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Issue #594 — Feb. 10, 2010

CONTENTS

Up Front

  • “Up Front” Blog Entries

On Site

  • FrequentFlier Forum Topics

Reader Rants & Raves

  • Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

Sweeps & Freebies

  • Win a Trip for 2 to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Steals & Deals

  • Deal Alert from SmarterTravel.com

Miles & Points

  • Best Western Triple Rewards for Stays
  • Carlson Reduces Goldpoints Plus Award Prices

Up Front

Tweet, Tweet

Use this link to follow us on Twitter and stay abreast of the latest in frequent flyer program news, opinion, and advice.

“Up Front” Blog Entries

Following are some of Tim’s recent blog posts:

On Site

The FrequentFlier Forum – Hot Topics

As always, there’s plenty of activity on the FrequentFlier Forum.

In the “Airline Programs” Forum, DJHerm shares info and a link to a quick and easy 100 bonus miles from Continental “for registering and learning about this ongoing continental.com Cruises Twice the Miles cardmember benefit, before Feb. 28, 2010.” Handy for extending the life of miles in your OnePass account.

And in the “Contests and Sweepstakes” Forum, the self-same DJHerm has info and links to a contest and a sweepstakes, one featuring a prize trip to Bangkok, the other a trip to Holland, and both featuring flights on KLM.

Questions, answers, opinions? Post them to the Forum!

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Reader Rants & Raves

Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

We welcome reader feedback on issues related to travel generally and frequent flyer programs in particular. Please use this link to submit comments.


JetBlue’s (Non) Response

“I almost have to laugh, but I’m too tired of service problems so my sense of humor is dormant.

“The JetBlue website allowed me to enter an email about a problem flight, then I got the response below. They’re simply too busy to accept emails. Wonder how long the wait is for phone calls.” [Philip W.]

Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways regarding your TrueBlue account. JetBlue has just completed transitioning to a new reservation system and as a result, the TrueBlue help desk is currently receiving a high volume of email and can no longer accept them at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience…

We value you as a JetBlue customer and apologize for any inconvenience caused from the temporary lmitations we are experiencing.

Sincerely,

TrueBlue Customer Service Crew

JetBlue Airways

‘Luckiest Loser’ Lost in Cyberspace

“I can find nowhere on Priority Club’s website any mention of ‘Luckiest Loser’ thing taking on Hilton [mentioned in last week's newsletter]… where is it??” [Kevin D.]

[FrequentFlier replies - The link may have been inactive for a time, but it's back up now, here.]

Making Good Use of British Airways’ Family Accounts

“I had a frequent flyer revelation recently. It may be an ‘EVERYONE already knew that one’ for you… or maybe not.

“It’s a little specific. You need to be someone that primarily flies on a oneworld partner (American Airlines would be the most likely candidate) and has more than one person in their household. If this applies, then you can register for a British Airways account, sign it up for a ‘family account’ and enjoy consolidation of your entire household’s miles on any oneworld partners. We’ve been wishing American Airlines would allow this for years, but they refuse. I am still new to it, but it seems (so far) that I can book any American Airlines domestic flights and use my British Airways FF account to receive the miles from the trip. So, indirectly, all my AA miles become BA miles that go into my household account. And with the oneworld alliance, this also means that I can turn around and use these BA miles for booking domestic flights on AA.

“So far I have yet to see any extra fees, reduced miles accumulated, or increased award miles required when using the BA account in conjunction with AA flights in the US. The only catch is that miles cannot be accumulated if BA has a competing flight with the AA flight being booked (i.e. Dallas to London). I guess another catch is that the BA miles received don’t result in gold/platinum status for AA… which may be a big deal for some.

“Imagine, a trip across the United States for a family of 5 could result in an immediate 25,000+ miles into a single account!” [Joe R.]


Until next week…

Sweeps & Freebies

Win a Trip for 2 to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Enter JazzTimes’ “Vancouver Festival” sweepstakes by April 1 for a chance to win a six-day trip for two to attend the 25th Annual Vancouver International Jazz Festival, including air, hotel, and VIP passes.

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[Visit FrequentFlier.com for more travel sweepstakes.]

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert from SmarterTravel.com

1) Wow! $39 Each Way on Southwest – Save 64% on Flights

Southwest has just announced a short-haul promotion but there’s nothing short about the savings. Fares start at $39 one-way or $78 round-trip, and competitors are not coming even close to touching the low-cost king’s rates. Savings range from more than 25% to as much as 64%.

Among the 400 routes included in the sale are flights to Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Orlando. These promotional rates are only valid through Thursday, February 11.

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2) $497 Europe Sale on US Airways

Canals, cafes, boutiques, history. Experience everything Europe has to offer with US Airways’ winter-travel sale. Fares start at $497 round-trip.

The provider has not listed a booking deadline, so this sale could disappear at any time.

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Miles & Points

Best Western Triple Rewards for Stays

Between February 7 and March 28, Best Western Rewards members can earn triple points or miles for the second and subsequent stays booked at bestwestern.com. There’s a maximum of three bonuses, awarded after four stays during the promotion period. Elite members, and those who become elite during the promotion, can earn unlimited bonuses.

Stays not booked on Best Western’s website will earn double instead of triple credit.

Registration is required.

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Carlson Reduces Goldpoints Plus Award Prices

Yes, you read that headline right: Carlson has cut the prices of free stays at more than 300 hotels participating in its goldpoints plus program. The Carlson family includes more than 1,000 properties under the Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inns, and Regent brands.

The lower prices are in the top three of the program’s six award categories. As an example, Category 6 award nights now cost 60,000 points, down from 90,000 previously.

In addition to lowering the aforementioned award prices, Carlson has eliminated their so-called FlexNights awards, which commanded a 50% premium for awards booked during high-demand periods.

The move is especially notable coming as it does against the backdrop of Hilton’s badly timed — and badly received — award price increase.

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