United States and nearby airlines

Last modified: 2016/02/10
[Air lines]

What about the airlines' own web sites??

Orbitz Many airlines are on the World Wide Web. Three good directories of them are:

This list contains only airlines sites that have schedule or booking information available; see the pages mentioned above for lots of other airline web pages with other info.

In the discussions below, flight ops means flight operations, that is, delays, gates, cancellations, and the like. Ticketless ticketing means that rather than issuing a real ticket, the airline sends you a receipt with a ticket number. You cite that number and show ID when you check in. They send the receipt via e-mail, fax, or (if there's time) snail mail. You pay with a credit card.

This list is for airlines in the United States, Mexico and Caribbean airlines. The next section lists Canadian airlines, the section after that airlines elsewhere in the world.

Air Aruba has a rather dusty page with limited route and contact info, on which the most useful item is that they don't fly any more.

Airtran, a low-fare airline in the eastern U.S., has schedules, reservations, ticketless ticketing, special offers, and an e-mail specials newsletter. Southwest has agreed to buy them; at this point it's unclear how long they'll be operating as separate airlines.

Alaska Airlines has a web site with flight info, reservations, ticketless ticketing, and special offers. Get 500 bonus miles just for signing up for the weekly newsletter. The reservation system finally seems to be working reliably, new design is pretty, fare grid is quite usable but not as cute as the old retro design.

Allegiant Air is a low-fare carrier that flies MD80s from cities around the country to Las Vegas and vacation destinations in Florida, as well as Gulfport MI and Phoenix. Reservations, lots of packages, free tee-shirts with most packages. Assigned seats cost $10 extra. Elvis glasses available for purchase on many flights. Unlike pretty much every other airline in the country, they're profitable so book with confidence.

ALM flies to and from the Netherlands Antilles. Routes, schedules, destination info, and occasional specials.

Aloha ended its passenger service as of the end of March. With luck, passengers will be reticketed on United or Hawaiian.

America West has schedule info, reservations, and ticketless ticketing in a site that is quite attractive now that the images hold still. Weekly web specials for both air and air/land packages. They've merged with US Airways, but for now the two airlines are operating sort of separately.

American Airlines is bankrupt but is likely to keep flying. They have a newly redesigned very blue web site with schedules, fares, and flight ops. Reservations and ticketing available, using the Orbitz booking and search engine. (So much for the company that built Sabre in the first place, 40 years ago.) They also offer timetables in various online and printable formats.

American Trans Air shut down unexpectedly on April 2. They're bankrupt, no reaccomodation, no refunds other than via credit cards, no nothing.

Amtrak isn't an airline, but they're competitive on many routes in urban parts of the U.S., and have scenic long distance routes. Schedule info and reservations available, although the reservation system can be awfully slow.

BWIA used to fly to, from, and around the Caribbean. They shut down but have been somewhat reincarnated as Caribbean Airlines.

Chalk's Ocean Airways flew seaplanes between Florida and the Bahamas since 1919, making it the world's oldest operating airline, with only one accident, when a plane fell apart in the air on Dec 19th, 2005. Site is still there, but the airline was shut down in late 2007 and shows no sign of coming back. Too bad.

Click Mexicana was a low-fare subsidiary of Mexicana, but it shut down when Mexicana did.

Cubana flies from Havana to points in Europe and the Americas. Schedules, destinations, and fleet info. I wonder where they get the spare parts for their DC-10 and 727.

Delta has fares, schedules, on-line ticketing, and flight ops. Currently offering up to 1000 extra FF miles for tickets bought on-line.

Eos flew all-business 757s between New York JFK and London Stansted for fares starting around $1000 each way. They shut down in late April.

The current incarnation of Frontier is a low-fare line with a hub at Denver flying to points in the US and Mexico. They're bankrupt but still flying, with a plan to emerge as part of regional carrier Republic. Site has reservations, flight ops.

Go! Mokulele flies small jets and smaller prop plames among the Hawaiian islands (They more or less took over bankrupt Mesa's go! operation.) Fares are reasonable but the $35 fare war specials are gone. They claim that starting in April they'll have one weekly public charter from London to Hawaii, via Rockford IL.

Hawaiian flies within Hawaii, to the South Pacific, and to the U.S. west coast. Bankrupt but still operating.

Interjet is a new Mexican low-fare airline with a hub at Toluca. Site has flights and hotel packages. It's all in Spanish except for the Hacker Safe logo at the bottom of the pages.

Jet Blue, an airline that may yet bring sane airfares to upstate New York, has an elegant web site with routes, fares, and on-line ticket sales, Don't miss the rotating 3-D Airbus A320, even though it does make Internet Exploder crash.

LIAT, who island-hop in the Caribbean, has a web site with reservations and frequent flyer info, except no matter what airports and dates I put into their res form, it says there's no flights on those dates.

Maxjet was another entry in the premium low-cost niche, offering one daily all business class 767s roundtrip between New York JFK, Dulles, and Las Vegas to London Stansted. They're bankrupt, and seem unlikely to resume flying. They bought tickets on Eos for their remaining passengers.

Mexicana is reorganizing in bankruptcy, and appears unlikely to resume flying.

Midwest Airlines, formerly Midwest Express, was had great service but went bust and merged into Frontier.

New England Airlines flies between Block Island RI and Westerly RI. Schedule and fare info, reservations via an e-mail form.

Northwest Airlines is now part of Delta.

Pan Am, the airline that won't stay dead, is dead again at the moment, although their web site offers a fine array of stuff with the famous logo.

Southwest Airlines has schedules and fares, and now reservations and ticketless ticketing. The graphics are still too big, but the site loads faster than it used to. Mailing list for weekly specials, presumably to include Airtran routes as the merger progresses.

Spirit is a low-cost airline that flies between Florida and the northeast and midwest, and also from Detroit and Chicago to California. Has schedules, reservations, and weekly "syber" specials. You can change the name on any ticket for $25. Wow! If you are more than four feet tall, you will want to pay extra for one of their Big Front Seats since the alternative is to break your kneecaps trying to squeeze into their impossibly tight seating.

Sun Country, a regional airline headquartered in Minneapolis, is once again running scheduled service on new 737s from MSP to places all over the US and nearby warm-weather vacation spots. Their parent company is bankrupt, with charges of financial fraud, so I wouldn't plan any trips that it would be a big problem to change.

Ted is United's low-cost airline within an airline. Their previous attempt, Shuttle by United, failed dismally, but what the heck, maybe the laws of economics are different this year. The web site is United's with minor cosmetic changes. Either the United version or the Ted version shows you the same flights and fares. Join the Ted Club which appears to be Milage Plus and a mailing list with special deals.

Transmeridian ran out of money and liquidated. Ah, well.

TWA has been absorbed into American. Where's Howard Hughes now that we need him?

United has resdesigned their site so at last it is reasonably functional. Reservations and booking via ITN. When you do online check-in, they will try to upsell you to first class (not worth it), and economy plus (worth it for long trips.) Sometimes they goof and give you first class when you've only paid for E+.

US Airways has schedules and reservations via a site that looks to have the same underlying engine as Travelocity. Booking is nice when it works, but half the time I get an error message rather than a ticket. (Deleting all your cookies often helps.) 1000 frequent flyer miles for tix bought online. Also weekly weekend travel specials from (and occasionally to) USAair hub cities. They've merged with America West, but for now the two airlines are operating somewhat separately.

US Helicopter flies spiffy blue helicopters from Wall Street to JFK and back every hour, with a daily side trip to Bridgeport for suburbanites. If you're connecting at JFK to American, it saves a lot of time (which for $165 for a 10 minute flight, it better.) If you're on any other airline, it doesn't. Flash-heavy site has reservations and the usual stuff. Charters available, if sharing a helicopter with 7 other people is just too common.

USA 3000 flies a sparse schedule of A320s between the northeastern US, and Florida and the Caribbean with pretty low fares. Onboard services include food, movies, and "first flight" certificates for small children. (Nice, but not as cool as the Jr Pilot wings TWA gave me in about 1959.) Schedules, reservations, flight ops. The site uses a lot of Javascript but it all seems to work.

Virgin America plans to start up in August flying among San Francisco, LAX, New York, Washington, Las Vegas. Spiffy Web site (what else would you expect from Virgin?) has tickets, flight info, online checkin, frequent flyer program, and a lot of Flash videos that don't work in my ancient 2006 vintage Flash 7 player. Flights are fairly cheap, e.g. $200 one-way transcon, everything costs extra starting with an exit row seat at $25. Warning: Acceptable use policy for the in-flight entertainment system specifically forbids sending spam.



PLEASE NOTE: I am not a travel agent, just an interested traveller. Everything I know about on-line travel info is in this FAQ. Don't write or call me asking for fare quotes, packages, or any other travel agent info, because I don't have it.


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