The Tactical Traveler

Let Them Eat…Cereal
We've seen some wacky concepts come and go at the airports over the years, but Cereality takes the, uh, cake. In case you've forgotten--or never knew--Cereality is a restaurant concept aimed at the nation's cereal eaters. The small chain was launched four years ago at Arizona State University and the founders designed their shops to look vaguely reminiscent of the cereal-filled kitchen in Seinfeld. (Jerry Seinfeld is a noted cereal freak.) Now Cereality, which serves brand-name hot and cold cereals as well as special mixes of cereals and toppings, has targeted U.S. airports for expansion. The chain has hired a former executive of airport-catering giant HMSHost and it has opened its first Cereality Café at Newark Airport. A second Cereality will open at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in the spring and a third branch is expected to open at New York's Kennedy Airport.

Speaking of Airport Eats…
The aforementioned HMSHost has opened four new restaurants at Minneapolis/St. Paul. Three of the dining outlets are airport versions of local Twin Cities favorites: French Meadow Bakery & Café; Ike's, a self-described supper club; and Locando D'Amico. The newest Locando D'Amico at MSP--there are two others--is located on the F Concourse and is the first to offer sit-down service. … When Horizon Air launches its service from Sonoma County Airport on March 20, there will be a special perk for passengers on the flights to Seattle and Los Angeles. Horizon says it will accept a third piece of checked luggage free: a box of up to 12 bottles of wine. … Speaking of Sea-Tac, the airport has ended valet parking service. … United Airlines is dumping its Chicago/O'Hare-Osaka flights. Why? Mortgaged to the hilt and unable to buy, lease or borrow new planes, United needs to redeploy the aircraft used on the Osaka run to the Beijing route that launches from its Washington/Dulles hub later this month.












































*Effective 3/8 - 4/30 **Effective 3/9 - 4/30
Source: JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Gets Small Because It's Getting Big
One of the reasons people have liked JetBlue Airways since its birth in 2000 is that the airline didn't operate or put its name on any 50-seat regional jets or small, cramped turbo-prop aircraft. But as JetBlue grows, it's now getting small, too. Beginning March 19, JetBlue is slapping its once-sacrosanct B6 code on flights operated by Cape Air, a commuter carrier that flies turbo-props around Cape Cod. JetBlue will code-share on Cape Air flights from Boston to Hyannis, Provincetown, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. (JetBlue will also launch its own flights to Nantucket from its New York/Kennedy hub on May 24.) And 50-seat regional jets will pop up on JetBlue routes as early as today thanks to a software glitch on the airline's 100-seat Embraer 190s. JetBlue says it will be updating the systems on the 190s as they are brought in for routine maintenance. The temporary replacement for the out-of-service 190s? Four 50-seat RJs operated by ExpressJet. And just like the big airlines it once liked to claim it was different than, JetBlue won't say when or on what routes passengers will find the temporary regional-jet replacements. March 10 update: JetBlue has now supplied the schedule of flights run with RJs while various EMB-190s are getting their software updates. The schedule is on the chart at left.

A New Passage to India From New York
The under-served market for flights to India gets another boost this fall when Continental Airlines launches its second route to the subcontinent. Effective October 30, Continental will fly daily nonstops between its Newark hub and Mumbai (Bombay). The long-haul service (15 hours eastbound and 16 hours westbound) will operate with two-class Boeing 777-200s. Continental launched Newark-Delhi nonstops two years ago. … The small, but noticeable, trend toward morning flights to Europe gets another contender this spring. Beginning May 1, Air France will fly six weekly flights departing at 7:50 a.m. from New York/Kennedy to Paris/deGaulle. … On June 2, Iberia will launch five weekly Airbus A340 flights from Washington/Dulles to Madrid. Iberia announced last month that it would begin Boston-Madrid flights on May 6. … Delta Air Lines continues to build its non-hub international service. On June 7, it begins daily flights to Santo Domingo from Fort Lauderdale. Two days later, it launches a weekly flight from Los Angeles to Belize City. … Air New Zealand will operate three weekly seasonal nonstops between Vancouver and Auckland. The service will run between November 2 and March 28.

Business-Travel News You Need to Know
Spirit Airlines dropped the other shoe (or should we say bag?) this week. After announcing in January that it would begin charging travelers $10 to check a second piece of luggage, the airline says it will begin charging $10 for every piece of checked luggage beginning on June 20. Passengers will also be charged for beverages. Sounds like a good reason to start booking away from Spirit. … Hampton has opened a 135-room hotel in Chicago. What's unique about another Hampton? This hotel is located at 22 West Monroe, which also houses the LaSalle Theater, a 101-year-old building that was once known as the Majestic Theater and the Shubert Theater. … Here's a nice twist: Alaska Airlines has introduced one-way awards for Mileage Plan members. … FlyerTalk, a popular Internet message board for frequent flyers, has been sold. The creator, Randy Petersen, has sold to Internet Brands, which owns a variety of other Web sites. … AirTran Airways won't give up on its attempt to buy Midwest Airlines. AirTran has extended its offer for Midwest shares until April 11. … Another tragedy in Indonesia: At least two dozen people died yesterday when a Garuda Boeing 737 caught fire on landing in Yogyakarta. … March 10 update: RegionsAir, an American Airlines commuter carrier at St. Louis/Lambert, has canceled flights to nine cities until March 31. The cities: Burlington, Iowa; Decatur, Marion, Springfield and Quincy, Illinois; Fort Leonard Wood and Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Owensboro, Kentucky; and Jackson, Tennessee.

Airline Going Bad? Sue Your Critics
When Mesa Airlines launched go! on intra-Hawaii routes last June, it offered fares as low as $19. Its one-way fares now have settled in at about $39 one-way, but locals and tourists have apparently decided that the regional jets flown by go! don't match up to the service offered on traditional jets offered by Hawaii's incumbent carriers, Aloha and Hawaiian. In fact, load factors on go! dropped to 58.4 percent in January, the lowest since the airline was founded. So what do you do when things go bad? Sue your critics. Mesa is suing an Aloha Airlines pilot named Michael Uslan. Mesa says Uslan and 11 John Doe defendants made false and defamatory claims about Mesa and its combative chief executive, Jonathan Ornstein, on a Web site called Don't Fly Go!. Uslan says he has no connection to the site. The 11 John Does told Ornstein to shove it. (Okay, I made that last part up...)

Copyright © 1993-2007 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.