American Airlines expands preordered meal option, plans code share with Qatar
Passengers traveling in the premium cabin on American Eagle flights can now preorder meals as they currently can on mainline American Airlines flights. The move adds another 300 flights daily with the service and makes American the only carrier in the U.S. to offer advanced meal orders on both mainline and regional flights. Meals can be ordered on qualifying flights beginning 30 days prior to departure up until 20 hours before travel.
In other news, American said it will rekindle its relationship with Qatar Airways through a new codeshare plan. Under the new plan, American will put its code on Qatar flights from the U.S. and Doha along with flights beyond to high-demand markets such as Hyderabad and Chennai in India and African cities such as Nairobi and Johannesburg. Qatar would place its code on select domestic and transatlantic flights from American’s hub cities. The new agreement is subject to government approval.
Amtrak modifies its pricing to be more like the airlines
Passengers who purchase discounted fares on Amtrak will now be subject to cancellation restrictions similar to the airlines. The lowest train fares will be nonrefundable while other fares will come with a penalty if changed within 14 days of travel. Amtrak says the changes will allow for deeper discounts on the lowest fares. Customers who purchase the higher Flexible Fares will still be able to change or cancel their itineraries without penalty.
CLEAR comes to St. Louis
The identity screening company CLEAR is now available in Terminal 2 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Travelers who are members of CLEAR can use a special expedited line to verify their identity. CLEAR uses biometric screening including fingerprints or eye scans to authenticate a member’s identity. CLEAR is currently available at over 65 airports, stadiums, and other locations around the country. For more information about CLEAR please visit https://www.clearme.com/.
United raises checked bag fees
Following a move made by JetBlue earlier this year, United Airlines is raising its checked bag fees. Passengers will now pay $35 for the first checked bag while the second bag will now cost $45. The new rates apply to reservations made after Feb. 21 for travel starting on March 6. However, customers can still pay the old rate if they take care of the baggage fee online any time before check in.
Virgin Atlantic to phase out complimentary ground transfers
Starting July 1, Virgin Atlantic will no longer offer complimentary ground transfers for Upper Class passengers. This includes chauffer cars, limobikes and Heathrow and Gatwick Express tickets. Customers will still be able to book chauffer services through Virgin Atlantic, but there will be an added fee associated with the option as there currently is for other customers traveling on non-eligible fares.