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What Airlines Won’t Tell You

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

ExpertFlyer co-founder and president, Christ Lopinto, was recently interviewed by FOX News anchor, Ernie Anastos, on little-known facts and tips that the airlines won’t tell you.  Watch the segment and read the Q & A.


Ernie Anastos: Listen, we just heard a lot about what the airlines are doing and so forth. You’ve got to be kind of like your own travel agent these days, don’t you? Really, all the details.

Chris Lopinto: Unfortunately, yes. Our motto is information is empowering, and that’s why we like to give as much as possible. Really, with a little bit of research, you can do quite well these days.

EA: Okay, let’s talk about how you get the best seats, because that’s what a lot of people are concerned about. How do you do that?

CL: Absolutely. Unfortunately nowadays, airlines reserve the best seats for their elite customers or those who are willing to pay for them. However, what they don’t tell you is that within about four or five days before departure, the airlines upgrade their best customers into business or first class. That means that a lot of good seats open up in economy class just waiting for someone to grab them.

EA: What do we do?

CL: What we do is we log into the airline website or whatever website you used to buy the ticket from and check the seat map again to see if you can get a better seat assignment within a few days of departure. By that time more economy seats will be available.

EA: A lot of people are concerned about frequent flyer programs. Is there a real payoff with that?

CL: There can be, but you have to be careful. Think of frequent flyer points as money in a bank account. However, unlike a real bank account, you don’t earn interest and the bank can basically devalue that money at any time.

EA: What do we do?

CL: There’s a term in the industry called, “Burn as you earn,” which means don’t save up a lot of frequent flyer miles thinking you’re going to have some big vacation somewhere down the line. If you have enough to use and you can use them, use them now because frequent flyer miles will never be as valuable tomorrow as they are today.

EA: Any other quick suggestions if you’re traveling alone or with other people? Your family and so forth?

CL: Well, one suggestion is that if you’re trying to buy a trip with multiple people, say a family of four. What the airlines do is, they’ll price the ticket for the amount that is the same for everyone. Let’s say there’s one cheap fair available. What they won’t do is they won’t give you one cheap fair then three of the more expensive fairs. In order to figure that out, you price it twice. One at the quantity you want, say four, and one with just one ticket, and if the price per ticket is different, you know that there’s some cheaper fairs available, but just not four. What you do is, you buy a few of the cheaper and then a few of the more expensive and you get an overall lower cost for your trip.


“Did you know…Delta slowly resumes flights after major computer crash?”

delta resumes flights after computer outage

According to numerous reports, Delta Air Lines is recovering after a massive computer system crash, which occurred at 2:30am this morning.  Among the world’s largest carriers, Delta operates approximately 5,000 departures per day. Reuters reports that flights gradually began taking off again this morning, but the airline said customers should expect large-scale delays.

Southwest Airlines experienced a similar outage less than three ago, which resulted in 600-700 canceled and delayed flights.

According to Reuters, airline industry consultants say airlines face an increasing risk from computer disruptions as they automate more of their operations, distribute boarding passes on smartphones and fit their planes with Wi-Fi.




Brexit and Terror Impact Travel Plans to US and Europe

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

American Airlines President Scott Kirby told USA Today that revenue on seat-capacity available to Europe dropped 6% during April, May and June, compared to a year earlier. A double-digit decline Europe is expected in the third quarter, he added.


According to a Wall Street Journal report, “A confluence of negative factors is buffeting Europe’s tourism business. Travelers appear more cautious following a spate of attacks—most recently in Munich and in Nice, France. Economic growth in many European countries is weak, straining some consumers’ pocketbooks. And the British pound is down 8.6% against the euro since the Brexit vote—boosting costs for the bloc’s single largest source of international tourists after Germany.”

In a related story from nsight, demand for US travel from the UK is down nearly 18% YOY. And it’s not limited to Great Britain:

  • France demand to the US for the summer is down with the biggest drop in July (-13.2%) and August and September down less than 5%.
  • Germany demand increased for July (+10.8%) and then dropped moderately YOY for August (-7.5%) and September (-8.5%).

“Did you know…Bombardier Boasts the Widest Middle Seat in the Business?”

At a time when airline seats seem to have transformed into vice grips, one airplane manufacturer is bucking the trend and playing to our nation’s pervasive portliness.

Bombardier CS100

According to a recent article in the Daily News, Bombardier, Inc., unveiled its new CS-100 jet at the Farnborough International Airshow. At 19-inches, the jet’s middle seats are a full inch larger than Airbus’s biggest seat.

Swiss International Air Lines will be the first airline to carry the new roomier jets starting on July 15.

2nd Annual Summer Travel Survey Reveals Thoughts About Travel Safety, Rewards Programs, and How Airlines Can Keep Customers

Travel experts weigh in on results adding commentary about purchasing habits, security / privacy issues and Facebook’s edge as the preferred way for travelers to share their travel experiences

With families in the thick of planning their summer vacations, is releasing results from its second annual travel survey. The data reveals, not surprisingly, that the majority (81%) of travelers believe taking a vacation is very important, citing exposure to beauty, culture and new people as the biggest benefit, followed by increased energy, excitement and stress relief.  The survey also discovered that despite vast technological leaps and the convenience of online search and booking, planning a vacation is still a time-consuming proposition with 51% of those polled saying they spend a minimum of 2-3 hours over multiple days hunting down airfare deals and nearly a one-third spending in excess of 4 hours over multiple days. The overwhelming majority (79%) also said they would relinquish some privacy issues to expedite security checkpoints and voiced what they want airlines to do to maintain their loyalty.

WATCH: ExpertFlyer Co-founder and President Chris Lopinto comments on trends emerging from latest survey

ExpertFlyer conducted the survey with more than 1,200* consumer-based travelers subscribing to its free Seat Alerts app to determine their favorite destinations, airlines and award programs, how they pay for travel, and how they communicate with the world while on vacation and more.  The illuminating results are illustrated in the survey’s infographic. Continue reading →