DFW to Shanghai, Nonstop! – American Airlines – #FlightDeal or #MileageRun – Jan 2015 – $815 R/T – 5.5 CPM – #OneWorld

Here’s a weekend mileage run to Shanghai in January 2015. It’s a price good price all around. It’s also a nice nonstop flight on American. You’re only in Shanghai for 2 days but be sure to have your Chinese visa in order unless you are going to transit to a 3rd country in that 2 day period. Check Chinese visa rules for your country for details.

Sample Departure Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

Sample Return Date: Mon, Jan 26, 2015

Airline: American Airlines

CPM:  5.5 CPM 

Total Base Mileage Earned: 14,666

Routing: DFW-PVG-DFW (nonstop)

Total Roundtrip Fare: $815

dfw-pvg-jan 23
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Cheap! DFW to Doha – British Airways #FlightDeal or #MileageRun – Jan 2015 – $701R/T – 4.3 CPM – #OneWorld

This is a very quick turnaround mileage run from Dallas to Doha, Qatar on British Airways. You can credit to Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan or American’s AAdvtange if you are U.S. based. You’re only on the ground in Doha for about 2 hours so a hotel stay is definitely not needed.

Sample Departure Date: Sat, Jam, 24. 2015

Sample Return Date: Sun, Jan 25, 2015 (arrives Mon, Jan 26)

Airline: British Airways

CPM:  4.3 CPM 

Total Base Mileage Earned: 15,982

Routing: DFW-LHR-BAH-DOH-BAH-LHR-DFW

Total Roundtrip Fare: $701

DFW to Doha, Mileage Run
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Quick Weekend Getaway to Chicago? DFW to ORD – American – #FlightDeal – Oct/Nov 2014- $105 R/T

Not quite mileage run material but makes for a nice weekend getaway to Chicago. Shortest stay available is one night.

Sample Departure Date: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

Sample Return Date: Sat, Nov 15, 2014

Airline: American

CPM:  6.5 CPM

Total Base Mileage Earned: 1,602 Miles

Routing: DFW-ORD-DFW

Total Roundtrip Fare: $105

dfw-ord-105

 

 

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Sunday Was My Proof for the Naysayers That Airline Status Matters

For a lot of travelers, the point of flying is to get from Point A to Point B as quickly and as cheaply as possible. But for those of us travel hackers/mile hoarders/road warriors,  it’s much more than that. While my friends and family don’t criticize my obsession with miles and airline status, I’m sure there are those who find the hobby a complete waste of time and money. But this last weekend on my return to Dallas from Florida via Orlando (on July 4th weekend) was a prime example of why airline status is worth the effort and bit of cash.

While I’m only the lowly Premier Silver with United Airlines, the basic perks of simply Silver will save you all kinds of headaches. I’m sure most of you have been to Orlando as it’s one of the top travel destinations int the world. If you’ve been, you also know that it’s a very congested city due to all the attractions. And while Orlando International (MCO) is very well designed, it still doesn’t mean short lines and short waits for the average traveler. Our flight was an early one on this Sunday morning and while expected a crowd, I thought our pre-dawn departure would spare us slightly. Well, I was clearly surprised.

We approached the United ticketing counters to check one of our large bags at 5:00 AM. There were a minimum of 150-200 folks in line for United ticketing. Guess how many were in line at Premier Access? Two. Our bag was promptly checked in 2 minutes and we were on our way to security. Our next perk wasn’t directly related to airline status but to our Global Entry enrollment with the additional perk of TSA Precheck. That previous line at ticketing almost seemed like a breeze when we approached the TSA lines. There must have been 400-500 people in line, routing through ONE main queue line! Orlando’s has one central terminal with an “A” and “B” ticketing side. The PreCheck side is closer to “A” but we approached from “B” and both sides use the same TSA lines. We hurried over to the PreCheck side and were delighted when we only found 3 people in line for PreCheck! We were on our way to the concourse tram in just a couple of minutes and we easily avoided spending 45 minutes+ in line for TSA.

We skirted off for a quick coffee and onto our gate. We had plenty of time to move at our leisure thanks to our previous perks. We would have been far more rushed had we not had those perks. And to top it all off, we were upgraded to First on our IAH bound flight!

20140712-095525-35725236.jpg

Of course, this journey was an example of things going very much in our favor due to Elite status. However, the day wasn’t perfect as United did leave my checked bag behind in IAH and it was delayed. However, they did deliver it to my house just a few hours later. There were a few factors that did help make our experience even easier:

  • We were departing early on a Sunday morning
  • Orlando on a weekend means very few business travelers
  • Orlando is not a United hub/focus city, equaling small number of Elite travelers
  • Low time and day for Elite travelers and TSA PreCheck travelers

So for those of you newbie or light travelers who think that Elite status is just a waste of time, re-think about inserting status into your travel and miles strategy. It’s saving a ton in baggage fees alone! And don’t forget to do you research on status matches, it doesn’t hurt to politely ask!

 

Global Entry Approved….Finally!

I’d been contemplating registering for Global Entry on and off for a few months and finally decided it was worth the $100 bite for five years or enrollment. I travel internationally somewhat regularly but the added bonus of TSA Precheck was the perk that won me over. There’s a lot of info out there with folks sharing their various experiences with the Global Entry application process. But the average American probably doesn’t know what Global Entry is or how to sign up. Most frequent travelers love this since they despise the thought of too many folks getting in the TSA PreCheck lines. But who can blame them as the whole point of TSA PreCheck is to save time and longer lines will only defeat that.

Fortunately for myself, I’m not based out of LGA or another overcrowded airport with a half million other frequent travelers enrolled in a Trusted Traveler program. The security lines at my main airport, Dallas-Fort Worth, has very short security lines most of the time. I also use Dallas Love Field frequently which can have some heavy peak TSA lines but still nothing like LAX or LGA.

The process of applying for Global Entry does require a bit of patience. I’ve heard varying timelines of both the application and scheduling of the interview. Depending on where you live and how many Global Entry centers are nearby plays into how quickly you can get your interview. If you are applying for Global Entry, you will begin by registering in the Homeland Security GOES web portal and submitting an application for Global Entry. You can also apply for TSA PreCheck and Nexus through GOES. However, you must be near the Canadian border for your Nexus interview as Nexus centers are only in Canada and the Northern border states. If you do live near a Nexus center, it is a better value than Global Value at only $50 vs. $100 for five years.

Once you’ve submitted your application through the GOES system, the application will head off to Homeland Security for review. I’ve heard applications take as long as a couple weeks to as short as a couple days. Mine was the latter at just about 2 days to receive preliminary approval. As long as you don’t have a history of breaking the law or violating customs rules, I wouldn’t sweat being approved. The GOES system will notify you by email when there are changes to your application status. Once you receive you pre-approval electronically through the GOES system, you have 30 days to schedule your interview at a Global Entry center. DFW Airport is the only Global Entry center in the Dallas area. DFW currently has a very full schedule through the summer. I checked other airports around the country and airports like SFO, JFK, and DEN had availability for interviews much sooner. I got pre-approval in early April and the next available slot was at the end of June. After that, the next slot wasn’t until August. Not too efficient, eh?

All the travel blogs will tell you to check daily for cancellations and earlier slots to open up. I recommend this as well but it took a long time for an earlier slot to open up. A couple weeks ago, a slot opened up on June 7th. Of course, I took it. For all the waiting weeks or months for your interview, the actual interview only took me about 10 minutes of waiting in the lobby and 3 minutes for the interview. They take a quick picture and take your fingerprints. Other than long wait to schedule an interview, it’s very painless.

You’ll receive your Trusted Traveler ID number on your pre-approval letter but it won’t be any good until after your interview. Homeland Security tells you it takes 48 hours to receive the final approval email but I got mine about 2 hours later. Of course, as soon as I got home I entered my Trusted Traveler ID into all of my existing reservations and my frequent flyer profiles. I should receive my Global Entry card in about 2 weeks. I hope my picture looks nice!

Here’s to looking forward to lots of TSA PreCheck selection and painless, short U.S. re-entry!

Share your own experience with Global Entry in the comments below.

 

 

DFW to London and Dublin in Premium Economy over Thanksgiving – British Airways – #FlightDeal – Open Jaw – Nov 2014 – $1403 R/T

A great fare to travel to the UK and Ireland in the comfort of British Airway’s Premium Economy. Limited availability in latter half of November. Cheap flights between London and Dublin can certainly be had for as low as £73.

If you are banking your miles to Alaska’s Mileage Plan like me, this is a tempting deal!

Sample Departure Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2014

Sample Return Date: Tue, Dec 2, 2014

Airline: British Airways

CPM:  13.0 CPM (Yes, high but for Premium Economy over the holidays, a great value!)

Total Base Mileage Earned: 9,752 +10% Class Bonus for a total of  10,727

Routing: DFW-LHR, DUB-LHR-DFW

Total Roundtrip Fare: $1,403

dfw-dub-lhr-premecon-nov24

 

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4.4 CPM+ – Delta/American – #FlightDeal or #MileageRun – PBI to SFO (And Reverse) – October 2014 – $280 R/T

A great weekday transcontinental fare between West Palm Beach and San Francisco. Available in both directions on Delta and American, depending on the date/direction.  Same-day turnaround available for you mileage runners. Sample dates below:

West Palm Beach to San Francisco:

Sample Departure Date: Oct 3, 2014

Sample Return Date: Oct 3, 2014 (Redeye, Arrives Oct 4)

Airline: Delta

CPM: 4.4 CPM

Total Base Mileage Earned: 6,322 miles

Routing: PBI-DTW-SFO-DTW-PBI

Total Roundtrip Fare: $280

pb-sfo oct 3

 

San Francisco to West Palm Beach:

Sample Departure Date: Oct 1, 2014

Sample Return Date: Oct 7, 2014 

Airline: American

CPM: 5.4 CPM

Total Base Mileage Earned: 5,122 miles

Routing: SFO-DFW-PBI-DFW-SFO

Total Roundtrip Fare: $280

 

sfo-pbi oct 1

The Love Field Fare Wars Begin……

With yesterday’s announcement from Southwest Airlines for new service from Dallas Love Field once the Wright Amendment is full repealed,  I figured it was only a matter of time before other airlines starting match Southwest’s $99 each way fares.  Virgin America introduced $79 one way fares out of Love Field to LGA,SFO, DCA, and LAX a few weeks ago when they announced service from Love Field.

I’ve been expecting American Airlines, if not others to start matching Southwest’s $99 Fares to destinations like LAX,LGA,DCA, and SFO from Dallas area airports. Well sure enough, I checked out the ITA Matrix this morning and American has starting matching fares ($198 R/T) to LAX. Of course, these are departing out of DFW instead of DAL as American does not serve Love Field.

I’m sure these won’t last long so if you’re planning a October or November visit to Southern California, book now. However, I do think this signals a long term decrease in fares from Dallas with the exit of the Wright Amendment restrictions and compounded by the entry of Virgin America into Love Field.

 

dal-lax oct 2014