FREE BOOZE FOR EVERYONE…Earlier this month, Delta introduced a change that all international passengers are sure to like: free cocktails for all economy passengers on international flights that feature BusinessElite service. This means that transatlantic, transpacific, and deep South American flights will now offer complimentary wine, beer, and cocktails to all passengers on board. Until now, only BusinessElite and Economy Comfort passengers were enjoying the free stuff. This welcome change puts Delta in line with its joint venture partners including Air France and KLM.
ATL AIRPORT ROADWAY DETOURS/DELAYS…Drivers will soon notice detours and unexpected delays on roadways leading from I-85 to airport terminals, which began last Thursday (and in which your TICKET editor was stuck in unexpected traffic). The roadway improvement project will upgrade the roadway network between Interstate 85 and Camp Creek Parkway north of the airport, and Riverdale Road to the south. We’ll all have to be on the lookout for detours, rerouting, dust and dirt through the end of next year when the project should be complete.
TSA FEES COULD DOUBLE…Airlines for America, a trade association that supports airlines and air travelers, is lobbying Congress to nix a proposed raise in the Sept. 11security fee, which funds the TSA. The hike would double the fee from $2.50 per flight segment to $5 per segment. Airlines argue it could affect ticket sales. The trade association is even distributing airsickness bags at airports with the slogan, “are high air taxes on travel making you sick?” Cuts from budget sequestration have prompted this scramble for additional revenue, but critics find it hard to believe that an bureaucratic organization like the TSA needs to have more funds thrown at it rather than improving its existing operation.
READER NOTE: This week we are experimenting with posting The TICKET more frequently…this week you’ll get 3-4 shorter-than-usual issues from us with various bits and pieces of travel news. Let us know what you think.
CNN PROFILES ATLANTA AIRPORT…CNN recently profiled the full 24-hour operation of Atlanta’s airport in a fascinating article on its website. While much of it may not be a surprise to seasoned travelers, there are lots of interesting tidbits and photographs that give a behind-the-scenes look at the airport. For example, it was shocking to read about the number of homeless people that sleep at the airport and the amount of people that spend the night at the airport due to flight disruptions.
AMEX PLATINUM CARD DOWNGRADE… American Express Platinum credit card holders may be in for a surprise next year when the card’s airport lounge program drops access to American Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs on March 22, 2014. This means that the AMEX Plat card (we’re talking about the grey, non-Delta affiliated card) will now only provide access to Delta lounges domestically. For those who were using the card to access other airline lounges because they are already Sky Club members, maybe it’s time to reconsider the $450 annual fee.
DELTA TOPS BIZ TRAVEL SURVEY…Delta kept its top-place position for the third time in three years in the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey. Voted on by travel agents and travel managers, the survey targets those with the best knowledge for capturing business travel data. The survey focuses on inflight amenities and overall service, but does place an emphasis on flyer programs—if it did, Delta surely would not have scored as high. Do you agree? Does the Delta’s captive audience in ATL really have it so bad compared to those in other airline hub cities? As much as we like to gripe about the big D, I think Atlantans are actually pretty lucky. Am I wrong? Please leave your comments below.
AVOID HOLIDAY HASSLES WITH VALET PARKING AT ATL! Have you noticed the flurry of men and women in green blazers on the lower level passenger pick up areas at ATL? They are new parking valet attendants from GreenCoat Auto Concierge & Valet service. For $20 per day, you can now drive to the airport, leave your car with a GreenCoat at the terminal, and head off on your trip. The valet will drive your car to a secure, indoor, off-airport lot and park it. When you return, just call GreenCoat and let them know you’re coming, and an attendant will bring your car back to the airport terminal, hand it over to you, and you drive home. Nice! GreenCoat has just signed on as a sponsor of The TICKET so you’ll be hearing more about the service in coming months. Give it a try and let us know how it goes! NOTE: ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Special for TICKET readers: First timers get 1,000 Delta SkyMiles!
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