The world economy is still in the pits. Unemployment is still rising and the travel business is falling. Most airlines are suffering a major drop in their bookings, particularly with business/first-class bookings. But what is bad for the airlines can be good for travelers who are looking for a deal.
Over the past week or so, nearly all the US legacy airlines are offering double or triple elite miles for booking and flying between now and about mid-summer. The exact offer details vary by airline, but if your goal is to achieve elite status or earn more miles towards a free flight, now would be a good time to take a trip. Some airlines are also offering bonuses on specific routes. American and United are both offering a mileage bonus for booking between the US and the UK through the summer. They are also offering deals on flights between Boston and California.
And it’s not just the airlines getting in on the action. Amtrak is also offering double points for nearly every trip taken between now and May 8th. They did this same promotion last year and I was able to take advantage of it when I went from Orlando to Philadelphia. They are also offering quadruple points for taking a trip on National Train Day which is May 9th.
For all of these promotions, you will need to register in advance online before booking or taking the trips to have them count. Here are the links to the double/triple miles promos:
On the hotel front, there hasn’t been any deals like what the airlines are offering. But many properties are cutting prices to fill the rooms since bookings are down. Many individual hotels are offering deals though so it’s worth doing some research into the local offerings.
Personally, I haven’t taken advantage of any of the deals yet, but will almost certainly take an Amtrak trip or two when I am in Boston next month. I’m watching fares for a few different destinations though so hopefully something that fits with my schedule and budget will turn up soon.