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Each Saturday, we round up news stories that you may have missed from the week before, including several that already appeared on The Points Guy, and some more that we haven’t covered yet. If you’re an avid TPG reader, scroll down for the new stuff. Here’s the top miles, points and travel news you may have missed this week:
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In recent months, the US and Cuba have worked together to help ease more than 50 years of travel and commerce restrictions between the two countries. This week, the US Department of Transportation announced that American carriers will soon begin operating regularly scheduled flights to the island nation.
One perk of flying on Southwest Airlines is the prospect of snagging that elusive vacant middle seat. While you’re usually at the mercy of pure chance for securing a bit of extra space, these tongue-in-cheek tips could help “encourage” your fellow passengers to continue moving down the aisle on your next flight.
You probably won’t be flying out of this airport anytime soon — Miniatur Wunderland’s Knuffingen Airport, located in Hamburg, Germany, is a model-sized airport complete with planes, passengers and more. Google Street View takes a look at the airport from the ground up. Fancy amenity kits are one of the best perks when you’re flying in a premium cabin — some airlines offer luxury products ranging from Rimowa on Lufthansa to newly unveiled Cole Haan amenity kits on American Airlines.
AA is expected to open new flagship lounges in Dallas, Miami and Philadelphia for first class passengers and Executive Platinum members on international itineraries. The airline’s also planning to renovate its existing lounges at JFK, LAX and Chicago (O’Hare).
In Other News…
United Airlines Raises Club Access Prices to $59 Per Day
United is bumping up the cost of its lounge day passes from $50 to $59 per day. While that seem like a bit too much to pay for a single lounge pass, cards like the United MileagePlus Explorer Card include two lounge passes per year with the $95 annual fee, and that perk becomes even more valuable with United’s latest rate hike.
Swiss Air Lines to Test In-Flight Phone Calls on New 777s
Swiss Air Lines will reportedly introduce a service to allow customers to make phone calls on select flights. Of course with the Wi-Fi available on flights today, passengers can easily make calls (although this isn’t always allowed), but Swiss’ option might be designated for phone service and separate from current Wi-Fi calling options like Skype.
United Adds Nonstop Options to Award Searches
United’s website update has been a persistent problem for travelers looking to book award tickets — to the point that work arounds to reach the old website were becoming necessary. The airline recently updated its system to include the option to search for nonstop service.
United Will Add the Dreamliner to Flights Between San Francisco and London
United will fly its Dreamliner between San Francisco (SFO) and London (LHR) later this spring. At present, the airline operates these routes on its 747 — with this change, United will break the service into two flights, including one on the Dreamliner and the other on a 777.
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