Star Alliance Los Angeles Billund, Denmark round trip is pricing at $631 to $654 for several dates Mondays to Wednesdays from next week into mid-June 2015 and even a couple of dates at $632 for mid-July departures.

Billund Denmark BLL airport has several low cost carriers like RyanAir for cheap onward journeys within Europe. One way fare to London STN airport is typically under $50.

This LAX-BLL route was offered in March for the same price by Star Alliance carriers.

Lufthansa Airlines Economy K class.

Los Angeles – Frankfurt – Billund, Denmark

May 5-12

LAX-BLL $640 LH May15

There are several potential routings using United, Lufthansa, Swiss, Air Canada and SAS.

United Airlines K class $631.90

July 13-21, 2015

Outbound – Lufthansa: Los Angeles – Frankfurt – Billund, Denmark.

Inbound – SAS Billund – Oslo; United Oslo – Newark – LAX.

LAX-BLL UA $531 July15

Billund, Denmark provides a cheap way to get to London with RyanAir round trip flights under $100 in July.

RyanAir $95.92 round trip July 14-20

Billund BLL – STN London Stansted

BLL-STN RyanAir $$96rt July15

Skyteam Alliance member China Eastern and Star Alliance airline Air China have Los Angeles Singapore round trip on sale for $733 for departures in May or late August through November. There is wide open availability beginning in September for most dates at this low fare.

China Eastern $733.40 Los Angeles – Singapore round trip

May 5 – May 19, 2015

LAX-SIN China Eastern $734 May15

This fare did not price out at $734 on China Eastern website.

Star Alliance member Air China $720 Los Angeles – Singapore

Air China offers this route in May for $755 and it is bookable on China Airlines website.

From late August through November the airfare drops to as low as $720 round trip all-in from Air China.

LAX-SIN $720 Air China-1 Sep15

LAX-SIN Air China Sep15 $720-2

LAX-SIN Air China $720 price-3

$721 is a good fare from LAX to Singapore round trip. This is one of the lowest fares I have seen to Singapore in the past month. Not quite as low as a ticket from LAX to Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta available for a short time this week at $389.

Loyalty Traveler – [Fare Gone] Fare Alert $380 round trip LAX-CGK Jakarta, Indonesia Delta Sep-Dec 2015 (April 15)

Loyalty Traveler – Fare Alert Delta $389 San Jose SJC KUL Kuala Lumpur [fare gone] (April 16)

Swiss Airlines has San Francisco to Gothenburg Sweden SFO-GOT on sale again for a few dates in April and May for $617. These fares were prevalent three weeks ago when it was possible to fly in June or August at this price. This fare is only available for some April and May dates today.

SFO-GOT LX $617 May 2015

This fare is bookable on Swiss Airlines website. I used the Priceline image for its more compact display.

This Swiss Airlines deep discount economy K class fare earns 50% miles in United Mileage Plus for 6,563 redeemable miles.

April in Monterey, California means harbor seal pups. These little pups of blubber come out on some beaches around the Monterey area for a month of growing on mother’s milk.

My impression is harbor seals do not like to touch each other. They keep their space and when a little nursing pup can’t get milk from its own mom, the other adult seals on the beach are worth a try for a shot of milk. The results are vocalizations from the adult seals that are not heard most of the year, warding off the pups to go back to their own mom. Seals are fairly docile and quiet creatures when they are not disturbed by roaming pups.

harbor seal pup and mom

There have been 14 pups born and living on the beach at Whalers Cove Point Lobos State Reserve and more pups are on the way, judging by the size of some of the female seals.

Seal pups

Another treat yesterday was to see the mama sea otter who birthed twins in February. Sea otters are physically incapable of raising twins. I came across the mama otter in Point Lobos within minutes of the twins birth.

Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued one of the twin pups who was abandoned within hours of being born. I learned yesterday that she has been introduced this week to Rosa, a female adult southern sea otter resident at MBAQ who has been a surrogate mother to other abandoned sea otter pups. Otter pup 696 is doing fine.

Meanwhile her brother, who I am told is much smaller living in the wild with his mom otter in Whalers Cove Point Lobos, was restfully sleeping on his mother’s arm yesterday, his 50th day birthday.

sea otter pup

Too cute.

Off to Vancouver, Canada today in search of more wildlife and hockey nuts. Last time I was in Vancouver there was a riot over the Stanley Cup Playoffs in June 2011. I saw yesterday where Vancouver is in the Stanley Cup Playoffs again this week. Should be entertaining.

Hope to see some wildlife in outdoors British Columbia next week and wild life in the city.

Related post: Rare sea otter twin pups at Point Lobos State Reserve (Feb 27)

IHG has partnered with Coca-Cola for a summer promotion called Share Forever. Registration opens Monday, April 20. Few details in the press release, except promotion dates. IHG Share Forever promotion runs May 1 to September 7, 2015 and IHG Rewards Club members earn 500 bonus points after first stay. No details about bonus points amounts for additional stays. Kimpton Hotel stays do not count for this promotion.

The promotion is only open to IHG® Rewards Club members who are residents of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The full press release is below. Please note that promotion links are not yet working, but expect links to go live sometime in the next 60 hours.

Read More…

Aeroflot has dropped airfare to the $500s from New York to many airports around Europe for May departures. Aeroflot had a similar sale last Friday when prices to more than a dozen cities dropped under $600 with no advance purchase required.

Aeroflot is a Skyteam airline and tickets purchased for deep discount economy on Aeroflot in N and E economy class earn 50% miles with Skyteam partner programs Air France/KLM Flying Blue and 50% flight miles for E class with Delta Skymiles; 25% miles N class. Since these flights route JFK-SVO Moscow, more flight distance miles earn more redeemable miles. Aeroflot economy N class are the lowest fares, but you may want to pay $50 more each way for E fares, if you want Delta Skymiles.

Here are some of the deals available for booking today April 17.

New York JFK – FCO Rome $596 Aeroflot May 12-May 19, bookable on

12,308 flight miles JFK-SVO-FCO Rome earns 3,077 redeemable Skymiles miles for Aeroflot N class segments. Pay $100 more for E class and earn 6,154 redeemable Skymiles. Seems like the lower fare Economy N class is the better deal.

JFK-FCO $596 Aeroflot May15

Aeroflot JFK-SVO-FCO $596 round trip, all-in May 12-19 priced on Bookable on Aeroflot. Priceline itinerary image used above simply due to better display of flights than seen on Aeroflot site for this ticket.

  • New York JFK – AGP Malaga Spain $572 Aeroflot May 12-19
  • New York JFK – MAD Madrid Spain $575 Aeroflot May 12-19
  • New York JFK – BCN Barcelona Spain $571 Aeroflot May 17-24
  • New York JFK – BLQ Bologna Italy $578 Aeroflot May 17-24
  • New York JFK – MXP Milan Italy $587 Aeroflot May 17-24
  • New York JFK – VCE Venice Italy $581 Aeroflot May 17-24
  • New York JFK – NCE Nice France $593 Aeroflot May 19-26
  • New York JFK – GVA Geneva Switzerland $580 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – ZRH Zurich Switzerland $594 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – ATH Athens Greece $601 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – Istanbul Turkey $571 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – SOF Sofia Bulgaria $575 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – BEG Belgrade Serbia $578 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – OTP Bucharest Romania $579 Aeroflot May 12-19
  • New York JFK – Budapest Hungary $587 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – Vienna Austria $621 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – PRG Prague Czech Republic $579 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – Warsaw Poland $572 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – Paris France $614 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – BRU Brussels Belgium $587 Aeroflot May 14-21
  • New York JFK – AMS Amsterdam Netherlands $585 Aeroflot May 14-21

Aeroflot sale under $600 JFK to Amsterdam, Madrid and more cities in Europe April to June 2015 (April 10)

Does Westin by Wyndham or IHG Sheraton sound enticing?

How about La Quinta Inns, a vision of Four Points?

Starwood Hotels, everybody’s favorite darling at the high end hotel market segment, apparently has its investors, who are seeking higher returns, rumbling for a change. This discontent is fueling talks of Starwood Hotels merging with Wyndham Worldwide or InterContinental Hotels Group, two global chains who could benefit from more high-end hotels. Or maybe even Blackstone Group can take over Starwood Hotels, like they did with Hilton and La Quinta for great return on investment.

Or Starwood Hotels could possibly buy a large mid-scale brand like La Quinta to expand growth quickly.

Instead, we get Starwood’s Tribute band as the major noise of the week. I mean Tribute hotel brand. has a good read from Tara Lachapelle of Bloomberg –

Starwood Shareholders Agitate for a Merger or a Buyout as Growth Lags (April 17)

Bloomberg analysts see little upward momentum in Starwood Hotels stock for 2015. Analysts see Starwood as too high-end hotel heavy at a time when growth is in the mid-scale market. Hotel brands like Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express open several new hotels every week.

Analysts see Starwood Hotels future as either an acquisition of a mid-level market segment hotel brand or a buy out by an investment firm or a merger with a chain like Wyndham, or UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group for a tax inversion benefit.

Starwood Hotels was my hotel chain darling for years, but the past few years I find better value with other hotel chains. The promotions from SPG have been relatively weak, the benefits heavily favor top elites and the reward price has increased greatly for hotels over the past decade while the earning opportunities have declined from hotel stay promotions.

American Airlines has Seoul, Korea on sale for $615 all in flying Japan Airlines San Francisco SFO – GMP Seoul, Korea via Tokyo Haneda HND. These fares around $615 all-in ($494 base fare) are available for late April and May 2015 on select dates departing Monday to Thursday. Skyteam flights with Delta are about $100 more. Departures from LAX start at $725.

There have been many southeast Asia sales routing through Korea, but surprisingly, this is one of the few sales to Korea in the past month. Star Alliance had Korea at around $700 round trip March 23.

Singapore or United SFO to Seoul ICN $695 to $715 April-May 2015 (March 23)

SFO-SEL AA $615 May15

The transpacific flights are American Airlines codeshares for Japan Airlines operated flights. These segments earn 100% AAdvantage miles for economy Q class.

SFO-HND segments round trip earn 10,320 redeemable AAdvantage miles.

HND-SEL is 1,470 miles round trip and these segments earn either 2,940 AAdvantage miles at 100% or 882 miles if credited at 30% as Japan Airlines operated flights, but not AA codeshare segments.

SFO-HND-SEL-HND-SFO earns 11,202 or 13,260 redeemable AAdvantage miles.

Reader expert response desired: I questioned in the past month if flights purchased on American Airlines as JL flights like the two Japan-Korea segments for this itinerary earn 100% redeemable miles? My thought is JL91 and JL94 only earn 30% miles since they are Japan Airlines operated flights, but not AA codeshare flights? Any reader know for sure how these Japan Airlines flight segments credit to AAdvantage?

This is a good deal for Seoul, Korea.

One of the best values for this year’s Daily Getaways travel offers are Marriott gift cards 20% off at Daily Getaways today. These are straight cash discounts without buying points. Starting price is $80 for a $100 Marriott gift card. There are also $500 cards for $400 and $1000 cards for $800.

These eGiftCards go on sale at 1:00 pm eastern time, 10:00 am Pacific.

Marriott eGiftCard

  • Marriott eGiftCards can be used like cash at over 4,000 participating properties, including any JW Marriott®, EDITIONSM, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® Hotels, AC by MarriottSM, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard® by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites® by Marriott, SpringHill Suites® by Marriott, Residence Inn® by Marriott, TownePlace Suites® by Marriott, and Marriott Vacation ClubSM (rentals only), worldwide.
  • Marriott eGiftCards may also be used at participating Ritz-Carlton® Hotels.
  • eGiftCards do not expire.

$100 Marriott eGiftCard

  • 410 available
  • Purchase limit = 5.

$500 Marriott eGiftCard

  • 308 available
  • Purchase limit = 2

$1,000 Marriott eGiftCard

  • 75 available
  • Purchase limit = 1

Good luck.

Last week I reported American Airlines low fares to Brazil. Miami had routes around $600 to several airports. Los Angeles and San Francisco were closer to $800 mark with LAX being slightly lower than $800 and fares from San Francisco slightly above. The interesting aspect of last week’s sale and today’s sale are American Airlines ticket prices are about the same whether you fly to Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo or to a dozen or more airports all across Brazil. Some airports are fairly remote locations along southern Atlantic coastal beaches or deep in the interior of the Amazon rain forest.

Loyalty Traveler – American puts Brazil on sale $600 to $793 into June 2015, many departure airports (April 7)

The flight scene for Brazil has changed in the past week.

Good news is American Airlines relatively low fares in the $770 to $800 range are still available from New York and San Francisco for bookings today for travel to many airports across Brazil into December, with the exception of July departures.

Bad news is New York fares are lower fares than Miami MIA departures. San Francisco SFO fares are lower than Los Angeles LAX departures.

This is a good deal when a discount San Francisco fare matches a discount New York fare to South America.

First, let’s see a map of Brazil, so even the uninformed can see where airports are located in Brazil. Most readers have probably never been to Brazil. I have not been to Brazil, although I had a friend who visited the area frequently and shared many travel stories over the years about Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

Brazil is big. Do not count the states of Hawaii and Alaska and Brazil is a larger land area than the 48 USA.

New York – Brazil airfares Tuesday, May 5 – Tuesday, May 12

Brazil flight map

[click on image for full size map of Brazil airports and prices.]

Brazil is so large an area that I can’t fit the entire geographic boundaries in an image clip from Google Flights without knocking off a couple hundred miles of the south and the northern border with countries on the South America continent. Obviously, I could make Brazil fit in the image if I zoomed out. You would not see the airports then. Click on Brazil airports image and check it out. ‘Size does matter’ in travel.

Here are some routes and prices for New York JFK and San Francisco SFO to Brazil airports. MIA as a departure airport looked to be more expensive for most routes outside major Brazil hubs of Rio and Sao Paulo.

New York EWR – MAO Manaus, American $771.17 Economy Q booking class $660 base fare.

  • 6,982 AAdvantage miles EWR-MIA-MAO-MIA-EWR

EWR-MAO-$771 AA Brazil May15

Manaus, Brazil is a city of 2 million in the middle of the Amazon rain forest and was founded over 300 years ago. The city’s major significance to me is I looked at the city dot in an atlas at my grandmother’s house in Covina, California  when I was a young teenager in the 1970s, the kind of book door-to-door sales persons used to walk around neighborhoods selling with a sweet pitch.  I wondered what it would cost to fly to Manaus, that population dot in a sea of forest? I don’t remember the price now. I guarantee you it was several times the cost today, adjusted for inflation.

We can travel the world on low airfares. I am not sure that is entirely a good thing with air travel increasing along with climate change factors.

May 2015 low airfare

Newark EWR – Recife REC $771 The Brazilian ‘Venice’ is dotted with islands along a coastal reef on the Atlantic. A major shipping port.

Porto de Galinhas is 40 miles south of Recife and has been voted Brazil’s best beach town by some measures. 

Newark EWR – Curitiba CWB $772

I googled Curitiba during the World Cup soccer match 2014 and this place intrigued me as a good Brazil destination known for its pine forests and fog. Sounded like a warmer Monterey away from the ocean.

Newark EWR – BSB Brasilia $775 Brazil’s capital city.

Newark EWR – SSA Salvador $775 Brazil’s third sister in population is Salvador, behind Sao Paulo and Rio. Original capital of colonial Brazil. Beaches.

Salvador is known as “Brazil’s capital of happiness” according to wikipedia.

How can you not like that?

  • Newark EWR – GRU Sao Paulo $775
  • Newark EWR – GIG Rio de Janeiro $775
  • San Francisco SFO – GIG Rio de Janeiro $775
  • San Francisco SFO – GRU Sao Paulo $775
  • San Francisco SFO – BSB Brasilia $775
  • San Francisco SFO – CWB Curitiba  $772
  • San Francisco SFO – REC Recife  $773
  • San Francisco SFO – SSA Salvador $773

Fares found on Google Flights.

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