This last week I received a colorful email from an airline saying they would provide a 30% discount to transfer my airline frequent flyer miles to a friend. Now here is the fine print: The cost for me to transfer 25,000 miles (enough for a round-trip domestic ticket) is $375 plus a $30 fee for a total of $405. Why would anyone in their right mind spend $405 to gift miles when they can simply go to the airline’s web site and issue a ticket using your own miles in a friends name without paying the $405? Besides, the cost for many roundtrip airline tickets for travel is often much less than $405. Please don’t ever pay to transfer miles to a friend. You are basically pouring money down the drain.
Airfare sales ain’t what they use to be –
All across the TV this past week Southwest Airlines has been promoting their wanna-get-away fares starting as low as $59. On the surface this looks very good however if you dig a little deeper you will find that the lowest airfares can’t be found on the majority of cities. Years ago, sale airfares to many of their cities throughout the Midwest were $59 one-way. Today the sale fares are in many cases double those of three years ago. For example the one-way fare from Omaha to Chicago and St. Louis three years ago was $59. Today the sale price was $101 each way. This is still a good price but not the barn burners they use to be.
Steve’s Travel Tip #87 – Always stay at airport hotel on the last night of your trip –
This past week I was in Denver for a business convention and decided to stay downtown during the convention so I could walk to the convention from my hotel. Rather than stay at the hotel for both nights I decided to stay at the new Westin Airport Hotel the night before my 8am flight. By staying at the airport hotel I saved money on my hotel room as it was much less than the convention hotel rates. If I stayed in downtown Denver I would have get up at 5:30am and leave the hotel at 6am to arrive at the airport at 7am for my 8am flight. Staying at the airport hotel I got up at 6:30am and walked 50 yards into the airport terminal at 7am for my flight. Staying at the airport hotel saved me money, plus gave me an extra hour of sleep and a lot less stress.
Steve’s Travel Tip #88 – Take the new train from Denver Airport to downtown Denver –
The new Denver light rail train is the best way to travel to downtown Denver. It costs $9 each way compared to paying $50 to $60 for a cab or Uber. The train leaves every 15 minutes and it is smooth and quiet. It only takes about 40 minutes for the trip which will also save you a lot of time as cabs get stuck in rush hour traffic. I would hate to be a taxi cab driver in Denver. Light rail is taking away customers from the airport and Uber is taking away the rest.
Delta changes fare classes so that you can purchase Delta Comfort + seats upfront –
On Monday Delta Air Lines announced a great improvement that will make it much easier for customers to purchase Delta Comfort + seats when they make their original reservation. Before today Delta has offered Main Cabin (coach class) and First Class seating. They also offered an upgraded coach class called Delta Comfort + that offered 5 inches more legroom and other benefits that could be purchased as an additional upgrade after you bought your coach seat. With the new changes customers now have the ability to purchase Delta Comfort+ as a fare during their initial purchase, just like Main Cabin or First Class for select flights to and from Asia Pacific Region and Latin America/Caribbean Region. Three cheers for Delta for making life much easier for everyone.
New Boeing 737 Max will soon start flying from Europe to New York area –
I was not very thrilled to hear that some airlines plan to start flying the new version of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft from England and Ireland to New England and New York. In the past the Boeing 737 flew short hops of less than 1000 miles when they were first launched. Later they extended their range to 2500 miles so they could fly to most points in the U.S. The new 737 Max has a range of 3000 miles so the 6 hour flight from the east coast of the U.S. to the British Isles is now possible. I like the Boeing 737 for short trips of 1 to 3 hours but I think flying for 6 hours on the small plane would make me feel real claustrophobic. My favorite airplane is the Boeing 747. These two level jumbo jets make you feel like you are flying in style. I am always amazed how they can get a 747 that weighs 970,000 pounds to actually get off the ground. I always want to hold my breath as it rumbles down the runway.
Congress appears ready to protect your right to speak out against your hotel online –
Believe it or not Congress is actually doing something good. A few days ago the House and Senate approved a bill that if signed by the President will protect people who write negative views about hotels online from being penalized by hotels who have in the past put legal language in the sign-in agreement when checking into a hotel. One hotel apparently charged a guest $3000 on their credit card after they wrote a very negative post on a hotel rating web site. It is really sad that some hotels treat their guests so badly that it takes an act of Congress to fix it.
Escorted Tours Anyone? We offer the Best of the Best! –
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