BIG SEATS, BIG SALE ON VIRGIN. To keep the those posh seats at front of the plane full during Thanksgiving week, Virgin America announced a flash sale today— those normally pricey first and main cabin select seats are on sale at 50% off, but only for bookings made by midnight tomorrow night (Nov 20) for trips between Friday, Nov 21 and Sunday, Nov 30. Get the deal by booking at VirginAmerica.com and using the promo code: BESTSEATS. These are VERY good deals… esp first class to Vegas for $300 round trip!
Sample roundtrip fares from SFO:
Main Cabin Select / First Class:
New York JFK: $600 / $2028
Newark: $580 / $1548
Washington DC $488 / $1346
Los Angeles: $210 / $248
Seattle: $254 / $460
Las Vegas $232 / $300
HILTON HHONORS NIXES POINTS AND FIXED MILES OPTION…Hilton has been unique among major hotel brands for allowing hotel guests to “double dip” by earning both hotel points and a fixed number of airline miles for their stay (typically 500 miles). Effective Jan. 6, 2014, guests can continue to double dip with airlines, but miles will be earned at a rate of one mile per dollar spent—no more fixed rates. This significantly downgrades the mileage earning option, and most travelers would be wise to switch to the “points and points” option allowing bonus Hilton HHonors points instead of “points and miles.” This is, yet another, indication of travel companies adjusting their loyalty programs to award travelers based on revenue.
EXPERT FLYER LOSES STAR ALLIANCE AWARD DATA…ExpertFlyer.com, a popular tool used to research flight availability and search for award seat space, has lost the ability to access award space data to Star Alliance carriers. This seems quite suspicious considering United just slashed its award chart making it more expensive to book tickets effective Feb. 1, 2014—and no doubt more travelers are making award ticket reservations between now and that date. Could United have played a role in the removal of this data from ExpertFlyer to make it harder to find space? Not all Star Alliance airlines appear in award searches via United.com. Luckily, travelers with an All Nippon Airways frequent flyer account can still log in to see complete Star Alliance award availability and then phone United to make their reservations.
EMIRATES/VIRGIN AMERICA BECOME LOYALTY PARTNERS…Members of Emirates and Virgin America’s frequent flyer programs can earn and burn their miles on each other’s flights. Until now, the only other easy way to earn and redeem miles on Emirates (without flying Emirates directly) was by using Alaska Airlines miles, which provides a similar partnership. Virgin Elevate now partners with two of the worlds finest airlines.. Emirate and Singapore. Not bad!
And just in case you missed it, here’s what else you need to know about Bay Area Travel over the last month: