It’s been a rough year for airlines, and with fewer flights and fewer passengers, they’ve had to get creative to find ways to make money while grounded.
Even if you’re not planning to fly anytime soon, you can take advantage of the many ways airlines are trying to stay top of mind.
Here’s what you need to know:
American Airlines is offloading their excess alcohol with a new wine club.
Flagship Cellars is a new wine club curated by American Airlines‘ team of wine experts. You can either build your own box for $13 – $40 per bottle, choose from curated collections, or you can subscribe to get three “prestigious” wines per month for $99.99.
Best of all, if you’re an AAdvantage loyalty program member, you can earn two miles per $1 spent at Flagship Cellars.
Also: Vinesse.com has wine sales that’ll earn you points/miles with Delta, United, Hawaiian, and other airlines.
United Airlines lets you earn Premier status by riding the bus.
United Airlines has partnered with Easton Coach, a bus company, to shuttle travelers between Lehigh Valley International Airport and Newark International Airport — and it can help you hit Premier status.
If you’re booking a flight from Allentown to anywhere else on United, you’ll probably get a “UA Bus Service” option. You’ll earn Premier Qualifying Points for the bus ride (but not Premier Qualifying Flights) and you’ll accumulate redeemable miles.
Some international airlines are selling their food.
With dining service suspended on many airlines, some of them are finding creative ways to sell food, turning into wannabe restaurants.
- Don’t even want to get on a plane? Thai Airways converted their Bangkok office into a restaurant last fall, complete with airline food ($3 – $5 per meal), airplane seats, and uniformed servers. They also have delivery service.
- Singapore Airlines has offered “pop up” dining experiences on an A380 superjumbo plane that doesn’t take off. They have three-course dining for Economy Class ($50) and Premium Economy ($90), as well as four-course meals in Business Class ($300) and Suites ($600). They also let people buy a Business Class meal for two for home dining, starting at around $220.
Qantas lets you buy their swag with points.
Although almost every airline has an affiliated online store where you can buy official merchandise, almost none of them will let you use airline points to pay for the goods.
For just under 74,000 Qantas Points, you can buy a branded cashmere sweater. For 48,000, you can get a hoodie. A sweatshirt will run you just over 43,000 Points and a T-shirt costs just over 26,000 Points.
There’s a ridiculously huge inventory of products available for purchase with Qantas Points, including electronics, appliances, homewares, luggage, clothing, sports & outdoors, and more.