frequent flier programs

High-speed trains challenge airplane in China, complaining about airline service doesn’t pay, etags may mean less lost baggage.

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It may be too early to write the obituary for frequent-flier mileage runs — those legendary year-end flights that offer a shortcut to an airline’s coveted “elite” status — but it’s easy to see the end from here. With Delta Air Lines and United Airlines tightening their loyalty program rules in 2014 to require more spending in order to get singled out for special treatment, many of these frivolous round trips could vanish after this winter.

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Many benefits that were once only the province of very frequent fliers are available to travelers who haven’t set foot on an aircraft in years. Heck, new travel credit card benefits are better in some cases than any airline benefit gained from being an elite level frequent flier.

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Sometimes highways are more than only a means of transportation. Is racism rearing its ugly head when it comes to budget hotels? And, taking another look at frequent flier programs.

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If you don’t like some of the recent changes to your airline loyalty program, talk to Mike Croswell. He’s a United Airlines “Million Miler” who assumed that his three decades of devotion to the airline would be reciprocated after he stopped being a frequent flier.

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If you haven’t read your contract with your frequent flier program, you might take some time to do so. Those precious miles that you so carefully earn and add up, don’t belong to you. They belong to the airlines. And, they mean it.

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Gogo soars to unexplored heights with new offerings, 10 Las Vegas’ best bets for brunch out of casinos, frequent flier programs — good or bad?

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This weekend we look at good articles dealing with frequent flier programs that work for passengers, deciding between flying and taking the train in Europe, and a piece about how planes can withstand a direct lightning strike.

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This weekend we read about deals based on economic misfortune, frequent-flier program woes that don’t seem to be stopping the enthusiasm of members, and mistakes cropping up on online travel sites and why.

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If you’ve ever asked what the fuss over frequent-flier programs is about, then you know that the answer can be complicated.

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