Don't just sit on frequent-flier miles. With the financial difficulties of the airline industry, airline customers may be best served by cashing in their frequent-flier miles for plane tickets, rather than holding on to them for the future, travel experts says. Instability and mergers may result in frequent-flier rule changes. Aug 17, 2005
Some frequent fliers struggle to secure upgrades. Some elite members of frequent flier programs think airlines are not adequately rewarding their loyalty. Elite passengers say they now find it difficult to get upgrades because more people are paying for first-class seats. Some carriers have eased their elite-qualification criteria, opening the programs to more members and creating more competition for benefits. Aug 4, 2005
Alaska Mileage Plan
Alaska Mileage Plan members will earn double miles on Alaska's new flights to Mexico City from Los Angeles, launching August 2 Through September 27. Registration is required. See http://www.alaskaair.com/www2/Promo/Registration/PromoEntry.asp?pid=AS0509 for details. A week after an announcement from United, American introduced its own discounted award promotion. Aug 11, 2005
America West FlightFund
America West's FlightFund members can now create roundtrip awards on America West by combining restricted and unrestricted segments, and segments in coach and first. Such flexibility should help consumers work around the capacity controls that often make restricted coach roundtrip awards a challenge to obtain. For more, see http://americawest.com/. Aug 11, 2005
As with United's offer, restricted award tickets for flights of fewer than 750 miles each way will be discounted from 25,000 to 15,000 miles in coach, and from 45,000 to 30,000 miles for first/business class. Discounted awards must be booked on American's Web site. American's offer differs from United's in the effect dates. Where United's discounts are available for travel between July 15 and December 31, American's discount applies to award travel between September 1, 2005, and February 28, 2006. Full details are at http://www.aa.com/shorthops. Aug 11, 2005
AAdvantage members may reactivate expired miles earned after December 31, 2002, between June 27 and December 31. There's a price to be paid for the privilege: $50 for every 5,000 miles revived, plus a $30 processing fee. So the cost to reactivate 25,000 miles, enough for an entry-level award ticket, would be a hefty $280, enough to buy...