Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for May 2006.

Delta Amex Double Miles for June, July, and August

May 31 2006

All purchase on the Delta American Express earn double miles from June 1 through August 31. Items that already earn double miles such as restaurant and US Post Office charges do not receive additional miles under this promotion, and the limit on earning additional miles from this offer is 20,000. Bonus miles should post towards the end of October. Registration is required by August 31.

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30% Bonus on Transfers from Marriott to British Airways

marriott hotel
May 31 2006

British Airways is offering a 30% bonus on miles when transferring points from Marriott Rewards by July 20. For those who aren’t already British Airways Executive Club members — and membership normally requires booking a full fare coach ticket or more — BA is offering accounts via this promotion as well (apparently without any requirement to transfer points from Marriott, so anyone wanting a BA account this is a good opportunity to get one).(Hat tip to Free Frequent Flyer Miles.)

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LA Times Reporter swallows two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, … a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls

(With apologies to Hunter S. Thompson, but it’s the only way to explain the conclusions in this story.) James Gilden looks at US domestic airline award availability and online booking and gives the highest marks to Continental. Of course, Mr. Gilden (1) looks only at a single route, different for each airline (2) over a specific set of dates (3) booking only online (4) and choosing a form of redemption that’s generally low value anyway (domestic coach award). There’s no way that Continental miles are better to have than United’s or American’s currency. And all airline award websites are fairly limited in their functionality, even with marked improvements over the past few years. It’s still important to call when you don’t see what you want online. And really it’s rare that you should be redeeming…

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Double Miles on Star Alliance Flights with South African Airways

Here’s a pretty good reason to join the South African Airways frequent flyer program: double miles on most Star Alliance partners. Double miles through the end of June on Thai (first flight only), All Nippon Airways, and Singapore. Double miles through the end of July on TAP Air Portugal, Lufthansa, Swiss, bmi British Midland, Spanair, SAS, Air New Zealand, and USAirways. Interestingly, United isn’t on the list. First account activity earns 2500 bonus miles. And fair warning, discount economy fares only earn 50% of miles, so earn regular full mileage only under this promo. If you’re flying on participating carriers within the promotion period, and aren’t flying on deeply discounted coach tickets, crediting your flights to the Voyager program may make good sense. discussion is here.

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An Evergreen Story on Fare Glitches

Travel deals like $51 to Fiji or $61 to Iceland are like dreams come true; impossible fantasies for most people in the world. So who needs a news hook? The Wall Street Journal ran another piece on the Alitalia fare glitch, $33 + tax for business class Toronto to Cyprus, in its weekend edition yesterday. Stephen Mutkoski, a 37-year-old lawyer at Microsoft near Seattle, was thrilled recently to find a mistaken fare online for flights to Europe — just $33 plus taxes. He quickly booked trips for himself and his wife in July, August and Thanksgiving week. The catch: The flights are to Larnaca, Cyprus. From Toronto. I love this description of Flyertalk:The online epicenter of travel-deal discovery is FlyerTalk, a sort of methadone clinic for frequent-flyer and hotel-stay program addicts. In its highly trafficked…

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Finally Able to Earn United Miles on America West (er USAirways) flights

america west plane
May 26 2006

Effective this past Saturday, May 20, United Mileage Plus members earn miles on “USAirways West” — USAirways flights operated under the America West flight certificate. This ends one of the more confusing mileage accrual issues in recent times, where USAirways is a member of Star Alliance and a partner of United’s but a sizable portion of USAirways flights were ineligible for United mileage accrual because they were ‘really’ America West flights operating under the USAirways name — meaning they were old America West flights, operating under the old America West flight certificate, and America West was not a United partner even though the company was merged into one and now called USAirways and the flights were sold as USAirways flights. Mergers are indeed messy things, and in this case quite customer unfriendly. That piece of…

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Almost free maps at Rand McNally

Randy McNally is offering $10 off with no minimum purchase, as part of a promotion with La Quinta. This was posted on Flyertalk with a suggestion to buy a map of Cyprus to coincide with all the folks going on the Alitalia fare glitch. Alas, the Cyprus map is temporarily out of stock. But plenty of other possibilities abound. Update: Link no longer appears to be working.

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USAirways/America West Merger Takes Another Step

May 22 2006

Both and now both direct you to the same, new website. It looks like a rocky transition, the website was put up before it was ready. Some Flyertalkers are reporting that the merger of their frequent flyer accounts is a mess, with their status being downgraded. Others see miles missing from their accounts. Some attempted ticket purchases either are or are no going through, or in some cases going through without notice to the traveler (so they’ve bought tickets but need to call the airline to find out, and even the airline representatives take awhile to figure out that yes, indeed, a ticket has been purchased). Developing…

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Changes to Diners Club Just Keep On Comin’…

Diners Club is ending the current Restaurant Savings Programs. They used to have their own program, the past few years it’s been outsourced to iDine aka Rewards Network. In short, the Diners Club card has come with iDine Prime which offered 20% cash rebates on participating restaurans (but for the past year just 10%, and some restaurants only 5%).The cashback iDine program otherwise comes with a fee, Diners Club covers that, although it also means that you can’t get iDine miles for dining purchases made with the card. Of course, if you use iDine linked to a mileage program 10 or more times in a year you earn 10 miles per dollar — which isn’t as good as a 20% rebate, but is better than a 10% rebate. And that’s free. So it may be…

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Why Rental Car Insurance Isn’t a Good Deal

Tim Harford explains in Slate why you shouldn’t opt to pay for rental car insurance. And that’s without even seeming to realize that most credit card products bundle rental car insurance at no marginal cost. My Diners Club card offers primary insurance. Almost any premium Visa, Mastercard, or American Express will at least cover the costs your insurance company does not, such as the $900 deductible Harford references in the article. Several cards whose coverage is generally secondary provide primary coverage when the driver is not otherwise insured. Check the fine print or call your credit card company to find out. People aren’t just paying too much for something. They’re paying too much to buy something they already have. (Hat tip to Marginal Revolution.)

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