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WHEN I’M FORCED TO PAY $9 FOR A SANDWICH IN ECONOMY
Tumblr is good for two things: porn and GIF blogs. Oh, wait. This week we can add a third thing to that list; Tumblr is also very good at being worth over $1 billion (to Yahoo, who just purchased the microblogging platform).
Since even mentioning porn twice in this post may get us blocked from your lunchtime reading, let's talk about GIF blogs. In particular we'd like to draw your attention to one, frequentflyerlife, started over a year ago by Star Alliance frequent flyer, @melissaiscool.
Travelers know Frontier as the airline that paints cute wild animals on the tails of their airplanes, but they may have more in common with those animals than ever thought. Cute from afar, Frontier bares their teeth up when it comes to one-on-one interaction.
Case in point: the news this week that Frontier would punish travelers who do not book directly on Frontier's own website. Fares remain attractivestarting around $69 each way from Denver to Chicago and $49 from New Jersey to Floridabut the ugly truth is that accidentally booking your Frontier flight on Expedia or Kayak means extra fees of $100 per carry-on bag and only 25% of the frequent flyer miles for your trip.
If your travels included stops in NYC, Miami, LA, Sao Paulo, London, Cairo, Moscow, Bangkok, Sydney and Seoul, your piece would look like the above.
Ever try to buy a gift for a frequent traveler? It's difficult! For someone who's been around the world, or even just around the country, a soap and lotion set or scented candle is just blah. This is why we're loving Meshu, a company that interprets travel routes into geometric jewelry.
Meshu promises to "turn your places into beautiful objects," and what they mean is using your (or someone else's) plotted travel routes to generate a design that's then manufactured to become a necklace pendant, earrings or cufflinks.
As the week fades into the weekend, we’re always looking for something to do. Thanks to JetBlue our attention has been turned towards finding and planning a bit of a getaway, and that’s especially the case now that they’re throwing a little bit of a sale. We know you’ve been stashing away those TrueBlue points in your frequent flyer bank, but with a 30% discount—now’s the time to book.
You only have a few more hours to decide on where you want to go and when you want to takeoff, as the fun ends today—April 26. Travel is valid between May 2 and June 26, and there are some certain restrictions buried down in the fine print. It looks like eligible flights are only those doing their thing on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Your discount can be quite a savings, but discounts can’t take the total points total below 5,000 TrueBlue points, so just plan wisely.
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Spending all those hard-earned frequent flyer miles is often just as painful as collecting them in the first place—especially if you earned them during a few transcontinental flights in a middle seat. American Airlines usually has pretty decent availability, and with their partners in the oneworld airline alliance it’s not too tricky to get to plenty of spots across the globe. Thankfully they’ve made redeeming your points a little bit easier, as they’ve just introduced a new search tool.
The computer nerds over at American Airlines just revealed their latest project, as they now have an award map for your searching and booking pleasure. Sure there are some shortcomings with the new tool, as sometimes partner awards are kind of limited. However, we’ve got to say it’s pretty darn unique and a step above what some of the other carriers are doing.
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We often sit back and take a look at the balances on our frequent flyer accounts, all the while dreaming of more miles and more locations. Sometimes our imagination gets the best of us, and we’re thinking about where to go with this many miles or that many miles. At that point we might as well go all in, so we’ve started to think about where to go with one million miles:
We’ve flown with Delta more than we would like to admit, so we’ll start by dreaming up faux flights with them. One million miles will buy you, at the most basic level, 40 round-trip domestic flights in coach—that’s like pretty much one flight for every week of the year with a few leftover to head into the office to confirm your employment. At 40,000 miles per round-trip you can sit up front, but that’s going to limit you to just 25 round-trip flights in and around most of the United States and Canada.
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It's only natural to assume that a frequent flyer, perhaps one with ultra high status in an airline's loyalty program, also spends a ton of time staying at hotels. Travel and hotels go hand-in-hand; it's no coincidence that Jaunted's sister site is HotelChatter.com. Thus, most large hotels have deals with airlines to earn miles on nights. That's about the extent of airline-hotel partnerships, however. Until now.
"Crossover Rewards" will shower extra love, miles and points on elite members of Delta's SkyMiles program and Starwood Preferred Guest when they stay at SPG properties and fly Delta jets. We're talking to the tune of 4pm late checkout at hotels and a free checked bag on Delta. That's just the tip of the perks iceberg, really. Here's the full breakdown of Crossover Rewards fun:
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2013, man. This was to be the year we get elite status on Delta and we were just about to sign up for a Delta AMEX credit card when the airline dropped the news which has us thinking twice. Their SkyMiles loyalty program would change, transitioning from the classic distance-based mileage earning to a combination of distance and revenue.
In plainer terms, in order to get any status on Delta, a flyer would have to not only fly a certain amount of miles in a Delta seat, but also spend a certain amount on all those tickets, from $2,500 on up. The idea essentially to ensure the truly "elite" get their perks while those who gain Medallion status using super discounted fares or other incentives will drop down or out of the elite levels.
A nice grid of requirements is below...
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Not our map, but a sample
Does that seem like a lot? It is or it isn't depending on how much you yourself fly, but this number, our personal 2012 total for miles flown, represents a year of new adventures.
The number comes courtesy of the free website FlightMemory.com, where anyone is welcome to sign up for an account to then enter travel itineraries for detailed stats. We recommend getting on that now, before 2013 plans command your attention from the fun of 2012.
Miles tracking on FlightMemory is as involved as you want it to be; ranging from the basics (airports, dates, airline, flight number) to the advanced (airplane type, registration, seat number and class), all resulting in sweet, sweet statistics to
brag about share at the dining room table or at the airline lounge bar. Our particular favorites are how many times we've circumnavigated the Earth (4.51x), total different airports (28) and average flight length (2,294 mi, 4:39 h).
Gift giving crunch time is right around the corner, but we’ve got an idea for your favorite frequent flyer this holiday season. You can give up endlessly searching on Amazon for one of this and one of that, as an airline lounge pass is the way to go. Here’s just a few of the options from the country’s bigger carriers, and what they’re rolling out for the holidays.
Delta Sky Club
If Delta’s your favorite carrier—or is just the one you have to use—then a Sky Club membership is probably a great idea. In total there are around 245 different lounges between the Sky Club options and partner lounges, so there’s a great deal of free drinks and snacks from which to choose. Annual memberships start at $450, but there are discounts available if you are—or the one that needs a gift is—a Delta frequent flyer. There’s even a payment plan that breaks things down in case it’s a little too much to swallow all at once.
There’s also a 30-Day option for $90, or you can just score a single day for $50. Just in time for the holidays there’s also a little bit of a seasonal sale going on, as Delta is also offering up four one-day passes for just $99—quite the savings. The only catch is that these are only available at the Sky Club at the airport, and you have to mention the promotion.
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What do you do when you've just built an airport addition that, in itself, is the size of a whole other airport? Well, if you're Lufthansa at Frankfurt International, you fill it with some superlatives like, say, the largest lounge in the entire system.
This is the case at FRA's brand new A-Plus Concourse, where the LH Senator Lounge on the non-Schengen departures level takes top spot. Its 23,000 square feet easily beats the 19,400 square feet of the airline's next largest lounge, which just happens to be next door in Terminal 1 proper. In total, A-Plus adds five sparkling new, sprawlingly spacious lounges to the roster: a First Class Lounge, a Senator Lounge and a Business Lounge on the EU Departures and Arrivals level and, on the non-European area (Non-Schengen area), there is a Senator Lounge and a Business Lounge.
Now that we've shown you around the rest of the A-Plus Concourse, it's time to have our boarding pass checked, grab a Frankfurter Allgemeine and a tall, cold glass of Franziskaner beer and have a good look around a couple of these spaces.
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In case you thought that Virgin America only took after its sister airlines in mood-lit interior design, the airline is copying Virgin Australia's 2011 idea to attract business travelers and elite flyers by offering a status match.
Virgin America is specifically targeting elite flyers on United and American, offering free entry to their own Elevate Gold or Silver level status without the flyer having to sacrifice anything. United Premier 1K or Platinum, or an American Executive Platinum will automatically be Elevate Gold. United Premier Gold or American Platinum will automatically be matched to Elevate Silver. All you have to do is ask. Here's how: