NH Hotels Flash Sale: 50% Discount

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NH Hotels are having a flash sale for travel until December 31, 2012. You can get rooms/suites at 50% discount off of their regular prices. This offer expires this coming Sunday. You need to make the booking using the flash sale link.

nh-hotels-flashsale

These rates are valid for NH Hotels in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain & Switzerland. These rates are prepaid, non-changeable, and non-refundable. Book only if your dates are firm.

nh-hotels-flashsale-frankfurt

I was looking for a hotel near Frankfurt airport for 5th of December when I am transiting there likely for overnight. The price using this flash sale discount is very attractive.

Reader of LoyaltyLobby alerted me about this offer via Twitter. If you think that I have missed a deal or promotion, you can always send me an email to john@loyaltylobby.com or tweet me at @LoyaltyLobby.

Conclusion

This appears to be a very good offer. Check if you happen to be any of the cities where the flash sale is offered and if the price offered is competitive. Don’t forget to sign up for their NH World program as well.

Iberia Transatlantic Bonus Offer for Fall/Winter 2012: Up To 50K per 2 Segments

Iberia has now also announced their transatlantic bonus offer for fall/winter 2012.  The promotion is valid until January 31, 2012, and is valid for Iberia Plus members in the United States and Canada. Registration is required. There are similar offers from United, Delta, American Airlines & British Airways.

iberia-transatlanic-bonus-offer

This offer is valid for direct flights between United States or Canada and Europe that are both marketed and operated by American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia. The offer is valid for all first and business class fares but only for full fare economy.

Unlike some other offers, Iberia’s doesn’t require a round trip purchase but is rather based on number of flights that you take. After you have flown more than 4 segments, the bonus for every additional two flights is 50K Avios.

Conclusion

There are not offers from oneworld (British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia), Star Alliance (United), and SkyTeam (Delta) for transatlantic travel this fall/winter. The bonus amounts and travel periods are identical. United and Delta offers are only for direct flights from United States to London Heathrow where oneworld offers are valid for all direct flights from United States and Canada to Europe that are marketed and operated by on BA (OpenSKies also qualifies for BA’s version of this offer), AA, and IB.

Here’s the terms and conditions of this offer:

Offer valid on direct flights operated and marketed by Iberia, British Airways, and American Airlines between the United States or Canada and Europe. The cabins and booking classes that are valid for Iberia are: Business Class (J,C,D,R,I), and Economy Class (Y, B, H); for British Airways: First Class (F, A,), Club World (J, C, D, R, I), World Traveler Plus (W, E,T) and Economy Class (Y,B,H); for American Airlines: First Class (F, A), Business Class (J, D, R, I) and Economy Class (Y), to book and fly from 25th September to 31st January 2013. These Avios will be accumulated and noted on your February 2013 account statement once the promotional period has finished. This promotion is not transferable and exclusive to Iberia Plus members in the United States and Canada. It is essential that you register in order to benefit from it. The promotion cannot be combined with any other offers valid during this period. Errors and/or omissions will be rendered invalid.

Double Virgin America Elevate Points for West Coast Flights

Virgin America is offering double points (10 points per $10) for flights between Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle booked in Economy for travel by November 15, 2012. You need to register for this offer prior to your travel.

virgin-america-elevate-double-points

The value of an Elevate point is 2.15 cents each unless Virgin America has recently changed the ratio.

Conclusion

If you have Virgin America flights coming up in the West Coast before November 1, 2012, it makes no sense not to sign up for this double points offer.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

The typical earn for Elevate members is 5 points per $1 spent on the base fare – in this promotion, you will earn 100% bonus reward points per $1 spent on the base fare for qualifying flights booked and flown in Main Cabin (i.e., a total of 10 points per $1 spent during this promotion). To qualify for this offer, Guests must a) be enrolled in Elevate prior to registering for this promotion, b) register for the promotion between October 9, 2012 and November 15, 2012 and c) register for the promotion prior to their travel date to be eligible to earn the bonus reward points. Elevate members must correctly add their Elevate number to their reservation prior to their travel date. In order to qualify for this offer, your booking must be made in a qualifying revenue booking class in Main Cabin for nonstop or connecting flights flown between October 9, 2012 and November 15, 2012 and between the following cities: Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Palm Springs (PSP), Portland (PDX), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO) and Seattle (SEA). Only tickets that are ticketed on a Virgin America prefix (‘VX’) and operated on Virgin America will qualify for this offer subject to these terms. Thru-flights are excluded from this offer (i.e., flights which have a stop but do not require a plane change). Any changes or cancellations might result in disqualification from the offer. All travel not normally eligible for earning reward points, including Reward bookings, are excluded from this offer. The 100% bonus reward points will be awarded in addition to the normal reward points earned at a rate of 5 points per $1 spent on the base fare for a total of 10 reward points per $1 spent on the base fare for qualifying flights. Go to www.virginamerica.com/elevate to view the standard Elevate points earning rules. Elevate members who meet the registration, booking and travel requirements will receive 100% bonus reward points for all qualifying flights during this time. (For instance, if a member has 2 roundtrips, then they will earn 100% bonus reward points for both roundtrips.) Qualifying Elevate members will receive their points for qualifying flights in 2 steps: After the qualifying flight is flown, they will receive the normal 5 points per $1 spent on the base fare in their Elevate account. Within 4–6 weeks after the flight being flown, they will then receive the bonus reward points in their Elevate account. Bonus reward points earned in this offer do not qualify towards Elevate Gold or Elevate Silver status. Bonus reward points cannot be transferred between accounts and will only be earned if the member has entered their Elevate membership number in their booking. If the member has chosen to earn points with a partner airline loyalty program, no bonus reward points will be earned on your travel with Virgin America. All Elevate program terms and conditions apply. Points required to redeem an Elevate travel reward on Virgin America will be publicly available on a seat and flight-specific basis and are subject to change. Domestic reward bookings are subject to a security fee of $2.50 per segment, payable by credit card or Virgin America credit file. The Passenger Facility Charge and Segment Fees are waived for domestic reward bookings. For international reward bookings, Virgin America guests are responsible for the taxes and fees incurred from international travel. These taxes and fees are subject to change at the discretion of each country’s government and also vary from country to country depending on the origin and destination.

Priority Club “50 Meetings” Meeting Planner Bonus of 50K Bonus Points for San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and New York

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Priority Club has a bonus offer of 50K points for meeting planners that book a meeting by February 28, 2013 and consume it between January 1 and March 31, 2013, in San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, and New York.You can access the offer here.

priority-club-meeting-planned-50k-meet-and-earn-bonus

You have to be enrolled to a Priority Club Meeting Planner-program to be eligible for this bonus. It seems that you need to request this bonus at the time of making an offer request that you can do online. The terms and conditions refers to rooms so it seems that you need to book at least 2 and have some sort of meeting place arranged as well to be eligible.

Conclusion

This is a nice bonus in the form of Priority Club points if you are planning a meeting at any of these four cities during the first quarter of 2013.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

1. Offer available at participating Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites properties in the U.S. for a qualified meeting. Qualified Meeting must be booked by February 28th, 2013 and conducted between January 1st, 2013 and March 31st, 2013. A qualified meeting or group stay requires paid guest rooms for at least one peak night of the event. Subject to availability and black out dates. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Not valid with group bookings affiliated with city-wide conventions. Planner must request bonus points offer and it must be recorded in the hotel sales contract at time of booking.

2. 50,000 Bonus Points

a. Meeting Planner is eligible for 50,000 Priority Club Meetings Rewards Points up to 110,000 maximum per meeting (60,000 base points and 50,000 bonus points). Any applicable taxes associated with receipt of the bonus points is the responsibility of the recipient.

3. Must be a Priority Club Meeting Rewards member, or enroll for free prior to booking meeting, to participate in this promotion. Member must request offer and member number must be recorded in the hotel sales contract at time of booking. Bonus points will be awarded on every qualified meeting or group stay. Bonus points will be awarded in addition to the standard points associated with the terms and conditions of the Priority Club Meeting Rewards program which is 3 points per US$1 spent on qualified meeting charges. No retroactive points will be awarded for qualified meetings or group stays previously contracted. Subject to standard Priority Club Meeting Rewards membership Terms and Conditions, which can be found at www.priorityclub.com/terms. Allow a minimum of 2 weeks after qualification for bonus points to be posted to the member’s account. New members will receive a member card 2 to 4 weeks after their first qualified meeting or group stay. For complete Priority Club Rewards terms and conditions and a list of participating airlines, visit www.priorityclub.com or call 1-888-211-9874. Terms are subject to change without notice. Meeting Planner must be a member of Priority Club Meeting Rewards prior to booking.

4. In addition, when a meeting lead is received through a Qualified Referring Third Party with the IHG Sales Team and the meeting is actualized, the Qualified Referring Third Party is eligible to receive up to 25,000 matching bonus Priority Club Meeting Rewards. A Qualified Referring Party is defined as a current employee of an IHG Key Account Third Party. The Qualified Third party employee must be an employee at the time the meeting is actualized. The Qualified Referring Third Party will receive the bonus Priority Club Meeting Rewards points as the meeting planner based on the total qualified room nights. At the time of signing, the Referring Third Party must request the points, must be a Priority Club Meeting Rewards member, and must provide his/her Priority Club Meeting Rewards member number all in the final contract.

5. Priority Club is a registered trademark of Six Continents Hotels, Inc.

©2012 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.

Here’s list of participating properties for this promotion:

Chicago

Candlewood Suites Chicago – O`Hare
Candlewood Suites Chicago/Naperville
Crowne Plaza Chicago – Northbrook
Crowne Plaza Chicago Magnificent Mile
Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown
Crowne Plaza Chicago Ohare Hotel & Conf Ctr
Crowne Plaza Glen Ellyn/Lombard
Holiday Inn Bolingbrook
Holiday Inn Chicago – Carol Stream (Wheaton)
Holiday Inn Chicago – Downtown
Holiday Inn Chicago – Elk Grove
Holiday Inn Chicago – Mart Plaza (Riverview)
Holiday Inn Chicago – Matteson
Holiday Inn Chicago – Midway Airport
Holiday Inn Chicago – O’Hare (Rosemont)
Holiday Inn Chicago – Tinley Park – Conv Ctr
Holiday Inn Chicago – Willowbrook – Hinsdale
Holiday Inn Chicago North Shore (Skokie)
Holiday Inn Chicago Oakbrook
Holiday Inn Chicago O’Hare Area
Holiday Inn Chicago Sw – Countryside Confctr
Holiday Inn Chicago West – Itasca
Holiday Inn Express Chicago – Arlington Heights
Holiday Inn Express Chicago – Deerfield/Lincolnshire
Holiday Inn Express Chicago – Downers Grove
Holiday Inn Express Chicago – Midway Airport
Holiday Inn Express Chicago – Palatine/N Arlngtn Hts
Holiday Inn Express Chicago – Schaumburg
Holiday Inn Express Chicago O`Hare
Holiday Inn Express Chicago South Lansing
Holiday Inn Express Chicago West – O’Hare Arpt Area
Holiday Inn Express Rolling Mdws – Schaumburg Area
Holiday Inn Mount Prospect – Chicago
Holiday Inn Rolling Mdws – Schaumburg Area
Hotel Indigo Chicago Downtown Gold Coast
Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare
Staybridge Suites Aurora/Naperville
Staybridge Suites Chicago – Oakbrook Terrace
Staybridge Suites Glenview
Staybridge Suites Schaumburg

Houston

Candlewood Suites @ City Centre Energy Corridor
Candlewood Suites Beltway 8 Westheimer Road
Candlewood Suites Deer Park
Candlewood Suites Houston By The Galleria
Candlewood Suites Houston I 10 East
Candlewood Suites Houston IAH Beltway 8
Candlewood Suites Houston Kingwood
Candlewood Suites Houston Medical Center
Candlewood Suites Houston Northwest Willowbrook
Candlewood Suites Houston Park 10
Candlewood Suites Houston Westchase

Candlewood Suites Pearland
Crowne Plaza Houston Galleria Area
Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown
Crowne Plaza Houston Near Reliant Medical
Crowne Plaza Houston River Oaks
Crowne Plaza Houston Suites Southwest
Crowne Plaza Northwest Brookhollow
Holiday Inn Express Houston North Intercontinental
Holiday Inn Express & Stes Downtown Convention Ctr
Holiday Inn Express & Stes Houston Energy Corridor
Holiday Inn Express & Stes Houston Medical Center
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Deer Park
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston East
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston Hwy 59 S
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston I 10 West Ene
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston Kingwood

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston Memorial Park
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston Northwest
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston NW Beltway 8
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston NW Hwy 290
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Houston South Pearlan
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Katy
Holiday Inn Express Houston Hobby Airport
Holiday Inn Express Houston N 1960 Champions Area
Holiday Inn Express Houston Southwest Sugar Land
Holiday Inn Express Suites Houston Intercon East
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pearland
Holiday Inn & Suites Houston Medical Ctr
Holiday Inn Houston East Channelview
Holiday Inn Houston Energy Corridor Eldrid
Holiday Inn Houston Hobby Airport
Holiday Inn Houston Intercontinental Arprt
Holiday Inn Houston Northwest Willowbrook
Holiday Inn Houston Reliant Park Area
Holiday Inn Houston West – Westway Park
Holiday Inn Houston Westchase
Hotel Indigo Houston @ The Galleria
Staybridge Suites Houston Near The Galleria
Staybridge Suites Houston Stafford Sugar Land
Staybridge Suites Houston West Energy Corridor
Staybridge Suites Houston Willowbrook

New York

Candlewood Suites Jersey City
Candlewood Suites New York City Times Square
Candlewood Suites Secaucus Jersey City Area
Crowne Plaza Englewood
Crowne Plaza Newark Airport
Crowne Plaza Secaucus Meadowlands
Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan
Crowne Plaza White Plains Downtown
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Meadowland Area
Holiday Inn Express Brooklyn Downtown
Holiday Inn Express Kennedy Airport
Holiday Inn Express La Guardia Airport
Holiday Inn Express Maspeth
Holiday Inn Express New York Brooklyn
Holiday Inn Express New York City Fifth Avenue
Holiday Inn Express New York City Times Square
Holiday Inn Express New York City Wall Street
Holiday Inn Express North Bergen Lincoln Tunnel
Holiday Inn Express NYC Madison Square Garden
Holiday Inn George Washington Brg Ft Lee
Holiday Inn Hasbrouck Heights Meadowlands
Holiday Inn La Guardia Airport
Holiday Inn Long Island City Manhattan
Holiday Inn New York City Midtown 57th St
Holiday Inn New York City Wall Street
Holiday Inn New York Soho
Holiday Inn NYC Manhattan 6th Avenue
Holiday Inn Secaucus Meadowlands
Holiday Inn Newark Airport
Hotel Indigo New York City Chelsea
InterContinental New York Barclay
InterContinental New York Times Square
Staybridge Suites Times Square New York City

San Francisco

Candlewood Suites Silicon Valley San Jose
Crowne Plaza San Francisco Intrntl Airport
Crowne Plaza Foster City San Mateo
Crowne Plaza San Jose Silicon Valley
Crowne Plaza Palo Alto
Crowne Plaza Oakland South Union City
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charlotte Belmont
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Berkeley
Holiday Inn Express San Francisco Airport South
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mtn View Town Center
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oakland Airport
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pacifica
Holiday Inn Express Redwood City Central
Holiday Inn Express Redwood City Menlo Park
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fishermans Wharf
Holiday Inn Express San Francisco Airport North
Holiday Inn Express & Suites International Airport
Holiday Inn Express San Jose Central City
Holiday Inn Express San Pablo Richmond Area
Holiday Inn Express & Stes Santa Clara Silicon Vly
Holiday Inn Express Santa Clara
Holiday Inn Express Union City San Jose
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Fremont Milpitas Ctrl
Holiday Inn San Jose Airport
Holiday Inn & Suites Oakland Airport
Holiday Inn San Francisco Civic Center
Holiday Inn San Francisco Fishermans Wharf
Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway
Holiday Inn San Jose Airport
Holiday Inn & Suites San Mateo San Francis
InterContinental San Francisco
InterContinental San Francisco – Mark Hopkins
Staybridge Suites San Francisco Airport
Staybridge Suites San Jose
Staybridge Suites Sunnyvale

My Grand Hyatt Jakarta Award Availability Woes

For the past week, I have been in Jakarta and had a side strip over the weekend to Bandung. The Indonesian economy is heating up and there aren’t that many international hotels in Jakarta compared to other capital cities in Asia. To make things more complicated, I rarely book more than a day in advance.

grand-hyatt-jakarta

1. Monday

I made an award reservation to Grand Hyatt Jakarta when I was on my way from Bandung to Jakarta. The availability was fine.

2. Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, I decided that I could spend another night at the Grand Hyatt using points but online only showed Club Room King award availability at 10K points per night. The regular redemption rate is 8K per night and I would be eligible for club anyway for being a Diamond member.

I decided to call the Grand Club and ask them to extend my stay by a night using the 8K rate. They called me back and told that they could only do it at the 10K rate. Oh well. I decided to pass this opportunity to “over” pay and just said that I will book another hotel.

If I pay for a hotel, my preference is InterContinental Jakarta over Grand Hyatt due to the Royal Ambassador benefits compared to Hyatt Diamond ones. Unfortunately, the InterContinental Jakarta was sold out as was Crowne Plaza.

Few hours later in the afternoon, when I was checking availability, the King Room was available for sale and thus for awards as well. Then, I just made another award reservation online for the night.

3. Wednesday

grand-hyatt-jakarta-award-availability

On Tuesday the Grand Hyatt was completely sold out for the Wednesday night. On Wednesday morning, however, the availability was wide open again. I just made another award reservation for tonight.

grand-hyatt-jakarta-no-award-availability

Later in the day the hotel was sold out again.

Conclusion

It pays to check the award availability daily and sometimes even several times during the day. If guests are canceling their reservations or upgrades are given, it often makes base level room available for sale and awards.

I was somewhat surprised that they weren’t willing to extend my stay on Tuesday at the regular award level, but I had to wait for the inventory open up and to make it by myself. Bit of flexibility goes a long way.

Air France-KLM, Etihad & airberlin to Form Strategic Partnership

The news that broke before the announcement of Qatar joining the oneworld alliance was the agreement between Etihad and Air France-KLM about strategic codesharing partnership that will take place.

air-france-klm-etihad-airberlin

Air France and KLM will codeshare to certain destinations operated by Etihad via Doha. Etihad will codeshare to some European destinations operated by Air France and KLM. Airberlin will codeshare also with Air France and KLM.

Airberlin is oneworld member airline and both Air France and KLM are members of the competing SkyTeam. Etihad owns part of airberlin and has provided loans to the airline. It is on Etihad’s best interest to ensure that airberlin is successful and stops losing money.

The website airlineroute.net, which specializes to airline route news, posted the following route/codesharing update about Air France, KLM, Etihad and airberlin yesterday:

AIRFRANCE operated by ETIHAD
Abu Dhabi – Colombo
Abu Dhabi – Dhaka
Abu Dhabi – Kathmandu
Abu Dhabi – Male
Abu Dhabi – Paris CDG
Abu Dhabi – Seychelles

KLM operated by ETIHAD
Abu Dhabi – Colombo
Abu Dhabi – Islamabad
Abu Dhabi – Lahore
Abu Dhabi – Melbourne
Abu Dhabi – Sydney

ETIHAD operated by AIRFRANCE
Paris CDG – Bordeaux
Paris CDG – Copenhagen
Paris CDG – Madrid
Paris CDG – Nice
Paris CDG – Toulouse

ETIHAD operated by KLM
Amsterdam – Abu Dhabi
Amsterdam – Billund
Amsterdam – Cardiff
Amsterdam – Newcastle
Amsterdam – Oslo
Amsterdam – Stavanger

AIRFRANCE operated by airberlin
All AB Germany – France Routes
Berlin Tegel – Gdansk
Berlin Tegel – Graz
Berlin Tegel – Krakow
Dusseldorf – Dresden

airberlin operated by AIRFRANCE
Paris CDG – Bordeaux
Paris CDG – Lyon
Paris CDG – Marseille
Paris CDG – Montpellier
Paris CDG – Nantes
Paris CDG – Nice
Paris CDG – Toulouse

Service also operates from Paris Orly

KLM operated by airberlin
All AB Germany – Netherlands Routes
Berlin Tegel – Kaliningrad
Berlin Tegel – Kaliningrad
Berlin Tegel – Krakow

airberlin operated by KLM
All KL Netherlands – Germany Routes
Amsterdam – Edinburgh
Amsterdam – Glasgow
Amsterdam – Manchester

At first look the number of destinations that the airlines codeshare isn’t that great. Air France still has a codeshare agreement in place with Qantas regarding Australia. but Qantas has announced that it will drop it due to the agreement between Qantas and Emirates. Maybe Air France-KLM will tunnel their Australian traffic via Abu Dhabi on Etihad in the future?

The situation with the airberlin is just weird. The airline just officially joined the oneworld alliance earlier this year and was sponsored by British Airways. Now, the airline starts codesharing agreement with Air France & KLM that are both part of the SkyTeam alliance.

Conclusion

This is interesting development and might skew Etihad to join SkyTeam at some point in the future. These codeshare agreements aren’t that beneficial for the consumers unless the airlines are going to form a deeper partnerships and start honoring each other’s frequent flier benefits as well.

Etihad also has a codesharing agreement with American Airlines. Both airlines’ frequent fliers can redeem miles on each others flights.

Qatar Airways Joins Oneworld in 2013/2014

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There has been lot of noise in the past two weeks about the press conference that was going to take place in New York today. The CEO of Qatar Airways denied that the airline would have been joining the alliance last week contradictory what was published on Financial Times.

oneworld invites Qatar Airways on board

The airline is indeed joining the Oneworld alliance and completion of becoming a member is expected to take from 12 to 18 months. So, we are looking late 2013 or early 2014 as likely official joining date for Qatar. You can access the official Oneworld press release here.

qatar-oneworld-official

Currently the oneworld alliance consists of eleven member airlines; airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines.

oneworld-wings

Malaysian Airlines and SriLankan Airlines are currently in the process of joining the alliance. Oneworld alliance member Malev went bankrupt earlier this year and the joining of Kingfisher Airlines was cancelled due to its financial difficulties.

Qatar is the first of the big three of the Middle Eastern carriers to join an alliance. Emirates has always said that they are not interested in joining and they just formed a partnership with oneworld member airline Qantas. Etihad announced earlier today the deep codesharing agreement that they are going forward with Air France-KLM.

It is interesting that Qatar chose Oneworld. It has had more frequent flier ties with Star Alliance carriers like United, US Airways, and BMI than with oneworld ones (none).

Qatar Airways route network

qatar-airways-worldwide-map

The airline already serves 120 destinations worldwide. The latest one was reintroduction of flights to Yangon, the capitol of Myanmar, last week.

Americas

qatar-airways-americas

The airline flies to New York, Washington DC, Chicago (in 2013), Houston, Montreal and to Sao Paulo with a continuing service to Buenos Aires.

Europe, North Africa & Middle East

qatar-airways-route-map-middle-east-europe-north-africa

The airline serves more than 30 destinations on continental Europe. The airline has an extensive network in Northern Africa and in the Middle East.

Africa

qatar-airways-africa

The airline serves nine destinations in Central and Southern Africa + Seychelles.

Indian Subcontinent & Asia

qatar-airways-route-map-asia

The airline servers number of destinations in India and Asia.

Australia

qatar-airways-australia-indonesia

The airline currently serves both Perth and Melbourne

Conclusion

This is interesting movie from Qatar’s part. We’ll see if Star Alliance is able to lure either Emirates or Etihad. For the most part, I have liked the service that I have received on Qatar flights. I am not huge fan of the transfer experience in Doha, but it should get better in 2013 when the new airport is ready.

Priority Club Point Breaks List Is Out (October) Valid Until December 10

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Priority Club just released their latest list of Point Breaks hotels that you can book for only 5000 points per night.

point-breaks-october

There are few InterContinental hotels on the list. The new InterContinental Doha on the PB list is right in the city center. The new InterContinental Danang in Vietnam is also on the Point Breaks. It has been on my list to visit.

You can access the list of Point Breaks hotels that you can find also below by going priorityclub.com/pointbreaks.

My tips booking Point Breaks hotels:

1. Book NOW if you see something that you can use. Hotels often drop off the list soon.

2. Make separate bookings for each night of your stay. If you later need to drop off dates, this will allow you to do that.

Here’s the complete list of Point Breaks hotels that is valid until December 10, 2012.

Please note that I will update this post once I have the United States and Canada Point Breaks available as well.

Conclusion

Point Breaks are the best value hotel awards that are out there. The only problem is sometimes the rather short booking window because the desirable locations are booked solid fast.

Please note that the list below is the list of hotels that were originally available as Point Breaks. Once the Point Breaks inventory is exhausted, you can book them at the normal award levels.

Europe

Africa

EGYPT
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SAHARA OASIS PORT GHALIB RESOR

Middle East

BAHRAIN
INTERCONTINENTAL BAHRAIN

JORDAN
INTERCONTINENTAL AQABA (RESORT AQABA)

QATAR
INTERCONTINENTAL DOHA – THE CITY

Asia

CHINA-PEOPLES REPUBLIC
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL MAANSHAN
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SHANGHAI XIAYANG LAKE
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL ZHONGSHAN WING ON CITY
HOLIDAY INN MUDANJIANG
HOLIDAY INN SHENYANG ZHONGSHAN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BEIJING AIRPORT ZONE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS TIANJIN DONGLI
INTERCONTINENTAL TANGSHAN

INDIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NEW DELHI ROHINI

INDONESIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SEMARANG

VIETNAM
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL WEST HANOI RESIDENCES
INTERCONTINENTAL DANANG SUN PENINSULA RESORT

Mexico

CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NUEVO LAREDO
HOLIDAY INN SALAMANCA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS TOLUCA GALERIAS METEPEC
HOTEL INDIGO VERACRUZ BOCA DEL RIO
INTERCONTINENTAL PRESIDENTE SANTA FE MEXICO

Canada

ALBERTA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES LLOYDMINSTER

BRITISH COLUMBIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SURREY

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
HOLIDAY INN STEPHENVILLE

ONTARIO
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HAMILTON HOTEL & CONF CENTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES NEW LISKEARD

QUEBEC
HOLIDAY INN MONTREAL-LONGUEUIL

Central & South America

ARGENTINA
HOLIDAY INN BUENOS AIRES EZEIZA AIRPORT

BRAZIL
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL CURITIBA, BRAZIL

COLOMBIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SUITES TEQUENDAMA BOGOTA

COSTA RICA
HOTEL INDIGO SAN JOSE FORUM COSTA RICA

HONDURAS
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL SAN PEDRO SULA

PARAGUAY
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL ASUNCION

VENEZUELA
INTERCONTINENTAL MARACAIBO

Oceania

FIJI ISLANDS
HOLIDAY INN SUVA

NEW ZEALAND
HOLIDAY INN ROTORUA

United States

ALABAMA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ENTERPRISE

ARKANSAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES NORTH LITTLE ROCK

ARIZONA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES NOGALES

CALIFORNIA
HOLIDAY INN SAN JOSE – AIRPORT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BRENTWOOD
HOTEL INDIGO SAN DIEGO DEL MAR

COLORADO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GUNNISON
STAYBRIDGE SUITES DENVER TECH CENTER

CONNECTICUT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES STAMFORD

DELAWARE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES WILMINGTON-NEWARK

FLORIDA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MELBOURNE/VIERA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES ARCADIA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES SEBRING

GEORGIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MACON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS FAYETTEVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES MILLEDGEVILLE

IOWA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES OMAHA AIRPORT

IDAHO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES IDAHO FALLS

ILLINOIS
HOLIDAY INN CHICAGO MATTESON CONF CTR
CANDLEWOOD SUITES AURORA-NAPERVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES JACKSONVILLE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES SPRINGFIELD-SOUTH

INDIANA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES CRAWFORDSVILLE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BLUFFTON
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ELKHART NORTH

KANSAS
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WICHITA-NORTHEAST

KENTUCKY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BOWLING GREEN

LOUISIANA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES NEW IBERIA
HOTEL INDIGO BATON ROUGE DOWNTOWN

MASSACHUSETTS
HOLIDAY INN FITCHBURG – WATERPARK
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BROCKTON – BOSTON

MARYLAND
HOLIDAY INN SALISBURY DOWNTOWN AREA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS LA PLATA

MICHIGAN
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GRAND RAPIDS – SOUTH
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES FARMINGTON HILLS – NOVI

MISSOURI
CANDLEWOOD SUITES JEFFERSON CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SALEM

MISSISSIPPI
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GREENVILLE

MONTANA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES GREAT FALLS

NORTH CAROLINA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WILLIAMSTON

NORTH DAKOTA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES WILLISTON

NEBRASKA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES LINCOLN

NEW JERSEY
STAYBRIDGE SUITES NORTH BRUNSWICK
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL PARAMUS

NEW MEXICO
CANDLEWOOD SUITES ROSWELL NEW MEXICO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SILVER CITY
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ALBUQUERQUE – AIRPORT

NEW YORK
CANDLEWOOD SUITES SYRACUSE
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS OWEGO

OHIO
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CLEVELAND DOWNTOWN
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL CINCINNATI NORTH
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS WILMINGTON

OKLAHOMA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MCALESTER
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES PRYOR

OREGON
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS PORTLAND EAST – TROUTDALE

PENNSYLVANIA
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL PHILADELPHIA – VALLEY FORGE
STAYBRIDGE SUITES ALLENTOWN WEST

SOUTH CAROLINA
STAYBRIDGE SUITES GREENVILLE I-85 WOODRUFF ROAD

TENNESSEE
CANDLEWOOD SUITES KNOXVILLE AIRPORT-ALCOA
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HURRICANE MILLS (WAVERLY)

TEXAS
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL HOUSTON GALLERIA AREA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES SAN ANTONIO NORTHWEST
HOTEL INDIGO WACO – BAYLOR
CANDLEWOOD SUITES BELTWAY 8/WESTHEIMER ROAD
CANDLEWOOD SUITES MOUNT PLEASANT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS CROCKETT
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES CLEVELAND
STAYBRIDGE SUITES DFW AIRPORT NORTH

VIRGINIA
CANDLEWOOD SUITES FREDERICKSBURG
HOLIDAY INN UNIVERSITY-BLACKSBURG
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS KILMARNOCK
STAYBRIDGE SUITES QUANTICO-STAFFORD

WASHINGTON
CANDLEWOOD SUITES OLYMPIA/LACEY

WISCONSIN
CANDLEWOOD SUITES WAUSAU-RIB MOUNTAIN

WEST VIRGINIA
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL AND SUITES CHARLESTON WEST

WYOMING
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND SUITES GILLETTE

United Airlines Mile Up Offer: 50% Bonus on Shop, Dine, Car Rental & Hotel Stays

United Airlines just emailed me an apparently targeted offer for 50% bonus on some partner activities that are credited to my Mileage Plus account.

united-airlines-mile-up-offer

You will get 50% bonus for using United’s online mall, renting cars, staying hotels and number of other partners. The maximum bonus that you can earn is capped at 25K miles. Note that this offer doesn’t apply for hotel points to miles conversions.

united-airlines-mile-up-sign-up

You can try the following link to see if you are eligible for this or other variation of this offer.

Conclusion

This offer is most likely targeted to some United accounts. You can always try to register for promotion TB4M59. I might take advantage of this offer if some other hotel related bonus offer for United miles comes around.

Here are the terms and conditions of this United offer:

1. Eligibility: This offer is valid only for original recipients of this offer and is non-transferable. Offer valid only for MileagePlus® members residing in the 50 United States.
2. Registration: To qualify for this offer, members must register and complete qualifying transactions to earn miles with a qualified MileagePlus partner. Registration must be completed prior to any qualifying transaction. Register anytime between now and November 15, 2012. The registration period will conclude at 11:59 p.m. (CST) on November 15, 2012.
3. Transaction Qualifications:
a. Partner transactions must be completed between now and 11:59 p.m. (CST) on December 31, 2012 and post by February 28, 2013 into member’s account in order to qualify for this offer. Retroactive claims will qualify only if posted on or prior to February 28, 2013. MileagePlus will not be responsible for technical failures or delays that would result in partner posting being ineligible for this promotion.
b. Some partners require membership in their program in order to earn MileagePlus award miles. Partners may also require members to opt to earn MileagePlus miles over other loyalty currencies. Miles earned from transactions with the following MileagePlus partners do not qualify for the Mile Up promotion – airline partners, United Vacations, United Cruises and Fidelity. The additional 5000 mile acquisition bonus awarded after six months, by Gexa, in conjunction with their UATENK bonus do not qualify for the Mile Up promotion. Miles accrued for using a MileagePlus credit card do not count towards the MileUp bonus and award miles. All hotel points-to-miles transfers, including any associated hotel points-to-miles transfer bonuses are also excluded from this promotion. In addition, miles from Hyatt one-time Thank-You bonuses are excluded. For a complete list of MileagePlus partners, visit mileageplus.com. MileagePlus partners are independent entities, and United® is not responsible for the nature or quality of products or services provided by those partners, nor for any solicitation efforts by those partners.
c. Only qualifying miles credited to a member’s account will count toward the bonus mile offer. Any debits to a member’s account as a result of retail transactions that have been returned will negate previously credited miles.
4. Posting of Mile Up Bonus Miles:
a. Transactions must be credited to the MileagePlus account number of the registered member in order to qualify.
b. Each member is allowed to earn a maximum of 25,000 bonus award miles from the Mile Up promotion.
c. Bonus miles may take up to 6-8 weeks after a qualifying partner transaction to post to a member’s account.
d. Registered MileagePlus members must comply with all terms and conditions of this promotion to earn bonus award miles – no partial credit will be awarded.
5. This offer is not combinable with other MileagePlus offers. This is a MileagePlus sponsored promotion and not sponsored by other Partners.
6. Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to post to your account. United may change the MileagePlus program including, but not limited to, rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the MileagePlus program at any time and without notice. Bonus award miles, award miles and any other miles earned through non-flight activity do not count or qualify for Premier® status unless expressly stated otherwise. United and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the member. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, go to www.united.com.
8. Offer subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.

See additional MileagePlus terms and conditions.

TB4M59

United Airlines Bonus Offer for Transatlantic Travel: Up To 50K Bonus per Round-trip

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United is the last carrier to announce their bonus offer for fall/winter 2012 transatlantic trips between the United States and London Heathrow. There are identical offers from American Airlines, British Airways, and Delta.

united-airlines-transatlantic-fall-winter-2012-bonus

This offer is valid for tickets issued after October 4th for travel between October 4 and January 31, 2012. You need to register for this promotion prior to your travel. Only first, business, and flexible economy class fares are eligible for these bonus miles.

Bonus miles earned

1. 1st trip = 15K bonus miles

2. 2nd trip = 35K bonus miles

3. 3rd and subsequent trips = 50K bonus miles per trip

If you haven’t been ticketed in first or business class, you have to be very careful about the booking class that for economy must be either Y or B.

Conclusion

The transatlantic carriers are offering very attractive mileage promotions for first, business, and high economy fares at the moment. Is the traffic becoming soft?

Here are the terms and conditions of this United offer:

  • To qualify, register on united.com before travel, then purchase and complete paid qualifying roundtrips between the U.S. and London Heathrow on flights marketed and operated by United.
  • Offer valid on paid qualifying roundtrips in United Global First, United BusinessFirst and full-fare Economy fares (F, A, J, C, D, Z, P, Y and B booking classes).
  • Offer valid on tickets purchased between October 4, 2012, and January 31, 2013, with travel completed between October 4, 2012, and January 31, 2013.
  • MileagePlus members can earn 15,000 bonus award miles for the first qualifying roundtrip, 35,000 bonus award miles for the second qualifying roundtrip and 50,000 bonus award miles for each additional roundtrip.
  • There is no limit to the number of bonus miles that may be earned with this promotion.
  • Bonus award miles do not count toward Premier® status, and do not apply to class-of-service, Premier bonus miles or promotional Premier qualifying miles.
  • Offer is not valid on United-marketed codeshare flights operated by other carriers.
  • Offer is not valid on government fares.
  • Roundtrip is defined as travel from an origin city to a destination city with return travel beginning in the destination city back to the origin city. Open jaw and circle trip itineraries do not qualify.
  • Bonus is not combinable with other non-combinable bonus offers.
  • Bonus will be posted to the member’s MileagePlus account six to eight weeks after the end of the promotion period.
  • Electronic ticket purchase is required. Tickets purchased in the U.S. through United Reservations are subject to a $25 ticketing fee and tickets purchased at airport ticket counters are subject to a $30 ticketing fee. Fees are subject to change.
  • Offer is subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
  • Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. For complete details about the program, visit united.com/mileageplus.

Getting Cashback for Your Hotel and Travel Bookings

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What would be better than getting cashback rebates for travel related bookings that you would be taking regardless? Sounds too good to be true? Actually, it is not. You are really leaving money on the table if you are not taking advantage of various cashback options for hotel stays and airline bookings.

Different type of cashback malls

1. Straight cashback malls

These are my personal choice as you normally get the cashback deposited directly to your PayPal account. It is easy to compare the cashback options because the payout is represented in percentage of the price. You just choose the cashback mall that is offering the highest payout at the time you do the booking/purchase.

ebates-cashback-mall

My favorites on this category are FatCash, BigCrumbs, eBates, MrRebates, TopCashback, Quidco & Upromise. There are number of others as well.

2. Airline/hotel related malls

There are few hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott that are offering a cashback mall where most of the major US airlines like Delta, United, American, and US Airways (and pretty much all the others) do have one. These tend to be run by Cartera.

aadvantage-eshopping-mall

I normally only use these when they are offering a bonus for a bonus miles for hitting a certain thresholds. These are normally offered during the holidays and back to school periods.

3. Credit card/bank related malls

Credit card companies and banks have opened their own cashback malls as well. Citi, Chase, Discover, Bank of America etc. all have their own cashback malls.

bank-of-america-worldpoints-mall

I used Citi’s Thank You Points-mall a lot when they were offering fixed price air awards. Now that the payout is only 1.33 cents per point on air fare, it hasn’t been that competitive.

Comparing cashback payouts

You can always just go through one provider or follow my advice and just open an account with all of them. You should then the cashback mall that offers the highest payout. The cashback amount varies vendor to vendor and can change sometimes weekly.

cashback-holic-comparison-tool

There are various sites for checking out the cashback amounts. You can visit Evreward, RewardsDB, CashbackHolic, CashbackMonitor and NerdWallet. The latter is specialized for the credit card and bank cashback malls.

None of these is perfect, however. You should always check UK based Quidco as well that has offered very good cashback rates as of late and is excluded from most of these comparison sites due to its location.

Tracking transactions

There are sometimes problem with tracking the cashback from making the booking to getting the payout. I have made a simple Excel sheet that I use for this purpose. I record the date of the booking, the date of the stay (in case of hotels), the name of the merchant, name of the cashback mall, the confirmation number, and the expected cashback amount or percentage of rebate.

It is really essential that you do this if you make number of bookings as it might get confusing really fast which mall you used and when. Also, the cashback amount/percentage can change. It is essential that you have recorded the amount that you should get based on the cashback rate at the time of booking/purchase.

Getting paid

The de facto payment form for the first set of sites is PayPal. Some sites pay out quarterly, some monthly, some require you to request a payment before it is processed and some may require you to have a minimum withdrawal amount of $10.

The airline/hotel related malls just deposit the miles/points that you have earned from your purchases to your account. The same goes for bank/credit card related ones as well.

Example booking an InterContinental Hotel

The cashback amount on IHG group of hotels varies a lot between the sites. I have come to realize that I really need to check them all when I am making bookings.

Last week MrRebates was offering 6%

cashback-mrrebates-holiday-inn

eBates 4.5%

cashback-ebates-holiday-inn

TopCashBack 6%

cashback-topcashback-holiday-inn

And Quidco whopping 12%

cashback-quidco-holiday-inn

The booking was made using the cashback link on Quidco’s website.

Conclusion

Hotels tend to offer attractive cashback rates as they are trying to get more bookings through their websites and not having to pay 10% travel agent commissions. I have earned thousands of dollars cashback through these sites over the past ten years I have been using them.

It doesn’t matter if you are not located in the United States as these sites are paying out to PayPal account. Similarly, nothing prevents you taking advantage of sometimes generous rates that Quidco, based in the UK, is offering.

Note that LoyaltyLobby may get a referral fee if you join and use the cashback sites mentioned above.

Priority Club: 360 Days of Stay Activity Available Again

You used to be able to pull up 360 days of stay activity at priorityclub.com, but recently this was changed to only 180 days that is annoying. For Royal Ambassador qualification purposes, you have to know the number of nights that you have stayed at the IHG properties in the past year.

priority-club-website-180-days-activity

You now have again the ability to pull up the full 360 days of your IHG stays on their mobile website that I can access on my Samsung S3. You won’t get points breakdown, but rather long list of hotels and dates.

priority-club-mobile-website-360

You can try accessing this site at: http://m.ihg.com/hotels/priorityclub/us/en/home.html.

priority-club-mobile-front-page

If you get a site like above, you can then access your stay history as well.

Conclusion

This is a welcomed workaround for accessing past 12 months of your stay history. It really should be available on Priority Club’s main website as well with a breakdown on number of points earned.

Kingfisher Airlines Grounded – Ever Going to Take Off Again?

There was lot of news about the Kingfisher Airlines earlier this year when they had some of the planes repoed at foreign airports, airline was suspended from IATA’s clearing house, the joining of Oneworld was cancelled, and most of the route network was scrapped. There really hasn’t been any good Kingfisher Airlines related news this year.

kingfisher-flights-grounded

The airline has been back in the news in the past week when airline employees started a strike for non-payment of wages since March of this year that resulted the grounding of its fleet until the October 3rd first and then extended to 12th of this month. We’ll see if the airline is going to take off ever again.

BBC reported that the airline had only been operating with seven aircraft as of late and, according to the CNBC, the airline had more 1.4 billion dollars in debt.

The Indian government has eased the foreign ownership rule of the airline sector. Now, a foreign entity can own up to 49% of an Indian airline. There have been rumors that one of the Middle Eastern airlines would invest money in to kingfisher.

Conclusion

The situation with Kingfisher Airline has gone from bad to worse. Unless something drastic happens, I doubt that the airline would resume operations. Why would any foreign carrier invest in to this bankrupt airline?

According to Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic, “The easiest way to become a millionaire is to start off a billionaire and go into the airline business”. It is unfortunate that the founder of Kingfisher airlines and beer tycoon, Vijay Mallya, had to learn it the hard way.

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