Loyalty Program News for Frequent Flyers

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Korean Air is Now a Starwood Preferred Guest Transfer Partner

Partner number 34 for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program is SkyTeam member Korean Air. You can now transfer your SPG Starpoints into Korean Air SKYPASS miles at a ratio of 1 to 1.

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Alaska Airlines Takes Top Spot in Reward Program Rankings

According to U.S. News & World Report, Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is the best airline reward program of 2015, the first year the carrier placed number one in the rankings.

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United Airlines App Revamped to Make Airport Living Easier

Have you ever wished you had a map of the airport when you were on a layover, in the midst of a delay or, worse yet, dealing with a flight cancellation? Or maybe you just wanted to know which restaurant had the best food, or where to find the nearest ATM? With the new features integrated into the United Airlines app, you can have all that, plus self-booking options, in the palm of your hand.

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Southwest Airlines Has the Happiest Customers

Sometimes a situation calls for a soundtrack. For Southwest Airlines, that song could easily be the recent hit “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. A new study from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed that Southwest Airlines has the happiest customers among air carriers.

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Double Miles on New Routes From Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines serves more than 92 destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including several smaller Alaskan locations that are inaccessible by road. The West Coast carrier continues to expand, too, extending its coverage by offering new nonstop flights.

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United Airlines Ups Entertainment on Flights

Do you wish there was more to do when you’re in the air? If so, United Airlines has something to offer you. The airline is taking its in-flight entertainment up a notch with the expansion of its United Private Screening in-flight entertainment initiative.

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Car Rentals Earn Major Virgin America Elevate Points

People rent vehicles for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re on vacation, hauling something big or just trying to keep those extra miles off your car, Virgin America is offering a trio of enticing promotions to fit your needs while you collect bonus Elevate points. They’ll even help you earn points when you’re hailing a taxi cab alternative for short rides around town.

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Starwood Preferred Guest Amex Card Adds New Benefits

Not only has the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit card from American Express been redesigned, but it now offers new perks for travelers.

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Up to Triple Miles for Flying on Alaska Airlines and Its Partners

Alaska Airlines, the seventh-largest airline in the United States, operates out of its hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Of the traditional domestic airlines, it has been ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction for eight years running by J. D. Power and Associates.

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Air Canada Partners With Hotels to Offer End-of-Summer Miles

If you’re planning on some end-of-summer adventures or business trips, there are multiple opportunities to earn bonus Air Canada Aeroplan miles on hotel stays. Most offers are good for bookings made both in Canada and elsewhere. The following deals will bump up your rewards balance by thousands of miles.

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Record-Breaking Airline Bookings Means Fewer Award Seats

Thanks to an economic recovery, an improving job market, lower gas prices and rising home values, people are feeling better about opening their wallets and spending more. And, thanks to the urge to splurge, people are spending more on travel.

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The Future of Travel: Personal Service?

The latest American Express Future of Travel survey shows that while technology helps make travel planning easier and more accessible, travelers still appreciate a personal touch.

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Southwest and Delta Decide to Play Nice at Dallas Love Field—For Now

In a battle reminiscent of the Hatfield-McCoy feud of the mid- to late 1800s, which earned a storied place in American folklore for the bitter dispute between the two families, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are duking it out over gate space at Dallas Love Field.

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Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Cardholders Get Free Checked Bag

In an era when airlines keep cutting perks and charging for everything, Alaska Airlines has some good news for its passengers. Earlier this month the carrier announced that its Visa Signature cardholders can now check their first bag free of charge.

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United Puts Down Roots in Newark

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Those words from the venerable John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, must have recently resonated with United Airlines.

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Expedia and ARC Predict Airfares to Decline

A travel report from Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) predicts that plane ticket prices will continue to decline over the next year. Popular destinations, including Europe and Latin America, will likely see price drops of 4 to 6 percent.

In the first half of 2015, ticket prices dropped an average of 2 percent across Europe and North America, and about 7 percent in Asia-Pacific.

Expedia research air travel trend

The report, Travel Check-Up: Air Travel Trends 2015, looked at global travel trends, ticket prices, consumer demand and the potential to save through travel packages. It was released in early June and is available here.

Top 10 Travel Bargains

The report predicts the top 10 routes that will be the best deals in air travel during the remainder of 2015. Analysis of pricing trends suggests that these routes will have the biggest percentage drops in average ticket prices:

  • Malaysia to Australia
  • Italy to Portugal
  • Brazil to the United States
  • Spain to Thailand
  • Germany to Portugal
  • Japan to France
  • United States to Dubai
  • Mexico to France
  • Malaysia to Thailand
  • Sweden to Spain

Packages Offer the Greatest Savings

One of the report’s biggest takeaways is that package deals offer the biggest savings. ARC and Expedia found that, on average, consumers saved up to $648 across all destinations when booking plane tickets and hotel rooms together instead of separately. The data was gathered on bundled air and hotel package prices for June through September 2015.

Package savings by destination
Bundled air and hotel deals offered big savings to travelers

Trip Length Is Shortest From the United States

The report also studied how long people stayed when they traveled to various locations. Flights originating in the U.S. led to the shortest stays. In June and July, people tended to stay longer when they flew from North America to Asia-Pacific.

Travelers originating in Asia-Pacific and heading to Europe in August had the longest average stays. The report’s authors surmised that this could be because the Chinese yuan is gaining strength against the U.S. dollar, causing a surge in outbound travel from China.

About the Agencies Behind the Report

ARC provides services and products to the U.S. travel industry and has information on more than 9 billion passenger flights, providing a detailed view of air travel. Expedia encompasses Expedia.com, an online travel agency with localized sites in 31 countries, and also Hotels.com and discount travel sites Hotwire, Travelocity and CarRentals.com.

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American Express Cards Add New Benefits

If you’re looking for a great travel rewards credit card and aren’t sure which one offers the best perks, keep reading. Three American Express cards are adding a suite of new services and benefits for cardholders, including double reward points, trip planning, luggage fee reimbursement, and more. These are in addition to the great rewards already offered by American Express, making the cards even more valuable for the casual or frequent traveler.

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The Best Airlines for Scoring Award Seats

When you want a good seat at a restaurant, schmooze with the maître d’. When you want a great seat at a concert, it helps to know the performer. When you want a seat on a plane, however, no amount of schmoozing or name dropping works. Moreover, no amount of points or miles can get you on a flight without available award seats.

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Merger Update: American Airlines and US Airways

If you’re a member of the American Airlines AAdvantage program and/or US Airways Dividend Miles, you’ve no doubt been trying to keep up to date on the changes that are in store as the two airlines merge. Here’s what’s happening as of spring 2015.

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Program Devaluations for 2015

Program devaluations are the bane of every frequent flyer. You go into this pastime with your eyes open. You study the program rules and award charts and make a plan to earn the miles that will net you award flights to your dream destination.

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