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Issue #613 — June 23, 2010

CONTENTS

Up Front

  • Tweet, Tweet
  • Another Travel Sweepstakes Winner
  • What to Do With 100,000 British Air Frequent Flyer Miles?
  • For American AAdvantage Credit Card Holders: Discounted Awards
  • 5,000 Free Frequent Flyer Miles From Spirit – Worth it?
  • American Battles Delta on Shuttle Routes
  • Free Priority Club Stays for 5,000 Points a Night

On Site

  • FrequentFlier Forum Topics

Reader Rants & Raves

  • Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

Sweeps & Freebies

  • Win 8 Southwest Tickets Plus Elite Status

Steals & Deals

  • Deal Alert from SmarterTravel.com

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.

Another Travel Sweepstakes Winner

In recent issues, we shared notes from two subscribers who had entered and won the travel sweepstakes featured every week in the “Sweeps & Freebies” section of the newsletter. And last week, we received this:

Add me to your list of winners!!!!

I just won two round-trip air tickets on Southwest thanks to the California contest you posted last week. I received them today.

Love, Caryl

So, that brings the number of winning Crier readers to three. Not bad! And proof positive that, long odds notwithstanding, these sweepstakes are worth entering.

On Site

The FrequentFlier Forum – Hot Topics

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

In the “Airline Programs” Forum, the_spartans updates his thread on problems with airline mileage malls as follows:

After 6 months, here is my response from Continental:

“Our ShopOnePass partner Office Depot advised us that your purchase from September, 2009 was not placed through the link on continental.com; therefore, we are unable to credit your account. Due to contractual agreements with our online shopping partners, only orders placed through the link on continental.com are eligible to receive OnePass miles. Purchases made over the phone, in-store, or directly through the merchant’s Web site are not eligible for credit.”

Trust me when I tell you — I know how to shop via airline malls. The fact that after a half year, Continental says “tough luck” sums it all up.

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.


Delta: ‘Sorry to See You Go’

“I save up my miles to take long trips to Asia in First Class. When Singapore opted out of SkyMiles, Delta’s group became the only major alliance not to offer an international First Class award ticket. I wrote to them and said that unless they brought some other airline into the alliance that offers an IFC I would be looking for a new frequent flyer program. Their answer? ‘We will be sorry to see you go!’

“Meanwhile, I have been trying to book two award tickets in coach from ORD to FCO in the Fall. Despite its not being high season, Delta has been demanding 125,000 miles a piece. The only possibility they have offered of less is via Amsterdam with a 12 hour layover. I have tried what some readers have suggested and broken up the trip to go via CDG. That is even better! Whereas there are plenty of non-stop flights between Rome and Paris, via Alitalia or AF, the 6 A.M. flight Delta offers via computer has a stop in Amsterdam as do all the other flights between FCO and CDG.

“I also note that up till now as Gold Medallion those fees for putting miles back were waived. Apparently that has been changed and they are waived now only for Platinum and Diamond.

“P.S.: While Delta, alone among the major alliances, does not offer an international First Class award ticket, under the right circumstances, an award in Economy Class can cost almost as much miles as other alliances’ First Class!” [Nancy E.]

Hidden-City Ticketing (continued)

“You mention this in a recent e-mail and say the airlines prohibit it.

“Southwest allows it, to my knowledge.

“Yet another reason to patronize Southwest.” [Win S. - Flossmoor, IL]

[FrequentFlier.com replies - We confirmed this with Southwest. According to an airline representative: "Your readers are correct in that we do not cancel downline reservations if a Customer does not fly their first segment." Of course, with Southwest's more rational pricing, there's much less reason to use hidden cities to save on ticket prices.]

What’s Insulting About Baggage Fees…

“What is insulting about baggage fees compared to the other fees is that it is pretty much impossible to travel without something in a bag.

“I don’t have to buy their wine, beer, food or anything else, but to charge for my bag is gouging. I have no choice when traveling but to take some clothing and toiletry items.” [Catherine S.]


Until next week…

Sweeps & Freebies

Win 8 Southwest Tickets Plus Elite Status

Enter Southwest Airlines’ “Vac8ion Destin8ion” sweepstakes by August 15 for a chance to win the grand prize of eight Rapid Rewards award tickets and Rapid Rewards A-List status for one year. Other prizes include a Rapid Rewards companion pass valid for one year, and lots of Rapid Rewards award tickets and Rapid Rewards credits.

You must be a Rapid Rewards member to enter.

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[Visit FrequentFlier.com for more travel sweepstakes -- Updated this week.]

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert from SmarterTravel.com

1) Virgin America Holiday Sale From $59 Each Way

Have some flexibility around the Fourth of July? Then celebrate the upcoming holiday with low-priced flights as well. Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, United, and several others also compete with the sale fares.

In order to enjoy late June through early July travel, you’ll have to book tickets by Monday, June 28.

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2) $430 Winter Europe Flights on Aer Lingus

Plan ahead for 2011 travel with Aer Lingus’ latest sale. Fly to destinations such as Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Rome. Departures are available from Boston, Chicago, New York City, and Orlando starting at $430 round-trip.

Travel January through March of 2011. No booking deadline has been listed, so these fares could disappear at any time.

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