Tag: SFO

2 big airlines fly back to SFO, cheap travel outlook, double beds in biz class + more travel news

In this week’s TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter…

Last week I sat down virtually with Jared Kamrowski, the energetic and informed founder of one of my favorite airfare deal-finding sites and newsletters, ThriftyTraveler.com. Take a read through our lively, advice-laden conversation to learn about the airfare outlook for the holidays, spring break and next summer; “crazy good” fare deals;  how a COVID-19 vaccination will impact 2021 trips to Europe or Hawaii and lots more. Read: Expert advice on the near future of cheap travel

After years of expansion, airline growth at San Francisco International Airport hit a dry spell this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on air travel. That’ll end next month when Qatar Airways operates its first regularly scheduled flights to SFO — the only international airline to launch a new flight to SFO in 2020.  Come take a look inside the two-class A350 jet we toured in Los Angeles last week to see the double beds and private suites onboard! Read: Qatar Airways to bring ‘private living room’ suites to SFO next month

In route news, Singapore Airlines will revive San Francisco flights next month; Cathay Pacific is dropping some U.S. routes; Copa is back at SFO this weekend; Frontier Airlines will move into Oakland; Southwest and Allegiant add California service; Alaska and American announce new mutual perks for their frequent flier members; major carriers extend change fee elimination to international routes; Delta pushes its empty-middle-seat promise into the spring; airlines prepare to put 737 Max aircraft back into service; Norwegian files for reorganization; new U.S.-U.K. bilateral air agreement is signed; Aer Lingus gets the nod to join AA/British Airways joint venture; Korean Air will buy a controlling stake in Asiana; and Los Angeles International opens COVID-19 testing facilities for passengers. Read: Routes- Singapore, Copa back at SFO, Frontier to OAK + Alaska/AA, change fees, 737 Max news, more

American Express will nearly double the size of its wildly popular Centurion Lounge at San Francisco International Airport — a welcome expansion that will alleviate crowding when travel picks up again. SFO’s Airport Commission unanimously approved the expansion project during its Nov. 11 meeting. Read: SFO’s overcrowded Centurion Lounge to expand

Comments from a credit card executive are raising concerns that formerly frequent travelers are accumulating large amounts of miles and points in airline and hotel loyalty programs but not using them – for now. Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available, that could lead to a sudden rush to claim free flights and rooms, putting a strain on the availability of those rewards. Read: Frequent fliers could face this problem with post-pandemic travel


Planning to fly to Hawaii for the holidays? Better make sure your negative COVID-19 results are in hand, and not just pending, before boarding your plane under a change to the state’s Safe Travels program announced Thursday, Nov. 19. Read: Hawaii is tightening COVID-19 restrictions, from mask mandates to visitor testing

After nearly two years and a pair of deadly crashes, the U.S. Federal

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United to JFK; Hawaii testing blossoms; another SFO lounge + more travel news

In this week’s TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter…

In route news, it looks like SFO transcon flyers on United will get two NYC options next year; United customers to Hawaii get another testing location at SFO as the islands once again welcome tourists; Hawaii’s hotels and resorts are gradually reopening; American makes new concessions to AAdvantage elites; Southwest plans to start flying out of two big United hubs; UA will add more Mexico/Central American service this winter; Qantas will resume repatriation flights; JetBlue and Southwest will open up service to a popular Colorado ski resort; and American Express reopens its Centurion Lounge at SFO. Read: Routes: United at JFK, Hawaii updates, Alaska-American + AAdvantage, Southwest, AmEx at SFO, more

Two new lounges at SFO? Yep. The old USO Center near the Delta Air Lines gates at San Francisco International Airport shut down for good in March during the onset of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. But the USO Center, SFO’s most exclusive lounge, is now back in business in a brand new location. See photos in this post for a closer look!) Read: Take a look inside SFO’s big USO lounge upgrade for service members This is the second lounge at SFO to open this month — American also opened a shiny new Admirals Club in T1 — Read more about that here. 

California home buyers are flocking to Hawaii and snapping up homes, sometimes sight unseen. But from coqui frogs that chirp all night to an hour’s drive to the closest supermarket, the homes in rural Hawaii that some California buyers are purchasing after seeing them only online may come with unadvertised downsides. Read: ‘Not always going to be easy’: What Bay Area transplants to Hawaii need to know

Oakland Airport now has two COVID testing sites, and both are free. There’s one between terminals on airport grounds, and another on the north side of the airport, which you can access via car. This makes flying out of Oakland a much cheaper option for Hawaii-bound travelers hoping to avoid the $80-$250 fees at SFO.  Read: Oakland airport will offer free COVID-19 tests for Hawaii-bound travelers


When Singapore Airlines said seats on its superjumbo-turned-restaurant sold out in 30 minutes, one common question was: Who on Earth would want to do that? Plenty of people, it turns out. For every person who doesn’t relish flying, let alone schlepping to the airport and onto a parked plane for some reheated airline food, there’s another who can’t get enough of the aviation experience and is willing to shell out (big bucks) for it. Read: Why people pay hundreds of dollars to eat on grounded planes

Alaska Airlines and American have been moving closer together for months now, with increased code-sharing, plans by AA to shift some international flying on the West Coast from Los Angeles to Alaska’s Seattle hub and so on. They have also been promising that Alaska, which has never been part of a global alliance, will become a full member of American’s Oneworld 

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