Alaska Fast Track Offer, Southwest $500M Hit, Chase PYB Extended

Alaska Airlines Captain Marvel livery
Alaska Airlines plane with Captain Marvel livery. Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines.
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Welcome to The Morning Shave. We read a ton of travel articles each day for our research to share the best travel tips, tricks, and news with you. Here are the articles for Wednesday, January 4, 2023, that we think you should read.

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The Morning Shave

Alaska Gives Expiring MVPs a Second Chance.

Elite members of Alaska Airlines’ loyalty program are getting a second chance at retaining their status. If you’re an existing MVP member that didn’t fly enough to qualify, you have until April 13, 2023, to earn 5,000 to 15,000 miles (depending on status level) to earn your status back. This is a great opportunity for people whose 2022 travel was well-below their norm.

Southwest Faces an Estimated $500 Million Hit From Holiday Flights Fiasco.

Not upgrading its back-end systems is really costing Southwest Airlines. Not only with travelers but also with its bottom line. And this half-billion impact is BEFORE the airline gave everyone 25,000 points. A painful lesson in delaying much-needed improvements to operational systems.

Southwest Airlines 737MAX
Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

These Are the Most Expensive Travel Destinations in the World.

If Santa was good to you, and you have money to burn, check out these expensive destinations for your next vacation. Not only do they cost a lot to get there, but you’ll also spend a lot once you’re on location. Of course, using miles and points to cover flights and hotels will reduce your out-of-pocket cost. But some things, like an African safari adventure, are typically paid in cash.

Chase extends Pay Yourself Back for 2023 but reduces the value of some points.

I’ve never been much of a fan of Pay Yourself Back because I want to get more than 1.25 to 1.5 cents per point. But, there are a lot of people who prefer cash back and think this is a good redemption of their points. The good news is that Pay Yourself Back has been extended through at least June 2023. The bad news is that the redemption value has been lowered significantly in every category (except charities). At least you still get more value than other flexible points programs, which top out at 1 cent per point for cash back.

Review: Hyatt Place PCB Panama City Beach.

Since we moved to the East Coast, we’re learning about all of the amazing beach destinations that are within driving distance. One of them is Panama City Beach, Florida. My buddy Ross recently stayed at the brand-new Hyatt Place in PCB and came away impressed. It’s an excellent value as a Category 4 property where rooms can run $700+ during the summertime. I’m definitely adding this one to my list for this summer.

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