As the current travel crisis continues and as it becomes increasingly obvious that most of us are not going to be able to travel for a significant portion of this year, airlines around the world have been taking measures to keep their frequent flyers happy. In this post, you'll find brief details of what some of the major airlines around the world are doing for their frequent flyers together with links to further information where possible.
JetBlue has finally caved to the inevitable and become the final major US airline to announce that it will be extending elite status for all members of its Mosaic program. The airline has also made changes to this year's Mosaic status threshold as well as launching a promotion to encourage travelers back into the air and introducing a very nice bonus too.
Business Extra is the American Airlines loyalty program for SMEs that rewards businesses for booking employee travel with the airline while employees still earn AAdvantage Miles and elite status credits in the usual way. It's a nice win-win situation for businesses and employees alike and the program has just introduced a couple of temporary measures to help businesses out in the current crisis. One measure, in particular, is great.
Whether they're scrabbling around for money during a worldwide crisis or whether they just want to make some quick and easy cash during more normal times, a lot of loyalty programs like to run sales on the points and miles they issue. Some of these sales can offer a very economical way to travel in comfort and are well worth investigating but, regardless of how good a sale is, all of them should come with a health warning that everyone should heed.
British Airways is far from a perfect airline but it's still one of the airlines with a loyalty program that allows travelers to earn valuable elite status relatively cheaply if they're prepared to take circuitous routings on some of their trips. In this post I'll show you how you can earn British Airways Silver status for £1,200/$1,500 and how you can earn over half the points needed for British Airways Gold status for only marginally more. In both cases only one trip is needed.
Up until 2011, all miles earned through credit card spending counted towards American Airlines Million Miler status while the miles earned from the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card counted through 2012. Since then, only miles earned by flying (better known as "butt-in-seat" miles) have qualified to move the needle in the Million Miler program...until now.
Every now and again American Airlines offers a bonus for converting hotel points into AAdvantage Miles, and right now there's a promotion running in which anyone with a World of Hyatt balance can transfer their points into the AAdvantage program and receive a 25% bonus on top of the points that are normally on offer. For most people, this remains a less than tempting proposition but it may still be useful for some.
One of the major issues with British Airways long-haul awards is the high surcharges that accompany all such bookings. While the number of Avios needed to book a flight can often be reasonable, the cash co-pay that British Airways charges can make bookings highly uneconomical...especially in Economy Class. Now British Airways is testing out a new redemption option on its New York - London route.
United appears to have chosen a moment in time where it thinks that its customers aren't watching to push through a subtle (yet very real) devaluation to its MileagePlus loyalty program - a program that had already been significantly devalued since the beginning of this year.
With the current crisis not showing much sign of being over any time soon and with airlines all over the world struggling to stay afloat (some more than others) the one question that I seem to be getting more is one about the preservation of award balances. A lot of people would like to know if booking an award on a partner airline will protect their miles/points if the airline that issues the miles goes under.