Let’s be honest, most of us don’t expect to appear on television. I never thought I would be. It’s even cooler to me that I get to talk about something I love on the air.
I love to talk travel. If you’ve met me, you already know this. And yet, I’m always a bit humbled when folks think that what I have to say is valuable enough to put on TV. I was lucky enough to be on the air twice last week, which was awesome.
I had the opportunity to talk about the Alaska Airlines/Virgin American merger with Molly Line on Fox News Christmas Eve. I’ve got the video uploaded below if you’re interested:
Wait. Ed owns a tie? I caught a bit of flack for that on Twitter.
— gary leff (@garyleff) December 24, 2016
I’ve talked about the merger quite a few times. When it was first announced, I looked at what the merger likely meant for customers. I also looked at the business aspects of the deal.
Preparing for TV really made me think about what the merger means for frequent flyers as well as occasional travelers.
There are plenty of good reasons to consider Alaska Airlines. With the combination of the Virgin America they’re now strong in both the Pacific Northwest and California. Virgin also has some gates in Dallas.
Alaska also has a generous frequent flyer program compared to the bigger carriers:
- Miles are awarded based on the distance flown as opposed to how much customers spend.
- Top-tier elite status can be earned at 75,000 miles (or a combined 90,000 miles between all partners).
- Fly 50,000 miles and you’ll be exempt from most nuisance fees.
- Mileage upgrades to domestic first class without co-pays.
- They offer short-hop awards for as little as 5,000 miles to over 100 destinations.
Alaska is also really friendly, or at least all the crews I’ve had are. I’ve heard that from other folks that fly Alaska. Virgin America has an interesting product (and a really cool domestic first class seat), but nobody’s sure how long that product will be around.
And, because Alaska has so many international airline partners (British, Cathay, Emirates, Qantas, Japan Airlines and more) that you can get to a lot of places with their miles. Mostly without fuel surcharges, too.
The Final Two (Alaskan) Pennies
If you’re upset with American, Delta or United, you should give Alaska a serious look. They have no requirement to fly a certain number of flights on their metal to earn elite status. And, with a distance-based program, those longer domestic flights will likely earn a lot more miles with Alaska.
But, Wait! There’s More
No, it’s not a set of Ginsu knives. But, I did say I was on TV twice. I was on the day before as well talking about how to navigate the craziness of holiday travel. We also touched a bit on the future of loyalty programs. I’ve got the video here. If you get a kick out of me looking silly, I had a real problem keeping my eye on the camera for this one. So, I look a bit wacky.
TV isn’t easy, though I enjoy doing it. Stay tuned for a future post about what goes into a 3-4 minute television appearance. It’s a lot more than you think.
The post Talking Travel On TV: Why Alaska Airlines Deserves A Look was published first on Pizza in Motion