This week is chock full of travel-related news for frequent flyers. Whether you are earning or burning miles as you travel, consider these tidbits to discover ways to improve upon and enjoy the journey, no matter where you are headed.
American offers free inflight entertainment
Following in the footsteps of Delta and United (American also was a copycat of both airline’s rewards program earlier this year), American is now making inflight entertainment aboard its flights complimentary in all cabins. This includes all movies and premium HBO content. Of course, you have to be on a plane that has inflight entertainment systems in the seatback, and there are lots of old planes flying around without them. The free entertainment option will begin later this month.
TSA Precheck enrollment coming to the DMV
Two of your favorite things coming together in one place! Hardly. But soon, the TSA plans to roll out sign up centers for TSA Precheck at DMV locations. This is in addition to its ever-present airport locales. Bet you didn’t know that you can also sign up for TSA Pre at H&R Block when getting your taxes organized. The $85 fee for five-year membership is still applied although those with various credit cards like American Express Platinum and Citi Prestige can get that cost refunded when charging it to the respective card. As part of TSA’s efforts to enroll as many as 25 million by 2019, enrollment centers are also popping up at concerts and large conventions to make it easier for people to join.
United discounts domestic and transpacific saver economy awards
If you can make travel plans and reserve them between now and Aug. 23, United is throwing you a bone. You can save 20% on domestic roundtrip economy class awards. That means that a 25,000-mile roundtrip only costs 20,000 miles, which is a steal. If you’re traveling on a flight that is less than 700 miles in each direction, this promotion gives you roundtrip travel for 16,000 miles (instead of the normal 20,000 miles). Travel must take place between Aug. 23 and Dec. 15, but several dates around Thanksgiving are understandably blacked out. Discounts on award travel to Asia on United-operated flights are also available for reservations made by Aug. 22 and for travel by April 30, 2017. The discount is automatically applied to eligible itineraries booked at united.com, but you must register for the promotion first.
Delta offers vouchers for travelers affected by power outage
Despite having a backup system to prevent a complete meltdown, Delta suffered a double whammy when its backup system also failed during an equipment failure that led to a power outage. This sent the airline into crisis mode canceling more than 1,000 flights on Monday with a ripple effect for flights later in the week, stranding travelers across the globe. In an effort to rebuild consumer trust, Delta is offering an olive branch in the form of a $200 travel voucher for those that were affected with a delay of longer than three hours. People are being contacted automatically, but some communications could end up in your spam folder. Others may not have an email address in the reservation at all. Claim what’s yours by contacting Delta if you have not received a voucher 10 days after your travel date. Use the customer contact form at delta.com/wecare.
British Airways and Ancestry.com offer London contest
To celebrate British Airways’ latest advertising campaign, the airline has launched a sweepstakes in partnership with Ancestry.com for a pair of business class tickets to London, a year-long membership to the ancestry.com, and four nights at the Sheraton Grand Luxury London Park Lane hotel, which is a shining example of Sheraton’s brand overhaul. Sheraton Grand properties, which are also eligible for earning and redeeming Starwood Preferred Guest points, are part of business traveler-focused Sheraton’s effort to renew its well-known brand. Sheraton is investing big bucks in hotels and staff training around the world to accomplish this goal. Enter the contest between now and Aug. 26 (although if you miss it, there are two more opportunities in September).
Membership Rewards to British Airways transfer bonus
If you have a Membership Rewards account from American Express, Avios has a bonus offer coming your way. Transfer points from Amex to Avios and receive a 50% bonus (1 Amex Membership Rewards point becomes 1.2 Avios points, normally it only transfers to .8 points). Avios points are valuable because there are some great mileage redemptions with them including one-way flights less than 650 miles in distance for only 7,500 Avios points.
Earn 30,000 American miles with Curacao vacation promotion
Book a five-night trip with hotel and flights for two people via American Airlines Vacations and earn 30,000 bonus miles. There are some tremendous values including an option for $1,100 for two people. If you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean, this could be a great value!
United offers mileage bonus when you buy miles
While buying frequent flyer miles is not always the best value proposition, it becomes more worth it when there are bonuses to be had. If you need to top off your account, United is offering tiered mileage bonuses to those that purchase or share miles. Log into your United account to make the purchase by Aug. 15.