Check out the mistake that cost me 20k AA miles

Apparently it’s common knowledge to many people, but I had no idea:

Canceling an award flight, even within 24 hours, is expensive.

I used 20k miles recently to surprise a friend with a flight to join us in Hawaii.

When we called her to tell her, she was psyched but told us she’d be moving from South Carolina to Florida before the trip would happen.

No big deal, I thought, I’ll just cancel that return flight and re-book it returning to Tampa instead.

American Airlines will refund your ticket as long as you cancel within 24 hours, right?

Wrong. Continue reading

Comparing miles: Crediting a Virgin America flight to Alaska vs. Virgin America

Before a recent Virgin America flight from San Francisco to Seattle, I decided to credit the miles earned on the flight to my Alaska Airlines loyalty account instead of my Virgin America account.

Because I’d already booked the ticket with my Virgin loyalty number, I had to call up Virgin America to make the change (they don’t allow you to edit that online, though I could have entered my Alaska number initially when booking).

Why credit the flight to Alaska?

With Alaska, you earn miles based on how far you fly.

Even on Virgin America flights, if you credit the flight to your Alaska account you’ll earn the amount of miles that you fly.


With Virgin, you earn miles based on how much money you spend, as it is with most airlines now.

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Earn 2x, 3x miles on Frontier flights, plus 1K bonus miles

Frontier is kicking off the holidays with a promo: All flights through Jan. 7, booked now through Nov. 24, are eligible for double the Frontier miles.

Also, any flight on a Tuesday, or on Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Year’s Day can earn you triple the Frontier miles.

Finally, if you sign up for Frontier’s $50/year Discount Den club while booking, you get an easy 1K additional bonus miles.

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A new way to earn bonus miles on Airbnb stays

Airbnb is one of those spending categories that has been tough to earn bonus miles and points from in the past.

I posted last week on new ways to earn bonus points on in-store, Amazon and Starbucks spending, but now there’s a new way to earn bonus miles on Airbnb spending.

Once again, it’s United’s MileagePlus X app, which just added Airbnb to its list of merchants.

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This airline is offering 2X loyalty miles on flights through Sept. 30

Frontier is a weird airline. They have 50% off sales that require promo codes. Round-trip flights for $30. They charge for carry-on bags. And they are one of the last airlines to still have a miles-based loyalty program (only a few days left of this for American).

Now, they are offering double loyalty miles on all flights through September 30. Continue reading

A sad end to American Airlines’ miles-based loyalty program approaches

Rewarding the rich is lucrative. Delta and United Airlines led the charge, and on August 1 American Airlines will follow, by beginning a revenue-based loyalty program.

Right now, the more miles you fly on American Airlines, the more loyalty miles you earn. Next month onward, your miles flown won’t matter. It’ll be all about how much you spend.

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Continue reading

Barclaycard and JetBlue got me tipsy under the watchful eye of Alcatraz

I showed up to the industrial docks of Fort Mason a bit unsure. This part of Fort Mason looks abandoned but surprised me with refreshing establishments of all sorts. Museums, libraries, art galleries, restaurants, etc., all tucked inside rows of old warehouses on the water. Too bad most were closed by five, and it was now six. Continue reading