So Much To Catch Up On For Friday, November 8th, 2013

I missed a bunch of stories while I was away at Disney this past week and then headed right back out on the road for work, so I’m still trying to get my faithful readers caught up on the world of travel.

But, we look forward to the future first.  American Airlines has been rumored to have an announcement today.  Bloggers have been hypothesizing all kinds of things.  Based on the lawsuit and settlement talks, and in the face of United Airlines’ Black Friday devaluation, I just can’t imagine that the announcement is anything significant.  And, with AMEX announcing Hilton Gold status for But, stay tuned for news on that later.  For now, some things from the past week that may affect your travels….

Lifetime free shipping with free lifetime Shoprunner service for AMEX card holders.  I’m more of an Amazon shopper, but the list of merchants that Shoprunner covers is impressive enough to make this worthwhile.

Delta is reducing the number of F seats on its domestic 757 fleetPoints, Miles & Martinis laments that these upgrades are already a bit tough to get, though I can’t say I have much personal experience with clearing upgrades on Delta.  This follows American’s decision earlier this year to reduce F seats domestically on their new Airbus 319s.  The addition of extra legroom seats on both Delta and American make changes like this a bit easier to swallow, but for a road warrior a significant drop in upgrade percentage makes a long travel year longer.

Hilton HHonors is eliminating one of their earning options, Points & Fixed Miles.  HHonors veterans will know that for many years you had 3 choices to earn points and miles with Hilton:

Points & Variable Miles

Points & Fixed Miles

Points & Points

People choose variable miles when they have longer stays or higher rates that would earn more miles.  Fixed miles was great for shorter stays or lower rates.  And, double points was good for those folks who still thought Hilton HHonors points were valuable (apologies).  I haven’t thought the Hilton program was terribly valuable for quite some time and this is just another reason for me not to pay attention.

Delta wants $5.9MM from the state of Minnesota to expand a call center there.  And they’d rather not pay it back.  Without getting into the political implications, this seems a bit out of whack.  Delta just posted a $1.4B quarterly profit.  And the expansion is only supposed to create about 100 jobs.  So, Minnesota is essentially paying just under $60K per job.

The TSA wants to delegate the duty for watching the exit lanes at airport terminals to someone else.  And the airport authorities really don’t like that idea.  I get why they don’t like it, but I actually kind of agree with TSA here.  If we’re going to have TSA agents, I’d like them to be focused on finding more advanced ways to protect us as opposed to sitting on a stool at an exit.

Stay tuned for the American Airlines announcement later today, but don’t buy any popcorn. I don’t expect it to be too exciting.


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  1. “More advanced ways?” Do you mean more expensive ways? Like it or not, a guy sitting on a stool is probably the right tool for the job. Although it could be a wal mart greeter instead of a higher paid government employee.

    1. Paul, I’d guess the TSA guy sitting on the stool is probably paid more than whatever a random guy the airport would hire might be paid. So, I’d say we’re better off either putting someone sharper on the stool for the same money or paying the entry-level person less money.

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