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21 higher flyer predictions for ’21 (Part 2)

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the January 11, 2021 edition of “The Daily Flyer,” 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 main feature picks up where last Wednesday’s entry left off and offers 10 more predictions for 2021. It also covers higher flying’s uncomfortable intersection with acts of sedition, updated elite status qualifications (or not), and a list of COVID test providers.

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21 higher flyer predictions for ’21 (Part 1)

The Daily Flyer

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the January 6, 2021 edition of “The Daily Flyer,” 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 consists of 21 predictions for 2021 (or rather 11 of them; the other 10 will come in the next TDF installment), as well as huge diplomatic news (that affects aviation), some thoughts on obtaining elite status this year, and, to round it out, some New Year’s resolutions from renowned travel writers.

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WNning on Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines (whose IATA code is “WN”) is one of the original “disruptors” in the airline industry.  When it commenced operations in 1971, founder Herb Kelleher brought affordable air travel to a burgeoning middle class in the United States; flying was no longer reserved for the one-percent.  It was a refreshing addition in to the market, but Southwest Airlines has since grown into an outlier.  Its barebones passenger experience doesn’t match those on legacy carriers, but it is, price-wise, definitely not an LCC.  Some might argue that its fares are overpriced, whereas others would simultaneously claim that Southwest is the best deal in the sky.  Whether or not it’s a good value depends on who you ask, and such ambiguity makes the airline all the more intriguing and worthy of a closer look.

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2021: Introducing the murky next chapter for higher flying

The Daily Flyer

Happy new year, welcome back, and welcome to the first 2021 edition of “The Daily Flyer!” After a long, COVID-induced layoff, The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter is back to gather up and summarize some of the most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for January 4, 2021 — examines the state of higher flying entering 2021, and it also bids farewell to Fido (in a way), covers a (potentially) practical aspect of higher flying in a pandemic, and, on a more aspirational note, it highlights some new hotels scheduled to open in 2021.

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American Airlines First Class Shuttle Review

A convenient, comfortable, and cost-effective way to hop through the Northeastern United States.

In a very, very crowded field of competitors all vying for the customers who transit the lucrative Northeast Corridor, American Airlines has perhaps the most robust offering.  Just about every hour on the hour for fifteen straight hours — from 6am to 9pm to be precise — every single day, you can fly AA between Washington, New York, and Boston.  It couldn’t get more convenient than that and, if you’re running late to the airport, no worries!  You can just get on the next flight without changing your schedule too drastically.  This level of flexibility is great for the business travelers who frequent these routes, and the comfortable seats and relatively cheap fares are just icing on the cake.

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On perceiving “good” value

The most recent review published on The Higher Flyer evaluates international business class onboard American Airlines’s now-retired fleet of Boeing 767s.  There’s nothing particularly exciting nor noteworthy about the experience, but with lie-flat seats, direct aisle access for all passengers, and upgraded dining options on offer, your expectations for a product marketed as “Flagship Business” are likely going to be met but not exceeded.  It delivers all that you could want in decidedly-average fashion, but because the fares are prohibitively expensive, it’s nearly impossible for me to recommend it.  When compared to significantly cheaper, if not better, alternatives, it’s the textbook definition of a terrible deal… although some might disagree with that assessment.  There’s an inherent ambiguousness to higher flying reflected here, and that poses an interesting question:  what makes a “good value” good?

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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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Unpacking the state of the U.S. airline industry and how it affects higher flyers (Part 2)

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the sixth 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 5, 2020 — builds on the most recent’s, as it further describes how current trends in the U.S. airline industry (as named by Skift) affect passengers.  Other topics include Ellen on the seat recline debate, more remarkable news about the effects the coronavirus outbreak is having on the travel industry, and a fun challenge for you bargain hunters out there.

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Unpacking the state of the U.S. airline industry and how it affects higher flyers (Part 1)

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the fifth 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 19, 2020 — explores how current trends in the U.S. airline industry (as named by Skift) affect passengers.  Other topics include ways to make unbearable flights more bearable, whether or not metal credit cards are tacky, increased fallout from the coronavirus in the travel industry, and a new lounge on the way at Washington Dulles.

Continue reading “Unpacking the state of the U.S. airline industry and how it affects higher flyers (Part 1)”

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