american airlines

Tag Archives for american airlines.

Alaska MileagePlan: The Last Good Loyalty Program? (Alaska Vs. American by the Numbers)

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I’ve been interested in Alaska’s MileagePlan program for a while now. But I’ve never actually banked any flights to them.

As I get ready to base out in Dallas, I, like everyone else, am waiting for all of American’s little shoes to drop. And what it might mean.

For all the speculation, we haven’t actually heard anything from American yet.

It’ll be a shame the program might change as I move to their backyard.

a

There can only be one

I even thought, wow, I can really kick off earning miles toward Executive Platinum status with my biz class flight to Barcy in January. That’ll be a nice boost toward status right at the beginning of the year.

But now I’m looking at MileagePlan all over again.

The numbers

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New American Airlines FoundersCard Benefit: 10% Off Transatlantic Fares & 5% Off Domestically

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At the risk of turning Out and Out into the official FoundersCard blog, I wanted to share their new American Airlines benefit. It changes quarterly, and some of them have been really good (they’ve had 5% off domestic fares before, and just had a free Platinum Status Challenge this past quarter).

10% off transatlantic fares is a new benny!

10% off transatlantic fares is a new benny!

They’ve never had 10% off fares to the UK and Europe before, so this could be useful to some.

FoundersCard + American

If you have a business class fare (or heck, even an economy fare) to Europe, you could easily save $70-$100+ on a $700-$1,000+ round-trip ticket.  5% off domestically is nice, too.

A few T&Cs to keep in mind:

  • The discount will not be applied to any government or airport imposed taxes, fees, or charges (duh)
  • Discount is only valid on published, round-trip fares
  • You must book on AA.com
  • You must purchase your ticket by November 1st, 2015
  • And travel by January 6th, 2016
  • There are blackout dates around Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas/New Year

You can use the benefit as many times as you want. You can request the 5% off code directly through the website (they’ll email it to you instantly), but you must call to get the 10% off code.

About FoundersCard

FoundersCard has a few key relationships I really value (this one with American Airlines, free Gold elite status at Hilton, 15% off AT&T cell phone bills, free TripIt Pro for a year, and a few other goodies).

It’s $395 a year, which I mostly recoup from getting 15% off my AT&T bill. Everything else, like free breakfast and late check-out at Hilton hotels, free TripIt Pro, and discounts like this one, are gravy.

If you have a few trips with American Airlines coming up, especially to Europe, 10% off could easily add up to cover the cost of the annual fee. And then you’d have all the other perks left to enjoy, so it might be worth it for a few peeps.

Bottom line

I was looking forward to seeing what the new American Airlines benefit would be, and this one is the best yet.

Too bad there are blackout dates for the holidays, but every airline has blackout dates around the holidays, so I can’t really blame ’em.

Check out my posts about if FoundersCard is worth it, some of the overall perks, and specifically the ones about travel.

Feel free to sign up using my link. I can also email invites so you can preview the website. Just comment below or email me.

Happy Saturday!

Kohl’s B’day Gift, Free Admirals Club Membership In, Instant FIA Credit Line Increase + Inquiry

Just a few bits and baubles to follow up on recent posts.

1. Kohl’s $10 Birthday Gift

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August is my birthday month, and Kohl’s got their timing perfect.

Because today, in the mail, was a card/gift from Kohl’s. Right after I mentioned how much I love them this morning.

$10 birthday present from Kohl's

$10 birthday present from Kohl’s

I also just received my Yes2Rewards this morning as an email, too.

Kohl’s has a great thing going. Their rewards program is more straightforward than Sears Shop Your Way Rewards and their website is way better, they have frequent discounts (usually 30% off) and promotion codes, often free shipping, and now I get a $10 bonus.

I wish their portal payout on the Discover Deals shopping portal was 10% cashback like Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart (it’s 5%).

But free money is great. I can always buy some new sheets and towels for my Airbnbs.

2. Admirals Club Membership Materials Are In

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Upgrade Barclays Red Aviator to Silver Automatically Online

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If you’re interested in upgrading your Barclays Red Aviator card (not open to new applicants), it might be possible to do so directly in online banking.

View from the Wing reported that Barclays was slowly rolling out the upgrades, and listed some reasons why you may NOT want to upgrade the card.

To Upgrade or to Not Upgrade, That Is the Question

Me, I’m not gonna do it.

Because I have 10,000 American miles coming my way when I pay the annual fee again.

Here’s how you can tell:

Click "View Rewards"

Click “View Rewards”

And then…

Click "How my rewards work"

Click “How my rewards work”

There, you’ll see something to this effect:

I only get one round of 10K. But others get 10K EVERY cardmember year. They should NOT upgrade to Aviator Silver

I only get one round of 10K. But others get 10K EVERY cardmember year. They should NOT upgrade to Aviator Silver

I’ll get the 10,000 AA miles once and then consider upgrading to Aviator Silver.

But if you don’t see such language, you might consider making the upgrade now.

Check your account

In my account, the offer was on the right side, under Barclaycard extras:

Click to start, then 2 more clicks to upgrade to Aviator Silver!

Click to start, then 2 more clicks to upgrade to Aviator Silver!

It just says, “Upgrade your Account Benefits.”

When I clicked through, I was invited to upgrade to Aviator Silver.

Click "Tell me more" to proceed

Click “Tell me more” to proceed

After I clicked, I got a long list of details. Including that the upgrade would happen on August 7, 2015.

Page 1 of details

Page 1 of details

Page 2 of details

Page 2 of details

If I’d clicked “Yes, I accept,” the card would’ve been upgraded and the annual fee charged on November 30, 2015.

Should you do it?

I’m holding off to get my 10,000 AA anniversary miles. But if I didn’t have that coming, I’d definitely be tempted by this offer.

When you upgrade, you get:

  • 3X AA miles on AA flights
  • 2X AA miles on hotels and car rentals
  • 1X AA mile everywhere else
  • 5,000 EQMs when you spend $20,000 annually (can get up to 10,000 EQMs)
  • $99 companion certificate when you spend $30,000 annually
  • Free Global Entry (as a statement credit)

So this card is really only worth it if you have a lot of paid flights on American Airlines. Or if you want the opportunity to “buy” EQMs instead of fly to attain/retain status each year. Hey, 10,000 EQMs is 2 round-trip transcons! 

$195 is pretty hefty for an annual fee. But no other card earns 3X AA miles, which are extremely valuable (for now). If you can met the various spending thresholds, EQMs are very valuable, too. And the $99 companion cert if a nice bonus – if you can actually use it.

So it’s a personal decision for a niche crowd. Also consider this card is not available to new applicants. So if you can get it now, go for it.

Bottom line

Barclays is finally loosening the requirements to upgrade from Aviator Red to Silver. I was able to do it in 2 clicks directly in my online banking.

This is great news for a select set of people to whom this card caters.

But if you can wring the benefits out of it, like the EQMs, 3X AA miles, and $99 companion certificate, it would be well worth the $195 annual fee.

Do you have the option to upgrade? If you do… will you?

Admirals Club Passes Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who commented on Giveaway: 5 Pairs of Admirals Club Day Passes ($100 Value!)!

I was kinda blown away by the number of comments!

It came down to sheer randomness, literally. I used random.org and picked 5 numbers. The first 5 numbers were the winners!

Enjoy the Admirals Club!

Enjoy the Admirals Club!

They are:

  1. R Hirsch
  2. JamesP
  3. Allan
  4. Mary
  5. Dee

I’ll be in touch with each of you about where to send your Admirals Club passes. Congrats!

Ways to keep up with the blog

Twitter and Instagram are my personal accounts. I post on those the most so be sure to follow me on both!

I often write about things I find handy or ways to save money.  There are two ways to ensure you never miss a blog post:

Ways to support the blog

If you like what you see here, I appreciate any kind of support, whether it’s using my links for services I like, or to pick up a new travel rewards credit card.

I’m aggressively working toward paying off my student loans so any clickage is infinitely appreciated!

Bottom line

It was a pleasure being featured on BoardingArea for the week!

Thanks again to all who entered the giveaway! I hope you’ll continue to follow Out and Out.

Winners, I’ll be in touch shortly about where to send the passes – enjoy the Admirals Club, whichever one you pick!

Targeted Citi AA Cardholders: 2X Miles in Bonus Categories / 10X Miles with Apple Pay

Just saw this and wanted to put it up.

Keep an eye on your mailbox. It seems Citi is targeting American Airlines credit card holders for bonus offers:

Letter from Citi

Here are the deets: 

  • Earn up to 2,500 bonus miles
  • Earn 2X miles in certain categories (below)
  • Earn 10X miles if you pay with Apple Pay
  • Promo runs through 9/30/15

2X / 10X categories: 

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Drugstores
  • Restaurants
  • Commuter transportation

Couple of thoughts. Citi is going after Barclays in the promo department.

And they’re going after pretty much every other card with the categories. Including drugstores?

If you max out the 10X with Apple Pay, that’s only $250 in spend. So it’s not stellar.

However, Citi sometimes mixes up their promos and sends different offers out.

Did anyone else get one of these recently? Was your offer different? 

Assessing the Benefits of FoundersCard

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Update: You can lock in a FoundersCard membership for $295 a year through May 13th, 2016 when you sign-up with my link. This is $100 less than the usual rate!

So you guys know I’m been working toward FIRE (financial independence, retire early) lately. And part of that means ruthlessly cutting out extraneous spend.

So far, I’ve gotten rid of my gym membership, canceled credit cards that no longer serve me, and have cut back on my eating out (more trips to Costco!).

FoundersCard Benefits

You can stay

FoundersCard is $395 a year, which is a little “ouch.” I’m nearly due to the pay the annual membership dues again to keep the card for another year and I looked at it with an eye to cut it.

But, I’m going to keep it for another year.

Here’s why.

The AT&T Benefit

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Get FREE Airline Lounge Memberships Through Business Programs

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I love going to the Admirals Clubs. And I also love not paying for them.

I’ve written about this before. But now my membership has expired, and I’m about to redeem for another free year of Admirals Club membership.

I don’t have the Citi AAdvantage Executive card or the Citi Prestige card. They’re fine in their own right, and I’ve had my eye on the Citi Prestige for a sec, but I won’t need it for its lounge perk.

The Admirals Club @ CLT can be a nice place to hang and get some work done

I’ve been doing this since the Amex Platinum Card nixed the benefit at AA Admirals Clubs a couple of years ago.

If you book travel for other people (who don’t care about the points), you can easily build up enough to get a free membership yourself.

All the award opportunities

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My experience renting a car in Ireland (Woof!)

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Thinking about renting a car in Ireland?

Woof:
verb: to declare something bad, ugly, terrible, or nasty.
interjection: use as an expletive to express disgust or surprise.
Can be a replacement for damn that sucks!

Upon landing at DUB, I knew the next step was to go pick up the rental car.

So here’s how I did it (made the booking not picked up the car).

The booking

I ran a quick search on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website – they generally have fantastic rates on rental cars. That’s how I got such a good deal in Hawaii. Keep in mind that they ONLY service airport locations and you MUST pick up and return to the same location.

They quoted me at ~$325 for a 6-day rental. Not bad.

But when I hopped on kayak.com to compare and they had rentals pricing out at 9 Euros per day. And 85 Euros for the 6-day rental (~$97). Now that was a screaming deal. I booked a car at Dollar via priceline.com.

renting a car in ireland

My Kayak to Priceline to Dollar car rental booking – 85 Euros

My only criteria were:

  • 4-door (for ease of getting luggage in and out)
  • Automatic transmission
  • Unlimited kilometers (I wanted to drive a lot)

So, I did it. I thought I’d gotten a better deal than what the Chase Ultimate Rewards site was displaying.

Now that I’m back safe and sound, I’m not so sure any more.

Pickup

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Use the Royal Jordanian website to check Oneworld bookings

…and to get confirmation numbers. 

Booking those Aer Lingus flights last week with Avios has kicked up a few little issues that I’ve never dealt with, so thought this might be useful to post.

British Airways gave me a confirmation number when I booked the Aer Lingus flights… but not for Aer Lingus. I could only access the reservation on the British Airways website.

I wanted to be able to pull up my flights on the Aer Lingus website, but didn’t have the confirmation code that British Airways gave Aer Lingus.

Enter Royal Jordanian (with a HT to George at Travel Blogger Buzz via Twitter).

Royal Jordanian website interface

Royal Jordanian website interface

On the Royal Jordanian website, hover over “Plan & Book” and then click anything in the “Manage the Essentials” part of the dropdown menu.

Manage

Manage Booking

Once there, click “Manage Booking” or follow this link.

You can plug in your record locator and name and pull up a whole host of interesting services like:

  • Change frequent flyer number
  • Obtain other airline’s record locator
  • Verify fare buckets
  • Easily check flight duration and aircraft type
  • Email yourself a receipt
  • Get a ticket number

All important things for preening and double-checking reservations. I could, for example, use Avios to book a flight on American, and then add my AAdvantage frequent flyer number to make sure I get elite benefits like early boarding.

I can also simply take the record locator for the AA flight and then plug it into the AA website… something that British Airways doesn’t give you on their website or in any of their emails (someone correct me if I’m wrong – I just booked a US Airways flight with Avios and couldn’t find the freaking US Airways record locator for the life of me).

There's my US Airways record locator - how handy!

There’s my US Airways record locator – how handy!

And it shows up perfectly when I plug it into the US Airways website

And it shows up perfectly when I plug it into the US Airways website

Why this works

I noticed in the web address on the RJ website that they were pulling from Amadeus – the same system that Check My Trip uses. It’s a bit dated and still has the copyright as 2014, so take that for what it’s worth. But it works like a charm.

With regard to Oneworld bookings, you should be able to preen the following airline bookings on the RJ website:

  • British Airways
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Royal Jordanian (duh)
  • Cathay Pacific
  • LAN/TAM
  • Iberia

But not AA or US Airways… they don’t use Amadeus. It is handy, however, for adding AA flights booked with Avios to your AA account. And for adding your AA number to the reso to receive elite benefits.

And who knows, sometimes they end up crediting award bookings as paid flights on accident.

Bottom line

Handy little trick, thought I’d share for my Oneworld peeps out there.

Let us know if something similar exists for SkyTeam. United is really good about showing the other airline’s record locator on their website already.

And on this note, other tips are certainly always welcome!

Get Me to NOLA – Part Three: Get Me Out of NOLA

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When last we left this saga, I’d made it to New Orleans. US Airways fulfilled their carriage contract and got me to my destination safely, which is all I ever want, really.

What this little “series” is mostly about is the way US Airways/the “new American” handled not just one situation (which I would’ve totally overlooked), but several, in a row, and how that reflects on their overall operations and company culture. That is really at the root of what I’m attempting to get at in what is hopefully a snarky, self-deprecating, maybe even funny, way.

This particular entry showcases my lack of forethought on this whole topic right in the title. I expected to write a one-off post, but when I started going over 1,100 hundred words I was like, holy crap, this is serial – and left the original title.

The Tumi T-Tech saw it all

Shoutout to the Tumi T-Tech that saw it all

Anyway, the return flight from MSY-CLT was fine (how’s that for anti-climactic?). We got to the airport extra early this time, as I wasn’t sure what US Airways had really done with my return flights – I’d be reticketed and reassigned and transferred so many times, I didn’t even know what my confirmation number was any more. Plus, I didn’t want to chance it (again).

I was still a little miffed about losing a layover at DFW – I really wanted the EQPs and to visit the Centurion Lounge again – but I had to miss out on all of that.

This segment was so by-the-book that it was nearly forgettable, which, in this case, is a good thing. Because I remember all of the other segments too well, unfortunately.

In fact, when I got to CLT and to the Admirals Club (see my review here), I kinda had the feeling that it was almost too easy, purely based on my previous experiences with US Airways.

And then the delays starting rolling in.

Air traffic

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New Hyatt Promotion with American… Interesting

There is a new Hyatt promotion whereby they are offering 100,000 AAdvantage miles and a 3-night stay at either Ziva or Zilara all-inclusive resort.

To enter, you simply send a tweet with a link to the promo video, and the hashtags #HyattAllIn and #HZEntry.

The promotion has been open since February 17th and ends on March 10th, so you still have some time to enter – but not if you are a resident of either Florida or New York (hmph).

Here is a link to the complete rules of the promo. And here is my tweet that you are welcome to copy and/or modify if you’d like to enter (and feel free to follow me to Twitter, too!):

Why this is interesting

American is the only legacy airline left that doesn’t have a hotel partnership.

  • Delta is with Starwood (and sometimes Hilton) – all 3 are linked because of American Express
  • United is with Marriott (and deserve each other IMO) – and are linked because of Chase

And American doesn’t have a hotel partnership yet.

Hyatt + American would be a dream come true for me, as I love Hyatt hotels, and am partial – for now, pending further changes – to American.

After the merger completes, American will be the biggest airline in the United States. And Hyatt is far from the largest hotel chain. Their imprint is tiny compared to American’s network. American needs a hotel partner with a similarly large imprint. The obvious choice would be Hilton: they are both linked to Citibank (and to American Express, kinda) and both do not have existing partnerships.

But this Hyatt + American promo is interesting because:

  • 100,000 American miles is nothing to scoff at
  • The implication is that American will fly you to the Hyatt resort
  • This is their first promo together (that I can remember)
  • It signals that they are open to partnerships, which is exciting

In fact, in the linked YouTube video, Hyatt put a little note to American at the bottom of the video’s description: Special thanks to our friends at American Airlines. How cute!

Bottom line

Not only is this a great promotion to enter if you haven’t already (it requires just 1 tweet, and the limit is 1 per day), but it interests me highly because Hyatt and American are starting to work together.

Realistically, we won’t see any changes to American – period – until after the merger completes, but after that, I plan on bracing myself for a whole spate of rapid-fire announcements, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this partnership is in the mix.

Good luck to those who entered the promotion! Would a Hyatt + American partnership be of interest to you? Do you think it’s a good idea, or would Hilton be a better choice?