There is a targeted promotion valid till 06/25/2017 for earning easy 1500 United Airlines and/or American Airlines miles by participating in the dining program offered by these programs. Check your email to see if you are targeted with the offer. The promotion gives 500 miles for each restaurant visit up to 3 visits. So you can earn 1500 miles in total. Below are the actual terms of the promotion for those who are targeted.:
Before June 25, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, you must dine at any participating restaurant, bar, or club and spend a minimum of $1. Limit one bonus-qualifying visit per restaurant per day.
The interesting part is that there is an identical offer for both American Airlines and United Airlines. As you can see the offer requires only spending $1+ on each visit and so you can easily earn 1500 miles for minimal spend out of pocket on dining.
Unfortunately as I mentioned this seems to be a targeted offer so check your email to see if you have received this offer. But If you are not a member of any of these dining programs there is still a nice sign up offer for both of them.
Earn up to 4000 United Airlines MileagePlus miles:
MileagePlus Dining has offer where you can earn up to 4000 miles for dining by joining on or before June 30th 2017 and dining within the first 30 days. The earning bonus are as below:
Earn up to 2000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles:
American Airlines dining has offer where you can earn up to 2000 miles for dining by joining before July 31st 2017 and dining within the first 30 days. The earning bonus are as below:
So, check your email and get going for easy American Airlines AAdvantage or United MileagePlus miles.
There has been an American Airlines AAdvantage offer where you could earn 10k miles for making purchase at 4 partners which expires on 06/15/2017. There is no need to register and the details can be found here.
Below are the list of partners for this promotion:
The earning of miles is tiered as shown below:
The interesting part is you could easily earn 2000 to 5000 miles with minimal spend by doing below:
Dine at AAdvantage dining participating restaurants for $25.00 in single transaction:
Use your debit/credit card registered in AAdvantage Dining program for $25 dinning. There are many participating restaurants but assuming you do not have any plan of dining you can simply purchase a $25 gift card at one of your favorite participating restaurant or you can purchase $25 gift card for "Buca di Beppo" in-store which should trigger this activity. This gift card could be used for future dining or sold to gift card re-sellers for 70% of the face value.
Spend $50 in single transaction at any AAdvantage e-shopping partners:
Go through online AAdvantage shopping portal and make a purchase of $50 in single transaction. Ensure that the purchase you make at given merchant does qualify to earn miles. If you do not have any purchase planned you could simply purchase gift card at merchants where purchasing gift card earns AAdvantage miles or one of the easier option is to purchase $50+ gift card of various merchants at Raise.com through AAdvantage shopping portal.
Purchase at 1800flowers.com for minimum amount possible using Code A49 and your AAdvantage membership number:
This is little involved, but if you do this purchase it would be your 3rd partner purchase and you would earn 3k more AAdvantage miles under the AAdvantage partner promotion itself. You can search for minimum purchase amount item such as this for $14.99 and earn 20 miles/$ for this amount plus 3k bonus miles for AAdvantage promotion.
As you can see there are easy ways of doing above 3 offers and earn 2k to 5k AAvantage miles even without doing the "Vinesse" offer. So, take advantage of these easy miles offer before it expires.
Google Flights is one of the go-to tools for most folks looking to book the revenue flights. The various ease-to-use features help easily find the fares to the destination (or near by destination for creative souls). Since the ITA Matrix is at heart of the Google Flights, the same flight results can result from ITA including more details such as "fare class" as well as "Fare Rules" which are usually not shown by Google Flights. Using the "Fare Rules" details can help find out the details of the fare including the change/cancellation fees which vary by carrier.
The interesting aspect is when the flight is operated as "Code Share" flight. For e.g. a United flight is code-shared with its star alliance partners Lufthansa. Similarly carriers can have code-share agreement with another carrier in the market or route where they do not operate and this can represent the same flight being sold with different "Fare Rules" based on where you purchase your ticket from. There are certain routes which are code-shared by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Since Alaska Airlines has a very generous cancellation policy where you can change or cancel the flights up to 60 days before the date of departure the same could potentially apply to code-share flights on American Airlines. This can be easily found by looking at the "Fare Rules" from ITA Search.
For e.g. below is the one way flight search in Google flights from San Jose, Ca (SJC) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) for Dec 15, 2017. As you can see the American Airlines flight AA 1231 is marketed by Alaska Airlines as AS 6719. To top it the price is significantly cheaper on Alaska Airlines (Of-course the tickets would be booked in different booking class based on which carrier is selling the tickets) but still if you just care about going from Point A to Point B that's a good price difference. Also American Airlines charges whooping $200 as cancellation/change fee on non-refundable paid fares where as Alaska Airlines cancellation/changes are free up to 60 days before the date of departure or just $125 (assuming you do not have status with Alaska Airlines) till the date of departure.
So if you book the flight using Alaska Airlines you can get:
Of course there are few downside to this:
The next time you book the flight on any airlines and want to make sure you do not have to pay hefty fees do check the "Fare Rules" to determine Cancellation/Change fees. Also if the above Alaska Airlines booking downside seems minor to you for a code share flight between American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, select Alaska Airlines for booking to get great cancellation/change policy.
Having a high level status with airline could be beneficial in many aspect. Also once you reach a high elite status in one airline you could use airline status match as one of the easy ways to acquire status benefits in different airline, partner or alliance. The benefits could vary from airline to airline but some of these benefits include:
The biggest benefit of airline status match is you could leverage a high level status acquired on one airline to other airlines for various benefits. You could even extend the status beyond the usual 1 year by doing status match towards the end of the benefit year. The best part is you could used status on Airline-A to match with Airline-B. Once the match is approved you can turn around and match the status on Airline-B with Airline-C. These could very well extend you having Elite status for much more than initial 1 year.
Some of the airlines will only match status during certain period and with certain airlines while others may choose to match status year around while yet some airlines will allow for "Status Challenge" rather then status match where you need to fly certain amount of miles with the airline in certain period of time to keep the status. Also most of the airlines which are part of one alliance might not status match with any of the airlines belonging to the same alliance. With that in mind listed below are various airlines that will match status.
Apart from above, some airlines will status match folks residing in specific country or region so as to get more business in those regions. As of this writing Etihad Airways and Qantas Airways (Only for New Zealand residents) are running status matches. You could look up this flyertalk thread or check this status matcher website to know about latest status matches which worked or failed.
Every mileage currency has some sweet spots and "Etihad guest miles" are no exception. Ideally folks would not want to collect the "Etihad guest miles" but knowing where the value lies you might be able to decide if it's worth having them for specific redemption. As of starter if you are based in USA you can transfer Citi ThankYou Points or SPG Points in "Etihad guest miles" program at 1:1 ratio. In fact as with other partner airlines transferring SPG points in 20,000 increment will fetch 25,000 miles so your ratio could be as good as 1:1.25.
The focus of the post is to list the Etihad guest airline partners and how to get value out of your Etihad guest miles. First of all let me list the airline partners for redemption: You can click "know more" on each of the partners on this link to see redemption details.
Preferred Airline Partners:
As you can see that's a pretty long list. Also mind you each partner has their own redemption chart, so it might take you some time to wade through the redemption tables for each one of them, but in general below are the rules of award redemption for partner airlines (Mind you that these are general rules for all airlines and there might be additional rules specific to given airline partner):
Award Redemption Rules (general):
How to book partner airline award redemption?
Unfortunately you cannot do partner award redemption online. You need to call Etihad guest support on +1888 8 ETIHAD or 877 690 0767 and luckily they are open 24 hours. It would also be prudent to verify if the award you are looking for is available (usually saver level awards is what Etihad can book) by checking on the partners web site or paid tools like Expert Flyer or KVS.
How many miles does Etihad charge?
Most of the partner redemption chart are distance based (except few airlines including American Airlines). That means short distance flights which are otherwise expensive can give you best buck for your miles. That being said, below are few examples airlines, redemption on which could be a good value:
Jet Airways Award redemption for International or Domestic Travel:
You could book one-way from Colombo (CMB) in to Chennai (MAA) in Coach for just 3103 Etihad guest miles and with NO Colombo Sales City tax of ~$60. The same would cost 4500 British Avios with additional $60 if redeemed on SriLankan Airlines.
Garuda Indonesia redemption for short distances:
For e.g. you can book Bali (DPS) to Surabaya (SUB) flight for only 5000 Etihad guest miles.
American Airlines for North America to South America (Zone 1):
You can redeem 17.5k Etihad guest miles for travel from North America to South America (Zone 1) one way in coach.
As you can see from some examples there are definitely some value to be had with Etihad partner redemption if you do not mind calling their redemption center. So, there are definite sweet spots that can be utilized using Etihad guest miles.
Either you are occasional traveler or a regular traveler looking to travel on the high demand route, knowing hidden city ticketing could help you save $$ for your next trip or reduce the cost to some extent. So what does the "Hidden City Ticketing Mean"?
The idea of Hidden City ticketing is knowing the cheaper or "low fare" markets around the "high demand / high cost" market and using it to our advantage on saving the cost. Let's see few examples:
San Francisco (SFO) to Los Angeles (LAX) for close in Thursday Evening ticket (08/21)
A quick search on ITA Matrix gives the below results. As you can see the price is pretty much standard across the board to be $210 (whoops!!). I have purposefully shown details of one of the flight and soon you will see why?
Now let's check out some of the so called "low demand" markets around LAX and see if that gives any better pricing. The way to do this is, enter "LAX" in advance routing code field as highlighted below and let's change the destination to San Diego (SAN). Check out the below screenshot for pricing..
As you can see from above, the direct flight from SFO to LAX on AA1143 was costing $210, but now the same flight is available for $152, if you decide to booked SFO - LAX - SAN route. There are few important things you should remember before you decide to fly SFO - LAX only for $152.
As you can see you saved almost 33% flying the same Airlines you wanted, but with the help of hidden city ticketing. The concept could be applied to other routes and destinations as well. Also if you fly "hub-to-hub" you might want to check the "non-hub" location for savings (as the routing would be always through hub! ).
Ever wondered, which airline flies which route and what are the flight options for the given city? Would that not be much easier if there was single source or page listing all the flights departing a airport? or showing flight details between two city pair?. Although no single website exists which could satisfy this needs there are several resources which could help you find that info. Below are some of the useful websites which can help you get that info, which would help you finalize that missing puzzle of your successful award or revenue travel.
Currently in beta flightconnections will help you find what are the "destinations" served from the airport of your desire and if you key in source/destination pair the available airline/flight options between those two airport/city pair. Of-course you could click on one of those airlines and go to one of their "affiliate" booking web-page, but at least you get the info you need.
Open Flights is like a wikipedia of flights. As it is open-source it is maintained by community of volunteers, and thus would have good info albeit some of the info might be wrong. The interesting part is you could view or list flights from a given "airport" or "city" and the data could be either seen as a map or read as a list. You can even sort the data as well as filter per the "airlines". As seen from below snapshots!
This tool would be useful if you know the source and destination as well as the dates of your travel and want to know all the available flight options. So, although limited compared to open flights or flightconnection it is still useful as it can quickly list all the options on various airlines as can be seen from below search.
This website requires a little more info before spitting out the route-map but it is useful if you are looking for a route map by "region" or "airline". You could plug in your short-listing criteria and get set of route-maps which are available. You can see a simple search for American Airlines below yields links to various route maps by region as well detailed info on the "hubs".
Airline Route Mapper
Airline route mapper is another tool which was created by flyertalk member cockpitvisit. You need to download this tool but it does list a fairly comprehensive and updated route map. So, if you are one of those who do lot of search and do not mind installing this tool on your laptop/desktop then this is for you.
Apart from above there is a route map (which might be a little limited in its usage but still useful) for One World Alliance routes which can be found here and Star Alliance routes which can be found here.
SPG in partnership with American Airlines/US Airways is running a promotion where you get 20% bonus on the miles converted from SPG to American Airlines or US Airways. The sweet spot is of-course when converting 20k points from SPG you typically get 5k bonus from SPG, thus making 25k AA/US miles. With the 20% bonus offer you get additional 5k AA/US miles thus getting 30k AA/US Miles for 20k SPG points.This is a limited time offer and runs till end of July 31st, 2014. No registration is required for this. SPG allows a maximum of 79,999 points transfer in a day, so at max you should do only 60k points in a day to get 90k AA/US Airways miles. Below is the link for the transfer:
Below is the details of the American Airlines (AA) offer:
From July 1 through July 31, 2014, simply convert your Starpoints® to American Airlines AAdvantage miles and earn a 20% bonus. As always, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, SPG® will automatically add another 5,000 miles. With the additional 20% mileage bonus offered by the AAdvantage program, you will receive a total of 30,000 miles from the transaction.
20,000 Starpoints = 20,000 AAdvantage miles
Standard SPG bonus = 5,000 AAdvantage miles
AAdvantage 20% mileage bonus = 5,000 AAdvantage miles
Total = 30,000 AAdvantage miles
Below is the details of the US Airways offer:
From July 1 - 31, 2014, convert your Starpoints® into Dividend Miles and earn a 20% bonus.
Here's how it works:
Note: Do not transfer the points speculatively if you do not really have any intended use already. SPG points are valuable as they can be transferred to many other airlines at 1:1.25 ratio for most partners.
If you ever thought about getting the retroactive miles/points credit for any of your past trip, the first most important thing you need is the "boarding pass". Most of the time we do not care about keeping the boarding pass once we board the aircraft. But most often you could still get those miles for your air travel if you have your boarding pass. One of the best way is to take a "picture" of the boarding pass so that you still have proof of boarding the aircraft in case you need it at a later date. In fact sometimes the airlines miles/points might not post even though you might have entered your Frequent Flyer (FF) number. In such situations as well you might need to have the boarding pass from the trip to email/fax the customer support.
The other important aspect of air travel is to know what "fare bucket" your travel was booked into. For commoners all we know are the "classes" such as Economy, Business and First. But there are many fare buckets from which your ticket might originate and those determine how much "miles credit" you get for your trip. Fare bucket information is usually displayed on your itinerary right beside the the "class" information. This is important to know as it would "save you hassle" of contacting the airlines if you know before hand (by looking at airlines website) if your "fare bucket" earns any miles or not.
So, once you have above two pieces of information and provided the airline you flew allows retroactive miles credit (which most airlines do), you can earn the miles for the trip you took in the past. Ideally airlines have partners or belong to alliance so you could potentially credit your miles to those partners or alliance airline provided you enter that airline Frequent Flyer number in your reservation (This could be done online or by calling the airline you are flying). But, when you do not enter this info before taking your flight and would be doing retroactive credit majority of airlines will only allow you to credit the miles to their "own frequent flyer program".
Below is the information regarding the time frame you can get retroactive credit for your flights. Before you "contact the airlines", you would need to create the Frequent Flyer account in their program if you do not have one. I have listed only few airlines here, but you should be able to easily look up this information on the airlines website:
So the next time you travel, make sure you enter your Frequent Flyer number in your reservation record (can be done after booking your reservation) and always "keep your boarding pass" to ensure "airline mileage credit".
ITA MATRIX is one of the best "free" tool available to search for the flights with variety of options. This is really useful if you are looking to fly a specific airline carrier, or you want to know which near-by airport has the cheapest available fare to your destination, or you are looking for the specific fare class which would still earn full 100% miles. Below is a sample list of things you could do using ITA MATRIX but by no means is exhaustive:
Although you can search different combination's as mentioned above the "ITA MATRIX" does not allow you to make a final purchase nor directs you to one. But most of the time knowing the fare exists would enable you to book your ticket either through OTA (Online Travel Agent) website such Expedia, Priceline or Orbitz or book through other meta search engine sites such as Skyscanner or Hipmunk. You can also book the tickets through various airlines own websites as well if you so desire. Also note that the search does not include any OTA or airline specific coupons or discounts which you could use if available.
Q: How to do a basic search with price per mile enabled?
A: To do the search with price per mile enabled you need to add "?showPricePerMile=true" at the end of webpage link of ITA MATRIX or use this link. Let's do a search for a 2 to 3 day roundtrip from SFO to MIA on any day in the month of September 2013 for Economy Cabin Class.
The result of the above search can be seen below in Fig 2. As you can see the rates are different for different dates as well as it shows if it is for 2 or 3 days turn as well. You can modify the highlighted box in "red" for search for different month or days of trip.
As you can see from Fig. 3, selecting the cheapest trip shown in Fig. 2 loads up variety of flights at different times as well as showing "price per mile" for those trips.
As mentioned this was a simple search with single source and destination. If you want to depart from either of SJC or SFO and your destination could be either of FLL or MIA, you could put that in the search box as shown in Fig. 4
For searching flights operated by only "American Airlines", you can enable "advance routing codes" field and add "AA+" or change the "Departing from" field to look like "SFO, SJC::AA+"
As you can see there are "tons" of possibility of advance code combinations you can use to make your search more specific, but remember if you put "too many generic" options the ITA MATRIX tool will simply time-out or exit with only "partial" results. So, it is prudent to make your search as specific as possible as well as having broad characteristics of details important to you. Below are some examples of advance routing codes which would be useful. We have assumed the "Departing from" to be SFO, but you have any other airport code for your search. The "two letter" code of each airline can be found here.
There are many more such codes which are useful to trim down to the flights you are looking for. more information about these can be found on the flyerguide post here. Hope this would be useful for planning your next trip with cash and knowing what were your options before making the purchase.
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on 3 aspects: