Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

My Virgin America / Hawaiian Airlines Award Ticket Disaster

Good morning everyone.  Last week, I wrote this post: PSA: Check Existing Reservations for “Silent” Schedule Changes.  In that post, I talked about checking existing reservations to confirm flight times.  Sometimes, airlines make schedule changes, sometimes airlines will email you to tell you about the schedule changes, and sometimes airlines silently make schedule changes and do not inform passengers.  I, unfortunately, found myself in the last category recently with an intra island Hawaiian Airlines flight.

My girlfriend and I had a flight that was originally scheduled to depart at 1:03pm, but the new flight time was 2:41pm.  If we had booked a paid ticket, we could have easily called Hawaiian Airlines, explained that we needed to be on an earlier flight, and switched to the 12:31pm flight.  Unfortunately, I booked the flight with 3,000 Virgin America miles + $5.60 in taxes/fees per person.  But the really unfortunate thing is that since Alaska Airlines and Virgin America merged, Virgin America and Hawaiian Airlines are no longer partners, so they cannot book new award flights or modify existing reservation.

Long story short, Virgin America is no longer a partner of Hawaiian Airlines, so they cannot modify an existing Hawaiian Airlines reservation.  Likewise, since the tickets were booked through Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines was not able to make any changes to the reservation.  I would call one airline, explain the situation, and they would tell me to call the other airline.  I bounced back an forth a few times, growing more and more frustrated.  I ended up spending 3-4 hours on the phone with various agents from Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America, and Alaska Airlines before I finally received a refund of my miles.  In this post, I will share the information I learned and the steps I took to fix this situation.

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Case Study: My Trip to Australia with Miles

My boyfriend and I wanted to book a trip to Australia this year because we have a friend who is living there for work. We are somewhat flexible in our travel dates, but knew that we needed to visit in November and/or December due to other commitments, but also that we wanted to be home with our families for Christmas. Here’s how I went about planning our trip to Australia and what it is costing us for our flights.

As I already mentioned, we are pretty flexible with our dates (we both work online, so that helps). Our main two constraints are a friend’s wedding in New York at the end of October and Christmas. Since we have flexibility from working online, we wanted to travel as much of November and December as possible and spend a good chunk of that time in Australia.

Image source: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-sleeping-face-koala-continent-australia-cute-snout-peek-up-australian-image78520349

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Comenity Virgin America Credit Card Partial Annual Fee Refunded (Prorated Based on Cancellation Date)

Update: The ACH transfer from Comenity to my bank account posted the next business day.


Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.  Over the weekend, I received an email from Comenity regarding my Comenity Virgin America Credit Card.  According to the email, I had a $35.43 credit balance in my account.  That was strange, I closed my Comenity Virgin America Credit Card back in October 2017.  I logged into my Comenity account and checked out the recent credit card statement to see what was going on.

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PSA: You Cannot Use AA Gift Certificates for American Airlines Basic Economy Tickets [Partially True]

Updated 3:30pm PT on 2/8: I just received an update from Brant, here is what he said:

After another lengthy phone call to AA, turns out that the agent I originally talked to yesterday was only half correct. You CAN use GC’s to buy a basic economy fare, which I was told you could not. However, you cannot use residual funds from a canceled ticket purchased with a GC to book another flight in a lower category. The original tickets were in economy and I was trying to use the funds for basic economy. The original agent assumed that this restriction applied to using GC’s to make a basic economy ticket from the start. In other words, bad information.

Sorry for the misinformation everyone  it looks like you can use AA gift cards to buy American Airlines basic economy tickets, but only if the AA funds do not come from a regular American Airlines economy ticket  I hope that makes sense.


Good morning everyone, I just received a Facebook message from my friend, Brant, that I wanted to share with everyone (he said it would be helpful for others to know).  Here is what Brant said:

So, I just got off the phone with American Airlines and after a 30 minute ordeal I discovered something interesting that you might want to write on your blog for those who have been collecting AA gift certificates. I have around $2,700 worth of certificates that I bought using airline credit on AMEX Plat, Chase Sapphire Reserve, etc. Anyway, you cannot purchase a “basic economy” tickets using gift certificates. No way, no how, period even if you have status with AA. Just an interesting but aggravating fact you might want to mention.

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40% Bonus when you Buy Alaska Airlines Miles (Expires Feb 7)

I love the photo in this ad for Alaska Airlines miles! In case you don’t know, it’s called a FLYING ANGEL. When I was a kid, I was the one who gave everyone flying angels. It was so cool to be able to lift people in the air and help them fly! Little did I know, I would grow up to be the one who flew so often :) Where was I? Oh yeah… If you want extra Alaska Airlines miles, you better hurry! Tomorrow, February 7 is the last day to get in on this deal. This deal is not targeted and it is the cheapest you’ll ever see Alaska Airlines miles go on sale for. Purchase 15,000+ miles and you will get a 40% bonus. My best redemption using Alaska Airlines miles was on Emirates for an amazing First Class experience. I also used Alaska Airlines miles for Cathay Pacific business class flights. I’m really looking forward to using my Alaska Airlines miles on Condor. How wonderful that will be to fly nonstop to Europe from San Diego!

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