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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If your travel plans include flights to South America, Delta's new bonus offer could make the trip a more rewarding one.

Offer Details

Through November 30, Delta SkyMiles members can earn double miles for coach (fare classes Y, B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T) and triple miles for BusinessElite (fare classes J, C, D, S, I) flights to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Santiago, Chile. The offer will also apply to Delta's new flights between Detroit and Sao Paulo, set to launch on October 21.

The bonus miles do not count toward status, but may be earned an unlimited number of times....read more»

Photo: iStockphoto

No, Parterpalooza does not refer to Southwest's just-announced acquisition of Atlanta-based discounter AirTran.

Rather, Partnerpalooza is Southwest's new multi-faceted promotion designed to encourage awareness and use of the various earning partners in the Rapid Rewards program.

There are three aspects to Partnerpalooza: instant wins, the sweepstakes, and bonus Rapid Rewards credits....read more»

Photo: Southwest Airlines

Today's announcement that Southwest will acquire AirTran for $1.4 billion raised eyebrows. While the move is consistent with the industry trend toward consolidation, no one I know was anticipating a Southwest-AirTran tie-up.

The get-together also raises questions, not least for members of the two airlines' frequent flyer programs.

Answers weren't immediately forthcoming. The news release was terse at best, offering only this: "The carriers' frequent-flyer programs will be combined over time, as well."

Still, we know how the combination is likely to play out, and what events might intervene to change the outcome....read more»

United New Plane (Photo: United Airlines)

There's been a lot of hand-wringing lately regarding the lack of transparency in airline pricing, particularly as it applies to the minefield of fees and surcharges that have become a fixture on the travel landscape.

But there are other aspects of the airlines' mind-numbing pricing schemes that are every bit as opaque, and every bit as in need of a bracing dose of clarity.

A new offer from United, matched by American, illustrates the point....read more»

Woman using a PDA (Photo: Index Open)

Last week, one of the world's most venerable hotel brands launched its own loyalty program.

Think "putting on the ritz" and "ritzy."

That's right, the hotel group is Ritz-Carlton. And its new frequent-stay program is Ritz-Carlton Rewards....read more»

Southwest 737 jet approaching runway (Photo: iStockPhoto/Lowell Sannes)

The next three months could be an uncommonly rewarding period for travelers flying to or from Denver.

Southwest has just announced a double-points promotion for all its Denver flights.

And while there are no matching offers yet from Frontier (which is based in Denver) or United (which operates a Denver hub), there probably will be....read more»

Photo: PhotoDisc

United has gotten plenty of praise in this blog for its regular award discounts, a nice tie-in with its current advertising claim that Mileage Plus is "the mileage program that wants you to use your miles."

American, not so much.

So the new discount offering award flights to Tahiti for 20 percent fewer American miles is a welcome addition to the frequent flyer landscape....read more»

US Airways aircraft close up (Photo: US Airways)

When it comes to buying frequent flyer miles from airlines, the standard advice usually comes down to a single word: Don't.

With the average value of frequent flyer miles stuck at around 1.2 cents apiece, paying almost 3 cents to purchase miles just doesn't make good financial sense.

Discounting the price of miles—as airlines routinely do—can tip the value equation back in favor of the consumer, somewhat. But the typical discounts of 20 or 25 percent just aren't enough to make miles an unqualified buy. What it takes is a discount or bonus that effectively cuts the price of purchased miles in half....read more»

Credit Card: People Passing Card (Photo: iStockphoto/Marcus Clackson)

If you're a member of Continental's OnePass program and have an American Express card linked to the Membership Rewards program, the ability to convert Membership Rewards points into OnePass miles adds value to both programs.

And if your American Express card is of the Platinum or Centurion variety, the ability to use Continental's airport lounges is also a win-win for both cardholders and Continental customers.

But, according to a news release issued yesterday by American Express, the Continental-American Express relationship—and the value that it delivers—will disappear on September 30, 2011....read more»

Question mark sign (Photo: Index Open)

Free nights or bonus points?

Not exactly Sophie's choice, these are the options available to members of InterContinental's Priority Club Rewards program in the company's upcoming Sweet Dilemma promotion.

Offer Details

Between September 20 and December 31, Priority Club Rewards members can choose to earn one of the following bonuses:

  • A free night after every two stays, up to a maximum of five free nights after 10 stays
  • ...read more»

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