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Big Changes Announced for the Future of Alaska and Virgin America

Alaska bought Virgin America last December, and though have released a few details on how the merger would impact elite benefits, mileage earning, and other short-term concerns, they have kept travelers waiting for a bigger picture view of what these airlines will look like when the merger is complete.
Now, we finally have the answers. In general, there are more positives than negatives, especially for Alaska elites, though some features will be disappearing that Virgin America loyalists will probably miss.

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The Complete List of U.S. Fifth Freedom Flights

travel flight

You might think that international airlines only fly to and from their home country, but that’s not always true. Many fly “Fifth Freedom” routes as a result of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation. According to the ICAO, the fifth of the nine freedoms guarantees the right of an airline to fly between two foreign countries en route to or originating from their home country.

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Tips for Booking Alaska Companion Tickets on Virgin America

The merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America continues to create new opportunities. The most recent announcement is that companion fares are now eligible to be redeemed on Virgin America flights. In this post, we will explain the process for booking companion tickets, give some useful tips, and talk about new possibilities that the Virgin America merger makes possible.

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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

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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American Follows Delta’s Lead on Free Premium Transcon Meals and Marriott Top Elites Get Free Star Alliance Gold Status

Marriott is now giving its Platinum Premier members free United Premier Gold status. Find out how to get it (and corresponding Star Alliance Gold status), plus which routes are now eligible for free economy class meals when flying domestically on American and Delta in this week’s roundup.

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Introducing the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an amazing airplane and it keeps getting better with each new release.  The latest iteration from Boeing is the 787-10. This version will hold more passengers due to its length. It can hold 330 passengers as opposed to the 787-9 which carries 290 and the 787-8 which holds 242. Note that seat configurations will vary by airline.

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The Future of Business Class for U.S. Carriers

Domestic airlines have long lagged behind their international competitors when it comes to providing a luxurious and comfortable premium cabin experience on long haul routes. American currently has the best offering of the three legacy carriers with the bulk of its international long haul fleet featuring private reverse herringbone seating in a 1x2x1 configuration.

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Qatar Airways Introduces an Awesome New Business Class

Qatar Airways has been hinting for a while that they would be revealing a brand-new business class product. They were promising that new product would be revolutionary, and for once the reality lived up to the hype. The new seat is called the QSuite and will be accompanied by enhancements to the soft product as well.

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Philadelphia Gets More Lounge Access and Qatar Unveils New Business Class

Qatar Airways is planning to introduce a new business class seat with doors that close and fully flat beds. The Q Suites will begin flying this summer. Learn which flights will have them plus more of the latest in miles and points news.

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Amex Announces Big Changes to the Platinum Card

Ever since Chase released the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Amex has been playing catch up in the premium card market. Amex’s first response was far less than hoped for – they added 5X earning on airfare to the personal card and the ability to receive a 50% points rebate for premium cabin booking to the business card.

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How to Get the Southwest Companion Pass Before the Rules Change

Earning a Southwest Companion Pass will get more difficult at the end of March 2017, but luckily you still have a chance to earn it one of the easiest ways possible. Here’s what you need to know.

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Status Matches From Alaska, Southwest, JetBlue and Virgin America

elite status

If you’ve worked hard and earned elite status at one airline, you may be able to use that as leverage to quickly earn status with another carrier. Find out what status match and challenge offers are available from regional and low-cost carriers and how to take full advantage of them.

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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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How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou to Fly Delta

delta transfer partners

Delta is a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program, but it is not a partner of either Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou. You can still use TY or UR points to fly on the airline though by booking the carrier through a partner airlines. We will show you how.

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Status Matches From American, Delta and United

Elite status with an airline can get you some fantastic benefits: free upgrades, discounts, bonus points and more. While status is generally limited to those who earn the hard way—through flying and spending—you shouldn’t forget about status matches and challenges. These offers can be a quick way to get status with an airline, particularly if you plan to do a lot of traveling in a short period of time.

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Free Miles for New JetBlue Flyers and Expanded Perks for Best Western Rewards Elites

This month, there are several bonus offers for those with specific credit cards; don’t miss out! And learn how Best Western elite members are getting some extra perks for their loyalty.

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Priority Pass: Why You Want It and How to Get It

Priority Pass hit a milestone last year by offering members access to over 1,000 lounges worldwide. That makes it the most comprehensive independent airport lounge network available, all but guaranteeing that you’ll have a comfy place to relax, snack or get a little work done at any major airport in the world. The best part? You can get a free membership with the right credit card.

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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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Tips for Choosing Delta Choice Benefits

delta airlines

In a rare win for travel hackers, recent changes to the Delta Medallion program actually increase the value of top tier Diamond elite status, without reducing benefits for lower levels of status. The main change was that for the 2018 Medallion year they substituted an automatic Sky Club membership for a third Choice benefit, whereas before Diamond members only got two Choice benefits.

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