Author Archives: Tonei Glavinic

About Tonei Glavinic

Tonei Glavinic is an Alaskan travel expert, educator, social justice advocate, and digital nomad currently based in Mexico City. Find them on Twitter @tonei.

ICYMI: Travel News Roundup for Friday, May 26, 2017

Hi everyone! Sorry I missed an update last week – I was in New York City for the weekend and was a little swamped. Here’s all the news that caught my eye over the past two weeks:

Airlines + Miles

Aeromexico is starting new flights from Mexico City to Seattle and Portland, and adding new Mexican destinations from Atlanta and Los Angeles. [Travel Codex]

Alaska Airlines added Helsinki-based Finnair as a Mileage Plan partner. [Alaska Airlines]

I bought one of the first tickets on Alaska Airlines’ new service from San Francisco to Mexico City, scheduled to begin August 8. [Travel with Grant]

American Airlines now offers a full refund within 24 hours of purchase if a flight is booked at least 2 days before departure (previously it was 7 days). [Travel Codex]

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Amazing Retention Offer on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card

Buenos dias everyone. The annual fee posted on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card on April 26, and since I hate making phone calls, I waited until the very last minute to call about canceling the card. American Express will only refund your annual fee if you cancel or downgrade within 30 days of when the annual fee posts to your card.

Once I finally resigned myself to getting on the phone, I told the representative that I wanted to speak with someone about closing my account because of the recent changes to the Membership Rewards Pay with Points rebate. She mentioned the fact that the card now earns 5 points per dollar spent on amextravel.com, then placed me on hold for several minutes and then handed me off to someone from their OPEN Membership Consulting team.

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Alaska Airlines Flights to Mexico City (MEX) Now Bookable (Travel August 8 from SFO & LAX and November 6 from SAN)

Buenos dias everyone. I shared a few months ago that Alaska Airlines announced new flights to Mexico City from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Although they are still awaiting for approval from Mexican authorities to operate the flights, they have announced tentative start dates and are now accepting reservations. Flights from SFO and LAX begin on August 8th, with SAN following on November 6 (probably because they have to wait to have a new Embraer 175 available).

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PSA: Check your American Express OPEN Small Business Savings Preferences (5% Cash Back vs. 2 Membership Reward Points)

Buenos dias everyone. A few months ago, I purchased some items from HP.com using my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card, which offers the choice between 5% cash back or 2 bonus Membership Reward Points per dollar spent on purchases from HP and other select merchants through the American Express OPEN Small Business Savings program.  All American Express issued business cards are part of OPEN – Membership Rewards-earning cards offer a choice between the two, while others like the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card only offer the 5% cash back option.

5% cash back is clearly worth more than 2x Membership Reward Points, so I was disappointed when I realized that the card defaulted to 2x Membership Reward Points and I had never changed my savings preferences. I chalked it up to experience and switched the settings in my OPEN preferences so I wouldn’t make that mistake again.

Amex OPEN Savings preference selection screen Continue reading

ICYMI: Travel News Roundup for Saturday, May 13, 2017

Here’s all the news that caught my eye this week – let me know in the comments if I missed something important or helped you find something new!

Airlines + Miles

Air Canada announced they plan to end their contract with Aimia, the company that runs Aeroplan, and launch their own in-house loyalty program in 2020. Many questions remain, including what happens to existing Aeroplan balances and whether the miles will be worth anything after the transition. Aimia’s stock dropped 57% after the announcement. [Toronto Star]

Alaska Airlines lounges now offer access to Virgin America passengers traveling on paid or award (not upgraded) first class tickets. [Travel Codex]

Alaska also announced that they will extend elite status for a year for Alaska Airlines and Virgin America elite members who take time off of work for a new child. [Skift]

Air India is launching nonstop service from New Delhi to Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Washington Dulles. [Travel Codex]

Delta has partnered with LSTN Sound Co. to offer sleek, socially conscious noise cancelling headphones in its Delta One suites this summer. [Runway Girl Network]

Flying Blue miles can get you from the US to Hawaii on Delta for just 15,000 miles one way. [Travel with Grant]

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is going to spend $38 million to create temporary bus gates in Terminal D while it works on a permanent airport expansion. [Travel Codex]

United is increasing its domestic presence out of SFO with more flights and bigger planes in response to Alaska’s expansion. [Travel Codex]

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