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The Boeing 737 MAX is safe to fly, but there’s a legitimate reason to avoid it

The Daily Flyer

Happy first day of March, and welcome to this edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter that gathers up and summarizes some of the most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things. Today’s feature offers a different reason to avoid the Boeing’s beleaguered 737 MAX jet, as well as innovation in premium cabins, another Delta devaluation, and an exceptional piece on the vanity of flying.

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With COVID-19 raging, there’s no such thing as responsible travel planning

The Daily Flyer

Happy February, and welcome to “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter that gathers up and summarizes some of the most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related subjects. Today’s feature discusses travel plans in a pandemic, as well as a new mask mandate, airplane seat preferences, cheap fares in Europe, and a behind-the-scenes look in to a 787’s pipework.

Continue reading “With COVID-19 raging, there’s no such thing as responsible travel planning”

Is the Boeing 737 MAX safe to fly?

Yes.

(Sorry for the spoiler. Let’s get to it!)

The Daily Flyer

Happy (belated) Martin Luther King Day, and welcome to the January 19, 2020 edition of “The Daily Flyer!” This is The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter that gathers up and summarizes some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things. Today’s feature examines the Boeing 737 MAX‘s safety record as it returns to the skies, and it also covers updates to two popular loyalty programs, the next steps for Alaska and oneworld, AA’s other domestic alliance, and higher flyer steps to containing insurrectionists.

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American Airlines 767 Business Class Review

A recently-refurbished plane remains retro thanks to an underwhelming premium product

Across its expansive fleet, American Airlines features eight different kinds of business class seats.  Naturally, as you might expect, some are better than others.  On one end of the spectrum you have excellent reverse herringbones found on its Boeing 777s and 787-9s.  On the opposite end, on its Boeing 767s, you have staggered seats that would’ve been state-of-the-art 15 years ago.  Of the these two extremes, they share unlikely commonalities:  AA installed them on its planes only as recently as a few years ago, and it typically charges comparable, astronomically-priced fares for both.  If the airline brings the goods — so tasty dining options and warm, amicable service (among other things) to complement a comfortable chair that reclines 180 degrees — then it can get away with this pricing model.  If it doesn’t, well, such a poor value isn’t “higher flyer” and it probably isn’t worth your time.  By those metrics, the business class experience on AA’s 767s is, while more pleasant than economy, probably one to avoid.

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Cathay Pacific A350 Premium Economy Review

For better and for worse, an embodiment of both “premium” and “economy”

Most passengers on Cathay Pacific’s long and ultra-long haul flights have to cram in to too-tight seats in the backs of the planes for hours upon hours.  What miserable fates they have!  Fortunately there’s premium economy, which serves as a pain-easing option for some.  You’ll pay more for such relief, sure, but at least the increased comfort comes in the form of a generously-pitched and padded recliner, and what the airline claims to be improved meals, and better, more-attentive service.  Cathay’s offering is no bargain though; it costs more cash than a modestly-priced upsell, and so the return on investment should be abundantly apparent all the time.  That’s regrettably not always the case.

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Would a recession be good for higher flyers?

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the seventh edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for March 9, 2020 — covers the implications of the current state of affairs (vis-a-vis the coronavirus outbreak, the reduced demand for airfares, and the ongoing stock market volatility), as well as United’s frustratingly customer-unfriendly response, an extraordinarily hot (if not insanely irresponsible) take from Live and Let’s Fly, and an official warning for potential “cruisers.”

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You get what you pay for, including reclining seats, but…

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the fourth edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for February 18, 2020 — covers seat recline etiquette, as well as an exciting new airplane lavatory concept, harsh business class reviews, and some predictions for Alaska’s Mileage Plan following the recent AA/oneworld developments.

Continue reading “You get what you pay for, including reclining seats, but…”

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