Elite Programs

Southwest A-List Challenge Email

Southwest delivered an interesting email to my inbox yesterday.  It’s been years since I’ve flown a single segment with them – none since they’ve gone to a points/revenue based program from their prior segment-based system, in fact.  However, yesterday Southwest targeted me with what amounts to a fairly easy A-List status challenge.  The challenge offers A-List status for the rest of 2015 after flying 3 round trips, 6 one ways (flights, not total segments), or earning 8750 tier points with any combination of the above. Update January 23, 6:10pm:  Hat tip to Giddy for Points – she posted her link without her name in the URL.  I took that a step further and removed the Rapid Rewards hash.  The link seems to direct to a blank form, which you can [...]

Alaska Airlines MVP Card

Alaska Airlines announced late in 2014 that they would be restructuring their elite qualifying and redeemable mileage bonuses based on fare class.  While the shuffling of earning on Delta fares got the most attention, Alaska made some favorable moves to passengers on its own metal. Starting in 2015, passengers on refundable Y and barely-discounted S fares would see a 50% mileage bump, while M and B fares would see 25% bonuses on top of the base mileage flown. This is an improvement over 2014, where only Y fares received any bonus – 25% – while all other economy tickets received no bonus.   First class bonuses increased from 50% to 75%, for both refundable and discounted fares. I recently took my very first true mileage run – meaning I flew somewhere [...]

Status Lightbulb Shattering

A couple of days ago I wrote up a cost-benefit analysis, seeking to quantify whether it made sense for my family of three to do some mileage running this fall to keep our status with Alaska Airlines.  I had concluded that the value outweighed the costs, and therefore made a purely dollar-driven decision to go for it.  A few comments supported my conclusion, but the majority suggested, politely, that I was nuts.  I sat on this for a couple of days and have ultimately started to soften on the idea of running to maintain status. Something Was Missing I began looking at my analysis again, reviewing it in the context of the constructive criticism that I received: “You wouldn’t catch me spending $2667 in order to buy status that might [...]

Alaska Airlines MVP Card

As we get near the last quarter of 2014, I am starting to get a bit less comfortable with the idea that we won’t have any airline status going into next year.  I am trying to do the right thing and quantify the decision as to whether we go out of our way to run for status, so what I aim to do here is lay out the cost-benefit analysis that I’ve drawn up for myself and our own travel needs so that you might do the same when faced with a similar decision.  This analysis is geared toward bottom tier status, but is absolutely useful when considering going from one level to the next – simply modify the benefits section to account for the incremental differences. For the past [...]

Alaska Airlines MVP Card

Regardless of whether you’ve heard of Alaska Airlines or can practically fly them, I find it imperative to have an account with them these days.  I’m an east coaster, born and raised, so before I began traveling and really understanding what I was doing, Alaska was just that odd airline that sometimes showed up at Philly or DC for no apparent reason.  Today, I find it the most compelling domestic frequent flyer program for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Alaska is a non-alliance carrier with a number of partners whose mileage can be credited back to Alaska for elite qualification: Delta American Air France/KLM Aeromexico British Airways Cathay Pacific Emirates Fiji Korean LAN Qantas There are two important items from that list.  The first is that you have [...]

Hat tip to Gary Leff for posting this first. An Ebay seller is offering a $30 upgrade to HHonors Gold status.  A tremendous value if it pans out, but in my opinion is likely too good to be true.  I am not personally aware of any mechanism to sell or gift HHonors status, and this does not appear to be coming from Hilton themselves. For those still interested, the additional risk beyond Hilton revoking your status or the seller not being able to deliver is that the completion itself relies on sharing your HHonors username and password/pin. HHonors Gold normally requires 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 earned base points in a calendar year. Benefits include – 25% bonus points on stays 5th night free on award stays Late check [...]