Sunday, November 30, 2014

United Airlines Store Discount Code - 10% Off

The United Shop is running a modest sale for Cyber Monday. Great for people who were going to buy something anyway, but not worth making an unplanned purchase.  Use promo code HOLIDAYFRIENDLY for 10% off your order. Promo code is valid only on December 1, 2014 from 12:00 am EST to 11:59 pm EST.
United Express Taking Over Denver

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lost in Conversion

This doesn't seem like a very good deal to advertise.  Maybe Holiday Inn mixed up their currencies? The hotel is close to a metro stop and has a communist feel, but I doubt that justifies the price.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

United MileagePlus Merchandise Award Sale

The best value frequent flyer awards, usually international premium cabin travel, are never guaranteed.  I searched recently and couldn't find any business class award space for two to Munich for the summer.  Even domestic coach awards are not a sure thing.  Merchandise awards provide less value per mile, but are always in stock and now on sale.  A Tumi Alpha 2 Continental Expandable 4-Wheel Carry-On is on sale for 51,400 United miles.  50,000 miles can buy two round trip flights in North America, worth $800 or more, while the bag retails for $645.  1.2c per mile isn't the best value, but the added value is that the merchandise award is available.
Award Space Not Always Available

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Shopping Sale for Aviation Geeks

The Boeing Store is offering up to 25% orders.  This is similar to how Boeing sells airplanes, the more you buy, the lower the price.  No month long series of negotiations over maintenance and spares is needed for buying shirts, hats, and models; just order before the end of the month.  This is a great time to save $100 or more on a PacMin model.  Smaller orders might benefit from waiting for a free shipping promotion.
Beoing Is Not Selling These at a Discount
As a reminder, the US Airways Company Store still has the 75% off clearance sale, use coupon code: CLOSING. I’ve placed several orders from both the Boeing Store and US Airways store and had great experiences with both.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Paid $90 to Move 13,000 Status Miles into 2015

I booked a mileage run trip two months ago because I did the math and I was running about 12,000 miles short on my status goal.  I bought a round trip to Oslo, with connections at SFO and EWR, for $850 and relaxed knowing I was one weekend of flying away from my 2014 status goal.
Major Airline in Oslo
The last two months did not go as expected and I collected 13,000 status miles.  Now my flight to Oslo looks like wasted money.  Taking the trip would put me 10,000 miles and $2,000 away from the next status level.  My initial idea was to plan on the flight being canceled because of snow at EWR; when it snows, United cancels the narrow body flights before the wide body flights.  This idea was too much of a gamble for me.
United Airlines Aircraft in Houston
I started looking for ways to move the trip, and miles, to 2015 so I can have a jump on status next year.  I searched for flights to Oslo in January because I’m dropping a peg in status and will earn more redeemable miles taking the trip before status downgrades February 1.  Also anything March or later was out, no matter how cheap, because United moves to earning award miles based on fare price rather than distance.  Flying on a $100 fare (and $750 in taxes and fees) would result in very few award miles and remove most of the value from the trip.  I luckily found cheap weekend flights in January, so cheap that the $300 change fee was offset by the $210 in fare savings.  I now have a head start on 2015 status for a mere $90.  There are still many cheap weekend trips in January and February, so happy hunting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Coupons!!! - JetBlue and Frontier

In case you missed these in the flurry of pre-Back Friday deal emails, Jet Blue and Frontier Airlines sent out some good coupon codes this morning.  Discounts on fares only, extras are still extra.

JetBlue promo code: WINTER14
Save 20% off the base fare of a domestic one way or roundtrip JetBlue flight or 15% off the base fare of an international one way or roundtrip JetBlue flight (nonstop or connecting) originating from the United States (including Puerto Rico) to any JetBlue city between 12/2 - 12/18/14 and 1/6 - 2/11/15 (blackout dates 1/19/15). Excludes travel on Friday/Sunday. Code (case-sensitive) is valid only for flights purchased on

Frontier promo code: FLIP12
Frontier will offer a 12% discount  until 11:59 pm Eastern time Nov. 19, 2014. The discount will apply to regular and sale fares for domestic travel. Tickets must be purchased online at using the promo code FLIP12. 
I don't have a picture of Flip the dolphin, so here's the turtle

Monday, November 17, 2014

United Copies Delta's Mileage Program & Stock Performance

United Airlines copied another aspect of Delta's Skymiles program when United changed their minimum spend for status requirement from 10c per mile to 12c per mile flown (fare not including tax and partner airline spending don't count).  $25,000 in annual spend on the MileagePlus credit card or a foreign address will waive this requirement. Another unwelcome development in the new MileagePlus program, but not as traumatizing as charging more for partner awards.
Delta 757 and A320
This move was not unexpected, United has been copying Delta for a while now.  Even Wall Street has noticed and UAL now copies DAL.  Now if United could copy Delta's operational performance, this copy cat behavior won't be entirely negative.
One Year Performance of UAL & DAL, Google Finance

Saturday, November 15, 2014

50% Off US Airways Store

I feel like the US Airways Store closing isn't a surprise, the inventory has been decreasing for a few months. I looked through and couldn't find anything, but there are plenty of small jet models and other trinkets.  I did buy PacMin models and other trinkets on sale in the past and I'll miss this part of, now, airline history.

Take advantage of our 50% off sale and get your Christmas shopping done early. Starting November 15th we will be offering 50% off all qualifying merchandise.* 

Shop online or in-store, beginning November 15th and get an additional 50% off your entire order plus free shipping on all orders over $75.* Here's how:    
  • Enter discount code CLOSING after you add the first item to your cart
  • Your 50% discount will be taken off your order
US Airways A320 at CLT

Monday, November 10, 2014

40% Off at US Airways' Store

From the soon to close US Airways Company Store:
Get your hands on our remaining US Airways and American Airlines merchandise The 30% off sale was good, but now we're stepping it up to 40%. Starting November 8th we will be offering 40% off all qualifying merchandise.*  Shop online or in-store, beginning November 8th and get an additional 40% off your entire order plus free shipping on all orders over $75.* Here's how:    Enter discount code CLOSING after you add the first item to your cartYour 40% discount will be taken off your order

New Paint Needed

Friday, November 7, 2014

The End Of Mileage Runs on United & Delta

The end is coming March 1, 2015.  That’s when United MileagePlus switches to a revenue based program (Delta too) and all the fun of flying to collect miles is destroyed.  Under the current model, award miles are earned based on the distance flown with multiples for elite status and paying for premium cabins.  It’s an easy system to understand, fly 1,000 earn 1,000 miles plus any bonuses.  Under the new model, award miles are earned based on the fare paid with bonuses for elite status.  So flying 1,000 miles could earn everyone on board a different amount.  To add to the confusion, the fare paid isn’t your ticket price, but the base fare minus certain taxes.  Most flyers won’t know what they earn until it posts to their account.  This new model will be confusing to customers and remove some fun arbitrage opportunities for me.
United 737 at Denver
I enjoy flying commercial, even while in coach.  I’m strange like that, but being in air is fun for me.  I also value frequent flyer miles like a physical currency, each one is worth one to two cents.  This lead me to take flights to collect frequent flyer miles, often called a mileage run.  The destination of my journey didn’t matter and most times I didn’t leave the airport, often departing on the same aircraft that flew me in.  I could pay $300 for a 10,000 mile trip and earn 20,000 frequent flyer miles worth more to me than the $300 fare I paid.  Since I enjoy flying and was often upgraded, it was an enjoyable and profitable experience.  United benefited too because I was spending money on an empty seat and they value award miles much less than I do.  Everyone wins and I met some interesting people along the way, a few flight attendants remember me because I have a unique pronunciation of “Miller Lite please.”  
US Airways Express Embraer 175
The new mileage earning system removes all arbitrage opportunities for me.  I had enjoyed standing by for flights that add a connection to my travels too, flying via Cleveland rather than the direct flight I booked.  Earning miles for distance flown made this an easy way to pick up some extra points.  Under the new model my fare will be divided between the two flights, so flying direct earns the same as the connecting option.  
Delta & United at LGA
United's new program, like in other areas is following Delta’s lead, will drastically change my view of frequent flyer programs and the value they offer.  I suspect I’ll fly direct more, never fly just for miles, and earn the majority of my miles through partners on the ground.  I have one last mileage run booked in January, but it’s a domestic trip so I won’t be able to toast the end of an era with champagne, but a Miller Lite may work. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fun Photo

I have pictures from Lufthansa's 747-8i and other aircraft, but the story doesn't have an ending yet.  While I wait for an ending, enjoy a fun picture.
Delta & Virgin Australia at LAX

Saturday, November 1, 2014

US Airways Going Out Of Business Sale

Bad news, the US Airways Company Store is closing.  Even worse news, they are closing December 5th, long before the Christmas shopping season ends.  Good news is everything is 30% off.

As a result of US Airways and American Airlines continuing to merge into one airline, we regret to announce that the US Airways Company Store will be closing it's doors December 5, 2014. Starting November 1st we ill be offering 30% off all qualifying merchandise*. Act now to get your hands on our remaining US Airways or American Airlines merchandise.

Shop online or in-store, beginning November 1st and get an additional 30% off your entire order plus free shipping on all orders over $75.* Here's how:    
  • Enter discount code CLOSING after you add the first item to your cart
  • Your 30% discount will be taken off your order
Brands are Merging