What are this year’s top ten airline liveries? TheDesignAir judge panel has once again voted for their favorites, with each livery receiving a rating out of 100. According to the site,  “this year some familiar faces return, and some get booted out of the top 10, and there are even a few new arrivals. Why do the lists change each year? It’s down to how well brands age, how current design trends effect our visual aesthetic and how well the livery is perceived by our changing judging panel.” Below are their top six choices, refer to this link to check out the remainder of the list, see details as to why each livery qualified, and for the 2013 winners. See any of your favorites missing?

6. Air Tahiti Nui
5. Starflyer
4. Air Inuit
3. O’hana by Hawaiian
2. Fiji Airways
1. Hawaiian Airways

hawaiian

Posted by Adam | One Comment

Rocketmiles is a unique new option that’s now available when looking to book hotels. The site offers a minimum of 1,000 miles for each night of your stay, meaning a 5 night stay nets you a minimum of 5,000 miles. I was actually able to find several properties earning 4,000 miles per night or 20,000 for a 5 night stay! Mileage partners include American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United. Sound too good to be true? Well, there are a few catches:

1) Your bookings will not be points eligible in the hotel’s own loyalty program. PointsHound offers a similar service, though some of their stays are actually points and elite status eligible.
2) Rocketmiles is only available in select cities – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington D.C.
3) Rocketmiles has only partnered with a select number of properties in each city.

I tried the site out for a one night stay in New York and found a rate of $320 at the Le Parker Meridien. Travelocity and Expedia had the same exact rate, while SPG had a $10 lower rate, though it required pre payment. Of course, booking with Rocketmiles means giving up the SPG base and bonus points you would normally earn for the stay. Additionally, you’ll be limiting your hotel options (7 in all of New York). If you’re an elite member, you’re giving up three Starpoints for every eligible dollar spent. So, for a one night stay at $320, that’s 960 Starpoints (with an SPG AMEX you’ll 5 Starpoints per $ – 1600 excluding promos). That said, 4,000 UA or AA miles does seem quite tempting, especially if staying for the work week at 20k miles. It’s even more tempting when staying at a hotel where you assign a lower value to your points (I would definitely choose to earn UA or AA miles over HHonors points). Additionally, as per the FAQs – it does seem possible to still earn elite status credit depending on the property –  “Generally, your hotel stay will count toward elite status if the property is affiliated with a major brand with a loyalty program. Please ask the hotel receptionist upon check-in to confirm individual property policies.”

Rocketmiles is currently offering 1,000 bonus miles after your first confirmed booking and they also have a refer a friend program that will earn you another 1,000 after your friend has their first stay. I’ve included my link here, but feel free to start a conga-line. It’s definitely a new and interesting option and something to consider if your staying at a property where you don’t value the points or if you’ve already hit your hotel elite status for the year.

You can check out the full details for Rocketmiles here.

HT – Frugal Asian Man

Posted by Adam | 6 Comments

I just received this offer from Bank of America for a free $15 gift card from BestBuy, Starbucks, or Target for using my new Hawaiian Airlines card for a mobile, internet, insurance, or cable payment by May 31, 2013.

*To be eligible for this offer, your account must be open with charging privileges and you must register for this offer by May 31, 2013. To qualify for the $15 gift card, you must use your account to make at least one purchase at any eligible cable/satellite, phone/wireless, internet service, or insurance merchant that posts to your account from the date you register through May 31, 2013. Offer valid for bill payments to any service provider that processes transactions using any of these merchant category codes: telecom (4812-4815), Internet service provider (4816), cable/satellite (4899), insurance (5960, 6300). Bill payments made at a merchant that does not process transactions under these codes will not qualify and you will not receive the gift card. Please have your service provider(s) charge your credit card directly. Allow up to 4-6 weeks after promotion expiration to receive your selected gift card. We reserve the right to verify eligibility of all transactions. In some instances, it may take more than one billing cycle for the automatic bill payment to be established. Please confirm the effective date with your merchant when you set up the automatic payment. You should continue making payments directly to the service provider until the automatic payment has been established. Please remember to update the service provider if your credit card number changes or if the account is closed.

Posted by Adam | 4 Comments

PointsHound is offering an additional 500 bonus miles in any of their associated frequent flier programs (United, Delta, Hawaiian, Aeromexico, airBaltic) with any hotel booking made through the end of March. PointsHound provides a unique double dip service whereby they allow users to earn miles with select airline partners in addition to hotel points (and sometimes elite benefits/stay credits) that would normally only be earned by booking directly with the hotel. Scott over at Hack My Trip provides a full review of the different PointsHound service offerings here as well as details on when and how they are able to provide both points and miles. You should also check out his double dip booking scenario walkthrough here.

Additionally, PointsHound has a referral program where you can earn 250 miles for each friend you refer who books their first reservation. My link is here and of course feel free to start a conga line with your own links in the comments section.

Posted by Adam | 3 Comments

Yesterday marked the beginning of Hawaiian’s New Zealand service via a nonstop flight from Honolulu to Auckland. The flight will have 3x weekly service this spring and summer before being upgraded to 4x weekly later this fall. So, how is the award availability using AA or DL miles? The short answer is that Economy is amazing (on American), though Business (two class First) is nearly impossible to find.

American – For 35k you can find good economy availability in April and May and outstanding availability in June, July, August, and September. Note that the majority of the economy availability below is for the direct HA flight, though a few of the dates have a Qantas connection via Sydney or Brisbane.

Business is a completely different story, I couldn’t find any availability on the direct flight in April, May, June, July, August, or September. The only available business class routing on any day was via a Qantas connection flight to Auckland.

So, if you can take the 9 hour flight in coach, you have a ton of availability to choose from but business at this point is not being released.

Delta – There were some rumors leading up to the launch that the Auckland flight would be included in Delta’s short list of flights that are available to book using SkyMilies. Currently, that includes inter-island flights and flights between HNL-MNL/SYD/PPT/PPG. After speaking with eight separate representatives, there’s no solid details on when or if the AKL flight will become available for SkyMiles redemption. Four representatives said that the flight was going to be bookable but wasn’t at this time, the other four had no idea that Hawaiian even operated a flight to Auckland. In any case, Delta agents can clearly not see HA T fares to AKL in addition to the normally blocked HNL-mainland and Japan/Korea flights.  I expect to have a firm answer from Delta some time tomorrow or early next week and will report back regarding future plans for AKL SkyMiles availablity.

Hawaiian – Hawaiian’s availability for their own HawaiianMiles members is excellent in economy at the SuperSaver 40k level, though business was generally only available at the Flex level of 130k instead of the 65k Saver level.

Posted by Adam | 6 Comments

From Travelzoo, Hawaiian and United have slashed prices on flights from the US to Hawaii for travel in February, March, and April. Flights start at $350 roundtrip with tax and the best deals seem to be from NYC-Hawaii. Honolulu is the cheapest destination but Kona, Lihue, and Maui are pricing for only $10-$15 additional per r/t fare! Check out Travelzoo’s fly.com for a calendar view of the best prices or use ITA’s Matrix, or the flexible travel dates options on Hawaiian or United’s website.

Posted by Adam | No Comments

Hawaiian announced yesterday that they will be adding “three weekly flights to the existing daily flight schedule for travel between Honolulu and Sydney in April and May 2013 to accommodate increased travel demand. In total, there will be 26 extra flights from April 3 to June 1, 2013 using 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.”

Remember, you can redeem both AA and DL miles for transpacific travel on Hawaiian.  As we all know, AA’s website is of course a lot more accurate in terms of availability and makes booking with HA much simpler than with Delta’s broken award calendar.

Each partner has different HA redemption rules, AA allows you to redeem your entire trip on Hawaiian (including the domestic US portion), whereas DL only allows for specific routes (not inclusive of domestic US). UA & US allow redemptions on inter-island flights only.

Delta Rules:
1) Award travel is not allowable from Hawaii to North Asia or North America, meaning the following routes are excluded for DL redemptions:
HNL-N. America (JFK/LAX/LAS/SAN/etc.)
HNL-ICN
HNL-HND,
HNL-KIX

2) Award travel allowable routes from Hawaii include:
HNL-BNE
HNL-SYD
HNL-MNL
HNL-PPG
HNL-PPT

UA Rules:

AA Rules:
Use AAdvantage miles to book award travel on all Hawaiian Airlines flights (including travel between the U.S. and Hawaii) with the AAdvantage participating airline awards. These awards allow travel on any combination of AAdvantage participating carriers.

Also, remember to include Brisbane (BNE) in your searches as there tends to be more award availability on the HNL-BNE route.

Posted by Adam | 5 Comments

The Hawaiian Airlines fare sale on direct flights from JFK to Honolulu is still live with several dates in December, January, and February pricing at $382 inclusive of taxes and fees.  Hawaiian allows you to search by month, making it easy to find dates where the sale pricing is still available.  United has not matched the fares on their Newark route, with most dates pricing over $700 per ticket, though I was able to find a few December dates with fares of $434.40 r/t.

In on-the-ground news, Megabus is celebrating their expansion to California and Nevada with a $1 fare sale on all routes during their first week of service (December 12 – 19).  You can travel to/from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Calif., Riverside, Calif., Las Vegas, Sparks/Reno, Nev., Sacramento, Calif., and San Jose, Calif for $1 each way.

Posted by Adam | No Comments

United currently has some great fares to Honolulu during November and December, though of course any dates around Christmas are excluded and price at almost triple the cost.  Using United’s “My Dates are Flexible” option, you can find the $421 fare available below:

November

Note that Thanksgiving is just a little bit more from $442 – $465!

December

You’ll also be earning 4,962 miles each way…

Hawaiian is running a similar sale from JFK, with flights pricing at $420.40 using flex dates

Posted by Adam | One Comment

Full disclosure, I’ve never actually flown Spirit (a post on that topic later this week) but they are running two great sales today including  $35 off any round-trip flight June 12, 2012 – September 4, 2012 and $50 off any round-trip flight September 5, 2012 – November 14, 2012.  Both offers require online booking by 11:59 PM EST June 6th.  Of course make sure you factor in their checked and carry-on luggage fees and all their other one time fees prior to booking.

Meanwhile, JetBlue is running a Mexico, Caribbean, and Latin America fare sale for travel September 4 – December 19th with some one ways priced as low as  $124.  You need to book by 11:59 PM EST June 6th.

Starwood is running an OK promotion with up to 30% hotels in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada for AAA and CAA members.

In other news Hawaiian launched their direct JFK-HNL service this morning and here are some pictures from the event. Hawaiian HA 51 departs daily from JFK’s terminal 5 at 10AM EST and arrives in HNL at 2:08pm EST.  Did you know you can use your AA miles to book Hawaiian flights directly on aa.com now? Check out this post for details.  Need to earn some additional top off AA miles or looking to keep your account active, check out this post.

 

 

 

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Last Saturday American improved the functionality of their online booking tool by allowing members to search for award availability on two additional partners, British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines. They join Alaska Airlines which began showing availability on the site earlier in the year.   One of the biggest advantages of this update is the ability to now book award flights to Australia online. The most common request I receive on Juicy Miles is for business or first class awards from the US to Sydney.  While Qantas is normally the preferred carrier for those with AA mileage, Hawaiian offers flights via Honolulu. I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I went to fulfill a request for December 2012 and the calendar indeed correctly displayed the Hawaiian availability.  I booked a round-trip flight from New York to Sydney in Business for 125,000 AA miles and $129 USD in taxes and fees…though a overnight in HNL was required.

Economy was available as well for 37.5k each way.  While it’s definitely nice to see Australia awards available on AA, I’ll still be calling AAdvantage to book Qantas when available.  Most prefer the non-stops from LAX and DFW, the ability to fly the A380 to Sydney, and being able to fly direct to Brisbane or Melbourne. However, I will definitely be using AA.com to book Hawaiian awards to Hawaii, especially for the direct JFK to HNL flight.

British Airways award availability was also added on Saturday, just remember to keep in mind the fuel surcharges and taxes.  When booking a trip from the US to Cape Town, South Africa, the taxes and fees on a one-way economy class ticket (37.5k miles) are $469.80 or $763.20 (75k miles) on a business class ticket.  Again, a great feature to now have on the site, just make sure that you are aware of the total cost.

Alaska availability has been up on the site for some time and is usually quite good, especially from LAX.

AAdvantage has stated that they are working hard to continually enhance the online booking tool to include the rest of the oneworld partners throughout 2012. I’d most like to see Cathay, Japan, LAN, and Qantas awards added for OW as well as Air Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, and Etihad.

Have you been able to snag any great flights using the new online functionality?

Posted by Adam | 6 Comments

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