Million Mile Secrets posted a way to book hotels that give a substantial number of bonus Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points. Best of all, these points count toward the 110,000 needed to qualify for a Companion Pass.
SWA’s Companion Pass is a wonderful benefit, because it lets your designated companion fly with you for only $5.60, and is good for an unlimited number of flights and up to 2 calendar years. So far as I know, no other airline offers anything like it.
The method for getting the Rapid Rewards points is to book hotel nights through SouthwestHotels.com.
Amazon is offering 300 free eBooks for Prime members. These are AmazonClassic editions, including The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, and Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. You can find them here, but double-check that the price is $0 before clicking the Buy button.
Some of the books include free audible versions.
You can read these ebooks on a Kindle, and any portable device with the free Kindle app installed, and on any PC.
You can find a list of some of the most popular titles in this blog post at The Gate.
Delta Airlines is offering some dramatically low airfares from several U.S. cities to Beijing, China…just $380+ r/t. Depart from LAX, SFO, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, NYC, Seattle…all cities that can be reached by a positioning flight on Southwest Airlines from Austin.
Hawaii is a great winter destination, a way to avoid Austin’s cold and wet weather. You can fly from Austin to Phoenix on several airlines, including my favorite Southwest. Then fly non-stop to Kona-Kailua, on the Big Island of Hawaii, for just $418 round-trip on American. You can find the details in this Secret Flying post.
There is lots to see and do on the Big Island, including Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau (city of refuge) National Historical Park, surfing, snorkeling, shopping, hiking and visiting the giant telescopes at the Keck Observatory on top of Maunakea.
There is also Kohala Ditch Adventures, a sort of flume ride in irritation canals that pass through long tunnels and exposed channels, several miles in total length, on the north side of the island.
I visited the island a decade ago, and greatly enjoyed the experience. Rather than selecting a very nice hotel, I waited until I arrived and went with the (almost) cheapest option that was offered by vendors at the airport. It turned out to be single room with private bath.
Hanga Roa (the only town on the island) is walkable, but to see the moai you will need to take a tour or rent a car. I chose the latter, and drove from one end of the island to the other. In retrospect, a narrated tour might have been the better choice so I could gain a better understanding of what I was seeing.
LATAM airline, a OneWorld partner, serves Easter Island from Santiago, Chile.
A recent Newsweek article describes the latest insights into the ancient people who created and moved the moai.
According to a post at Wandering Aramean, ANA (All Nippon Airways) will be adding free wi-fi to its aircraft used for domestic Japan flights. The provider is Panasonic.
Japan Airlines already provides free wi-fi for domestic service. Their provider is Gogo.
ANA will also add USB power ports an embedded entertainment screens on many of its new and existing aircraft. This is in contrast to some American carriers, who are deleting screens (and reducing costs and weight) based upon the assumption that passengers will bring their own devices onboard.