More on possible new DCA destinations

Following up on yesterday’s post of VX’s application to begin DCA-SFO service, the Wandering Aramean has a more thorough post about all the newly proposed routes out of DCA, by new and legacy carriers.  As he points out, there is some interesting overlap between the proposals, but however this plays, it looks like there will be some new great options out of DCA.

USA Today also has an article about the proposed routes, and a poll to vote on the new routes.  For those unfamiliar with the situation at DCA (and why this is such big news), routes out of Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is subject to capacity and perimeter restrictions (as pointed out in the USA Today article).  For many years, no flights more than 1,250 miles were allowed out of DCA.  This was a law passed by Congress to try and force more air traffic to go out of the larger Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).  In recent years, Congress has passed laws allowing exemptions to the perimeter rule, so a few flights over 1,250 miles are starting to be allowed.  Most recently, there are four more long haul flights being added at DCA, hence, all the news about flight applications.

Free miles via Staples!

FrequentMiler, who I had the pleasure of meeting at KivaDo recently, recently posted about earning miles for free via Staples rebates, by buying hundreds of dollars of software that are free after rebate.  Staples also has their EasyRebate system, which takes a lot of the annoyance out of the rebate process.  FrequentMiler has posted step by step instructions, so I recommend checking out his blog for the details on this, and for other inexpensive ways to generate miles!

US Airways and American Airlines domain purchases

This is one interesting indication of some airline business playing out…Points, Miles, and Martini’s has picked up on a report that US Airways has bought several domains indicative of their interest in purchasing American Airlines.  Of course, they could be doing this just to cover their bases if they decide to make an acquisition, so nothing is necessarily going to come of this.  The Wall Street Journal has picked up on this too

Chicago Seminars Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2012 Chicago Seminars are now open.  They are a great place to meet other mileage enthusiasts and bloggers, and to learn a lot of information about these programs.  There aren’t really “secret handshake” type information given out at these, but there is a lot of opportunity to network and learn from others, and to hear about some of the famous exploits in the community.

There are FlyerTalk and Milepoint threads about the Chicago Seminars.  Also, Mommy Points, The Points Guy, and Million Mile Secrets, have previously posted reviews of last year’s Chicago Seminars.

TSA Tales

This could probably become a regular column 😛  A couple weeks back, Wandering Aramean posted about TSA pulling a person’s pants down in public while performing a pat-down (complete with pictures).

I had my own TSA resentment story.  While flying to Dublin last weekend out of EWR, I opted out of the millimeter wave scanner, <sarcasm>because I really wanted a massage </sarcasm> (and I wanted to do something in my life to potentially avoid cancer).  Anyway, they pulled me aside and called for male assist.  Almost immediately after I stepped aside, they started redirecting others through the regular metal detector, because they had to clean the scanner.  None of those people were pat down.  When I asked why I couldn’t just walk through, they told me I was “suspiscious” since I opted out.  I understand the logic, but I don’t understand what the point of the machine is if we just randomly let people through without it.  Apparently the five people behind me didn’t need to go through that machine, so why does anyone need to?

Honestly, I am not one of those terribly concerned with the privacy invading characteristics of those machines, although that is a legitimate concern.  But since there is potential for causing cancer, I do think that is a good reason to not use those machines.

To hell with security theater…


Determining if an award is worth it

Frequent Miler made a couple of posts with a basic guide to determining whether a booking is worth it when you use your points.  His advice is pretty good, and presents good guidelines to figuring out if you should use points or not.  However, it is also important to keep your goals in mind.  If your goal is to minimize out of pocket expense of any kind, and you have earned your miles through signup bonuses (as opposed to regular credit card spending), then it’s perfectly acceptable to redeem awards that are “not worth it” by the guidelines presented.

Without further ado, here is Frequent Miler’s guide for determining if an airline award is worth it and for determining if a hotel award is worth it.