Citibank is again offering American Airlines miles as an incentive for opening a checking account and taking various account actions.

The offer is valid through September 30, and you then have 60 days from account opening to take required additional steps of debit transactions and a billpay in two calendar months.

You can apply on-line, in branch, or over the phone at 866-810-9043 using promotion code DR5MG904XE.

I tend to think 15,000 miles is the sweet spot with this offer since Citibank has sent out 1099 tax reporting forms on mileage offers for banking products where the value is greater than $600, as the 30,000 mile offer is likely deemed to be.

I still like the 22,000 point BankDirect signup offer better. BankDirect also offers miles for average balances on an ongoing basis, and doesn’t 1099 the miles, although there’s a $12 per month account fee that cannot be avoided with a high average balance and they’ve capped monthly mileage-earning.

The New York Times’ Ethicist declared that throwaway ticketing is perfectly fine.

A reader asks if it’s ok to book tickets where you don’t intend to fly all of the segments in order to save money. The reply:

Absolutely. Purchasing something doesn’t mean you’re obligated to consume it in totality. You can use whatever portion of the purchase you choose. If you buy a loaf of bread, you don’t have to eat every slice.

So far, so good. Find out if this is really ok… and how to do it.. read more!

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).

I’ve had several readers write in the past couple of days about receiving targeted 50,000 mile signup bonus offers for the US Airways co-brand credit card.

Typical is this email from Jon who writes:

Long time reader. I have gotten a couple offers in the mail over the past few months for the Barclay’s US Airways card offering 50K points after first purchase (fee not waived). Do you think worth jumping on this or do you think Barclay’s will continue to up this offer as their issue date comes closer to ending?

Here’s the deal:

  • I don’t see the offer getting better, although I have no inside knowledge.
  • They don’t have a public 50,000 point offer and do not recall there ever being o public offer that gave 50,000 points after first purchase.
  • There’s really not even that much time left for them to up the offer — once the programs combine next year they won’t be able to add new cardmembers at all.

I’d jump on the US Airways Premier World MasterCard.

The public offer, which is as good as I have seen, is 40,000 miles after first purchase. It comes with an $89 annual fee, certainly worth it for the miles.

The window to get the card is just a few more months.

Barclaycard issues the US Airways card. Citibank has the American card. Citibank will be the exclusive issuer of American cards. Folks that have the legacy US Airways cards will still keep their Barclaycard product, it will become an American card. Barclaycard just won’t be able to issue any new cards.

We’re not quite at ‘last call’ but it’s definitely time to consider signing up for the US Airways Premier World MasterCard.

These 40,000 points will combine into American accounts. So you’ll be able to get this bonus and likely also an American bonus from Citibank. So you’re quickly on your way towards a business class award to most places in the world. It’s a unique opportunity, similar to getting bonuses from both Northwest and Delta before those airlines merged (United and Continental wasn’t as good an opportunity because both of their cards were issued by the same bank).

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.

Deloitte Consulting released a new study today (.pdf) suggesting that travelers do not trust the data security policies and practices of loyalty programs.

My take:

  • Deloitte wants to convince loyalty programs to hire them to bolster their privacy and data security.
  • They’d also love it if media picked this up and created pressure for companies to address an issue that Deloitte is ready to sell them a solution for.

Deloitte finds that:

  • 75% of people expect their frequent traveler accounts to offer financial institution-grade security.
  • Only 1/3rd are satisfied with the security of their accounts.


Net net, loyalty program members don’t actually care about this or at least continue to behave as though they are comfortable.

Loyalty programs continue to grow their membership. Here’s data on American, for instance.

In fact, with the US Airways merger American will have 100 million members. United MilgeagePlus is around 80 to 90 million, and Delta Skymiles 70 to 80 million. Those are some large member files. Who exactly are all of the people refusing to participate in these programs over fear of data security exactly?

Meanwhile, the study also suggests that only 20% of people consider themselves knowledgeable about the loyalty policies of their loyalty programs. They don’t even care enough to pay attention to this!

I’m not saying programs shouldn’t worry about data security. They should. A breach is terrible PR, and brings the risk of reduced member trust and engagement. But to suggest members are wary and shying away, so merely investing in this area will drive greater business, seems overly simplistic at best (and likely self-serving on the part of Deloitte).

Just a couple of weeks ago Delta reminded us that their best customers are poorly-informed customers. They forced Expert Flyer — a collection of really useful tools for frequent flyers (that charges a subscription fee — to remove all information about Delta. Even flight schedules.

Now Expert Flyer emails their registered members to let them know of even more information that’s now available for US Airways. And includes a quote from American about this that underscores a totally different philosophy towards customers than Delta. (American doesn’t hate them.)

“We are pleased that customers who choose to fly US Airways will now have the same service from ExpertFlyer that they have had for American Airlines flights,” said Cory Garner, American’s managing director – distribution. “This agreement provides another step toward a more seamless customer experience during the integration of our two airlines.”

(American is no saint here — they removed access to domestic upgrade inventory some time ago, but they did bring back Award Wallet’s access to AAdvantage member accounts.)

Expert Flyer is already the only source I know for viewing confirmed upgrade space to international business class on American Airlines. I also use it to let me know when confirmed domestic first class upgrade space is dwindling on flights where an upgrade especially matters to me (I have it send me an email, for instance, when ‘A’ inventory drops below 3). And I use it to email me when specific seats open up on a seatmap if I’m not happy with seats I book initially.

Now there’s better information on US Airways, too:

As part of our continued partnership with American Airlines, we are pleased to announce that as of today ExpertFlyer now supports full US Airways Award & Upgrade searching and alerting. The addition of awards and upgrades from US Airways operated flights will complement the existing American Airlines operated award/upgrade data currently available to subscribers of ExpertFlyer. In addition Flight Alerts can now be created for award and upgrade inventory for US Airways operated flights.

The newly supported classes are:

O – First – Award/Upgrades, also complimentary Preferred upgrades into First
I – Business – Award/Miles Upgrade
J – Business – Upgrades into Business using Certificate upgrades for ALL applicable routes (not just PHL-TLV)
X – Economy – Award

This is fantastic news!

(And worth noting that while US Airways has aligned revenue booking classes with American, their award classes remain tied to their Star Alliance history and have not yet been aligned.)

In June 2013 United announced that earning elite status would require minimum spending on tickets.

This followed almost dead-on what Delta had announced.

Status in 2015 would require not just miles flown in 2014, but a minimum amount of spending for each status level as well.

  • Silver: $2500 minimum qualifying revenue
  • Gold: $5000 minimum qualifying revenue
  • Platinum: $7500 minimum qualifying revenue
  • 1K: $10,000 minimum qualifying revenue

Read on to learn how to get out of United’s revenue requirement..

Frequent Traveler University in San Diego next March, which I posted about this morning, sold out in under 3 hours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go.

Here’s the Milepoint thread for FTU Advanced in San Diego.

  • There are a handful of tickets held back, I’m told, and they’re right here.
  • There are no doubt some folks that jumped on the opportunity to attend but where their schedules won’t work out. Follow the thread to see when someone wants to unload their ticket.

In fact, the September 26 – 28 event in Chicago is fast approaching. There’s a couple of people with tickets for the event that can’t attend, so if you’re interested in taking their place visit the Milepoint discussion.

Or just wait for the next event. My understanding is that there’s a large one in the queue that should be easier to get tickets to.

I look forward to meeting and talking miles and points with many of you at upcoming events!

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • The worst airline passengers in the history of travel.

  • The TSA ‘forgot’ to do secondary screening of a passenger whose name is on the terrorism watch list. So they made up for it by screening him on arrival, after he had flown. (HT: Toqueville)

  • Lucky asks if he is a ‘travel’ blogger. And I agree with him, the answer doesn’t matter, he’s built a niche that many find useful.

    Similarly, I don’t put labels on my own writing. From the very beginning, I’ve written about whatever I found interesting at that moment, for whatever reason and broadly conceived. And I’m fortunate and flattered that many find that worth reading. I’ve never targeted an audience, or a genre, per se — other than those great folks who share enough common interest with me to find a reasonable enough percentage of what I write interesting enough to keep coming back. And for that, I think you!

  • The Economist declares that it is very important for deal-conscious flyers to flock to American Airlines:

    Mr Barro interviewed Gary Leff, who writes the excellent View From the Wing blog, and Mr Leff notes that American’s hesitation is likely not based on principle. Instead, he argues, it is probably delaying the change because of its ongoing merger with US Airways. But that gives mileage-run lovers and opponents of the new regime (two groups that love deals but spend a lot of money on airfares anyway) an opportunity: if they move en masse to American, they could create an incentive for the airline to hold on to the old-style programme. It’s worth a shot. Otherwise, the fun and the challenge of mileage running may soon be greatly diminished—or gone for good.

  • Sushipocalypse: California drought driving up price of sushi rice

Online travel websites killed the traditional brick and mortar travel agency for the basic booking. You don’t call up your local agency (unless you’re a business traveler working through a managed travel program, and even then chances are it’s online) to buy airfare anymore. You choose from what a computer offers you.

Gone is advice about the nuances of which city is best for connections, how long a connection do you need, or for hotels which ones offer the sort of character, experience, and service you may be looking for.

Instead, there are lists of features. You can read reviews of seats at SeatGuru or SeatExpert. You can read traveler reviews on blogs or at TripAdvisor (which is mostly useful for the photos and revealing consistent themes but the rankings of properties are next to useless in any sort of granular fashion). You don’t get a single trusted expert.

Google may want to become your next travel agent. And for the mass market probably will.

But there are still real experts to guide those special trips. The problem is, who is an actual expert? Who really knows the locations they sell? Who has local connections to improve your experience?

Wendy Perrin has spent many years compiling a rolodex of the best people to help you with your travel. She started the “World’s Top Travel Specialists” list at Conde’ Nast Traveler, a highly vetted compilation of agents that do great work for clients and that were regularly ‘secret shopped’ to ensure continued excellence.

I’ve been honored to be a part of that list since 2010 for my award booking service.

Wendy left Conde’ Nast earlier this year and joined TripAdvisor, and also launched her own site.

And she’s picked up where she left off in offering her knowledge and experience with the best specialists for each area of the world with her new Wow List of Trusted Travel Experts.

She’s still building out the list, it’s a momentous undertaking, and so far only includes specialists by destination and travel type. She doesn’t have any of the specialized services on there yet (like mine, and Cranky Flier‘s Cranky Concierge).

Definitely a site worth bookmarking.

IHG Rewards Club is offering points purchases with a 100% bonus through September 22.

Here’s the offer:

Get up to a 100% more points when you buy between September 15th and September 22, 2014:

Buy 1,000 to 49,000 points and get 50% more points
Buy 50,000 to 60,000 points and get 100% more points

This is the normal pricing:

You may purchase points in 1,000 increments:

1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points

As a result, you can buy points for as little as $0.00575 apiece (half of $11.50 per 1000) or $690 for 120,000 points which is the maximum allowable purchase.

The points are processed by so this doesn’t count as hotel spend for credit card bonuses.

In general I value an IHG Rewards Club point at about 6/10ths of a cent — right at the price they’re selling points through this promotion. If the price were lower I would be a buyer. But I’d rather hold cash than points at this price. I’d only buy points with a very specific use in mind, especially since it’s long been possible to buy points at 7/10ths of a cent apiece whenever one wishes. The gain by acting right away is marginal (one-tenth of a cent per point).

While you probably won’t get hurt at that price, and IHG Rewards Club has committed not to raise points prices on its hotel awards for the rest of the year, I still prefer cash over these points.

That point of view is further informed by the program lacking an option to redeem points for better than a base room, and that hotels aren’t required to honor most elite benefits on points stays (although many do). As a result I do not love redeeming my IHG Rewards Club points.

(HT: Inside Flyer)

The offer is:

  • 7500 bonus miles for your first roundtrip
  • 10,000 bonus miles for your second roundtrip
  • 17,500 bonus miles for your third roundtrip

That totals 35,000 bonus miles for three roundtrips.

Flights on United and Air Canada are eligible. And most fares — but not the cheapest – are eligible (W or higher on United).

On United, MileagePlus members will earn bonus award miles on nonstop flight segments flown between the U.S. or Canada and London in fare classes F, A, J, C, D, Z, P, Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V and W.

On Air Canada, MileagePlus members will earn bonus award miles on nonstop flight segments flown between the U.S. or Canada and London in fare classes W, S, T, L, K, F, M, U, H, Q, V, Y, B, E, N, O, C, D, Z, P and J.

In fact, Aeroplan is offering essentially the same bonus so if you prefer to earn in your Aeroplan account you can register for their offer and credit your United or Air Canada London flights to them instead.

Registration for the United offer is required as well. Only tickets purchased starting September 15 for travel September 23 through December 12 are eligible for the MileagePlus bonus. So tickets you may have bought already prior to the launch of the promotion do not earn the bonus.

I hate it when programs punish you for not waiting for promo launches. It makes the promotion less expensive for them of course.

  • it lets them only reward purchases at the margin by people who know about the promo (registration required)
  • and purchase when they know about the promo.

But it sticks it to loyal customers who are already buying their tickets.

(HT: Frequent Flyer Bonuses)

FTU Advanced San Diego tickets are now available.

The regular Frequent Traveler University events can be huge, they’ve been as large as more than 600 people. Participants often requested smaller, more intimate events allowing for greater in-depth discussion and really getting to know fellow participants.

Both the first FTU Advanced and the second one each sold out in under 24 hours. The former was held at the Marriott O’Hare at the end of July, the latter later this month at the same place.

  • More advanced. FTU events welcome everyone, at all experience levels, and of course everyone is welcome. But the program will feature a more focused conversation geared to people that have spent more time with the activity. If you’re already a guru then most of it may not be new to knew, but topics will pre-suppose the basics and go beyond what can productively be done at an event for 600+.
  • A different program. We’ll be able to go more in-depth, and we’ll be able to go more hands-on. There will be internet in the meeting rooms to facilitate learning by doing, not just telling and showing.

The San Diego FTU Advanced will be held at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay hotel from Friday March 6 through Sunday March 8.

Speakers include:

  • Ben Schlappig a.k.a Lucky from One Mile at a Time
  • Greg Davis-Kean a.k.a. Frequent Miler
  • Stefan Krasowski from Rapid Travel Chai
  • Scott Mackenzie from Hack My Trip
  • Daraius Dubash from Million Mile Secrets
  • … and Randy Petersen

Tickets are $249 and registration is nonrefundable, but tickets can be transferred to another individual for a $25 fee.

Events begin Friday evening with an open bar cocktail reception. The $165++ group rate at the hotel will include buffet breakfast. Event registration includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available here.

IHG Rewards is running a super generous free nights promotion. At least it’s super-generous for some, the specific offers a member will get vary. But the base offer is pretty good where three Holiday Inn nights booked carefully can be turned into two free nights at any Intercontinental Hotels Group property in the world.

Regarding the usefulness of these nights, I had already written:

IHG confirmed for me that these free nights work just list their co-brand credit card’s annual free night: usable at any participating IHG property (as long as reward nights are available)

But others were talking as though they thought the inventory would be more limited. This concern seemed to trace back to a Loyalty Lobby post that relayed word from IHG on the promotion terms and concluded,

This seems to imply that they have specific award inventory reserved for these free nights awards and it can be drastically different from the points based one.

A couple of readers asked me if I would reach out to IHG again to clarify. So I shot off an email last night:

Contra what you confirmed below I’m hearing that the reward nights earned through this promotion may not be like the credit card or points award nights in that they have their own limited inventory with less availability.

Can you confirm that indeed the free nights earned with this promotion have the same availability as reward nights on points and the free credit card night?

That obviously affects the value proposition of this promotion.

And I heard back fairly quickly — there’s no separate, special, limited inventory for these promotional reward nights:

I am confirming that the “free nights” earned with this promotion have the same availability as Reward Nights (using points to redeem for a free night) and the free nights are like the free credit card night.

But just to be double triple super sure (that I wasn’t misreading the reply), I asked back:

For clarity’s sake are you saying you are working to get confirmation, or that you are – with this email – confirming it to me? Sorry if I’m a bit dense!

And was told in response:

This email serves as confirmation. No worries!

There you have it, straight from the executive offices at IHG. No doubt some will remain concerned. I am not concerned.

This offer has been around since 2012, but I don’t think I’ve written about it since then. Most readers probably already have Delta Skymiles accounts, but there are always new readers and folks just getting into the hobby.

Overall I don’t recommend focusing on the Skymiles program, but if you’re hub captive in Atlanta, Detroit, or Minneapolis (or if you live in the Upper Midwest) then you’re going to wing up flying Delta. And it makes sense to get the most out of the tickets you’re buying anyway.

Here’s how to pocket 40,000 miles. Read more…

Head for Points writes about the increase in price that British Airways is pushing through for buying the middle seat next to you.

Truth is, this is something I didn’t know, just how inexpensively BA offered this in the past.

You would pay the same fare for the empty seat as for the one you were occupying, minus taxes. For short haul intra-Europe tickets this could be $10 – $100, since the bulk of the cost of these tickets is often in fuel surcharges.

A few weeks ago British Airways changed the method they use to calculate the cost.

  • They’ve set a minimum of £40 roundtrip on short haul flights and £300 roundtrip on long haul flights.
  • They’re basing the price on the fare you paid, not the fare at time of request. So requesting a blocked middle seat close to departure won’t increase its price.

You’re still reliant on BA to actually administer the benefit properly, which Head for Points says has been a mixed bag in the past. But it’s good to have a clear policy and benefit here, and at a relatively reasonable price.

The taxation of frequent flyer miles isn’t the only time travel butts heads with the IRS. Taxes on your tickets isn’t the only other place, either.

It turns out that Anchorage airport is being hamstrung by the tax code (HT: Julie D.)

It turns out SLEEPING PODS are a problem for the IRS. Here’s Why…

Travel Update reports that Marriott wants you to tip housekeeping.

[A]s many as 1,000 hotels in the Marriott system – Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Residence Inn, JW Marriott – are going to leave a special tip-reminder envelope for guests to encourage them to leave money for the housekeeper.

..Envelopes that contain the name of the person (usually a woman) will be left in some 160,000 hotel rooms in the USA and Canada, according to the AP’s story. The campaign is called “The Envelope Please.”

Now, tipping at hotels is one way to get an upgrade. (Here’s how to ask for – and get – upgrades.)

Tipping hotel housekeeping won’t get you much, maybe a cleaner room or extra toileteries. It’s about giving something to the people cleaning your room, rather than giving something to yourself.

In general I hate tipping. I’d rather pay a room rate that allowed hotels to pay their staff at a level where they weren’t dependent on tips. In many parts of the US they actually do, although not in all cases, and being implored to tip isn’t differentiated based on the pay given to housekeepers which isn’t disclosed.

Even though I don’t like tipping, I’m an American and I travel a good bit in the U.S., so I tip — primarily to people doing tough jobs for what I presume are modest wages. Housekeeping certainly qualifies. If someone helps me with my luggage that qualifies, too, although I don’t love being pestered for help with my one rollaboard.

Still, I’m not sure I like the nudge. No doubt putting a specific woman’s name on an envelope in the room is going to work, guests who don’t use it are going to feel like jerks. I suppose that’s the point.

The campaign teams up with Maria Shriver who “believes plenty of guests don’t know the custom of tipping the housekeeper.”

An interesting experiment would be to compare average amounts left in the envelope with tips if those envelopes contained suggested amounts. If guests “don’t know the custom” is it really a custom? And if they don’t know to tip, do they know how much to tip? Tip each day or at the end of the stay?

Perhaps more tips for housekeeping is good, on a micro level (the individual housekeepers) it probably is but systemically I’m not so sure.

  • If customers systematically tip more, raising the wages of housekeeping, what will that do to actual wages hotels pay? I’m not sure those will actually rise on net over time. Hotels may be able to pay workers less precisely because guests will make up the difference.

  • I also wonder how Marriott will handle the tips — I’d guess that they will be pooled rather than being given to the individual named on the envelope… who may or may not wind up being the person who actually cleans your room.

Do you tip housekeeping? Do you favor Marriott telling you that you should?

Yesterday I got (multiple, cough) e-mails from Citibank about new benefits for their American Airlines co-brand products.

With an email subject line like “Important Information About Your Protection Benefits” I assumed they’d be taking away benefits so Citi really needs to get better e-mail subject writers. In fact with a subject line like that, I’d be just as likely as not to not even open the e-mail, except that I’d perversely interested in the minutiae of ancillary benefits. (Here’s how the credit card I used for the purchase paid for the cracked screen on my phone.)

And since so many of you have American Airlines co-branded credit cards, it seemed worth flagging.

Read about the new benefits being offered and what the catches are..

Mileage running for the redeeming miles, the idea that you could fly cheap fares and redeem the miles for expensive tickets, never made much sense most of the time or for most people. By the time you factor in the value of time spent in airports and planes – your opportunity cost – you were rarely saving money.

On the other hand, sometimes the flying itself was the enjoyment. Fares were cheap, promotions generous, and you’d get to see someplace new. The ‘pure’ mileage run, the straight turnaround in an airport, never made sense to me except in the most extreme cases – cheap fare during United’s quintuple miles offer years ago, long before their multiple hatchets to the award chart was one.

Mileage running for status from zero never made much sense to me. The amazing wanaflyforless once made American’s Executive Platinum status in something like 17 days from the start of the year without a double elite qualifying miles promotion. And he did it cheap. Why did he climb that mountain? Because it was there, and he could.

But in general the only reason you need elite status is if you’re actually flying anyway. And if you earn it one year so that you can enjoy it the next.. during the substantial amount you have to fly.

So mileage running for status only ever made sense to me at the margin. You’re already flying, say, 85,000 miles and the treatment is materially better once you fly 100,000. So you take a few incremental trips, see some places along the way, and make sure next year’s travel is that much more comfortable.

On Friday I highlighted a New York Times piece on the death of the mileage run. It was anchored to the shift programs are making towards becoming more revenue-based.

  • If you’re being rewarded a fixed number of points per dollar spent, you can’t leverage cheap fares to earn enough points which are then redeemed for really expensive trips. That’s not completely true, unless the program also goes revenue-based on the redemption side. But it’s certainly much more true than before, and it was already pretty true due to high overall airfares.
  • You have to spend a minimum amount to earn status, making it tough to earn status on the super-cheap. Of course it’s already tough to earn status on the super cheap with high airfares, the bar for minimum spend towards status already quite low, and customers outside the US and who spend on co-band credit cards have seen some exemptions.

There’s not a demarcation between pre-revenue based at United and Delta and a new revenue-based world where mileage runs no longer make sense. They aren’t didn’t for most people most of the time, and that became increasingly true as average airfares have risen and mileage award charts have gotten more expensive (making the rewards — in terms of redemptions — for the runs relatively less valuable).

That doesn’t mean that it never at any time makes sense to get on a plane for the miles anymore.

  • American hasn’t gone revenue-based at this point.
  • You can still credit Delta flying to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
  • You can credit United flying to Singapore Airlines and other carriers that will reward you with full flown credit even on low fares.
  • You can still credit partner flights to MileagePlus and earn based on fare class ticketed rather than price paid.
  • There are still mistake fares out there, where you can rack up flown miles towards status cheap — and then get out of the minimum spend requirement via residence or credit card spend.
  • Those trips at the margin can put you over the top towards status, and if you’re still going to fly a lot next year this can make real sense.

But those are some pretty limited cases, at least or especially for those who place a non-zero value on the time spent up in the air.

Though some have disagreed with my take that the ‘era of mileage running is over’ (which is different than saying there are no mileage runs that could ever make sense), I think it’s really fair to say that 2014 is very different than 2004. The idea of the mileage run has gotten gradually less rewarding.

I’ve spoken with several American Airlines flight attendants that are embarrassed by what they’re being asked to serve.

I feel for them, genuinely. As one said to me, “What we used to serve wasn’t great, but it was better than this.”

Dallas – Orlando clocks in at 985 miles. It used to get a meal. Now…

Gone are meals from my DC – Miami flights as well.

United is moving to meals on flights over 800 miles. Delta is at 900 miles, American now 1000. That’s an improvement for US Airways customers… but the issue is both whether there’s a meal and what that meal is. I used to say that US Airways elites are hungry Now many American elites are too – and some by choice.

Anecdotally flight attendants are getting lots of complaints from customers. They’re the ones serving the meals snack baskets, so they’re the ones bearing the brunt of customer displeasure. When of course there’s nothing a flight attendant can do.

You can let American know what you think, it may not matter but it carries a greatly likelihood of mattering than taking your frustration out on your flight attendants will.

This won’t help the case, but I will still fly American. Delta’s miles remain terrible, though the airline operation is very good. Their route network doesn’t match my needs either. Furthermore, United and Delta prioritize full fare over status within the upgrade queue. As a DC-based flyer United doesn’t make sense unless you work for the government, despite a hub at Washington Dulles – every government employee Silver on a YCA fare will trump a 100,000 mile flyer on a mid-priced fare.

So I’ll need to learn to adjust my behavior. Eat before the flight. That just means more concentrated work time onboard thanks to Gogo inflight internet.

But seriously, people, your flight attendants shouldn’t bear the brunt of the decisions made by US Airways management.

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View from the Wing is a project of Miles and Points Consulting, LLC. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

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