With the pending merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, Alaska will be merging its Mileage Plan with Virgin America’s Elevate Frequent Flyer programs. Virgin America’s Elevate Points will be converted to Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a rate of 1.3 Mileage Plan miles per 1 Elevate point. Unlike previous airline frequent flyer program conversions where it’s 1:1, the Virgin to Alaska miles conversion will net you 30% more miles. Everyone should try to earn more Virgin Elevate Points before the merger of the two frequent flyer programs.
Given Alaska’s generosity, we also recommend you move your hotel points to Virgin America’s Elevate points. For example, transferring your Starwood (SPG) Starpoints to Virgin America Elevate points is 1 Starpoint for 1 Elevate Point. If you transferred 20,000 SPG Starpoints, SPG would give you another 5,000 points for the transfer. After transferring the SPG Starpoints to Virgin Elevate Points and the Alaska Virgin frequent flyer merger, you can net up to 63% bonus in Alaska miles. We highly recommend you execute the above strategy before the Alaska and Virgin America programs merge on January 9, 2017.
Here are two related articles you may also find interesting:
If you are not an Alaska Airlines frequent flyer or do not want to maintain too many airline accounts, did you know that you can bank your airline miles with SkyTeam and OneWorld partners!? Click here to find out.
Here’s an article on why we think hotel points are more valuable than airline miles.
Hate pressing the home button to unlock your phone with iOS10? Here’s a simple way to fix it.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button > Rest Finger to Open “ON.”
Follow up to my previous post about United’s international WiFi offering, I’d the chance to take advantage of United’s international WiFi service on United flight 180 from Hong Kong to Newark. I’ve been doing the EWR-HKG route since my previous post but none of those flights had a working electricity outlet which prevented me from forking over US$17 for 3 hours of internet service. On this flight, the electricity outlet on my seat is working which means I’ll have about 10 hours of internet connection for $17.
Soon after leaving Chinese air space where there is no satellite coverage, I was able to login to United WiFi using my United MileagePlus credentials. The signup process was extremely smooth as my credit card on file was shown and all I had to do was to check off the terms and conditions box and the purchase button.
The next thing I did was to test if I could use my paid subscription across multiple devices. The answer is YES. I was able to login to my Mac and iPhone BUT not at the same time. Each United MileagePlus account can only pay for one United WiFi subscription. You can however switch devices using your MileagePlus account as the login.
The second thing I did was to run a speedtest to check the connection speed. Below is the result flying over Japan:
As you can see from the connection speed results, do not expect to use United’s international WiFi connection to do anything beyond checking emails, browsing basic sites such as reading news, and writing this post
For the record, I’ve tried the following services:
- FaceTime which timed out.
- Skype call which worked but the voice quality was unbearable.
- Websites with rich content (video and text) such as ESPN.com took about 30 seconds to load.
In summary, I think the $17 for approximately 10 hours (losing 3 hours flying out of China air space and about 2 hours to get above certain altitude to receive WiFi) is worth it.