Saturday, August 18, 2018

Unlimited WiFi on 36 Airlines for $11/mo? Yes please!

Unlimited WiFi on 36 airlines for $11 a month?  Yes, you read that right.

This is not the usual 'cheap airfare' post seen on this blog.  This may actually be a 'scoop' of sorts.  As far as I know, none of the numerous travel blogs I follow has done a post or article about this yet.  Read on...

Lufthansa, the German airline, has an innovations team called Lufthansa Innovation Hub.

They offer a verified mobile app on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store called AirlineCheckins.  Website is

Lufthansa recently announced new features in its mobile app, including lounge access and in-flight WiFi.  Users can sign up for unlimited WiFi access on 36 airlines for just $11 a month.  These features were announced to app users via email on Weds Aug 15:  Good news: As of today the AirlineCheckins App is available with new services including inflight WiFi and lounge access!

This looks like an excellent deal for people doing a lot of international travel, or travel within Europe or Asia; see below for the list of participating airlines.  It remains to be seen to what extent this service may work on domestic U.S. flights.

Anyone who flies a lot and even occasionally uses internet access in-flight will realize $11 a month is a really low price for unlimited in-flight WiFi.

Good news: As of today the AirlineCheckins App is available with new services including inflight WiFi and lounge access!

How the App Works

The main functionality of the AirlineCheckins app is to allow users to check in for their flights on any airline in the world that offers online check-in.  I cannot comment on how well the app works, as I've not used it.  However, a friend of mine has used it and seemed pleased with it so far.

Interestingly, the brief description of the app on the (Apple) App Store is different than from the (Google) Play Store:  

App StoreAs the first industry-wide solution of this kind, manages the check-in for all airlines in the world that offer an online check-in. The check-in is executed within seconds after the check-in window of the respective airline opens. Travelers are more likely to get their preferred seat and bypass the burden of needing to manually complete check-in forms for their flight. Travelers automatically receive their boarding pass by e-mail or SMS.

Play Store: is an automatic check-in service that checks travelers in for more than 220 airlines worldwide. Travelers can register at for free and store their travel documentation, personal information and seating preferences in their profile. Travelers are then automatically checked in for all flights which are booked using their personal e-mail address

How Do I Sign Up?

  • Install the app on your mobile device and register for the service on the website.
  • Here's the registration page:
  • The mobile app is free


  • The subscription can be used on only one device - the first device on which the app is installed.
  • This program does not look like a good fit for people doing a lot of domestic U.S. travel.  Most of the U.S.-based airlines - including Alaska, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, and United - are not covered by this service.
  • For Canadian travel, this may be a good option.  WestJet is included but Air Canada is not.
  • Availability looks to be VERY limited - the email announcement indicates that the Plus package, which included WiFi access, is limited to 2,222 registrants.
  • The WiFi access is valid on many, but NOT all airlines worldwide.  
  • American Airlines is included, but the free WiFi may not work on some/many of their domestic flights as AA is still using GoGo internet on many domestic flights.

Here's the Three Service Levels.  The Plus is 30 Euro for 3 months.

About the Technology

  • Airlinecheckins' WiFi partner is iPass.
  • It isn't completely clear yet whether this is compatible with Panasonic-powered in-flight WiFi, GoGo in-flight WiFi, both, or neither.
  • Lufthansa uses technology partner Inmarsat for in-flight WiFi.  Deutsche Telekom is the ISP for Lufthansa.  (LINK)
  • This service may be available only on planes that offer in-flight WiFi branded as Panasonic.  Panasonic has made inroads in the in-flight WiFi delivery space which, to my understanding, has been dominated for a long time by rival GoGo.

Full List of Participating Airlines

Here is the full list of airlines whose flights - but necessarily ALL of their flights - are covered by this Airlinecheckins WiFi subscription.

Aer Lingus
Air Austral
Air Europa
Air France
Air Serbia
Air Seychelles
All Nippon Airlines (ANA)
American Airlines
Asiana Airlines
Cathay Pacific
China Airlines
Etihad Airways
Garuda Indonesia
Gulf Air
Hong Kong Airlines
Iberia Airlines
Japan Airlines (Domestic)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Kuwait Airways
Malaysia Airlines
Malindo Air
Qatar Airways
Rwandair Express
Singapore Airlines
Thai Airways International
Ukraine International Airlines
Virgin Atlantic Airways

Enrollment Confirmation

This is what it looks like once subscribed.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Toronto/Chicago/Detroit to Europe - Sampling of sub-$500 round trip fares

This post is a compilation of good airfare prices from airports within a 5 hour drive of Grand Rapids MI:  Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Toronto (YYZ), Pittsburgh (PIT), Cleveland (CLE).

This post shows how plentiful that sub-$500 roundtrip airfares to Europe are, at various times of the year.

European cities with sub-$500 fares include:

  • Munich (MUC)
  • Dublin (DUB)
  • Frankfurt (FRA)
  • London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Lisbon (LIS)
  • Porto (OPO)
  • Faro (FAO)
  • Barcelona (BCN)
  • Madrid (MAD)
  • Rome (FCO)
  • Milan (MXP)
  • Reykjavik (KEF)
  • Oslo (OSL)
  • Paris (CDG)
  • Cork, Ireland (ORK)
None of these current airfares are part of any advertised 'sale.'  Prices are just very competitive to Europe and these are just examples.

Portugal:  TAP Portugal is a Portuguese airline that flies nonstop from Toronto (YYZ) to Lisbon (LIS) and 1-stop to Porto (OPO) and Faro (FAO).  TAP has very good prices to Portugal for many different times of year.

Iceland:  Air Canada and Delta are offering very cheap fares to Reykjavik (KEF), in apparent response to WOW Air and Icelandair offering consistently cheap fares to KEF from DTW/ORD/PIT.

Fall 2018:  Sun Oct 7 - Mon Oct 15.  Detroit to Barcelona $445+  1-stop
Star Alliance airlines (United, Lufthansa, Air Canada, etc) (also $328 roundtrip Chicago to BCN on WOW Air)

Late Fall 2018:  Sun Nov 11 - Tues Nov 20.  Various cities < $450
Many of the cheapest flights here are on Icelandair or WOW Air, with 1-stop connections in KEF.

  • ORD-DUB $309 (WOW Air) $373 (Icelandair)
  • ORD-AMS $380 (WOW Air)
  • YYZ-AMS $406 (WOWAir)
  • ORD-MUC $407 (Icelandair) 
  • ORD-LHR $424 (Icelandair)
  • DTW-BCN $448 (Air Canada) $472 (Lufthansa)
  • DTW-DUB $450 (United) $480 (Lufthansa)
  • YYZ-CDG $406 (WOW Air) $411 (Icelandair)

  • ORD-CPH $332 (Icelandair) $439 (Swiss) $444 (United/Lufthansa) $453 (Austrian)
  • ORD-OSL $349 (Icelandair)
  • YYZ-AMS $383 (WOW Air)
  • ORD-HEL $357 (Icelandair)
  • ORD-AMS $361 (Icelandair)
Year-end Fri Dec 7 - Sun Dec 16.  $356-$400 various cities
YYZ-KEF $356 (Icelandair) nonstop $472 (Delta) 1-stop
DTW-KEF $360 (WOW Air) nonstop
PIT-KEF $399 (Delta) 1-stop
ORD-CPH $412 (Icelandair) $466 (Swiss) $471 (Lufthansa)
ORD-LHR $420 (Icelandair)

Spring Break 2019:  Sat Mar 30 - Sun Apr 7. Nonstop Toronto to Lisbon $502. 1-stop Porto $501
A couple of flights from Detroit in the $550 range sprinkled in here also

Friday, August 10, 2018

[FARE GONE] Toronto to Dublin Nonstop Sept-Dec 2018 from $219 on Aer Lingus

This fare sale has expired.

Aer Lingus flights between Toronto (YYZ) and Dublin (DUB) for Sept-Dec 2018 travel are showing up super-cheap - from CAD$288 - on certain online travel agency websites.

See post below on Secret Flying, which links to a search on Sky Scanner's Canadian site.  These cheap prices are not showing up on Google Flights.

Aer Lingus flies Airbus A330 between YYZ and DUB.  The 330 has a pleasant 2-4-2 layout, which is great for people traveling in group of 2 or 4.  Much better than 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 on the larger Boeing planes.

Sample fare - Nov 17 - Nov 30.  From CAD$288  From here, you will need to select a certain online travel agency (OTA) through which to book the flight.  Flight Hub is the only OTA showing the cheap fare in this particular search.  This is a buyer beware situation, as I have no personal experience booking flights through these OTAs and it can be somewhat of a pain in the behind vs. booking direct with the airlines.

Because this fare may be too good to be true, do NOT book lodging, car, or other arrangements for a few days until you are sure that Aer Lingus has issued your tickets!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

[FARE GONE]Detroit/Atlanta/Houston to Honolulu $364+ Roundtrip Ends Today

This fare sale has expired.

Sale ends today 7/26.


  • American Airlines has very low fares from Detroit/Atlanta/Houston (hub cities for Delta or United)
  • Travel mostly Mondays thru Thursdays
  • Found some cheap fares with weekend travel
  • Convenient 1-stop flights available with short layovers which is very nice
  • As low as $364 from Detroit
  • Late August thru early November 2018
  • Grand Rapids flights on United available on some of these same dates for $604


Sample Flights

DTW>HNL Labor Day trip Mon Aug 27 - Mon Sep 3 $364

DTW>HNL Sun Oct 28 - Sun Nov 11 $404 (long layover on return flight)

DTW>HNL Thurs Oct 25 - Sun Nov 4 $394

DTW>HNL Sun Oct 21 - Weds Oct 31 $388

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

[FARE GONE] Detroit/Chicago to LA $120+ round trip on United/Alaska Sept 2018 - Feb 2019

This deal has expired.

Two separate fare sales posted today:

United Airlines Detroit (DTW) to LA $120 round trip (basic econ) or $170 (reg econ)

Late August to Feb 2019.  Cheap price NOT available around Thanksgiving / Christmas / New Years.  These are 1-stop flights from Detroit to a United hub such as Denver (DEN) Washington Dulles (IAD), Chicago (ORD), Newark (EWR).

Sample Google Flights - Thurs Nov 29 - Mon Dec 3.  LINK

Background article HERE lists fares as $134/184 (basic/regular economy), but these flights are pricing out cheaper than that on Google flights and as of 12:50pm on 6/26/2018.

Alaska Airlines Chicago (ORD) to LAX. Nonstop. $176+ RT. Sept - early Dec 2018
Tues/Weds/Sat flights only.  Nonstop flights available from $217 for travel on other days of the week.  Sale ends today 6/26.  United has matched Alaska's pricing on this as well.  American has prices from $197.

Background article HERE.

Sample Google Flights - Tues Dec 4 - Sat Dec 8.  LINK.
These are good, but not great, flight prices from the Midwest to LA.

Friday, June 8, 2018

[FARE GONE] Detroit/Seattle/Minneapolis/Atlanta to Madrid $395 Roundtrip Sept - Dec 2018

6/9/2018 this fare sale has expired

Quick deal post.  It is possible to book tickets around Thanksgiving or Christmas via this fare sale.

Star Alliance airlines - Air Canada, Lufthansa, United, etc.

Detroit to Madrid.  Late September to December 2018 flights.

As low as $395 round trip.

Connections thru Toronto (Air Canada), Newark (United), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), etc.

Watch out for some United Airlines fares being a near-basic economy that does NOT include a free checked bag.

Sample Google Searches for Detroit (DTW) to Madrid (MAD):

Fri Oct 5 - Sat Oct 20 from $401 1-stop

Fri Nov 16 - Mon Dec 3 from $395 1-stop

Tues Dec 11 - Sun Dec 30 from $465 1-stop

Background information here:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Last Call - 70,000 Delta SkyMiles for $195

This offer expires on May 16, 2018.

The offer is still available via referral, but only thru 5/16/2018.  (The public offer has expired.)

Here is my referral link for the personal version of the Delta Amex Platinum card:

Delta Amex Platinum personal & business - 70,000 SkyMiles + $100 statement credit

  • 70,000 Delta SkyMiles + 10,000 MQMs (elite status miles) after $3K spend in first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit after Delta purchase in first 3 months
  • $195 annual fee NOT waived in first year
  • 10k bonus miles and 10k bonus MQMs (towards elite status) after $25k spend and + second 10k bonus miles and 10k MQMs after $50k spend per calendar year
  • Free domestic economy companion certificate after first year.  (Yes, this certificate really works.  Once it is in your SkyMiles account, you can use it regardless of whether your Delta Amex Platinum credit card account is open.)
  • Priority boarding and free checked bags.
  • Offer expires 5/16/2018
  • TIP:  *Any* spend with Delta, such as a $2 headphone or $8 snack box during a flight, should trigger the entire statement credit; you do not need to spend $100 to get the $100 credit
  • The personal and business version are two cards with the same signup bonus and benefits.  A person can hold both cards at the same time
  • More info here:  (note that these offers expired in April, unless you apply via a referral link from someone.)