Sunday, June 28, 2015

Planning for Japan mega-trip

We've been planning a big 3 month visit to Japan for a while now and even though it's 9 months away, it's time to start shopping for flights. If you want to fly on points you tend to have the best luck if you plan really far in advance or if you're super flexible and travel last-minute.

UPDATE! 6/2016 Trip Reports:

We like to fly together on the same ticket so we're processed together if something goes wrong (e.g., mechanical or weather delay), but looking at our various mileage accounts, we're in the same boat as last time we went to Japan – we don't have enough points in one single account to book two round-trips. This means we'll likely end up doing two one-ways to Japan on one airline and two one-ways back on another. Furthermore, given that buying a one-way ticket to/from Asia with money usually costs as much or more than a round-trip does, we have to successfully book both legs of the trip with miles or it's a complete waste. Most airlines let you book 11 or 12 months out so we're creeping up on the date where we could book both legs of the trip. Our current mileage situation looks like this:
Our current mileage situation
Sapphire and Ink can transfer to United, and Amex can transfer to British Airways and Delta, so we'll have just enough miles for two Business Class tickets if we book now.

Cash

Going through my usual process, I price out the flight in cash before I do anything. Direct round-trip Business Class is running right at $5000 per person. ($4300 for a 1-stop on Korean, $3600 for a 2-stop Air Canada flight).

Miles – Star Alliance / United

Ideally we'd love to fly ANA in First – I've always wanted to experience the "Skyseki" meal and service that managed to impress even my most jaded international flyer friends. Booking through United.com it's 110,000 miles per person one way. We flew Business Class on this flight a few months ago and it's is 75,000 miles. We'd be more than happy to do that if we can't scrounge up the extra miles for First. Looking now (June 2015 for a March 2016 departure), there's plenty of availability for 2 people. 

After accounting for all of the transfers from our Chase cards into my husband's account, we're still 17,000 points shy of the 220,000 we'd need for First. Buying 17,000 United Miles costs $505 (i.e., 2.97¢ each). We could also transfer some miles from my United account, but United's fee for that transfer is $285 (1.75¢ each). I looked into potentially using the Award Accelerator option on our flight to Seattle next month and it wasn't much better of a deal (I think we'd save like $35).

There are lots of other ways to get to/from Japan with Star Alliance miles, but since we're planning so far ahead, we're going to aim for our first choice, provided we're finding good availability on the way back with our Amex/BA miles.

For reference, this flight is priced at $13,260 per person, one way (!!) – so my 110,000 miles ended up being worth 12¢ each on this flight! But since I'd never pay that, it's probably more fair to do the math on half the cost of the $4300 Korean Business Class fare I saw, and that's 2.9 cpm. 
United's award ticket change fees are outlined here.


Miles – British Airways / OneWorld

Initially we thought we'd try using our British Airways Travel Together companion certificate for a round-trip ticket via London (24 hours of flight time versus 15 hours direct), but the price for this is 250,000 Avios + $3226 in cash (total for both of us)! BA's criminally-high fuel surcharges make their Travel Together certificate worthless. To wit: that Air Canada 2-stop itinerary I mentioned is $3600 and is still 4 hours shorter than the BA one. I canceled my BA card earlier this year because of it. With their partner Cathay Pacific considering devaluations and cutting off First Class access for partners like BA, Avios are rapidly becoming the new "SkyPesos".

British Airways ghastly surcharges

BA's partner Japan Airlines (JAL) doesn't have these fees, but you can't use the Travel Together certificate on partner airlines. Also, there were no JAL award seats on the JFK to Tokyo route, but there is availability on the leg home -- including seats on their new 787 that I've really been wanting to fly. Their 787 has no First Class, just lie-flat Business "Sky Suite". I poked around their award calendar over the course of two days and it looks like JAL is releasing 2 Business Class seats per flight about 11 months out for 105,00 Avios points + $145 in fees (each). The seats for the March flights have all been bought up, but if I keep my eye on it, I should be able to snag the June flight home when they add the seats to the system.

For reference, this flight is $5,800 per person, one way – 5.2¢ per mile redemption value. BA's change policies are here.
My LOT Poland 787 trip report is here, Aeromexico 787 is here.


JAL Sky Suite

Miles – Delta / SkyTeam

I hate flying internationally on a domestic carrier, but I figured I should price out Delta just to have a reference point. One way was 70,000 miles + $44 per person in Business. They're also partners with Korean Airlines, which would be a nicer way to get there than Delta (trip report).


Buying!

With all that said, it seems like I have a really good shot at getting those JAL seats for the return flight so I went ahead and booked the ANA First tickets to Japan! We have a departure date and this trip is starting to get real... So many of our plans hinge on dates and now we can start looking for rentals and renters and classes and trips and sumo tickets and and and and... :) Very excited!

One quick note about something that seemed super shady to me on United.com: I clicked through the award booking process before I'd actually purchased the 17,000 miles we needed and I thought to myself, "oh hey look! they'll actually sell me the missing miles as part of the checkout process, how convenient!". But then I remembered that every time I'm offered something during checkout it's usually a terrible deal. So I hop into a new browser window to check their price to buy the miles, and sure enough, United was going to happily charge me $100 extra to buy those miles as part of the checkout process.
16,815 miles for $639...
... or 17,000 miles for $543


In mid August we snagged the JAL seats as soon as they came into the system. One quick note about that: I needed to transfer points from my Amex account into my husband's BA account. Luckily since he's a cardholder on my Amex, there's a whole separate screen for doing transfers into other cardholders frequent flier accounts.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Great news! JetBlue Mint is coming to Boston! Expanded JFK service!

United recently announced that it was moving all of its PS (Premium Service) lie-flat First Class service to Newark. Seemingly in response to that news, today JetBlue announced that they would add several additional flights between JFK and LAX/SFO. I'm a big fan of Mint (my reviews here, and here) and I'm happy that expanded service means more flight times and more chances to snag the $599 seats. 

The other big news is that they've announced Mint service between Boston and SFO/LAX! Delta used to have their premium service planes on this and the JFK-SEA runs but both services have been discontinued. Hopefully they'll do $499 promo flights for the launch like they did with LA. Boston is a much smaller market than NYC but hopefully they can make it successful and spread it to other destinations (I'd love Mint on the JFK-SEA run!).

Hooray for lie-flat seats and closing door suites!
More information here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Boracay planning!

Good friends are getting married in Boracay December of 2016 and a bunch of us will be heading there from both coasts of the US. I use my blog as a notebook to keep track of the stuff I've learned while I'm looking for a good fare. This is what I've learned so far. Please email me or leave a comment if you have anything to add or have any questions. I'll keep adding and revising stuff as I find it.  (updated 29 Sept 2016)

Intro

  • Here's the Wikipedia entry for Boracay for openers. Wikitravel guide is here.
  • Looking at their airport situation, there are two: KLO airport (90 minutes by car from Boracay ferries, several international flight options) and MPH (right next to the ferry, but only has flights to Manila and Cebu).
  • Several of my frequent flier friends who've done this say that unless you want to spend some time sightseeing in Manila, arriving to KLO from another country is the way to go. 
  • Here are all the direct flights into KLO (keep in mind not all of these are year-round or 7 days a week)
    Direct flights into KLO (updated Sep 2016)
  • All that said, my first thought is to try to fly into one of these places and spend some time there before heading over to KLO. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Seoul all sound great for a layover. 
  • ... OR to go to Manila with Nico (a good friend who's originally from there) beforehand and just party eat for a while before heading over.
  • (FYI - Jin Air is a new low-cost carrier owned by Korean Air. They have Boeing 737s in an all-economy configuration)

General Tips

A couple of tips before you click Buy:
  • Google Flights is a speedy, well-designed place to search for and buy flights. (There's a great tutorial for it over here). Kayak has a larger selection of flights in its database so, especially for less-common Asian carriers, always double-check Kayak
  • Make sure you look at the flight number (or the plane type) and use SeatGuru before you buy. A bit of poking around and you can sometimes find a good seat in Economy (like #2 in the pic below) that's a bit less painful than the others. Also note the seat pitch -- if you feel cramped in United's 32" seats, are you going to survive a long flight in 28" seats? If you click on the flight detail in Google flights, it does a good job flagging flights with good or bad legroom. 

Look at all that legroom
  • Make sure you look at the layover times! Having an 8 hour layover in the middle of the night at the airport is not fun. For example, here are two identically-priced itineraries for NYC-KLO, but the second one will have you sleeping overnight in the Manila airport.

  • If you read through the Wikitravel article, you'll see that even after your 28+ hours of air travel, you've still got customs, a 2 hour car ride, a ferry ride, and tricycle taxi ride to your hotel. I'm thinking I might want to break that up a bit... Maybe spend a day or two in Seoul or Hong Kong before continuing on.
  • Philippine Airlines has "direct" service to Manila from JFK and Toronto, both flights have a stopover in Vancouver en route. 

Prices

  • Right now most flights from North America to KLO are pricing out around $1100 in economy, $4500 in Business Class, and "Ain't Nobody Gonna pay that" in First ($10,000+) on most of the airlines. 

Best Bets Flying on Points

  • Sadly Philippine Airlines isn't part of any of the big alliances, so using points with them isn't possible
  • My first instinct is to fly via Seoul. There are usually quite a few seats available on Asiana (United/Aeroplan/Star Alliance) and Korean Airlines (Delta/SkyTeam) even up until the last minute. A Saver award seat on Asiana or Korean in Economy is 35,000 each way. For flying "fancy" to Seoul, I'm going to transfer Chase points to Korean Air – their First Class is priced the same as the other carriers' Business Class. (Our trip report here).

    UPDATE: we've booked our tickets and, indeed, we're coming back from Boracay on Korean Airlines via Seoul. We transferred Chase points (important note on that here) to Korean Airlines and are doing the upper deck on their 747-8 on the long leg to JFK. 
  • From Seoul to KLO there's three flights a day (AirAsia, Philippine Air, Jin Air) on most days of the week. It's a 4.5 hour flight and both flights have seats smashed together even closer than the worst US carriers so it might be worth springing for Business Class on Philippine Airlines (AirAsia is 100% Economy). Though if you look at the seat map, you might be good if you can snag 42A or 42K in Philippine Air Economy, though. These flights are running $400-$500 in Economy and $900 in Business.
  • The glamour route of course would be Singapore Suites class to Singapore and connect to KLO there. A Saver reward in Suites is 110,00 miles each way, per person - if you can find an available seat. Some tips about booking this reward are here. The flight from Singapore to KLO is 3 hours 45 minutes and isn't daily, so plan accordingly. At least one of the legs will likely be TigerAir, which has no Business Class.
  • And if you're flying Singapore Suites-level of baller, you might as well get helicopter service to your resort from Manila... it's only US$2000 :P
  • For OneWorld/Avios/American Airlines, I'd do Cathay Pacific JFK or SFO to Hong Kong. It's another high-glamour choice that's a bit more attainable than Singapore Suites. If you have American/British Airways points it's 35,000 points each way for Economy, 70,000 for Premium Economy, and 105,000 for Business. (More points are required when flying from Boston...) My trip report from that plane is here.
  • If you geek out on planes, you could try to route yourself there on a double-decker A380 or a new 787. The flight detail in Kayak and Google flights shows the plane type. Asiana, Korean, Singapore, and several others operate A380s. A list of 787 routes is here.

Other Options

  • Ultimately, for the flight to the Philippines we chose to fly through Taipei, mostly because we want to fly on the Eva Air Hello Kitty plane. Its only North American destination is currently Houston 3x a week, but when I saw Saver Business Class seats we jumped on them even though it's a more convoluted routing. Eva Airlines is part of Star Alliance and is priced similarly (35k/80k each way).

    I finally found the direct Taipei – Kalibo flights: China Airlines, flight 707, Monday and Thursdays only, 7am. Philippine Airlines flight 893, Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing 9:40am.
  • Kuala Lumpur has no direct flights to the USA, so I'd probably not take that route. It's just under 4 hours on AirAsia's extra-cramped Economy from KUL to KLO.
  • Beijing/Shanghai I would only do if I were stopping off there for a few days to actually see China just because I've never been there and I'd feel lame being so close and not stopping over. Boston has direct service to Shanghai and Beijing on Hainan: $1200 r/t in Economy, $3500 in Business. They have a new Boeing 787 on that route with lie-flat seats. They aren't part of an alliance so no points here. For the life of me I can't get AirAsiaZest to display the direct flights from China to KLO, so maybe it's a unicorn. I guess just keep an eye on this one... 





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

some personal packing tips...

I don't travel as much as some people, but often enough that I've definitely got my packing down to a planned routine. I keep a master packing checklist on my iPhone so I can run through it to make sure I don't forget anything. At the top of the list are things I need to do more than one day out ("do laundry!"), and as I reach the bottom, it's things like "wallet, keys, phone" that I'll grab right as I'm leaving.

My list isn't just about what to put in my bag, it's also life reminders for being gone (e.g., who's picking up the mail?, water the plants, take out the trash, clean out the fridge, put a good movie onto your phone, etc).

Keep a master packing list on your phone

There are tons of great resources for packing out on the net, but here's a few of my own packing tips:

First off: Netflix now lets you download shows for offline viewing, so queue up some plane watching while you pack! Maybe also install Duolingo.

If you have to check a bag, only put clothes in there. Do not put any kind of electronics, jewelry, or other small, high-value items in a checked bag. Bring one change of socks/underwear/shirt in your carry-on in case your bag gets lost.

Everyone tells you to take a layering approach to travel clothes and they're right, but furthermore, I think it's important that you pick things that are thin, light, non-bulky, and won't look terrible if they're rolled in your bag for 12 hours. For example, I'm a big fan of this stretchy hoodie from Alternative Earth. Also, stretchy V-neck sweaters can cover up 90% of the wrinkly parts of a dress shirt underneath it and save you from having to iron or send out for pressing.

While I appreciate all of the recent innovation in packing supplies and luggage, I usually stick with Ziploc bags as my organizational tool of choice -- they're cheap, they're see-thru (so it's easier to spot what you need without digging around), and you can squeeze the air out before you seal them so it doesn't take up more space than necessary.
  • DAILY BAG: toiletries and meds I use every day (including any bottles of liquid or gel). This is the ONE bag I take out of my carry-on for the X-ray machine. I keep it near the top.
  • FIRST AID: (i.e., things I don't use every day): ibuprofen, band-aids, blister pads, chap stick, antacid, etc. that can be buried a bit deeper in the bag
  • SEX: One for condoms, lube, and anything else you might need when using those two things :)
  • TECH: iPhone charger, plugs, cables, outlet adapters, headphones, and a small microfiber towel. It cleans glasses and iPhone screens and it even removed a bunch of stubborn adhesive glue from my Nikon body once. 


Use an old contact lens case to bring gels and lotions you don't need a lot of on your trip (make sure you label them!)


In addition to your regular prescriptions, Benadryl is a great double-duty pill to have around because it's both an antihistamine and a sleep aid. Xanax (chased with one and only one cocktail) is the only thing that can silence a crying baby in the next row – works great regardless whether you or the baby takes it :P A couple of really strong Sudafed (straight pseudoephedrine not mixed with anything else) are good in case you end up congested before a flight (I normally hate cold medicine, but flying with your ears fully plugged is an extremely painful experience that can last DAYS after your flight ends!)

It's never a good idea to bring new shoes on a trip, but if you end up with blisters anyway (people tend to just walk a lot more than normal on vacation), having these Band-Aid blister foot pads in your bag is a life saver.

Always have a small gift or two in my bag to give to people I'm planning to meet (and a few extras for new or unexpected people I might meet...). Ideally it's something from your hometown or country, something unique they couldn't get at their own corner store. As you give them away, you make room for souvenirs. The flatter the gifts are, the better. 

If you have elite status with an airline, bring that silly card they mail you. Sometimes the lounge dragon attendant won't let you in unless you have your physical card with you. (This happened to me in Munich when the Lufthansa employee said, "we can't look up your elite status but I can let you in if you have your United Gold status card...")



I've found single-use packets of lube to be really useful when traveling. I used to carry around a small, 30ml bottle of it in my bag and it leaked once... worst. cleanup. EVER. Plus those small bottles are really easy to forget (I've forgotten at least 2 of them in the bedsheets). With single-use packets you don't carry around more than you need or, more importantly, less than you need. Condom depot sells various kinds of single-use packs.



Speaking of single-use, you can also get neosporin in that format as well.

I'm also a big fan of Preparation H Totables wipes for when you're going someplace without Toto Washlets (i.e., everywhere but Japan!) These are just witch hazel wipes (no scent, no medicine, just clean!) in individual foil packets so you can always have one with you.

If you have a favorite brand of condoms, you might want to bring those along as well, condom shopping abroad can be an adventure sometimes...

The elephant makes me feel like I'm in a Miss Elliott song!
And if all responsible sex measures fail you (or worse…), it's a good idea to have a single course of PEP in your bag (if you're not already on PrEP). Gals might also want a morning after pill in addition to the PEP. No one wants to think about this before they go, but trust me, it's absolutely no fun to spend an entire (and likely hungover) day of your vacation at a clinic in a country where you don't speak the language trying to explain what PEP is to a very conservative, religious doctor who might just want to call the authorities when you explain that you had unprotected, extramarital/gay sex the night before.






Tuesday, June 16, 2015

United leaving JFK, moves PS service to Newark!

According to this link, United is leaving JFK in a slot-swap with Delta. While most of their operations are already at Newark, they've kept their signature Premium Service between SFO/LAX and JFK. I'm somewhat surprised because I figured they must be getting a good deal of people taking the West Coast – JFK flights solely for connecting to the huge number of international destinations available at JFK. Apparently not.

I'm not a huge fan of Newark Airport (more on why here), so this will make it even less likely that I'll fly United PS again. On the bright side, it's probably way more convenient for making domestic connections, but Virgin has SFO/LAX flights to both EWR and JFK and supposedly both routes are profitable. Hm.

Luckily JetBlue Mint, American Airlines Flagship, and Delta BusinessElite One all still offer lie-flat service between the two coasts, and Virgin America offers a 60" recliner that puts the rest of the transcon 38" seats to shame.

UPDATE: Their official press release is here. If they really are upping the number of flights from 6 a day to 17 (their math seems off by a bit, but let's just grant them that they're drastically upping the number of available lie-flat seats on this route) this should keep the downward pressure on prices that JetBlue started when they launched Mint... though this actually is a reduction of competition at JFK. Hm. If I were them I'd also figure out some number of those seats to give away to Elites as part of their Complimentary Premier Upgrade program, but they've not been moving in the direction of being nicer to their customers as of late, so I wouldn't count on it. At the very least they could go remove the footnote that caused my husband to leave them.

This trip last October was likely my last PS flight for a while…


And then Mosaic happened...

As I said in the post yesterday, status is best earned when someone else is paying. Well, my hubby's most-recent work flight on JetBlue Mint posted this morning and he crossed the threshold into JetBlue "Mosaic" elite status. While he's United gold until Feb 2016, he left them for JetBlue at the start of 2015 (more information on why he left United here). The other big development driving his move is that his company changed their rules and started paying for Business Class for transcontinental red-eye flights. Since policy also requires him to pick a flight within $100 of the lowest fare offered, Mint is almost always going to be his only choice.

JetBlue's loyalty program is entirely revenue-based, so you earn status based mostly on how much you spend. Likewise you redeem points for a fixed amount of money (≈1.4¢ each). The Mosaic benefits are covered here, but I think the most exciting one is that you immediately get 15,000 bonus points (a $210 value) when you reach status.

15,000 bonus points for this Mint flight!


The 3 extra bonus points per dollar when booking might be nice, but with the corporate travel desk booking most of his flights we'll miss out on a bunch of the potential point bonuses from booking directly on JetBlue.com and using our personal JetBlue Amex. 

When we're flying domestically on our own dime, we usually aim for a Premium Economy seat unless there's a cheap First Class fare or a Saver-level First Class award seat available. Mosaic allows you to upgrade to a Premium Economy seat with points, but sadly not to Mint class. It's also unclear if they'll let you upgrade with points if you've paid cash for your ticket. According to this chart over on the Points Guy, it sounds like the "upgrade with points" option isn't priced particularly well (only 1.25¢ per point compared to paying cash to upgrade)UPDATE: For 2016, JetBlue improved Mosaic to include discounted point redemptions for Even More Space – up to 9¢ per point versus the normal 1.5¢ valuation for their points! In addition, they also added free drinks for Mosaic members flying in Economy. 

The rest of the options are pretty standard (early boarding, free bag, ticket changes with no fee). And on a Stockholm Syndrome-esque note, one of the best things about being United Gold is the dedicated customer service number... But our experience with JetBlue so far is that everyone who calls in gets handled quickly and fairly regardless of status. The quality of the Big 3 airlines has fallen so far that we just accept that only top and mid-tier elites are worthy of decent service. Though during a big east coast snow storm or summer hurricane, the elite line might come in handy for rebooking. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spontaneously Seattle

Our schedules have been crazy lately and we've been trying to save up vacation days for an epic 3-month Japan trip next year so we've not been doing much on the leisure travel front. Right on schedule (i.e., May), the summer Business Class fares to Europe happened and sadly we just couldn't make it happen this year.

We weren't going to have an entire summer with no vacation, though, so when we found out that the Monday after July 4th is a work holiday, we decided to do a 5 day weekend trip. It's been a while since we'd been to Seattle so we decided to head over there to see old friends and family and to be someplace with relatively mild weather.

I hopped on to Google flights to start pricing out the trip (sidenote: I usually use Kayak.com for this but I'm really liking how quickly you can look at different fares on Google flights... There's a great tutorial about it over on Lucky's site).

Loving the new Google Flights!

I was already fairly familiar with the available options (JetBlue, United, Delta, American, Alaska have direct service) and their planes all have standard USA domestic configurations. Only on rare occasions will I pay extra for domestic Crappy First Class™ and last I'd read, Delta discontinued the only JFK-Seattle lie-flat service, so Economy Class it is...

I have to admit I was shocked to find that United had the cheapest fare - $600 versus JetBlue's second-place $700.

A few years back I decided it was time to become a free agent and completely ignore getting any kind of elite status with an airline. For someone like me who doesn't have an employer paying for my tickets, chasing elite status just means that I'll routinely choose a more expensive flight just to reach the next goal. But due to their new Mint product, I've been flying JetBlue a lot and logging in to my JetBlue account I gotta admit that Elite crack is tempting! And JetBlue has two bonus promos to chase on top of elite status to make it even worse. So here's the classic elite-chasing conundrum: is it worth the $100 each on this flight to chase JetBlue status? I think some more math is in order, first.

So much temptation!

> UPDATE: LOL he hit Mosaic status without even trying :)
For a daytime transcon, all I really want is a seat where my large body isn't squashed, and that starts right around 35" for me. Most airlines have shrunk their coach seats to 31 or 32" and have branded their 35"+ Economy seats as Premium Economy. Even JetBlue, who historically had 34" pitch for all their seats, is in the process of moving to the narrower configuration to drive paid upgrades to their Even More Space™ seats. The lame part is that US carriers won't publish a price for Premium Economy on a domestic route – you have to buy an Economy ticket and then upgrade it for an unknown price. I know from experience that it's about $100/person/leg on a transcon, so i need to tack on $200-ish to whatever price I'm seeing.
Carriers don't publish Premium Economy fares, making comparison shopping difficult
Oh, and while I have the calculator open, don't forget that my paid upgrade to domestic Premium Economy doesn't include a checked bag (unless I'm on Virgin America), so be sure to account for that, too. If I'm checking a bag, my "$600" Economy fare is now actually $850. Add in the value of three cocktails, a crappy airport meal, and a few bonus miles and I'm now at a point where if I can find a crappy Domestic First fare for under $900, I'm totally going to take it. Sadly that wasn't the case today, the cheapest First ticket was $1300.

In the middle of all this math, my dear husband reminded me that he still has United Gold status due to his many flights back when they were his preferred work carrier. United was already $100 per person cheaper, but then when you add in the fact that we can check a bag and sit in Premium Economy for free with his status, our two flights on United work out to $600 cheaper than on JetBlue (enough to cover 3 of our nights in the Hotel 5 downtown).

Even better - the magic Economy Plus seat with near-infinite legroom was available!
And this is honestly what's so maddening about the whole points game - there are times when having the status is really awesome, but I still think if you're paying for your tickets yourself, it's almost always not worth it. If someone else is paying, well, then it's a slam dunk :) And no matter what you're doing, do the math for upgrades and bags so you're actually comparing apples to apples.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Air vents!

Obviously this isn't an expansive list, but I'm trying to keep a record for myself of which flights have personal air vents. While there are lots of cool new tools to track the various in-flight amenities, none of them that I've found track this. I have many friends who work in the industry and I realize that these vents (nicknamed "gaspers") actually impede well-engineered cabin airflow, none of the marvels of my friends' airflow engineering will help me when the cabin crew sets the thermostat to 28C. Some more background info here.




In general, narrow-body us dometic planes all seem to have them. I only just started keeping track, but here's my list so far. Feel free to add your own!

Cathay 777-300ER  no
AA     777       yep
AC     777       yep
B6     A321*     yep (mint)
KL     A380*      no
ANA    777*       no
UNITED 777-200   yep
SK     A330       no
SK     A340       no
DL     A330      yep