Featured Articles

Thai Airways Plans Non-Stop Flights to the U.S. Next Year

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Jul 26 2016

Thai Airways used to operate a flying gas can Airbus A340-500 non-stop from Bangkok to Los Angeles and also to New York JFK (May 2005 – June 2008). Both of those flights were eventually eliminated as uneconomical. Thai has also flown one-stop between Bangkok and Los Angeles, such as via Seoul and via Osaka.

But they no longer serve the U.S. at all, having suspended operations last fall as they worked to stem financial losses. And they aren’t allowed re-start service, either.

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Etihad Doubling Number of First Apartment Seats to the U.S.

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Jul 26 2016

A month ago I wrote about outstanding first class award availability on Etihad and walked through the routes between the US and Abu Dhabi that had award space for at least 2 passengers. And then three weeks ago I highlighted outstanding Etihad Airbus A380 First Apartment award availability on the New York JFK – Abu Dhabi route.

Now comes word that Etihad will double the number of First Apartment seats flying to the U.S.. Starting June 1, both daily New York JFK – Abu Dhabi flights will be operated by an Airbus A380.

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Total Loss for Heavily Subsidized US Airlines Against the Big Gulf Carriers

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Jul 26 2016

Since the major US airlines American, Delta, and United began arguing for greater protectionism against rival airlines Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar because it’s somehow unfair for the most profitable airlines in the world to have to compete against carriers they contend are too subsidized, I’ve pointed out several inconvenient facts.

As was widely expected the US government is closing its investigation of the Gulf airlines with no action.

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American’s Checked Baggage Fees are Spreading to More International Flights

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Jul 26 2016

Back in March American tightened its free checked bag allowance for premium cabin customers eliminating the 3rd free checked bag from domestic first class and international business class.

Over the past 8 years checked bag fees have become a huge part of airline revenue. Crucially, while domestic airfares are taxed at 7.5% off the top, checked bag fees aren’t subject to this excise tax, making them an especially attractive tax arbitrage play. While politicians complain about checked bag fees, those fees are encouraged through the tax code.

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99 More Free Upgrades to AwardWallet’s Premium Service

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Jul 25 2016

Last week I gave away 86 upgrades to AwardWalet Plus. I’ve updated this post on the first 2 things you should do when you’re new to the frequent flyer hobby with 99 more new free upgrade codes.

The first two things anyone interested in frequent flyer miles and travel should do is sign up for Award Wallet to track your points and get a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to earn the most points in a highly flexible, valuable currency, quickly.

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The Absolute Best Hotel Redemption Deal Got Refreshed Today

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Jul 25 2016

IHG Rewards Club has released its new set of PointBreaks — hotel rewards at just 5000 points per night. The new list has about 140 properties, but doesn’t hit the biggest cities most people are traveling to or the most desirable resorts.

Although it’s notable that there are two Intercontinental hotels on the list — Mendoza (perfect for wine tasting) and Phnom Penh (where you should stop before or after the amazing temples of Siem Reap).

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