Tag Archives: airlines

Alaska makes me feel loved as a customer

Status Matching can be fun, if you use it. I used our fabulous and very useful Southwest Companion Pass as a gateway into the world of Airline Elite status.  First stop, Alaska Airlines. I requested a status match from Alaska by sending an e-mail to elite.flyer@alaskaair.com and attaching a copy of my Southwest Companion Pass, a screen shot of my southwest account showing all my miles (which I accumulated from shopping through the Southwest Portal), a copy of my photo id and my Alaska Account number.

In less than a week, I received an e-mail welcoming me to Alaska MVP Gold 75 program! Alaska Gold MVP 75 Card Top

I have never held such a high honor and I immediately wanted to book a flight.  Since I am on the east coast, the options were slim; a trip to Los Angles was in my future.

Until last year, I had not flown on many airlines other than Southwest. Southwest covered my needs, mostly BWI-CMH to visit family.  This flight was the beginning of changing everything about the way I travel, or at least the way I would prefer to travel.

It began upon arrival at the Alaska counter, no line and happy employees greeted me warmly, checked my luggage and I received my first UPGRADE! Seat 4F! I was anxious to find out what happens in the front of the plane.  There is no front of the plane on Southwest so anything was going to be different for me.

I felt like an impostor as I boarded the plane with the other elite customers, I felt like I had pulled off a huge heist and they might catch on any moment.  The seats were more spacious than I was use to, we were offered beverages while the remainder of the passenger boarded.  Alaska Menu

Shortly after take –off  delightful flight attendants presented us with… menus. These are both the menus from our flight out (breakfast) and our return flight (dinner).

 

 

Alaska did not want us to get bored so they loaned us a tablet to watch movies. It was very entertaining and I am very impressed with this feature. So much that I went out and got a table to take on my other flights.  Alaska Tablet 1

After a good movie, I wondered where we were, so I stopped for a bit to take some photos.

 

 

 

bwi to lax on alaskaI think this maybe the Grand Canyon! I’m not absolutely sure since I have never seen it before. Maybe its just how California looks.

We spent five fun days in Los Angeles and headed home, more on that trip later. I hoped the flight home was going to be as fun and I was not disappointed as the gate agent informed us we were upgraded. We enjoyed dinner and a movie on our 5 hour date in the sky.

It may not be such a good thing to go from only flying Southwest to Alaska MVP Gold 75 treatment because following Alaska with American Advantage Platinum can make for a shock.

Dinner began with Salad with Shrimp. Alaska Dinner 1

My husband had the Chicken. Alaska dinner 3

I had the pasta and we relaxed with our tablets feeling like we had just won the lottery, twice.Alaska Dinner 2

Good Bye Los Angeles…..

Heading Home from Los Angeles
Heading Home from Los Angeles

You can research status matching for hotels and airlines at this great web site, Status Matcher. Also, follow my blog and twitter accounts because sometimes hotels and airlines decide to randomly match masses of people for almost no effort and when I find these out I will follow up on here.

Delta Platinum Challenge… Go for it or not?

Do I really need the Delta Platinum?  I have not flown on a Delta plane in about a decade. But I have Delta miles, not a lot. I had 22K from long ago that the magazine people wanted me to trade in for magazines and led me to the idea of points and miles travel. I went to the Delta Airlines web site and was amazed that once I started typing I had a natural recall of my rewards number. This is strange because I cannot remember passwords I set in the past day! I am constantly locked out of my accounts.

I signed up for the American Express Delta Premier and earned 50K miles on top of that. Using that card to pay utilities got the balance to around 88K, it was one of those accounts that just sat there.  New to the MS game I was too nervous to run the bill up to the $50K usage to get the MQM boost and I couldn’t think of a reason I needed the boost because I still had not used Delta. Between the Southwest Companion Pass and my new American Advantage Platinum, we had enough status for travel to keep us very busy for the year. There were no Delta flights in my near future.

Then there was the sale last summer for winter in Europe for 45K for Business class! (this sale was probably for people with the Delta branded credit card?) I found a good flight and booked my husband and I on an angled lie flat product that sounded great. I was about 1000 miles short. I quickly transferred over American Express MR to Delta. I needed the one-way ticket because I had booked a round trip from Oslo, Norway to Chicago for under $300. As winter approached, I realized I was not in the mood for Oslo in January. When my annual fee popped up on the American Express card, I realized that for me it was not worth $195 year because I was not using the benefit from it.

My first stroke of luck was a flight change on the Oslo routing and I was able to cancel that ticket. I was stuck with the Delta tickets, which I really wanted to use, but at a more optimal time. I started watching the Delta flights for ant changes.  There was only 1 small change and it didn’t qualify me for a refund.

Panic begins to set in about 7 days before the flight. The decision has to be made, pay $300 to cancel 2 tickets and save my 88K Delta miles or forfeit my miles to the Delta Universe. Even though I did not need the Delta miles, they were mine! I may have mile and point hoarding tendencies.

Then a brilliant idea…. Delta waives award and redeposit fees for  Platinum and Diamond members.  I could possibly save my points and $300 with a STATUS MATCH!  I don’t need status with Delta because I haven’t been on a Delta plane in over 10 years! Last year I had Alaska MVP Gold75 which I turned into a challenge with American for Platinum this year. Ideally I would wait until next year to have Delta, but I really wanted my points with no fee involved.  I whipped up a quick e-mail to Delta asking for a match to my American Advantage.

Two days later Delta responds, ‘Welcome to Delta Challenge’. With only 5 days before my award flight I was granted temporary Platinum status. I call up Delta and ask to cancel my award flight. No problem they say. They redeposit the miles into my account and just like that. I am Platinum for 90 days. I can keep Platinum the remainder of the year if I fly 18500 miles. At least with American it was only 12500 for platinum, which I did last fall. Then again with American I had to pay a fee to do the challenge.

Now what? This is the tempting part. We do have a flight to Europe scheduled in about a month on Delta, but I don’t know if it counts because it is Delta ticketed and Air France flight. It would only be about 4200 of the 18500 miles needed. If the challenge gave me 2017 status this would be a no brainer, but honestly 2016 is a quarter over and I don’t see that many more flights coming my way.

I could have done the Johannesburg for 22K miles and some crazy butt in seat hours in economy, the thought makes me cringe, and makes my butt numb just thinking about it.  If I can find a shorter flight that fits with my spring travel then I may want to just to say I had it. Do I need it? Is it less financially to simply book business class tickets? Maybe now I need another American Express. I have been looking for good Delta deals that can get me 14500 miles. Time is running out to make this decision.

I am based in Washington DC and Delta is sometimes an option.

Are you Delta elite and love it?

What would you do? Go for it or not? Any good Delta mileage run ideas?

Paris in June $631

You can still get to Paris this summer… for $631 from JFK and about $100 more from DC. Only a few dates available on Aeroflot, routes through Moscow and says stopover is permitted for $75 and ticket price includes 1 bag. I found these dates in for travel June 18-25.

Mileage earnings on these flights is -75% per these details but if you really are looking for a budget airfare to Paris in June and don’t mind the long flight through Moscow, this is a great price.

BUDGET
Economy class

• Kindly pay your attention that the fares of this branded group are not refundable.

• Best offer for those who is confident in their plans.

• Bonus miles-75%.

Total: 631.40 USD

Departing

  1. view detailsBUDGET
    Economy class
  2. Flight: SU103 | SU4458
  3. Depart: John F Kennedy International Airport, New York, USA (JFK)
  4.  Wed 17 June 19:10
  5. Fare Basis NPX
  6. Economy
  7. Connection: Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, Russia (SVO)
  8.  Thu 18 June 11:25
  9.  Thu 18 June 12:55
  10. Fare Basis NPX
  11. Economy
  12. Arrive: Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, France (CDG)
  13.  Thu 18 June 15:45

Arriving

  1. view detailsBUDGET
    Economy class
  2. Flight: SU4451 | SU100
  3. Depart: Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, France (CDG)
  4.  Wed 24 June 19:30
  5. Fare Basis NPX
  6. Economy
  7. Connection: Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, Russia (SVO)
  8.  Thu 25 June 0:10
  9.  Thu 25 June 9:25
  10. Fare Basis NPX
  11. Economy
  12. Arrive: John F Kennedy International Airport, New York, USA (JFK)
  13.  Thu 25 June 12:25