Daily Points: Priority Pass Adds Plaza Premium Lounges at LHR, DXB, CEB; Allegiant’s Big Expansion

Daily Points

Priority Pass added three new Plaza Premium lounges, Allegiant added three new cities and 44 new routes, interesting new Boeing employee messages regarding LionAir, Delta sprays elementary kids with jet fuel, and a passenger on United rushes the cockpit door. 

Priority Pass Adds Plaza Premium Lounges at London, Dubai, and Cebu

Priority Pass will be adding three Plaza Premium lounges on January 15, 2020, at London-Heathrow, Dubai, and Cebu, Philippines

London-Heathrow already has four other Plaza Premium lounges on Priority Pass. This newest one will be in Terminal 3 before security in the arrivals area and features several shower rooms

The Dubai Plaza Premium Lounge is in Terminal 3 and Concourse A after security. This lounge features several shower rooms, four family suites with butler service, freshly prepared food, and a children’s playroom. (Highly likely that the suites with butler service requires an extra fee.)

The Cebu Plaza Premium Lounge is in Terminal 1 on the arrivals level after security. The lounge is 3,000 square feet and also features showers. 

Allegiant Announces a Major Expansion

Allegiant Airlines announced that they are adding 3 new cities and 44 non-stop routes in the largest expansion in company history. Allegiant is also starting service for the first time at three airports: Chicago-Midway, Boston, and Houston-Hobby. 

I’ve been impressed with Allegiant’s new business model of operating an all Airbus fleet instead of operating very old McDonnell Douglas planes that were unreliable and felt unsafe.

I regularly fly Allegiant’s longest route Cincinnati to Los Angeles, which is very reasonable for about $75-100 one-way plus $25 for an exit row seat. In my opinion, Allegiant is a way better experience than flying United if you grab one of their extra legroom seats.

Here are the routes that Allegiant added:

Boston (BOS)

  • Asheville, North Carolina (AVL): Begins May 8th.
  • Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida (VPS): Begins May 14th.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR): Begins May 7th.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS): Begins May 8th.

Chicago Midway (MDW)

  • Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE): Begins May 14th.
  • Asheville, North Carolina (AVL): Begins May 21st.
  • Des Moines, Iowa (DSM): Begins May 21st.
  • Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida (VPS): Begins June 5th.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS): Begins May 21st.
  • Savannah, Georgia (SAV): Begins May 21st.

Houston Hobby (HOU)

  • Asheville, North Carolina (AVL): Begins May 22nd.
  • Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida (VPS): Begins June 5th.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS): Begins May 21st.
  • Savannah, Georgia (SAV): Begins May 28th.

Asheville, North Carolina (AVL)

  • Austin (AUS): Begins May 22nd.
  • Boston (BOS): Begins May 8th.
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): Begins May 21st.
  • Houston Hobby (HOU): Begins May 22nd.

Austin (AUS)

  • Asheville, North Carolina (AVL): Begins May 22nd. 
  • Des Moines, Iowa (DSM): Begins May 21st.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR): Begins May 22nd.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS): Begins May 22nd.

Des Moines, Iowa (DSM)

  • Austin (AUS): Begins May 21st.
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): Begins May 21st.
  • Memphis (MEM): Begins May 21st.

Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida (VPS)

  • Boston (BOS): Begins May 14th.
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): Begins June 5th.
  • Dayton, Ohio (DAY): Begins May 14th.
  • Houston Hobby (HOU): Begins June 5th.
  • Newburgh/Stewart, New York (SWF): Begins May 21st.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR)

  • Austin (AUS): Begins May 22nd.
  • Boston (BOS): Begins May 7th.
  • Los Angeles (LAX): Begins June 5th.

Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS)

  • Austin (AUS): Begins May 22nd.
  • Boston (BOS): Begins May 8th
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): Begins May 21st.
  • Houston Hobby (HOU): Begins May 21st.
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR): Begins June 6th.

Memphis (MEM)

  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG): Begins May 22nd.
  • Des Moines, Iowa (DSM): Begins May 21st.
  • Pittsburgh (PIT): Begins May 21st.
  • West Palm Beach, Florida (PBI): Begins May 21st.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR)

  • Elmira/Corning, New York (ELM): Begins June 6th.
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS): Begins June 6th.
  • Providence, Rhode Island (PVD): Begins June 5th.

Nashville (BNA)

  • Bozeman, Montana (BZN): Flights begin May 21st.
  • Fargo, North Dakota (FAR): Begins June 4th.
  • Flint, Michigan (FNT): Begins June 5th.
  • Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO): Begins June 5th.
  • Norfolk, Virginia (ORF): Flights begin May 22nd.
  • Peoria, Illinois (PIA): Flights begin June 4th.
  • Pittsburgh (PIT): Flights begin May 22nd.
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD): Flights begin May 21st.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma (TUL): Flights begin June 4th.

Norfolk, Virginia (ORF)

  • Columbus/Rickenbacker, Ohio (LCK): Begins May 22th.
  • Nashville (BNA): Begins May 22nd.
  • Pittsburgh (PIT): Begins May 21st.

Pittsburgh (PIT)

  • Memphis (MEM): Begins May 21st.
  • Nashville (BNA): Begins May 22nd.
  • Norfolk, Virginia (ORF): Begins May 21st.

Savannah, Georgia (SAV)

  • Belleville/MidAmerica St. Louis, Illinois (BLV): Begins June 6th.
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): Begins May 21st.
  • Houston Hobby (HOU): Begins May 28th.
  • Newburgh/Stewart, New York (SWF): Begins May 20th.
  • Punta Gorda, Florida (PGD): Begins June 6th.
Allegiant also added: 
  • Louisville (SDF) to Charleston (CHS): Begins May 22nd
  • Albuquerque (ABQ) to Orlando-Sanford (SFB): Begins June 4th

Boeing Mocked Lion Air For Requesting 737MAX Training Before Crash

PHOTO: LINDSEY WASSON/REUTERS

According to Bloomberg, Lion Air considered putting its pilots through simulator training before flying the 737MAX, but Boeing convinced Lion Air that is was unnecessary.  The next year, a Lion Air 737 Max crashed into the Java Sea killing 189 people.

One of the selling points of the MAX was that it didn’t require costly simulator training for pilots familiar with the Boeing 737. All the pilots needed was a brief computer course.

New internal messages at Boeing were released detail how employees were discouraging Lion Air from simulator training.

One employee wrote: “Now friggin Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots.”

Another employee responded: “WHAT THE F%$&!!!! But their sister airline [Malindo Air] is already flying it!”

A Boeing pilot also wrote in another email: “I am concerned that if [redacted] chooses to require a Max simulator for its pilots beyond what all other regulators are requiring that it will be creating a difficult and unnecessary training burden for your airline, as well as potentially establish a precedent in your region for other Max customers.”

However, it is unclear whether simulator training would have prevented a crash since Boeing also failed to inform pilots about the MCAS system that caused both 737MAX crashes.

Travel News

  • Elementary school kids playing in recess in Los Angeles were doused in jet fuel when a Delta Boeing 777 headed to Shanghai had to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off, which required fuel to be dumped to reduce landing weight. 60 patients were treated, but none required a hospital visit. [LA Times]
  • Delta’s 4th quarter topped Wall Street’s expectations. Delta reported earnings of $1.70 per share, above the expectation of $1.40 per share. Overall, Delta earned a net income of $1.1 billion on $11.44 billion in revenue. Further, spending on Delta’s premium cabin product grew 9% to $3.7 billion. 
  • An unruly passenger on a United flight tried to get through the cockpit door and attacked a flight attendant on a Washington D.C. to Newark flight. He was arrested when the plane arrived in Newark, but an officer broke four ribs trying to subdue him. The guy was 28 and had been arrested several other times. Thankfully, he didn’t get through the cockpit door. [NBC]
  • The UK Government approved a rescue deal for FlyBe. The deal includes a tax break and an injection of £20 million by FlyBe’s owners. [SkyNews]
  • Etihad and EasyJet entered into a new code-sharing agreement that will allow customers to book flights on both airlines, which will give Etihad a broader reach in Europe.
  • American Airlines is adding new routes from Boston to Indianapolis (IND)[2x daily], Raleigh-Durham (RDU)[5x daily], and Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM) [weekly on Saturday] using Embraer 175s with 76 seats. JetBlue and Delta have major hubs in Boston, so this is an interesting move by American Airlines.
  • American Airlines opened a 5th Dallas (DFW) Admirals Club in Terminal E, which is primarily smaller regional flights. American Airlines now has an Admirals Club at each of the five terminals at DFW. 
  • American Airlines extended 737MAX cancellations through June 2020. (I bet it gets pushed again). 
  • Vietnamese airline startup Bamboo Airways is launching a Hanoi to Prague flight in April 2020 using their Boeing 787.
  • Uber was ordered to stop operating in Colombia due to a lawsuit saying that Uber was breaking local transport laws. [Washington Post]
  • Boeing’s plane delivery numbers for 2019 came out and it is a very bad situation. Boeing delivered only 380 planes in 2019, when it previously delivered more than double (806) in 2018. Whereas, Airbus delivered 863 planes last year.

Deals and Points News

  • Singapore KrisFlyer’s Spontaneous Escapes is extra special for the month of February because KrisFlyer turns 21, so they are giving an extra 21% off in addition to the standard 30% discount (51% total discount). Travel must be booked before January 31, 2020, for travel in February. There are several good deals:
    • San Francisco to Singapore for 46,550 points one-way in business class.
    • Paris/Rome/Milan/Barcelona/Dusseldorf to Singapore is 45,080 points in business class.
    • Houston to Singapore in Premium Economy for 35,770 points.
  • There is a new 25% American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus to AeroMexico Club Premier. Membership Rewards typically transfers at 1 to 1.6 ratio to Aeromexico, but you can transfer at a 1 to 2 ratio until February 14, 2020. [Frequent Miler]
  • Bank Bonus: [MA, CT, NH, RI, and VT]- $400 checking bonus at Cambridge Savings bank with three consecutive direct deposits of $1,000. You can also fund the account up to $1,000 with a credit card. [DOC]
  • You can earn American Airlines miles with an offer from Bask Bank. You can get 6,000 American Airlines miles for (1) opening an account, (2) provide app feedback, and (3) depositing $1,000 and maintaining that amount for 30 days.
  • Etihad announced its partnership with Gulf Air including the Etihad miles you can earn on Gulf Air and redemptions on Gulf Air. The award rates are fairly high. A one-way business class seat from Bahrain to London-Heathrow would cost 94,000 Etihad miles for the 7-hour flight.

In Other News

  • Plaid, which connects traditional banks and Fintech apps such as Venmo and Robinhood, was acquired by Visa for $5.8 billion. [Bloomberg]
  • The Boston Red Sox filed their manager Alex Cora after he was implicated in the 2017 Houston Astros World Series scandal for stealing signs. [NY Times
  • Amazon lifts the ban for third-party merchants shipping with FedEx. Amazon had previously banned FedEx for performance issues. [WSJ]
  • The NFL’s best middle linebacker, Luke Kuechly, announced his retirement at age 28. He was an amazing player, but he suffered several concussions of the past few years. [ESPN]

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