American Airlines Playing Games With Award Availability on Non-Stop Flights?

This isn’t an exact science but my theory says that AA plays games with award space to keep it’s loyal customers from booking the best non-stop routes with miles. So say you want to book an award flight from the USA to Europe. We’ll pick DFW to Madrid for an example. So I’m searching 11 months out for my example:

DFW-MAD

I’m thrilled because I found an actual non-BA flight with awards space for 2 passengers!

dfwmad

Now this is not bad but I don’t actually live in DFW so I’m willing to stage from my non-hub to other hubs like say Chicago ORD. Since I’d rather not have an extra leg I just want the ORD-MAD flight. It’s available as part of this booking, right?

Think again here is the ORD-MAD non-BA selections for this same date:

ORDMAD

Gosh that’s weird. Why isn’t that same non-stop Iberia flight available? Oh well it looks like I can just stage to JFK and pick one of the TWO Iberia flights for that date. Not as close for me and I’ll likely need to trek from LGA to JFK but it should work OK. At least I can save that extra leg from ORD, right?

jfkmad

Well think again. I’d have to fly to Boston I guess. Boston is not an easy connection for me but hey at least that one is available. Maybe I managed to corner AA enough into Boston? To me this is silly. It’s either a poor system that doesn’t work well OR….done intentionally to keep you from booking the best flights on awards for some odd reason.

bosmad

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Delta Wants Elites to “USE” Miles Up

In a weak effort to try and hold onto elites… Delta is encouraging them to use up their Sky Pesos on upgrades. Actually the idea isn’t that bad on the surface. I actually find it weird that airlines don’t offer elites first pick up paying for upgrades. In my experience it seems random.

They don’t want you to “save them forever” although that’s what you need to do with Delta Sky Pesos to earn any decent reward travel. It’s a fun game to see if you can save them faster than Delta can devalue them. They have devalued award ticket redemption’s so much that all they have left are moves like this to try and hold onto elites that are hub captive in places like MSP or SLC.  It might work for some that don’t care about the value of said miles or have so many they’ll never use them all and don’t care about award redemption’s.

Sad

#skypesos

See the USA Today article link below for more about this story if you can stand reading USA Today for a couple minutes. It might even be non-Fakenews which can be hard to find in that free news flyer we often find on hotel hallway floors 🙂

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/07/13/delta-tinkers-frequent-flier-miles-currency-more-seats/475642001/

 

LAX Admirals Club Gate 52 Review (Remote Terminal 5)

I’m traveling out of the remote 5 (gate 52) terminal at LAX today and had a chance to visit this Admirals Club. This is a HUGE benefit if you’re flying out of this remote bus terminal. There are not a lot of amenities for these Gate 52A-52Z or well what ever letter. I had low expectations for this lounge as I’m used to visiting the United Lounges at IAH that are tiny and have no toilets.  I’m not sure how crowded this lounge gets but it was very nice, not over crowded at 6am to 8am on a Thursday but maybe that was just luck.

They offer a full bar, typical food. Super nice staff and 4 toilets (2 Female and 2 Male). You could even use this as an arrivals lounge but no showers. The toilets are very large and would be easy to change clothes, etc.

Silly but AA is flying some 4 hour type routes on Regional RJ Jets into this terminal. I’m getting ready to board a non-stop to MCI that clocks in at about 3:40’ish. Thankfully my upgrade cleared at a lowly AA Gold. This route doesn’t seem to be elite heavy on the days I fly this route. This is a nice route for our small’ish Kansas City airport as it gives us a non-stop to a large HUB on the West Coast.

Summary: American doesn’t always get things right but this is one bright spot in a not so awesome terminal area. Thanks AA

Cheap Business Class to Italy and 2,000 mile bonus offer to Join Alitalia

Etihad Airways Alitalia logo

Right now you can purchase business class on Alitalia by 2-22-17 and get a great deal on Alitalia between New York and Naples or Palermo from $1,748 roundtrip in business class. This is a really good deal. This is about the cost of premium economuy.  There are a lot of cheap fares to Europe right now but those are mostly all in regular economy. Not really the same experience in my opinion. This is available for bookings from April to October.

This is only for certain days of the week so you’ll have to check. A couple sample dates I found are 5-5-17 to 5-9-17 and 5-19-17 to 5-20-17. Search JFK-NAP or JFK-PMO on Google Flights and then select the price graph for easy searching. It looks like most of the flights connect in either Milan MXP/LIN or in Rome FCO. I would try to avoid the MXP/LIN route if you don’t want to change airports there. You might be able to build in a long layover and see some of Milan however.

Here is the link for this: NYC-Palermo/Naples

EDMS US

Here are the term and conditions:

* Fares are round-trip per person in Business Class for travel on Alitalia flights and include government taxes/fees and carrier-imposed charges. Tickets must be purchased by February 22, 201711:59 PM EST. Travel periods: from New York to Naples from April 12 to October 28, 2017; from New York to Palermo from April 11 to October 27, 2017.Fares is applicable only for specific days of week for outbound and inbound. Additional conditions regarding travel dates, day-of-week restrictions and child/infant conditions may apply. Day of the week surcharges may apply. Changes fees may apply. Tickets may be non-refundable. Stopovers may not be permitted. Transfers may not be permitted. Fares are subject to class of service availability and may be changed or withdrawn without notice. Additional baggage fees may apply.

In addition you can join the Alitalia Millemiglia program however I personally would rather credit these to other Skyteam members that have better expiration policies. If you want to join the Millemiglia Program however you can get a signup bonus right now of 2,000 miles using this link: Alitalia Millemiglia . This trip should earn you about 8,600’ish miles roundtrip.

Business class on Alitalia features access to the Skyteam lounges, priority gate access, free bags, 180 degree lay flat seats on mostly new A330’s. They have been featuring Bulgari amenity kit’s and have highly rated cuisine.

I don’t not get any benefit from any of these links. This is just a good deal I found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple tip for multiple email sign-ups

One thing I run into with points and miles is the need to have various email addresses for accounts. Stuff like contests, E-miles accounts, etc. One simple tip I saw today HT to CavemanCircus is:

You can use @gmail.com and @googlemail.com interchangeably. Perfect for signing up to a website twice without setting up two accounts.

 

 

Is Microsoft Rewards the worst earn per $1?

So I gather Microsoft reward points by clicking on news links and doing a little searching on Bing. I prefer Google but I use Bing a little to gather some rewards. This started out a couple years ago as a good way to get a few airline miles or hotel points, I forget. I think at that time you could get like 100 miles for 5,000 points and you could earn those points in a month or so of searching at my pace.

Today I was clicking to see how far away I “still” am from getting a $5 Amazon card. It seems this is the only decent reward left. So I notice this offer to earn 1 points for each $1 spend at the Microsoft store. 1 point per $1, really.  Keep in mind it takes 5,250 to earn a $5 Amazon card. So if I spend $5,250 at that site I’ll “earn” a $5 card. I guess it’s not bad but it just seems like a lot compared to just shopping there through a portal like American Airlines, etc.

AA will give me 3 miles per $ so that would be  15,750 miles or enough for a short haul airline ticket for the same spending. Heck just trying MS Edge will earn me 3,000 points.

Sorry I’m ranting here but it just seems that Microsoft and Bing have ruined this little search engine reward program. I’d also be better off using a search toolbar I guess. Bing is good but it’s not that good.

fireshot-capture-3-trump-clinton-bing_-http___www-bing-com_search

My attempt to get the other 10k SPG points from AMEX

I recently got the SPG Amex card with the 25,000 bonus points. They are now offering 35,000 SPG points. I used the Amex live chat feature to see if they would pony up the other 10,000 points or would call my bluff on canceling my card. Here is what happened

amex chat 1

Amex chat 2

amex chat 3

Amex chat 5Amex chat 4

Oh well. I’ve never had good luck with American Express. I guess I need to keep my business with Citi, Chase and BofA who treat me way better.