A Risk Of Booking Airline Awards With Partner Airlines

Most of the people who redeem frequent flyer miles for an airline ticket will do so to travel on the airline that sponsors the program. Skymiles members will book a flight on Delta,  AAdvantage members will book flights on American, and so on.

Once you start to learn more about using your miles and points, you soon find out that the best redemptions for your miles aren’t with the sponsor airline but with their alliance or non-alliance partners. At first, it’s a difficult concept to understand; I remember the first time I told my father he could use his Skymiles for a flight on Korean Air.

You first need to learn the basics of airline alliances. After that, you’ll need to get an idea of award charts, or at least what awards should cost for the airlines who no longer publish award charts. For those who don’t want to put in the time, there are always award booking services.

While the reward for booking an award with a partner airline can be great by either saving you thousands or ten-thousands of miles, creatively using transferrable credit card points on airlines not available otherwise or flying on an airline with a much better product, the process does involve additional risk.

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Here’s The One Place That Frontier Doesn’t Always Charge A Fee

Frontier Airlines is an Ultra-Low-Cost Airline. While the definition of what makes an airline belong in this category varies, the one thing it means to consumers is that you can expect very low “base” fares and you’ll need to pay for almost all of the extras. You need to pay for a checked bag, carry-on bag and seat assignment. There’s no free in-flight beverages or snack service. There’s no seatback entertainment screen and no Wi-Fi available. The tray table isn’t even big enough to hold a laptop or large tablet

So it comes as a surprise that Frontier has a generous policy when it comes to changing or canceling your flight. Why would they do that?

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Delta Removed The Flight We Were Booked On From The Schedule (But Only For 19 Days)

I was going through email and saw one from Flying Blue. Since it was most likely regarding our upcoming award reservation, I read it right away. The first line wasn’t what I wanted to see.

I would like to inform you of the cancellation of your flights.

At first, I was worried it was regarding the confusion when booking and the eventual help from a Flying Blue agent needed to issue the tickets for flights. I was relieved when I continued reading:

I have already rebooked your flights for you. For more details about your reservation ******, please go to ‘My reservations’ on airfrance.com. Also, we have sent ticket separately.

We had booked flights from FRA-DTW-MCO in Delta One. Not my preferred routing but it was the only thing available with miles. It turns out Delta has canceled the FRA-DTW flight.

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What In The World Is Citi Thinking?

Over the past 12 months, Citi has made several major changes to their credit card portfolio. The surprising thing is the inconsistent nature of these changes. While some of them add significant value to the cards, others cut the legs off the cards in regards to their usefulness in any serious traveler’s wallet.

Looking at the timeline of the changes will possibly give you a case of whiplash. Here’s a summary of the changes announced by Citi:

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I’ve Never Been Happier About Spending $19 For A Service I Didn’t Use

I’m not a gambler. I guess that’s why I’m not a fan of going to Las Vegas. On the other hand, I’ll gladly earn fewer rewards points for a purchase if the card provides better insurance coverage. I guess I’m willing to pay to limit my downside exposure but I don’t want to take risks for a large return.

That’s why I’m totally happy about spending $19 extra for coverage that I didn’t have to use on a recent trip.

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