How to Pick a Seat in Coach for International Travel

Back of economy

I recently returned from a trip to Singapore and flew coach. I keep telling myself that I'll never fly long distances in coach again, but somehow I make it work. A typical Boeing 777-200ER aircraft has 254 economy class seats and 37 business class seats. If 85% of the customers can survive 10 hours packed in like sardines, then I probably can, too. But I am extremely picky about selecting my … [Read more...]

Save Miles with Short-Haul Awards on Four Major Airlines

Alaska intra-state awards

Yesterday I discussed the importance of utility: What can you do with your frequent flyer miles? In addition to flexible routing rules and one-way awards, another useful feature of some loyalty programs is discounted award prices for shorter routes. This isn't as obvious as it seems. Paid fares are always priced in response to supply and demand, not operating costs. There is no real reason why … [Read more...]

Delta Hits Back with Fewer Miles for Passengers on Alaska Airlines

New Delta earning chart for Alaska

Last year Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan announced its intention to award fewer miles when its members credit Delta-operated flights. Now Delta is doing the same when its SkyMiles members credit Alaska-operated flights. I'm not entirely sure why Delta made this change, except that it may signal a further breakdown in their partnership. They've previously announced changes to their reciprocal … [Read more...]

The Best Airline Loyalty Programs in 2015

Airline Middle Tier Status 2015

As I did earlier this week for the best hotel loyalty programs, it's now time for the third annual comparison of airline loyalty programs! A lot has changed since last year's edition, and I put off this project for many reasons. It's intimidating. I'm sure I got something wrong. And not all the changes I mention have been implemented yet; this information is current as of March 1. United's new … [Read more...]

Southwest Airlines Offering a Companion Pass after Three Trips

Southwest Companion Pass Offer

Southwest Airlines is attempting to grow quickly in the Atlanta area after completing its integration of AirTran Airways. AirTran had -- and Delta still has -- a large hub in Atlanta, so Southwest is making it clear that it intends to capture a larger share of that business. Customers with an Atlanta-area ZIP code who register at and complete three round-trip flights by … [Read more...]

It’s the End of the Delta SkyMiles Award Chart, and I Feel Fine

delta skymiles award chart

From the desk of the Devil's Advocate…OK, let's get the obligatory disclaimer out of the way first. I detest Delta SkyMiles. I currently have 478 SkyMiles in my account and as far as I'm concerned that's 478 SkyMiles too many. I'd love to get rid of them by donating them to a charity like Habitat For Humanity, but I like Habitat For Humanity too much to burden them with SkyMiles. I won't … [Read more...]

Delta’s Missing Award Chart Is the Death of Aspirational Travel

Delta award chart Twitter

That's essentially the message after Delta decided to remove its published award chart from its website on Friday afternoon. No longer will you have some advance knowledge of what your award ticket will cost, a future holiday to look forward to, or even the knowledge that you have enough miles stored up for that emergency flight to visit a family member in need. Instead, you'll perform your … [Read more...]