I could tell you things were winding down after our big private jet story, but I'd be lying. It's quite the ride at the moment. At the same time, while I've been busy feeling special, the travel world carries on, without a care, as it should! There's been some great news on a few fronts, which you need to know today!
$25 For Unlimited Flight Changes On Virgin America
Virgin America has launched perhaps the most passenger friendly unique customer service option, with the ability for passengers to purchase unlimited flight changes for $25 up front. Plans changes, "it" happens as Forrest Gump says and for $25 you can hedge some serious fees. It's important to understand that the change fees, which range from $100-$150 per change are waived using this option, you are however responsible for any fare difference. Therefore, if you bought a $200 ticket, if the ticket you wanted to change to was $200, you'd indeed pay nothing every time, if it was $235, you'd pay $35 for the change, and assuming you need to change again and it hasn't risen from $235, the next would be truly free. Fortunately Virgin America fares aren't as unpredictable as other major airlines.
25% Bonus On Virgin Atlantic Transfers From Citi
Citi Thank You Points are among my favorite, allowing you to transfer them to many different airlines, at a 1:1 ratio. When you can do better than the 1:1 ration, turning one point into 1.25 frequent flyer miles, that's always worth considering. Virgin Atlantic have a very favorable chart for free flights using miles, especially for their dreamy Upper Class cabin, but they do however add surcharges to all tickets which can run as much as $1000, in addition to the miles. If you are cool with flying round trip business class in a flat bed between the US and Europe for 80,000 miles and $1000 or so bucks, it's a good opportunity. If you prefer to fly with someone else who doesn't add surcharges, bringing you closer to an actually free ticket, hold onto the Citi points. FYI, you can also use Virgin Atlantic miles on Air China, with less taxes added, or Virgin America, with no surcharges added, a great value.
Etihad + Emirates Want To Fly US To Budapest
Despite Western European airports running at 99% capacity, thanks to all the US to Europe traffic, there isn't much direct connectivity between the US and Central/Eastern Europe. Both airlines are extremely eager to exercise their rights to an additional route, where a flight takes place between two countries which are not their home base, otherwise known as a fifth freedom route. Budapest is a fantastic city and it's exciting to imagine more direct connectivity, especially if the airlines choose to service the route with some of their newer aircraft, such as Etihad's 787, with it's Business Studio, one of the best seats out there.
35,000 Starwood American Express Bonus + Refer Friends
Because I don't get paid a fortune to pimp credit cards, you can trust that when I do have something to say, it's with reason. The Starwood Preferred Card can be very lucrative, especially with it's highest ever sign up bonus. 35,000 Starwood points is more than enough for 7 nights in a medium class hotel, and 2 or 3 nights in top properties. If hotels aren't your thing, you can convert Starpoints to airline miles, at a rate of 1:1 or better, with tons of different airlines. You get a bonus for every 20,000 you transfer, making 35,000 into 40,000. At 42,000 you have enough for a one way flight on Emirates business class between Europe and the US (vice versa).