U.S. Orders Airlines to State Fees More Clearly

U.S. Orders Airlines to State Fees More Clearly | New York Times by SUSAN STELLIN |   Very interesting article about US Airlines and the extra hidden FEES. I relate to this story very much since, just yesterday I was booking a flight for myself on SPIRIT Airlines turning into quite a frustrating and disappointing experience. The government plans to announce a new set of passenger protections on Wednesday aimed primarily at travelers’ growing frustration over airline fees.
I was booking my flight from New York City to Miami International Airport. Price promoted by Spirit Airlines on an email BLAST…. fares from USD 9. I am a travel agent, and I am not fool of course, so I knew the story behind this. But I said let’s do a little exercise and give it a try, so I went along with it and did it. I went through all the booking process, passing promotion after promotion, extras after extras and so forth. Since I know in advance that I have to attend a conference in Ft. Lauderdale next month I had the dates and was ready to book. FYI lower fare on the competition USD 185 including taxes.
Logged into Spirit Airlines site and started with a base fare of USD 47 for the New York / Miami segment and USD 67 for the Miami / New York segment. The outbound and inbound from/to La Guardia Airport, which let’s be honest, is not the most accessible, convenient or modern airport in the US. Total fare before taxes USD 114. Taxes were around USD 37,40. Subtotal = USD 151,50. So I said to myself… OK I am saving USD 30 isshhhh… now here is where the trick begins and you start adding up without even realizing. Check IN Baggage USD 28 each way (total on Round Trip base USD 56) OH and that if you do it online, because if you do it at the airport it almost doubles. Seat assignment from USD 10 on each way, depending on the row and group number, so another USD 20. Food and Beverages, of course there is no food served on the plane and they measure the water or drinks on board so let’s say you spend another USD 30 in food and drinks round trip at the airport. The grand total now comes to USD 257,40. NOW were you aware of this when you went for the from USD 9 per segment marketing campaign? I don’t think so. In the end I booked with the competition the USD 185 fare…. but hey I was fooled again, since now I found out that I have to pay USD 25 each way for Check IN baggage plus my food (averaging USD 80) so my total now is USD 265. Of course that once on board they provide you with everything Headphones (USD 2 ha ha ha which are yours to keep if they last through out the flight), Pillows or Blankets (USD 10 each and we will turn the air conditioning on to make sure you freeze), WiFi (USD 12)… and so forth. Be careful now, because there are rumors that anytime soon they will begin charging for using the bathrooms, oxygen masks, life vests, seat belts and guess what breathing… Have a GREAT FLIGHT. !!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book flights, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

 

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Air France Gourmet Food Truck in New York City

Air France Gourmet Food Truck in New York City | New York City | by ck |  First there were the hot dog stands and roasted chestnuts vendors on each corner. Then you had the pretzel and ice cream man! Now the latest trend: Gourmet food trucks, offering a wide variety of specialty foods, from Belgian waffles to tacos, to meat-on-a-stick and everything else in-between. For five days, starting Thursday, March 24 through March 28, 2011, Air France will have its own Gourmet Food Truck in New York City! “Taste the Journey of Air France” will bring the culinary delights of Air France to the streets of Manhattan. These special tasting menus, based on dishes served on Air France, include several creations from famous French Chef Joël Robuchon and are executed (in cooperation with Servair) at Flying Foods Group at JFK. Chefs from Flying Foods Group and Servair will be inside the truck preparing and serving the food (free to the public while supplies last)from the window. They all will be wearing traditional French Chef Toques and Air France branded aprons. In addition consumers will be welcomed by uniformed ‘Brand Ambassadors’ who will explain the menus and the charity angle. Air France is partnering with City Harvest, one of New York’s top food related charities, and consumers will be invited to donate money to help feed the hungry at a special marked box at the truck (message: “AF is offering a taste of our food on board: let’s give food back to the local community”). All proceeds will go to the charity. Condé Nast Traveler, one of our other partners in this venue, is working alongside Air France to ensure that there will be ample publicity.
Follow the truck on its journey through New York City (see route and menu information below) and stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner: Thursday March 24th Broadway between 41st St. and 42nd St. / Breakfast – 8am-10am / Lunch – 12pm-2pm / Dinner – 4:30pm-6:30pm. Friday March 25th 5th Ave between 49th St. and 50th St. / Breakfast – 7:30am-9:30am / Lunch – 12pm-2pm / Dinner 4:30pm-6:30pm. Saturday March 26th Park Ave and 15th St / Breakfast – 9am-11am / Lunch – 12pm-2:30pm/ Dinner – 4:30pm-6:30pm. Sunday March 27th Prince St. and Broadway / Breakfast – 10am-12pm / Lunch – 1pm-3pm / Dinner – 4pm-6pm. Monday March 28th Wall Street between William and Hanover / Breakfast – 7:30am-9:30am / Lunch – 12pm-2pm / Dinner 4:30pm-6:30pm.

CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book flights, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

 

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Cathay Pacific Airways my experience

Cathay Pacific my experience |  Manila, The Philippines |  I have to admit that when they tell you straight up, that you will be spending your next 19 hours seating on a plan, I got very concern on the airlines I was about to pick and trust to get me from New York to Manila and Hong Kong, safe, entertained, well fed and in one piece. The name Cathay Pacific has sounded in my ears for years… so when I connected that with my ever longing dream of visiting Hong Kong, that was a no brainer for me and made my choice. And I have to admit I am VERY HAPPY with it. Cathay Pacific is the main gateway to ASIA and connection.  Continue reading Cathay Pacific Airways my experience

JetBlue Airlines runs on Dunkin, but How do they Fly ?

JetBlue Airlines | New York to Los Angeles | I have lost my virginity, once again. Hey wait a minute, what are you thinking about… I meant on flying a new Airlines I have never flown before. Yes this morning I was really excited to be flying JetBlue Airlines for the first time. Overall experience and verdict… Sorry but not quite impressed.
Let’s get it straight, Domestic Air Travel in the United States is pretty basic, with the exception of some airlines like Virgin America… Now let’s break this down, the PERKS of flying JetBlue are to be measure on Price, Pre Boarding Services and Alliances with International carriers like Emirates and South African Airways.
JetBlue Terminal 5 in JFK International Airport is AMAZING. From the free high speed WiFi to the shops and restaurants, but to me, JetBlue as an airline does not stand to the expectations…
The Onboard PROS are: EML (Even More Legroom), Direct TV entertainment, 1st. Bag is FREE and the alliances with International Airlines. The Negative: no Onboard WiFi (come on really… how about my Facebook, Twitter and Blogging withdrawal. ?), no decent meals service (on over 6 hours flights) and to top it all On Demand Movies (USD 6 x movie).
I have to admit, I was quite intrigue to fly and try JetBlue Airlines, but unfortunately they did not get even close to my expectation and to the image they try to promote or sell. Hey if you are going for the price value, then GO for it. Service is acceptable, timing is perfect and seats are very comfortable. But that is about it… spoiled travelers like me, there are a few other options out there to tour around the United States and Canada.
This is an inside joke and note for close friends and people that do know me…… I felt like in heaven when I found out about the synergy between JetBlue and Dunkin Donuts, but unfortunately not even that was enough.
America might run on Dunkin, now does it flies on JetBlue. ? I have to admit… the flight was SOLD OUT. If the question is Would I fly them again. ? Hell yes, but only if looking for good fares. Get it ? Cheers from California. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book flights, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

 

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Airport Security getting worst and interesting

CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book flights, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

TIP – Now you can read CarlosMeliaBlog in multiple languages. Just go to the bottom of the page and choose the language of your preference at the Google Translate drop down menu. Enjoy.!!!

 

(**) Follow me around the world by subscribing to my Facebook Profile, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter. and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

Safety and Comfort are our Priority in Vueling

Safety and Comfort are our Priority in Vueling  | Airlines  |  Safety and Comfort are our Priority in Vueling, that’s what the crew member voices over the speakers after having us waiting on board on the ground for over 20 minutes. The reason… funny they have on the planes more passengers than supposed. That’s is when everyone around, started getting a bit impatient and concerned, and we realize that neither Safety or Comfort were being delivered nor prioritized.
To make the story short, how did this incident ended… well first they plane took off as if nothing had happened, of course 30 minutes later than scheduled. Second, I, nor any of the checked passengers saw anyone get off the plane. Then my conclusion came to… were they wrong from the beginning and they delayed the flight because the agent at the gate does not know how to count or check the boarding passes, or are we flying with a mystery passenger on  board that could make all of us blow up in the air any time soon… maybe that is a question that either the captain of the plane or the authorities of the company could explain to me or the IATA.!!!!
In the meantime I am seating at my 8 centimeters pitch seat enjoying both the comfort and security of our flight. In the end all I wanted is to get from Venice to Madrid on time to enjoy the Gay Pride Weekend. Stay tuned for more… CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

IBERIA Buenos Aires/Madrid something is missing in my seat

The minute I stepped on the plane I realized, this was going to be a VERY long flight. Come on IBERIA, member of the Alliance OneWorld blah blah blah…. where are the individual entertainment system/screens on your A-340/600? .

Seriously, do you expect me/us to spend over 12 hours watching a screen located 8 rows ahead, to in the end find out that the movie being broadcasted is “Alice in Wonderland “…. really. Then where are my 3D glasses.!!!!!! ha ha ha.

So I decided to look out the window, till the sun came down. Thank God I had my 2 sleeping pills (that are my travel buddies) and my Google Nexus One phone with a whole variety of podcasts, and yes including my beloved Suze Orman.  Of course, this was the curse to the flight attendants, whom aparently do not understand yet the concept of Airport Mode, therfore they kept asking me over and over to turn it off for the whole lenght of the flight. Paraphrasing you, dear Suze, any future long haul flights with IBERIA under Airbus A-340/600 are overrated and DENIED. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.

ANDES Airlines descentralizing Argentina

ANDES Airlines descentralizing Argentina  |  Argentina  |  For the first time today I have flown ANDES Airlines, an airline with headquarters in the province of Salta (north of Argentina). One of the many new airlines opening in Argentina, that have come to decentralize the flight system of this country. With already 4 years in the market, ANDES with its distribution HUB in the Salta, has dally regular and charter flights connecting many points of Argentina. Some of the most relevant are: the chance to connect from the city of Salta to the Iguazu Falls, and what brings me today to test their service… the daily non-stop flight between Buenos Aires and Puerto Madryn in the province of Chubut. ( land of the Whales, Penguins and Seals ).

The fleet of ANDES consists in 4 McDonnell Douglas MD80 and 2 brand new Bombardier that have arrived this year. A fast pace growing company, that is here to stay and redefine the air traffic of this country, along with other similar airlines.

ANDES Airlines, flies to Esquel, San Carlos de Bariloche, Salta, Jujuy, Cordoba, Iguazu Falls, and charter seasonal flights to Brazil, Venezuela and Chile.

Been There Done That by CM • (flight Buenos Aires / Puerto Madryn – 1hs. 40min) My experience overall was more than satisfactory and I might say why…. (1). you can easily purchase your ticket only, (2). It is a non-top and direct flight from the domestic airport of Buenos Aires to Puerto Madryn. The case is not the same if you choose to flight the competition, which only gets to Trelew (1 hs. away by bus from Puerto Madryn). (3). Price wise it is very reasonable and affordable. (4). The onboard service is very professional and regardless of the length of your flight they serve a smalll snack and two rounds of beverages. The problems are that… (1). The plane took off 40 minutes after the scheduled time of departure (due to weather conditions at our destination, so they said… ha ha ha don’t they all say the same), (2). The peach between seats is MINIMUM… I know it is only an 1hs. 40min. flight, but hey I was crammed into the seat and could barely move. Thank god the airline is not that popular yet and almost half the plane was empty, and the two seats next to me were open. (3). The check IN process makes you think two times wether you are flying or just taking a bus to your destination. Very informal and the seat assignments and tags are all made by hand and with an old school style rooster.

Other than that…. I am know happy and safe in Puerto Madryn ready to start my new adventure and share with you all my new Chronicles of a Gay Traveler in Puerto Madryn Argentina. Now I am off to Hotel Territorio, my host hotel for the length of my stay. Stay tuned !!!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

 

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

 

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.