United Airlines

United, American add to free entertainment menu

Now there are even more excuses not to talk to your seatmates on American Airlines and United Airlines flights.

Starting February 1, American Airlines passengers will have access to Apple Music songs, playlists and music videos on domestics flights equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi.

To access the service, passengers will connect to the inflight Wi-Fi at no cost and then log in with their Apple Music subscription. Customers who don’t already have an Apple Music subscription will still be able to get access to the music by connecting to the Wi-Fi (at no cost) and then signing up for free access to the service for three months.

Not to be outdone in the “more free entertainment” department, United Airlines announced that, starting now, passengers have access to free live DIRECTV channels on the carrier’s 211 Boeing 737 aircraft equipped with seat back TV.

That’s in addition to all the movies and TV shows available on personal devices through the airline’s app.

Snaps from United’s new Polaris Lounge at LAX

Photo by Harriet Baskas

United Airlines has opened its newest Polaris lounge. This one is at Los Angeles International Airport.

The new 12,000-square-foot lounge is open to passengers traveling on international flights in the United Polaris business class cabin and to customers in first or business class on long-haul international flights with a Star Alliance member airline may access the lounge as well.

Located on the upper level, between gates 73 and 75A in Terminal 7 at LAX and accessible via elevator and stairs, the new lounge has 140 seats, 272 power outlets and 120 USB ports, and a dozen semi-private work spaces with oversized chairs, AC and USB power, work or dining table, privacy dividers and a lamp.

Here are some snaps of the lounge:

United CEO Oscar Munoz helps with ribbon cutting of new Polaris lounge at LAX. Photo by Harriet Baskas

(Photos courtesy United Airlines, except where noted)

Donate to CA wildfires relief, get bonus United Airlines miles

Get bonus United Airlines miles for donating cash to fight California wildfires

United Airlines has launched a fundraising campaign to support the people and organizations responding to the wildfires in California.

If you contribute at least $50 you’ll not only help raise funds for the campaign; you’ll get some bonus airline miles.

Here’s the deal:

United is offering MileagePlus members bonus award miles for making cash contributions of $50 or more to the three disaster relief charities listed below. The airline has set aside 5 million miles for the offer and will match contributions made to the campaign up to a total of $50,000.

Donate $50 to $99 and earn 250 bonus miles
Donate $100 to $249 and earn 500 bonus miles
Donate $250 or more and earn $1000 bonus miles

The charities that will benefit from your donation to this campaign are:

American Red Cross

Americares

Airlink

North Coast Opportunities (for the Mendocino Complex Fire)

Shasta Regional Community Foundation (for the Carr Fire).

All these organizations are doing incredible work. Here’s some information from Airlink about just soe of what they’ve been doing to help with the effort:

“The Northern California wildfires are now the largest in the state’s history and United Airlines is launching a fundraising campaign to help Californians affected by the historic blaze.

Airlink is currently responding to the fires in partnership with Operation BBQ Relief. We’ve supported flights for volunteers serving 20,000+ warm meals to displaced residents and first responders.

As the fires burn through the region, Airlink continues to work with its nonprofit partners, ready to send responders or relief cargo when and where they are needed.”

The deadline for making your contribution and getting these bonus miles is August 30, 2018

Here’s the link to donate to the United Airlines fundraising campaign in support of California Wildfires relief efforts.

I’m donating. Are you?

United Airlines partners with that exclusive private lounge at LAX

You may remember stories about a private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport where passengers pay a premium fee to get special service before their flight, including private and personalized check-in and baggage handling, private security screening, a swank ride directly to the aircraft and a very upscale lounge to hang out in.

The cost? Fees are up there in the rarified “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” categories:

Membership is $4500 a year, which gives a discount rate on individual visits of (only) $2700 when flying on a domestic flight and $3,000 when flying one-way internationally.

Not a member? Those one-time visits cost $3,500 for a domestic flight and $4,000 for someone traveling internationally.

Want a “cheaper” way in?

United Airlines and The Private Suite have partnered up to offer what it describes as “a highly preferential rate” that will be included in some business-class fares.

Exact pricing isn’t mentioned in the airlines’ release about the new partnership, but on the webpage for the United Private Suite, it says:

“With this service, you’ll save $4,500 on The Private Suite’s annual membership fee that’s normally required for travel with other airlines. In addition, you’ll enjoy favorable rates when compared to making separate bookings for travel and The Private Suite experience.”

Want to book it?

United says the The Private Suite experience is initially available only if you book through select corporate travel booking desks and travel agents, but that passengers will soon be able to purchase the perk  on united.com or through the United app as part of a premium-cabin ticket fare.

 

Travel Tidbits: from United and JetBlue

United Airlines will open its Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (at Gate  G92) on April 30 to passengers traveling in the premium cabin travel.

The two-level, 28,000 square foot lounge has 440 seats, 492 power outlets and USB ports, 5 daybeds with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, 8 shower suites, valets who will steam garments for you, a bistro-like buffet and a restaurant-style dining area.

At the bar, they’ll be serving cocktails inspired by the Bay Area including, says United, the Mai Tai, invented in Oakland in 1944, and the Pisco Punch, “featuring pisco which became all the rage during the California Gold Rush of 1849.”

Not flying through SFO? In addition to this new lounge and the existing one at Chicago O’Hare, United will open Polaris lounges at Newark Liberty International Airport in early June, George Bush Intercontinental in Houston this summer and at Los Angeles International Airport this fall.

United also introduced some food and beverage upgrades for passengers on board.

Starting May 1, pasengers can purchase egg and chicken chorizo tacos (breakfast/$8.99) and barbecue chicken sandwiches (lunch/dinner; $9.99) from the inflight menu and some interesting new beers and ales, including Lagunitas Sumpin’ Easy Ale, New Belgium’s Citradelic Tangerine IPA and, this summer,  Belgian pilsner Stella Artois ($7.99 each). 

For those flying on JetBlue’s Mint flights, be sure to open and take home the limited-edition amenity kit.

In addition to a keeper pair of SuperSoft socks from Basic Outfitters, the kit includes a toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask, screen wipe, pen, earplugs and pillow pack, and a Hudson Made New York trio of lip salve, facial mist and hand cream – all tucked in a Hayward and Hopper collaboratively designed travel bag inspired by Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward’s Los Angeles home circa 1963.