You Don’t Need to Be a Hub Captive When Collecting Miles

I think it's a big mistake to be a hub-captive. There's no reason that the credit cards you open have to be related to the dominant carrier at your airport.

Your life will be better if you instead open up the best card for the trip you want regardless of the airline that dominates your home airport.

Why should you ignore your hubby?

Imagine someone in Atlanta who wants to visit Buenos Aires.

Delta is the dominant carrier at ATL, and the only one with a direct flight to Buenos Aires.

Summer 2014 Award Space Picture to Europe Right Now

Early planners are looking to book their summer trips to Europe

What I’d Least Like to See Changed about Each Frequent Flyer Program

United scared me a lot on Friday when it tweeted that changes were coming to MileagePlus.

United still hasn't told us what those changes are, but insists we'll like them.

It's very unlikely I'll like them much. It could be a minor enhancement, but there are very few things I would change about United MileagePlus that United would also change.

What I’d Least Like to See Changed about Each Frequent Flyer Program

United scared me a lot on Friday when it tweeted that changes were coming to MileagePlus.

United still hasn't told us what those changes are, but insists we'll like them.

It's very unlikely I'll like them much. It could be a minor enhancement, but there are very few things I would change about United MileagePlus that United would also change.

A Letter in My Outbox

There are a lot of reasons to use an Award Booking Service, like the MileValue Award Booking Service. One great reason is because you have miles in several accounts and want to use the most efficient type for the trip you have in mind. Different miles have different best uses.

Recently I was contacted by a friend who had mid-six-figure account balances in his American, United, and Delta accounts. He wanted a simple open jaw trip to Europe in economy class. From Washington-Dulles to Nice and returning from London to Dulles.

Below is the email I sent to him.

How to Exploit the American Airlines/US Airways Merger

The offers for the cards listed in this post have expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

The merger of American Airlines and US Airways, announced today, is no news in the near term, fantastic news in the medium term, and bad news in the long term for me and similarly situated frequent flyer mile hackers.

No News in the Near Term

Your US Airways Dividend Miles are still there.

15,000 to Hawaii? We can do better!

American Airlines is offering 15,000 miles per direction awards to Hawaii. (Hat tip Lucky)

My first thought: we can do better!

1. American Airlines Award Free Oneway- On any award returning from Europe, you should be able to get a free or cheap oneway to Hawaii. Zero miles or 9,000 Avios is a better deal than 15,000 AA miles.

2. Allegiant Air $358+ roundtrip- Allegiant Air is a super-low cost carrier that announced flights to Hawaii that will start in November.

Anatomy of an Award: 12,500 Miles to Asia in First Class

I recently booked a fascinating award that shows just how simply you can turn a good itinerary into a great itinerary using the the concept I laid out in a post titled 7,500 Miles to Europe and Negative 7,500 Miles to South America.

The basic premise is the inverse of a free oneway. If you are booking an award within the US on American Airlines, consider adding on an international leg to the domestic leg for very little extra.

My client Mark came to me with 105,000 American Airlines miles and 103,000 Ultimate Rewards.

American Airlines & Virgin America: Complete Buy Miles Analysis

American Airlines Buy Miles Promotion

American Airlines is offering bonus miles on all AAdvantage miles purchases through January 31. As with past promotions, the bonus miles awarded are scaled. Buying 40,000 (or more) miles will yield a 15k bonus. Buying lesser quantities will result in fewer bonus miles being awarded.

The full promotion chart can be found below.

American seems to be running these deals fairly regularly.

Hawaiian Airlines Exciting New Route to Taipei, Taiwan

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Hawaiian Airlines will be adding an interesting new route to their network in July of 2013. Hawaiian will add nonstop service between Honolulu and Taipei, Taiwan three times weekly. They will be flying this route with their 294 seat A330-200 aircraft.

Scott actually just wrote a mini review of Hawaiian's A330 product in economy.  You can read it in this post, 20k Points Roundtrip to Hawaii, 45k Roundtrip to Asia, 55k Roundtrip to Australia. The economy seat looks really solid with personal TVs and decent food offerings.