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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:
2015 was a crazy travel year for me — I took 112 flights on 28 different airlines; flew 203,058 miles; and redeemed 1,623,460 miles. Those stats don’t paint the entire picture, though; for details on the highlights of my year in flights, hotels and destinations, read the full post here.
This December, new routes have launched from San Francisco (SFO) – Maui (OGG) on Virgin America and Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD) on American Airlines. Lsat month, carriers also announced a variety of new routes to launch in 2016, including Oakland (OAK) – London (LGW) on Norwegian Air. For more new routes, click here.
TPG Contributor J. Keith van Straaten shares some of his craziest travel mishaps in 2015, including showing up to the airport without a visa and losing out on a big credit card bonus. Read the full post for more.
Soon, China will double its visa-free travel waiver period from three days to six, giving you more time to explore cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. So far, we don’t have details such as a launch date and which visitors will be covered, but we think the terms will likely be similar to the current 72-hour visa waiver available at many ports of entry. For more information, click here.
Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen explains why you should consider a trip to the French border town of Colmar during next year’s holiday season. The town is walkable and beautiful, and although there are no hotel chains, Nick was still able to earn 3x the points by charging his Airbnb stay to his Citi ThankYou Premier Card. For more details on his trip, read the full post here.
In Other News…
Delta Basic Economy Spreading to Transatlantic Flights
Delta Basic Economy fares are made to compete with low-cost carriers like Spirit, and while these fares have been available on many domestic flights, they’ve only recently been spotted on transatlantic routes. Basic Economy Tickets for international transatlantic travel seem to be about $40 less than the regular economy fare, and the trade-off is limited Medallion benefits and seat assignment only after check-in.
Are Checked Bag Fees Too Low?
Most of us complain about the cost of checking bags, but according to Priceonomics, these fees may actually be too low. The blog came to this conclusion by comparing airline baggage fees with those charged for cargo shipments. Do you think checked baggage fees are too low, too high or just right? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
LAN Updates App, Website and In-Flight Entertainment
LAN is updating its website to offer a more user-friendly experience, along with better access for mobile devices. The carrier also updated the LAN app to include flight status information and a live chat feature with agents. Finally, 65% of the LAN short haul fleet has been updated to include the new IFE system with movies, TV shows and an interactive map to follow your trip.
2,500 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points with Your Next Stay … For Asking?
According to a current rumor circulating among points and miles enthusiasts, it could be possible to earn 2,500 Hilton HHonors points after your next stay by simply sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and asking. We at TPG haven’t had a chance to try out this promo, but it certainly never hurts to ask (nicely). If it works, the bonus points should be posted alongside your base points after your next stay.
Happy 2016 from the entire TPG team!
The Points Guy Assessment: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.