The Top 10 Most-Read TPG Posts of 2017
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As we close the final chapter of 2017, we’re taking a look back at the top news stories from this year. From credit card updates to hotel deals to airline scandals that changed the industry, we’ve done our best to keep our readers on top of everything travel-related. If you’re an avid TPG reader, you may recognize some of your favorite stories as you scroll down. Here are our top point, miles aviation and travel news stories of 2017.
Southwest kicked off the new year with the opportunity to make the most of points and miles with their Southwest Companion Pass. Known for being a popular (and rewarding) benefit, the pass allows travelers to bring along one person to travel with on any Southwest flight. The pass is valid for the rest of the year in which you earned it, plus the entire following year. As the new year approaches, keep an eye out for this award benefit.
On October 1, the Department of Homeland Security updated the previous Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). The new system was replaced by the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) System website, which serves as the go-to for managing system for Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) programs. It also required existing members to re-register with the new website before being able to change any information in regards to updating passport data, renewing membership or applying for another Trusted Traveler program and more.
Window or aisle seat? This question was the topic of debate in this TPG post. According to a psychologist, those flyers who prefer window seats are more selfish because they aren’t afraid of disturbing people when getting up for the restroom. Meanwhile, those aisle seat people wouldn’t want to bother other passengers with their movements. It’s interesting to see behavioral psychology play out in travel.
TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig explained why United’s basic economy fares are not the best for consumers. In the post, he noted that the fares are restrictive and unavoidable, especially when applied to even the most expensive economy fare classes. United’s essentially taken the same fares that used to come along with the usual perks and applied the “N” fare class to them, meaning customers will have to pay extra for the exact same thing.
This fall, San Juan, Puerto Rico was in the direct path of Hurricane Irma and as a result, many routes were diverted away from the airport. However, one Delta flight flew right into the storm and out again. Delta flight #431 departed from New York’s JFK, continued to fly from San Juan and weaved through gaps in Hurricane Irma’s bands to escape unharmed. As noted in this post, bravo to the Delta pilots, ground crew, dispatchers and all of the air traffic controllers for getting this flight on and off the ground safely.
The Citi Prestige Card gets a refresh to better compete with the other premium cards in the market like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card from American Express. Highlights of the updated product include an elevated 75,000-point sign-up bonus, an improved cash redemption rate and the ability to book 4th Night Free reservations online and more.
TPG found that the best travel rewards credit cards to carry in your wallet and use on a regular basis is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Six popular premium cards (The Platinum Card from American Express, Citi Prestige Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and United MileagePlus Club Card) were ranked based on eight categories: annual fee, current sign-up bonus, point earning, redemptions, travel credits, lounge access, additional travel perks and coverage.
TPG ranked the best and worst airlines based on the criteria of airfare, on-time arrivals, lost baggage, involuntary bumps, customer satisfaction and frequent flyer program. Alaska reigned supreme as the best airline as it placed in the top four in more than half our criteria. Following Alaska was United Airlines, Virgin America, JetBlue and American Airlines as the top-five ranked domestic airlines.
In August 2016, Chase introduced the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Between the exceptional benefits, unbeatable 100,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months, it’s no wonder the Sapphire Reserve was such a hit for Chase. This post was a last-chance at an additional bonus.
In April 2017, United Airlines was under fire after a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight for Louisville (SDF) from Chicago (ORD) in what became known as #BumpGate. The Points Guy initially read the situation, but quickly learned that things aren’t always what they seem. After revisiting the matter, TPG himself admitted to being wrong about #BumpGate because it was wasn’t a traditional overbooking situation — plus other factors that complicated the situation, including “inhumane treatment.”
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