25% Off Alaska Airlines First Class and Awards Now Bookable at Richard Branson Private Retreat

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Necker Island is again bookable using Virgin Atlantic miles this is ‘Richard Branson’s private retreat’ and costs 1.2 million miles. (HT: Doctor of Credit)

  • 25% off Alaska Airlines first class two day sale for travel Thanksgiving week when business travelers are off the road, makes sense.

    Alaska Airlines Bulgogi Chicken

  • In light of the Lion Air crash I remind about overall aviation safety. For US airlines there hadn’t been a incident-related death for 9 years or order of magnitude 100 million flights before the Southwest Airlines incident earlier in the year. That’s not 1 in 100 million passengers, that’s flights. And the things that go wrong are largely unpredictable because the low hanging fruit has been solved. One-offs happen, we learn from them, and work to avoid their recurrence.

    “Worldwide, air travel is incredibly safe,” said Gary Leff, who writes the aviation blog View from the Wing. “The things that go wrong are such outliers,” he said, because things generally do not go wrong.

  • American has added ‘web special awards’. They’ve long had discounted awards for co-brand credit card customers. These though are discounts for all members on specific coach flights. Short haul awards that would otherwise be 7500 miles are 5000 miles, but awards cannot be changed (and it’s not worth paying a $150 redeposit fee to get 5000 miles back).

    So far only six routes are available: Dallas to Wichita, Corpus Christi, Brownsville South Padre Island, McAllen; Phoenix – Long Beach; Charlotte – Orlando-Melbourne.

    Economy Web Special awards are available exclusively on aa.com and may be offered on select flights and dates for fewer miles than either the MileSAAver or AAnytime award level. Travel is in the Main Cabin, and mileage levels vary by date and flight. When available, you’ll see the applicable award level while booking your trip. Tickets that include an Economy Web Special award don’t allow changes and, while you can cancel and reinstate your miles, fees may apply.

  • Travel bloggers die at Yosemite. They had written “is our life worth just one photo?”

  • Reload Starbucks balance with Chase app for up to 475 stars

  • American Airlines maintenance drones (HT: Demetrius J.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary what you say about aviation is true…for non-third world countries. In Europe, the U.S., most of South America, Portions of Africa, and certain countries in Asia, the kinks have been worked out.

    In Indonesia that is not the case, certainly for the majority of airlines there. I will fly Garuda because Garuda is trying to improve and they are in Skyteam and I can book them directly from the U.S. on the web. For the vast majority of the rest of Indonesia’s carriers I cannot say the same thing. They have issues.

    Yes, the chances of a mishap befalling an individual passenger are still very very low…so low it’s should be not worth mentioning it…except they are significantly higher in those parts of the world than they are here. You cannot dismiss that point out of hand.

    There’s a reason why we are seeing runway overshoots now primarily in these airlines where they just aren’t as rigorous with their training or their infrastructure. Asiana crashes at SFO. Xiamen overshoots in Manila. Air Niugini overshoots (or undershoots) at Truk. Lion Air runs off the runway at Bali and now a few years later, after several more incidents, this crash happens.

    There is a common thread running through these incidents and it’s no coincidence we aren’t seeing this stuff happen in Europe or the U.S.

    So you can “tut-tut” us about overall air safety and mostly be right. But there is an asterisk attached to it.

  2. “For US airlines there hadn’t been a incident-related death for 9 years ” asiana crash in 2013?

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