storm relief efforts

How to donate airline miles, hotel points & money to storm relief efforts

LaGuardia Airport during the storm. Courtesy Port Authority New York & New Jersey

A lot of people need – and will continue to need – help recovering from Superstorm Sandy and several airlines are offering incentives for their customers to make cash donations to the Red Cross and other relief organizations.

Here are a few options:

JetBlue  is matching up to $50,000 in customer donations to the Red Cross and will give 6 TrueBlue points for every dollar you donate through 11/30/12.

On Thursday, the United Airlines Foundation announced that it upped from $50,000 to $100,000 the amount of donations it will match to the American Red Cross, AmeriCares and Feeding America. MileagePlus members who give a minimum of $50 will receive 250 bonus miles, and those who contribute $100 or more will receive 500 bonus miles. Find details here.

American Airlines is encouraging people to donate to the Red Cross as well. Through November 30, 2012, AAdvantage members can earn a one-time award of 250 AAdvantage bonus miles for a minimum $50 donation, or 500 AAdvantage bonus miles for a donation of $100. Details here.

The Delta Air Lines Foundation has given $100,000 to the Red Cross for storm relief and is encouraging customers to donate Sky Miles to the Red Cross for storm relief.

This page on the Red Cross website lists ways you can donate miles from Delta, United and US Airways and this page on the Red Cross website lists ways you can donate credit card rewards and hotel points from Choice Hotels, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood properties.

Hilton HHonors has partnered with GlobalGiving and from now until December 31, 2012 will give you 10 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 USD donated to support the relief efforts. Hilton is also  matching all donations up to $100,000. Donate here.

Starwood has announced that it will match donations of at least 2,000 Starpoints made by members of the Starwood Preferred Guests program to the American Red Cross through November 30, 2012. (2,0000 Starpoints equals a $25 donation.) Donate here.

Know of another airline, hotel, car rental or travel-related organization offering matches or bonuses to those who help out with storm relief? Let me know and I’ll update this list.


Flight schedules reviving; relief efforts rewarded

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey tweeted this photo of Teterboro Airport and said while water is receding, “in this photo, you can see debris, and even fish, on the taxiway.”

In the New York area, JFK, Newark-Liberty and LaGuardia airports are all expected to be open on Thursday morning, although on reduced schedules, and passengers “displaced” by Sandy throughout the country – and the world – are slowly making their way to their destinations – or giving up altogether and making plans for another time. Buses in New York seem be running, Northeast train service is still suspended but, according to this Washington Post article, subway service may resume in New York City sometime on Thursday.

Meanwhile, United Airlines and American are offering bonus miles to those who donate to programs raising money to help those in need after the storm.

United Airlines Foundation is matching up to $50,000 of donations by United customers to the American Red Cross, Americares and Feeding America. The airline is also offering MileagePlus bonus award miles for cash donations of at least $50 to these organizations. MileagePlus members who give a minimum of $50 will receive 250 bonus miles; those who contribute $100 or more will receive 500 bonus miles. Find details about United’s Superstorm Sandy Relief efforts here. The airline has put aside 5 million bonus miles for this program.

American Airlines is also offering bonus miles for donations to storm relief efforts.
Through Nov. 30, 2012, AAdvantage members will earn 250 AAdvantage miles for a minimum donation of $50, or 500 AAdvantage miles for a donation of $100 or more to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Find more information here.

Boston Logan International Airport is offering a parking fee rebate for customers delayed returning to Boston Logan as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The rebates will be made for the period of time that exceeds the customer’s original ticketed date of return.

And, whenever there’s a long delay at an airport, it’s always really helpful to have complimentary access to a wireless Internet signal so you can take care of business. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, a major airport that still charges for Wi-Fi access, is now moving closer to offering free Wi-Fi access.  The day rate to access the Internet at ATL will drop to $4.95 on November 1, 2013 and be eliminated entirely by the fall of 2013.