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Yesterday I wrote about the death of the Guam-in-United-States mistake on the Avianca LifeMiles award chart. Until yesterday, we could book awards to Hawaii, Japan, or Guam for 12,500 miles or less than $200 each way.

I thought that Avianca finally realized their mistake after months of it being openly discussed online, but the real cause might have been a Department of Transportation complaint filed by a miles blogger. Either way, a blogger probably killed the deal.

It got me thinking of other deals that were possibly killed by the blogs, and a few other deals that might be killed by the blogs.

  • Which deals did the blogs kill?
  • Which deals might have already been poisoned by the blogs?
  • Is killing a deal bad?

Killing a deal by making it public is sometimes bad and sometimes good. It’s really an empirical question:

Did more or fewer people get in on the deal after it was shared?

That depends on how many people knew about the deal before it was shared publicly, how widely the deal was shared, how long it lasted afterwards, and how long it would have lasted if it hadn’t been shared.

Here are three recent deals bloggers may have killed and whether I think it was worth the deal’s death.

Three Other Recent Deals Bloggers Probably Killed

1) Free One Ways on American Airlines Awards

In April 2014, American Airlines stopped allowing free stopovers on awards with no notice. I believe this was in response to the amount of press free one ways on American Airlines awards had gotten. I personally posted about the topic probably a dozen times and booked customers many such awards. I even made a video explaining how to book such an award.

The change makes American Airlines the only major airlines in the United States that doesn’t allow free stopovers on their awards. US Airways, which is a part of the same company, did not eliminate free stopovers on their awards. Although free one ways are possible on US Airways awards, they are much rarer, and I don’t think anyone has posted about them besides me.

In this case, I think the world is better off even though bloggers killed American Airlines free one ways. The posts about the free one ways allowed hundreds or thousands of such awards to be booked over a several-year period by hundreds or thousands of people who otherwise would not have known about the possibility.

2) Negative Price One Way to the Caribbean

Before United’s February 2014 award chart devaluation, it was cheaper to fly from the Caribbean to Europe in economy than the United States to Europe even though the former could route through and stop in the United States. I wrote about the loophole and its demise in “Another Deal the Bloggers Killed: The Negative Price Oneway from the Carribean to Europe.”

There were about 21 months to book the award from the time I first wrote about it until it died. Again, I think people were better off because I shared.

3) First Class on American Airlines/Cathay Pacific for Business Class on US Airways Chart

The third deal was much shorter lived. US Airways charged the same price for Business Class and First Class on American Airlines and Cathay Pacific flights within North America from March 31, 2014 until July 31, 2014.

On May 21, 2014, I wrote that US Airways was charging only 50,000 miles roundtrip in American Airlines and Cathay Pacific three-cabin First Class within North America. Several other people wrote about the deal around the same time.

Only 18 days later, on June 9, 2014, US Airways corrected the mistake and raised the price to 65,000 miles roundtrip in First Class for American Airlines and Cathay Pacific flights within North America for bookings made August 1, 2014 or later.

Killing this deal may have been a net loss for the community since the time frame to get in is so short. But then again, there’s basically no way this deal would have lasted past early 2015 when the American Airlines and US Airways charts combine, so bringing it to more people’s attention might have been beneficial.

Deals that Could Die Because of Exposure

1. Southwest Companion Pass from Credit Card Sign Ups

The fact that you can get the Southwest Companion Pass, one of the best deals in travel, from two credit card sign ups and a little bit of spending is unreal.

This deal has been discussed trumpeted online for a few years every few months when the Southwest cards raise their sign up bonuses to 50k. Because it hasn’t died yet, I don’t see its demise as its imminent, and I don’t know if its eventual death would be attributable to bloggers.

Even if this deal dies, so many people have gotten in on it from the posts on the subject that sharing this deal as widely as possible has been beneficial.

2. Other LifeMiles Deals

I thought that other LifeMiles mistakes, which I hinted at yesterday, would be the next to die when I thought that Avianca finally woke up to its mistake over Guam from blog posts.

But now I don’t think blog posts caused Avianca to wake up. The culprit now seems to be a silly Department of Transportation complaint. That makes me doubt Avianca will fix its other mistakes quickly.

3. United Free One Ways

I think United’s free one ways are very unlikely to be eliminated. United gutted its award chart in February 2014, but left its stopover and open jaw rules–the keys to free one ways–unchanged.

I’ve certainly written extensively on free one ways on United awards and booked tons, but I think these awards are a drop in the bucket for United.

4. Getting American Airlines Executive Card Multiple Times

Two years ago, you could get the Visa and American Express versions of the American Airlines credit card on the same day. That died.

Now you can get the the Citi American Airlines Executive Card with 100,000 bonus miles over and over and over. The offer itself is on life support since the landing page was taken down. Zombie offers on the normal American Airlines card offer lasted for quite a long time, so I hope the zombie offer on the Executive Card lasts for many months to come despite the publicity it’s getting.

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