Reader Questions & Comments: Easiest Oneworld Emerald Lifetime Status, Four Seasons Guest Loyalty Program, Oneworld Elite Lounge Access In Doha, IHG Rewards Club Cash + Points, Getting To Tahiti From Honolulu & Buying Hotel Loyalty Points

7 Comments

Here are seven reader questions from the past week (so many good questions coming in!) that I have decided to reply to publicly. You can always email me, leave a note or private message on Facebook, or Tweet me with your questions.

Reader Questions May 30

Note that I can shorten the emails and edit them for clarity. I always remove the personal information of both the reader and front line employees. If there are managers involved, I may leave their names intact, however.

Derek’s Question About Easiest Lifetime Oneworld Emerald Status?

Do you know which airline in the One World Alliance has the easiest achievable life time membership in their own loyalty program so as to entitled the lifetime member to use the benefits of Emerald class? Thanks

American Airlines used to have the easiest AAdvantage Platinum (maps to Oneworld Sapphire when all the miles earned activity counted towards it) lifetime status. AA currently doesn’t offer lifetime Emerald status.

British Airways lifetime Gold (maps to Oneworld Emerald) requires 35,000 tier points. I have a friend that flies mainly business on BA and some first class with AA and earns in excess of 5,000 tier points per year.

Lifetime Oneworld Emerald via BA is achievable if you fly a lot in long-haul paid and first class.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Using Delta SkyMiles On Saudia, Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee Scam, What Time The New PointBreaks Hotels Become Available, Qantas Equipment Swap, IHG Rewards Club Point Earnings Now & Previously, Ritz-Carlton/Marriott Rewards & Courtyards Hotels, and IHG Best Rate Guarantee Woes

Tessa’s Question About Four Season Guest Loyalty Program

Great to find your website. I manage my sons points, he is a member of so many different loyalty reward programmes. Any updates or comments on the four season loyalty programme. Worth joining & do they have any partner hotels? Appreciate your help.

Four Seasons still probably has this “By Invitation” program that comes with upgrade certs and some other perks that I wrote about here. They were supposed to launch a proper guest loyalty program that I also wrote about here, but so far they haven’t.

If someone has recently been invited to this “By Invitation”, drop me an email. I would like to know what the current benefits are.

Deep’s Comment About Oneworld Emerald & Sapphire Lounge Access In Doha

I am sorry I rarely complain to write about airline service, strangely enough, Qatar AW was my 1st time, infact i posted a video on you tube and now I am stuck in this shit hole again…

We live in Oslo and took the opportunity with Qatar Aw low fares to go over to Bangkok in economy  for a short break, I am BA Gold One World Emerald Wife is BA Silver One world Sapphire.

I really hope that BA, Cathy and JAL follow suit and prevent any Qatar aw freent fliers into their lounges when irrelevant of their ticket status. Qatar aw has now ruled that any Emerald member cannot access their lounge but go to a dedicated crap lounge which is not the same as their main lounge.

This is interesting development. I flew Qatar Airways in economy from Phuket to Abu Dhabi back in February and had access to the proper lounge in Doha (and probably drunk half of my airfare in Krug).

Previously, elite members were not able to access the Premium Terminal when flying in economy. It is unfortunate if Qatar Airways again tries to “downgrade” the lounge access for Sapphire and Emerald members when flying in Economy.

On the other hand, you should be happy that you are based in Oslo. That is one of the cheapest cities to fly out in Europe on business class nowadays. Was there just past week to end one ticket.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Using Hilton HHonors Points Towards Parking Inclusive Rate, Ambassador Free Weekend Night Expiry, IHG Into The Night Free Night Award, Aegean/Delta Or Gulf Airlines, Accor Hotel Lowered The Rate And Promo & What Program For The US?

Marlon’s Comment About IHG Rewards Club Cash + Points

Maybe you can update all our readers that using points and cash for hotel reward stays can sometimes be problematic when you’d like to make changes.

I experienced this when booking the Crowne Plaza in Tel Aviv (20.000 points per night plus 70$ i think instead of using 30,000 points). They immediately charged my creditcard.

The moment i cancelled the booking, my 20.000 points were “refunded” plus 10.000 points that i supposedly had bought. So instead of returning just 20.000 points and my cash, they never returned 6 nights x $70 but simply gave me 6×10.000 = 60.000 points which i “had bought” for $70 per night*6=$420.

I called the IHG customer service, but there’s nothing they could do about it they said.

So in the end i rebooked the nights for a different date and simply booked it for the full 30.000 points per night instead of using points and cash again, so it evened out….

The Hilton honors however has a different way: when you book points and cash they only charge you the moment you check into the hotel. So when you cancel before, you get points and cash back.(i think there’s a 24 hour – before – check-in – dead line

I have covered the situation with the IHG Rewards Club Cash + Points awards number of time. The IHG Rewards Club basically sells you the points and then books the regular points award. This way all the properties are participating unlike is the case with Hyatt, SPG or Hilton.

Also, this allows you to have access to purchase basically unlimited number of IHG Rewards Club points by booking Cash + Points and then canceling them. You shouldn’t, however, go overboard with this. I believe that there were some that had their accounts frozen for this, although haven’t heard anything as of late.

Denise’s Question Getting To Tahiti From Honolulu

Here’s my problem. We would like to fly to Tahiti. We live in the SF Bay Area. I thought a good way to get there would be to fly to Hawaii, stay a few days and then fly on to Tahiti but there are no flights from Honolulu to Tahiti. And there is only one airline that goes to Tahiti, Air Tahiti Nui and that’s it. I can’t believe it!

There is actually a weekly flight on Honolulu to Papeete on Hawaiian every Saturday. You could then fly back to San Francisco from Papeete on Air France or Air Tahiti Nui via Los Angeles.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Marriott Rewards, Airline Frequent Flier Programs, IHG Member Exclusive Rate & Qualifying Stay, Delta’s Medallion Program & Downgrade On AA Award Ticket?

Karl’s Question About Buying Points

Concerning SPG Buy Points and HH Buy Points, which both end (very) soon.

With HH Points, could these be used on a trip to an exotic island? If yes, are these award-stays including food (i.e. breakfast and dinner)? or are they to be paid for extra?

“Exotic Island” was referring to the Conrad Maldives or something like that….Is that possible? Including Food&Drinks?

And the SPG Points, when buying them to transfer to SQ, in the End I could buy 25k Singapore Miles for $525? Is that correct?

And oh, sorry, last Question: If I was in Australia and wanted to go to mainland USA, which StarAlliance Carrier could I book with LH-Miles? I could not find any..Or would it make sense buying Virgin America Points? Oder GOL?

When you have an award stay with Starwood or Hilton HHonors, the award only covers the actual stay. Then there could be additional elite level benefits such as breakfast and happy hour.

You can use Starpoints for instant awards and even for lowering your bill. This is not usually a very good use of points, however.

There are three Star Alliance airlines that serve Australia to/from North America and these are United Airlines, Air New Zealand and Air Canada. You should be able to use Lufthansa Miles&More miles on these as long as the award availability is there.

Conclusion

Keep the emails and messages coming. I will have these READER QUESTION(S) pieces at least once a week (sometimes more often) and try to cover issues that would help LoyaltyLobby readers.

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