Criminals Targeting Hotel Bookings, JetBlue Preferred Seating Fees, Invite-Only Elite Status

JetBlue A320 Cabin Restyling photo-2019-1c
Photo courtesy of JetBlue
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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 Friday, February 2, 2024, that we think you should read.

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The Morning Shave

Hackers Are Targeting You Via Your Hotel Bookings With a Major Scam.

This is further proof that you can take all the necessary steps to safeguard your information, yet someone else’s mistakes can expose you to fraud. It’s a shame that isn’t being more proactive about this and protecting customers. This is how you get a horrible reputation and ruin your business. Listen to our podcast interview with Kathy Stokes from AARP about how to avoid travel fraud.

JetBlue Adds “Preferred” Economy Seat Fee.

We recently shared an article about JetBlue’s “Plan B” to boost it’s bottom line by increasing revenue and cutting expenses. With fees for “preferred” seats in Economy, JetBlue is taking its first step to get more revenue from passengers. Travelers can pay to sit in Even More Space seats, but Preferred seats are just in “better” locations within the economy section of the airplane. Would you pay extra to sit in one of these seats?

JetBlue tailfins blueberries
Photo courtesy of JetBlue

Are your credit card rewards taxable? Here’s why you’re receiving 1099s in the mail.

It’s tax time, and many people are receiving unexpected Form 1099s from banks. These forms document taxable income you’ve received from interest on bank accounts and for referring friends & family to apply for credit cards. Some friends are reporting that they’re receiving 1099s for promotions, credits and sign-up bonuses. In general, credit card rewards and welcome bonuses aren’t taxable because the IRS considers them a “rebate” on your purchases. However, if the welcome bonus or other rewards don’t require a purchase, it’s possible that the bank will classify it as income to you.

Hundreds of flights canceled as strikes hit major German airports.

Strikes in airports around the world can impact flights departing from the U.S. Always review your flights ahead of time to ensure they’re running on time and not delayed or canceled. And use a travel or airline credit card that includes travel protections in case your flights are affected.

The Ultra Secret, Invite-Only Elite Statuses Airlines Don’t Want You to Know About.

Many of us can easily name the top-tier elite status of our favorite airlines. However, what’s shared online isn’t always the highest level of elite status that airlines bestow upon their best customers. These airline loyalty programs often have secretive, invite-only levels reserved for the most lucrative travelers. Even though I would never spend this much with a single airline, it’s always cool to learn (and dream) about what’s possible.

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