Archive for the ‘Airline Transportation’ Category

Airport City Codes

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Be sure to check our companion site  AirportCityCodes.com for Airport Codes, Airlines Codes, and our amazing flight distance calculator which will figure the flight miles from almost any two airports in the world.

As a reminder come to QuickAid.com for Airport News,  Airport City Codes.com for Airport and Airline data,  and TravelandHistory.com for a freewheeling blog about travel.    But wait, there’s MORE…..

 

 

TSA Transportation Security Administration Air Travel Review

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Although there are more flight travel rules than you could ever fully understand, the basics are fairly simple and boil down to the following notes from the TSA:

TSA’s  Prohibited Items  NOT all-inclusive but helpful.

3-1-1 Rule – CONSOLIDATE your liquids and gels into a single see-through bag.    Liquids and gels must be in containers smaller than 3.4 ounces (100 mililiters), and you can only have ONE bag that is ONE quart sized.    Zip lock freezer bags are a good way to go as they are sturdy, cheap, and easy to replace if spills or tears ruin them during travel.

For Travelers   General travel tips from the TSA

ID Requirements … Especially important for International travelers who can in some (rare) circumstances be denied entry if they don’t have the right papers/visas/passports/ID.

British Airways Miles tips from “The Points Guy”

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Brian Kelley is “The Points Guy“, a frequent flyer who helps others get the best from their credit card frequent flyer deals and other travel offers out there.

In an excellent and detailed series of articles linked below, Kelley offers a lot of advice on the British Airways points system, which based on my limited experience offers some challenges in terms of fuel surcharges and other added on fees.   After signing up for new cards my wife and I now have over 200,000 miles to use, but I’m concerned that the “free trips” to London I thought we’d score from this are fading away fast, though it appears BA may allow us to combine several segments – a promising development.   I’ll be reading Kelley’s advice carefully to try to maximize the benefits of the British Airways Frequent Flyer Program.

 

British Airways Frequent Flyer Travel Tips from “The Points Guy” Brian Kelley:

General tipsPost 1 – Booking BA Awards, Post 2 – Booking Partner Awards, Post 3 – Oneworld Alliance, Post 4 – Taxes and Fees, Post 5 – Household Accounts, Post 6 – Companion Ticket, Post 7 – Using ExpertFlyer for Partner Award Availability, Post 8 – The Art of the Stopover, Post 9 – Leveraging Miles and Cash Redemptions, and Post 10– Using Qantas.com to Find Oneworld Award Availability. Also, be sure to check out my post on the credit card deal itself and the lengthy Q&A in the comments section.

Frequent Flyer Miles Madness

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

IMPORTANT:   This post is  simply a collection of notes from a recent flurry of activity using miles programs.   It may NOT represent the general experience for frequent flyer programs at United, American, or Delta.  If you’ve had different experiences please feel free to comment below, and if you are an industry representative also feel free to guest post or comment.

Frequent Flyer programs: You’ve got to love them for allowing you free or very cheap flying options, but the logistics are often intimidating even for experienced travelers.   Until this past week *thought* I was pretty familiar with the basics of the frequent flyer game but … no.   Due to a sudden illness in the family I’ve been arranging last minute trips back and forth from Oregon to Minnesota using the frequent flyer miles my wife and I had on three airlines:  United, Delta, and American Airlines.   I also just booked four paid tickets to Virginia on Delta’s very compromised online booking system which I learned (the HARD way) is not yet compatible with Google’s  Chrome browser.

More on that later but the tip of the day is “for Delta Airlines bookings, don’t use Google Chrome yet!”

Frequent Flyer tips from this experience learned:

United Airlines Frequent Flyer System  was great

1.  Kudos to United Airlines who came through with an excellent online booking system and excellent ticket availability without gauging me in miles.    If you are in a rural area like me, you may find your miles won’t work from your regional airport.   Here at MFR Medford in Oregon both Delta and United allow me to travel to and from here, but for American Airlines I need to drive to tt cities served by American which in our case are Sacramento, California and Portland, Oregon – both about 4 1/2 hours from home.     For me during this experience, United was the big winner by providing one way trips to Minnesota at the last minute for only 12,500 miles with only a $5 processing charge.

Delta’s Frequent Flyer System was expensive and somewhat confusing.  Delta Assist Twitter help was great.

The quirky tip I learned from Delta’s excellent online twitter help was that sometimes (always?) the cost in miles of a ONE WAY is the SAME as a Round Trip!     I was getting charged 40,000 miles for a last minute one way home for my wife, but thanks to the @DeltaAssist  I learned I could book a return for no extra miles.

Watch for Credit Card Miles offers that can be worth thousands of dollars in free tickets:

Watch out for sneaky tricks that aren’t worth the money for the miles:

Here’s a sneaky trick from Delta disguised as an “offer” (!)

Transfer Miles: Limited-time Offer
Bring your friends and family with you on your next vacation. Transfer miles to that special someone between May 1 and June 30, 2011 and we’ll give them a 50% mileage bonus.1

To be continued….


Is Selling your Frequent Flyer miles to a “Mileage Broker” legal?

Friday, May 13th, 2011

The mileage broker market was once a thriving industry, buying frequent flyer tickets from people and then reselling them at a profit. Understandably the airlines don’t like this practice of monetizing their frequent flyer / mileage plus type systems. These are marketing tools and they arguably lose both control of things and lose paid tickets to free ones (though a mileage broker could make the argument that they are simply making the process more efficient by letting people turn one form of compensation – free tickets – into cash.

In any case this practice is still in play, but appears to be scaled down and risky for both buyer, seller, and especially for the airlines mileage brokers who can wind up in court.

A case that may set the new standards is Alaska Airlines vs Carey et al, where Alaska Air is suing mileage broker Carey (I think a small, husband and wife online business) for what they feel is an illegal resale of frequent flyer / mileage program tickets. I don’t think this case has yet resolved in the courts, though it may have by now.

It should actually be very cost effective to resell miles benefits at the 1.5-2 cent per mile rates we just reviewed at a mileage broker website assuming your travel plans are flexible. My rule of thumb is that miles are only worth about a penny. This calculation assumes you’ll have trouble getting a 25,000 mileage award and probably have to use 37,500 or even 50,000, and also assumes that a bird (cash) in the hand is worth more than a ticket in the bush (mileage award). A lot can happen to those miles in the new frenzied airline business where, for example, shorter – often only 18 month – mileage expiration time limits can easily kill your miles.

QuickAid at this time recommends you do NOT buy this type of ticket as the risks seem to outweigh the benefits, but we’re open to changing our minds depending on how the courts view the legality of mileage brokering.

Cab Match – an Airport taxi sharing phone application

Monday, December 13th, 2010

CabMatch.com is a clever new idea – an online service and phone application that allows riders to organize a shared cab to and from the Airport.

I have not used this yet and it’s not going to be widely available until December 17th, but if you try it out please let me know how it worked.