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Miles & Points: The Week’s Best Frequent-Flyer Deals (Week of April 17, 2015)

SmarterTravel

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.

The Best-Ranked U.S. Airlines

The 2015 Airline Quality Rating report was published this week with its annual review and rankings of U.S. airlines’ performance. The airline rated best overall is …

Southwest Announces Wider Seats for Coach Class

Other features of the new seats: adjustable headrests; leather-like seat covers; and thinner armrests.

United Brings Back Free Drinks on Long Flights

Beginning on June 1, coach-class travelers on United’s international flights will enjoy an amenity that disappeared on most United flights more than a decade ago: free beer and wine.

How Many Middle Seats Is Too Many?

Airbus this week unveiled plans for 11-across coach seating on its jumbo jets. With that configuration, flyers’ odds of landing in an inside seat are 45%. Claustrophobia, anyone?

Starwood Launches 10th Hotel Brand with a Bonus

Starwood already encompasses nine separate brands, accounting for more than 1,200 individual hotels, in 100 countries. Today it launched its tenth brand: Tribute Portfolio.

Top 15 Hotel Loyalty Programs

Ranked by ease of redeeming points, ease of earning points, reward program terms, and customer service.

Changes Make IHG Rewards More and Less Rewarding

Upcoming changes to the IHG Rewards program include a harsh new points-expiration rule, and lower thresholds for elite qualification.

Delta Discounts Award Tickets on 15 Routes

Through April 23, SkyMiles members can book award travel on 15 routes within the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico for as few as 10,000 miles each way.

Win a Trip to Maui for 4

Enter the Grand Wailea “Grand Refresh” sweepstakes by June 23 for a chance to win a four-night trip for four to Maui, including airfare, hotel, tours, activities, and dinners nightly.

Somebody has to win, right? Might as well be you.

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