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Frequent Fliers

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BUSINESS
May 5, 2012 | By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times
There are frequent fliers, and then there are people like Steven Rothstein and Jacques Vroom. Both men bought tickets that gave them unlimited first-class travel for life on American Airlines. It was almost like owning a fleet of private jets. Passes in hand, Rothstein and Vroom flew for business. They flew for pleasure. They flew just because they liked being on planes. They bypassed long lines, booked backup itineraries in case the weather turned, and never worried about cancellation fees.
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NATIONAL
April 2, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Airline customers complain about being mistreated on a daily basis, but Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg took his grievance all of the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Ginsberg, the court sided with Northwest Airlines on Wednesday. Ginsberg was not just a frequent flier with the airline, but also a frequent complainer. By 2008, Northwest declared it had lost patience with his protests and demands, and revoked his vaunted Platinum Elite membership. Ginsberg was outraged.
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TRAVEL
November 1, 1998
Reading your article "Navigating the New World of Frequent-Flier Miles" (Travel Insider, Aug. 30) made me more angry over my treatment by one airline. At the end of your article you blame your inability to fly from LAX or San Francisco on Aug. 11, 12 or 13 etc. on your late attempt to reserve and your lack of flexibility. Well, how about this: Recently I called the airline to use my frequent-flier miles to fly to London and back to Los Angeles. They had no coach seats for February, March or April of 1999.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Airline customers complain about being mistreated daily, but Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg took his grievance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Ginsberg, the court sided Wednesday with Northwest Airlines Inc., now merged into Delta Air Lines Inc., in a case that had put carriers on edge. The ruling strengthens the industry's hand when fighting litigation filed by disgruntled passengers by bolstering a 36-year-old federal law that limits its exposure to such claims.
TRAVEL
September 2, 2012 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Question: On Aug. 1, I tried to book a round-trip flight on American Airlines between San Diego and Philadelphia for Oct. 1 using my frequent-flier miles. I thought a two-month lead would facilitate the reservation. There were no seats available for 25,000 miles for October. I paid $25 to speak to a human. She tried her best but with the same result. If I were willing to expend 50,000 miles, there were plenty of seats. How far ahead does AA release its frequent-flier seats? Is this bait and switch?
TRAVEL
October 7, 2001
Frequent fliers can get more for less at some U.S. airlines this fall. Among the recent offers: Delta Air Lines is cutting 10,000 miles off the usual SkyMiles award requirements for travel in the continental U.S. and Canada through Oct. 14. That translates to 15,000 miles for a coach ticket and 30,000 miles for first class. Telephone (800) 221-1212, Internet http://www.delta.com. American Airlines has matched Delta's deal for its frequent-fliers club and extended it to travel through Nov. 15.
TRAVEL
February 27, 2011 | By Terry Gardner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Frequent-flier miles are both a boon (to the vacationer who scores the award ticket) and a bane (to the person who has the miles but can't seem to score the ticket). That's where the commonality ends. Each program is different, with its own elite designations for very frequent fliers. Here's a comparison of seven plans for U.S.-based carriers. These are mileage plans (as opposed to points) unless otherwise noted. Alaska Pros: No fee to use miles to upgrade from coach; Alaska's MVP, MVP Gold and Gold 75K also receive a bundle of special elite benefits on Delta through a marketing alliance.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
When it comes time to trade in your frequent-flier reward points for seats on an airplane, low-cost airlines do the best job of getting you in the air. That was the conclusion of a study released last week by IdeaWorks, a Wisconsin-based consulting company for the airline industry. In March, IdeaWorks submitted nearly 7,000 booking requests through the frequent-flier websites of 23 airlines. Seats were requested for the airline's most popular routes in June through October. The study had a 93.5% success rate of finding available seats on low-cost airlines around the world, including U.S. carriers such as Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways and JetBlue Airways.
NEWS
July 9, 2012 | By Terry Gardner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If you've been hankering to hug a koala, you can now redeem American Airlines Aadvantage miles on Qantas. In April, American Airlines gave frequent fliers the option of booking award flights on British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines as well as Alaska and American using AA.com .  It was so well received that American negotiated with Qantas to let customers redeem AAdvantage miles for Qantas flights on American's website too. AAdvantage MileSAAver...
NEWS
January 14, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Southwest Airlines has moved on (well, actually backward) from a lively discussion that began last week over changes it plans to make March 1 to its frequent-flier program. Its blog's Flashback Friday post shows upbeat "luv"-centric print ads that date back to the airline’s beginnings 40 years ago. I'm not going that far back, but a quick recap is in order: I wrote a blog post last week that was mostly positive about the revamp of the airline's Rapid Rewards program.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Members of the U.S. military get an early Christmas present Friday: access to faster screening lines at about 100 airports across the country. The Transportation Security Administration allows travelers to speed through its so-called PreCheck lines without removing their belts, shoes and jackets, plus they can keep laptops and containers of liquid stowed in their carry-on luggage. So far, the PreCheck lines have been opened to frequent fliers who register through nine major airlines , plus travelers who have signed up for one of three " trusted traveler " programs run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg of Minneapolis admits being both a frequent flier and a frequent complainer. He flew on Northwest Airlines about 75 times a year, domestically and internationally, earning enough miles to qualify for "Platinum Elite" status. But he also complained a lot - about two dozen times in seven months, the airline says - demanding compensation for delays, lost bags and losing seats on overbooked flights that Northwest said the rabbi had reserved "with the purpose of being bumped.
BUSINESS
July 14, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
In the foreseeable future, fliers can expect to be “randomized” by the Transportation Security Administration. That means an electronic device called a randomizer would randomly direct travelers to different screening lines. One reason the devices are needed, federal officials said, is so TSA officers can't be accused of profiling passengers when they direct some fliers to a line for regular screening and others to a line for a faster, less intrusive search. In many airports, the TSA operates special screening lines where travelers don't have to remove their shoes, belts and jackets or take laptops and liquids out of carry-on bags.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deals and Travel Blogger
American Airlines rolled out a new boarding policy Thursday that allows passengers with one carry-on item that fits under the seats to board planes earlier than others who require overhead bins. It's all about being able to get to and from destinations on time, the airline says. "Our tests indicate that this new boarding process will improve our dependability and on-time performance, while being easier and more enjoyable for our customers," Carol Wright, the airline's vice president of customer planning, said in a statement.
BUSINESS
May 12, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
It's not exactly like winning the lottery, but boarding passes for some frequent fliers on US Airways, Delta and United airlines will now include a symbol that lets them go through screening faster. The faster screening lines are offered under a program called PreCheck, operated by the Transportation Security Administration. Frequent fliers with five of the largest airlines are invited to apply for the PreCheck program. If they get selected by the TSA to participate they can go through screening without removing their shoes, belts, jackets or taking laptops and liquid bottles out of carry-on bags.
NATIONAL
April 26, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Congress approved a quick fix Friday to end the flight delays snarling the nation's airports, and President Obama will sign the bill when it reaches the White House, showing how swiftly compromise can be found when powerful interests demand it. The speedy resolution came after airlines and businesses warned of lost earnings, and travelers - including lawmakers leaving the capital for a weeklong recess - complained about the waits....
BUSINESS
July 18, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
A plan to let pre-screened frequent airline passengers — such as business travelers — bypass the regular airport security checkpoints and instead zip through an expedited screening process will be tested this fall in Atlanta, Miami, Detroit and Dallas. Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole announced the details of the test program in a conference call with airline executives last week. The idea behind the pilot program is to pre-screen travelers who pose little risk and remove them from the general screening lines, making the process for all passengers move faster.
TRAVEL
March 17, 2013
A fascinating underwater trip I would like to compliment Nancy Baron for her incredible, gutsy and courageous underwater trip ["Blue Magic," March 10], which fascinated me. (I'm a former Italian navy frogman.) In her description of the underwater exploration, she made it look like an easy hobby. Scuba diving is very difficult and requires hard training and a very healthy body. John Rosati Simi Valley Kudos to Amtrak My husband, 10-year-old granddaughter Alyssa and I returned home Feb. 26 from a trip to the Bay Area on Amtrak Train No. 1. On Friday of that week, my daughter Chris received a call from her children's school in Ventura.
TRAVEL
March 3, 2013 | By Brian Kelly
You keep hearing about people who take these fabulous trips (see story) and they don't pay a penny - or very many pennies. You have miles, but you don't seem to be getting much, well, mileage out of them. For the last seven years, my life has been all about points. I quit my recruiting job on Wall Street, for which I traveled more than 150,000 miles a year (and collected numerous corporate credit card points), and founded ThePointsGuy.com , a website that's all about maximizing frequent-flier miles and credit card points.
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