Scandinavian Airlines: Los Angeles – Amsterdam, Netherlands. $599 (Basic Economy) / $669 (Regular Economy). Roundtrip, including all Taxes

Scandinavian Airlines: Los Angeles – Amsterdam, Netherlands. $599 (Basic Economy) / $669 (Regular Economy). Roundtrip, including all Taxes

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A good sale to Amsterdam.

The $669 fare includes one checked bag each way.

The $599 fare is a Basic Economy fare / Economy Lights with restrictions. Scandinavian Airlines Basic Economy / Economy Lights fares:

  • DO NOT include checked bags – they are $60 each way if you buy 22 hours before checkin. It will be $120 at airport checkin
  • DO NOT allow for changes
  • DO NOT allow for cancellations – so if you cancel after the 24 hour risk free period, the Basic Economy version will have no value for future purchase
  • Most online travel agencies are not displaying Scandinavian Airlines Basic Economy / Economy Light fares as such.

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Amsterdam, Netherlands – Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License (By 2.0)

Sample Travel Date:

  • This is just ONE SAMPLE travel date, for more availability, please follow the “Fare Availability” and “How to Search for Availability” instructions below

Fare Availability:

  • Valid for travel from November – early December. A Sunday stay is required. Availability is limited. Must purchase at least 28 days in advance of departure
  • Please note that while this fare is valid at time of posting, if this post is more than two days old, the fare is likely gone.

How to Search for Availability:

  • This is just to search for availability. To buy your tickets, scroll down to “How to Buy” section of this post
  • Use Matrix Airfare Search by ITA Software and use the following search criteria:
    • Origin: LAX
    • Origin Advanced Routing Code:
      • Routing Codes: sk sk
      • Extension Codes: maxconnect 360
        • This is instructing Matrix Airfare Search by ITA Software to search for the Basic Economy / Economy Light fare. Use those dates on Scandinavian and you will be presented with the option to upgrade to a regular economy fare.
    • Destination:  AMS
    • Return Advanced Routing Code:
      • Routing Codes: sk sk
      • Extension Codes: maxconnect 360
    • (Click on Advanced Codes link to enable advanced routing code input)
    • Select “See calendar of lowest fares”
    • Duration “3-10” (This is just a sample, you can use any 7 day date range like 3-10, 7-14 etc)
  • Beginner’s Guide on How to Use Matrix by ITA Software
  • How to Read Airfare Rules and Use It to Your Advantage
  • The Matrix Airfare Search by ITA Software search page should be like below when all values are inputted


  • You cannot buy tickets using Matrix Airfare Search by ITA Software. To buy, follow our instructions in the “How to Buy” section below.

Fare Class:


  • LAX – CPH (Copenhagen) – AMS (Amsterdam) – CPH – LAX



Scandinavian Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and United partner. Mileage earning with United is as follows:

  • Miles Flown: 12,000 miles or 5.0 cents per mile (Basic Economy) / 5.6 cents per mile (Regular Economy)
  • Redeemable Miles: 6,000 miles

How to Buy:

  • Book on Scandinavian with dates found on Matrix Airfare Search by ITA Software.



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Background Information:

  • Visa: US Citizens – Not Required. Other nationals, check the TIMATIC Visa Database
  • Currency: Euro (EUR). $1 USD = 0.92 EUR

Tips for saving when using credit cards at international destinations:

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American Cracking Down On Flight Attendant Appearance

American Cracking Down On Flight Attendant Appearance

American Airlines will be cracking down on violations to the company’s flight attendant appearance standards. This could have some interesting implications.

American’s warning to flight attendants

As reported by View from the Wing, an American Airlines flight service manager has sent a message to flight attendants this week, warning of a new goal of 100% uniform compliance. Here’s the memo:

As we all know, uniform noncompliance is sometimes an element that goes unnoticed and isn’t addressed, effective immediately, American Airlines has a goal of achieving an environment of 100% uniform compliance through 2023.

To help you proudly represent the professional and consistent public image along with American Airlines brand, you will be seeing FSM’s walking through the terminals, positioned at KCM, or visiting Gateside aircraft to promote uniform awareness and standards.

If you happen to be observed non complained in uniform, we will approach you with follow up to include the reason for concern and a non-complaint uniform report will be sent to your FSM for follow up. For more information about American Airlines flight attendant image. Please consult the uniform and image standards located in comply 365, under my publication, collections, go to the document library under uniform, uniform stanards, and image. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

First of all, wow… the grammar and basic errors here are beyond embarrassing. How can any flight service manager expect to be taken seriously when this is how they communicate?

American will be cracking down on employee appearance in terminals

My take on American enforcing appearance standards

Appearance standards tend to be a pretty consistent issue at US airlines, with many employees not wearing uniforms the way they’re supposed to. Among the “big three” US airlines, I anecdotally find the most issues on this front at American, followed by United, followed by Delta.

If you’re going to have rules, I can appreciate that it makes sense to enforce them, because otherwise what’s the point?

At the same time, I can’t help but think that this might just be counterproductive:

  • Keep in mind that American management and the flight attendant union are already undergoing contentious contract negotiations at the moment, and flight attendants are accusing management of dragging its feet
  • It’s not going to be good for morale if flight attendants feel like they’re being watched at every turn, and are being written up
  • This seems like a silly thing to focus on — why not instead prioritize enforcing service standards rather than appearance standards, because in my opinion that has a much bigger impact on the passenger experience?
I don’t see this initiative going over well

Bottom line

An American Airlines flight service manager sent out a memo to flight attendants, warning that 100% uniform compliance is expected in 2023. Managers will be stationing themselves at security checkpoints and in terminals, and will be writing up those not following the rules.

I can’t imagine that this will go over so well, especially given the current contract negotiations going on. To me, this seems like a strange thing to focus on, as morale at the company is already low.

What do you make of American’s appearance standards memo?

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Points of View: Will my rewards change if I pay by mobile wallet?

Points of View: Will my rewards change if I pay by mobile wallet?

Here at TPG, we regularly emphasize maximizing your earnings on each purchase. For example, we recommend using these credit cards at supermarkets and paying with these cards when at the gas pump.

But what if you use a mobile wallet — such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet — to pay for purchases? Will your “great for supermarkets” credit card still earn bonus points or cash back, or will that purchase code as something else, forfeiting rewards?

Let’s examine whether your rewards will change if you pay by mobile wallet.

What is a mobile wallet?

Before we jump in, let’s clarify what a mobile wallet is.

A mobile wallet is a smartphone app that holds things like credit cards, gift cards and mobile boarding passes for a flight. You don’t need to show your physical credit card when paying with a mobile wallet. Instead, you hold your device near the payment terminal and make payments that way.

Mobile wallets can be useful for those who carry multiple credit cards, as you’ll have the ability to use them without the bulk of carrying them in your physical wallet.

Related: Are mobile wallets safe?


Most credit and debit cards can be used with mobile wallets. However, there are exceptions.

You can’t add ATM-only cards. You also can’t add corporate credit cards from most issuers or small-business credit cards from Bank of America.

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Know, too, that you might receive an error when adding a new card since your mobile wallet may need time to complete a security review on your newly activated card.

What rewards will you earn from mobile payments?

The good news is that mobile wallet payments at a supermarket should still code as a supermarket expense on your credit card statement, earning whatever rewards your card provides for supermarkets. That’s because the Merchant Category Code — which stores set to identify their business type — stays the same. The MCC on your payment shouldn’t change whether you swipe your credit card or pay with that same card through your phone’s mobile wallet.

Related: Is it time to ditch your wallet? The pros and cons of mobile payments

However, note that I said “shouldn’t.” You may sometimes see strange coding on these kinds of purchases. For example, two TPG employees had recent mobile wallet purchases at Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS code as “merchandise.”

I also ran into a unique situation while living in Brazil for nearly six years. Most businesses in Brazil that accept American Express cards use a separate credit card machine for these payments. Because of this, they classify the second payment terminal differently than the first.

For example, a restaurant will have a credit card machine for Visa, Mastercard or Discover payments; as the primary credit card machine, it’s assigned a “restaurant” MCC. The Amex terminal is assigned a “bar” MCC to separate the payment-processing machines. That means these payments don’t earn bonus points in a restaurant category.

TPG points and miles reporter Kyle Olsen had the same experience when visiting Brazil last month. When paying with Amex cards, he didn’t earn bonus points at restaurants.

On a recent trip to Brazil, points and miles reporter Kyle Olsen didn’t earn bonus points at restaurants with Amex payments. AMERICANEXPRESS.COM

Barring these abnormalities, most mobile wallet payments earn how you would expect: Supermarkets are supermarkets, gas is gas and taxis are taxis. A credit card with bonus-earning rates in those categories should provide the associated benefits.

Credit cards with bonus earnings for mobile payments

Some credit cards award bonus points when making mobile wallet payments, regardless of your purchase. You could make a mobile wallet payment at your corner store or local mechanic and earn bonus points in this category, regardless of your card’s other earning categories.

There aren’t many cards that earn extra rewards on mobile wallet payments. However, they can provide serious value when you compare the mobile wallet earning rates to everyday earning rates for swiping your card the old-fashioned way. Here are some top ones:

Card name Mobile wallet earning rate Earning rate on everyday spending
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card* 3 points per dollar. 1 point per dollar.
Apple Card* 3% back on select merchants; 2% back on Apple Pay purchases otherwise. 1% back.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card (no longer accepting applications)* 1.8% back on mobile wallet payments in the first 12 months from card opening, then 1.5% back. 1.5% back.

*The information for these cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For everyday spending (in which you won’t earn any bonus points or cash back), changing your payment method could lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars in extra value at the end of the year.

Bottom line

In most situations, paying by mobile wallet should net the same rewards you’d receive by swiping your physical credit card. However, there are some exceptions.

There are a few cards that provide bonuses on mobile wallet payments. Additionally, there are times when you might earn according to your card’s everyday spending category. As a result, it’s important to double-check your cards’ fine print to make sure you maximize your earnings — whether you pay the traditional way or via a mobile wallet.

Editor’s note: “Points of View” is a series evaluating decisions on which credit card to use. If you’re facing a dilemma about which card is best for an upcoming payment, email us at with the subject line: “Points of View question.”

Also in this series:

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Emirates to deploy first-ever A380 service to Bali, Indonesia, by June 2023

Emirates to deploy first-ever A380 service to Bali, Indonesia, by June 2023

Emirates will deploy its first-ever Airbus A380 route to Indonesia, with a daily service from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), starting June 2023. 

The two-class (business and economy) A380 service will replace one of the two daily flights to DPS airport currently operated by a two-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The new A380 DXB – DPS service will operate on the following schedule:

EK368 departs Dubai at 03:25 local time, arriving in Bali at 16:35 local time. 

EK369, departs Bali at 19:40 local time, arriving in Dubai at 00:45 local time.

Emirates said that Bali continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in its network and strategic markets in Southeast Asia.

“The Emirates A380 is synonymous with our fly better promise and world-class products and services, and we’re excited to offer our travelers the opportunity to experience its uniqueness and unmatched beauty on flights to and from Bali. Needless to say that we’ve been working closely with our partners at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to ensure our A380 operations will be seamless and smooth,” Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

Tourism accounts for almost 60% of Bali’s economy. In 2019, the island received a record 6.2 million foreign visitors. According to Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Bali received 377,276 visits in December 2022, representing an increase of 31.27% over November 2022 levels.

During January 2023, Central Bureau of Statistics recorded a number of visitors from Australia, Russia, India, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom, United States, China, and Germany coming to Bali.

According to the Diplomat, in late 2022 the Indonesian government announced that a Second Home Visa – adapted from the country’s existing retirement visa – would be available from December 24, 2022 for foreigners looking to work remotely from one of the country’s 18,000-odd islands for up to 10 years.

The scheme hopes to attract more so-called ‘digital nomads’, of which Bali currently has over 5,000

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Airbus Hands Over First China Built A321neo

Airbus Hands Over First China Built A321neo

DALLAS – Plane maker Airbus has delivered its first A321neo airliner to be assembled at its Final Assembly Line Asia (FAL Tianjin). The aircraft (B-32DF) was handed over to Shanghai-based Juneyao Air (HO) in a special ceremony.

Along with its final assembly facilities in Hamburg, Germany; Toulouse, France; and Mobile, United States, the Tijan plant was opened back in 2008. It became Airbus’ first commercial aircraft assembly line outside of Europe. Since opening, over 600 aircraft have been delivered from the site. Work to make the site fully A321 capable began in August 2022 and was the first significant upgrade of the assembly line since it opened. Work was completed in November 2022, and in the official statement, Airbus said that it demonstrated its ‘commitment to enhance its long-term strategic partnership with China.’

Photo: Airbus.

Chinese Growth

Speaking of the momentous occasion, George Xu, Airbus Executive Vice President and Airbus China CEO, said, “Since we announced the commissioning of the first A321 aircraft at FAL Tianjin last November, the relevant final assembly activities and tests went on smoothly, showcasing the maturity of FAL Tianjin to quickly adapt to new products.

“The successful delivery of the first A321 aircraft enables Airbus to honour the popularity of the aircraft for the China market and beyond – and the consistent trust and support from our customers. Airbus continues to expand and enhance its comprehensive cooperation with China’s aviation industry, underlining its long-term commitment to China to ensure customer proximity while supporting the global commercial aircraft production ramp-up.”

Keen to highlight its green credentials, the delivery flight of the Pratt & Whitney GTF-powered jet was carried out using a 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel blend.

Juneyao Air was founded in 2005 as Juneyao Airlines. It operates a fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft, including five A321neos and six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Featured Image: Airbus.

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IHG Confirmable Suite Upgrade Success: InterContinental Sydney

IHG Confirmable Suite Upgrade Success: InterContinental Sydney

IHG, with its IHG One Rewards program refresh last year, introduced Milestone Rewards that we have covered in minute detail over the past 12 months.

There are two exciting award options for those that stay at full-service and luxury hotels: Annual Lounge Membership (lounge access is NOT a status benefit) and Confirmable Suite Upgrade certificates that members can use to upgrade their stays to suites.

You can access IHG One Rewards here.

Confirmable Suite Upgrade Certificates

Things to note:

1. Can be applied 14 days to 24 hours before the stay begins

2. Can be applied to a stay of a maximum of 5 nights

3. There are rate exclusions (no prepaid rates), and currently, award reservations are also not eligible (IHG has communicated that eventually, they will be)

4. You cannot apply them online but must call IHG One Rewards customer service or Ambassador Service Center

I applied one certificate for a stay at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand when these first became available and also documented the process:

IHG Confirmable Suite Upgrade Experience Case: InterContinental Paris Le Grand

My second cert was used for a stay at InterContinental London Park Lane that was rather lackluster (the suite upgrade was not good).

InterContinental Sydney Confirmable Suite Upgrade Process:

I have a four-night s up at the InterContinental Sydney in weeks and decided to ring the Ambassador Service Center very early this morning (I have the phone number saved). The process appears to be streamlined, as the phone call took less than 6 minutes.

The suite type used for these certificate upgrades is 1 KING 1 BEDROOM SUITE HARBOUR VIEW and represents roughly 13 category upgrade from the standard room type at this hotel.

The gentleman at the IHG’s end was having some issues with their system, but I noted to him that I had already received an updated confirmation, and it was ok at their end after he refreshed the screen.

Soon there was an additional email congratulating me for using an award.

IHG One Rewards Program Refresh Coverage:

Reader Question: Where Are IHG One Rewards Rollover Nights?

IHG One Rewards Status Not Updated & Rollover Nights Missing For 2023?

IHG Food & Beverage Rewards Now Available At Select US & Canada Hotels

IHG One Rewards Food & Beverage Award Delay – Expiry Extended Through December 31, 2023

IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards “Annual Lounge Membership” Now Valid Through December 31, 2024

IHG Annual Lounge Membership Experience Case: InterContinental Le Grand Paris

IHG Confirmable Suite Upgrade Experience Case: InterContinental Paris Le Grand

IHG One Rewards New Elite Tiers & Benefits Now Live

IHG One Rewards Milestone Rewards Now Live

IHG Launches IHG One Rewards With Breakfast, Suite Upgrades & Lounge Access

InterContinental Hotels Renaming Club Lounges To Prevent Free Access?

IHG One Rewards Upgrade Benefit Clarification

IHG Rewards Refresh: Spire Elite Becomes Diamond & New Silver Tier

IHG Rewards Email About Program Refresh In April 2022


InterContinental Sydney was one of the reasons why I lost my Royal Ambassador status in the late 2010s, as I didn’t like the hotel and decided not to stay there (why would you give money to a property that you don’t like?).

I have decided to stay there at least once post renovations (it was very dated) to see how the refurbishment work has been done and if the service is any better.

The suite upgrade cert works brilliantly at this hotel, as it jumps 13 room categories from the type I booked, and I will also get lounge access due to the Annual Lounge pass.

The only Royal Ambassador benefit I am missing during this stay is the “guaranteed” 10 AM check-in (used to be 8) and the minibar credit (used to be unlimited).

The Ambassador Service Center can now much better handle the application of these certs, as the call took just 6 minutes from start to finish.

You should be able to use these upgrade certs to award reservations too, but that functionality has not been rolled out yet.

What have been your experiences, both success, and failure, when trying to apply these Confirmable Suite Upgrade certs to reservations? Please leave your comment below.

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