Ethiopian announces IAH via Lome, cuts LAX

Old Jan 26, 19, 9:18 am
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Ethiopian announces IAH via Lome, cuts LAX

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Old Jan 27, 19, 7:35 am
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IAH makes a lot of sense via Lome since they'll get seamless connections to all of the oil markets via Asky. Surprised they are dropping LAX though, maybe needed the airframe to make IAH work which I have no doubt will be more profitable. I have a feeling that LFW-ADD flight will be far less full than the IAH-LFW leg.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 11:01 am
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I'm curious where you have seen that Houston will be operated via Lome? ET has been very careful not to specify which gateway they will use for the Houston flights.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 2:05 pm
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Unsurprising to see LAX cut. The route via LFW was quite dumb as LAX does not possess a market to West Africa, in addition to the fact that the "direct" LAX-LFW-ADD routing was longer and more time consuming than connecting via FRA or IST.

Anyway, the LAX-ADD market is primarily VFR and LH's new FRA-ADD nonstop is a convenient option for those connecting from the U.S. West Coast. UA+ET via IAD/ORD or AC+ET via YYZ are also great options that can easily absorb this market
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Old Jan 27, 19, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
I'm curious where you have seen that Houston will be operated via Lome? ET has been very careful not to specify which gateway they will use for the Houston flights.
Interesting point, I missed that when I read the linked article. The only other article I could see written on it says that ET hasn't decided yet which transit airport they'll use. Honestly I think they'd be crazy not to use LFW considering this flight is likely to attract quite a few oil & gas business travelers. All of LFW, ACC, DKR, and ABJ have TWOV for US passport holders (unsure of other passports, but assume it's reasonably universal), but have hard that LFW is pretty seamless for INT-INT transfer and ABJ is a complete mess. This aside, seemingly KP (Asky) is miles above HF (Air Air Côte d'Ivoire) in terms of reliability, operating somewhat ontime, and actually delivering you and your luggage to the right destination. I'm not aware of any decent regional connections from ACC and DKR.

Not sure, does ET have 5th Freedom rights to/from Nigeria? I certainly wouldn't prefer to connect in LOS over LFW but it's the only other logical point with W3, still I believe KP is quite a bit better. I can see Nigeria only from the standpoint that it's by and far the largest oil market in Africa, but for people going to the other oil & gas countries, it's certainly not ideal.

Then I could be completely off base and ET isn't thinking about these customers at all, instead looking only at the West African expat population, could be that the petroleum folks are going to continue connecting in Europe regardless, though that industry did support the SonAir flight to LAD for almost 2 decades.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 6:08 pm
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You are correct, the LFW mention was via a link to another aviation site my cousin sent me but is not in any of the various press articles, they just note "West Africa". My apologies for missing that that was speculation. Various sources just note it is thrice weekly.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 3:24 am
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Doesn't the 789 have enough range for IAH-ADD?

LFW is a nice little airport, though they really need to add a priority pass lounge.

What's the deal with KP? Why aren't they a *A member?
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Old Jan 28, 19, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Doesn't the 789 have enough range for IAH-ADD?

LFW is a nice little airport, though they really need to add a priority pass lounge.

What's the deal with KP? Why aren't they a *A member?
789 can easily fly IAH-ADD, but it looks like ET wants to play it safe and take advantage of a IAH-West Africa market for now.

I think KP is going to need to develop a little more before it joins Star
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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:28 am
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I was booked on the LAX to ADD flight in July. I've just spent another hour or so on hold with Ethiopian trying to fix my second involuntary rerouting. Is their call center (dialing from the USA) always this poor? I've never flown them before and this is not confidence building.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego View Post
I was booked on the LAX to ADD flight in July. I've just spent another hour or so on hold with Ethiopian trying to fix my second involuntary rerouting. Is their call center (dialing from the USA) always this poor? I've never flown them before and this is not confidence building.
Their on board service is good, but airport and telephone customer service is sometimes lacking, but that's similar to other airlines as well, such as TK which many people really speak highly of. I've emailed ET's ticketing office a few times before and had good results from them, if that fails I'll just call their main office in Addis Ababa on Skype or Viber, it's not free but you get direct to the source. Though I do the same with most airlines as I find that the home country call centers are better staffed and generally you get right through instead of endless time on hold at the US call center. International calls on Skype or Viber are often so cheap these days that a few cents per minute is worth it to get whatever I need resolved quickly.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
Their on board service is good, but airport and telephone customer service is sometimes lacking, but that's similar to other airlines as well, such as TK which many people really speak highly of. I've emailed ET's ticketing office a few times before and had good results from them, if that fails I'll just call their main office in Addis Ababa on Skype or Viber, it's not free but you get direct to the source. Though I do the same with most airlines as I find that the home country call centers are better staffed and generally you get right through instead of endless time on hold at the US call center. International calls on Skype or Viber are often so cheap these days that a few cents per minute is worth it to get whatever I need resolved quickly.
I'll try it.
I'm ready to cancel the trip due to the hassles of the call center. We were booked (2 people) on partner award tickets, in business class, so it was a tough award to come by once, and then again due to the first involuntary reroute. I'm not sure I'll find a routing that works for us a third time.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego View Post
I'll try it.
I'm ready to cancel the trip due to the hassles of the call center. We were booked (2 people) on partner award tickets, in business class, so it was a tough award to come by once, and then again due to the first involuntary reroute. I'm not sure I'll find a routing that works for us a third time.
That may be the issue, if its a partner award ticket then ET isn't really the one responsible for rebooking you, the issuing carrier is supposed to do that and it's subject to award space on the alternate route. They might do it, but they are supposed to tell you to call the airline that issued the award. I've had this come up on cancelled routes before, last time was a UA award on OS. OS was willing to reroute me however I wanted, but UA wouldn't reissue the ticket because OS could only rebook me in a revenue fare class and OS wouldn't take control and reissue the ticket unless it was within 48 hours of departure.

What's your final destination? If it's served by LH then LH has very good availability within 2 weeks of departure but usually not earlier than that. Or if you're looking for a destination only served by ET then LH does serve ADD, should you not come up with another suitable routing.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
That may be the issue, if its a partner award ticket then ET isn't really the one responsible for rebooking you, the issuing carrier is supposed to do that and it's subject to award space on the alternate route. They might do it, but they are supposed to tell you to call the airline that issued the award. I've had this come up on cancelled routes before, last time was a UA award on OS. OS was willing to reroute me however I wanted, but UA wouldn't reissue the ticket because OS could only rebook me in a revenue fare class and OS wouldn't take control and reissue the ticket unless it was within 48 hours of departure.

What's your final destination? If it's served by LH then LH has very good availability within 2 weeks of departure but usually not earlier than that. Or if you're looking for a destination only served by ET then LH does serve ADD, should you not come up with another suitable routing.
Final destination is NBO. The first time the flight was cancelled (LAX to ADD was trimmed back to fewer days per week), ET rebooked me. It took a while to get through, then it essentially went smoothly although it was time consuming. The flights were confirmed on the phone and a confirmation email was sent. Being on one flight from LAX to ADD was a motivating factor to stick with an ET flight. That was a couple of months ago. I was trying the same thing again even though the routing isn't as compelling. This time, the ET rep from the USA number said I'd get a confirmation by email. We discussed some options on routing and I was put on several very long holds. She said she had to verify or confirm with a supervisor. She then confirmed my email and said I wouldn't need to call back, they'd email. That was yesterday morning and I haven't gotten any emails yet. When I looked for award availability to see possible options, it looks like the positioning flight will have to be on UA if I stay on ET.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego View Post
Final destination is NBO. The first time the flight was cancelled (LAX to ADD was trimmed back to fewer days per week), ET rebooked me. It took a while to get through, then it essentially went smoothly although it was time consuming. The flights were confirmed on the phone and a confirmation email was sent. Being on one flight from LAX to ADD was a motivating factor to stick with an ET flight. That was a couple of months ago. I was trying the same thing again even though the routing isn't as compelling. This time, the ET rep from the USA number said I'd get a confirmation by email. We discussed some options on routing and I was put on several very long holds. She said she had to verify or confirm with a supervisor. She then confirmed my email and said I wouldn't need to call back, they'd email. That was yesterday morning and I haven't gotten any emails yet. When I looked for award availability to see possible options, it looks like the positioning flight will have to be on UA if I stay on ET.
I'm quite surprised that they are doing all the rebookings, that means that most likely you're getting booked into a revenue fare class and will earn miles on those flights. You are correct however, if you want to fly ET from North America then the only choice is UA for positioning or AC if they want to fly you from YYZ instead of the US since those are the only two Star Alliance carriers in North America. For NBO though, honestly I would't stress about it, if you like what ET offers you now then take it, if not then just sit on it for a while. If you do a search to NBO for next week LH, LX, and SA are all available, close in booking for bigger cities is usually pretty easy in business class, but you'll end up on a UA flight in economy to get to the gateway since UA has very little premium cabin domestic open for award availability. It's a lot harder to get a west coast flight on LX and LH than east coast unfortunately, but they also do come up at T-2 weeks.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by dvs7310 View Post
I'm quite surprised that they are doing all the rebookings, that means that most likely you're getting booked into a revenue fare class and will earn miles on those flights. You are correct however, if you want to fly ET from North America then the only choice is UA for positioning or AC if they want to fly you from YYZ instead of the US since those are the only two Star Alliance carriers in North America. For NBO though, honestly I would't stress about it, if you like what ET offers you now then take it, if not then just sit on it for a while. If you do a search to NBO for next week LH, LX, and SA are all available, close in booking for bigger cities is usually pretty easy in business class, but you'll end up on a UA flight in economy to get to the gateway since UA has very little premium cabin domestic open for award availability. It's a lot harder to get a west coast flight on LX and LH than east coast unfortunately, but they also do come up at T-2 weeks.

Thanks for this input. FT has such an impressively knowledgeable group that I should always check for answers to my questions before forging ahead. I'm generally of the opinion that locking in the flights, the sooner the better, is the best strategy. I wish I'd held off! I attempted to rebook these through LH today. It didn't go well.

ET had booked me from Newark but neglected to include the positioning flights, so the LAX leg was omitted or ???. It couldn't be seen by the LH rep. That rebooking (Newark to NBO without the LAX leg) showed on the LH side but I never got a confirmation email that was supposed to be here yesterday from ET. The call to LH was about 2.5 hours, and, after getting rebooked (twice) and confirmation emails, at the very, VERY end, the rep realized that now this was a 3 region booking (via Europe) instead of a 2 region booking (LAX to ADD somehow not including Dublin), which upped the mileage costs (it appeared he was waiving the other fees) for which we didn't have enough miles, and cancelled the tickets. He did start out booking into a revenue class but I think one of the long holds eliminated that. In any case, the tickets are now cancelled, miles returned (and expiring soon) and I now have no flights to or from NBO for my fully planned trip. The whole thing has been quite taxing and I'm discouraged. I'm thinking of visiting NBO in some other year when I can tackle the planning with renewed enthusiasm.

I hope this post makes sense, there was a lot to include and I'm tired and crabby.

Last edited by StartinSanDiego; Jan 31, 19 at 8:45 pm Reason: typo
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