Mileage Programs

Donate to disaster relief: do good get bonus miles

Donate to disaster relief; get bonus miles.

Want to help the people and communities trying to deal with the aftermath of Hurriance Florence, Tphoone Mangkhut, the flooding in western Japan, the California wildlfires and whatever comes next?

See below for campaigns United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines are spearheading to  raise funds for a variety of humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.

 

United’s Crowdrise campaign is raising funds for six groups: the American Red Cross, Airlink, Global Giving (Hurricane Florence), Feeding America, Americares and Global Giving (Typhoon Mangkhut).

United has pledged to match the first $50,000 raised and to provide up to 5 million bonus miles as thank-you gifts to MileagePlus program members who pledge at least $50 or more before October 31, 2019.

Donate $50-$99  and get 250 miles; donate $100 to $249 and get 500 award miles; donate $250 or more and get 1,000 bonus award miles.

American Airlines if also offering bonus miles as a  thank-you to AAdvantage members who donate to the American Red Cross by October 5.  American is offering 10 miles for every dollar donated with a minimu donation of $25 dollars.

Through Delta Air Line’s SkyWish program SkyMiles members can donate miles to help get volunteers helping with disaster relief get where they need to be.

Whether you’d like bonus miles or have lots of extra miles to share, this is a pretty good time to be generous with your cash or your miles – or both.

Changes for the JetBlue TrueBlue program

JetBlue has announced a batch of changes to its TrueBlue mileage program. 

Today JetBlue is sharing a bundle of changes to its TrueBlue mileage program.

In addition to a refreshed TrueBlue digital interface, the carrier is making these changes:

Family Pooling will become Points Pooling:

*Now a pool can be made up of 2 to 7 members of all ages. Anyone can be in the pool- not just people in your ‘real’ family.

*Instead of contributing a set percentage, members will now contribute 100% of their points to the pool. Members will be able to redeem or leave the pool with their unused points when they want to.

*The Pool Leader, formerly called the Head of Household (21 years of age or older), will be able to give other members in the pool privileges to redeem points from the entire pooled balance.

JetBlue also said its TrueBlue Badges – which give bonus points for a variety of activities – are “going on vacation” for a bit while that part of the program is revised.

JetBlue raises baggage fees 

JetBlue recently made some changes to its list of baggage fees, raising some fees above what other airlines currently charge.

For tickets purchased after August 27, 2018, the fee for checking the first bag goes up to $30 (from $25) and the fee for the checking a second bag goes up to $40 (from $35). The fee for checking a third bag (and any additional bags) will go up to $150 (from the current $100).

Message: Pack light!

See this chart for the other changes to the fees for checked bags on JetBlue.

What do you think of all these changes?

Donate (and earn miles) to help Hurricane Harvey victims

The devastation in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey is still being tallied, but it is clear many people lost their homes, their business, their livelihoods and, in some cases, their lives.

Donating money to groups such as the Red Cross is a great way to help right now and American Airlines is encouraging you to do so by offering you some bonus miles when you do.

Through September 24, 2017, AAdvantage members can earn 10 miles for every dollar they donate to the Red Cross, with a minimum donation of $25.  Donate here.

United Airlines is also encouraging you to donate to hurricane relief efforts and has set aside 3 million bonus miles and $100,000 to match contributions from Mileage Plus members made to the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Airlink, or Operation USA through this fundraising page.

Donate $50-$99 to earn 250 bonus miles; $100-$249 to earn 500 bonus miles and donate $250 or more to earn 1,000 bonus miles.

 

 

 

Delta SkyMiles rewards will be tied to demand

delta plane

For a story on NBC News, I had a chance to dig into the debate over the latest changes coming to Delta Air Lines SkyMiles frequent flier program.

Here’s a rundown of some of the changes and some expert takes on the carrier’s move:

Next June, Delta Air Lines becomes the first of the “big three” U.S. airlines to ditch the classic fixed miles-for-a-free-flight system in favor of a supply-and-demand scheme that, in many case, will likely require more mileage points to fly on more popular routes or at the last minute.

JetBlue, Southwest and Virgin America already offer this type of award program.

Delta announced the change by saying that “the number of miles needed (for a free flight) will change based on destination, demand and other considerations,” beginning on June 1, 2016.

Other changes take effect immediately.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said “most award prices will stay the same, with a greater availability of awards at the lowest prices and some new 7,500 and 10,000 mile one-way awards. Members can take advantage of lower prices immediately, while other price changes won’t take affect for travel more than 10 months from now.”

While some changes should make it easier for passengers to access award seats, others may increase the amount of miles needed to purchase upgrades or tickets.

Many frequent fliers and point watchers have taken issue with some of the changes and the amount of information shared with customers.

“Delta will now determine demand and other factors to determine how many miles are required, in the same way that it uses those factors to determine the price of a paid ticket,” said Scott Mackenzie of Travel Codex.

Delta has removed the award chart from its site and that reduction in transparency will mean Delta customers will have a hard time determining if they’re getting a good value for their frequent flier miles, said travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt of the Atmosphere Research Group.

Travelers may end up having to use more miles to fly popular routes at the last minute, but there may be times when the new plan works in favor of the consumer.

“If demand is soft to a particular destination,” said Harteveldt, “The cheapest tickets may be put on the market for less than the minimum 25,000 points that we have today.”

Travelers irritated by the change have vowed to stop by flying Delta.

But “the value of a frequent flyer mile is dependent on demand,” said Chris McGinnis of TravelSkills.com.

“Once demand falls off, Delta will use the SkyMiles program to woo us back with added value and perks. We just have to be patient.”

Airline points for donating cash to Nepal

united nepal

Lots of groups are raising money to help those affected by the earthquake in Nepal and you should donate what you can to at least one of them.

Airlines are joining the effort and United Airlines is first out of the gate to offer a mileage bonus to MileagePlus members who donate to the cause.

The airline is working with the American Red Cross, Americares, Airlink and Operation USA. MileagePlus members who give between $50-99 will receive 250 bonus miles, those who contribute $100-249 will receive 500 bonus miles, and members who donate more than $250 will receive 1,000 bonus miles.

5 million bonus miles will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for contributions made through the airline’s fundraising page through 11:59 PM CDT, on May 15, 2015.

United is also putting up $50,000 to match donations to these partner organizations from United customers and the carrier’s employees.

Go here to participate

We’ll add other airline mileage-bonus programs as we find them and if you spot one, let us know.