Passenger Experience

American Airlines and Alaska Plan Reciprocal Elite Benefits for 2021

American Airlines and Alaska Plan Reciprocal Elite Benefits for 2021

American Airlines and Alaska Airlines will roll out reciprocal benefits for passengers with elite status on one airline when traveling on the other, starting next year.
“Next year will bring significant enhancements that will make the experience more seamless and rewarding for our customers,” said American’s chief revenue officer, Vasu Raja.
Members of American’s AAdvantage frequent-flyer program with Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elite status will be eligible for free domestic upgrades …

American Airlines Eliminates Change Fees on International Flights

American Airlines Eliminates Change Fees on International Flights

American Airlines said Thursday that it would henceforth eliminate change fees on international flights.
The move, which comes amidst a continued coronavirus pandemic-induced decline in travel, makes American the first U.S. airline to do so.
“We are committed to making travel easier for our customers who fly on American,” said Vasu Raja, the airline’s chief revenue officer, in a statement.  “By eliminating change fees, we’re giving customers more flexibility no matter when …

Delta to Continue to Block Middle Seats Through March

Delta to Continue to Block Middle Seats Through March

Delta announced plans to continue blocking middle seats in coach on its mainline aircraft through March 30, 2021.
The Atlanta-based carrier first introduced social distance-friendly seating in April as the coronavirus began to cripple the travel industry.  It had previously planned to block middle seats only until January 6, 2021.
The move makes Delta the only U.S. airline to block middle seats.
The blocking of middle seats is more psychological than a means …

American ‘Streamlines’ Kiosk Check-In Process at Airports

American ‘Streamlines’ Kiosk Check-In Process at Airports

American Airlines said it has simplified the check-in procedures passengers use at airport kiosks.
The kiosks no longer display credit-card or passport swipe options to begin the transaction although those options will remain available. Travelers can start the process by scanning a boarding pass, entering a record locator number, or entering the traveler’s AAdvantage frequent-flyer program membership number.
“We’ve made some exciting enhancements to the self-service check-in process,” the airline said in …

American Express to Open JFK Centurion Lounge This Week

American Express to Open JFK Centurion Lounge This Week

American Express said it plans to open its new Centurion Lounge at Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport “in the coming days.”
The lounge will be the company’s 13th and its largest, hence the “flagship” designation American Express is bestowing upon it.
The 15,000-square-foot (1,394-square-meter) lounge will occupy two levels and will be located airside immediately to the left of the security checkpoint.
Terminal 4, which opened in 2001 and was …

United Airlines to Resume Non-Stop Service to China Later This Month

United Airlines to Resume Non-Stop Service to China Later This Month

United Airlines said Sunday it would restart non-stop service to China between San Francisco and Shanghai.
The airline had suspended its flights to China amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year.
The flights will no longer stop in Seoul for a crew change.
“We look forward to resuming nonstop service and offering our customers greater convenience and shorter flight times,” said Patrick Quayle, the airline’s vice president for international …

Hawaiian Airlines to Offer At-Home Covid-19 Test

Hawaiian Airlines to Offer At-Home Covid-19 Test

Hawaiian Airlines announced it would offer an addition Covid-19 test option to travelers.
Starting Thursday, individuals traveling to the state from the U.S. mainland can take an at-home Covid-19 saliva test.  The mail-in test is administered through Vault Health, a health education company that pivoted into coronavirus testing with the start of the pandemic.
The cost of the teset will be $150 and the collection process will be supervised by a test …