15 Cool Facts About United Airlines

United Airlines celebrates its 90th birthday today and has been my airline of choice for more than a decade. I've flown over a million miles in "the Friendly Skies" and have no plans to shift that loyalty.
While contemporary United is mocked derisively for mimicking Delta rather than ...
6 Comments

It's Official! Alaska and Virgin America Announce Merger (FAQs)


Alaska Airlines and Virgin America have formally announced a merger agreement in which Alaska will acquire Virgin America for $2.6BN. No, April Fools was four days ago.
I'll try to sum it up through a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs):
Q: Why are Alaska and Virgin ...

FTU Signature Event in Las Vegas April 29 - May 01, 2016


Frequent Traveler University (FTU) is coming to Las Vegas later this month and there is still time attend this event if you have not already signed up. From April 29 through May 01, 2016 you can hang out in the (other) city that never sleeps with people who eat, sleep, and drink miles, points, ...

Alaska Airlines Blames "Travel Hacking" for Emirates Devaluation


Alaska Airlines has taken a ton of heat today for its decision to raise prices for business and first class tickets on Emirates by as much as 100%. Now it is defending itself on its blog, claiming that its old award chart was unsustainable and blaming "travel-hacking" for the change. It also ...
3 Comments

Emirates First Class Awards on Alaska DOUBLE in Price


Overnight and without notice, Alaska has massively devalued first class award cost on Emirates. 
This is unbelievable for an airline that has a such a good reputation.
The award charts are not even fully updated yet (Emirates to Europe still shows the old level) but what is ...
2 Comments

Hijacked EgyptAir Flight Lands in Cyprus

In a throwback to the "good old days" of pre-9/11 hijacking, an EgyptAir domestic flight traveling from Alexandria to Cairo was commandeered by a man claiming to have a bomb strapped to himself and forced to divert to Larnaca, Cyrpus. Most hostages have been released and according to the Cypriot ...

Last Day to Burn Your AA Miles Prior to Devaluation!

Monday, March 21, 2016 is the final day to use your AA miles at prevailing rates. On March 22nd a massive devaluation kicks in for premium cabin awards in nearly every region, making your AA miles much less valuable. But there is still time -- one more day -- to take advantage of some great deals on ...

Starwood Bidding War Begins


Breaking news this morning -- Starwood has accepted a bid of $78 cash per share by Chinese investor group Anbang, throwing a wrench into the Marriott - Starwood merger.
How could this be? Wasn't a contract with Marriott already signed?
Yes, Marriott and Starwood had signed ...
1 Comment

This Rule is Vital for Maximizing Your AA Award

A handful of clients have contacted Award Expert this week requesting help "maximizing" AA awards prior to the devaluation on March 22, 2016. I don't mean the couples trying to get to Bangkok on Cathay Pacific or families booking summer vacations to Spain. Here, I am talking about the people who ...
4 Comments

American Tourism in Cuba is Now Legal


In a sweeping Executive Order ahead of his trip to Havana next week, U.S. President Barack Obama has essentially made tourism in Cuba legal for all Americans. And you thought Marco Rubio was shedding tears over losing Florida!
Up until now, independent travel to Cuba was "legal" only ...
1 Comment

Two A380 First Class Flights for 40K AA Miles


AA is devaluing its award chart on March 22, 2016 but you've still got a week left to take advantage of the old chart. For 40K miles you can experience two of the world's finest first class products on the world's largest passenger aircraft.
Etihad Airways flies its A380 featuring first ...
5 Comments

United Airlines Shuffles Board as Oscar Munoz Readies Return


Two news items from United Airlines. First, Oscar Munoz will be back soon. Second, three new independent members to the Board have been appointed. Is there a link?
Munoz is already back in a decision-making capacity but will resume his CEO role on a full-time basis on March 14, 2016. In a ...

Singapore Will Resume Nonstop Flights to Los Angeles and Newark


Singapore Airlines has announced intentions to resume non-stop service from Singapore to New York City and Los Angeles with its newly-delivered Airbus A350 aircraft in 2018. 
Singapore Airlines spokesman James Bradbury-Boyd told View from the Wing:
Missing the ...

Take $40 Off Your $73+ Hotel Bill Instantly


MakeMyTrip, an Expedia-linked travel agency in India, is currently offering 2750 INR (~$40) off your hotel stay of 5000 INR (~$73) more. There is no minimum stay requirement, meaning this deal can be stacked quite nicely for a multi-night stay by booking each night on a separate ...

Delta Now Shows Only Four Award Booking Classes

Delta Air Lines removed award charts without notice last year, downplaying the need for them by insisting that delta.com would accurately price awards. That news foreshadowed more dynamic award pricing and an aggressive use of fare logic to price awards segments cumulatively rather than as what had ...
5 Comments

You Must Watch this SWISS Video


SWISS, like many things in Switzerland, has a reputation for precision and quality. The national carrier has come a long way from its Swissair bankruptcy days and epitomizes what it means to be a reputable company. How does it maintain such an image? Primarily through its flight ...
2 Comments

United Airlines Defends DCA Perimeter Rule


Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, just minutes from downtown Washington DC, is subject to a perimeter rule that restricts all but a handful of flights beyond 1,250 miles. A push this week to extend the perimeter to 1,475 miles failed -- and United Airlines played a part in ...
3 Comments

Unicorns, Four-Leaf Clovers, and Air New Zealand Business Class Award Space


After four years of absolutely no business class award space on its transpacific and transatlantic longhaul routes, Air New Zealand has suddenly decided to open business class award space to its Star Alliance partners. It is too early to tell whether this is a temporary fluke or a new pattern, ...

How Does United’s New illy Coffee Taste?

United has partnered with illy to provide coffee in its worldwide network of airport lounges and eventually all flights. Great concept, great company, but how will it taste? I’m pleased to report that it tastes wonderful.
I was on a dreaded 3hr redeye from Los Angeles to Chicago last ...
8 Comments