Forum Buzz: Elite Status Offers for Delta/US Airways Club Memberships

Delta offers 1,500 MQM for one year Sky Club membership

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Delta is offering elite qualifying miles for buying a Sky Club lounge membership. To take advantage, you must purchase a one or three year membership by December 31st.

You can choose between two additional free months on a one-year membership or 1,500 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). MQMs are what Delta uses to calculate elite status.

United 20% Discount on Awards to Europe and Off Peak to Europe Round Up

United has announced a 20% discount on economy class awards to Europe from January 15 to March 13, 2013:

United and United Express operated flights
Booked between now and November 15
Roundtrip economy class awards for 48k miles.

I'll break this promo down and compare it to the discounted awards to Europe being offered by American and US Airways.

United

Roundtrip awards entirely on planes bearing United and United Express paint jobs between the continental US, Alaska, and Canada and Europe in economy class, flown between 1/15/13 and 3/13/13, and booked between now and 11/15/12 cost 48,000 United miles.

How Much is the American Airlines Double Miles Promo Worth?

I'm sure there are 10+ mentions of this promo in the blogosphere, as there are for credit card changes and announcements. I encourage you to read my analysis in these situations even if you've read someone else's. I only write on a subject when I have something big to add--otherwise I'll just link to someone else's post.

American Airlines had an awful last few months.

Getting to Tahiti with American Airlines Miles

Look for a post tomorrow on getting to French Polynesia with Delta miles, Hawaiian miles, and AMEX Membership Rewards.

This post will be about getting to French Polynesia--Tahiti, Bora Bora, and more--with frequent flier miles. This is an award I get asked to book frequently through my Award Booking Service, and I wanted to share some free tips.

French Polynesia is a French-speaking "overseas country" controlled by France. It is south of Hawaii and east of Australia. The main tourist spots are Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Mo'orea. People go to French Polynesia for the absolutely stunning beach-and-island landscape.

Anatomy of an Award: Routing West to India on an American Airlines Award

This is a guest post from Chase Tajima. Chase is a tax attorney in Honolulu--Aloha! He writes about Hawaii tax law at TheTaxTable.wordpress.com. Anyone is welcome to submit a guest Anatomy of an Award post, so we can all learn from interesting award bookings.

I started following MileValue because I wanted to find a cost effective way to get from Honolulu to Delhi, India to attend my college roommate's wedding. Roundtrip flights from from Honolulu to Delhi ranged from about $1,600 to $2,000+ in economy.

Free Giveaway, 15 AA Miles per Dollar for Breast Cancer Donation, Always Get Southwest Group A

There are some great deals and tips kicking around the web that were already written up perfectly. I have added a few notes, and hopefully the aggregation will be useful.

1) Mile Nerd flags the opportunity to earn 15 American Airlines miles per dollar on donations during October--Breast Cancer Awareness Month--to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Donate through the link on this page. Full terms and conditions:

If you were already intending to donate, this is a great deal.

West Coast to Hawaii for under $300 Roundtrip All In

Delta is selling Alaska Airlines direct flights from San Diego to Maui roundtrip for $297. And American, United, and Delta are all getting in on the sub-$370 party from Los Angeles to Hawaii roundtrip.

There have recently been a ton of great deals to Hawaii. I'm not sure the cause of the sales--tourism to Hawaii is way up this year--but I've taken advantage and been trying to get everyone else to take advantage.

How to Avoid the Phone Fee on Award Bookings

The legacy carriers--United, US Airways, Delta, American--all charge a fee if you ticket your award by phone instead of online. Here's your guide to avoiding those phone fees:

United

United charges $25 per passenger if you book by phone. They will not waive this phone fee just because a booking could not be completed online. That's frustrating because many multi-city and free-oneway awards can't be booked online. They generate error messages despite being within the routing rules.

Here's how you avoid the phone fee with United:

First, search for and reserve any United flight.

Forum Buzz: 30k AA Miles, NYC Mileage Run, and United Holiday Cancellations

Here are some of the day's hot topics being discussed on the FlyerTalk and milepoint message boards.

Christmas Cutbacks from United and How to Deal With Them

The holidays are bringing some unfortunate consequences for people who book award flights on United around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, as seen in this FlyerTalk thread.

In January, I booked an award

Tricks to Avoid Hold Times with Airlines

Sometimes airlines have seemingly interminable hold times before you can talk to an agent. This mainly happens during disruptions to the normal routine like a big storm that is causing a ton of rebookings or the United/Continental merger.

Here are some tricks to lower or eliminate your hold times:

1) Call the highest tier elite line. Elite lines are answered immediately or with a much reduced wait time.

If you're a top-tier elite, I'm sure you're already doing this.