Join airlines in raising funds for Ukrainian humanitarian needs

Individuals, organizations, and corporations are gathering humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people fleeing the Russian invasion. Airlines are joining the effort and encouraging travelers to pitch in too.

United Airlines award bonus milies for donations

United Airlines MileagePlus members can donate cash or miles to the airline’s signature relief partners – Airlink, Americares, American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen – by visiting

United will be matching the first five million miles donated and the first $100,000. To encourage donations, United is also awarding bonus miles to anyone who gives $50 or more.

  • Donate $50 – $99 and earn 250 bonus miles
  • Donate $100 – $249 and earn 500 bonus miles
  • Donate $250 or more and earn 1,000 bonus miles

“The human tragedy we are witnessing in Ukraine is horrifying and has shocked us all so we’re doing our part to quickly help get aid to the people who desperately need relief,” said United President Brett Hart. “Our partners have been on the ground for more than a week and it’s clear they need more resources to fulfill their mission of flying workers and supplies to and from the frontlines of this crisis.”

American Airlines

Throughout March, American Airlines funds collected online and on flights to and from international destinations and Hawaii by flight attendants through American’s partnership with UNICEF’s Change for Good program will go to support UNICEF and its humanitarian response in Ukraine.

The carrier says the funds will help reach vulnerable children and families in Ukraine and provide assistance with basic services including water, sanitization, immunization, and health care, as well as schooling and learning support and emergency cash assistance for up to 7.5 million children.

“It is deeply troubling to see the humanitarian crisis unfolding as a result of the conflict in Ukraine,” said Brady Byrnes, Vice President of Flight Service for American. “Our purpose at American Airlines is to care for people on life’s journey and in order to truly fulfill that purpose, we must step up when it matters most.”

The UNICEF Change for Good program is an alliance between the UNICEF and the international airline industry to convert spare change donated by customers traveling on aircraft into critical services and supplies for vulnerable children around the world.

In addition, all AAdvantage miles donated to American’s Miles for Social Good program during March will be directed to Airlink to help transport physicians and relief workers to Eastern Europe to assist with humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Airlink is a global humanitarian organization delivering critical aid to communities in crisis by providing airlift and logistical solutions to nonprofit partners responding to disasters around the world.

We’ll add more airline efforts to support Ukrainian refugees as we find them.

KLM unveils mini Delft House #102

Photo Harriet Baskas

Each year on its anniversary – October 7 – KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, unveils a new miniature Delft House.

This year’s house – #102 – arrived on time and is a tribute to the glamorous, historic Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam, which is about to celebrate its centenary.

We will be back soon with more details about the houses and the event, but running to catch a flight back to the U.S.

In the meantime here are some snaps from the ‘reveal’ celebration, courtesy of KLM.

Do you have a collection of KLM’s miniature Delft houses? Let us know about your favorites in the comments section below.

Crazy – and charming – travelers

Travel has been sort of crazy this week. But there is some sign of charming behavior out there.

There’s the saga of the drunken, raving passenger on Frontier Airlines who was duct-taped to his seat after assaulting and groping flight attendants.

At first, Frontier Airlines suspended the flight attendants involved. The reason? They had not followed the proper procedures. That didn’t fly with the Association of Flight Attendants – and many others. But the airline later came to its senses and said it now supports the crew members and will pay them.

On the other hand…

Not all people on airplanes and in airports are crazy. Some are just charming.

Giveaways for Southwest Airlines’ 50th Anniversary

June 18 marks 50 years since Southwest Airlines flew its first commercial flight and to celebrate the airline is giving away prizes through June 18 and celebrating all month long.

The Southwest Airlines Sweepstakes

Through June 18, anyone can enter the sweepstakes here for a chance to win prizes that include 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, or 50,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points.

We’ve been entering everyday, but so far we’re not a winner.

Be sure to enter the sweepstakes on June 18. That’s the day Southwest has dubbed “Wanna Get Away Day,” when the prizes – and the number of prizes awarded – balloon considerably.

On that day, you could win up to a million rapid rewards points, a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card, and a Companion Pass that lets you take someone with you every time you fly on Southwest Airlines.

The Party Goes On All Month

In addition to the sweepstakes, Southwest Airlines is hosting pop-up photo opportunities in 24 airport gate areas and rolling out Heart Carts full of swag and giveaways in more than 40 of its locations.

Southwest Airlines fans who want to celebrate with some swag can shop the Southwest Airlines online store for retro merchandise that includes a Retro Build-A-Bear wearing the airline’s original hotpants uniform.

Passenger volumes picking up. So is satisfaction with airlines

While the U.S. Department of Transportation logged a record high number of complaints from airline passengers in 2020 – predominantly about ticket refunds – satisfaction with airlines now seems to be on the rise.  

That is according to the 2021 North American Airline Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power. The data for the study covers August 2020 through March 2021.

The results show that even with all the challenges the pandemic put forth for airlines in the past year, satisfaction is up by 27 points (to 819 on a 1,000-point scale), year over year.

“The airline industry adapted to a most unusual year by simplifying ticketing processes, waiving change fees and baggage fees which were key to persuading people to fly during the pandemic,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power.

Flight crews on the front lines

The study finds that overall passenger satisfaction with flight crews increases by 26 points. This as flight attendants and pilots were tasked with explaining and enforcing many new health and safety measures during the pandemic.

High marks for no change fees

During the pandemic, most major airlines offered travel waivers that allowed passengers to change or cancel tickets without typical penalties. “Passengers responded favorably,” the study finds, “driving a 47-point increase in customer satisfaction with cost and fees.”

Airline rankings

Delta Air Lines ranks highest in customer satisfaction in this report, with a score of 860, the first time it has ranked highest since 1995.

Southwest Airlines (856) ranks second and Alaska Airlines (850) ranks third.

Here is chart with more rankings.