Lufthansa Miles and More Mileage Bargains

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Miles and More is not just Lufthansa’s frequent flier program, but includes the Lufthansa group of airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels) and couple of smaller European Star Alliance carriers like LOT.

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Miles and More has extensive list of Mileage Bargains from number of European and international destinations. The booking and travel dates are sometimes quite limited, but if you can take advantage of these offers you can easily save close to 50% of the number of miles required.

It probably doesn’t make any sense to book economy awards using Miles and More miles because Lufthansa charges very extensive fuel surcharges on international awards. Sometimes these fuel surcharges can be more than a paid ticket on the same flights. Doesn’t make much sense, but does happen.

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Here’s an example of taxes/fees for a business class ticket from Atlanta to Berlin. The real taxes are about $200 and the Lufthansa “junk” fuel surcharge is $806.

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Mileage Bargains ain’t a bargain fee wise, but used correctly can save you a lot of money over business class tickets. Just don’t book economy.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa 50% Off

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There is currently a great offer until the end of this year for Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways frequent fliers (free to join). You can get 50% off of the Hyatt Daily Rate. This is the lowest rate that I have seen for this property after they stopped accepting the Hyatt stay certificates.

I visited this beautiful property back in August and wrote a piece about it, as I also did about the Male city. I also did a piece how to get a great deal using those now discontinued stay certificates or points packages that include dinner as well.

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The rates using the Qatar Airways and the promotional code PHMQA are same as the rate using the Etihad code. Note that the Qatar offer is set to end on November 30th, 2012. Who knows whether it will be extended? The rate rules that you can find on Qatar’s web page for this offer are bit different than those on Hyatt.com under rate rules for this rate plan. You can also earn double Qmiles, although I would recommend collecting Hyatt Gold Passport points instead.

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For the Etihad offer you need to use promotional code PHMEY1. This offer has the same rates as the Qatar one, but is valid until the end of the year.

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Both of these offer exceptional value for Park Hyatt Maldives. Of course getting to Maldives is bit pricey and you need to fork some cash for the internal flights as well. But it is most definitely worth it.

Here are the rate details for both offers

Qatar Airways

Rate Description:
Reduced rate for Qatar Airlines Loyalty Card holders:Tax Excluded: -Booking window: 01MAR12-01MAY12 -Stay dates: 15MAR12-30NOV12 -Guest must present Qatar Airlines Loyalty Card upon check in and choose miles for their stay.

Etihad Airways

Rate Description:
ETIHAD AIRLINES SPECIAL OFFER Reduced Rate:Tax Excluded: GUEST MUST CHOOSE MILES FOR THEIR STAY AND PROVIDE VALID ETIHAD LOYALTY CARD UPON CHECK-IN. – Valid 07DEC11-31DEC12

The additional charges are same for both:

Additional Charges:
6.000 Percent tax
10.000 Percent service charge
Bed Tax: 8 United States Dollars Per Person Per Night USD Other Charges   Cancellation Policy:
Cancel 2-14day 100percent Within 2 Days Full Penalty

Deposit Policy:
Deposit Required By June 13, 2012. Deposit By Credit Card Required. 1 Night(S) Deposit Will Be Charged To Credit Card.

Club Carlson 3 Day Sale: Radisson, Country Inns & Suites & Park Inns

This should be of interest to those that are taking part of any or all of the current Club Carlson promotions for the free nights: Radisson/Radisson Blu, Country Inns & Suites by Radisson, and Park Inn by Radisson. I already fulfilled the Radisson part last week in Bangkok and got quite a few points.

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There are actually right now two different rate promotions. There is this 3 Day sale that is valid in North American and in Canada. The promotion code for this offer is LMD25OFF. This is for selected dates between June 13th and June 30th, 2012.

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The other rate promotion is an advance purchase rate that needs to be booked at least 14 days in advance prior to your stay. The promotion code for this offer is ADVPURCH.

You can book using the direct links above, but then you would lose the 10% cashback that you could get through TopCashBack. You can just go through the TopCashBack or any other cashback mall and pull up the promotional rates using the promotional codes that I have listed above.

Here are the terms and conditions of the 3 day sale offer:

  • The 3-Day Sale Offer (“Promotion”) is available for new reservations made between June 13, 2012 and 11:59 PM (CT) June 15, 2012 for Eligible Stays at select Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in the United States (“Participating Properties”).
  • An Eligible Stay is defined as a booking at a Participating Property arriving beginning June 13, 2012 and completed by June 30, 2012 and for which the consumer specifically requested the 3-Day Sale Offer at the time of the reservation.
  • Guest who books and completes an Eligible Stay will receive 25% off the standard room rate for each night of the Eligible Stay. Excludes taxes and other incidental charges (such as resort fees, room service and room entertainment).
  • Rates for each night may vary.
  • Only standard rooms (single or double occupancy) are eligible for the Promotion. Extra person charges may apply if exceeding double occupancy.
  • Promotion is not valid for existing reservations and may not be used in conjunction with any other package, promotion, group or convention rate, or any other discounted rate.
  • Participating Properties are subject to change without notice.
  • Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson reserve the right to add, modify or discontinue these terms and conditions or the Promotion with or without notice.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • By participating in this Promotion, you agree and consent to these terms and conditions.
  • Promotion is subject to availability and the number of rooms available may be limited and will vary by Participating Property. Blackout dates may apply.

Club Carlson members earn 1,000 bonus Gold Points®
Silver and Gold Elite members earn 2,000 bonus Gold Points®
Concierge Elite members earn 3,000 bonus Gold Points®

Here are the terms and conditions of the advance purchase rate:

ADVANCE PURCHASE/NON-REFUNDABLE RATE:
Advance Purchase offer valid at participating hotels only and requires an advance purchase period of 14 days. Non-refundable credit card prepayment for entire stay is required at the time of booking. Reservations cannot be cancelled, amended or adjusted after booking. If you do not arrive on the reservation date, your reservation will be cancelled without refund or credit. Offer discount of 15%, 20% or 25% off the standard rate varies by hotel and is subject to change. Rates for each night may vary. Offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. This offer is available for individual bookings made with the advance purchase rate only. Name on the reservation must be the same as the credit cardholder’s name and same individual must check-in for the stay. Club CarlsonSM members can earn Gold Points® with this offer. Offer is subject to availability and blackout dates may apply. Participating hotels are subject to change at any time without notice and the number of rooms available for this offer may be limited and may vary by hotel. This offer may be changed or discontinued at any time. Subject to applicable law and void or not applicable where prohibited by law.

Starwood Discontinues New York Best Rate Guarantee for Free Nights After 8 Days

Starwood launched their free night offer for number of New York hotels On June 4th. This promotion was supposed to last for THREE months. If you were able to find a lower rate from a non-Starwood website, they would give you a night free.

It is not typically that difficult to find lower rates on non-Starwood websites that would have qualified under this promotion. But it takes some time to find and research them, and by the time the claims are processed the prices might have changed anyway.

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Starwood did, however, put up the above announcement to their website few hours ago.

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I would like to know what are these “unforeseen circumstances” that made Starwood to withdraw this offer so soon? If I would have to guess, they probably underestimated the number of valid claims that they would end up getting. Properties in question probably weren’t too happy to give out free nights, and then…. Oh well. They decided to withdraw the offer.

Priority Club Stay Bonuses for 3rd Quarter

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We now have the information and the codes for the 3rd quarter 2012 Priority Club Stay-bonuses. As usually there are three different thresholds for 5000, 10000, or 15000 bonus Priority Club points. These are for stays from July 1st to September 30th, 2012.

You should register for the 3, 7, or 15 nights’ version of this promotion. Note that the bonuses are based on NIGHTS and not on STAYS. You can register at priorityclub.com/register. You can combine this promotion with other numerous promotions that the Priority Club has at the moment.

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4871 = Stay 3 Nights – Get 5K Points

4872 = Stay 4 Nights – Get 5K Points

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4873 = Stay 7 Nights – Get 10K Points

4874 = Stay 8 Nights- Get 10K Points

4875 = Stay 10 Nights – Get 10K Points

4876 = Stay 12 Nights – Get 10K Points

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4877 = Stay 15 Nights – Get 15K Points

4878 = Stay 18 Nights – Get 15K Points

Alaska Airlines Fall Award Sale California to/from Mexico & Hawaii

Alaska Airlines just launched their fall award sale for routes between California and Mexico & Hawaii. The Hawaii award tickets are discounted by 20% to 16K miles OW and Mexico ones by 31% to 12K miles OW.

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You need to book the travel by July 31st for travel between California and Mexico between September 5 and October 15, 2012. The discounted travel period to Hawaii is longer from September 9 to October 31, 2012.

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This is probably low/shoulder season for both destinations so it pays to check the paid rates for the same dates as well. The Hawaii is sometimes heavily discounted during sales and can be sometimes had for less than $300 return in economy.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Super Saver award space is limited and may not be available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased by July 31, 2012. Travel between California and Mexico is valid between September 5, 2012, and October 15, 2012. Travel between California and Hawaii is valid between September 9, 2012 and October 31, 2012.

Passenger is responsible for the following taxes and fees on award travel: September 11 Security Fee of $2.50 per enplanement. Up to $70 in Mexico Tourism and Airport Use Taxes. Award tickets booked through an Alaska Airlines Reservations call center incur a $15 ticketing fee. All taxes are subject to change without notice due to government discretion. All taxes and fees shown are in USD based on one-way travel and may be doubled if traveling round-trip.

Club Carlson EMEA Offer 15K Bonus Gold Points Per Stay (Targeted?)

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Just received an email from Club Carlson offering me 15K bonus Club Carlson points per stay in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa between June 12th and July 12th, 2012. The email says that this offer is targeted, but the terms and conditions do not. There is no registration link, however.

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This is a great offer if you are participating to the other three “free” night promotion that the Club Carlson is having. There is one for Radisson/Radisson Blu brand for 50K bonus Club Carlson points, another one for Country Inns & Suites by Radisson for 44K bonus points, and finally also a Park Inn by Radisson variant for another 44K bonus points.

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If you do all of the three and manage to get this 15K bonus as well, you would be looking at around 200K Club Carlson points from these promotions + base points. Not too shabby at all.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

  • This offer (“Offer”) is available only to Club CarlsonSM members. To enrol in Club CarlsonSM, visit clubcarlson.com
  • This offer is subject to all Club CarlsonSM Program Terms and Conditions. To view these Terms and Conditions, pleaseclick here
  • Bookings based on this Offer must be made via clubcarlson.com or by calling the customer service centre at
    +44 207 949 0378.
  • Rooms may be booked based on this Offer from until for stays from until .
  • This Offer is subject to availability and only available at Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Edwardian Hotels, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites and Park Inn by Radisson Hotels in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa.
  • Rate must be eligible to earn Gold Points®. For ineligible Room Rates and other exclusions see the Club CarlsonSMProgram Terms and Conditions Please contact the individual hotel directly or go the individual website for detailed cancellation and guarantee policy.
  • Please present your Club CarlsonSM card upon check-in to earn extra Gold Points®. Extra Gold Points® are subject to all Club CarlsonSM Program Terms and Conditions Only one Club CarlsonSM account per booking will be credited with the Gold Points®. Extra Gold Points® are automatically credited onto your account after your stay. Allow 6-8 weeks for the triple Gold Points® to appear on your account.
  • This Offer may not be used in conjunction with any other package, promotion, group or convention rate, or any other discounted rate.
  • This Offer is not valid for existing reservations.
  • Club CarlsonSM reserves the right to add, modify, or discontinue this Offer before booking with or without notice. The Offer is void where prohibited by law. By booking this Offer, you agree and consent to these terms and conditions.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points (or more)

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Priority Club has been running the following surveys already for couple of years. Not sure why I hadn’t done them earlier. These were first noted on FlyerTalk by toflyornottofly back in 2010. They are still working, however.

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These surveys may or may not work for you. I hadn’t done any of them earlier and got 2000 Priority Club points out of them. Sometimes you may get an error message that you have already completed the survey earlier. Just try the next one.

Survey 1: 300 points

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priority-club-300-points-answers

Here’s the link for the main survey. You can also try doing this, this, this, this, and this.

Survey 2. 100 points

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priority-club-100-points-answers

Here’s the link for this survey. You can also try doing this, this, this, this, and this.

Survey 3. 100 points

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priority-club-100-points-2-answers

Here’s the link for this one. The other links for this survey are here, here, here, here, and here.

Terms and Conditions:
*Must be a Priority Club Rewards member. The number of bonus points, as indicated in the communication, will be deposited into member’s account within 48 hours after the quiz is submitted. Priority Club Rewards members are only eligible to receive the Bonus points once, regardless of the number of times the quiz is taken. Priority Club Rewards members who have chosen miles as their earning preference will be awarded points. Subject to standard Priority Club Rewards Membership terms and conditions and earning structure, which can be obtained by visiting www.priorityclub.com. This exclusive offer is valid for original recipient only.

Accor Hotels Super Sale – 50% off for Le Club Accorhotel Members

Accor seems to be running their super sales every few months. This time they have around 1300 participating hotels from their portfolio. The sale seem to be legit i.e. the best available rate is REALLY discounted by 50% for Le Club Accorhotel members. The discount for non-members is 40%.

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There is no fee to join so why not start at the Platinum level by taking advantage of the sign up offer?

  – This offer is valid for reservations made by Le Club Accorhotels members, Accor newsletter subscribers and Accor Advantage Plus members and the general public:
– between 12th June and 22nd June 2012 for Le Club Accorhotels members and Accor Advantage Plus members,
– between 14th June and 22nd June 2012 for ACCOR newsletter subscribers, and
– between 19th June and 22nd June for the general public.

As a Le Club Accorhotels member you can start booking now and take advantage of better availability.

Just note that these rates are prepaid and non-refundable. Some hotels may have lower other rates available at times. Sofitel hotels are not participating. These rates are available for stay from July 6th to September 2nd, 2012.

Here’s a test I just did. I have stayed at the MGallery Muse hotel in Bangkok and it was quite nice. The rate offered through this promotion is the lowest that I have seen for this specific property.

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You can download a PDF of participating properties here. You can find the terms and conditions of this rate promotion below:

When booking one of these offers, the customer agrees to have read and accepted the following conditions:
– This offer is valid for reservations made by Le Club Accorhotels members, Accor newsletter subscribers and Accor Advantage Plus members and the general public:
– between 12th June and 22nd June 2012 for Le Club Accorhotels members and Accor Advantage Plus members,
– between 14th June and 22nd June 2012 for ACCOR newsletter subscribers, and
– between 19th June and 22nd June for the general public.
– All above dates are inclusive and based on local time at the hotel on which room(s) are being booked.
Booking must be prepaid online at www.accorhotels.com and this offer applies to all stays between 06th July 2012 and 02nd September 2012 at participating hotels (both dates inclusive and based on local time of the hotel in which room(s) are being booked)
– The 50% discount granted exclusively to Le Club Accorhotels members and Accor Advantage Plus members, (Accor Advantage Plus members will enjoy an additional 10% discount on the 50% discounted rate i.e a total of 55% discount for bookings made in participating hotels in Asia Pacific) applies to the public rate at the time of booking with no conditions for the dates booked, except for pre-payment, black-out dates set by participating hotels and availability
– The 40% discount granted to non-Le Club Accorhotels members applies to the public rate with no conditions for the dates booked, except for pre-payment, black-out dates set by participating hotels and availability
– Payment must be made online by credit card at the time of booking. Upon booking, if the “Super Sale” rate is not available for all the dates requested, another public rate will be suggested automatically on the rate screen. Bookings cannot be changed, cancelled, exchanged or reimbursed and cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts or special offers
– Prices displayed are per night for single or double rooms and exclude breakfast. Such Prices are in local currency or US dollar currency (as stipulated at the time of booking) and are inclusive of all local taxes unless otherwise stipulated Exchange rates are given for information purposes only and are non-binding. Currency applicable to the transaction and charged to your credit card are confirmed upon booking.
– This offer is valid at participating Accor hotels, subject to availability at time of booking and exclude black-out dates set by participating hotels (1) – Le Club Accorhotels point bonuses will be credited in accordance with the Le Club Accorhotels general terms and conditions.
(1) Black-out dates: Please note this promotion will not be available in selected hotels in the United Kingdom before 13th August 2012.

US Airways Dividend Miles 2000 Bonus per Marriott, JW Marriott or Renaissance Stay

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Marriott Rewards has teamed up with US Airways and is offering 2000 bonus Dividend Miles per stay for up to 5 stays from May 15th to September 30th, 2012. The reservations need to be booked by June 30th and this promotion is valid at participating Marriot, JW Marriott and Renaissance hotels in United States, Canada, and Mexico.

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If you have an existing Marriott Rewards account, you need to register for this promotion and change your earnings method from points to US Airways Dividend miles. New members just need to sign up for the Marriott Rewards using the link on the promotional page.

Marriott also has their Summer MegaBonus for free night certificates or bonus points. Also, MegaMiles promotion for triple airline miles is starting on July 1st.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

Offer valid May 15, 2012 through September 30, 2012. Reservation must be made by June 30, 2012. Enrollment and registration with Marriott Rewards® is required to be eligible for this promotion.  US Airways® Dividend Miles members must be members of Marriott Rewards and indicate US Airways as their earning preference in order to qualify for this offer. A maximum of 2,000 bonus miles can be earned per stay and a maximum of 10,000 bonus miles can be earned with this promotion. Miles earned on all qualifying charges at participating JW Marriott,® Renaissance® Hotels and Marriott® Hotels & Resorts.  Members electing to earn Marriott Rewards points are not eligible for this promotion. Please allow six to eight weeks after promotion ends for bonus miles to be posted to your US Airways Dividend Miles account. A stay is defined as consecutive nights spent in the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity. Your preferred airline/miles program reserves the right to change program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. All program terms and conditions of your preferred airline/miles program apply.  All Marriott Rewards terms and conditions apply. See MarriottRewards.com or call 800-249-0800 for complete Marriott Rewards terms and conditions.
This Marriott Rewards promotional offer is valid for qualifying stays you personally make at participating JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels & Resorts located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For a complete listing, visithttp://joinmarriottrewards.com/usairways/properties.aspx.

SriLankan Airlines Set to Join Oneworld in Late 2013

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It was announced today in Beijing that the Sri Lankan flag carrier, SriLankan Airlines, is set to join Oneworld in late 2013 and that the sponsoring airline is Cathay Pacific.

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This is good news for Oneworld and especially American Airlines AAdvantage members. Due to American’s very restrictive routing rules on awards, it has been sometimes very difficult to find award availability on certain routes. Sri Lanka is on Asia 2 on AA’s award chart (Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saipan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam). This helps especially if you are trying to find your way from Europe to Asia 2 using American miles.

Last year, I had six segments on SriLankan’s business class and wrote a piece about the experience on Beijing to Bangkok segment. SriLankan also provided me with STPC (Stopover Paid by Carrier) when I had a long transfer in Colombo.

SriLankan serves number of destinations in Europe and also offers non-stop service from Moscow to Dubai.

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The airline also serves number of destinations in the Middle East.

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Airline’s Asian network is very interesting. There are number of routes that are served via Bangkok, where SriLankan has local traffic rights as well.

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My Experience with Club Carlson’s Big Night Giveaway

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Last year, I didn’t have a time to take advantage of the Radisson’s similar offer. But when they announced to have a promo this summer with their three different brand’s; Radisson/Radisson Blu Big Night Giveaway, Country Inn & Suites By Radisson Stay 1 Get 1, and Park Inn By Radisson Stay 1 Get 1, I decided to participate.

After I had done a status match to Gold level with Radisson and familiarized myself with the status benefits, I made a reservation for the Radisson’s only property here in Bangkok. I was offered number of different eStandby upgrade options (NOR1) that I declined. I will post a review of the hotel later, but overall it was about the same level as the Starwood’s Four Points hotel here in Bangkok.

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The points for the stay with the appropriate bonus points posted within two business days. Also, the stay is tracking for the cash back bonus on TopCashback.com. I think that it is good to have Club Carlson on the loyalty program portfolio that I participate to as they are quite well covered on the lower quality level of hotels, but it probably wouldn’t be my first choice.

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UPDATE: Etihad Gold Status Match Program

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Back in April Etihad extended a status match offer for Gold status on their Etihad Guest program for Gold or higher status members from competing programs.

I sent Etihad a copy of my Skywards Gold card and account statement from Emirates that showed quite a few flights in first class and few in business as well. About a month later, I received a reply from Etihad that they were processing the matches and that I should hear soon.

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There was no other communication from Etihad, but when I was checking my account online the status had been upgraded to Gold and a card dispatched last week. Part of this offer was triple miles for business and quadruple for first class.

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etihad-gold-card-dispatch

I have to say that I am not too impressed how long it took Etihad to process a status match that they were offering in the first place. If you run a status match campaign, you should have procedures in place to ensure that they get processed swiftly. I did a status match recently with both SAS and Alaska. In both instances the match was done and approved within couple of days.

Club Carlson eStandby Upgrade Option (NOR1) At Radisson Hotels

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When you make a booking at www.clubcarlson.com or any of the brand specific websites, you may be presented an option for eStandby upgrade for cash. There are typically several offers available at variable price points and one of them is complimentary based on the status you have with Club Carlson.

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The company behind this eStandby is called Nor1. They have licensed the technology for hotels to better manage their upgrade inventory and get cash for it. The upgrades are NOT guaranteed in advance, but rather at the time of check in. I have seen these previously at Hyatt and Hilton hotels and have written several pieces about them that you can access them here, here, here, here & here.

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So, I was presented several upgrade options at the time when I made the booking for Radisson Suites hotel in Bangkok. One of them was “complimentary” for Club Carlson members. It didn’t specify if this was due to the Gold status, however.

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When you choose the all three, you are then presented with a list of requests that you just made. I canceled the whole thing at this point.

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At check in they had one of these photo frames advertising upgrades to the Premier Suite for 400 THB. The eStandby price for this upgrade would have been 1500 THB.

The upgrade that I received was the one bedroom suite. Overall, I have found these eStandby upgrades to be a total waste IF you have a status with the chain.  If you don’t have any status, you MIGHT be able to get an upgrade for less money than what it had cost to book the upgraded room/suite in the first place. Even then, you may be able to negotiate a lower charge for the upgrade when checking in.

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