...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

American (AA) Adjusting Flights from JFK to PHL

I'm always on the lookout for changes relating to the destinations at the top of my list (Zurich, Rome, etc) and it appears that American will be implementing some adjustments to their transatlantic route network from the Northeast.  From Airways:

American Airlines will soon add several transatlantic routes from its Philadelphia hub while making large cuts to its international network at New York’s JFK. Today, American announced routes from Philadelphia to Budapest (BUD) and Prague (PRG).

As Philadelphia sees transatlantic growth, American will be making serious cuts to its JFK hub. American will cut one of two daily flights to Paris (CDG), cease service to Manchester, and move its Zurich route to Philadelphia. These cuts signify American betting on Philadelphia over JFK and surrendering the international New York market to Delta.
In addition to these routes, American will add additional service to Venice (VCE) from Chicago with the 787 Dreamliner. This route will also start on May 4th, 2018. All three routes will be seasonal and last until October 27th, 2018. The airline already serves Venice from Philadelphia.
It's great to see a transition away from JFK which in my opinion is a difficult departure experience.  Having a Zurich option return to PHL along with Budapest and Prague is a great change and opens up several new redemption possibilities.  I was bummed when the seasonal Zurich option was cancelled in 2016 - close competition with United from Newark may help lower prices.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Chase Freedom Quarter Bonus through September

Don't forget!

If you have a Chase Freedom card, this quarter's bonus is for movie theatres and restaurants - normal dining may afford you some fast accumulation of Ultimate Rewards points by combining with another Chase UR card (such as the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve).

Another tip: registering and using your Freedom card at Mileage Plus Dining locations (or others) will add another bonus mile opportunity to the quarter. VIP members earn an additional 5 miles per dollar!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Primera Air - another option to Europe for $99!

While I tend to stick to the mainline carriers (and subsequent large-body aircraft) when traveling to Europe, I've been intrigued by Norwegian Air and its recent low fare offerings to Europe.  Another player in the game will also be offering $99 flights from both New York and Boston:

Primera Air

The $99 only gets you the seat and extras cost more including advanced seat assignment.  But if you're looking to get to Europe on the cheap and aren't concerned about points, miles, or aircraft type, this may be a great option!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Plenty of fall travel ahead

My fall is shaping up to be busy and travel-filled - both of which I am grateful for.  I went into the year thinking that I probably was going to end up scaling back on much of the typical travel I've done in past years, but some very fortuitous opportunities presented that I couldn't pass up.  Right now I have a few busy months ahead - some highlights:

August: Illinois
September: UK/Italy
October: Switzerland/Belgium
November: Czech Republic/Switzerland
December: Wisconsin/Vermont

October in particular is a highlight - I'll be attending the 59th IMTA Conference followed immediately by the International Leadership Association Global Conference.  I especially look forward to networking and connecting with colleagues from past conferences.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

American/Alaska Earning Partnership changing

One of the best partnerships I've used for travel east coast to west coast is Alaska Airlines and American.  The ability to fly Alaska (on their ticket) and credit both miles and elite qualifying to American helped me retain my Executive Platinum status in years past.  Unfortunately, American will be changing the parameters of the partnership and its not to the better.  From the notification:

Starting January 1, 2018, American Airlines AAdvantage® award miles, Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) will be earned on Alaska Airlines only when the flight is marketed by American Airlines. 

Elite benefits on Alaska Airlines, such as priority check-in, priority boarding and complimentary checked bags, will be discontinued.

The complete information outline can be found here.

Thank goodness mileage earning is not being eliminated altogether, though I will say that in general buying the AA-marketed flights tends to be more expensive.  Given American's addition of an Elite Qualifying Dollar requirement, I can't say these changes surprise me.  I'm disappointed that another good option for flyers is being eliminated.