Free Car Rental BMW Upgrades, Free United Miles, and More

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • American Airlines flight attendants are suing the airline because other employees were mean to them on personal social media accounts. They say American has a policy against this but isn’t enforcing the policy. The flight attendants were involved in union activities, and it used to be that such things escalated into serious violence. Now it’s cyberbullying it seems. (HT: Ken A.)

    In the lawsuit, Medlin, a flight attendant since 2000, said the online harassment started after she resigned from a union position. A group of male flight attendants based in Philadelphia started harassing her on social media, including Facebook, with insulting names such as “sow,” she maintains in the suit.

    The other plaintiff, a Pennsylvania-based flight attendant named Melissa Chinery, said she became the target of harassment in 2014, when she announced that she was running for a union position. Like Medlin, Chinery said she was subjected to a harassment campaign by male flight attendants, including names such as “flipper,” a synomym for prostitute, as well as “c***,” according to the lawsuit.

  • The Platinum Card by American Express gets you National Car Rental’s ‘Executive’ status. And National is now putting BMW X3 SUVs in the Emerald Aisle of some airport locations, so book a midsize and your status lets you drive one of these away through May 31. After that they’ll make these BMW SUVs available as a $25 per day upgrade.

    Credit: BMW

  • Fatal Plane Crash Could Have Been Averted — But Pilots Opted Against Emergency Landing Because They Feared Attracting Attention of Regulators

    [T]he MD-83 did not return to Abuja, and overflew several alternate airports – including Akure and Ibadan – where an emergency landing could have been made.

    “At one time the pilot asserted that the aircraft could not quit on them,” says the inquiry into the 3 June 2012 crash. “At another time, the captain said declaring an emergency would make [the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority] come after them.

    “The delay to declare an emergency due to unexplained fear of the regulatory body compounded their problems.

  • Qatar Airways CEO Crazy Akbar al Baker says long haul low cost carriers will fail

  • Get 100 miles for linking your United co-brand credit card to help the Red Cross (HT: Dan’s Deals)

    United will donate 100 miles for every $1000 you spend through April 15. It costs you nothing and you get 100 miles just for doing it.

  • In Australia retailers used government to cram down the fees that credit card companies were allowed to charge for processing transactions. Now we’re seeing cutbacks to credit card rewards programs. That’s the future anyway as technology competes down interchange rates so we’ll eventually see this happen in the U.S. even if it’s not the result of regulation.

  • After my post identifying a problem with customers who did not buy Basic Economy fares getting re-booked into Basic Economy when their flights cancelled, American shared the steps they’re taking to avoid this going forward:

    We apologize to the customers who have been affected. To make sure this situation doesn’t happen again, we have closed B inventory on non-Basic Economy routes to prevent accidental re-booking in this fare class. Also, we will follow up on previous internal communications with new reminders that only customers who purchased Basic Economy should be re-accommodated on B tickets, to make sure that customers are rebooked in the appropriate class of service.

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, 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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Disappointing response from AA. Would have hoped for proactive offers of miles or something for affected passengers. That was a pretty bad goof on their part.

  2. Is the problem with AA picking B as a fare basis for Basic Economy is that B has traditionally been used as a higher fare economy fare almost costing as much as a Y?

  3. @jamesb2147, I think AA is getting stingy with giving out miles for inconveniences now. First leg of my flight HOU-DFW-MCI on Sunday was delayed enough (they never updated gate info of course) that I missed my connecting flight. I had to use Twitter to get backed up on a later flight. Eventually gate agent called me up and and booked me on a United flight out of IAH direct to MCI. I lost my confirmed first class upgrades on both legs, lounge access, EQM/EQD/RDM on an expensive ticket, had to rush to IAH to make the flight, would have just chose UA in the first place if I wanted to fly with them, etc.

    Anyways, I called up and was told I had to use the online complaint form now. After a few back and forth responses, doesn’t look like they’ll be offering me any miles. Previously, if I’d get delayed (I’m always delayed on AA), I’d have a good chance of receiving an email while in the air apologizing and a deposit of miles. Oh well.

  4. I picked up a BMW 325 at National car DFW last year, haven’t seen one since. But the Exec aisle is littered with Suburbans and Camaros all the time now. I’d love to see more BMWs there, especially since Silvercar dropped DFW…

  5. Gee, do you think UA could throw the Red Cross a little spare change? the 100 mile offer to the RC simply does not make me want to jump up and spend $1K. It would be better if they at least offered 10 – 20% in miles of all transactions during that month. RC would probably get more out of the deal that way.

  6. Finding a BMW X3 out on the Emerald aisle is going to be like spotting a unicorn or a yeti.

  7. BMW presented the X3 back in 2003 as its 2nd SUV and the marketplace’s initial tiny luxury crossover. Upgraded in 2010, the X3 abandoned its weird-looking front fascia for a nose that looked like the X5’s. BMW’s virtually straight redesigns as of late, I am certain the real production lorry fits the majority of my description. When it pertains to the impact the X3 will absolutely carry the luxurious market.

Comments are closed.