America’s legacy airlines decided 2022 was their comeback year for flying internationally. So far, they are sticking to it. United Airlines is leading the pack with what it says is its largest transatlantic expansion ever, adding five new destinations, including Bergen, Norway; the Azores Islands; Amman, Jordan; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. By summer, it plans to add new flights to Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Munich and Rome. Delta Air Lines plans to operate nearly twice the number of transatlantic flights this summer compared with last year. New routes from Boston will reach Athens, Greece, and Tel Aviv, Israel. Collectively, U.S. airlines will operate more than 70 routes to Europe not offered in 2019, according to Air Service One.
New York Times
Snowbirds traveling home for a Minnesota summer are out of luck if they planned to fly Allegiant Air to St. Cloud Regional Airport. The airline is discontinuing service for the season while it reallocates planes from the Phoenix-Mesa airport. Allegiant began providing service to Phoenix-Mesa in 2012 and Punta Gorda, Fla., near Fort Myers, in 2017. Allegiant will discontinue service to Phoenix-Mesa on May 5, with the twice-weekly flights slated to continue Oct. 5. Florida flights end April 3; the winter season isn’t listed on Allegiant’s website. The airport has long struggled to secure lasting commercial service due in part to its proximity to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Following outcries over Vail Resorts’ reduced pass prices contributing to longer lift lines and added stress on workers, the industry leader has announced increases of about 7% for next season. The company has launched the popular Epic Local Pass at $626, with unlimited access to Breckenridge and Keystone and 10 days total at Vail and Beaver Creek. Last March, that price debuted at $583, as part of a 20% discount for Vail Resorts’ passes to 37 North American destinations, including Minnesota’s Afton Alps. Providing greater access to more Vail-owned resorts in Colorado and beyond, the top-of-the-line Epic Pass for 2022-23 is marked at $841. Returning are Epic Day passes, providing discounted rates to some resorts from one to seven days. For all resorts, single days next season start at $93.
Colorado Springs Gazette
Southwest Airlines is adding a new airfare option called “Wanna Get Away Plus” that allows customers to transfer flight credits to others or take an earlier or later flight to the same city on the same day. The Dallas-based airline is rolling out the new ticket type this spring, adding a fourth category to its existing Wanna Get Away, Anytime and Business Select tickets and hoping that customers will pay a bit more for added flexibility. Southwest executives wouldn’t say how much the fares will cost, but the prices will be somewhere between the ticket prices of its cheapest and middle categories.
Dallas Morning News
Airlines are devising new ways to overcome being banned from Russian airspace amid the war in Ukraine, and going over the Arctic Circle is one of them, according to CNN. United Airlines announced that it canceled or re-routed all flights that flew over Russia. Finnair also had to change its route on a flight from Helsinki to Tokyo. Previously, the airline flew for more than 3,000 miles over Russian airspace on a 5,000-mile trip. Now the same flight first flies north, crosses the North Pole, and avoids Russia before then flying south. Finnair and its passengers are certainly having fun with the change. Fliers get a “diploma” certifying that they flew over the North Pole.
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