Discover America Daily Getaways Announced for the 3rd Week April 23-27

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On Monday, I wrote about the Discover America Daily Getaways for the first two weeks. There were three deals that caught my eye, but probably not good enough to make me to participate, however.

On the third week I probably have to make some purchases. Last year, I ended up buying both Hilton HHonors and Wyndham Rewards points. Wyndham points have been sitting on my account since that, but I have been using and earning Hilton HHonors points all the time.

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Wyndham Rewards Points Monday April 23rd

Wyndham has five different packages for sale. You can buy one each. The beauty of Wyndham Rewards points is the transferability to airline miles.  30K Wyndham Rewards points transfers to 12K miles or equivalent in kilometers in number of programs; Amtrak, Czech Airlines, Delta, Hainan, Frontier, US Airways, United, Airberlin, Aeroplan, AeroMexico, China Eastern, American Airlines & Air China.

Packages available

16000 Wyndham Rewards points for $55 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

28000 Wyndham Rewards points for $76 = price per point 0.0027 = price per mile 0.0068

32000 Wyndham Rewards points for $110 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

50000 Wyndham Rewards points for $143 = price per point 0.0029 = price per mile 0.0072

48000 Wyndham Rewards points for $165 = price per point 0.0034 = price per mile 0.0086

Above calculations do not take into account 10% discount when paying using an American Express branded credit card, and the figures are rounded. The price per mile number is calculated when transferring in the block of 30K Wyndham Rewards points to 12K airline miles.

When airlines sell miles in their respective programs, the prices tend to fluctuate between 1.8 to 2 cents per mile during the sales. You really cannot buy miles cheaper than first buying the Wyndham Rewards points during the Discover America sale, and then transferring them to airline miles. Of course you can use them for hotel stays as well.

Quick look at my Wyndham Rewards account shows that I was able to snag 146K worth of packages during the last year’s sale.

Hilton HHonors Points Wednesday April 25th

This is the only other purchase that I made last year.

Packages available

150000 Hilton HHonors points for $825

250000 Hilton HHonors points for $1375

100000 Hilton HHonors points for $550

I would steer away from buying Hilton HHonors points unless you are a Diamond member and/or know how to use them properly. You can “buy” a very good deal if you are able to use the points at a place like Conrad Koh Samui where rates are in excess of $600 per night.

American Airlines Double Elite Qualifying Miles for DFW-BOS Promotion BOSEQ

American has had the west coast DEQM/RDM promotion going now for close to six months. Last month American launched a DEQM offer for DFW-LGA flights. Now they are extending the offer for non-stop flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston.

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This promotions required registration prior travel and is valid from April 3rd to June 30th, 2012. Please note that this offer only doubles the elite qualifying miles. You won’t earn more redeemable mikes by participating to this offer.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Buy American Airlines AAdvantage Miles April Edition – 30% Bonus & 15% Discount

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The other day, American sent an email regarding their latest Buy AA miles promotion. You will get 30% bonus and 15% discount off the purchase price, if you make the purchase by noon on Thursday 5th of April. With the bonus & the discount, you can buy 52000 AAdvantage miles for $1035.13. The price of the mile is 2 cents.

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The last time American Airlines run a promotion for buying AAdvantage miles the price was 2.2 cents per mile. The current offer thus is better.

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Please note that you can only buy 40000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year. If you need to purchase more miles, I would suggest opening an account for an immediate family member. For ticketing purposes it would be better if you share the same last name.

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Does it make sense to buy?

The same advice still applies that I gave during the January sale:

When it makes sense to buy miles?

  1. Short on miles for premium international flight award on partner airlines
  2. Oneway travel in markets where OW fares are expensive
  3. Travel that requires flexibility as award tickets can be changed/canceled for a fee/without fee almost like flexible tickets

One of my favorite bright spots on AA’s award chart is the Europe to Middle East/Indian Sub-continent. It is 30K in business and 40K in first class for oneway travel. Now that Etihad is AA’s redemption partner this award has become more useful as Etihad has quite comprehensive coverage of the region.  You could fly from Europe to Maldives in business class for 60000 AAdvantage award miles.

The Australia/New Zealand zone is good way to burn miles too as is the Europe. Both of these markets tend to be expensive unless you can plan your travel far in advance, or travel in the markets where there is competition from low cost carriers.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

American Airlines Double Elite Qualifying Miles for LGA-DFW DFLGA (Targeted?)

American definitely has double elite qualifying promotions running on both coasts at the moment. Yesterday, I wrote about AA’s offer that was extended until the end of June that gives double elite and redeemable miles for flights between SNA/LAX/SFO-ORD-DFW.

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Now, American has launched a targeted promotion for double elite qualifying miles for flights between New York’s LaGuardia airport and Dallas/Fort Worth. Note that this offer won’t earn any extra redeemable miles. This offer is valid from March 26th to June 30th, 2012. It is NOT valid for reservation booked to prior March 26th per the terms and conditions.

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Apparently this offer is targeted. The AA’s system allows everybody to register, but this offer probably won’t work unless you received the offer email.

Note: This offer is valid only for AAdvantage members who receive this email directly from American Airlines.

Terms and Conditions:
Offer only applies to AAdvantage members who receive this email directly from American Airlines. AAdvantage promotion is valid for round-trip travel on purchased, published fare tickets on American Airlines marketed and operated nonstop flights between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and New York/LaGuardia (LGA) from March 26, 2012, through June 30, 2012. A round trip is defined as two one-way trips booked in a single reservation under one ticket number. Reservations containing open jaws are eligible. A maximum of one round trip is permitted per reservation. Reservation must be booked on or after March 26, 2012, to be eligible. This offer does not increment the member’s elite qualifying points or segments nor does it add to the member’s prize eligible mileage balance. Double elite-qualifying miles will be calculated at 100% of the base miles earned for the flights between DFW and New York/LaGuardia. Promotional miles associated with this offer will be posted to the account of the traveling AAdvantage member within 6-8 weeks after qualifying activity posts to your account. Promotion does not apply to travel on mileage award tickets or fares that are ineligible for AAdvantage mileage accrual. Flights operated by our codeshare partners or oneworld alliance carriers are not eligible for this promotion. This offer can be combined with other AAdvantage promotions. Registration prior to travel is required.

American Airlines ORD/DFW-SFO/LAX/SNA Offer of Double Elite & Redeemable Miles Extended Until June 30th, 2012

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American Airlines has extended the promotion of double elite and redeemable miles between ORD/DFW-SFO/LAX/SNA cities from March 30th to all the way up June 30th, 2012. This must be the longest double miles promotion in AA’s history.

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Originally Orange County airport (SNA) wasn’t part of the promotion, but from March 9 this offer has also applied to flights between ORD-SNA. On an email received from American they did mention that the offer would be valid for flights between DFW-SNA, but that doesn’t appear on the official promotion page on AA.com.

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Note that your address on file with AAdvantage program needs to be in TX, IL, or CA to be eligible for this offer. If you don’t live in these states, just ask your friend. And,yes, you do need to register as well.

Here are the full Terms and conditions of this offer:

Double Miles on All Oneworld Carrier Programs for Airberlin Flights

To celebrate the newest member of the alliance not only are Airberlin Topbonus members getting double miles on Oneworld alliance flights, but also all Oneworld carriers are offering double miles for Airberlin flights.

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Oneworld made an announcement about this:

Members of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7’s frequent flyer programmes will earn double the normal mileage awards when flying on eligible airberlin flights from today until 15 May 2012.

Now here’s the tricky part. Some of the airlines require you to register for this double miles promotion and some do not. I went just through all the websites to find more information.

American Airlines AAdvantage: You need to register to get double miles credited for Airberlin flights. You can do it here.

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British Airways: No need to register to get double miles. You can find more info about this partnership here.

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Cathay Pacific: You need to register for this promotion to get double Asiamiles. You can do it here.

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Finnair: No information about the Airberlin offer on Finnair.com. There is only generic webpage dedicated to Airberlin that you can access here.

Iberia: No registration required. You can find more information here.

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Japan Airlines: Registration is required. You can do it here.

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LAN: Unfortunately there is no information available. Airberlin’s logo is visible on the Oneworld section, but then entirely missing on the earning of miles side that you can access here.

Qantas: Registration is required. You can do it here.

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Royal Jordanian: No info about Airberlin found.

S7 (Siberian Airlines): Page dedicated to Airberlin, but no info about double miles offer.

American Airlines TerminAAtes The Aluminum Lady aka Gailen David

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Last month, I wrote about airline parody videos about American Airlines that then American Airlines flight attendant Gailen David had done and posted on YouTube. These parody videos are mainly about American Airlines and its employee relations.

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According to Gailen, he was just terminated today for publishing details about American Airlines passengers (AA executives that were bumping paying first class customers) and promoting competitors on his website (Google ads).

It is uncertain time for American Airlines that tries to reorganize under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

American Airlines Executive Platinum & Concierge Key Benefit – Free Alcoholic Beverage & Snack On Domestic Flights When Seated In Economy

Executive Platinum/Concierge Key members should have been “enjoying” this benefit of a free snack item + one alcoholic beverage since 2009. Flight attendants were previously given instructions to comp these items on their inflight service manual.

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But only now American Airlines has actually published this benefit on their website. Having a beer or red wine helps surviving in AA’s coach before they complete the Main Cabin Extra roll out for roomier economy class product.

Back in January American Airlines announced that they were bringing back free beer and wine for select international routes in Economy.

American Airlines to Launch Main Cabin Extra – Roomier Economy Product

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American Airlines announced that they will start rolling Main Cabin Extra to all of their aircrafts starting this spring. American used to feature a product called “More Room Throughout The Coach” but dismissed this as it wasn’t bringing in enough revenue to offset the lower number of seats available for sale. This time this product is only available in part of the aircraft.

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You will get 4 to 6 inches more legroom compared to regular coach. This doesn’t sound a lot, but it does make a noticeable difference, however. I don’t have a problem sitting in United’s Economy Plus and even open a laptop, but trying to do that comfortably in AA’s coach is very difficult.

United has had their Economy Plus service for years. Delta started their Economy Comfort product in the summer of 2011 and is rolling it in all of their domestic fleet including two class regional jets. Virgin America has had their Main Cabin Select that sounds a lot like AA’s Main Cabin Extra. Jet Blue has more room in all of their aircrafts, and even more in back of the plane.

Initially this Main Cabin Extra product is available free of charge for all American Airlines elite members. Gold members will lose complimentary access on December 31st, 2013. Platinum and Executive Platinum members will continue having free access past that date.

AA will up sell this product to those that are not eligible for the complimentary access. United and Delta are also doing this. Also, it wouldn’t surprise me that if they would start marketing a Main Cabin Extra annual pass once they have got all of their aircraft fitted with this roomier configuration.

It is interesting to see how long it takes AA to roll it fleet wide. American was really fast adding additional seats when they decided to ditch the More Room Throughout the Coach-product. Making this Main Cabin Extra should take even less time because they are essentially just removing couple of rows and redistributing the rest.

You can read more about this product at AA’s website AA.com/MainCabinExtra.

My First Day as Delta SkyMiles Silver (from Diamond) and American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum (from Executive Platinum)

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This is the first day for many of us that didn’t hit the requalification requirements last year, and thus were dropped a notch or two (or three on my Delta case) in frequent flyer programs. Last year and 2010 were quite exceptional for me flying wise. I was at some point United 1K, Continental Platinum, BMI Gold, American Airlines Executive Platinum, Delta Diamond, and Emirates Gold. All these were earned in actual flying and none of them were comped.

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In 2011, I moved out from the United States, and as a result my flying on US carriers was down dramatically. I was very close requalifying to 1K and decided to make my way to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo from Asia the long way and earn the EQM’s needed. I am not planning to requalify for the United top tier status this year.

I am in a somewhat lucky situation. I am a 2.6 million miler (not a coiner) with American Airlines, and thus have a lifetime Platinum status with American that translates to Oneworld Sapphire status. That guarantees a business class check in and lounge access if I find myself in economy.

With Star Alliance I am covered through United. After United and Continental merge their frequent flyer accounts, I am somewhere around 1.5 million lifetime flown miles. This will guarantee me lifetime Gold level status in United’s program, and more importantly with Star Alliance. Like with Oneworld this will give me a business class check in and lounge access if ticketed in economy.

SkyTeam? Forget about it. I think that Delta is a fine domestic US airline and I did enjoy flying within the United States, but the alliance is second/third rate. It is way behind both Star Alliance and Oneworld when it comes to quality of the airlines and implementation of the alliance wide benefits. To be frank, it would be nice to have some sort of status with SkyTeam as well, but I think that I have to learn to live without it.

Overall, I think that I will survive.

How You Should NOT Behave on an American Airlines Flight – YouTube Video From Flight AA 50

Friend sent me an interesting link to a YouTube video today. This was shot on an American Airlines flight AA50 from Dallas to London. Apparently someone got really intoxicated and had to be constrained. Police came to pick him up upon landing to London Heathrow.

American Airlines “Enjoy Your Global Elite Privileges Now!” Email & 1000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles For Playing a Game

American Airlines sent an email few hours ago regarding global elite level benefits. They invite you to play a game and to earn 1000 AAdvantage bonus miles after finishing it. According to the email I received, the bonus AAdvantage miles are only for the first 20000 participants. It already had more than 35000 participants when I just played it, so getting the bonus miles at this point are unlikely.

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It never hurts to try, however, and you will be eligible for a chance to win a two Oneworld Explorer 3-continent tickets.

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This seems to be a Flash-based game so it will take some time to load on slower connection. I am here in Shanghai right now, and I had to refresh it couple of times before it started correctly.

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Good luck!

Gold Level Room

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Platinum Level Room

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Executive Platinum Level Room

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American Airlines FA Gailen David’s “Aluminum Lady” Parody Might Get Him Fired

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American Airlines has always been very sensitive about its employee’s participation in social media and frequent traveler websites. Now Gailen David, the American Airlines purser behind these videos, is being disciplined and possibly fired.

The management and employee relationship has never been too good at American Airlines. Now that the airline is going through the chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and dumping is defined benefits pension plan to government run pension benefit guaranty corporation, better known just as PBGC, the relationship is becoming even more tense. The employees are going to have to accept a haircut of the future benefits as the maximum benefits under the PBGC are capped.

But I found these videos to be quite entertaining to say the least:

You can read about the issue and the letter that was sent to Gailen David by American Airlines at WeWantOurMoneyBack-website.  The Gailen David’s own blog can be found at Dear Sky Steward-website.

Targeted American Airlines HVCAA Promotion for Double Redeemable Miles & 25K EQM for Executive Platinum Status?

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American Airlines is apparently trying to win more business by sending targeted offers for double redeemable miles and accelerated qualification for Platinum or Executive Platinum status. This is not surprising considering that the airline is going through the chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process.

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A FlyerTalk member kwysocki posted a copy of an email received from American Airlines regarding this:

At American Airlines, we value your business and want to see more
of you. That’s why we’re offering two exciting promotions, exclusively for you.

First, you can earn double American Airlines AAdvantage® miles on all purchased, published fares for travel on American Airlines, American Eagle or the AmericanConnection® carrier between February 8, 2012 and
May 31, 2012.

Second, we’re offering you the opportunity to qualify for AAdvantage Platinum® or even AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status at an accelerated rate.

Between February 8, 2012 and May 31, 2012, simply fly the required number of base miles as outlined below on American Airlines, American Eagle or the AmericanConnection carrier. Elite-status membership earned through this special promotion will be valid through February 28, 2013.

We know you’ll appreciate the unique privileges of AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Executive Platinum status, including:

AAdvantage Platinum
• 72 hour upgrade window
• 100% mileage bonus on select elite-qualifying flights
• Priority Baggage Delivery
AAdvantage Executive Platinum
• Unlimited complimentary upgrades confirmed at 100 hours pior to departure (subject to availability)**
• Eight (8) one-way Systemwide Upgrades+
• Expanded MileSAAver® award availability for you and one companion
• Waived ticketing service charges and AAdvantage change and reinstatement charges
For complete details on all AAdvantage elite-status benefits, visit www.aa.com/elitebenefits

Simply click the button below to login and register for this promotion using the Promotion Code HVCAA prior to travel and by 11:59pm CT on February 29, 2012.

This is an exclusive offer only for members who receive this email from American Airlines and register online
to participate.

Although it is rather unlikely that you would get the double miles and the offer of getting EXP for 25K EQM during the promotional period, it never hurts to register and see what happens. Especially, if you already have flights coming during the period. You can sign up at http://www.aa.com/offers by using the HVCAA promotional code and you American Airlines AAdvantage number. The system will confirm your registration, but it doesn’t guarantee that you would get the benefits if you were not targeted.

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