Thursday, April 12, 2007


International competition is more fierce each month, especially in the premium cabins. Here's a pretty impressive business-class fare sale, especially since it includes travel during the summer:

British Airways, whose Club World business class cabin is among the best in the business, has a fare sale for Club World for travel to London during July and August (through Sept. 2). Sample one-way fares are $1,116 from New York; $1,574 from Chicago; $1,417 from San Francisco. (Don't ask me why it costs more to fly from Chicago than San Francisco). That doesn't include the taxes and fees. Must be booked by April 26. That normal fare, unrestricted, is in the $9,000 range round-trip, but business class demand typically declines sharply in summer.

Meanwhile, Silverjet, the newest all-business-class low-fare airline, said it had a 59 percent load factor in March, slightly higher than expectations. Silverjet flies betweeen Newark and Luton Airport in London at a standard round-trip fare of $1,798. Its competitors among new discount all-business class airlines to London are Eos and MaxJet.

And now here is a unique way to score the ultimate upgrade, to British Air's very exclusive first-class cabin, via the Times of London earlier this month:

"A British Airways passenger travelling first class has described how he woke up on a long-haul flight to find that cabin crew had placed a corpse in his row.

"The body of a woman in her seventies, who died after the plane left Delhi for Heathrow, was carried by cabin staff from economy to first class [and] propped up in a seat, using pillows.

"The woman’s daughter accompanied the corpse, and spent the rest of the journey wailing in grief.

"Paul Trinder, who awoke to see the body at the end of his row, last week described the journey as “deeply disturbing”, and complained that the airline dismissed his concerns by telling him to “get over it”."

"The woman died during a nine-hour flight on a Boeing 747. Trinder was catching up on sleep when he was woken by a commotion and opened his eyes to see staff maneuvering the body into a seat. ...

[After the plane landed] " 'The police even started interviewing me as a potential witness, although I had no idea what had happened to the woman. I just kept thinking to myself: ‘I’ve paid more than £3,000 for this’, Trinder said. ..."

Major news coming next week:

In continuing expansion, "Joe Sharkey at Large" announces the opening of a new North Coast bureau.

Also, there will be an announcement of the appointment of an Ombudsman, the Rt. Rev. Parson Moratorious Mudge, in response to readers' concerns about increased frivolity, manifest disrespect to Her Majesty's Navy, and a general perceived lack of objectivity on this site. Parson Mudge's motto is "Mudge will not be muzzled!" He has been promised a free rein to address any and all infractions and/or sins by the Proprietor.

Also, more developing news from our Sao Paulo bureau.


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