Originally Posted in January 2017 – Updated with new data points in September 2017!
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 – tax and exchange rate as of December 18, 2016.
Airline policies often baffle me. The carry-on luggage restrictions are mind-boggling, to say the least. There are no standards and each airline sets their own rules. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago. I was in a mall and walked by a House of Samsonite store. Inside the store were signs showing luggage dimensions and weights for a few airlines. I found the signs helpful, but also realized they were obviously incomplete for those of us who travel a lot and use a broad variety of airlines.
Have you ever realized that after flying, your miles never posted? You happened to be checking your account for some totally different reason and you noticed something just didn’t seem to add up? That’s what happened to me a few days ago and I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to you! I was looking at my Alaska Airlines account to see about an upcoming flight and happened to glance at my Mileage Activity tab. I never do this because I’ve never had an issue with Alaska Airlines not posting miles I’d earned from flying. Never a problem… until today.
There’s a first time for everything, and recently on an Alaska Airlines flight, I volunteered to be bumped. It’s not that I’ve never heard the call for volunteers before. We all have. But something about this time made me ask myself if now was the time and this was the opportunity to do it. After all, can a bona fide travel blogger NOT have a bump experience to talk about? Given the crazy day I ended up having, I’ll never forget my first time!
I was originally on a morning Alaska Airlines nonstop flight from San Diego to Boston. I’ve taken this flight before but always in the winter months. Apparently, since it’s the only nonstop of the day to Boston, it can get crowded. I heard the call for volunteers before we started boarding the flight.
Great Circle Mapper: San Diego (SAN) to Boston (BOS)
Anytime you bring up the topic of American Express’s Centurion Lounges, you will get lots of differing opinions, which will include the good, the bad, and the ugly. And with the seemingly never ending changes to the various versions of the American Express Platinum Charge Card, both personal and business, including higher annual fees and reductions in rebates on Membership Reward Point tickets, there are even more discussions than usual about whether or not the cards are worth keeping.
But I’ve decided to keep mine, and the American Express Centurion Lounges are a big part of that decision. I also use these card benefits:
$200 airline fee credit, for incidental charges such as baggage fees, on a single airline of the cardholder’s choosing.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status.
Airport lounge access through an expansion of the Global Lounge Collection. This includes Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass lounges, and American Express Centurion Lounges.