost 5,000 miles; from other fares, 10,000 miles.

Elite Level Program—Qualifying miles are based on actual or minimum miles, whichever is greater, or actual segments flown on qualifying paid tickets. Certain discounted fares do not qualify toward elite status. The 50% class of service bonus earned for flying first class counts toward elite status. America West FlightFund was voted the 2002 Best Elite-Level Service by the 15th Annual Freddie Awards.

Elite Level

Flight Activity in a Calendar Year

Silver

25,000 actual miles or 30 segments

Gold

50,000 actual miles or 60 segments

Platinum

75,000 actual miles or 90 segments


Partners—America West counts among its partners most major rental car and hotel companies. Airline partners include BigSky, British Airways, Hawaiian, Northwest, and Virgin Atlantic.

Rules and Charges—Miles expire within 36 months if there is no account activity.

American Airlines

American Airlines is the world's largest airline and, along with its sister company, American Eagle, serves 250 cities in 41 countries and territories. American provides service to large and midsize U.S cities. American Eagle, the largest regional airline in the country, provides connecting flights to cities in smaller markets. AMR Corporation, American's parent company, purchased TWA in April 2001.

American has a code-share agreement for regional service under the American Connection program; this enables one-stop reservations through American, as well as participation in American's AAdvantage program. Participating carriers include Chautauqua Airlines, Corporate Airlines, and Trans States Airlines. American has interline e-ticketing agreements with Alaska Airlines, America West, Aloha, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian, Northwest Airlines, Midwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways.

Several programs and services targeted to the business traveler are offered. The Business ExtrAA Program (http://www.businessextraa.com) is a travel award and incentive program that allows companies to manage business travel while earning AAdvantage miles. The AAirpass (http://www.airpass.com) program offers prepaid air travel at a reduced fixed rate.

American also offers group and meeting travel services and discounts, as well as Incentive TrAAvel Certificates. This last offering is a flight certificate that can be used as a reward for employees and customers.

Fast Facts: American Airlines

Airline Code: AA

Hubs: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Miami

Frequent Flyer/Loyalty Program: AAdvantage

Airport Lounge Club: Admirals Club

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.aa.com

Flight status

800.223.5436

Reservations

800.433.7300

AAdvantage

800.882.8880

Customer relations

817.967.2000

AirPass

800.388.1461

Admirals Club

800.237.7961

Business ExtrAA program

800.433.1790

aa.com

800.222.2377

Incentive TrAAvel certificates

800.433.1790

Baggage customer service

800.535.5225

 

 


Fares

American offers both full-fare refundable and discounted nonrefundable fares. All American flights offer 2 to 3 classes of service—coach, business, and/or first. Seat assignments are given at the time of reservations. Nonrefundable fares usually require advance purchase of 21 days, 14 days, and 7 days, although you may also find fares with 1 to 3 day advance purchase. Some discounted fares require travel on selected days/time, round-trip travel, or Saturday night stays. Internet-only fares are also available.

Fees

Standby—Standby travel is allowed on most nonrefundable fares.

Cancellation/Change—Changes to most nonrefundable domestic tickets requires a $100 fee.

Upgrades—Upgrades are available to AAdvantage members. One upgrade is required for every 500 miles flown. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade. Upgrades purchased using automated purchasing cost $40 for each 500-mile segment; if you make an assisted purchase, the cost is $50. Confirmation and availability is based on elite member status.

Check-In

Online Check-In—American allows you to check in and print your boarding pass on flights departing in less than 30 hours but more than 1 hour. This service is available only to AAdvantage members for travel on American Airlines, American Eagle, or American Connection in the United States or to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Self-service check-in machines are located near ticket counters at most domestic airports. Go online (http://www.aa.com) to get a list of airport locations.

Minimum Gate Check-In—You must check in at least 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time and be present at the gate to retain your reservation—or 30 minutes to retain your preassigned seat assignment.

Cabin Service

American offers meal service on flights with flying times longer than 4 hours departing Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth to California, Oregon, and Washington, and on flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston, Hartford, the New York City area, Philadelphia, and the Washington, D.C., area. Meal service is offered in first class on all markets that have flying times longer than 2 hours and operate within traditional meal windows (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Generally, a snack service will be provided on flights greater than 2.5 hours that take place outside these meal windows. American offers a wide variety of special meals, including low sodium and diabetic meals. American has begun testing buy-on-board meals.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

American's Web site offers online flight and gate status and notification via email, wireless, or voice messaging. You can also obtain downloadable timetables and seat maps online.

On-Board Technology

American offers power ports on all Boeing 737, 767, 777, Airbus 300, and Fokker 100 aircraft. Most Boeing 757 and Boeing Super 80 aircraft also have power ports, except those aircraft with flight number ranges 2800-3199. These power ports are available at each seat in first and business class, as well as selected rows in the coach cabin. Refer to the following chart for specific power port locations on selected aircraft, or go to American's Web site for more information. Outlets are located on seat consoles, or mounted to the seat frame below the seat cushion. Look for the "lightning bolt" symbol on the overhead bin rows containing power port-equipped seats.

Worldwide satellite communications are available on American Airlines' Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 aircraft. Rates for satellite calls are $5 to connect and $10 per minute. On domestic flights, American offers Verizon Airfone service.

Fleet

In addition to the aircraft featured in the following table, American flies the following planes: Boeing 767-200, Boeing 767-200 Extended Range, Boeing 767-300 Extended Range, and Boeing 777-200 Extended Range jet planes. American Eagle flies ATR 42 (turboprop), Bombardier CRJ–700, Embraer 135, Embraer 140, Embraer 145, Super ATR (turboprop), and the Saab 340B (turboprop).

Aircraft

Airbus A300-600

Boeing 757

Boeing 737-800

Fokker 100

McDonnell Douglas MD-80

Number of aircraft

34

144

77

74

362

Average Age (years)

12

7

1

9

13

First Class

Passengers

27

22

20

8

14/16

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

Seat Width/Pitch

19.5"/40"

20.0"-21.0"/39" - 40"

21"/40"-42"

18"/38"

19.5"/38"-40"

Outlet Rows

All

All except flight #2800-3199

All

All

All, except on MD-83s and flight # 2800-3199

Economy

Passengers

224

146/154

114

79

115

Configuration

2-4-2

3-3

3-3

2-3

2-3

Seat Width/Pitch

18"/33"-35"

17"/33"-35"

17"/33"-35"

17"/34"-35"

17"/33-35"

Outlets

4,5,7-11, 14, 17, 20, 23

9-14, 16,17,21, 23, 25, 28, 31 No outlets in flights # 2800-3199

9-14, 17, 20, 22, 25

6-10, 13, 14, 16, 18

7-13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 26, except on MD-83s and flight #s 2800-3199


Aircraft

SAAB 340B (turboprop)

Embraer 145

Number of aircraft

66

56

Average age (years)

10

3

Passengers

34

50

Configuration

1-2 (row 14 has 4 seats)

1-2

Seat Width/Pitch

18"/29-30"

17"/31"


Please note the following: Boeing 757s with flight numbers 2800-3199 have a slightly different configuration than shown in the previous table. Also, American flies four different configurations of the MD-80. And, unfortunately for long-legged business travelers, American has recently announced that it is reducing its More Room Throughout Coach program, which offers an increased seat pitch in economy class—33-35 inches compared to 31 inches for most airlines. More Room Throughout Coach will now be available on about 80% of flights; flights eliminated from the program primarily serve leisure travelers. (Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Airport Lounge Clubs—Admiral Clubs.

Locations—Admiral Clubs are in 36 locations worldwide, including 22 in the continental United States. The U.S. locations include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York Kennedy, New York LaGuardia, Newark, Orange County, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. Dulles and Washington, D.C. Reagan.

American also offers clubs with expanded meeting accommodations and catering services. These Executive Centers are located in the Chicago O'Hare, New York LaGuardia, Dallas/Fort Worth, and San Francisco airports.

Services—Standard amenities include complimentary beverages and snacks, reservations and check-in assistance, fax machines, photocopiers, and telephones. In addition, certain locations have conference rooms, personal computers, audiovisual equipment, secretarial/dictating services, message and catering services, speakerphones, a presentation board, notary services, a private bar, showers, and high-speed wireless Internet (by T-Mobile).

Annual Fees—Annual renewal membership rates are based on AAdvantage membership status, as follows:

Membership Status

Cost

Regular

$400 or 60,000 miles

AAdvantage Gold

$350 or 50,000 miles

AAdvantage Platinum

$300 or 45,000 miles

AAdvantage Executive Platinum

$250 or 35,000 miles


New members are charged an additional $50 or 10,000 miles. All American clubs have $50 nonmember day passes that can be applied toward membership (within 30 days).

Frequent Flyer Program—AAdvantage.

Earning Miles or Credits—Flight mileage credit is determined on the basis of nonstop distances between airports. Business and first class flyers earn an additional 25% and 50% of miles flown, respectively. Opportunities also exist to earn miles with flight bonuses, online booking, and partner programs; American also offers periodic mile purchase programs.

Awards Redemption—American has two award levels—Anytime Awards and PlanAAhead Awards. Anytime Awards are similar to purchasing unrestricted full-fare tickets; PlanAAhead Awards have restrictions and advance purchase requirements.

Redemption rates (for flights within the continental U.S.) are as follows:

Award

Anytime

PlanAAhead

Coach/Economy Class

40,000

25,000

First/Business Class

80,000

40,000


The number of miles required for a one-way upgrade from a full-fare economy ticket is 5,000; from most economy and business class fares, 15,000. Miles can be redeemed online at http://www.aa.com or by calling 800.882.8880.

Elite-Level Programs—American has three elite membership levels: AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, and AAdvantage Executive Platinum. Qualifying miles for these levels are as follows:

Elite Level Membership

Qualifying Miles per Calendar Year

Gold

25,000

Platinum

50,000

Executive Platinum

100,000


Qualification miles are determined by the number of miles flown times a multiplier based on the type of ticket purchased.

Partners—American has more than 70 airline, hotel, car rental, and credit card partners, and is a member of the Oneworld Alliance.

Rules and Charges—Miles expires without account activity in a 36-month period.

There are no award redemption services charges for travel ticketed 21 days in advance. For travel ticketed 7 to 20 days prior to departure, the charge is $50; for travel ticketed 2 hours to 6 days prior to departure, the charge is $75.

American Trans Air (ATA)

ATA, the tenth-largest U.S. airline, is a low-fare major carrier offering a single class of service. ATA provides scheduled service from its gateway cities of Chicago (Midway) and Indianapolis to 40 destinations, including such major airports as Boston, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York LaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The company also provides transpacific service between the western United States and Hawaii. In 2002, Chicago-Midway represented approximately 71.2% of ATA's total scheduled service capacity.

ATA operates one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry. ATA's parent company, ATA Holdings, also owns a regional commuter airline called Chicago Express Airlines, Inc., (operating as ATA Connection) and ATA ExecuJet, an executive charter service. ATA Connection provides commuter passenger service between Chicago-Midway and 13 cities in the Midwest and lower Great Lakes region. It uses a fleet of 17 SAAB 340B 34-seat propeller aircraft; flight features include luxury cabin-class leather seats, spacious overhead bins, and flight attendant service.

ATA offers discounted rates for groups of 10 or more, as well as special rates for meeting and convention travel. ATA's Corporate Partners program offers fare discounts to corporations.

Fast Facts: American Trans Air

Airline Code: TZ

Hubs: Chicago (Midway) and Indianapolis

Frequent Flyer Program: ATA changes its program periodically

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.ata.com

Reservation department

800.225.2995

Customer relations

877.617.1139

Luggage services

317.248.5084

ATA charter sales

317.243.4150


Fares

ATA offers a single class of service: coach. Fares are capacity controlled so that the closer you are to the departure date, the higher the ticket price. ATA has nonrefundable and refundable fares and also sells Internet-only fares.

Fees

Standby—There is no charge for same-day standby.

Cancellation/Change—A service charge of $50 is assessed for itinerary changes to nonrefundable tickets.

Upgrades—Not applicable.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Available 24 hours up to 90 minutes before scheduled departure.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—ATA is rolling out self-service check-in centers. Go online for an updated list of available locations.

Minimum Gate Check-In—All customers must be present in the boarding area at least 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure for domestic flights, and 30 minutes prior for international, Hawaii, and San Juan flights—even if you have already appeared at another location designated for customer check-in.

Cabin Service

On flights lasting 1 hour or longer, ATA serves complimentary coffee, juices, and soft drinks. Cocktails, beer, and wine are available for a nominal charge.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

ATA's Web site offers downloadable timetables in PDF format.

On-Board Technology

None

Fleet

Aircraft

Boeing 737-800

Boeing 757-200

Boeing 757-300

Lockheed L-1011

Saab 340-B (Turboprop)

Number

30

16

10

10 17

 

Average age (years)

1

5

1

25

11.5

Seats

147

216

247

NA

NA


(Aircraft information is as of December, 2002.)

Airline Lounge Club

None

Frequent Flyer Program

ATA offers periodic promotions that allow customers to earn free flights—but no club, per se.

Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines is the fifth-largest U.S. airline, with the broadest global route network of any U.S. carrier. The carrier serves 223 airports worldwide and flies to 110 cities in 37 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico. Continental's hubs are in Cleveland, Houston, and Newark.

Continental has one of the newest jet fleets of the major U.S. airlines, with an average age of about 6 years. Continental's regional service is known as Continental Express and is operated by ExpressJet, the second largest regional airline in the U.S. (behind AMR's American Eagle). ExpressJet operates an all-jet fleet using 188 Embraer regional jets.

Continental has marketing alliances with Delta and Northwest. This alliance allows for code sharing, as well as reciprocal frequent flyer programs and airport lounge arrangements. The airline's free corporate program, RewardOne, offers travel rewards for large companies. Continental also offers group discount programs for groups of 10 or more. Continental was the recipient of the Best Executive/Business Class Award in the 2003 OAG Airline of the Year Awards.

Fast Facts: Continental Airlines

Airline Code: CO

Domestic Airport Hubs: Newark, Houston, Cleveland

Frequent Flyer Club: OnePass

Airport Lounge Club: Presidents Club

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.continental.com

Meetings

800.468.7022

Reservations (domestic)

800.525.0280

Groups

800.525.1700

Reservations (international)

800.231.0856

Baggage

800.335.2247

Customer service

800.932.2732

OnePass

%713.952.1630

Presidents Club

800.322.2640

OnePass account info

%713.785.8999

Continental.com

800.300.1547

OnePass reservations

800.621.7467


Fares

Continental offers both first/business and coach classes of service, along with full-fare, refundable, unrestricted fares and discounted, nonrefundable, restricted fares. Nonrefundable fares may require advance purchase and/or Saturday night stay. Discounted Internet-only fares are also available.

Fees

Standby—Standby is allowed on nonrefundable tickets for both earlier and later same-day flights. There is no additional cost, provided that the flights and routing are applicable for the fare charged.

Cancellation/Change—Most restricted fares have a $100 change fee.

Upgrade—Continental is changing aspects of its policies as of 01/01/04.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Online check-in is available 1 to 12 hours prior to scheduled departure time.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Continental eService Centers are available at most U.S. airports.

Minimum Gate and Baggage Check-In—Customers checking in must present themselves at the gate no later than 15 minutes prior to departure—even if they have checked in previously.

Cabin Service

Meals are served in first class on flights longer than 1 1/2 hours and in economy class on flights longer than 2 hours. If you are flying economy, your meal is a cold breakfast or sandwich snack for flights shorter than 3 hours; you get a hot snack sandwich if you are flying more than 3 hours. First class flyers are served an entreé.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

The Continental Web site offers the Business Travel Manager online booking tool that enables travelers or travel agents to book air fares, hotels, and rental cards—as well as store travel preferences and profile information. Users can also sign up to receive flight arrival and departure information via email.

The Web site's Inside Mobile Tools section offers mobile service for PDAs and Web-enabled phones, including wireless real-time flight status, flight schedules, seat availability, and Continental contact information. You can also download electronic timetables to your PDA in PDF format.

On-Board Technology

Verizon Airfones are available on all domestic flights. Verizon JetConnect is available on 300 narrow-body (one-aisle) aircraft. In addition, Continental has power ports on 767s and 777s used for international flights. (No domestic flights offer power ports.)

Fleet

Continental, Continental Express, and Continental Micronesia fly 14 different aircraft, including the following:

Aircraft

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 737-800

Boeing 737-500

Boeing 757-200

ERJ-145

Number of aircraft

58

77

65

41

140

First Class

Passengers

12

14

12

24

0

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

NA

Seat width/pitch

21"/37"

21"/38"

21"/38"

21"/38"

NA

Economy

Passengers

112

141

92

159

50

Configuration

3-3

3-3

3-3

3-3

1-2

Seat width/pitch

17"/31"

17"/31"

17"/31"

17"/31"

17"/31"


(Aircraft information as of March 2003.)

Airport Lounge Club—Presidents Clubs presclubecoair.com

Locations—There are 27 club rooms worldwide, of which 22 are in the U.S.—Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago (O'Hare), Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Houston (Bush Intercontinental (4), Los Angeles, New York (LaGuardia), Newark (3), San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. (Reagan). Continental has a reciprocal agreement with Northwest and Delta that allows members to use Northwest WorldClubs when flying on the partner airlines.

Services–Standard amenities include complimentary beverages, light snacks and bar service, complimentary use of photocopy machines, local phone calls, reservation assistance, current periodicals and newspapers, telephones with data ports, and fax machines. Select locations have conference rooms with speakerphones and VCRs. The cost for conference room rental is $35 per hour. Presidents Club members can bring two friends or business associates, or their immediate family (spouse and children under 21 years of age), any time they visit a Presidents Club.

Membership Rates—Presidents Club membership rates are based on current OnePass Status, as follows:

OnePass Membership

Annual Fee

Standard

$375

Silver Elite

$325

Gold Elite

$275

Platinum Elite

$250


The nonmember day rate is $45, plus a one-time nonmember initiation fee of $50.

Frequent Flyer Program—Continental OnePass

Earning Miles or Credits–Miles earned are based on the actual miles flown or a minimum of 500 miles. Qualifying full-fare first class, business class, and BusinessFirst fares receive a 50% mileage bonus. Miles can also be earned through partner programs.

Awards Redemption—Continental has two award levels—Standard Rewards and EasyPass Rewards. Standard Rewards are capacity-controlled, may require Saturday night stay, and have restricted travel dates. EasyPass Rewards are free of capacity controls and restricted travel dates. Rewards are available for round-trip travel within or between the 48 contiguous U.S. states, Alaska, and Canada only. Redemption levels are as follows:

Award

Standard

EasyPass

Economy

25,000

50,000

First/Business

45,000

90,000


A one-way full economy fare upgrade can be purchased for 5,000 points. A one-way select economy fare upgrade costs 10,000 points—15,000 as of 01/01/04.

Elite-Level Program Qualifying Miles

Elite Level

Qualifying Miles per Calendar Year

Silver Elite

25,000 annual flight miles or 30 segments/points

Gold Elite

50,000 annual flight miles or 60 segments/points

Platinum Elite

75,000 annual flight miles or 90 segments/points


Beginning 01/01/04, Elite milate earned will be based on fare class flown.

Partners—Continental's partners include Alaska Airlines, American Eagle, Delta, Horizon, Northwest, and several foreign carriers. The airline has partnerships with most major hotel and rental car companies, as well as credit card, shopping, and communications companies.

Rules and Charges—There is no expiration on mileage credits. Awards redeemed 14 days or more prior to travel have no fees; redemption within 3 to 13 days costs $50, a redemption less than three days in advance costs $75.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is the world's second largest airline. Along with its subsidiaries, Atlanta Southeast Airlines (ASA) and Comair, Delta serves 219 cities in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgins Islands; the carrier also flies to 32 countries outside the U.S.

Delta also operates Song (formerly Delta Express) and the Delta Shuttle. Song is a new low-fare service operating primarily in the Northeast-to-Florida corridor. The Delta Shuttle offers hourly service between New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

The Delta Connection program is Delta's regional connection service. The program allows one-stop reservations through Delta, as well as participation in the SkyMiles program for flights on regional carriers. Participating carriers include American Eagle (in California), Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA), Atlantic Southwest Airlines (ASA), Chautauqua Airlines, Comair, and SkyWest Airlines. These carriers operate regional jets and turboprop aircraft under Delta's "DL" code.

Delta has marketing alliances with Continental and Northwest, which enables code sharing and reciprocal frequent flyer programs and airport lounge arrangements.

The carrier offers several services targeted to business travelers. The SkyBonus delta-skybouns.com program is a travel rewards program for small to medium-sized companies. Delta also offers group sales programs and meeting travel services. Delta AirElite Business Jets airelite.com, formerly Comair Jet Express, is a subsidiary that provides on-demand corporate jet charter service, private jet fleet membership, and aircraft management services. AirElite operates a diversified fleet of Bombardier Challenger, Cessna Citation, Gulfstream, and LearJet business jets. Delta aircraft are also available for charter flight services.

Fast Facts: Delta Airlines

Airline Code: DL

Domestic Hubs: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Salt Lake City

Frequent Flyer Program: SkyMiles

Airport Lounge Club: Crown Room Club

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.delta.com

Crown Room Club

800.496.2225

Domestic reservations

800.221.1212

AirElite

800.927.0927

International reservations

800.241.4141

Charter flights

404.715.2428

Baggage service

800.325.8224

Group sales

800.532.4777

Delta.com

888.750.3284

Meeting network

800.241.6108

Delta Shuttle

800.933.5935

Corporate

404.715.2600

SkyMiles

800.323.2323

 

 


Fees

Fares—Delta offers full-fare,

unrestricted, refundable and discounted, restricted, nonrefundable fares, as well as discounted Web-only fares. Delta offers first/business and coach classes of services, as well as BusinessElite, a special class of service for international business class travel. Seat assignments are given at the time of reservation. Nonrefundable fares usually require advance purchase of 21 days, 14 days, or 7 days. Some discounted fares require travel on selected days/time, round-trip travel, or Saturday night stays.

Standby—Standby travel is prohibited on nonrefundable fares; however, you may confirm changes to same-day flights for a $25 fee if your reservations are made within 3 hours of departure.

Cancellation/Change—Changes to a ticket result in a fee plus any difference in fares. For domestic travel on Delta, the fee is $100; Delta Express charges $50, and Song charges $25.

Upgrade—You can purchase upgrade points for cash or miles. Four 500-mile upgrade points cost $160; one 500-mile upgrade point costs $50. (You can also purchase four 500-mile upgrade points for 25,000 SkyMiles.) All fares are available for upgrade, but some are restricted to same-day travel. In 2004, confirmation timing is based on the fare class and elite member status.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Delta.com online check-in enables you to check in and print your boarding pass 30 minutes to 24 hours before departure. This service is available to SkyMiles members with carry-on bags only traveling within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—This service is available in most domestic airports when you have purchased an e-ticket for a domestic flight.

Minimum Check-In—For domestic flights passengers are required to check bags at least 30 minutes before departure. (The requirement is 45 minutes for the Las Vegas and Denver airports.) You must be checked in and at the gate at least 15 minutes before departure. Delta Shuttle customers must complete baggage check-in at least 15 minutes before departure and be at the gate at least 5 minutes before departure for guaranteed seating.

Cabin Service

For economy class passengers, Delta serves food on flights in the continental U.S. of more than 1,750 miles (approximately 4 hours). First-class passengers receive meals on flights of more than 700 miles (approximately 2 hours). Special meals must be ordered 12 hours in advance and include bland, fruit plate, gluten free, kosher, low calorie, seafood, and vegetarian. Other options are also available. Delta has begun testing buy-on-board meals on some of its flights.

Web Tools and Service

Delta's Web site offers online seating charts and seat selection, as well as estimated wait times for curbside check-in, ticket counters, and security check (for selected airports). You can also sign up for flight status notification via email and to have last-minute fare specials emailed to you. The site also offers downloadable flight schedules.

Delta Mobile (http://www.delta.com/mobile/) provides wireless access to flight schedules, itineraries, flight status, and Delta phone numbers.

On-Board Technology

Laptop power outlets are available in BusinessElite and all classes of service on 777, 737-800, and 767-400 aircraft. Domestic flights have Verizon Airfone service.

Fleet

In addition to the planes listed in the following table, Delta flies Boeing 737-300, 767-200, 767-300, 767-400, and 777-200 aircraft, as well as MD-11s and MD-90s.

Aircraft

Boeing 737-200

Boeing 737-800

Boeing 757-200

MD -88

Number of aircraft

52

71

121

120

Average Age (years)

17.8

2.6

11.7

12.9

First Class

 

 

 

 

Passengers

12

16

22

14

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

Seat Width/ Pitch

21"/36-37"

20.5"/38"

21"/37-38"

19.5"/37"

Economy

 

 

 

 

Passengers

95

132

158

128

Configuration

3-3

3-3

3-3

3-2

Seat Width/ Pitch

17"/30-32"

17"/31-33"

17"/31-33"

17v/31-33"


Boeing 737-200 flown by Song are all coach; seats have a 33-34-inch pitch and 17-inch width. Delta Connection carriers fly Fairchild Dornier 328 (ACA), Saab 340B (American Eagle), Aerospatiale 72-210 (ASA), Canadair Regional Jet 200 (ASA), Canadair Regional Jet 700 (ASA), Embraer Brasilia 120 (ASA), Embraer ERJ-135 (Chautauqua), Embraer ERJ-145 (Chautauqua), Canadair Regional Jet 100 (Comair), Embraer Brasilia 120RT (Comair), Canadair Regional Jet 100 (SkyWest), and Embraer Brasilia 120ER (Comair) craft.

(Aircraft information is as of June 2003.)

Airport Lounge Club—Crown Room Clubs.

Locations—Crown Room Clubs are located in 32 cities worldwide, including 29 locations in the continental U.S. These locations include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (O'Hare), Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Honolulu, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Newark, New York (JFK), New York (LaGuardia), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Washington, D.C. (Reagan National Airport), and West Palm Beach. Delta Crown Room members also have reciprocal access to all U.S. Continental Presidents Clubs, Northwest WorldClubs, and United Red Carpet Clubs (through February 29, 2004)—provided at least one segment is flown on the respective airline on the same day of travel.

Facilities/Services—Standard amenities include use of frequent traveler security lines in select U.S. cities, personalized flight assistance, free local telephone calls, fax machines, desk space, and a fully staffed bar. In addition, certain locations have data ports and computer access. High-speed wireless internet access (via T-Mobile) is in the process of being rolled out across all locations. Meeting services include conference rooms with audio/visual equipment (included in the rental fee); catering is available upon request. Rates run $50 ($65 for nonmembers) per hour from the peak period to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and $25/hour after 7 p.m. (and all day on weekends and holidays). Nonmembers are required to purchase a $50 one-day pass.

Membership Rates–Fees are based on your elite-level status in the SkyMiles program. You can also use frequent flyer miles to purchase your membership, as follows:

SkyMiles Membership Status

Membership Fees

General

$475 or 70,000 miles

Silver Medallion

$350 or 50,000 miles

Gold Medallion

$275 or 40,000 miles

Platinum Medallion

Complimentary


One-day passes are available for nonmembers for $50/day. Volume discounts are also available, as are spouse memberships.

Frequent Flyer Program—SkyMiles.

Earning Miles or Credits—On Delta and Delta Connection coach and economy class flights, you earn actual miles flown or 500 miles minimum. Business and first class fares earn an additional 50% of mileage flown. Miles can also be earned through partner programs and other incentive programs.

Awards Redemption—Delta has two awards levels—SkyChoice Awards and SkySaver Awards. SkyChoice Awards are similar to purchasing unrestricted full-fare tickets. Awards redeemed using SkySaver Awards are limited, especially during peak travel periods.

The following award levels are for round-trip travel within or between the continental U.S., Alaska, or Canada:

Award

SkyChoice Award

SkySaver Award

Coach/Economy Class

50,000

25,000

First Class

80,000

40,000


You need 5,000 miles for a one-way, one-class upgrade from full coach fare; from select fares, 10,000 miles.

Miles can be redeemed online, by calling 800.325.3999 (PIN required), by Rapid Redemption (available at ticket offices and most airports; you will need your SkyMiles membership card and will pay an extra fee), by mail, or by fax. You can also purchase up to 20,000 miles (in increments of 1,000 miles) for $25 per 1,000 miles, plus taxes and fees.

Elite-Level Programs—Delta has three elite membership levels—Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, and Platinum Medallion. Medallion qualification miles are determined by the number of miles flown times a multiplier based on the type of ticket purchased. Members traveling on higher fares to earn elite status more quickly.

Elite Level

Qualifying Miles per Calendar Year

Silver

25,000

Gold

50,000

Platinum

100,000


Partners—Delta's domestic airline partners are Continental and Northwest. Delta is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance. Most major rental car companies and hotel chains participate in Delta's program. Delta also has partnerships with credit card, shopping, and communications companies.

Rules and Charges—Miles will not expire as long as every three years you either travel, participate in a partner program, redeem miles, or buy miles. Award redemption service charges range from zero to $75, depending on your travel date, ticketing options (that is, online, by phone, or at the airport using Rapid Redemption), Medallion membership status, and whether you are getting an award ticket or certificate. The biggest variable is travel date. If you redeem your awards at least 15 days in advance, you pay no service charges (except at airport Rapid Redemption locations); if you redeem 3 to 14 days in advance, the charge ranges from $25 to $75; if you redeem less than 3 days in advance, you'll pay $75. In addition, you save money by redeeming online. Redeeming at Rapid Redemption airport locations always costs $75.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is a low-fare, all-coach carrier that began operations in 1994. The airline is the second largest jet carrier at Denver International Airport, with an average of 170 daily systemwide departures and arrivals. Frontier provides service to 37 U.S. cities and two cities in Mexico. Frontier flights connect through Denver.

Frontier's regional code-share partners are Mesa Airlines, Inc., and Great Lakes Airlines. The code-share partnership with Great Lakes offers service to 35 regional destinations. Code-share flights with Mesa Airlines are operated as Frontier JetExpress and use 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 jet aircraft.

Frontier offers discounts for groups of 10 or more passengers. The Business Travel Program is designed for small and medium businesses and offers a quarterly 3% rebate on all qualified trips; passengers also receive special aircraft seating. There is no cost to participate in this program, although participants must show a minimum of four qualifying round-trips flown per calendar year.

Fast Facts: Frontier Airlines

Airline Code: F9

Domestic Hub: Denver International Airport

Frequent Flyer Program: EarlyReturns

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.frontierairlines.com

Corporate

800.265.5505

Reservations

800.432.1359

Early Returns

866.263.2759

Flight information

800.432.1359

Group desk

800.908.9069

Customer relations

800.265.5505

Corporate desk

800.952.7637


Fares

Frontier offers both refundable and nonrefundable fares. Passengers are not required to stay over a Saturday night to receive most of the airline's low fares. Frontier also offers discounted fares based on availability; the earlier you reserve your flight, the lower the cost of the fares. The lowest available fares are always offered on the carrier's Web site. Seat assignments are given at time of reservation.

Fees

Standby—There is no charge for same-day standby.

Change/Cancellation—Itinerary changes incur a $100 processing fee plus any fare difference. Your unused ticket value, less a processing fee, is valid for one year from the date of purchase.

Upgrade—Frontier is a single-class carrier; upgrades are not available.

Check-In

Online Check-In—You may check-in 90 minutes to 12 hours prior to departure.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—None

Minimum Gate Check-In—20 minutes

Cabin Service

Frontier Airlines provides a light food service (bagels, wraps, chips, crackers, and other snacks) for all flights longer than 90 minutes.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

Online flight status is available at Frontier's Web site.

On-Board Technology

All Airbus 319's are equipped with DirecTV programming wich features 24 channels of live TV at each seat.

Fleet

Frontier currently operates a fleet of 36 aircraft including sixteen 136-passenger Boeing 737-300 jets, three smaller 737-200s, and seventeen 132-passenger Airbus 319s. (The Airbus jets have a relatively comfortable 33-inch seat pitch.) Airbus 318s and 319s will replace Frontier's existing Boeing fleet by 2006.

Airport Lounge Club

None

Frequent Flyer Program—EarlyReturns.

Earning Miles or Credits—Members earn 1 mile for every mile flown, plus additional mileage with program partners—including other airlines, hotels, credit cards, and car rental agencies.

Awards Redemption—You can redeem 15,000 EarlyReturns miles for a free round-trip flight anywhere on Frontier's route system.

Elite-Level Program—The EarlyReturns program has two elite tiers—Ascent (15,000 miles per year) and Summit (25,000 miles per year).

Partners—Airline partners include Midwest and Virgin Atlantic. Other Frontier partners include Alamo, Hertz, National, and Payless and Kimpton Hotels.

Rules and Charges—There are no charges to redeem awards. EarlyReturns requires account activity once every five years to remain active.

Horizon

Horizon is a regional carrier owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc., which also owns Alaska Airlines. Horizon provides air transportation to more than 40 destinations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington state, as well as Alberta and British Columbia.

Fast Facts: Horizon

Airline Code: QX

Hubs: Boise, Portland, and Seattle

Frequent Flyer Program: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Airport Lounge Club: Alaska Airlines Board Room

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.horizonair.com

Mileage Plan awards

800.252.7522

Reservations

800.252.7522

Baggage service

206.988.9797

Alaskaair.com

877.502.5357

Consumer relations

206.431.3647

Mileage Plan

800.622.2680

Ticket refunds

206.431.3753

Mileage Plan

800.654.5669

 

 


Fares

Horizon offers both first/business and coach classes of service, as well as full-fare, refundable and discounted, nonrefundable fares.

FEES

Standby—No charge for same-day standby.

Cancellation/Change—On nonrefundable tickets, you must pay $50 (plus any applicable increase in airfare) to make changes to your itinerary.

Upgrade—Upgrades are available for $50 for each 1,250-mile segment on the day of flight.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Customers may check in online 1 to 30 hours prior to scheduled departure of flights, as long as your complete itinerary is solely domestic, includes only flights operated by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and is without paid upgrades or Mileage Plan redemptive upgrades.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Available at most airports.

Minimum Gate Check-In—You must be checked-in and available to board at the designated boarding gate at least 20 minutes before your flight is scheduled to depart (30 minutes for flights to Mexico or Canada.)

Cabin Service

Horizon Air serves healthy snacks and beverages on most flights, but does not provide special meals.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

See Alaska Airlines.

On-Board Technology

None

Fleet

Aircraft

Bombardier CRJ 700

Bombardier Dash 8-400 (turboprop)

Bombardier Dash 8-100/200 (turboprop)

Number of aircraft

16

15

28

Average age (years)

1

1.4

4.8

Passengers

70

70

37


(Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Alaska Airlines Board Room

See Alaska Airlines.

Mileage Plans

See Alaska Airlines.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways began flying in 2000. This low-fare, all-coach airline now serves 20 cities around the country with a fleet of 40 new Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline is best known for its comfortable and entertaining flights; every JetBlue aircraft is outfitted with roomy all-leather seats and equipped with the DIRECTV System that provides up to 24 channels of personal video programming.

JetBlue flies to cities in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New York, Utah, Washington, and Washington, D.C. The company offers group rates for groups of 15 or more. Reservations can only be made directly through JetBlue.

Fast Facts: JetBlue Airways

Airline Code: B6

Hubs: JFK, Long Beach, and Washington, D.C. (Dulles)

Frequent Flyer Program: TrueBlue

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.jetblue.com

Reservations

800.538.2583

Group reservations

888.538.2583, option 2


Fares

JetBlue offers a range of one-way and round-trip fares (all coach), including 14-day, 7-day, and 3-day advance purchase fares and a special walk-up fare. Fares increase as the number of days prior to travel decreases. The highest walk-up fare is typically twice the amount of the lowest 14-day advance purchase fare. All fares are one-way and never require Saturday night stay. (If you are having trouble finding available flights on JetBlue, try less-traveled days such as Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.)

Fees

Standby—There is no charge for same-day standby.

Cancellation/Change—Reservations may be changed or cancelled prior to scheduled departure for a fee of $25 per person, plus any applicable difference in airfare.

Check-In

Online Check-In—None

Self-Service Airport Check-in—Available at Long Beach, New York (JFK), Oakland, and Orlando airports.

Minimum Gate Check-in—20 minutes

Cabin Service

No meal service is available. Snacks are served on all flights.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

JetBlue's Web site offers online flight status. Timetables can be viewed online or downloaded to a PC or PDA.

On-Board Technology

Each seat is equipped with the DIRECTV System, which offers up to 24 channels of DIRECTV programming via a personal LCD screen.

Fleet

JetBlue flies a fleet of new AirBus A320 aircraft. This plane is configured to seat 156 coach-class passengers in 26 rows with a 3-3 configuration (exit rows are 11 and 12). The first 9 rows have a 32-inch seat pitch while the remaining rows have a roomy 34-inch seat pitch. By the end of 2003, JetBlue's fleet will include 53 aircraft, with more on the way as the airline continues to grow and add routes.

Airport Lounge Club

None

Frequent Flyer Program—TrueBlue.

Earning Miles or Credits—You earn points, not miles, the number of which depends on the length of your flight. Flights are grouped into three categories: short, medium, and long. Short flights earn 2 points each, medium flights earn 4 points, and long flights earn 6 points. You can also earn points for booking online.

Awards Redemption—The TrueBlue program is simple. You earn one round-trip flight for every 100 points.

Partners—None

Rules and Charges—Points expire one year after they are earned. Awards expire one year after they are issued.

Midwest Airlines

Midwest Airlines operates a single-class, premium-service passenger jet service. The carrier caters to business travelers and serves major destinations throughout the U.S. from Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Omaha. Midwest serves 25 cities and provides nonstop service between Milwaukee and more than 75% of its core jet routes. Premium-service features include wide two-across leather seats, baked-on-board chocolate chip cookies, and a high level of customer service.

Midwest's wholly owned subsidiary, Skyway Airlines, Inc. (formerly Astral Aviation, Inc.), operates Midwest Connect. This airline offers regional/commuter connections to Midwest Airlines, as well as point-to-point service between select markets, using regional jet and turboprop aircraft. Together, the airlines offer service to 51 cities. Midwest also has a code-share agreement with American Eagle.

Midwest Airlines has consistently been recognized as one of the best U.S. airlines by travel publications and frequent flyer surveys, including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, and the Zagat Airline Survey. In 2003, Midwest was voted the Best Airline in North America in the OAG Airline of the Year Awards. The company recently changed its corporate name from Midwest Express Airlines, Inc., to Midwest Airlines. (No "express.")

Fast Facts: Midwest Airlines

Airline Code: YK

Hub: Milwaukee

Frequent Flyer Program: Midwest Miles

Airport Lounge Club: Best Care Club

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.midwestairlines.com

Reservations

800.452.2022

Midwest Miles

800.314.7125

Best Care Club

877.203.9857

Baggage

800.233.2830


Fares

Midwest Airlines offers a variety of unrestricted, less-restricted, and nonrefundable coach fares. Nonrefundable fare types usually require that you purchase your ticket 3, 7, 10, 14, or 21 days before departure; travel round-trip; and have a Friday or Saturday night stay. Seats at these lower fares are limited.

In 2003, Midwest announced the launch of a low-fare product focusing on the leisure market. The service will fly five MD-80 aircraft (already part of the Midwest fleet) in 3-2 seating configuration that will seat 143-147 passengers in a single class cabin. Seat pitch on these new flights will average 33 inches.

Fees

Standby—No charge for same-day standby.

Cancellations/Change—If you need to cancel your trip, your ticket remains valid for one year from the date of purchase. You may apply its value toward the purchase of another nonrefundable fare type for a $100 administrative fee, plus any difference in fares. If the new fare is less expensive than the original fare, you may apply that difference toward the $100 administrative fee.

Upgrades—Midwest is a single-class carrier; no upgrades are available.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Online check-in is available 90 minutes to 24 hours prior to departure.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Self-service check-in was not available at publication.

Minimum Check-In—All passengers must check in, receive a seat assignment, and be at the boarding point ready to board the aircraft at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your reservation for all segments of your itinerary and make you ineligible for denied boarding compensation.

Cabin Service

You can purchase Midwest's In-Flight Café meal service on all flights. Breakfast costs $7, whereas lunch and dinner cost $10. Meal choices typically include items such as a chicken salad sandwich on a soft croissant, salad, apple, and bottled water. Midwest says it will continue to serve its trademark chocolate-chip cookies for free. The service is provided by LSG Sky Chefs, the same company that provided previous meal service.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

Midwest's Web site provides online seat maps, downloadable timetables, and online flight status.

On-Board Technology

Verizon Airfones are available on all flights.

Fleet

Each Midwest aircraft is configured with two-by-two leather seats; these seats are larger than coach seats on most other airlines (21 inches wide at the seat cushion, compared with standard coach seats that are 17 to 18 inches wide). The pitch between seats is a roomy 33 to 34 inches, compared with the average industry coach pitch of 31 inches.

Even better—there aren't any middle seats on Midwest flights. Midwest's aircraft have about 20% fewer seats than other airlines typically install in the same type of aircraft.

Aircraft

DC 9-10

DC 9-30

MD-88

MD-81/82

Number of aircraft

4

16

2

10

Passengers

60

84

112

116

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

Seat width/pitch

21"/33-34"

21"/33-34"

21"/33-34"

21"/33-34"


The Midwest Connects fleet consists of 19 Beech 1900D (turboprop) planes that seat 19 passengers and 32 Fairchild 328 jets that seat 32.

Airport Lounge Club—Best Care Club.

Locations—General Mitchell Milwaukee International Airport, in the T Concourse.

Services—Standard amenities plus cash bar, in-house massage, conference rooms, and private workstations with free high-speed Internet access.

Membership Rates—$300 per year

Frequent Flyer Club—Midwest Miles.

Earning Miles—Miles earned are based on miles flown. Miles can also be earned from partner programs.

Awards Redemption—Midwest Miles offers two awards levels—Standard and Choice.

Choice awards do not have capacity restrictions. A round-trip domestic flight requires 25,000 miles at a Standard award level, or 50,000 miles for a Choice award.

Elite-Level Program—When you fly 25 one-way trips or 20,000 miles annually, you qualify for the Midwest Miles Executive elite-level program.

Partners—Midwest's air partners include Air Jamaica, American Airlines, and Frontier. Hotel partners include Baymont, Hilton, Hyatt, Loews, Radisson, Raffles, Swissotel, and Wyndham. Car rental partners include Avis, Hertz, and National.

Rules and Charges—Accounts without activity in the first 12 months after enrollment may be deleted. Awards redeemed less than 21 days in advance of departure incur a $50 fee. Awards redeemed less than 24 hours in advance of departure incur a $75 fee.

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines is the world's fourth largest airline, serving more than 750 cities in 120 countries. In the U.S., Northwest flies to 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Northwest provides regional airline service under the Northwest Airlink brand, operated by Pinnacle Airlines (formerly Express Airlines) and Mesaba Airlines. Pinnacle, a wholly owned subsidiary of NWA, is a regional carrier providing service to more than 80 cities throughout the United States from its hubs in Detroit, Memphis, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Northwest has a marketing alliance with Continental and Delta that allows for code sharing, as well as reciprocal frequent flyer programs and airport lounge arrangements. Northwest also has interline e-ticketing services with Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, Horizon, and United.

This carrier offers several programs and services targeted to the business traveler. In particular, the Biz Perks and E-Biz Perks programs are corporate travel programs for small and midsized companies. Northwest offers charter aircraft services through its Charter Department; its Group Travel Programs department offers discounted fares for groups of 10 or more traveling together.

Fast Facts: Northwest Airlines

Airline Code: NW

Domestic Hubs: Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Frequent Flyer Program: WorldPerks

Airport Lounge Club: WorldClubs

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.nwa.com

WorldPerks

800.447.3757

Domestic reservations

800.225.2525

WorldClubs

800.692.3788

International reservations

800.447.4747

Biz Perks

800.692.6955

Refunds

612.726.2422

Group Travel

800.645.9696

Baggage

800.648.4897

Package Service

800.638.7337

nwa.com

800.692.6955

 

 


Fares

Northwest offers full-fare unrestricted fares, discounted nonrefundable fares, Internet only fares, Bizflex fares, CyberSavers fares, and the ConnectFirst Program.

BizFlex fares offer up to a 50% discount on the regular unrestricted full coach walk-up fare, with no Saturday night stay requirement. The fare must be purchased at least 10 to 14 days in advance of travel. You can upgrade to first class for a small premium.

CyberSavers are low fares for last-minute travel. The fares are published on Wednesday of each week, for travel departing on Saturday and returning Monday or Tuesday.

ConnectFirst allows you to purchase a full-fare coach ticket and receive a free first class upgrade. (If seats are available, that is; if not, you get double mileage.) This offer applies to qualifying domestic flights through Detroit, Memphis, or Minneapolis/St. Paul. Seat assignments are given at the time of reservation, if available. Preferential seating is given to WorldPerks Elite members and full-fare ticket holders.

Fees

Standby—No fees are charged for same-day standby travel.

Cancellation/Change—The change fee is $100.

Upgrade—Upgrades can only be purchased on the day of departure, are subject to availability, and are not offered on certain fares. Upgrades cost $50 per 500-mile segment.

Check-In

Online Check-In—Check-in is available less than 30 hours but more than 90 minutes prior to flight departure.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Available in most airports to e-ticket holders traveling in the U.S.

Minimum Check-In—For continental U.S. flights, advance seat assignments may be cancelled if the passenger has not checked in and received a boarding pass at least 30 minutes prior to departure (45 minutes at Atlanta, Denver, and Las Vegas airports). Reservations are subject to cancellation, and passengers may not be eligible for denied boarding compensation if they are not on board the aircraft at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

Cabin Service

Meal service is offered on flights longer than 4 hours. Northwest has also introduced a buy-on-board program on selected flights.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

The nwa.com Web site offers an online-only travel discount program, weekly CyberSavers promotions, downloadable flight schedules, and My NWA, which allows you to save your contact preferences and travel notifications. You can sign up to receive flight and gate status notification via email or any wireless device. Mobile access to a condensed version of the site is available at wireless.nwa.com.

On-board Technology

None

Fleet

Northwest flies a large variety of aircraft, including the following primary model types.

Aircraft

Airbus A320-200

Airbus A319—100

Boeing 756

DC9-30

Number of aircraft

76

59

56

112 planes

Passengers

148

124

180/184

100

First Class

 

 

 

 

Passengers

16

16

22

16

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

Seat width/pitch

21"/36"

21"/35"

21"/37"

19.5"/34"

Economy Class

 

 

 

 

Passengers

132

108

158

84

Configuration

3-3

3-3

3-3

2-3

Seat width/pitch

17"/31-32"

17"/30-32"

17"/31-33"

17"/30"


In addition to the aircraft just listed, Northwest flies the Boeing 747-200, 747-400, and 757-300; McDonnell Douglas DC9-40, DC9-50, DC-10, and DC10-30; Airbus A330-200, A330-300, and CRJ-200 and -440 aircraft. Planes flown by Northwest partners Pinnacle and Mesaba include the Avro Regional Jet -85, Saab 340 (turboprop), and Canadair Regional Jet-200 and -440. (Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Airport Lounge Club—WorldClubs.

Locations—There are 28 domestic WorldClub locations, in the following airports: Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago (O'Hare), Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York (JFK), New York (LaGuardia), Newark, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. (both Dulles and National). In New York's JFK, members can use the Aerlingus Lounge. When flying on Alaska Airlines or Northwest-designated Alaska Airlines flights, WorldClub members have access to Alaska Airlines Board Room Clubs. WorldClub membership provides access to more than 100 airport lounges worldwide, through affiliation with American West Clubs; Continental Airlines Presidents Clubs; Delta; KLM Business Class Lounges in Amsterdam, Dubai, and London; and the Air China First and Business Class Lounge in Beijing.

Services—Standard amenities include ticketing; concierge services; fax; copier; private workstations with data ports; and complimentary cocktails, beverages, snacks, telephones, newspapers, and periodicals. Private conference rooms are available at select locations with services including TVs, VCRs, overhead projectors, whiteboards, and catering. These conference rooms can be rented for $45 per hour, whereas semiprivate meeting rooms may be reserved at no charge.

Rates—Annual membership rates are based on WorldPerks membership status:

WorldPerks Membership

Annual Fee

Base

$450

Silver Elite

$350

Gold Elite

$300

Platinum Elite

$250

Nonmember day passes are available for $45 per day.

Frequent Flyer Program—WorldPerks.

Earning Miles or Credits—Mileage credit earned is based on the greater of 500 miles or actual mileage flown. Business and first class travel earns miles at a 50% premium. Miles can also be earned with various program partners.

Awards Redemption—WorldPerks has two award levels—Standard (which is subject to capacity control and often requires a Saturday night stay) and RuleBuster (waives the capacity controls).

The following awards apply for round-trip travel within the continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada:

Award

Standard

RuleBuster

Coach Class

25,000

45,000

First/Business Class

50,000

90,000


You need 5,000 miles for a one-way upgrade from full-fare coach, and 10,000 miles from Select Coach and Business Class Fare.

Elite-Level Programs

Northwest has three elite levels—Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Elite qualifying miles include all credited flight miles, plus a 50% class of service bonus earned for paid first/business class travel.

Elite Status

Qualifying Miles

Silver Elite

25,000-49,999

Gold Elite

50,000-74,999

Platinum Elite

75,000+


Partners—Northwest's major domestic airline partners include Alaska Airlines, America West, American Eagle, Continental Airlines, Midwest Airlines, and Northwest Airlink. Northwest has more than a dozen international airline partners; the carrier also partners with most major rental car and hotel companies.

Rules and Charges—After award tickets are confirmed, any changes—including changes to dates and times—require a $50 fee per person when Northwest agents are required to revise the award ticket. Fees may be avoided or reduced if changes are made on nwa.com or at an airport self-service kiosk. Changes made on nwa.com 30 days or more prior to travel are free; later changes made on nwa.com and any changes made at airport kiosks are charged a $25 fee. WorldPerks miles have no expiration.

Song

Launched in April 2003, Song is owned and operated by Delta Air Lines and offers low-fare service in the high-demand point-to-point markets. The company rolled out nonstop service between cities in the Northeast and key leisure destinations. Song flies to the following airports: Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Hartford, Las Vegas, New York (JFK), New York (LaGuardia), Newark, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Washington, D.C. (Dulles).

The company positions itself as a fun and entertaining flight alternative. It promises personal video monitors at every seat; all-digital, satellite broadcast programming; digitally streamed MP3 audio programming; pay-per-view on-demand video programming; and other entertainment technology features.

Fast Facts: Song

Airline Code: DL

Domestic Hubs: None, flies point-to-point

Frequent Flyer Program: Delta SkyMiles

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.flysong.com

Reservations

800.359.7664


Fares

Song has a simple unrestricted low-fare pricing structure, including 14-day, 7-day, 3-day, walk-up, and sale fares. Fares rise at 14, 7, and 3 days before the flight, and again on the day of the flight. Fares do not require a Saturday night stay. All tickets are one-way e-tickets.

Fees

You can change your ticket for a $25 fee plus any difference in fares. Standby travel is prohibited; however, you may confirm changes to same-day flights for a $25 fee if your reservations are made within 3 hours of departure.

Check-In

The company offers online check-in and self-service airport check-in.

Fleet

Song's fleet of 199-seat, all-coach Boeing 757 aircraft are operated by Delta Air Lines and flown by Delta pilots. Each aircraft has 33 inches of legroom, the most of any low-fare airline, and all-leather seats.

Frequent Flyer Program

Song participates in the Delta SkyMiles Frequent Flyer program.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is the fourth-largest domestic carrier and the largest low-fare carrier. Southwest is based out of Dallas Love Field, and provides primarily short-haul, high-frequency, point-to-point, low-fare, coach class service.

Southwest flies to 58 cities in 30 states. The 10 airports Southwest flies to most frequently (in descending order) are Phoenix, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Houston Hobby, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love, Oakland, Los Angeles, Nashville, and San Diego. In major cities, Southwest typically operates out of satellite or downtown airports, such as Love (Dallas), Hobby (Houston), and Fort Lauderdale (Miami). These airports are usually less congested than major airports.

The company offers hourly service between San Jose and LAX, and frequent service between Houston and Dallas, Oakland and Los Angeles, San Jose and Las Vegas, Oakland and Las Vegas, and Oakland and San Jose. Southwest has no commuter feeder relationships. Southwest offers discounts for groups of 10 or more people. Southwest has a loyal customer base and is a consistently profitable company. It won the Best Low Cost Airline award in the 2003 OAG Airline of the Year Awards.

Fast Facts: Southwest Airlines

Airline Code: WN

Domestic Hubs: None, flies point-to-point (busiest airports are Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Baltimore)

Frequent Flyer Club: Rapid Rewards

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.southwest.com

Reservations and flight status

800.435.9792

Customer relations

214.792.4223

Meetings/conventions/groups

800.433.5368


Fares

Southwest offers refundable and nonrefundable low-fare tickets, and both round-trip and one-way tickets. Southwest has one class of service—coach. Nonrefundable fares usually require round-trip travel, seven-day advance purchase, and one-night stay over. Southwest also sells Internet only fares, which are typically the airline's lowest fares, to selected cities. Your best bets for finding the lowest priced fares are to select flights before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m., and/or on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Fees

Standby—To fly standby you need to upgrade to the unrestricted fare.

Cancellation/Change—Nonrefundable tickets can be used as credit toward the purchase of another ticket for no additional fee.

Check-In

Southwest doesn't have assigned seating. Instead, it boards on a first-come, first-served basis—which means that you want to check in early for the best chance at your preferred seat. You are issued a boarding pass grouped by letter (A, B, or C); the letters are assigned based on when you checked in. Group A boards first, then group B, and then group C. The best seats go to those who line up first at the gate within each group. (Southwest might not be your best choice if you like to cut it close at the gate.)

Online Check-In—Customers not checking luggage may retrieve and print their security document beginning 6 a.m. one day prior to their flight.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Rapid Check-In kiosks are available at most airports; a list is available online (http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/kiosks/kiosks.html).

Minimum Check-In—You must check in at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure time and be present at the gate to retain your reservation. Baggage should be checked 45 minutes before your flight.

From 20 minutes to scheduled departure, boarding passes will be issued only at the departure gate. Customers checking in less than 10 minutes before scheduled departure may lose their confirmed reservation.

Cabin Service

Service includes complimentary coffee, soft drinks, juice, and small snacks. Cocktails, beer, and wine are available for $4.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

The Southwest Web site provides online flight status and airport arrival times for all flights.

On-Board Technology

None

Fleet

Southwest keeps its maintenance costs low by flying Boeing 737s exclusively. As of December, 2002, the average age of the fleet was 9.2 years. Southwest is in the process of retiring its 737-200 aircraft and replacing them with the newer 737-700s.

Aircraft

Boeing 737-200

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 737-500

Boeing 737-700

Number of aircraft

27

194

25

129

Seats

122

137

122

137


Airline Lounge Clubs

None

Frequent Flyer Program—Rapid Rewards.

Earning Credits—You receive 1 credit for each one-way trip. The company has periodic promotions and credit incentives.

Awards Redemption—An Award Ticket (valid for 1 round-trip flight) is issued for every 16 credits accumulated during a 12-month period. Rapid Rewards was voted as the 2002 Best Award Redemption Program in the 15th Annual Freddie Awards.

Partners—Southwest's rental car partners include Alamo, Budget, Dollar, and Hertz. Hotel partners include Choice Hotels, Hyatt, La Quinta, and Marriott.

Rules and Charges—Each credit is valid for 12 months from date earned. An award ticket is valid for 12 months from date of issue. Tickets are transferable; credits are not. Redemption is subject to blackout periods.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is the largest privately held airline in the United States. The company is a low-fare carrier offering two-classes of service.

Spirit currently serves 14 markets in the United States and the Caribbean, with nearly 100 daily flight departures. Destinations include Atlantic City, Chicago (O'Hare), Detroit, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, NY (LaGuardia), Orlando, San Juan, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. The Spirit Business Advantage program offers members a 10% discount on Spirit Plus tickets, as well as other benefits.

Fast Facts: Spirit Airlines

Airline Code: NK

Hubs: Detroit and Fort Lauderdale

Frequent Flyer Club: None

Airport Lounge Club: None

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.spiritair.com

Reservations

800.772.7117

Executive offices

954.447.7965


Fares

Spirit offers two classes of service—coach and Spirit Plus. Spirit Plus is an upgraded coach class that includes wide leather seats in two-by-two seating, dedicated check-in, complimentary cocktails and snacks, priority boarding, and more. Spirit offers refundable and nonrefundable fares with no Saturday night stay or advance purchase requirements. Most fares are offered on a capacity-controlled basis. Spirit also offers Internet-only fares.

Standby—You can fly standby, if space is available.

Cancellation/Change—Spirit allows you to change the date and/or destination of your flight with no fee at least one month prior to departure. You can make changes to your flight 24 hours prior to the departure, subject to a $75 service fee (for nonrefundable tickets) and any applicable increase in fare.

Upgrades—Day of departure upgrades to Spirit Plus are available at the Spirit ticket counter for $40 per segment.

Check-In

Online Check-In—None

Self-Service Airport Check-In—None

Minimum Gate Check-In—Customers presenting themselves at the boarding gate less than 10 minutes before the departure may lose their reservation.

Cabin Service

Spirit offers a variety of snacks and choice of beverages on its flights.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

Spirit's Web site offers online seating charges, online flight status, and downloadable timetables.

On-Board Technology

None

Fleet

Aircraft

MD-80

DC-9 40

DC-9 30

Number of aircraft

24

6 (total DC-9)

 

Spirit Plus

Passengers

12

10

10

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

Economy

Passengers

144

110

100

Configuration

2-3

2-3

2-3


Airport Lounge Club

None

Frequent Flyer Program

None

United Airlines

United Airlines is the second largest carrier in the world. United flies to 117 destinations in 26 countries and serves approximately 83 destinations throughout North America. In July 2003, United announced that it planned to use 40 of its planes (about 7% of its fleet) to start a discount airline. Aircraft will have all-coach configuration with extra pitch. Economy Plus seating in select front rows. By publication, the company had not offered additional information.

United regional service operates under the United Express marketing program. United Express carriers are Air Wisconsin Airlines, Atlantic Coast Airlines, Sky West Airlines, and (on Western routes) Mesa Air. Atlantic Coast Airlines announced in July 2003 that it intends to end its relationship with United and turn itself into an independent, low-fare airline.

United provides interline electronic ticketing on Alaska, American, Air Canada, Continental, Delta, Northwest, and US Airways. United has a code-share agreement with US Airways and offers reciprocal airport lounge access and frequent flyer mileage credit between the two carriers' club programs. United is a member of the Star Alliance.

The Meeting Plus program offers discounted fares and other service for meetings with 10 or more traveling attendees. GroupPlus offers a reduced fare and guaranteed space to 10 or more travelers flying to the same domestic or international destination on the same flight. Perks Plus is a rewards program designed for small and midsized companies that spend a minimum of $5,000 per quarter on United Airlines travel. (The qualifying amount varies for travel out of Denver and San Francisco.) And the Premier Group is a full-service meeting management, incentive travel, and special events subsidiary specializing in creating memorable and successful events.

United's SameDay service offers same-day shipping services for packages and heavy freight.

In 2002, United filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The airline is expected to leave Chatper 11 sometime in 2004.

Fast Facts: United Airlines

Airline Code: UA

Domestic Hubs: Chicago (O'Hare), Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. (Miami is an international gateway.)

Frequent Flyer Program: Mileage Plus

Airport Lounge Club: Red Carpet

Contact Information

Web site

fhttp://www.united.com

U.S. award reservations

%888.467.0507

Reservations

800.864.8331

Customer relations

%877.228.1327

International reservations

800.538.2929

Red Carpet Club

%866.822.5827

Baggage services

800.221.6903

Meeting Plus

800.633.8825

United.com

800.589.5582

Passenger refunds

%888.551.6881

Web password information

%866.209.3323

Package delivery

%866.825.7263

Flight information

800.824.6200

Small package delivery

 

Mileage Plus

800.421.4655

(airport-to-airport)

800.722.5243


Fares and Class of Service

United offers full-fare, unrestricted, refundable and discounted, restricted, nonrefundable fares. Restricted fares usually have capacity limitations, advance purchase, and Saturday night stay requirements. Internet-only fares are also available.

United offers four classes of service for domestic flights—first class, transcontinental business class (on flights between JFK and LAX/SFO), economy plus, and economy. Economy Plus is an area of 6 to 11 rows (depending on aircraft type) in the forward portion of the economy cabin with 3 to 5 inches more legroom. Premier, Star Gold, and Star Silver members and customers traveling on fares booked in Y, B, or M class are eligible to receive a preassigned seat in Economy Plus on a first-come, first-served basis. Economy Plus is available on most North American flights.

United also offers reduced one-way business fares. The new fares allow customers to get up to 40% off the unrestricted coach fares with no advance purchase. For customers able to purchase seven days in advance, the discount is even greater. There are no minimum or Saturday night stays. The fares apply to travel in markets to and from Chicago and Denver, and are nonrefundable.

Fees

Standby—There is no charge for standby on earlier or later flights on the same day.

Cancellation/Change—There is a $100 service fee for changes to most nonrefundable fares.

Upgrade—Some fares cannot be upgraded, particularly if you are booking through sites such as Priceline and Hotwire. Upgrades are processed based on availability and determined by the Mileage Plus status of the traveler. United's 1K members can request upgrades 100 hours prior to departure; Premier Executive members, 72 hours; Premier members, 48 hours; and others, 24 hours. Elite Mileage Plus members can purchase four 500-mile upgrades for $200. General members and other customers pay $325 for the four 500-mile upgrade package.

Check-In

Online Check-In—EasyCheck-in Online is available 1 to 24 hours prior to departure on United and United Express flights within the U.S.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas; and the Virgin Islands.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—Self-service kiosks are located at most airports. Check online for availability. You can check baggage at select locations.

Minimum Gate Check-In—You must be at the gate 20 minutes before scheduled departure to guarantee your reservation.

Cabin Service

In general, meal service is offered to economy class passengers on flights longer than 3 1/2 hours. First class passengers have meal service on all flights longer than 3 hours, and on flights longer than 2 hours during meal time. United is testing a buy-on-board service.

The carrier offers special meals to meet medical, religious, or other dietary specifications. Please request your special meal at least 24 hours before your flight. (If you book your flight on the Web, you will be prompted to request a meal.)

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

The United Web site offers online flight status, seat maps, and (when making reservations) online seat selection. You can use the EasyAccess service to receive updated flight information (including departure times and gate information) via email, pager, and phone. You can also download timetables in PDF format for PDAs.

United's wireless tools are available at the ua2go.com Web site. These mobile services include flight schedules, flight status, flight paging, contact information, and your Mileage Plus account summary.

On-Board Technology

United offers in-seat power when you fly first or business class on Boeing 747-300, 767-300, or 777 aircraft. Existing Boeing 757 and A320 aircraft are currently undergoing system installation.

Verizon Airfone service is available on all United aircraft. Domestic voice calls have a $3.99 connection fee and $3.99/per minute fee. Domestic data calls have no connection fee and a $1.99/per minute fee. United plans to add in-flight email access, via Verizon's JetConnect Airfone handsets, by the end of year on 500 of its planes. The base fee is slated to be $15.98 per flight, plus extra charges based on the volume of messages sent.

Fleet

Aircraft

Airbus 320-200

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 737-500

Boeing 757-200

Number of aircraft

55

101

57

97

Average age (years)

3

14

11

11

First Class

Passengers

12

8

8

24

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

Seat width/pitch

20"/38"

20"/38"

20"/38"

20"/38"

Economy Plus Class

Passengers

36

46

36

50

Configuration

3-3

3-3

3-3

3-3

Seat width/pitch

18"/36"

17"/35"

17"/34"

17"/36"

Economy Class

Passengers

90

66

60

108

Configuration

3-3

3-3

3-3

3-3

Seat width/pitch

18"/31"

17"/32"

17"/31"

17"/31"

In addition to the aircraft just listed, United flies Boeing 747-400, 767-200, 767-300, and 777-200 (four configurations) and Airbus 319-100 aircraft. Note that Economy Plus seating is offered only on about half the flights flown by the Boeing 737-300 and 737-500. (Aircraft information is as of December 2002.)

Airport Lounge Club—Red Carpet Club.

Locations—Red Carpet Clubs are located in 38 airports worldwide, including 24 airports in the U.S.—Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago (O'Hare), Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, New York (JFK), New York (LaGuardia), Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington (Dulles), and Washington (National). Reciprocal club privileges are extended to Red Carpet Club members when traveling on Star Alliance partners US Airways and Delta (until February 29, 2004), within the United States.

Services—Standard amenities include fax machines, phones with data ports, power outlets, complimentary nonalcoholic beverages, continental breakfast, and afternoon snacks. United is rolling out T-Mobile wireless Internet service across all its clubs. Conference rooms are available in many U.S. clubs for $60 to $80/hour ($80 to $100 for nonmembers), depending on the size of room. Business Traveler magazine selected the Red Carpet Club as the best airport lounges.

Rates—Membership fees vary by Mileage Plus status and can be purchased using frequent flyer miles.

Mileage Plus Elite Status

Fees

General

$500 or 70,000 miles

Premier

$400 or 55,000 miles

Premier Executive

$350 or 45,000 miles

Premier Executive 1K

$300 or 40,000 miles

Frequent Flyer Program

United's Mileage Plus program was rated the best frequent flyer program by Business Traveler magazine.

Earning Miles or Credits—Economy flyers earn 1 mile for each paid mile of their flight, based on origin and destination—or 500 miles, whichever is greater. Business travelers earn 125% of miles flown, and first-class travelers earn 150%.

Awards Redemption—There are two types of United travel awards—Standard Awards and Saver Awards—as well as Upgrade Awards. Standard Awards are subject to capacity controls.

The following redemption rates apply for round-trip travel within the U.S.:

Award

Saver

Standard

Economy

25,000

40,000

Business

40,000

80,000

First

60,000

120,000


You'll pay 8,000 miles to upgrade from full-economy to the next class of service, or 15,000 from other fares.

Elite-Level Program—The Mileage Plus program has three elite levels—Premier, Premier Executive, and Premier Executive 1K. Qualifying miles are as follows:

Level

Calendar Year

Premier

25,000 or 30 segments

Premier Executive

50,000 or 60 segments

Premier Executive 1K

100,000 or 100 segments


Partners—Mileage Plus has partnerships with most major hotels and rental car companies, as well as a variety of financial institutions and other retail and service companies. United's domestic airline partners are Aloha Airlines and US Airways.

Rules and Charges—Any member who fails at any time to engage in account activity for a period of 36 consecutive months is subject to termination of his or her membership and forfeiture of all accrued mileage.

US Airways

US Airways is part of the US Airways Group, which also owns Allegheny Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, and PSA Airways. US Airways serves 87 airports, whereas US Airways Express flies to 152 airports; BWI, LaGuardia, and Logan are served by the US Airways Shuttle. US Airways hubs are Charlotte/Douglas, Philadelphia International, and Pittsburgh International. Other major airports with frequent service include Baltimore (BWI), Boston (Logan), New York (LaGuardia), and Washington (National).

The US Airways Shuttle flies 120-seat Airbus A319s in a two-class configuration on Boston-to-Washington flights, and 124-seat Airbus A319s in a one-class configuration on LaGuardia-to-Boston/Washington flights. Shuttle aircraft are comfortable planes with wide seats and aisles, and large overhead luggage space. The Shuttle is particularly geared toward business travelers, offering laptop power ports at every seat and Verizon Airfone service at every row. Flights serve complimentary beverages, light snacks (selected flights), and complimentary beer and wine (after 10 a.m.).

Regional service is provided by US Airways Express, a network of nine regional airlines (including Allegheny, Piedmont, and PSA) operating under a code-share and service agreement with US Airways. US Airways also has a code-share agreement with United Airlines and provides reciprocal airport lounge access, frequent flyer mileage credit, and interline electronic ticketing between the two carriers.

US Airways offers meeting and convention travel pricing and other special services for groups of 10 or more people. US Airways is part of the Star Alliance.

On March 31, 2003, US Airways emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Fast Facts: US Airways

Airline Code: US

Domestic Hubs: Charlotte/Douglas, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia

Frequent Flyer Program: Dividend Miles

Airport Lounge Club: US Airways Club

Contact Information

Web site

http://www.usairways.com

Dividend Miles

336.661.8390

Reservations (domestic)

800.428.4322

Refund department

336.744.4881

Reservations (international)

800.622.1015

Consumer affairs

866.523.5333

Baggage

800.371.4771

Group Travel

877.874.7687

USAirways.com

800.245.4882

Corporate

703.872.7000

Fares

US Airways offers first/business and coach classes of service and full-fare, unrestricted, refundable tickets and discounted, restricted, nonrefundable fares. Restricted fares usually have capacity limitations, advance purchase, and Saturday night stay requirements.

Internet-only fares are also available. The carrier also offers GoFirst fares that allow customers purchasing a full-fare coach ticket (to select cities) to receive an automatic upgrade to first class, if seats are available. Your best bets for finding low-fare tickets are to book online and purchase round-trip tickets for travel Monday through Thursday—although some fares do require Saturday night stays.

Envoy Class, US Airways' transatlantic business class service, is available on the wide-body Boeing 767 and the spacious, double-aisle, flagship Airbus A330.

Fees

Standby—Customers purchasing nonrefundable tickets can stand by for alternative flights by purchasing a standby coupon for $25.

Cancellation/Change—Changes to restricted tickets result in a $100 fee, plus any difference in fare.

Upgrade—Dividend Miles members can upgrade one class of service, on the day of departure, by using 500-mile upgrades. A minimum of one 500-mile upgrade is collected per flight segment. Mileage Plus Premier, Premier Executive, and Premier Executive 1K members may purchase upgrades for $40 each; base Mileage Plus members may purchase them for $50 each.

Check-In

Online Check-In—USAirways.com online check-in allows you to check in beginning 24 hours and up to 90 minutes prior to departure. This service is available to e-ticketed passengers for travel in the U.S., San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Croix.

Self-Service Airport Check-In—You can check in within 4 hours of any flight.

Minimum Gate Check-In—US Airways requires that customers be present at the boarding gate or on the aircraft at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time of the flight—even if the customers have already checked in for the flight at a location designated for such purpose. (This check-in requirement is just 5 minutes for US Airways Shuttle flights but extends to 30 minutes for international flights.) If a customer with a seat assignment does not obtain a boarding pass at least 20 minutes (45 minutes international) before the scheduled departure time, the customer's seat assignment (including those seat assignments on continuing or returning flights) may be subject to cancellation. (This policy does not apply to US Airways Shuttle flights.)

Cabin Service

US Airways offers In-flight Café service (a buy-on-board meal program) on most flights within the U.S. that are 700 miles or more. In-flight Café replaces the complimentary snack and full service meal formerly offered on select flights. This service consists of a deli-style meal priced at $7 for breakfast and $10 for dinner/lunch. The service is provided by LSG Sky Chefs. Special meals, such as vegetarian, are no longer offered in coach class.

First class customers receive complimentary meals and can request special meals in advance. Complimentary meals are also available on transatlantic and Caribbean flights.

Web and Wireless Tools and Services

The USAirways.com Web site provides online flight status notification, timetables, and updated airport-specific flight check-in times, as well as information on peak and nonpeak travel times.

On-Board Technology

All seats on US Airways' Airbus A319, A320, A321, and A330 aircraft are equipped with 15-volt in-seat laptop power ports via an in-arm connector. Every seat on the US Airways A330 is equipped with a satellite phone. There is a $5 connection fee plus $10 per minute or partial minute.

Every row of seats on most US Airways aircraft is equipped with Airfone service, providing telephone and fax/email accessibility. Airfone rates for domestic voice calls include a $3.99 connection fee, plus $3.99 per minute or partial minute. Domestic data calls have no connection fee and cost $1.99 per minute or partial minute.

Fleet

Aircraft

Airbus A319

Airbus A321

Boeing 737-300

Boeing 737-400

Number of aircraft

66

28

67

43

Average age (years)

2.9

1.6

15.7

12.9

First Class

Passengers

12

26

12

12

Configuration

2-2

2-2

2-2

2-2

Seat width/pitch

21"/37"

21"/38"

20"/37"

20"/37"

Economy

Passengers

108

 

114

132

Configuration

3-3

3-3

3-3

3-3

Seat width/pitch

17"/32"

17"/32"

17"/31"

17"/31"

Aircraft

Dash-8 (100-200)

Embraer 145 Regional Jet

 

 

Number of aircraft

89

70

 

 

Passengers

37

50

 

 

Configuration

2-2

1-2

 

 

Seat width/pitch

17"/31"

17"/31

 

 


In addition to the planes just listed, US Airways flies the Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Boeing 767-200ER, and Boeing 757-200. Carriers in the U.S Airways Express network fly eight different planes (a total of 289 aircraft). In addition to the planes featured previously, US Airway Express flies Canadair Regional jets and Beech 1900, Dornier 328, SAAB 340, and Jetstream 41—all turboprop planes. US Airways Shuttle flies Airbus A319s. (Aircraft information is as of December 2003.)

Airport Lounge Club—US Airways Clubs.

Locations—There are 23 US Airways Club locations in 20 airports worldwide. Domestic locations include Baltimore/Washington International, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte/Douglas International, Greensboro, Hartford/Springfield, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York (LaGuardia), Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester, San Francisco, Syracuse, Tampa, Washington (Reagan National), and West Palm Beach. US Airways Club members have access to United Airlines Red Carpet locations when traveling on United Airlines.

Services—Standard amenities include reservation, seat assignment, and boarding pass assistance, as well as large workstations with data ports and power outlets, fax machines, copiers and document shredders, cordless phones, complimentary local phone calls, cable television, newspapers, and periodicals. The clubs also offer complimentary soft drinks, juice, coffee, cappuccino, espresso, breakfast pastries, afternoon snacks, and cocktail service (including premium spirits, wine, and beer—for a nominal fee). Conference rooms are available at all locations for a $35/hour fee ($50 for nonmembers). US Airways has full-service business centers in Philadelphia (%610.362.4333) and Charlotte (%704.359.3587). Business center conference rooms are equipped with speakerphones (with conferencing capability), presentation aids, audiovisual equipment, and catering services.

Rates—One-year individual membership fees are based on your elite level, as follows:

Dividend Miles Level

Annual Fee

Base

$450

Silver Preferred

$350

Gold Preferred

$310

Chairman's Preferred

$260


Frequent Flyer Program—Dividend Miles.

Earning Miles or Credits—Flights flown on US Airways economy class earn 500 minimum miles per segment, or actual miles flown, whichever is higher. First class, Envoy Class, and GoFirst fares earn a 50% bonus. US Airways has a mileage purchase program where you can buy miles at the rate of $.03 per mile, (including tax), plus a $25 processing fee. Miles are sold in increments of 1,000, with a 2,000-mile minimum purchase requirement and a maximum purchase of 15,000 miles per calendar year.

Awards Redemption—US Airways has two award levels—Standard Awards and Premium Awards. With Standard Awards, available seats are limited by blackout dates and capacity controls, and domestic flights require Saturday night stays. Premium Awards have no capacity controls, blackout dates, or Saturday night stay requirements.

Offpeak awards are also available at lower redemption levels. For round-trip travel within North America, the following redemption rates apply:

Award

Standard Award

Premium Award

Coach Class

25,000

50,000

First/Business Class

50,000

90,000

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