Dear 2012: So long, and thanks for all the incredible experiences!
This week’s episode is a (relatively) quick trip down memory lane for the PointsHoarder crew. We’re talking about a few quick news pieces (Air China is going to fly to Houston and Virgin America is going to fly to Newark) but that’s not the real focus of the show. Instead we decided to take a look back at 2012 and recount some of the high points of the year, both from a personal and points-world perspective.
Both Stephan and I got to fly our longest flights ever, for example, in 2012. And there were a few great deals, mistake fares and other promotions which made the year rather memorable. In some cases the deals which weren’t honored became bigger stories than those which were. Not so sure that’s a good thing, particularly in light of the United 4-miler deal, but that’s what we saw.
Alliances grew and shrank, a few airlines went out of business and some came quite close. There were new aircraft, new routes and new elite levels. There were new union contracts, bankruptcy court rulings and some pretty incredible fare wars launched.
All in all, a tremendous year. Give the episode a listen to run it through in just over a half hour.
And check out the stats for all three of us (interestingly, on three different services), too:
- Fozz on FlightDiary
- Stephan on FlightMemory
- Seth on OpenFlights
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- Singapore Air opened up partner award seats on nearly all their flights so I flew Newark-Singapore
- AirBerlin joins oneworld
- Virgin America added partners
- United integrated their PSS post-merger to a single platform; it sortof went ok
- AirTran and Southwest points became fungible
- The Istanbul fare wars started
- Lawsuit filed over United’s Million Miler Lifetime benefits
- United’s Denver-Tokyo service announced, including the mistake fare
- PointsHoarder launched, probably the biggest news of the year!
- RGN fares became popular, including DoT enforcement and the honoring of the fares, at least in round one
- Lufthansa puts the 747-8i into service and I was on board
- Hawaiian Airlines launches JFK – Honolulu and United launches Honolulu-Dulles
- Copa and Avianca/Taca join Star Alliance
- For the second time in 2012 Singapore Air award inventory is wide open to partners
- Both Virgin America and JetBlue announce Elite Levels in their programs
- The infamous United 4 Miler mistake award rate is exposed, then mostly canceled, creating one of the uglier scenes in mistake fare history that I can recall
- Aerolineas Argintina joins SkyTeam
- United 787 service announced
- American Airlines and their pilots see a contract tossed, setting the stage for the mess which will be the early Fall operational issues
- El Al puts up a Tel Aviv mistake fare which is honored
- United Expert mode disappeared and reappeared
- United’s first 787 is delivered
- Southwest international flights contracts signed with FAs
- Air Canada‘s revised Altitude elite program details released
- UA adjusts the 787 schedules for the first of many times
- Alitalia “free” flights with JYP 25000 coupons; some honored
- Global alliance shakeup with middle-east carriers, including the Emirate-Qantas deal (this actually happened in September, not October) and Qatar indicating they’ll join oneworld.
- Delta buys 49% of Virgin Atlantic
- Long Beach opens a new terminal
- Pilot contracts signed by American and United
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Happy New Year to a must-listen podcast!
Very informative podcast, looking fwd to many more in 2013. Have a good one!
I love listening to your podcast! Perfect combination of news, background info and knowledge, as well as your personal opinions and commentaries on airlines and hotels! When’s the next episode? please please please.
You’re about 18 hours from the next episode being released!
We missed a couple episodes with our Christmas/New Years travel but we’re back on it now. Mere hours away!!