Weekly Review: April 11, 2020

Filed Under: Weekly Review

I’m not sure I really need much of an intro in terms of my travels this past week, because there have been none to speak of. Happy week four of self distancing. šŸ˜‰

On the points & travel front, this week we saw several airline and hotel loyalty programs extend status, Ethiopian Airlines planes have been operating a bunch of interesting cruise charter flights, Lufthansa announced they’d retire some A380s and 747s, TAP Air Portugal announced new routes, changes were announced to the Citi Premier Card, and more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

Wow: Delta SkyMiles Extends Medallion Status By A Year

Delta has just become the first major US airline to extend elite status by a year! And thatā€™s only one of the positive initiatives theyā€™ve announced.

Delta SkyMiles will beĀ extending current Medallion status by 12 months. That means whatever status you have right now will be valid throughout 2021, and into early 2022 (rather than expiring in early 2021).

What Is Even Going On With Those Small Business Loans?

Ever since Congress passed the CARES Act on March 27th, it seems like itā€™s been dominating the news cycles as much as COVID-19 itself.

As small business owners, weā€™ve all been trying to wrap our heads around it, and when the topic came up with Ben and Tiffany last week, weĀ all agreed on two things:

Please Be Nice To Those Working In Travel (Hopefully An Obvious Reminder?)

Iā€™m sure Iā€™m not alone in absolutely loving the airline and hotel industry. If youā€™re reading this, chances are pretty good that you feel similarly. Itā€™s heartbreaking to see the industry collapse the way it has.

If itā€™s tough for me to watch, I can only imagine how tough it is for those working for airlines, hotels, etc. Those employees who are working are facing more stressful conditions than ever before, while many others are being furloughed, and virtually everyone is worried about their job security.

One Week at a Time

TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Buy United Miles With Up To A 100% Bonus
Amazing Qsuites Fare From New York To Kiev
Alaska & American Improve Reciprocal Mileage Earning
Great Deal: Save $50 On Amazon With Amex
IHG Premier Card Best-Ever 140K Bonus Still Available
Citi American AAdvantage Business Card Review (2020)
Frontier Airlines Offers To Convert Vouchers Into Miles

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

55K American Miles For First Class To Japan
Booking ANA First Class With Virgin Atlantic Miles: An Incredible Value
Best Uses Of American Airlines AAdvantage Miles To/From The US

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

What Is Even Going On With Those Small Business Loans?
Please Be Nice To Those Working In Travel (Hopefully An Obvious Reminder?)
Iā€™m Curious About This Swift Air Flightā€¦
Has Anyone Been On A Cruise To Antarctica?

LOYALTY & Status Changes

Wow: Delta SkyMiles Extends Medallion Status By A Year
United MileagePlus Extends Premier Status By A Year
IHG Extending Free Night Certificates
Air Canada Extends Altitude Status, Gets Creative
Alaska Airlines Extending Mileage Plan Elite Status
Marriott Bonvoy Extending Elite Status
Why Hasnā€™t American Airlines Extended Status Yet?

NEWS & Updates

United Airlines Reduces Newark To Nine Destinations
Four Ethiopian Airlines 777s Visit New Orleans
IATAā€™s Argument Against Flight Refunds
Emirates Could Fly A380s With Just Four Flight Attendants
American Airlines Temporarily Bans Non-Rev Travel In First Class
Singapore Changi Closing Terminal 2 For 18 Months
American Airlines Massively Reduces NYC Flights
Alaska Airlinesā€™ Creative New ā€œTagā€ Flights
How Safe Was Airline Travel In 2019?
Delta Air Lines Management & Pilot Union Play Hardball
TAP Air Portugal Expands To Cape Town, Cancun, And More
US Bans Cruise Ship Passengers From Flights
American Airlinesā€™ Junior Flight Attendants Are Fuming
Coronavirus Travel Policies & Advisories
Lufthansa Retiring Some A380s, 747s, A340s
New Etihad Check-In Kiosks Can Detect If Youā€™re Sick
Aer Lingus Temporarily Cuts Business Class On JFK Flights
American Airlinesā€™ New (Worse) Schedule Change Policy
Data: How Many People Are Still Flying?
Delta Blocks Middle Seats, Cuts Advance Upgrades
Changes Coming To The Citi Premier Card
Whatā€™s Up With The Ski Industry Right Now?
Could Bidenā€™s VP Pick Be A Flight Attendant?

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend (at least as much as possible, given the circumstances)!

  1. I just heard that SAS operated their A350 from Oslo to Islamabad, Pakistan today! EgyptAir is also operating their 787-9 there tommorow. Apparently Etihad put their 787-10 and 777-300ER on the Islamabad route as well before they stopped operations (that used to be on an A321)!!!

  2. Data Point for United Call Center: Had a one way revenue ticket from Seoul back to the States a couple weeks away which flights were obviously cancelled due to travel restrictions… ect. The rep I spoke with offered the typical travel credit or a refund with potential cancellation fees. I politely said that due to the flight being cancelled by the airline, DOT regulations stated that I was entitled to refund. The rep waived the fees and I was told the refund would arrive in 7-10 days. Just wanted to post that in case anyone else is in the same situation!

  3. I was looking at flights between London Heathrow and Atlanta on Virgin Atlantic in the middle of November and the flight was shown as being operated by an A350-1000. It seems to be on the route starting October 25th until the end of the schedule. Anyone have any word of this? I wonder how they have an extra A350 (with the existing routes they announced). Its also interesting that BA is launching their 787-10 with Club Suites to Atlanta, so perhaps related to this?

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