Boutique Air now bookable on United.com

Old Apr 24, 17, 8:57 pm
  #1  
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Boutique Air now bookable on United.com

Did a google search on google flights. Ended up with this: https://www.google.com/flights/#sear...B746;sc=f;eo=e

Is this new? I can't find any information on United.com about Boutique Air. I assume there is no miles earning for these flights...?

The google "book it" link takes me to United where Boutique air is listed and bookable. I can't find the flights if I search on United.com however.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 9:03 pm
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I flew on Boutique Air once. It was great. Small plane that holds 8 passengers I believe (no FA's), and they have self-serve snacks and drinks in drawers at the front of the plane. As far as I know, they have no relationship with UA. I would guess it's a bug in google.com/flights

I LOL'ed at the "First Class (A)" fare. That's ridiculous. All the seats are coach (but no middle seats).
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Old Apr 24, 17, 9:41 pm
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Can you try booking that flight? That could be really fun.

According to expertflyer, United does not have an eticket interline agreement with 4B (Boutique Air) but they do have a paper ticket agreement with 4B. I think it would be really fun if you got a paper ticket on UA stock and used it to board your Pilatus PC-12.

It looks like United has recently loosened some restriction that was limiting their display (to Google Flights at least) of journeys that include non-*A carriers. I've also seen a bunch of recent fare solutions that include AA mainline on 1 sector and UA mainline on another. Feels like it's more common now.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 9:42 pm
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United selling it has nothing to do with miles earning. Where the fare rules allow, any interline partner can sell tickets on any other interline partner.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 10:10 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
United selling it has nothing to do with miles earning. Where the fare rules allow, any interline partner can sell tickets on any other interline partner.
Exactly. I've ticketed all kinds of crazy combinations on United.com. Keep I mind that most Airlines are backed by a layer of OTA technology that simply only displays the carriers they want, but as illustrated there's ways around that. Given that 4B does fly out of DEN I wouldn't be surprised to see UA allow the ticket to be issued because it can be of value to flyers trying to get to the 4B tiny destinations on one ticket.
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Old Apr 24, 17, 11:52 pm
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I might have to book this in the future, as I think the Pilatus PC-12 is one of the coolest single engine aircraft ever made. I'll forgo the points, don't care.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 2:37 am
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Plenty of things are bookable on UAL.com. You can book AS, DL, and many others on it. It usually takes building the itinerary on Google and then clicking through, but you can do it. There was a thread about this recently, and the gist is that UA decided to make an extra buck by being more flexible with booking other carriers on 016 ticket stock. UA keeps all the money until the passenger begins the journey.

Also, what a strange itinerary for SLC-DEN. I've never flown Boutique, but the planes do look nice, especially considering that they're basically charter biz jets.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
I might have to book this in the future, as I think the Pilatus PC-12 is one of the coolest single engine aircraft ever made. I'll forgo the points, don't care.
Hey COSPILOT,

I'm in the Springs as well. I have never flown on a PC-12 but after the comments in this thread, I am really considering this flight. I'm curious about your admiration of this aircraft. What makes it so cool?

Zeug
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Old Apr 25, 17, 7:24 pm
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I flew Boutique Air's PC12 ATL-MSL-BNA. Their pricing was better than DL's nonstop ATL-BNA. There is no LOLing at the "First Class (A)" seat. The seats are far more generous than coach, albeit smaller than typical F seats. And they have lap and shoulder seat belts. There are drinks and snacks, which is all you would get in first class on a trip of similar duration, and lots more than you would get in coach. And you get free checked bags, much like first class.

Their pricing is a racket to exploit the EAS (Essential Air Service) subsidies. Every passenger flown into or out of an EAS airport earns the airline a subsidy of about $200 (varies by market). So when they fly you SLC-VEL-DEN, they will make you deplane at VEL and go through TSA to get back onto the same aircraft for the second leg, under a different flight number. That is so they can count you are a VEL destination plus another VEL origin, earning them $400 in EAS subsidies. That is how they can be price competitive when flying an 8-seat PC12 with 2 crew at such prices.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by CaptainMiles View Post
I flew Boutique Air's PC12 ATL-MSL-BNA. Their pricing was better than DL's nonstop ATL-BNA. There is no LOLing at the "First Class (A)" seat. The seats are far more generous than coach, albeit smaller than typical F seats. And they have lap and shoulder seat belts. There are drinks and snacks, which is all you would get in first class on a trip of similar duration, and lots more than you would get in coach. And you get free checked bags, much like first class.

Their pricing is a racket to exploit the EAS (Essential Air Service) subsidies. Every passenger flown into or out of an EAS airport earns the airline a subsidy of about $200 (varies by market). So when they fly you SLC-VEL-DEN, they will make you deplane at VEL and go through TSA to get back onto the same aircraft for the second leg, under a different flight number. That is so they can count you are a VEL destination plus another VEL origin, earning them $400 in EAS subsidies. That is how they can be price competitive when flying an 8-seat PC12 with 2 crew at such prices.
Better start up the "TSA Wait times at VEL" thread then

I'm guessing it's not available to book with UA miles. Something like VEL-DEN-CYS (Great Lakes 1900D) would be quite the fun ride (and waste of money).
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Old Apr 25, 17, 8:57 pm
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Will they actually make you re-clear TSA? I've flown some odd EAS routes before (e.g. IAD-BLF-BKW, IAD-SHD-BKW), and we stayed on the plane. I figured they still were collecting 2 segments worth of EAS subsidies in those cases, but without the hassle of deplaning and re-screening. At BLF, we could get off the plane and stand on the tarmac if we wanted to stretch our legs, but the terminal there is less than a greyhound depot, so the FAs and GAs discouraged us from going inside.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 9:02 pm
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I should try booking a flight and report back
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Old Apr 25, 17, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Will they actually make you re-clear TSA? I've flown some odd EAS routes before (e.g. IAD-BLF-BKW, IAD-SHD-BKW), and we stayed on the plane. I figured they still were collecting 2 segments worth of EAS subsidies in those cases, but without the hassle of deplaning and re-screening. At BLF, we could get off the plane and stand on the tarmac if we wanted to stretch our legs, but the terminal there is less than a greyhound depot, so the FAs and GAs discouraged us from going inside.
They use executive terminals at many airports - no TSA. Don't need it for the PC12 unless you're going to the commercial terminal.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 9:47 pm
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Boutique flys OAK-MCE-LAX. Its on my to do list, I just have not done it.
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Old Apr 25, 17, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Will they actually make you re-clear TSA? I've flown some odd EAS routes before (e.g. IAD-BLF-BKW, IAD-SHD-BKW), and we stayed on the plane. I figured they still were collecting 2 segments worth of EAS subsidies in those cases, but without the hassle of deplaning and re-screening. At BLF, we could get off the plane and stand on the tarmac if we wanted to stretch our legs, but the terminal there is less than a greyhound depot, so the FAs and GAs discouraged us from going inside.
IAD-BLF-BKW and IAD-SHD-BKW are not rigged to exploit two EAS subsidies. In fact, you probably had a single flight number IAD-BKW and the intermediate stop was just incidental, for the airline's convenience, not to collect more subsidies. Without this stop, service to BKW may not have been feasible. This is bigcity-smallcity1-smallcity2 service, because there are not enough pax to fill an aircraft to either smallcity1 or smallcity2, but there are when you combine them.

That is not the case for bigcity1-smallcity-bigcity2 flights that Boutique Air is so good at.

On ATL-MSL-BNA they make everyone get off at MSL, go to the ticket counter to get boarding passes for the next leg, and clear TSA to board again. On my ATL-MSL-BNA, every one of the 6 pax from ATL continued to BNA. No one stayed at MSL. Two pax originated at MSL joining the other six for a full flight to BNA. If they were running EAS service as intended, they would have gotten 2x$200 EAS subsidy. $400+fares would not have been enough to sustain a PC12 flying this route. With this scheme of running ATL-BNA pax through MSL, they get 14x$200. $2800+fares is enough to sustain the PC12 service.

I presume that the SLC-VEL-DEN is a similar setup. Notice that Boutique Air uses different flight numbers for SLC-VEL and VEL-DEN, even thought it's clearly the same aircraft. And yes, there is TSA at VEL, you can even leave a compliment. Even if there wasn't TSA, Boutique Air would still make you get a separate BP for the other flight number.
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