Air Travel News
Briefs: JetBlue adds extra-legroom seats; US Airways debuts a meal option
In news of U.S. airlines this week, JetBlue is expanding its Even More Space seating option on some aircraft; US Airways will offer international passengers a new option for in-flight dining; American starts selling Preferred Seats through a big online travel retailer; and SkyWest plans to overhaul its Delta Connection fleet with larger, two-class aircraft.
• JetBlue Airways said it has reconfigured its fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft by adding two more rows of its extra-legroom seating that it markets under the name Even More Space. The seats are available for a fee that varies by route. With the overhaul, the JetBlue E190s will now offer 16 EvenMore Space seats in rows 1, 12, 13 and 14. Rows 1 and 12 give passengers 38 inches of legroom, while rows 13 and 14 have 39 inches, JetBlue said. Buyers of Even More Space seating also get early boarding privileges and expedited access to security screening at some airports.
• If the standard free economy class meal on US Airways’ international flights isn’t good enough for you, the airline now has something better. It’s called DineFresh – a premium meal offering in the main cabin on flights to Europe, the Middle East and South America. It costs $19.99, is served with complimentary wine, and must be purchased at least 24 hours before departure. If you’re booked on a flight that offers it, you’ll be notified in advance by email and you can purchase a meal at dinefresh.usairways.com. Choices include a vegetarian meal of a salad, mushroom tortellini, Mediterranean-style appetizer and cheesecake; or a “protein meal” with chicken skewers, grilled vegetables, shrimp cocktail and cheesecake. US Airways said it is also introducing a number of new selections to its US Airways Marketplace lineup of meals, snacks and beverages for purchase.
• American Airlines said it is now selling its Preferred Seats product through Priceline.com, since that online travel seller has a direct connection to the AA reservations system. The airline’s Preferred Seats, available for an extra fee, are “desirable seats near the front of the Main Cabin,” AA said. They cannot be purchased through travel agencies that do not have that direct link to AA, but they can be bought through AA.com, AA.com mobile, self-service check-in machines or AA reservations. American said that Priceline sells about 2,000 tickets a day through the direct link to the airline.
• SkyWest said it has come to terms with Delta on an overhaul of the fleet that it operates under the Delta Connection banner. The plan calls for SkyWest to take on five CRJ 700s and 29 CRJ900s. Those larger two-class aircraft will replace 66 smaller CRJ200s that SkyWest will gradually retire from its fleet. The transition is expected to take place starting this month and continuing through June 2013.