Alaska Airlines Overhauling Upgrade Procedure and Eligibility

Alaska Airlines just announced significant changes to its first-class upgrade policy. The impact on your upgrades will depend on how you fly the carrier — including the fare classes you purchase and more. From Alaska’s announcement, here’s a quick summary of what’s changing: Complimentary first-class upgrades on award travel, beginning December 5, 2016 Qualifying fare class…

One Last AA Mileage Run Before the Devaluation on August 1

TPG Contributor Eric Goldner just got back from an epic three-day adventure that earned him AA Platinum status. Here’s how he did it. A few weekends ago, I embarked on a mileage run that would take me from coast to coast, down to Miami and over to Panama for a grand total of $942.85. I was on a mission:…

Can I Upgrade a Ticket Booked with Credit Card Points?

TPG reader Jeff emailed me to ask about upgrading flights booked through a third party: “If I book a flight through Citi ThankYou Rewards, can I then use my airline miles to upgrade my ticket?” One nice aspect of credit card loyalty programs (including Citi) is that you can use points to book flights and still earn rewards in the…

Should I Upgrade to First Class on a Transcon Flight?

TPG reader Lucas sent me a message on Facebook to ask about upgrades: “Is it worth paying 15,000 AAdvantage miles and a $175 copay to move from business to first on American’s A321T transcontinental service? Alternately, I could pay a $515 fare difference.” Domestic first-class service can be pretty lackluster, especially in comparison to the impressive premium cabins available internationally. However, there are…

Does an Airline Credit Card Improve My Upgrade Priority?

TPG reader David sent me a tweet to ask about upgrading on Delta: “Do Delta Reserve cardholders get a higher upgrade priority over other Medallion members?” Upgrades are one of my favorite benefits of airline elite status. I don’t really fit in most economy seats, so having more space is pretty important to me, especially on longer flights. But no matter…

Lufthansa Flyers Can Now Upgrade With Cash

Lufthansa’s making it much easier for travelers to upgrade to premium economy, business and first class in 2016 on the carrier’s long-haul international flights. Passengers can now pay cash to upgrade to the next class of service on select routes. The best part: Flyers in all classes, including economy, can pay a flat fee based on the route to upgrade…

When Should I Use United Regional Premier Upgrades?

TPG reader Neel sent me a message on Facebook to ask about upgrades on United: “I have United Platinum status; since I get put on the upgrade list automatically for all domestic flights, when is the best time to use my Regional Premier Upgrades?” Upgrades are one of the prime motivations for earning airline status, as frequent flyers can get premium service…

Do Flight Awards or Upgrades Offer Better Value for Miles?

TPG reader Andre sent me a message on Facebook to ask about the value of upgrade awards: “I’m looking to fly Transatlantic in business class on a Star Alliance airline (I have both United and Aeroplan miles). Will I get better value by paying for the entire flight with miles, or by purchasing an economy ticket and using miles to upgrade?”…

Can I Use Miles to Upgrade on Partner Airlines?

TPG reader Gary tweeted to ask about upgrade awards on Oneworld partner airlines: @ThePointsGuy — “Can I upgrade my seat on a Qatar flight using AAdvantage miles?” I tend to use frequent flyer miles for first and business class awards, partly because those redemptions offer great value, but also because a premium seat makes a huge difference on longer flights. However, there are opportunities…

American Cancels Order for New 777-200 Business-Class Seat

American Airlines has been in the process of upgrading its long-haul fleet, giving the aircraft a refreshed look and passengers a more comfortable flight (with the exception of 10-across in the 777-300ER). We have known for years that the airline would be taking new deliveries of Boeing 787s and 777-300ERs, as well as retrofitting other planes with…