In airline news briefs this week, American will change its checked-bag policy for premium travelers; Alaska makes a mileage program commitment; Delta expands its offering of front-cabin loungewear, and Virgin America will help business travelers learn while they fly.
American Airlines tells Travelskills that the company is changing its free checked bag policies for passengers in its premium cabins, effective for tickets bought March 29 or later, in an effort to bring American “in line with our U.S. competitors.” Instead of the current three free checked bags, AA will only allow two free checked bags in two-cabin aircraft, including domestic First Class and international Business Class. The change will not apply to AAdvantage Executive Platinums, who will still get three bags free, as will First Class passengers on three-cabin international flights.
While other big U.S. airlines have changed their loyalty programs over to spending-based instead of mileage-based models (or are planning to, like American), Alaska Airlines says it will not – at least, not in the immediate future Speaking at a JP Morgan investment conference this week, Alaska chief financial officer Brandon Pederson said that the airline will be “sticking with the traditional model” for its Mileage Plan program. But he added that he “wouldn’t say we would never go to that (a spending-based model).”
In December, Delta started offering a new amenity to passengers flying in its Delta One cabins from Los Angeles to Sydney and Shanghai – in-flight sleepwear/loungewear that they can change into to keep their clothes from getting wrinkled. And now Delta has expanded that perk. The light-gray PJs are now being offered to Delta One customers on flights from Seattle to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong; and from Detroit to Shanghai and Beijing. They come in small/medium or large/extra large, and passengers can take them home after their flight.
The popular networking service LinkedIn is teaming up with Virgin America to offer free streaming in-flight video tutorials to passengers. Starting next month, Virgin customers will be able to watch business-oriented videos produced by Lynda.com, a company that LinkedIn purchased for $1.5 billion. Available through the airline’s in-fight entertainment system, the videos cover topics like Getting Things Done, Creating Great Workplace Habits, and Managing Stress.
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