Tag Archives: American Airlines

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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Will you be at Aviation Geek Fest in Seattle this Weekend?

Buenos dias everyone, I’d love to know if any of our readers are going to be at Aviation Geek Fest this weekend! This unique event is hosted by the Institute of Flight (best known for the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour) with support from Airline Reporter, and is billed as “the most important event for commercial aviation fans from around world.”

The author (wearing a hoodie with yellow, orange, red, and grey stripes) standing in front of an airplane tail. The tail is orange with a grey numeral 8 in the background and the numbers 747 in white in the foreground.

Tonei standing in front of a Boeing 747-8i tail at Aviation Geek Fest 2016

Some highlights of this year’s schedule include:

  • A Friday night social on the Strato Deck at the Future of Flight Aviation Center, overlooking the Paine Field flight line
  • VIP tours of Boeing’s Everett and Renton aircraft facilities, as well as one of several aerospace engineering companies (I’m going to be visiting Esterline)
  • Opportunities to explore the Future of Flight Aviation Center and the Museum of Flight
  • Box lunch aboard a vintage American Airlines 727

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Basic Economy Buyer Beware: The Good, the Bad & Mostly Ugly

To say Basic Economy fares are frustrating and confusing is an understatement. Regardless of how often you travel, this fare category is something we all need to understand, especially so we don’t book these fares without intentionally meaning to. That’s what happened to my friend. Maybe it’s happened to you too? She’s not blaming the airlines, though. She didn’t quite understand and didn’t pay good attention to what she was booking. But she won’t make that mistake again! In talking to her, I realized it would be a good idea to explain what Basic Economy fares mean and to understand what restrictions are placed on your ticket.

The three legacy airlines all have a Basic Economy category. Delta was the first one to introduce these fares, but now United and American Airlines have them as well. Each of them have their own set of restrictions. In general, though, the restrictions usually mean: NO advance seat selection, NO carry-on baggage allowances (your personal item will have to fit under the seat in front of you), last to board, NO accruing miles for the trip, fares are non-refundable and non-changeable, and other restrictions. Delta’s policy is slightly different on a few of these, so check each airline carefully. The legacy airlines see this as competing with what we might call the Low Cost Carriers such as Southwest and JetBlue. Or competing with the Ultra Low Cost Carriers such as Frontier and Spirit.

Delta flight options with various fare classes

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Airport Guide & Airline Lounge Locations

Buenos dias everyone! A friend recently asked some questions about an upcoming connection through LAX, and since there have been so many changes at that airport this year, I decided to write up a quick guide in case anyone else has an upcoming trip.

The Basics

LAX has 9 terminals – numbered 1-8 and TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal). TBIT and terminals 4-8 are connected by tunnels and bridges post-security; terminals 1-3 are not connected to anything. Note that if you’re going to TBIT and you have TSA PreCheck, there is no PreCheck at TBIT – you can go through the PreCheck lane in T4 and then walk to TBIT via the terminal connector (which conveniently drops you off right next to most of the lounges).

LAX Airport map from lawa.org

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How to Request Mexico Tourism Tax Refunds for Mexican Citizens, Residents & Transiting Visitors [UPDATED September 2017]

Originally Posted in January 2017 – Updated with new data points in September 2017!

Buenos dias!

If you or someone you know has a Mexican passport or resident card, they might be leaving money on the table when they purchase airline tickets to/from/through Mexico.

When you purchase a plane ticket to Mexico, the fare has a tourism tax built in – similar to US customs and immigration fees.  This fee goes toward the cost of immigration processing and the arrival / departure card required for foreign visitors. The fee is 500 Mexican Pesos, which is roughly $28 USD. (The fee increased from 390 pesos at some point in 2017). On your ticket receipt you may see this referred to as UK (the IATA code for this tax) or DNR (the Spanish abbreviation).

Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax

Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax – tax and exchange rate as of December 18, 2016.

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