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Old 03-04-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Pay with miles and cash

Smarter Travel's newsletter has two new wrinkles - paying for flights with miles and also with cash.

Northwest's story
http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/u...4&u=SL98DE70CA

and Delta's
http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/u...4&u=SL98DE70CA
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:42 PM   #2
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That's BIG news, tdew. I think it's a very consumer friendly move and actually have a particular trip in mind where that could work out very well for me.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:05 PM   #3
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Northwest actually has two programs: the aforementioned PerkChoice, and, Cash & Miles. The difference? Let NWA explain.
What is PerkChoice with Cash & Miles and how does it differ from a Promotional Cash & Miles offer?

PerkChoice allows customers to use WorldPerks miles for one half of a roundtrip and cash for the other. This new product provides options for WorldPerks members if they don't have enough miles for a roundtrip award ticket, or if an award seat is available on only one way of the trip. PerkChoice will not replace the popular Cash and Miles promotions; rather it is a new program feature that is available on every Northwest flight year-round. There are no time or date restrictions on any Northwest flights when using PerkChoice.

See http://www.nwa.com/features/perkchoi...atisperkchoice
Now, if only NWA would replace those super-narrow seats in coach...
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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Even US Air has wider seats in economy. Now that's saying a mouthful, considering the high esteem most have of US Air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBM View Post
Northwest actually has two programs: the aforementioned PerkChoice, and, Cash & Miles. The difference? Let NWA explain.
What is PerkChoice with Cash & Miles and how does it differ from a Promotional Cash & Miles offer?

PerkChoice allows customers to use WorldPerks miles for one half of a roundtrip and cash for the other. This new product provides options for WorldPerks members if they don't have enough miles for a roundtrip award ticket, or if an award seat is available on only one way of the trip. PerkChoice will not replace the popular Cash and Miles promotions; rather it is a new program feature that is available on every Northwest flight year-round. There are no time or date restrictions on any Northwest flights when using PerkChoice.

See http://www.nwa.com/features/perkchoi...atisperkchoice
Now, if only NWA would replace those super-narrow seats in coach...
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:15 AM   #5
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Even US Air has wider seats in economy. Now that's saying a mouthful, considering the high esteem most have of US Air.
Not in all cases, actually not in most. Where they use the same equipment in common, US has slightly wider seats on their domestic A319/320 equipment by a fraction of an inch. On aircraft used for longer hauls and international (A330/757) NW seats are actually wider than those on US. Again, it's just a modest percentage of an inch.

Both airlines are focusing on the A330 for international service at the moment. In those markets, NW has a full 1/2 inch more width and a full inch more legroom on average, actually as much as two more inches legroom in the middle section of that aircraft on NW (the front half of coach.) For Boeing wide body service (747 for NW, 767 for US), Northwest seats are also wider.

Domestically US uses 737s in some markets where NW still uses a DC9 (which they should freaking retire BTW) and the seat width is exactly the same. (Industry minimum of a flat 17". Those are the "shut up and suffer" aircraft in both of their fleets.)

It's on the longer haul flights, where it really matters, when US becomes inferior to NW in seat width, and in most configurations, legroom.

But in the greater scheme of things, it's not a major difference, about the width of a cookie in your pocket. LOL. No doubt a crumbled cookie because face it, the seats are all miserable back there.

This is usually one of those generalizations that doesn't hold true across the board. It's always going to vary depending on which segment of the livery you compare and on which routes.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:42 AM   #6
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You are correct in all you've said. Now I must add ...

There's nothing worse than US Air's 737's. Beyond everything else, their cabins are old, filthy, and literally falling apart. I know US Air is in the midst of a 4 year program to replace each and every one with a new A320 family plane, but that is not a legitimate excuse for having allowed their 737's from getting in that condition is the first place. The last time on flew on one of those dogs at least three seats had tears in the seat "duct taped" sealed, along with tape over a hole in the wall covering and I can't forget the two "duct taped" tears in the carpeting. It's not like it's a crack in a window, but US Air should not have been flying that plane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deangreenhoe View Post
Not in all cases, actually not in most. Where they use the same equipment in common, US has slightly wider seats on their domestic A319/320 equipment by a fraction of an inch. On aircraft used for longer hauls and international (A330/757) NW seats are actually wider than those on US. Again, it's just a modest percentage of an inch.

Both airlines are focusing on the A330 for international service at the moment. In those markets, NW has a full 1/2 inch more width and a full inch more legroom on average, actually as much as two more inches legroom in the middle section of that aircraft on NW (the front half of coach.) For Boeing wide body service (747 for NW, 767 for US), Northwest seats are also wider.

Domestically US uses 737s in some markets where NW still uses a DC9 (which they should freaking retire BTW) and the seat width is exactly the same. (Industry minimum of a flat 17". Those are the "shut up and suffer" aircraft in both of their fleets.)

It's on the longer haul flights, where it really matters, when US becomes inferior to NW in seat width, and in most configurations, legroom.

But in the greater scheme of things, it's not a major difference, about the width of a cookie in your pocket. LOL. No doubt a crumbled cookie because face it, the seats are all miserable back there.

This is usually one of those generalizations that doesn't hold true across the board. It's always going to vary depending on which segment of the livery you compare and on which routes.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ned View Post
There's nothing worse than US Air's 737's. Beyond everything else, their cabins are old, filthy, and literally falling apart. I know US Air is in the midst of a 4 year program to replace each and every one with a new A320 family plane, but that is not a legitimate excuse for having allowed their 737's from getting in that condition is the first place. The last time on flew on one of those dogs at least three seats had tears in the seat "duct taped" sealed, along with tape over a hole in the wall covering and I can't forget the two "duct taped" tears in the carpeting. It's not like it's a crack in a window, but US Air should not have been flying that plane.
Agreed, and a perfect description of flying a NW DC9. The last time I was on one of those babies (last fall) I felt as if I were climbing aboard an Aeroflop cast-off after the Soviet Union dissolved. All that was missing was lard sandwiches (as if service could be that good on a U.S. domestic) and chickens running up and down the aisles.

I've always detested 737s anyway - sort of like flying in an overinflated football. Reason #737 why I won't be climbing on Southwest anytime soon. I find them rather miserable in any airline's fleet.

I don't understand why NW didn't install wider seats on the A319/320s. The fuselage is of course the same width as on US. I'd rather bigger butts be accommodated in the seats rather than the aisle, because that's where I generally spend most of my time. ;-)
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deangreenhoe View Post
...Domestically US uses 737s in some markets where NW still uses a DC9 (which they should freaking retire BTW) and the seat width is exactly the same. (Industry minimum of a flat 17". Those are the "shut up and suffer" aircraft in both of their fleets.)

It's on the longer haul flights, where it really matters, when US becomes inferior to NW in seat width, and in most configurations, legroom.
Quite a few airlines in the US have moved to 18" coach seats for domestic flights, especially those using the A320 family. NW not only uses 17" seats on their old DC-9 beaters, they even use those on the A320, according to SeatGuru.com (and assuming all their stats are correct and up-to-date).

Even on international flights, NW seems to be squeezing the folks in coach. SeatGuru reports these configurations:

NW A330-200
Coach: 17.5" seats, 32" pitch
World Business Class: 20.25" seats, 60" pitch

NW A330-300
Coach: 17.5" seats, 31-33" pitch (depending on your row)
World Business Class: 20.25" seats, 60" pitch

NW 747-400
Coach: 17.2" (17-1/4"?) seats, 31-32" pitch
World Business Class: 20" seats, 60-61" pitch

NW falls short (or narrow) compared to partners KLM and AirFrance. The former uses 17.5" coach seats and 20"-20.25" in World Business Class, about the same as NW except for 747 coach, but AF uses 18" on coach and 21" to 24" seats in FC/BC on the A330 and 767/777/747.

Compare those to the US Airways international route aircraft. (Now you'll see why I included FC/BC seats in the stats above.)

US A330-300
Coach: 17" seats, 31" pitch
Envoy Class: 19.5" seats, 60" pitch (pitch is fine, a bit narrow in the seat)
Envoy Sleeper Class: 20.5" seats, 94" pitch (for lie-flat beds, 6 each)

US 767-200:
Coach: 17" seats, 32" pitch
Envoy Class: 18.5" seats, 55" pitch (paltry by FC/BC standards...I can see why US frequent flyers would be upset for [among other things] spending the big bucks and not getting a better seat on an international flight, especially when US's domestic FC seats are 20" or 21"!)

Based on SeatGuru stats, US is indeed "inferior" to NW; to put it another way, NW is superior to US, but that isn't saying a whole lot. If NW used 18" seats, then I'd say that was a little more significant.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:59 AM   #9
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JBM, one thing we who fly regularly or at least periodically, across the pond, as well as domestically on US Air, know about them, is that they are the champs when it comes to cramming in rows in all their planes. "Nobody does it better." Nobody raises the lower leg, knee misery index higher. This is in part what I, and other members of FFOCUS have been complaining about with the reconfiguration of US Air's A320 family.
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:13 AM   #10
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Duct tape on seats, expecially armrests strikes me as being very odd. In the USAF, we were forbiddent to put duct tape on armrests, even as a temp fix. It was considered a safety issues since it was not an effective barrier from the metal frame of the armrest.
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