Archive for October 30, 2014

Flight Review: Southwest 659 and 514 ORF-BWI-BOS

Background and Ticketing

I bought these tickets as part of a return leg from a wedding in Maryland and a week in sunny Virginia Beach, VA. When I fly back to BOS from the Hampton Road area I have a choice of two airports, Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Newport News International Airport (PHF). Richmond’s Byrd International Airport (RIC) is also an option but it is an hour and half from VA Beach. Southwest and US Airways Express offer the lowest priced option from ORF and Delta Connection from PHF. Before the merger of Southwest and Airtran there was a direct flight between BOS-PHF on a Boeing 717 which began my love for that aircraft that I blogged about here. I miss that flight as it was direct, no fee for a checked bag, on a 717 and never full. This time I went with Southwest out of ORF connecting in BWI as they had the lowest price at $94 and I could check a bag for free. I rarely ever check a bag on short flights but this time I wanted to throw caution to the wind, it almost can back to bite me. I also would much rather fly on a 737 instead of cramming into a CRJ on US Air and I wanted to continue building my Southwest rapid rewards points.20141021_200546 (2)

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tripchi airport app newsletter

tripchi Airport App, What’s the Haps, and Recaps – October 2014, Autumn Edition

Halloween is right around the corner and all of us at the tripchi airport app are all starting to think about our holiday travel plans (at least for those of us in North America). If you’re following us on Twitter, then you already saw our tips on when to book for Thanksgiving from Hopper (at least 10 days in advance).

tripchi airport app - time to think about holiday travel!

tripchi airport app – time to think about holiday travel!

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World’s First Airport Winery

You may have a had beer at an airport brew pub in Boston at the Cisco Brewery or at O’Hare’s Goose Island Brewing Company but have you ever had a glass of wine produced at the airport? Chances are the answer is no. If you get a chance to travel to Cape Town International, which I recently wrote an airport review on, you can experience the worlds first airport winery. The Winery will produce exclusively Merlot and will be pouring glasses by the end of 2015. It is part of CPT’s passenger “ambiance project” to promote the best of what Cape Town has to offer.

To read the BackRowFliers full blog on the world first airport winery, Click Here.

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Southwest International – It’s here, Sort of

Three years ago, Low-Cost Carrier Southwest merged with its rival, AirTran. Combined, the airlines now carry more domestic passengers than any other. One of the key reasons Southwest bought AirTran in the first place was for AirTran’s attractive international routes – allowing Southwest International to come into existence, reaching coveted and higher-margin international markets.

Southwest - AirTran

Southwest – AirTran – Photo courtesy of WXIA

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Flight Review: Qatar Airways 1366 on the 787 Dreamliner

Background/Ticketing for Qatar Airways Flight 1366

(Full Disclosure this flight was taking by my girlfriend Suzanne. What follows is her thoughts as dictated to me.)

The trip was part of a two leg return flight from Cape Town International to Johannesburg to Hamad International Airport in Doha to Washington Dulles. Hopefully we can feature all four of these airports on the tripchi airport app and don’t forget sign up for our Airport Improvement contest to win an Iphone 5 case!

The tickets were purchased for two main reasons; price and overall flight time. Flying from South Africa can get pricey so anything in the $600 range one way is a good deal. These tickets were had for $629. There were cheaper flights on Etihad Airlines but required a long layover in Abu Dhabi that would have made the overall flight time significantly longer. The overall flight time was 27 hours, which is relatively short for such a cheap ticket. The first leg of the flight was on Qatar Airways new 787-8 Dreamliner with a fuel stop for two hours in Johannesburg followed by a 2hr layover in Doha before boarding a 777-300ER bound for the Capital. We will focus in on the 787-8 experience as we have covered the 777 before.

Qatar Airways 787-8 at CPT

Qatar Airways 787-8 at CPT

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Flight Review: Frontier 405 DEN – LAX

Background/Ticketing for Frontier 405

I bought my Frontier 405 flight from Denver to Los Angeles as part of a round-trip ticket on Orbitz. The purpose of my visit to LA was to film a video with Post Script Production of my grandfather, Marv. The shoot lasted 2 days over the weekend and was a smashing success. I decided to travel on Wednesday night from Denver through Tuesday leaving Los Angeles to take advantage of the lowest fare possible. The round-trip ticket cost was $141.10 (from Orbitz). One of the reasons I decided to purchase it from Orbitz rather than from the Frontier website directly was because I like earning Orbitz Rewards Points for my trips, and I had no such loyalty affiliation (yet) with Frontier. I used the Orbitz day finder tool to find the cheapest fare +/- 3 days and that drove the decision to book Frontier. Typically I fly United (and actually have reached Silver status with United this year), but the prices on United were coming in around $230 – Frontier 405 was just considerably cheaper. This drove my decision to a price play rather than a loyalty play for the booking.

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Bluetooth Enters Airport Space

If you have a smartphone chances are you have used Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth by definition is a standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of cellular phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Bluetooth can be used to link you smartphones to a compatible device such as a portable speaker or your car to make calls. There are many benefits to Bluetooth tech, it’s inexpensive, standardized, has low interference and is completely wireless. The technology is handy and has been expanding to retailers and now to a major airport in the US.

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Airport Restaurant Month

Airport Restaurant Month is Here

As many of you know, it’s restaurant week across our nation’s restaurants, at various points throughout October. Different cities coordinate different weeks, but many kick-off this week – Oct 6 through 10. But, airports across North America (US and Canada) are honoring restaurant week across the entire month of October, essentially creating an airport restaurant month. So that means that, while in your city you only have a week to enjoy the reduced prices and special menus, in your airport you have the entire month to partake! Foodies take note – October is a great month to travel. 🙂 Or else you will wind up with this on the plane….

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