Here It Is
The idea that government economic regulation is for the benefit of consumers always draws a big laugh at a comedy show. And in the last several years the government has moved to allow airlines to create monopolies, each major carrier getting to dominate a destination of its choice. So here is the first fruit of planting the anti-consumer tree.
|Lined Up and Ready To Take You For a Ride|
The number of award miles needed to snag a seat in the premium cabin will rise dramatically next year at Delta (DAL) and United (UAL)—and airline mile collectors are fuming.
The biggest changes in both airlines’ loyalty programs will be for international travel in first and business class, where some award levels on United will jump as much as 87 percent. To be awarded a first-class ticket now from North America to the
Middle East, for example, a
traveler has to spend 150,000 frequent-flyer miles. Beginning Feb. 1, that award
seat will require 280,000 miles when flying on one of United’s partner
airlines. The same trip on United’s own planes will require 180,000 miles, up
from 150,000. From North America to Europe,
first class on a partner airline will rise 63 percent, from 135,000 to 220,000
Delta is introducing increases on June 1, with round-trip business class from the
to Europe rising by 25,000 miles, to 125,000 miles; round-trip flights to Asia will increase 20,000 miles, to 140,000. (Delta plans
smaller award level hikes from Feb. 1 to June 1.) The new award levels for
coach seats are largely unchanged, with only minimal, 5,000-mile hikes on some
No need to thank the Obama Administration. Just knowing the air traveler is not only getting hosed today, but will be getting even more shafted in the future is thanks enough.