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Issue #638 — Dec. 15, 2010


Up Front

  • Tweet, Tweet
  • ‘Tis the Season to Buy Gifts, Earn Miles
  • Big Bonus for Delta Credit Card Ends Soon
  • Discount and a Bonus for Hilton Weekend Stays
  • Earn More United Miles for Holiday Shopping
  • From British Airways: More Comfort, Fewer Miles

On Site

  • FrequentFlier Forum Topics

Reader Rants & Raves

  • Feedback from the Frontlines of Travel

Sweeps & Freebies

  • Win a Trip for 2 to Beverly Hills and a Home Gym

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:

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More blog posts are here.

On Site

The FrequentFlier Forum – Hot Topics

As always, there’s plenty of activity on the FrequentFlier Forum, where fellow travelers discuss airlines, hotels, credit cards, and frequent flyer miles.

This week, in the “Airline Programs” forum, SSheinfeld comments on a new benefit of British Airways’ credit card, and challenges competing cards to follow suit:

Chase has eliminated the 3% foreign transaction fee on BA cards. I don’t know if this extends to other Chase cards. Wonder when Citibank will match this one?

Questions, answers, tips, observations? Join the conversation!

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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.

No Southwest Flights for Amex Points

“Any idea why Amex Rewards advertises use your points on any airline, but you can not use them on Southwest?

“I called Amex travel department and they wouldn’t book a Southwest flight.” [Hal C.]

[ replies – Southwest flights can be booked only on Southwest’s own website, not through the booking software used by American Express. In the past, as a work-around, you might have converted your Membership Rewards points to Southwest Rapid Rewards credits and redeemed those credits for a Southwest flight. But Southwest terminated that relationship with American Express from July 1.]

No Delta First-Class Awards

“Well, I have plenty to say about SkyMiles awards.

“The first, and for me most important, is that they, alone among the major alliances, no longer offer international First Class award tickets. First China Air quit and last Spring Singapore Airlines (with whom I have had several tickets) withdrew. At the time I told Delta that unless they found a substitute, I would take my business elsewhere. I fly 50,000 miles a year with Delta. Their reply? ‘So long, it’s been good to know you.’

“I wrote a second time when I met on a flight a million-mile passenger who had my same objections. I pointed out to Delta that they have an integral member of their alliance Korea Air, which offers an excellent First Class to Asia (which is what interests me). They said they would refer my letter to the Powers That Be, but there has been no change. I have just written to tell them that unless they do something about it by the end of the month I will go elsewhere. I do not expect them to act.

“By the way, I needed two roundtrips from the U.S. to Rome at the end of September — not exactly high season. They wanted so many miles that I was getting ready to pay for the tickets. Then it became necessary for me to include Paris: the mileage decreased by about a third! Go figure.” [Nancy E.]

No Oldies, Please

“Why is the Ticketmaster sweepstakes [mentioned in last week’s newsletter] limited to people 70 and under?

“I’ve never seen a sweepstakes in which birth years earlier than 1940 are not allowed.” [Garth L.]

Where Did My Northwest Miles Go?

“My old WorldPerks number was xxxxxxxxx and I am wondering what happened to the miles that I had accumulated for years and now I cannot find them.

“Please let me know where they went.” [Larry K.]

[ replies – In Delta’s merger with Northwest, miles in Northwest’s program were converted to miles in Delta’s program. If you were not aware of these changes, your best bet now is to call Delta at 1-800-323-2323 and discuss your situation with a customer service agent. And don’t delay — your miles may be on the verge of expiring.]

Until next week…

Sweeps & Freebies

Win a Trip for 2 to Beverly Hills and a Home Gym

Enter Hilton’s “Fit on the Road, Fit at Home” sweepstakes by February 15, 2011, for a chance to win a three-day trip for two to Beverly Hills, including air, hotel, a training session with a professional fitness trainer, and a Precor home gym.

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[Visit for more travel sweepstakes.]

Steals & Deals

Deal Alert from

1) Last-Minute Holiday Flights From $49 Each Way

As was the case with the Thanksgiving rush, many airlines are now vying for Christmas flyers’ business by offering last-minute sales. American, Frontier, Southwest, and Virgin America compete.

The sales’ travel dates vary but are generally on mid-peak seasonal dates.

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2) $396 Lufthansa Europe Sale

Lufthansa’s latest Europe sale offers discounted flights to Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K., and other European gems. Departures are available from 16 U.S. cities with round-trip prices starting at $396.

Lufthansa’s promotion is on through January 6.

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