Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend. The Easter Bunny took a liking to me and gave me a small box of See’s Candy, but enough about me and my love / addiction to sweets. A few days ago, I needed to make a change to an existing Southwest Airlines reservation, but I booked it as a roundtrip flight (San Francisco to San Diego). I wanted to change my trip so that I would be able to fly from San Francisco to San Diego, but return from Orange County and fly into Oakland (I know we have all done that a few times, right?).
Long story short, when you want to change a roundtrip Southwest Airlines flight, you cannot change the departure and arrival cities for a leg of your reservation. I could probably change the return flight to fly San Diego to Oakland, but that wouldn’t work for me. I also couldn’t cancel just the return flight either. Lastly, if I canceled the entire reservation, I would end up paying much more since my outbound flight from San Francisco to San Diego had gone up in price since I originally booked the flight.
Luckily, I have a secret weapon when it comes to making complicated changes to Southwest Airlines reservations… Twitter direct message. Unlike Ben who wrote Why I Don’t Bother With Airline Customer Service Via Twitter Anymore, I have gotten great customer service from Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue (among many other companies). I have sent direct messages to Southwest Airlines in the past and they were always very quick to respond and always provided great customer service. In this instance, I clearly explained that I wanted to cancel the return flight but keep the outbound flight intact. A few minutes later, my direct message was seen and my reservation was updated. I then had a travel credit available which I used to book my return flight from Orange County to Oakland. The entire process took about 20 minutes.
Good afternoon everyone. A reader sent me an email with a link to fast track to Southwest Airlines A-List elite status. Sign into your Southwest Airlines account and click here. Your Southwest Airlines account number should pre-populate into the boxes below. The terms and conditions say that the offer is only available for members who received the email, so YMMV if this will work for you. If you are accepted into the fast track, you must complete 3 round trip flights before April 30, 2017 to keep the status for the entire year.
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 390 Mexican Pesos, which is roughly $20 USD.
Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax – exchange rate as of December 18, 2016.
Disclaimer: I have made some travel predictions in previous years and I am more often wrong than right, but that losing streak has not dampered my prediction spirit. To see how bad I am at making predictions, please read A Look Back at my 2016 Predictions (Airlines, Hotels, Credit Cards & MS). I consider myself an optimistic pessimist (I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best), so these travel predictions will sound depressing.
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.
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).
Good morning everyone, here is the third Q&A post from my new writers. If you missed the first two, I highly recommending reading Tonei’s Q&A and Whitney’s Q&A. I hope you are all enjoying the extra content this month, I have been very pleased with all the great blog posts and ensuing comments. Hopefully there will be plenty more to come in the new year as well. My next Q&A is with my friend Will…
Hello Travel with Grantians…my name is Will and I have agreed to become one of Grant’s new blog contributors! I am going to write under the pen name, The Tactical Traveler.
I met Grant through reading his blog and conversing via email, and eventually met him in person at an FTU (Frequent Traveler University – a travel conference) in Dallas. Grant and I have since become good friends, have traveled together, and met up at multiple travel conferences (Grant even spent the weekend at my house).
Hanging out in Amtrak sleeper car from Denver to San Francisco. Grant (left), Nigel (middle) and Will (right)