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Issue #624 — Sept. 8, 2010


Up Front

  • Tweet, Tweet
  • Should I Just Dump My Airline Credit Card?
  • United Extends Short-Haul Award Discount
  • Is Hyatt’s New Credit Card a Game-Changer?
  • Best Western Offers Extra Points for Fall Stays

On Site

  • FrequentFlier Forum Topics

Reader Rants & Raves

  • Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

Sweeps & Freebies

  • Win 7 Southwest Trips for 2

Steals & Deals

  • Deal Alert from

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 “Credit Card Programs” Forum, Gary Steiger has the following to say about Chase’s Sapphire Preferred credit card:

This is the only bank dedicated type credit card I can recommend. The points are actually transferrable to Continental Airlines, British Airways, Marriott Hotels, and InterContinental Hotel Group (Priority Club), all at a 1:1 ratio, in 1,000 point increments.

Note carefully that you want the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, not the Chase Sapphire Card.

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.

In Response to Kevin D.’s Rant About Frequent Flier Criers

“This is a typical response from someone with no skin in the game, whose company pays for the travel while he takes advantage of the freebies.

“The rants and raves that most fliers post in this forum are about the ‘bait and switch’ the airlines have pulled on us all. All areas of business are suffering but the airlines are the only ones touting this ‘bundle of benefits’ you will get if you hand them your hard earned dollar and fly in their equipment, use their credit cards, shop at their skymalls, eat at their list of restaurants and spend even more money ‘buying’ more miles! All the promises of upgrades and free tickets. Then when you try to use them you discover no upgrade availability or no free ticket availability because they are capacity controlled, which is their underhanded BS that means… we’re only offering those seats for sale. That’s called ‘breach of contract’ and ‘bait and switch.’ The price you pay for the ticket has the cost YOU are paying to receive miles PRICED IN. YOU ARE BUYING THEM!

“Wake up and smell that lousy coffee they’re brewing man. People are upset because they can’t use what they bought!” [Bret T.]

“In response to Kevin D., I am one of those infrequent fliers he references.

“However, I totally agree with his remarks. Read the rules or call and ask. I have not had any problems over the years redeeming my miles, but of course I try to do so far in advance and am flexible with my dates.” [Diane L. – Cohoes, NY]

“A hearty THANK YOU! to Kevin D. for his comments in the FrequentFlier Crier dated Sept. 1, 2010, entitled, ‘Is This Newsletter for Frequent Criers?’

“ needs to establish a new site that denotes the assessment of Frequent Flier programs, and leave the Crier to, as Kevin D. so eloquently said, ‘the miles whiners.'” [Peter B.]

Until next week…

Sweeps & Freebies

Win 7 Southwest Trips for 2

Enter Southwest Airlines’ “Most Valuable Passenger” sweepstakes by November 20 for a chance to win the grand prize: seven trips for two on Southwest, plus a set of luggage, plus hotel accommodations and spending money for each trip.

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[Visit for more travel sweepstakes.]

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert from

1) Virgin America Sale From $39 Each Way

Virgin America’s latest promotion features fall flights to Boston, Las Vegas, New York City, and San Diego. The sale fares start at $39 one-way ($78 round-trip), and while they’re often the lowest if traveling this month, you’ll find similar rates from the competition for flights in October and November.

Travel is available through mid-November, but book tickets by Monday, September 13.

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2) $379 Europe Sale With Icelandair

Fall Europe flights are available with Icelandair’s newly announced sale. Round-trip fares start at $379; save as much as $144 off the second lowest competitor’s rates. Find flights to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Stockholm, among other European destinations with departures from New York City, Boston, or Seattle.

Fares are good for autumn travel but must be booked by September 9.

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