March 14-20: Merging Mileage Programs, Ryanair’s Indecision, New Bag Fees, Racy Ads & Unhappy Flight Crews

This week’s round-up brings the latest airline travel news — from American starting to merge mileage programs, and Ryanair retracts news about transatlantic flights, to Frontier raising bag fees, Spirit in trouble over ad, and flight crews upset over new hotel. Enjoy!

American to Start Merging Mileage Programs

American Airlines and US Airways announced plans to merge in February 2013 and the merger was finalized in December that year. Now more than a year after the finalization, American is finally going to start moving US Airways’ Dividend Miles members over to American’s AAdvantage program at some point in the next 30 days. If you have only a Dividend Miles account, you don’t have to do anything, as an AAdvantage account will be created for you and your miles moved over. However, if you have both accounts, you should go online and matchup your accounts. While this will theoretically be automatic, why chance it? And if you are planning to book a trip using your Dividend Miles in the next few weeks, AAdvantage president Suzanne L. Rubin suggests doing it sooner rather than later, as there might be some disruption during the integration.

Ryanair to Fly to U.S. Or Not

On Tuesday, transatlantic travelers rejoiced at Ryanair’s announcement that they’ll be flying to the U.S. and will be offering $15 one-way fares to Europe. It doesn’t matter that those flights won’t come to fruition for at least five years, and passengers will have to pay for all kinds of other taxes and fees and the final price certainly won’t be $15. But it’s still no doubt cheaper than flying on any of the major airlines. Fast forward a few days and Ryanair did a 180 and suddenly announced “that it has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.” The airline reiterated that they still want to enter the transatlantic market, but it’ll most likely be launched under a separate brand.

Frontier Raising Bag Fees

Starting May 1, checked bags on Frontier Airlines will be $5 more, unless it’s a last-minute gate checked bag, then that’s going to be $10 more. The new rate for bag fees paid for during the online checkin will be $25, and $30 at the airport. And for those who pay for their checked bag at the time of purchasing their airfare from Frontier’s website, the new rate will be $20. For a complete list of ancillary fees, check Frontier’s website.

Spirit Flack Over Ad

Recently, Spirit Airlines celebrated the purchase of its 69th plane with a $69 roundtrip sale. The ad (the full ad is available through the link below) touting the sale uses a play on words and a few sex jokes. Personally, I thought it was somewhat amusing and rather innocent(ish), but there are people who found Spirit’s choice of “advertising technique unacceptable.”

Random Stories of the Week: Qantas Crew Unhappy with New Hotel

If you’ve ever wondered why the flight attendants on your flight are a little bit salty and unpleasant, perhaps they are just sleep deprived. In an effort to cut cost, Qantas Airways recently switch the crew’s hotel in Los Angeles to one across from Disneyland, and the crew aren’t happy. Their complaints stems from the noise from guests, pets, Disney’s nightly fireworks, and music festivals and concerts held at the nearby convention center. A representative of the union representing flight attendants and pilots said “If crews are not adequately rested, they are required to report unfit for duty. That hasn’t happened yet but if there’s not a move, that could be the situation”


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