Great news! You’ll now have more options for award seats on new routes with Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Air Canada.
And fly to spots like Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Mexico, Chattanooga, Salt Lake City, and more!
I’ll give you ideas for how to use miles & points for award seats on these new routes!
1. Southwest Adds Flights From Long Beach to Oakland. And Plans Flights to to Cuba!
Southwest Airlines is adding 4 daily round-trip flights from Long Beach to Oakland starting June 5, 2016.
That gives folks in the Los Angeles area another Southwest airport in addition to Los Angeles, Burbank, Orange County, and Ontario.
Southwest also hopes to be approved to fly to Cuba in 2016 from 3 airports in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando.
How to Earn Southwest Points
You can use your Southwest points to book any available seat on any flight. And folks with the Southwest Companion Pass can bring a friend with them for only the cost of taxes and fees!
Now is a great time to earn the Companion Pass. Because all three Southwest cards are offering 50,000 point sign-up bonuses!
You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold card.
Southwest Upgrades Coming
Southwest expects to offer Wi-Fi on all flights in late 2017!
And they’re planning to complete a new 5-gate international terminal in Fort Lauderdale in 2017.
2. Fly to Certain US Cities With New Routes on United Airlines
Good news for folks who like to fly domestically on United Airlines! You can now book tickets on new routes scheduled to start later this year.
United Airlines is adding daily flights from Newark to:
- Lexington, Kentucky
- Fort Wayne
- Salt Lake City
And twice-daily flights between Chattanooga and Chicago (O’Hare) and Newark.
And once-daily flights between San Francisco and Omaha.
To book these award flights, check out my guide on how to earn (and use) United Airlines miles, including transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
3. New Flights Between New York (JFK) and Turks & Caicos on American Airlines
You can now book tickets on American Airlines’ new service between New York (JFK) and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.
The flight will operate once per week. It departs on Saturday from New York and returns on Sunday from Providenciales.
Award seats will cost:
- 15,000 American Airlines miles one-way in coach
- 25,000 American Airlines miles one-way in Business Class
- 12,500 American Airlines miles one-way in coach (off-peak award)
4. Air Canada Adds Flights to Mexico, Costa Rica, Palm Springs, and Trinidad & Tobago
Air Canada is adding flights from Montreal to Puerto Vallarta. And to San Jose, Costa Rica. And from Toronto to Palm Springs and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
You can buy tickets for these new routes now, but they won’t start flying until late 2016.
Air Canada is a Star Alliance partner, so you can use miles from airlines like United Airlines or Singapore Airlines to book an award ticket.
And Air Canada Aeroplan is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner. So you have options when booking award tickets.
Keep in mind Air Canada adds fuel surcharges to their award flights.
It’s also worth mentioning these flights are on Air Canada Rouge, which is their low-cost division. These flights are usually on older planes, with less legroom, and no built-in entertainment systems. But if your seat is free, it can be worth it!