Tag Archives: American Airlines

Most of my 2017 Travel Predictions Were Wrong (Who Could Have Predicted That?)

Good morning everyone, happy almost New Years Eve.  Earlier this month, Doctor of Credit wrote how bad travel bloggers are at making predictions (I came in last at 33% correct), but he only reviewed our credit card predictions.  I made a lot of other predictions in January 2017, so let’s see how good or bad my predictions were.  I covered airlines, hotels, credit cards, and MS.  I will put my thoughts in bold at the end of each prediction.

Airlines

  • Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week.  I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.  Southwest Airlines did eliminate hotel transfers counting toward the Companion Pass, but credit card spend and sign up bonuses still count toward the Companion Pass.  I am also the proud companion on my girlfriend’s Companion Pass.
  • Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).  No, I don’t think any other airline added a companion fare as a credit card benefit.
  • American will introduce a basic economy fare class to compete/copy Delta and United.  Yes, I got this one right!
  • Alaska Airlines will introduce a new level of elite status (maybe MVP Gold 100K?)  No, Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K is still the highest elite level.
  • More airlines will get away from the 12,500 one way domestic ticket and start to introduce 5,000, 7,500, and 10,000 mile awards.  Yes, I think Alaska Airlines announced cheaper awards on shorter flights.
  • British Airways will kill the 4,500 Avios award band globally and possibly remove one of their lower award tiers.  No, 4,500 British Airways Avios tier is still available outside the US.
  • Singapore Airlines will allow us to book Star Alliance awards online, rather than calling in.  Partially true, but not rolled out completely.
  • Hawaiian Airlines will get bought by a low cost airline, Southwest Airlines or JetBlue.  No, no one bought Hawaiian Airlines.
  • We will see 1 or 2 more mileage matching promos, this time from a big legacy airline.  No, no mileage matching promo like the JetBlue / Virgin America match last year.
  • My ~20,000 Spirit Airlines miles will expire and I won’t care.  Sort of, my Spirit Airlines miles did expire, but I still shed 1 tear.

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Planes, Trains, and More Planes, 2017 Edition: Asia for the Holidays

Buenos dias everyone,

Like last year, I just left Mexico City for a long international trip over the holidays – this time to Asia instead of Europe. This time the trip wasn’t built around a mistake fare, but rather a desire to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha and the Chengdu Panda Base, both in western China.

I started planning the trip in mid-September, and found that Asiana Airlines had pretty good business class availability across the Pacific for the dates we were looking at. I tacked on United economy flights between Mexico City and LAX (though this resulted in an overnight layover in each direction, since United only has one flight per day between those two cities), and added a domestic Air China economy flight from Shanghai to Chengdu after a one-week stopover.

A world map centered over the Pacific Ocean showing the following flight routing in red: MEX-LAX-ICN-PVG, SHA-CTU

Map generated by gcmap.com

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View Legroom on Google Flights by Adding Legrooms Extension

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  I was in freezing Chicago over the weekend for the FTU Travel Expo / Signature travel conference.  I arrived late Saturday afternoon because I took a $500 bump from United Airlines, stayed the night at an SFO airport hotel and got on a Saturday morning flight to Chicago.  When I finally arrived, I picked up a few travel tips from the sessions and one on one conversations.  I will try to cover some of the public travel tips I learned this week.  Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me.

Question… wouldn’t it be cool if you could see legroom for different flights on different airlines in Google Flights?  Yes, it is possible.  All you need to do is install the Legrooms extension to your Google Chrome browser.  I will walk you through all the steps the 1 step.  Also, while researching this post, I realized this was covered months ago by several travel blogs, but somehow I missed all those blog posts, so maybe this helps a few people like me.  Here is the basic Google Flights view:

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My 2017 American Airlines AAdvantage Status Challenge

Hi everyone.  This is just a short post to share my American Airlines AAdvantage Status Challenge with you.  I’ve gone from Platinum in 2015, to Gold in 2016 to nada this year.  I purposefully fell short of re-qualifying for Gold this year in hopes of doing this status challenge and now I’m $86 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) short of completing it thanks to just 1 flight purchased with my Citi Thank You Points.

This status challenge was not targeted.  I just called AAdvantage and asked them for a challenge so they offered me 2 different challenges, 1 for Gold and 1 for Platinum, each with the option to pay extra to have the status during the challenge.  Below is the breakdown of the 4 options that I had to choose from followed by my reasoning for the option that I chose.

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American Airlines Business Extra: Don’t Forget to Double Dip on your AA Flights

Do you know that American Airlines has another mileage earning program besides its Advantage Mileage Program? So, yes, you earn miles in both programs. I joined it years ago, but I’ll admit to not utilizing the program and its bonuses very well or very often. In my effort to not leave miles/points on the table, I’m paying more attention to programs like these, and so should you. The program is called Business Extra. It allows businesses and “businesses” to earn extra miles for their employees and “employees” flights. It’s American Airlines way of rewarding small businesses. These Business Extra miles are earned in a separate mileage program. You earn points based on dollars spent on eligible flights, so your stash won’t grow as fast as your Advantage Program miles will, but it still makes sense to double dip when you can. You can still credit the flights on American Airlines to any partner airline you’d like, but as long as your Business Extra number is on your ticket, you’ll earn Business Extra points too.

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