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Airport departure screen (Photo: Index Open)

"Earn Up to 100,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles!"

That's the headline for American's new AAdvantage promotion.

There is a catch, however. To earn that 100,000-mile bonus, you'll have to complete 10 American or American Eagle flights. All 10 of those flights must be on different routes. And those different routes must be among American's newly added services, which means they're most likely flights to non-major cities (to put it politely).

Offer Details

Between April 9 and July 31, AAdvantage members can earn bonus miles for two or more different round-trip flights, as follows: 1,000 bonus miles for two flights; 4,000 miles for three flights; 6,000 for four; 10,000 for five; 15,000 for six; 25,000 for seven; 50,000 for eight; 75,000 for nine; and 100,000 bonus miles for ten flights. ...read more»

Photo: United Airlines

For the ninth time in just the past year, United is offering award tickets for fewer Mileage Plus miles.

Offer Details

Through April 12, Mileage Plus members can book Saver coach award flights within the continental U.S., and between the U.S. and Canada, for 10 percent fewer miles.

So, with the discount, the price of a round-trip award ticket would be 22,500 instead of the 25,000 miles normally required; and a one-way would be reduced from 12,500 to 11,250 miles.

Travel at the discounted rates must be booked on united.com, and travel must be completed by May 26. ...read more»

Photo: Southwest Airlines

Double frequent flyer credits. On all routes. From Southwest.

That's a combination you don't often see. In this era of micro-targeted marketing, systemwide airline promotions are rare. (Too inefficient.) And Southwest in particular has never been aggressive with its Rapid Rewards promotions. (Too expensive.)

But it's a sign of these desperate times that one of the industry's most profitable players is offering a bonus across its entire flight network....read more»

Businessman passing through international terminal (Photo: PhotoDisc)

Hilton has dubbed its new promotion Fast Ways to Free Stays.

What's fast? According to Hilton, earning a free night after either four stays or 10 nights. A quick check of my Random House dictionary shows the following definition for 'fast': "done in comparatively little time; taking a comparatively short time." Hilton's copywriters must have consulted a different dictionary.

Offer Details

Between April 6 and June 30, Hilton HHonors members can earn a free night or double base points after either four qualifying stays or 10 nights.

Registration is required, at which time program members must opt for either free nights or bonus points.

The free night certificate must be used within one year. ...read more»

Woman shopping online (Photo: Image DJ/Index Open)

Got US Airways frequent flyer miles? Wanna give them to someone else?

Between April 1 and May 31, Dividend Miles members can earn a 100 percent bonus when transferring miles form their accounts to someone else's account. So, for every mile transferred at the normal rate of 1 cent per mile, plus a $30 processing fee, two miles will be transferred.

Up to 50,000 miles may be transferred, which would amount to 100,000 miles with the bonus.

Transfers must be made in multiples of 1,000. So the cost to transfer 25,000 miles, enough for a free domestic ticket, would normally be $280, including the processing fee. With the bonus, you'd have to transfer 13,000 miles, but the cost will drop to a more manageable $160....read more»

Continental aircraft tail close up (Photo: Continental)

As the name might suggest, Continental's new Mileathon promotion is one of those big, convoluted marketing initiatives designed to generate revenue by offering bonuses for a wide range of transactions that ultimately bolster the airline's bottom line.

That's fine in theory, as long as the promoted purchases are fairly priced, and the bonuses are worthwhile.

Between April 1 and June 30, OnePass members can earn credits for selected partner activities, including credit card sign-ups, online bookings, Continental ticket purchases, hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, cruises, and so on. (Hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, and cruises must be booked on continental.com to qualify.) After the promotion period, the credits are converted into bonus miles. ...read more»

If you're lucky, you may spot kangaroos sunbathing on the beach in <a href="http://www.visitesperance.com/accom_result1.asp?Code=23591" target="_blank">Cape Le Grand National Park</a> near the town of <a href="http://www.visitesperance.com/" target="_blank">Esperance</a> on the southwestern coast of Australia. Esperance is about an eight-hour drive from <a href="http://www.perthtouristcentre.com.au/" target="_blank">Perth</a> along the stunning South Coast Highway  (within Zone 3 of the Aussie AirPass). (Photo: Richard Powers, Tourism Australia)

It was just two weeks ago that Virgin America added another hotel to its Elevate frequent flyer program, expanding its partner roster to include two rental car companies, two hotel groups, a mileage mall, and a credit card.

Sure, that's a modest lineup compared to the programs of the bigger airlines, which offer opportunities to earn and redeem miles at hundreds of companies representing almost every industry segment.

But while Elevate remains a small program, its growth has been eye-popping. And it's been intelligent—the partnerships make sense, and add real value to program membership. ...read more»

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