Cheap Tickets To SFO, United Airlines CEO Kinda Calls His Customers Stupid. The Best of the Rest For Saturday, August 1, 2015

Don’t forget I’m giving away two months of your own free travel assistant to everyone.

The Best of the Rest is my effort to summarize all the travel/miles & points stories that interested me on a daily basis but didn’t have time to write about in length.  On a daily basis, I try to keep track of roughly 100 different blogs (try being the operative word) that have interesting things for you and I to learn from.  Some are passed along without comment, while I add my analysis to others.   This is your shortcut to find out what’s going on in the travel world without having to read dozens of travel blogs to get all the best info.

As a side note, I’ve got some summer travel scheduled here and there, so the Best of the Rest (BOTR, as the cool kids would say) will take some breaks here or there for me to stop and smell the roses.

Here’s what I’m reading about today:

Looking for cheap tickets? NYC/Boston/Philly to SFO for $265 round-trip.  That’s a solid price, available through November.  Or, how about Chicago to San Diego for $156 round-trip (August only)?  This works from San Diego as well.  The Flight Deal has posted over 10,000 deals since they launched 4 years ago today.  If you’re not following them on Twitter, you’re not really in this game.

Should United have notified customers about their recent data breach?  I understand why companies don’t want to admit they got hacked, but I think you’re better off telling customers to change their password data if it’s at all possible their data was compromised.  Join the discussion.

While we’re on the subject, United’s CEO Jeff Smisek is a smug apologist.  View From The Wing details his latest comments:

Some travelers are “having difficulty recognizing that we’re now a business,” Smisek told attendees… “They criticize us if we charge for more legroom. Let me tell you though: that’s what businesses do.”

…”If you want more data on your data plan so you can watch faster, better cat videos, you call AT&T, and they’re happy to increase your data plan,” said Smisek. “And they charge you for it. That’s what businesses do.”

They weren’t a business before? Way to ridicule your customers, Jeff.  Cat videos????

Should the government require airlines to seat children with their parents?  There’s now bipartisan legislation to do just that.  I travel frequently with my two young children, and seats together are a huge plus.  But, this is soooooooo not the issue our democracy should be weighing in on.  Flying is not a right, it’s a privilege.  And, if demand is there to sit together, airlines should be able to charge for it.  As a parent, I don’t like it.  But, as a business man, there’s just no other sane choice.

Citi Prestige cardholders can cancel flights free of charge within 24 hours of booking them using points.  Miles to Memories points out why this is a pretty helpful benefit to remember.

Jamie from the Forward Cabin outlines the best way to track down same-day change inventory on American Airlines.  As a frequent business traveler, I use this benefit quite a bit.  I’m one of the few people who’s sad to see it become free for Executive Platinum members as the fee used to keep some folks from changing flights, making it more likely I could get the flight I want.

Because they don’t do enough already, Uber will send you a bar on a bicycle.

How wrong is it to drink wine in an airport bathroom?

For that matter, what do you do when your taxi cab driver says you’d be better off throwing your suitcases down a flight of stairs rather than stay in his cab?

JFK is finally getting an onsite airport hotel.  I’m just hoping they don’t mess up the architecture of a truly iconic aviation structure.

That’s it for today’s Best of the Rest.  After a long week on the road, this picture is where I want to be sitting (with internet connectivity but no ability to get phone calls).

Best of the Rest

Courtesy of Picography


  1. As much as we all hate him, Smisek IS right in this regard. It is a business and many people seem to forget that. If you don’t like what an airline is doing you should fly the competition. At this time there is no onus on the airlines to do anything that aids the comfort of their passengers or benefits their FF programs.

    1. Stephan, agree 100%. I make essentially the same point about airlines being required to seat families together in this same post. They just make a habit of saying some pretty stupid things. SMI/J making BID/J look good. 😉

  2. If you really want to be on top of this deal game, then you have to use hopper.
    Common over to the travelcodex forum and we’ll get you started.
    With hopper you will easily find your own deal. No need to wait for the blogs to publish.

  3. If the Colorado legislature can declare getting high is a right and the Supreme Court can declare gay marriage is a right, who are we to say that flying is not a right?

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