Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday Airfare Deals Available Today Only

United and JetBlue are both offering some decent "Cyber Monday" airfare deals. Here are some examples:
San Francisco to Los Angeles/San Diego/Orange County/Seattle - $39/each way
San Francisco to New York-JFK/Boston/Washington-Dulles - $99/each way
San Francisco to Fort. Lauderdale - $94/each way
-Purchase by tonight at Midnight, for travel January 5- February 11, 2010.

San Francisco to Austin $69/each way
San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose to Long Beach $39/each way
San Francisco/Oakland to New York-JFK/Boston/Washington-Dulles - $99 each way
-Purchase by tonight at Midnight, for travel December 1-December 16, 2009.

JetBlue Sale

British Airways to Pay Expenses in Fare Foul-Up

The U.S. Department of Transportation said that British Airways has agreed to compensate consumers for cancellation penalties and other expenses incurred due to the carrier's erroneous offer of $40 fare between the United States and India. The carrier realized its error nearly immediately and removed the fare within minutes from its own website, but it remained on the websites of certain on-line travel agents for about two hours. During this time, more than 1,200 bookings were made covering approximately 2,200 passengers.

British Airways cancelled the bookings of all passengers who purchased the fare and, before the Enforcement Office began its review of the matter, offered all affected passengers a travel voucher valued at $300. Now British Airways also has agreed to reimburse passengers resulting from having relied on the erroneous $40 fare. These could include fees for cancelling flights or cancelling hotels, rental cars or other ground arrangements, as well as additional costs incurred in rebooking flights due to fare increases on previously held flights that were cancelled in order to book the $40 fare.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action." - W.J. Cameron

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Purchase a $100 Best Western Gift Card, Get a $10 Gift Card & More

For a limited time, purchase a $100 Best Western gift card and you will receive a $10 gift card bonus from a choice of merchants, including AMC, Starbucks and Macys. Plus, if you purchase the gift card through FatWallet you may earn 3% cash back (I don't see where gift card purchases are excluded in the t&c's-but you should take a peak yourself). And, use a high yielding rewards credit card to make the purchase, and earn between a 1-5% rebate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Possibly the Best Airline Credit Card Offers Available

By Mike Grasso
It's new, it's hot, and it's all the buzz over in the Flyertalk and FatWallet forums. We're talking about British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase - where you can earn 50,000 miles for using the card once, 100,000 for spending $2000 within 90 days. But, there are strings attached.

According to the offer, new BA Visa Signature cardholders will earn 50,000 British Airways miles upon first use of the card - enough for a free roundtrip ticket to Europe. Then earn another 50,000 miles when you spend atleast $2000 within 3 months of account opening - which scores you a second roundtrip ticket. Wowie wow!

And now the strings: As with most award ticket redemption's, the customer is responsible for paying all applicable taxes, fees and fuel surcharges. Unfortunately British Airways is notorious for being the "industry leader" in tagging these charges on. So be aware that your award ticket redemption may set you back up to $250 if flying British Airways. Also, British Airways offers limited service to/from the Bay Area, so availability for award seats, which are capacity controlled, may be slim pickins. Finally, keep in mind there is an annual fee on the card of $75.

But here's some good news: You can redeem BA miles on partner airlines, such as Japan, Qantas, and Cathay Pacific, from 50,000 miles. Or choose to use the miles for domestic trips on U.S.-based partners, American and Alaska from 25,000 miles, and the fees would likely be fairly insignificant compared to flying internationally. Something else to be all jazzed about: British Airways has a pretty robust search engine for searching award availability with partner airlines, which helps limit the need to contact the airline directly for bookings.

Overall, this offer impresses me, and may very well be one of the best deals out there. I just received my approval this week and will report back any difficulties. If you are interested in applying, do it soon as word has it the offer may be pulled by months-end.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

U.S. Senator Calls for Probe of Frequent Flier Programs

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling for a federal review of complaints by consumers that they are losing millions of frequent flier miles without notice in confusing agreements.
Schumer wants to establish industry rules for frequent flier programs that are billed as a free benefit to help attract and retail customers. There are few restrictions now on how airlines can manage and redeem the miles. Read more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

SFO/OAK-Boston or New York-JFK $79/each way on JetBlue

Catch a flight on JetBlue from San Francisco or Oakland nonstop to Boston or JFK for just $79/each way + tax. Comes to $179 roundtrip w/taxes and fees. Valid for travel December 2-December 16th and January 6-January 28th. United is matching the fare from Oakland, but a mandatory connection in Denver causes the fees to increase $20, for an "all in" price of $200.
Click here and search by the "flex dates" function.

Also visit: JetBlue Sample Sale (Today only)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

United, Continental Offer Free Upgrades to Most Loyal Customers

In a relationship that seems to be getting rather close, Continental and United Airlines jointly announced a wonderful reciprocal benefit for elite-level flyers: Complimentary Domestic upgrades. This means United Mileage Plus elite members can enjoy free rides up front on Continental (and United), and Continental One Pass elite members can taste United's first and business class product as well. The complimentary upgrade policy goes into effect next Summer.
Clearing order for complimentary upgrades (as space is available):
Traveling on United: United Global Service, 1K, and Premier Exec clear first, followed by Continental Platinum and Gold Elite.

Traveling on Continental: Continental Platinum Elite, followed by United Global Service and 1K, then Continental Gold and Silver members.

Continental just joined the Star Alliance program a few weeks ago but their relationship with United dates back to June 2008. Recently, for example, United announced Red Carpet Club members can now access the network of Continental President's Club lounges worldwide.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Listening in on United's Channel 9

By Mike Grasso

Among the variety of audio selections available on United Airlines’ aircraft is Channel 9, which is dedicated to air traffic control communications. This programming, unique to United, allows passengers to monitor the airwaves and listen in on discussions ranging from upcoming weather and pilot reports of turbulence. Although most of the communication between air traffic control and pilots is fairly routine such as orders to adjust altitude, occasionally some rather exciting conversations take place.

In one instance, I listened in on a JetBlue flight requesting a reroute due to a depleting fuel supply from unanticipated inclement weather. Conditions continued to deteriorate until the pilot demanded to immediately land the aircraft in a nearby city. In another example, our pilot was within 50 feet of landing on the runway at SFO when he decided to immediately abort landing and quickly ascend back up. The reason as heard on Channel 9: Onboard computer was warning of a spacing issue as another plane was landing on a parallel runway. Definitely some exciting activity and exchanges of words on Channel 9, although most of the time it is pretty tame.

Channel 9 is available on most mainline United Airlines (not United Express) aircraft, and is subject to pilot discretion whether to substitute alternate programming.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Air Berlin to Launch Seasonal Service to San Francisco

Beginning next May, Air Berlin plans to operate flights between Dusseldorf and San Francisco. The twice-weekly seasonal service begins May 12 and runs through September 29, 2010, and will utilize a long-range Airbus 330 aircraft.
"When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money." - Susan Heller

Thursday, November 12, 2009

SFO-Fort Lauderdale $99 Each Way

Virgin America begins service to sunny Fort Lauderdale is just a few days. To celebrate, they are offering $99 introductory one-way fares ($198 round-trip) from the West Coast. Purchase by November 30th, for travel November 18 to December 16, and January 6 to February 10, 2010. 3-day advance purchase required.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Free Airport and Airplane WiFi for the Holidays

Just in time for the busy travel season, Google is offering complimentary WiFi at 47 participating airports and on all Virgin America flights. Simply bring along a WiFi enabled device and stay connected to friends and family - for free, through January 15, 2010.

Local airports participating: San Jose, Monterey, Sacramento.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Earn 1,000 AsiaMiles for Booking Online With Cathay Pacific

Now for a limited time, earn 1,000 AsiaMiles for booking a one-way or round-trip ticket between San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto or Vancouver and Hong Kong and beyond - or between Vancouver and New York. You must register for this promotion, purchase qualifying tickets at, and travel by December 20th to qualify for the bonus miles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two Amtrak Bonus Point Offers Now Active

In addition to the double points promotion (registration required) running through December 19th, Amtrak riders can also earn a bonus 250 points for the first Acela trip, or 100 points for the first trip on all other Amtrak trains. The new offer applies to travel between November 4 and December 19, 2009.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Free Personalized Luggage Tags from KLM Airlines

For a limited time, Amsterdam-based KLM Airlines is offering U.S residents a pair of free luggage tags. Choose one of the free designs, or upload your own. Plus enter for a chance to win a pair of roundtrip airline tickets. This promo may end at any time, so order yours today.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Las Vegas Sale!

Roundup of Travel Contests and Sweeps

Got 10 minutes to spare for a free vacation? Though so! Here are five hand-selected travel contests/sweepstakes currently open for submissions. All are sponsored by reputable, or at least well-known companies. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions with each before entering. GOOD LUCK!

Win a vacation to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, including air, hotel and a Sundance film ticket.

Enjoy a Taste of the World, including a grand prize trip to India, from Conde Nast Travel.

Enter the Chelsea Down Under Sweepstakes for a chance to win a 6-Day Vacation to Australia, including roundtrip air on V Australia and attend a special taping of the hit E! show.

Escape to Myrtle Beach, SC for a five-night stay in a luxurious oceanfront home. Includes RT air.

Take a trip to San Diego for Comic-Con 2010. Includes Air, Hotel, $2000 cash and more.