Category Archives for Airlines.

Four Impressions from My First Delta Flight in Years


2017 is the year that I become, or more accurately, return to being a bit of a free agent when it comes to booking air travel. For the last several years I had a high level of United elite status that was both a cause and a reason to book with United whenever possible, even when it wasn’t the most economical option. However, my current travel patterns aren’t consistent with earning or maintaining a high airline elite status, and frankly I…

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Big Warning for Those Who Use Points to Fly United and American

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Yesterday United and American started selling Basic Economy fares on select routes, and generally speaking, this is really bad news. Contrary to how it is occasionally spun, Basic Economy fares do not mean that if you are willing to skip things like advanced seat assignments, earning miles as normal, and having a full size carry-on that you can save money. No, it means if you need or want those very normal things that have forever been included on these airlines,…

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Cheap Flights to Many Cities in Mexico Through the Summer!

Punta Mita

I’ve become a huge fan of Mexico in recent years for low stress family vacations. For many of us Mexico isn’t too far away, so it can be a realistic destination when you don’t have a ton of time to work with, or don’t want to put your young kids (and yourself) through a long flight to get to a far off island destination. Perhaps even more importantly, there are some beautiful beaches, relaxing resorts, and of course amazing food…

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Easiest Way to Keep Airline Miles from Expiring

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The sad truth about most airline miles is that they can expire on you if you aren’t careful. If you are a member of multiple airline programs and don’t fly all of those airlines with relative frequency, then the likelihood of accidentally having airline miles expire only increases. Using tools like AwardWallet to keep track of your miles and their expiration dates absolutely helps, but that alone won’t keep your airline miles from expiring. There are a few airline loyalty programs like JetBlue…

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How to Track Airfare Prices and Get a Good Deal on Tickets

Boston United Club Plane Spotting

We all want to buy airfare when the prices are at their lowest, but timing that exactly right can fall somewhere between lucky guess to very challenging to impossible. There are lots of tips out there on when to buy airfare such as doing it on a Tuesday at 3PM Eastern about two months before your travel date, but only if it is also a full moon and you are paying with a credit card that ends in 777. In truth,…

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5 Great Things About My Matched Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K Status

Alaska Matched Elite Status.jpg

Before my United elite status dropped a few days ago from the relatively high Platinum level to the bottom of the elite barrel Silver level I had a few to-do’s to leverage my elite status as far into the future as possible, and I encouraged anyone in a similar situation to do the same. One of these tasks was to try and match my United Platinum status to Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K status.   To be honest, I wasn’t…

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When is it Okay for Parents to Sit in First Class While the Kids are in Economy?

At some point they are old enough to sit a little further away

I remember as a kid watching the movie Home Alone and seeing the parents all relax in first class on their American Airlines flight from Chicago to Paris (before they realized Kevin was missing), while the kids all hung together in economy. That looked like the epitome of how ‘rich people’ traveled to me when I first saw it as a nine year old. While of course the premise of the movie was that Kevin was somehow left at home without anyone…

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Success Using the 2017 Amex Airline Fee Credit on United!

United Family Day

It’s that time of year when many of us with premium rewards credit cards put their annual airline and travel credits to prompt use. We already used my husband’s Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit for the year on some hotel stays in Austin last week, and now it is time to use the annual airline fee credits available via some Amex cards. I like to use the annual credits quickly in the year so that I don’t forget, and so that some…

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Getting Ahead of Winter Weather Flight Cancellations


Winter air travel is always a little iffy since snow storms can shut things down at many airports, even those in locations that get snow periodically throughout the winter. And so it happened that this past weekend that the country experienced one of the first larger winter weather events of the season. I think the key to air travel and major weather events is to play the odds and try to get ahead of the storm, literally and figuratively, and…

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Last Minute Ways to Use Your 2016 Amex Airline Fee Credit

Let's all have a little more fun in the air

Lots of the premium travel rewards credit cards have a built-in annual travel related credit of some sort that has to be used or lost each and every year. This travel credit can really help offset the high annual fees these cards carry if you really make use of the credits you have available. What is especially interesting to me is how each card handles the particulars of the travel credits so differently. If you are used to how one card…

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