PointsHoarder 25: Higher fees, upgrades, downgrades and an unironical "Comfort" product

May 2, 2013

Welcome to episode 25 of the PointsHoarder podcast, where we will – once again – take you on a journey of random musings intermixed with vaguely useful information in the world of points and travel. This week’s episode includes some good news on a few fronts.

American Airlines has announced their Elite Awards for 2013 and they’re accessible to more customers than ever. Not quite as squee-worthy as the attention they received, in my opinion, but still a nice benefit rolled out.

Alas, there were also a few cuts in the points world over the past couple weeks. All four major carriers in the USA have upped the change fee on domestic flights to $200 (AA was still holding out when we recorded but they since joined the others) and Hilton finally got around to cutting the value of their AXON awards which co-branded AmEx card holders have access to. Both rather significant downgrades, unfortunately. Not surprising, but still downgrades.

TSA PreCheck is getting a bit easier to figure out as Delta US Airways and United are now labeling boarding passes with the icon if the customer gets the faster screening. And Pakistan International Airlines is dropping their 5th freedom service between Chicago and Barcelona after a very brief effort to run that route.

Also, both Stephan and I took flights in Turkish Airlines‘ Comfort Class (premium economy) on the 77W in the past couple weeks and we offer up our comparative views on the product. Here’s a hint: it is comfortable.

All that and more in this week’s episode. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

Show Notes:

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