Points Guy Pointers

A Reminder on Passport and Visa Requirements for International Travel

April 20, 2014

TPG reader Adam wants to make sure I – and you all, as well – know something important about passports: “@thepointsguy: Are you aware that if your passport is set to expire within three months of your return date from a trip, you won’t be allowed entry to EU countries? The answer is yes, absolutely! And […]

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Newark Airport AirTrain to Close May-July: Schedule Even More Time When Taking Public Transit

April 16, 2014

Over the past couple of decades, Newark has become one of the main hubs on the east coast, for better and for much, much worse. It does have a few things going for it – it’s easy to get there from New York City in a taxi for about the same price as heading to […]

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Is the Current US Airways Share Miles 100% Bonus Promotion Worth It?

April 13, 2014

This past week saw the sudden announcement of some big changes from American Airlines’ frequent flyer program and a few smaller ones from US Airways. With this news in mind,  TPG reader Paul tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Given the recent unannounced changes from US Airways, would you still recommend taking advantage of its 100% bonus on shared miles?”  […]

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How Do I Get United To Refund My Airfare Or Waive The Change Fee?

April 6, 2014

TPG reader Amanda wants to get out of paying for a United flight she isn’t going to take. Here’s the question she tweeted me: “@thepointsguy How do I ask United to refund a flight or waive the change fee? Flight was only $218 so the change fee makes a credit useless.” A big trend in […]

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10 Tips for Negotiating a Lucrative Airline Bump

April 3, 2014

Tuesday night, I was set to fly a non-stop American Airlines flight from Recife, Brazil to Miami on a business class award. While booking my ticket several weeks prior, I had noticed the flight was pretty packed, with coach almost full and only two business class seats left. This wasn’t too surprising, as this is the only non-stop […]

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How I’m Changing the Way I Think About Economy Award Tickets (Not an April Fools’ Post)

April 1, 2014

You’ll see a lot of fake posts around the blogosphere today (Amex 1 million point Platinum card sign-up bonus today only – fee waived!), but I personally hate them. So if you’re looking to be fooled today, you won’t find it in one of my posts. However, you may be surprised by the topic of […]

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How Can You Make Sure You Get TSA PreCheck with Global Entry?

March 30, 2014

TPG reader Jake recently sent me an email with a question about one of my favorite travel perks – Global Entry: “Now that I have Global Entry, I’m not sure what additional steps to take in order to get my full TSA PreCheck benefits. I occasionally get picked at security for TSA PreCheck, but only […]

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Should We Bank Miles To Alaska Even If We Never Fly Them? What Credit Cards Would Work With This Strategy?

March 9, 2014

TPG reader Nate e-mailed me this week with the following question: “Should my wife and I bank miles at Alaska for dual elite status – even if we never fly Alaska? We value: (1) free upgrades to first and premium economy (2) miles for hotel/air to US, Europe, Mexico, Hawaii (3) priority boarding and seats […]

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How Will US Airways’ Departure from Star Alliance Affect Future Bookings?

March 2, 2014

Later this month, US Airways is officially leaving Star Alliance to join Oneworld, the alliance of its merger partner, American Airlines. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this on Twitter, like the following two: TPG reader Nat asked: @thepointsguy With US leaving *A, if I want to fly NYC to Cape Town 3/2015, does it make […]

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Can You Transfer Delta SkyMiles To Alaska Miles?

March 2, 2014

It was a big week in airline news with Delta’s announcement that they’re going to fundamentally change the way that flyers earn SkyMiles and, potentially, the way that we redeem them. I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about Delta and its alliance with Alaska. TPG Reader Josh asked on Twitter: “@thepointsguy Question – how does […]

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What Are Some Tips for Traveling With a Small Dog?

March 2, 2014

The next question is close to my heart, as it concerns my experience of traveling with Miles, my furry little “son.” TPG reader Jeanette posted a question on my Facebook page this week: “I am entering the world of a traveler with a small dog…any tips for flying and hotel stays? This is a first […]

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American Airlines Ends Bereavement Fares – Why Miles Are Still A Good Insurance Policy

February 27, 2014

American Airlines issued a stealthy announcement (just a line of text on this web page, really) that as of February 18, 2014, it would be ending its policy of offering bereavement fares to passengers who must book last-minute tickets as a result of the death of a relative. While this move seemed to come out […]

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How To Get EU Passenger Rights Compensation From US Carriers For Delayed Flights

February 25, 2014

One of the ways in which US travel regulations lag behind those of Europe is when it comes to compensating passengers for flight delays and cancellations. Airlines have very little accountability and few guidelines they must adhere to when making good on flight mishaps and travel issues here in the US – just ask anyone […]

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Why Should You Change Your Frequent Flyer Number on an Award Ticket?

February 23, 2014

Last week, I flew United GlobalFirst from Los Angeles to Melbourne, and in my review of the flight I noted that every time I fly an award ticket, I always go to the kiosk to change my frequent flyer number on the reservation. TPG reader Ritz read that and emailed me to ask, “Why would […]

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If Your Flight Is Cancelled Due To A Storm Do You Have To Sleep In The Airport?

February 23, 2014

With the recent snow storms along the East Coast, TPG reader Loren tweeted me asking: “@thepointsguy If your flight is canceled in a snowstorm do the airlines have to put you in a hotel or do you just sleep in the airport?” The short answer is no. There really aren’t many consumer protections in the […]

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When Should You Pay For A Ticket Or Redeem Miles?

February 23, 2014

TPG reader Todd tweeted me this week: “@thepointsguy Do you have a rule of thumb for when it’s economical to pay for a ticket with miles?” A lot of factors come into play here. The first is your budget. If you’re really cash-strapped but need to get somewhere and have a ton of miles, why […]

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Cutting Connection Times in Australia With SmartGate

February 12, 2014

The last thing you want after a 15-hour flight across the Pacific is to have to sit around in another airport all day and wait for a connecting flight. Unfortunately, that can often be the case in a destination like Australia where there are only a certain number of flights to various destinations throughout the […]

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SkyMiles (Surprisingly) To The Rescue After Travel Plans Go Awry

February 11, 2014

I always say that frequent flyer miles are the best travel insurance policy you can have – and it proved true once again as TPG Managing Editor Eric Rosen experienced this weekend when his trip to Australia very nearly got derailed. Here’s what happened, and here’s how we handled it. Note: This is not a […]

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Turkey Will No Longer Issue Visas on Arrival After April 10, 2014

February 5, 2014

Our friends over at Allied Passport let us know about a change coming to Turkey’s visa up on arrival process. Right now you can simply fly to Turkey, deplane and queue up at the visa window on the way to customs and immigration and buy a visa upon arrival for $20 in cash for a […]

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Last-Minute Ideas For Getting To The 2014 Super Bowl

January 23, 2014

Superbowl Sunday is coming right up on February 2 and though it’s bound to be a busy weekend in New Jersey where the game is being held, there are still opportunities to get there using points and miles – especially if you’re a Broncos or Seahawks fan and want to see your hometown team play. […]

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Winter Storm Delays and Cancellations – What To Do If Weather Disrupts Your Travel Plans

January 21, 2014

The Midwest and Great Lakes are covered in snow, the East Coast is hunkering down before a huge storm, the federal government shut down in anticipation of bad weather and over 2,000 flights are already canceled with 3,000 more delayed – it’s going to be a tough day for travelers across much of the US. […]

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Top 10 Tips To Deal With Winter Flights Delays and Cancellations

January 7, 2014

With the nefarious-sounding “arctic vortex” swirling catastrophe upon the country and airline delays and cancellations mounting into the tens of thousands, I thought today would be a good time for a primer on tactics you can use to avoid waiting hours (or days) in an airport or on hold and spending hundreds of dollars in […]

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What To Do If Winter Storms Disrupt Travel For You

January 2, 2014

With a massive snowstorm moving across the Great Lakes and a newly forming Noreaster about to slam the East Coast – along with 100 million people and 22 states in its path – airlines and dozens of airports are going to be affected by huge blizzards just as folks prepare to travel home after the […]

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My Points and Miles Predictions For 2014

January 1, 2014

Happy 2014 everyone! Let me just start by saying that I hope this is a happy, healthy, points-filled year of wonderful travel, experiences and joy for us all. Now on to practical matters. As the elite status odometer resets with airlines and hotels, spending threshold counts go back to zero on credit cards, and major […]

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