Frequent Flyer Tips for Travelers New to Loyalty Programs

Making Sense of Airline Fuel Surcharges

Making Sense of Airline Fuel Surcharges

Beware of fuel surcharges when booking a flight, whether you are using miles or cash. The practice of imposing fuel surcharges blossomed around 2004 when world oil prices spiked. But they can vary greatly from one carrier to the next, even on carriers flying the same route with the same aircraft.

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The Rundown on Ultra Low-Cost Carrier Fees

The Rundown on Ultra Low-Cost Carrier Fees

It doesn’t always make sense to use miles or points for a domestic ticket. You have to compare the price of the ticket to the amount of miles you would have to use for the same route. But beware of the extras you would have to pay if you are comparing the price of a ticket on one of the legacy carriers to one of the ultra low-cost carriers (ULCCs).

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Talking Travel Rewards Credit Cards with Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly

Talking Travel Rewards Credit Cards with Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly

If you had a chance to meet two of the world’s most famous astronauts, what would you talk about? On the Thursday before the Super Bowl last month, I was invited to attend the NFL Player’s Association VIP party at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Among the hundreds of attendees were dozens of current and former players, who easily stood out because of their size.

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How Delta One Compares to Other Premium Cabins

How Delta One Compares to Other Premium Cabins

Among the major U.S. airlines, Delta has long had the best economy class product. In fact, their major competitors, United and American, really aren’t close at this point.

However, in the premium cabin market, things aren’t as clear cut, and competition has been heating up lately. One key item to note up front is that while the name Delta One sounds like a name for a first-class product, Delta One is actually a business class product. This applies to both the transcontinental and international versions. Therefore, when making comparisons to other premium cabin products, business class is the proper benchmark.

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Which Credit Cards Help You Avoid Baggage Fees

Which Credit Cards Help You Avoid Baggage Fees

It might be hard to believe, but there was a time when you could check a bag on any airline for free. These days it will cost you at least $25 per bag on nearly all domestic flights. Each airline has its own policies, and some will even charge you for carry-ons. We have some suggestions for getting around those fees.

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What You Need to Know About Basic Economy Fares and How To Get Around Them

What You Need to Know About Basic Economy Fares and How To Get Around Them

American started rolling out its basic economy fares this month, joining the other two major legacy airlines in their attempt to compete with ultra-low cost carriers. That means service aboard domestic flights has taken another hit, but there are ways to get around at least some of the drawbacks of flying.

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The Hotel Concierge Can Offer Elite Perks for Loyal Travelers

The Hotel Concierge Can Offer Elite Perks for Loyal Travelers

We focus so much on securing the top elite statuses to take advantage of the prescribed benefits that we forget that hotel staff is often empowered to help us even when we don’t have status. Fancy extra bottled water or more toiletries? A simple phone call can be the answer. And even a few dollars as a tip can score some nice perks.

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Can a Gate Agent Give You a Free Upgrade or Other Perks?

Can a Gate Agent Give You a Free Upgrade or Other Perks?

Ever wonder what those gate agents are doing at a busy gate as they type furiously into a computer? What powers do they have that can help you as a frequent traveler?

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The Ultimate Guide to Airline Benefits for Military Families

The Ultimate Guide to Airline Benefits for Military Families

Over the last eight years, my family and I have been the beneficiary of some incredibly generous military benefits given by U.S.-flagged air carriers. While these typically take the form of free baggage, there are other benefits the smart military family should try and utilize. Today, I’ll cover all the benefits given to service members from each of the major carriers in the U.S.

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A Guide to Navigating Baggage Fees

A Guide to Navigating Baggage Fees

If you’re not a road warrior with status across every airline or have a wallet full of credit cards, it may become inevitable that you’ll have to cough up a few bucks to pay for checked baggage. These fees may or may not be avoidable, so consider this guide on the general practice of dealing with airline fees on any carrier.

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JAL Upgrades its Japan Hawaii Fleet

JAL Upgrades its Japan Hawaii Fleet

The Honolulu to Tokyo route is hotly contested as Hawaii is a very popular destination with Japanese tourists. It’s been long served by Air China, ANA, Delta Air Lines (Northwest Airlines had the route), Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines and United Airlines. To distance itself from the competition, Japan Airlines has upgraded its Boeing 777-200ER service on the route.

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus Generous Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 Miles

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Generous Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 Miles

Barclaycard has one of the best bargains available for credit card signups at the moment offering 50,000 miles for being approved for the Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of holding the card. For those not familiar with the bank’s mileage program, there are lots of perks to take advantage of whether using them for miles or everyday purchases.

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The Cathay Pacific Inflight Experience

The Cathay Pacific Inflight Experience

Cathay Pacific is known as one of the world’s great airlines. Its unending list of awards prove that, and it is a highly sought after travel brand that people are often willing to pay a premium for when traveling long-haul.

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7 Miles and Points Tips For the Sundance Film Festival

7 Miles and Points Tips For the Sundance Film Festival

You’ve got your expensive boots and après-ski attire; the fur or leather-lined jacket is ready to go. It’s time for the world-famous Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. This year’s festivities take place January 19-29, and it’s time to plan out your mileage-earning and burning strategy for the big event.

If you’re headed to magical snow country, these seven tips could make a great festival guide.

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How to Reach SkyTeam Elite Status Using Credit Cards

How to Reach SkyTeam Elite Status Using Credit Cards

Did you know you can get elite status on an alliance? Well you can. Here’s how to achieve it on SkyTeam. There are 20 member airlines that make up SkyTeam Alliance: Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, AeroMéxico, AirEuropa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, and XIAMENAIR.

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Where to Find Points and Miles That You Might Not Know About

Where to Find Points and Miles That You Might Not Know About

Part of an effective miles and points earning strategy is to take advantage of every opportunity to rack up extra miles. Here are some tips for earning miles in places you may not have thought of before.

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It’s Time for Your Annual Frequent Flyer Mileage Checkup

It’s Time for Your Annual Frequent Flyer Mileage Checkup

Now is a good time to review where you stand with your preferred airline and hotel partners.

If you don’t take action, when the clock ticks to midnight on January 1, your elite status fate for the coming year will be sealed. Since airlines and hotels base elite status and earned rewards on the calendar year, everything must take place before the end of the year.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Mall Portal: A Primer

Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Mall Portal: A Primer

If Southwest Rapid Rewards is your main frequent flyer program, you need to be aware of Rapid Reward Shopping as well. This online shopping mall acts as a portal to all of your favorite online retailers, from Kohl’s and Old Navy to JCPenney and Ulta Beauty. All you need to do to earn extra Rapid Rewards points is visit the portal and click on the store you wish to shop at. Then, once you make a purchase, you’ll be rewarded with a certain number of Rapid Rewards per dollar spent. It’s that easy, but we’ll step you through the entire process.

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Delta SkyMiles Shopping Mall Portal: A Primer

Delta SkyMiles Shopping Mall Portal: A Primer

If you are a fan of online shopping and you’re a miles and points junkie, you have to get in the habit of using your favorite airline or hotel’s online shopping portal. Delta Skymiles Shopping is just such a portal, and we’ll show you exactly how to sign up so you’ll be rewarded with extra miles on purchases made through this venue. We’ll also show you how to spot deals at SkyMiles Shopping and how to know when to pass up that purchase.

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Christmas Shopping Travel Hacker Style

Christmas Shopping Travel Hacker Style

How much will you spend on holiday shopping this year? According to PricewaterhouseCoopers the average shopper will spend about $1,100 although many will spend more.

When you add to that the amount spent on food, entertainment and other holiday expenses, this time of year represents a tremendous rewards opportunity for savvy travel hackers. It’s just a matter of knowing how to buy travel hacker style.

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