The Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program (SPG) recently announced two potentially lucrative bonuses. SPG is one of the largest loyalty programs, covering (among others): Four Points, Sheraton, Westin, aloft, W, and St. Regis brands. SPG points transfer 1:1 to most airlines, including American, Emirates, Singapore, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.
Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is a major United hub - United has over 75% of its market share. As a United loyalist, I often find myself with layovers in Houston. Unfortunately, United frequent fliers on domestic itineraries don't get lounge access in Houston, and the free terminal wi-fi is spotty.
Priority Pass (a lounge-access program), which is free with the American Express Platinum card, gives cardholders access to the KLM Crown Lounge in Houston regardless of airline or class of service. I visited the lounge a few days ago during a two-hour layover.
In June 2014, JetBlue launched a product called JetBlue Mint on its flights between Los Angeles and New York's JFK Airport. Mint is a 16-seat business-class cabin with lie-flat beds, available starting at $599 each way on specially configured aircraft. JetBlue expanded the product to its flights between San Francisco and JFK in October 2014.
JetBlue Mint Seat
Most airlines operating the LAX/SFO-to-JFK routes offer some sort of premium business-class product that's better than "normal" domestic first class. The seats are usually lie-flat beds comparable to what you'd find on an international business-class route. (For a comparison of the premium products in this market, see my previous post).
Mint is priced significantly lower than its competitor products on the route. So on my most recent trip to New York, I was eager to try it out.
Seeing these headlines might make you think that the Supreme Court just issued a ridiculous opinion that flies in the face of common sense. But the headlines are misleading - in fact, the Supreme Court declined to consider the appeal (as it does with over 99% of its cases).
San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. These three cities are the epicenters of the global technology, entertainment, and finance industries.
They're also the terminals of two of the domestic aviation industry's most popular and lucrative transcontinental routes. Understandably, the demand for premium-class fares on these routes is strong.
Of the five domestic airlines operating non-stop service from New York-JFK to San Francisco and Los Angeles, three offer a unique premium product particular to those routes; four offer flat-bed seating (a rarity on domestic flights).
Here's a chart comparing the New York < > California non-stop offerings. More details on each product after the jump.