Category Archives: Airlines + Miles

PSA: Free Checked Bags on Alaska Airlines by Linking BofA Credit Card to Mileage Plan Number

Do you fly Alaska Airlines? Do you have the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card? Do you ever pay to check your bag when you fly Alaska Airlines? Something strange happened to me recently when I flew Alaska Airlines, and I just figured out what happened! For years I flew on Alaska Airlines, and if I checked a bag, I was charged a checked bag fee and paid for it. Then for a few years, I had Alaska Airlines MVP Gold elite status and got used to not paying for checked bags. That was nice! After those status days ended, I had a few flights where I got charged for checked bags and paid the fee. However, for my last five flights where I’ve needed to check a bag, I wasn’t charged a fee. I had no idea why, and I almost didn’t want to know :)

But recently, I put the pieces of the puzzle together and I want to make sure you’re in the know too! You see, I’ve also had the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card for years, and because everyone focuses on the Companion Fare benefit, it’s easy to forget, as I did, that the card also comes with one FREE checked bag for you and up to six other passengers on your reservation.

Somehow I completely forgot about the free checked bag benefit

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My Favorite Things to See, Do & Eat in Boston

Have you been to Boston? It may seem like a strange question, but I find that a lot of people haven’t been to one of my favorite cities. I’m not exactly a tourist there, and not exactly a local, either. I’m sort of an in-betweener because I went to college there and lived in Boston after that, so I know the area really well. I’ve been on a kick lately of spending more time in East Coast cities that I love (like my recent trip to NYC: A New Yorker Returning Home for a Few Days). Boston is for sure one of my top five favorite American cities. Here are some of my choices for places to see. There’s a ton of history to explore in the Boston area, but I’m skipping those more obvious sites, and suggesting some that are a bit more off the beaten path. And we’ll get to food in a minute!

The Boston Public Library system was founded in 1848, so the original building is a classic architecturally wonderful structure. It’s on Boylston Street. Between 2013 and 2016, it was renovated and a modern extension was added. It’s awesome! Often times I find library renovations, or even new library buildings, like the one in San Diego, lacking in design, lighting, spaces for working and reading, and a generally welcome feeling. The addition to the Boston Public Library gets two thumbs up from me. Do stop in and see for yourself.

Boston Public Library. Image:

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My BOS-SAN Alaska Airlines Flight Home Ended with New Luggage

After the flight from San Diego to Boston and my volunteering to be bumped experience, I was expecting a smooth return back to San Diego. But this was not to be! The nonstop flight from Boston to San Diego is an early evening flight. We boarded on time and I took my favorite window seat. We pulled back from the gate and then SLOWLY got into the departure queue. It started to rain. I looked up at the sky and I just didn’t have a good feeling about our departure. I think all of us who travel a lot, and who sit at window seats like I do, watching the sky and clouds, develop a sense about these things.

The pilot started giving us the we-don’t-know-exactly-what’s-happening-yet-but-it-looks-like-we’ll-be-here-for-another-fifteen-minutes speech. He did this a few times, and then he turned the engine off. He told us Boston had stopped ALL flights from leaving due to the weather, and planes were not being able to take off to the northwest.

People were free to get up and move around, so I went to talk with the crew. I wanted to know their take on it, whether or not we might have to stop on our way to San Diego to refuel, or even the chances of a canceled flight. They did suggest I call my Hyatt and see about getting a room for the night, just in case. Because I could see from my window seat that some planes were indeed landing and taking off, I asked the crew about this. They told me that Alaska Airlines actually waits longer than many of the airlines before canceling a flight. I took this as hopeful news, since I had called my Hyatt and they were overbooked by 6 rooms! Continue reading

I Downgraded to the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card

Good morning everyone.  A few days ago, the $149 annual fee posted to my Virgin America Premium Credit Card.  I called the number on the back of the credit card to see if there were any retention offers available, but sadly, the rep had no offers available for me.  Instead of closing the credit card, the rep suggested that I downgrade to the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card that had a $49 annual fee.

Most of the card benefits are the same for both cards, including the Virgin America $150 off companion discount code, free checked bag, and 20% off in-flight purchases.  The only difference between the credit cards is the Visa Signature credit card does not earn status points (not a big deal since I am Virgin America Gold and Alaska Airlines MVP Gold), I will get charged a fee for changing or cancelling my ticket (I never used this feature when I had my Virgin America Premium Credit Card) and I will be charged foreign transaction fees (I will never use this credit card internationally).

The only reason I kept the credit card is for the Virgin America $150 off companion discount code and my curiosity surrounding what will happen to this credit card when the Alaska Airlines / Virgin America merger is complete.  If my memory is correct, the Virgin America $150 off companion discount code used to only apply to the Virgin America Premium Credit Card, but sometime in the last year, that benefit was added to the Virgin America Visa Signature Credit Card.

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[Sale Extended thru 7/12] Alaska Airlines: Decade of Awesome Sale – Fares as Low as $49

Update: Alaska Airlines just sent out an email to announce that the sale is extended one more day: “We’ve extended our sale and you have one more day to join us in our revelry with fares as low as $49*, one way.”

Good morning Alaska Airlines! Everyone is getting in on the act today. If you’ve got any travel plans and Alaska or Virgin airlines are in the picture, check out their one day sale.

Decade of Awesome

We’re celebrating ranking “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America, 10 Years in a Row” by J.D. Power. And our friends at Virgin America are celebrating being ‘Top Domestic Airline’ 2017 in Travel + Leisure ‘World’s Best Awards’.†† Join us in our revelry with fares as low as $49*, one way. Hurry, these fares are only good today.