• Flying Smarter

This Week in Air Travel: November 13 to 19, 2022

Air Travel News

Guests sitting by a fireplace at Alaska Airlines' flagship lounge at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Alaska Airlines' North Satellite Terminal Lounge in Seattle | Photo: Alaska Airlines

Delta Airlines Offering Free Wi-Fi

  • Delta Airlines has been working towards offering free Wi-Fi to all passengers.

  • Members of their frequent flyer program, Delta SkyMiles, now have complimentary internet access on select flights.

  • The free Wi-Fi appears to be available on aircraft equipped with Viasat Wi-Fi, which Delta has on some Airbus A321s, Boeing 737-900ERs and Boeing 757-200s.

  • This is not a published policy so there is no guarantee on how long this will be available for, but Delta confirmed the news to The Points Guy.

  • SkyMiles is free to join and all passengers need to do is enter their SkyMiles number and password on the Wi-Fi landing page.


JetBlue Adds a Second European Destination

  • After starting transatlantic service to London in June 2021, JetBlue has announced its second European destination: Paris.

  • JetBlue will fly between New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport starting in summer 2023. Flights between Boston and Paris will follow afterwards. No details on scheduling, exact start dates, or timing have been announced.

  • The flights will be operated by JetBlue’s Airbus A321LRs that are specially configured for transatlantic flights with 24 Mint (business class) seats and 114 economy class seats.

  • JetBlue is known for having a great onboard passenger experience product, with seatback entertainment at all seats, complimentary Wi-Fi for all passengers, as well as fantastic dining and seating for Mint passengers.


Austrian Airlines Introduces Pre-Ordering for Buy-on-Board Meals

  • Austrian Airlines now allows economy class passengers to pre-order items from their buy-on-board menu, known as Austrian Melangerie.

  • Passengers can pre-order items up to 48 hours before departure on flights of 50 minutes or longer to/from Vienna.

  • Cold and hot food items, snacks, alcoholic beverages, and more are available. Current menu items include a fried crispy schnitzel and a chicken caesar sandwich. Complimentary drinks and snacks are not offered on Austrian anymore, so snacks, soft drinks and coffee are also available for purchase.

  • This new option allows passenger to guarantee that their preferred option is available and helps the airline manage their inventory and reduce waste.


Alaska Airlines Changes Lounge Access Policies

  • Alaska Airlines has been the only US carrier to include lounge access with domestic first class tickets but this is about to change. For tickets booked as of November 18, 2022, and for travel from February 15, 2023, first class passengers on flights under 2100 miles will not have lounge access.

  • Alaska Airlines is also increasing its lounge membership fees. In addition, passengers in first class on flights under 2100 miles will be able to purchase a one-time pass at a discount.


Route News


Two Spirit Airlines aircraft at an airport terminal with a control tower
Spirit Airlines Aircraft | Photo: Flying Smarter

Announcements

  • Thai AirAsia has announced that it plans to resume flights between Chiang Mai International Airport in Northern Thailand and Singapore Changi Airport for the first time since 2012. The airline will start flying between the two airports 4x weekly using Airbus A320s from February 1, 2023.

  • Spirit Airlines announced that it will launch two new routes from San Antonio International Airport on March 8, 2023: Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. These routes will supplement its recently-launched flights from San Antonio to Orlando and Las Vegas.

  • Sun Country Airlines is adding 12 new routes and resuming three former routes from its base at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport for the summer 2023 season: New York JFK; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Louisville, Kentucky; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Richmond, Virginia; St. Louis, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Wilmington, Delaware; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Traverse City, Missouri; and Rapid City, South Dakota.

  • British Airways announced that it is planning to start flying between London Heathrow Airport and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on June 5, 2022. The plan is to fly 5x weekly in the summer and 4x weekly in the winter using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. This route will be the airports second current connection to Europe, adding to Delta’s service to Paris.

  • Virgin Atlantic announced that it will be launching two seasonal routes to sun destinations from London Heathrow Airport. 3x weekly service between London and Male in the Maldives is scheduled to start on October 23, 2023 and will be operated by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. 2x weekly service between London and Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands is scheduled to start on November 15, 2023 and will also be operated by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.


Route Launches

  • Shanghai Airlines has re-launched its service between Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and Shanghai–Pudong Airport on November 11, 2022. There is currently one flight a week on Fridays using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The frequency will increase to 2x weekly on December 21, 2022 and is expected to increase to 3x weekly in early 2023.

  • Frontier Airlines launched non-stop service between St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Tampa International Airport on November 16, 2022. The service is being offered 4x weekly and is operated by Airbus A320 and Airbus A320neo aircraft.

  • United Airlines launched flights between Washington Dulles International Airport and Cape Town International Airport in South Africa on November 17, 2022. The route is being operated 3x weekly with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.


Aircraft Orders

An Azul Airbus A330-900 in flight
Azul A330-900 | Photo: Airbus

Azul Orders 3 A330neos

  • Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas has signed a firm order for three Airbus A330-900neos.

  • In a press release on November 16, 2022 Airbus stated that this order will allow the airline “to further expand its international network and complement its existing A330 operations, bringing the airline’s total fleet of A330neo aircraft to eight.”