Monday, April 25, 2011

Kiplinger's Choice of Travel Websites

The U.S. based Website has a story this week on their choice for the 24 top Websites for travel savings. They include choices for flights, lodging, frequent flyer programs and exchange rates.
I don't completely agree with them--I wonder why they left out two of my favourite sites, Travelocity and Expedia for example--but this is a good article to print out and keep for reference. There is no doubt that with the rise of oil prices and the fall of the U.S. dollar, travel costs are going to be soaring, especially for Americans. Here in Canada we have a little advantage because of the rise of the Canadian dollar to around $1.05 U.S., but that potential advantage is offset to a large extent by higher taxes on air fares and other travel necessities like hotels.
Many Canadians now are travelling across the border to save on flights from nearby U.S. airports, as well as for cross-border shopping bargains in the U.S.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Changes to Aeroplan

Aeroplan,, the Air Canada frequent flyer program I use, last week announced changes that increase the mileage required for flight rewards on some routes. I was pleased to see that it didn't seem to affect any of the rewards I was considering, but less pleased when I discovered some other changes that must have occurred earlier. I've been building up miles for quite a few years, and was thinking I would use them to fly to Chile or to Russia. To my dismay I discovered that South America is now divided into two zones, northern and southern, and I only have enough miles to get to Peru. In addition, Air Canada no longer flies to Russia or anywhere in eastern Europe. The farthest east you can fly in Europe is Greece, and a flight there requires more miles than a flight to Western Europe. The only destination in the Middle East now is Israel. All this is an object lesson in the need to keep on top of these frequently-changing frequent flyer programs, and to use your miles sooner rather than later. Guess I better book my trip soon, and perhaps start looking for a better program. What I like about Aeroplan is that it is part of Star Alliance, so flights on wonderful Lufthansa count for mileage.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

100,000 Miles on British Airways

British Airways offers a Visa card that provides up to 100,000 frequent flyer miles to new members. You get credit for 50,000 miles with your first purchase, and another 50,000 miles after you have charged $2,500 on the card. The annual fee is $95, quite a bargain if you qualify. (I was not able to determine from the airline's Website whether you need to have a U.S. address to obtain this card.) I'm not a huge fan of getting a lot of credit cards just in order to accumulate mileage, but this offer seems too good not to pass along. It is good until May 6. While I like frequent flyer programs, it strikes me as a little silly to spend a lot of time and money just to accumulate miles--but to each his own. And this offer seems so valuable it even tempts me a little. I am indebted to for this tip, and am just passing it along.

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