News and notes from around the interweb:
- Amtrak Supreme Court Case: We learn interesting things from the Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in the Amtrak case. Despite being ostensibly a ‘for profit corporation’ it is in fact a government entity. Except in an emergency Amtrak has precedence over freight for use of tracks. Indeed, if a host railroad is at fault for Amtrak’s failure to meet performance standards (as determined by the Surface Transportation Board) then damages can be assessed against the private railroad. That would seem to suggest Amtrak apologists’ complaints about the railroad not getting track priority are pretty well bunk…
- Buy United Miles Cheaper Than Their 50% Bonus Sale: Mommy Points explains how to buy miles from United at 1.9 cents apiece, a better price than current targeted 50% bonus offers. You walk through booking a ticket on United.com and buy miles associated with the ticket. Then cancel the reservation within 24 hours for a refund, while the miles purchased are non-refundable. There’s a similar technique with Alaska miles although there are reports of Alaska cracking down on the process.
- Thai Airways may sell assets: They have land, hotels and a jet fuel distributor they could sell to cover losses. Of course they might stop losing money if they ran themselves as a business rather than a political plaything. Instead of just selling assets, the government might consider selling the airline itself…
- Social engineering free wifi at the airport: Walk into an airport lounge, glance for the wifi password at the desk, then leave or get denied entry. Log on. Of course airports are frequently getting free wifi anyway and Amex Platinum cards get free unlimited Boingo so this is increasingly less useful anyway.
- The invisible man is here to see you, Dan…: “Tell him I cannot see him.” Southwest cancels man’s ticket for no showing while he’s inflight. (HT: Alan H.)
- Las Vegas reward night sale: IHG Rewards Club is offering Venetian and Palazzo for 25,000 points per night between Noon eastern today and noon Eastern on Wednesday for stays through December 28.
- The Amtrak card is dead, long live the Amtrak card: Frequent Miler says Chase will no longer issue new Amtrak co-brand cards though existing cardmembers keep theirs.