50 ml wine bottle Upgrades and Downgrades: carry on wine, exit rows, tolls on rental cars, and moreUpgraded: Wine you can bring onboard a flight
It’s not the original intent of winemakers, and I’m sure the airline industry doesn’t advocate this, but 50ml wine sample bottles may soon be put into regular production. 50ml? 50ml is certainly below the TSA’s 100ml cutoff…

Downgraded: Continental exit row seats
Starting March 17, exit row seats will cost you extra money, unless you’re a Continental OnePass elite member. (United elites get it for free eventually, too, but not yet.) No big surprise, given the industry as a whole. But as David Jonas argues, this is actually a meaningful shift by Continental, whose management had been more resistant than other airlines’ leadership to charge fees for things that were previously free.

Downgraded: Luggage scanning at Denver
For a few days, thousands of checked bags were not scanned by TSA at Denver. No further comment.

Upgraded: All-you-can-drive toll payments for Bay Area rental cars
If you’re renting a car in the Bay Area from Dollar or Thrifty, you’ll be able to buy a “Pass 24″ add-on for $9.95 per day or $39.95 per week (5-7 days) that includes unlimited use of all tolls in the region. The service is run by Rent-a-Toll. I guess it’s a deal if you’re crossing a lot of bridges. Just be sure to use the FasTrak lanes.


pixel Upgrades and Downgrades: carry on wine, exit rows, tolls on rental cars, and more

6 Responses to “Upgrades and Downgrades: carry-on wine, exit rows, tolls on rental cars, and more”

  1. Oliver Says:

    How many of those few exit row seats were actually in practice available to non-elite travelers just for asking? I assume the pre-selection of those seats at booking time was in the past restricted to elites, and the non-elites could fight over the scraps at the airport.

    Given that the extra space presents a signficant benefit over the regular economy seats, I don’t see anything wrong with Continental trying to make some extra revenue that way. As for the concern that it was previously free — well, my answer is “why were you so stupid/generous before, Continental?”

  2. dkahane Says:

    The mini wine bottles may make it through TSA, but isn’t there an FAA reg saying that all alcohol consumed on board must be served by airline personnel (i.e., BYOB is out)?

  3. canuck_in_pa Says:

    dkahane. Yes, the reg says it must be served by airline personnel. It doesn’t have to be provided by the airline personnel though: that’s up to the airline. So giving the bottle to a flight attendant and letting them serve it to you is legal. It just might not be allowed by their airline’s policy. I bet there’s a list of the ones that do/don’t somewhere on flyertalk.com.

  4. Mark Ashley Says:

    Fair enough, these seats were rarely NOT taken. It was a good deal while it lasted for those who were able to get them.

    @dkahane & canuck_in_pa,
    Indeed, onboard self-service is illegal. The full text of the regulation regarding alcohol in flight reads (emphasis added):

    § 121.575 Alcoholic beverages.

    (a) No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.

    (b) No certificate holder may serve any alcoholic beverage to any person aboard any of its aircraft who—

    (1) Appears to be intoxicated;

    (2) Is escorting a person or being escorted in accordance with 49 CFR 1544.221; or

    (3) Has a deadly or dangerous weapon accessible to him while aboard the aircraft in accordance with 49 CFR 1544.219, 1544.221, or 1544.223.

    (c) No certificate holder may allow any person to board any of its aircraft if that person appears to be intoxicated.

    (d) Each certificate holder shall, within five days after the incident, report to the Administrator the refusal of any person to comply with paragraph (a) of this section, or of any disturbance caused by a person who appears to be intoxicated aboard any of its aircraft.

    [Doc. No. 6258, 29 FR 19219, Dec. 31, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 121–118, 40 FR 17552, Apr. 21, 1975; Amdt. 121–178, 47 FR 13316, Mar. 29, 1982; Amdt. 121–275, 67 FR 31932, May 10, 2002]

    Not that the post ever mentioned pouring it yourself or drinking the wine… Ahem.

  5. sara Says:

    before i became elite, i almost always got the exit row….i am glad i dont have to worry about it now, but dang, i guess i will have to stay elite for good!!!

  6. clydefrog Says:

    As far as car rentals go, I have never found a cheaper source than Hotwire.com. I just bought my first hotel room through Hotwire; technically speaking I saved some money, I’d say about the amount I’d have spent on taxes for the room, except I didn’t get to pick a king or double bed. Hopefully I’ll get the doubles I wanted if not, oh well, it’s only one night.

    I don’t know how Hotwire does it with the car deals, but they are phenomenal. No other site offers their prices. I ALWAYS use them for car rentals now.

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