Early Morning Flight out of Sacramento International Airport? Plan Ahead!


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For years, flying out of Sacramento International was simple.  There was no reason to show up a couple of hours ahead.   The traffic WAS minimal.   Well that was so 2016.

For years, there were few non stops east of Denver.  Today there are non stops to Charlotte, Orlando,  Newark and Houston.    Southwest plans non stops to New Orleans and Alaska just announced a flight between Sac and Kona Hawaii, this winter.   The result is more traffic .   .

More than a million travelers flew in and out of Sacramento in  May.  Air Canada returned to SMF with flights to Vancouver. Frontier returns in August .

If you have a flight that depart before 6:45am leave early,.  With only two northbound lanes on I-5 the traffic backup begin about 4:30am.  Sometimes beyond the 99 split. over three miles from the airport.

Once in the airport, parking and shuttle are very efficient.  However, if you are traveling through terminal A, (which is currently under constructuion) again plan ahead.   The Terminal was constructed before 9/11 and the early morning security lines are the longest in the airport with lines often backing up over the bridge that connects the terminal with the parking garage.

A fix is on the way, and should be completed by next year.  The airport has advised early morning travelers on United, American, Delta to arrive two hours ahead.

Travelers with flights  departing between 8am and 6pm should not have any delays, with security waits average less than 20 minutes*

Sacramento International Airport remains one of the easiest airport to travel in and out .

The current bottle neck is an easy fix by simply increasing the number of lanes entering the airport from one to two.

*as of this date

CityFella

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Airline Travel: Passengers Treated Like Manure


JETBLUECEOPIC

This is Robin Hayes CEO of JetBlue Airlines.  He is seated one JetBlue’s newest plane the Airbus A321.  This picture is in current USA Today (6/29/2015) and I noticed the arm rest is up in the picture.

Mr Hayes, seems like an average size man. Yet in the seat, he looks a bit Snug.

JetBlue is one of my favorite airlines. I’ve flown them for years without incident. A big man, I chose Jet Blue (and most airlines flying the Airbus) because of its superior seating space.

In the USA article Mr Hayes says he was tasked with delivering value to passengers and the carrier’s shareholders at the same time.

Which in passenger speak,  means higher prices and tighter cabins . Passengers now pay for baggage on Jet Blue.  Leaving Southwest as the lone carrier without bag fees for now. Profitability mean the single cabin Jet Blue will have tired cabins on their coast to cost flights like the monster carriers.   With a deluxe and business and economy seating.

Beginning sometime in 2016  we will lose that precious space on the A320 as the carrier plans to squeeze in 15 additional seats.  I’m sure if were  feeling  nostalgic about the former space, we can buy it back.  This practice is common on the big three ( American, Delta, and United)

From the picture, I am convinced Hayes and other airline executives are not passengers on their airlines.

On most airlines anyone over 5.9 and 180 pounds is obese. Southwest Airlines is one of the better airlines however if your are large, you may have to purchase an extra ticket.  From my experience their person of size policy is the most aggressive.

Alternatives and the absence of competition

Before airline deregulation in the late seventies.  The average American took the Bus or the train.  Deregulation brought the cost of the ticket down.   Deregulation took its toll on interstate bus travel leaving Greyhound as the only intercity buses system and today it serves fewer cities.   Passenger rail collapsed  leaving the government run Amtrak.

At one time there were more than 25 airlines, today there are more planes in the air, but fewer airlines.  In the last few years, the giant carrier United merged with giant Continental.   Giant carrier US Airways is now apart of giant American.

With fewer airlines to choose from more than anytime in the last 50 years , the price of travel in the US has increased and the service has deteriorated.    More people are packed on smaller planes with smaller seats and with fewer services.

With high speed rail, decades away, what are the alternatives ?

One airline to watch is the Las Vegas based Allegiance Airlines.  Their fares are often much lower than Frontier, Jet Blue and Southwest.   The carrier buys and refurbish  older planes, notably  the  MD-80 have room to spare at the fraction of the cost of new aircraft. Many of their routes are in third tier airports which have lower fees.  In Northern California, they fly out of Stockton, Fresno and Oakland.    With fares as low as $100 to Hawaii.     I have found the staff is attentive and the airline clean.

This this isn’t an airline for the business traveler.   There are often one to five flights a week to a dedestination.  If a flight is cancelled, you may have to wait a few days up to a week for the next flight.    You cant plan too far ahead  with Allegiance, the carrier has a reputation of cancelling unprofitable routes.

Megabus and the Bolt Bus (Operated by Greyhound)  offers real a alternative to air travel.   A Bus?  Yes.  These buses are equipped with free WiFi and they have power outlets to charge your phone and PC.

Unlike Greyhound, their are no brick and mortar stations.  Only a designated bus stops.  Tickets are pre purchased online and a boarding pass is required for travel.     The buses are generally non stop and is very popular with college students.

Pricing is much like the airlines.  You save $$$$ by purchasing tickets in advance.  It is possible to travel for as one dollar.   Megabus has grown by word of mouth.  All my experiences in the south, here in California and last year on the east coast (The Picture Below is their mammoth bus stop in New York City)  has been positive . The Buses are clean and on time.

NycMega2014 059

The Los Angeles-San Francisco corridor is one of the busiest in the world.  Its an hour flight. When you include wait time its about  3hours and 15 minutes* each way.   Average cost  of an advance ticket is $111 each way.

Travel time on Megabus : Seven hours and 30 minutes. Average Cost $40 each way.  The seats are wider, more legroom and no baggage cost.

A long time ago, there was only one real phone company in America AT&T

 The giant airlines really don’t care about customer service scores.  They are not concerned about the high scores of smaller Carriers  like Virgin ,Alaska and Jet Blue.   A few years ago, the airlines said they needed to charge to baggage to off set high fuel costs.   With fuel cost at their lowest in years, have the airlines reduced costs or eliminated baggage fees?

NO they don’t have to!

CityFella

Flying this weekend? You may want rethink your carry on……(9X14X22)


 

By CityFella

(Que Harp Music)

Oh my,look at those smiling faces. There was a time in American Air Travel when travelers could freely pack their Samsonite’s to the max. With the exception of a Briefcase or Make up bag, no one brought their bags on board the plane. They could arrive and hour before their flight, check their bags at the ticket counter and sit on seats wide and comfy enough for Aunt Katie.  In the air, they had snacks and meals that rivaled the best blue plate special at  Woolworth’s. Is that meatloaf and potato’s? yum !

9X14X22

(Que Suspense Music)

A few years ago, the airlines began charging for baggage.  They said they needed the surcharges to offset rising fuel costs.   As a result many people brought their baggage on board with them.

What is a sizer?

The airlines have always had carry on restrictions, but rarely enforced them. However that is changing.  Last  March United Airlines revised its carry on policy. Its previous policy was that no dimension could be over 22 inches and the total overall dimensions no more than 45 inches.  Today to qualify for a carry on, the maximum dimensions of your bag is 9X14X22. American and Delta has updated their carry-on bag policies, including a 14-inch maximum width, So these very specific measurements really change the game, and will be causing a lot of anger and even more headaches at airports nationwide.

It’s interesting that not all airlines have the same size limits. Southwest and JetBlue have a more generous 24 by 16 by 10-inch carry-on limit. for now.

9X14X22

American Airlines,Delta Airlines, and United(Continental) controls over 50% of domestic Market.

Rethink those Shoes

Forgot to includes those shoes and your able to zip the bag.  If those shoe protrude, and does not easily fit in the bag sizer, you’ll have to pay for baggage.

If your travelling on American,Delta, Spirit and United allow extra time. The enforcement of the new rules will delay many passengers.  Some will miss their flights entirely.

Remember those happy people, this is the New World Order in airline travel.

Look for smiles…….

This Scrumptious Meal will Cost you $7.00 to $12.00

 

?

Daddy, what’s a Woolworth’s? 

(Using a deep authoritative voice) Well son Woolworth’s was one of the first discount stores, back in the olden days we called them five and dime stores.   They were in nearly every city in the country… The bigger stores had lunch counters where you could order breakfast lunch and dinner.  The world changed and Woolworth closed.  The name lives on in Australia, New Zealand and other countries.     Dad ,why they call them lunch counters if they served breakfast and dinner?  Son, that’s a good……. Is that the new Iphone 6? 

Ok what is the blue plate special? 

Son,I will have the check Wikipedia for this one.

Blue-plate special or blue plate special is a term used in the United States by restaurants, particularly (but not only)diners and cafes. It refers to a specially low-priced meal, usually changing daily. It typically consists of a “meat and three” (three vegetables), presented on a single plate, often a divided plate rather than on separate dishes. The term was very common from the 1920s through the 1950s. As of 2007, there are still a few restaurants and diners that offer blue-plate specials under that name, sometimes on blue plates, but it is a vanishing tradition

9X14X22

Rabbi Ginsberg,The Supreme Court Say’s Your Outta There!


By CityFella

There was a time when signs like this were common.  With the signs  business owners told customers they weren’t putting up with any unnecessary shenanigans.   While the signs aren’t present in most establishments business still have the right to refuse business.

In 1979, Texas International Airlines created the first frequent-flyer program that used mileage tracking to give ‘rewards’ to its passengers.  Within three years nearly every airline in the US offered a frequent flyer program.  With the program, the customers would earn miles which they could use for free airline tickets, vacations and more.

Loyalty and Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg

The more you fly the higher your status.   Perks comes with status and airline often go the extra mile for their loyal travelers.    These premiums travelers demand and higher level of service for their loyalty.  Some high status  travelers study and become proficient with the frequent player programs  and use the programs to their advantage.  Other travelers make unreasonable demands and are often rewards for their misdeeds.  Occasionally and airline will drop an elite member.

Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg , an educator from Minnesota who travels widely and leads tours as part of his work.  He joined Northwest’s WorldPerks frequent flier program in 1999 and reached Platinum Elite status in 2005.   In June of 2008, Ginsberg said a Northwest representative called him and told him his status was being revoked “on the ground that he had ‘abused’ the program.

The airline said Ginsberg abused the terms of its frequent flyer program by complaining too much about issues like delayed baggage (24 times over the 6-month period from December 2007-June 2008),including nine incidents of his bag arriving late at the luggage carousel, and intentionally booking himself on full flights in the hopes of getting lucrative bump opportunities.  Minneapolis based Northwest (acquired by Atlanta based Delta Airlines)  the airline awarded him nearly $2,000 in vouchers, gave him nearly 80,000 bonus frequent flyer miles, and almost $500 in cash reimbursements before finally taking action to delete him from its program, according to court papers.

Ginsberg said his complaints involved only a small proportion of the flights he took on Northwest and were limited to such issues as long waits for luggage and not being notified about flight cancellations.

In the Northwest letter to Ginsberg…….

“You have continually asked for compensation over and above our guidelines. We have awarded you $1,925.00 in travel credit vouchers, 78,500 WorldPerks bonus miles, a voucher extension for your son, and $491.00 in cash reimbursements,” the letter states, according to court papers. “Due to our past generosity, we must respectfully advise that we will no longer be awarding you compensation each time you contact us.”

In November of 2008, Northwest sent Ginsberg an e-mail, in which the airline quoted a paragraph from the fine print of the WorldPerks Program.

It stated that Northwest could determine “in its sole judgment” whether a passenger has abused the program, and that abuse “may result in cancellation of the member’s account and future disqualification from program participation, forfeiture of all mileage accrued and cancellation of previously issued but unused awards.”

Ginsberg argued that the move was an effort by Northwest to purge its expensive frequent flyer program before proceeding with its merger with Delta.

How did this get to the US Supreme Court? 

The case was fought at the state level, in federal circuit court, at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and finally at the Supreme Court. The central issue was whether Ginsberg had standing under the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, which limits the types of lawsuits flyers may file against airlines as well as the laws states may pass relating to airlines’ operations. Ginsberg argued that the airline did not act in good faith in its contract with frequent flyers and thus preempts the Airline Deregulation Act and is subject to Minnesota state contract law.

Last Wednesday Apr 2 ,The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an airline customer cannot sue after being thrown out of a frequent flyer program.

On a 9-0 vote, the court said Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg cannot pursue his claims against Northwest Airlines Corp, which ceased operations in 2010 after merging with Delta Air Lines Inc. He claimed breach of contract under Minnesota state law.

The court held the federal Airline Deregulation Act barred Ginsberg’s lawsuit. The act says states have no say in regulating the price, route or service of an air carrier.

 

Joe Rickey Hundley, Plead Guilty for Slapping 19 month old child on plane ( “shut that nigger baby up”)


Earlier this year, sixty year old Joe Rickey Hundley,  slapped a 19th month old child for crying on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta .

Hundley faces a maximum of one year in prison (and a $100,000 fine) for assaulting someone under the age of 16, Prosecutors will recommend a six-month prison term when Hundley is sentenced in January.

Hundley was seated in row 28 next to Jessica Bennett and her 19-month-old son Jonah (who shared seat 28B). According to Bennett, as the MD-90 twin-engine jet began its descent into Atlanta, Jonah “started to cry due to the altitude change.”  Bennett told investigators that she “was trying to get [Jonah] to stop crying, but he continue

As her son continued to cryl, Bennett said, Hundley used the racial epithet and demanded that she quiet him. He then “turned around and slapped” the toddler in the face “with an open hand, which caused the juvenile victim to scream even louder,” according to FBI Agent Daron Cheney. The slap, Bennett recalled, “caused a scratch below [Jonah’s] right eye.”

A passenger on the flight told investigators that he “heard derogatory language coming from the rear of the aircraft” and saw Hundley strike the toddler.

Hundley claimed that he only “asked the mother to quiet the child.” He denied striking Jonah (seen at left) or using a racial slur,