A hotel hack, cheap cancellation fees, poor service, and more


This week around the web, we’ve got a nice little hotel hack to create your own award availability, the program you want to use for flexible plans in Europe, a look at how company culture affects customer service, and more. Read on for the weekend recap:

Hotel Hack: Book Award Night When Only Cash Rates Available (YMMV)

Data breach hacking fraudulent charges

All I have to say about this is that it could also potentially be useful if award pricing were variable. YMMV.

The Pan Am Flight Attendant Who Gave Her Life Saving Passengers on a Hijacked Flight 33 Years Ago

I thought this was a really interesting story that I hadn’t heard before. The movie unfortunately isn’t available for steaming on Netflix, but I’ll hunt around for it a bit more out of curiosity thanks to this post from View from the Wing.

American Airlines Doesn’t Want Employees To Help Customers

American Airlines Planes

One of the ways that miles and points has changed me as a consumer is that points have enabled me to experience just how good customer service can be in the travel and hospitality industry. Unfortunately, that’s also made poor customer service situations stand out even more starkly. The line from this One Mile at a Time post that stuck out at me the most was, “At American I consistently feel like employees are inconvenienced by my presence, especially their employees working on the ground“. American Airlines has a lot of employees and some of them are surely excellent, but I’ve unfortunately felt like an inconvenience to airline employees at both American and United more often than not in my domestic travels over the past couple of years. I rarely feel that way when flying Southwest, which says a lot to me about company culture and its influence on the customer experience.

Confirmation that BA is now only charging 50p Avios cancellation fees on short haul!

One of the things I love about using miles from foreign programs to book award flights is the fact that cancellation penalties tend to be much less severe with foreign airline programs. Still, this is super-generous, and as Head for Points concludes, I can’t see fees this low lasting for long, but it could certainly be useful if you’d like to lock down a couple of options for your trip.

Rules For Japan Airlines (JAL) Miles Award Charts

If you didn’t hear the big news, Travel is Free is has started a new chapter. Drew and Carrie are friends and we wish them both all the best in their new endeavors. I was also excited to see this new post from Drew as he is clearly continuing the same good work.

That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

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Hey Nick, thanks for linking to my hotel hack post. Great to see you at FM to Go. Best of luck with 40k to far away and looking forward to hearing more about it at the Chicago Seminars.