Earned miles safe in merger

Q&A

April 27, 2008|By San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

What will happen to my frequent-flier miles now that Delta and Northwest will go ahead with a merger?

Don't worry about losing hard-earned miles. They won't go anywhere, though finding an open seat to your favorite destination will probably be tougher after the merger.

When American Airlines acquired TWA in 2001, it also absorbed the carrier's mileage program. Members of TWA's Aviators program were allowed to transfer their miles into American's AAdvantage account at no charge.

You can expect the same thing to happen this time. Tim Winship, editor of the Web site Frequentflier.com, says the programs are so similar, you might not notice much difference.

But here's the catch: Combining the memberships of two programs doesn't mean there will be more available seats to fliers.

Do I need a visa for a three-week visit to Ho Chi Minh City? What about vaccinations?

You'll need a visa and vaccinations.

Call the Vietnamese Consulate General for visa information, but be forewarned: getting them to process an application may take time. You can download an application at vietnamembassy.us or use a visa service. Expect to pay $65 for the visa; service fees are additional. Processing time is about four days.

Talk to your doctor about vaccinations, but you'll likely need shots for Hepatitis A and B, polio and tetanus. A typhoid immunization can be taken in pill form -- three pills over five or six days, we were told by a colleague who has visited Vietnam.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov), you should get your shots four to six weeks before traveling to ensure that they take effect.

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