For the great majority of travelers, a traditional mileage-based loyalty program, which awards points and elite status on the basis of distance flown, delivers more value than the revenue-based schemes recently adopted by Delta and United, which base earnings directly on the price paid by program members for their tickets.

The revenue-based programs have become the new industry standard for the most compelling of reasons: They reward customers an airline's customers precisely according to their contribution to the company's bottom line. That was always the intent behind loyalty programs, with flown miles used as a proxy for dollars spent simply because accurate revenue-tracking wasn't technically possible in the programs' early days.

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<strong>Join the Sharing Economy</strong>

Find future friends, save some money, and create travel memories to last a lifetime with the <a href="" target="_blank">sharing economy</a>. From sharing an apartment with a family in Edinburgh via <a href="" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> to mingling with locals at a cool dinner pop-up in <a href="" target="_blank">Barcelona</a>, the possibilities for connecting with locals and likeminded visitors are endless when you're willing to make a connection. 

<strong>RELATED</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">The World's Most Share-Friendly and Exchange-Friendly Countries</a>


In the first such tie up between an airline and Airbnb, members of Virgin America's Elevate program can now earn frequent-flyer points for booking stays at Airbnb properties or for becoming an Airbnb host.

Here's how the bonusing works:

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Travel brochures (Photo: IndexOpen)

As one of the oldest and most prolific publishers of destination guidebooks, Lonely Planet knows a thing or two about travel. So when the company releases its "Best in Travel 2016" report, it's worth a look.

As far as "best" goes, Lonely Planet slices and dices it every which way, with recommendations ranging from the best value destinations to the best family-oriented animal adventures to the best places to meet mythical beasts. Oh, and the best mustache destinations? Lonely Planet has you covered there as well (Rajasthan, India, and Portland, Oregon, both made the cut).

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Temple on a lake at dusk, Japan (Photo: Akira Kaede)

It's slow season for travel to Asia, which means more opportunities to earn bonus miles for flights to Tokyo and beyond.

United Tokyo Bonus

Between November 4, 2015, and January 30, 2016, United is offering the following fare-based bonuses for travel on United or All Nippon Airways between San Francisco or Los Angeles and Tokyo/Haneda:

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Hawaii: Fire Dancer (Photo: Shutterstock/Deborah Kolb)

Cheaper Hawaii airfares? Yep, at least for awhile; and you can thank the sharklets.

What do undersized sharks have to do with cheap airline tickets? Nothing, actually.

Sharklets are the upturned ends of an aircraft's wings. If that vertical extension of a wing is relatively short, it's dubbed a mere winglet. But in the case of Virgin America's newest Airbus A320s, the extension rises a full eight feet, and thus qualifies as a sharklet.

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Woman Reading Map in Car (Photo: Thinkstock/Lifesize)

Between November 15, 2015, and February 15, 2016, members of InterContinental's IHG Rewards program who charge their stays to a MasterCard can earn 1,000 bonus points for the first stay, and a "Priceless Surprise" for all subsequent stays.

And those Priceless Surprises are what, exactly? Among the featured possibilities: bonus points, free nights, MasterCard gift cards, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. But until the promotion begins, it will remain to be seen what those surprises turn out to be in practice, and how valuable they are.

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Frontier planes at the airport (Photo: Airbus S.A.S. )

Between November 2 and December 31, members of Frontier's EarlyReturns program can earn double base miles and double elite-qualifying miles for all Frontier flights.

Registration is required.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

Between November 2 and December 31, Club Carlson members can earn double elite-qualifying nights for stays at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels.

A maximum of 10 bonus elite nights may be earned with the promotion.

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Three Ships in Port (Photo: Thinkstock/Brand X Pictures)

Enter the World Travel Holdings "Sweepstakes at Sea" sweepstakes by January 31, 2016, for a chance to win the grand prize: a $3,000 voucher redeemable for a cruise at and 500,000 American AAdvantage miles. There are five runner-up prizes, of 100,000 AAdvantage miles each.

To enter, provide the requested contact information (name, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page and press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds.

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Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

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