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Playing catch-up: American ups fees; Alaska cancels flights and BA offers refunds

Here's some stuff you might have missed over the past few days while you've been glued to the tube watching that phish-like Phelps guy go for the gold:

American Airlines has upped the ante yet again for those frequent fliers hoping to redeem miles. It'll now cost ya $50 plus 15,000 miles to upgrade from economy coach -- that's one way. Double the pleasure if you want roundtrip. It'll also take more miles to earn a roundtrip ticket. Changes take effect Oct. 1. Hey, American's not making the rules, here. They're just following the pack. Thanks, Delta.

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Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines yesterday canceled more than 40 flights from Anchorage to West Coast cities due to volcanic ash. Say what? Yeah, some volcano spewed its guts into the air just to ruin your trip. Mother Nature probably knows Alaska's natural attractions are way too crowded in summer.

And finally, some good news. If you flew overseas on British Airways or Virgin Atlantic sometime between August 2004 and March 2006, you may be entitled to a refund. Thanks to a class action lawsuit, the two airlines are offering cash refunds for a portion of the fuel surcharge you paid, according to the Washington Post. Refunds will range from $7-$34 for each roundtrip flight. If you have a big family, could add up to a nice chunka change. Get your cash here.

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(Photo: Getty Images) 

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