You Can Now Write a Review about InterContinental Hotels on Their Website

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You can now write a short review of the InterContinental hotel where you have stayed at on their website. Starwood launched a similar initiative late last year.

As always, I wanted to test this review process and decided to write a short review of InterContinental Manila where I stayed at this past May. You can access the review submission interface by going to http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/reviews/write-a-review/manila and switching the city at the end.

IC Review Manila
IC Review Manila

You need to have your reservation number, last name, and the date of check out available. It seems that they want to validate that these reviews are done by actual hotel guests.

IC Review Manila Stars
IC Review Manila Stars

Then you will give hotel the overall guest experience rating. As you can see, my stay at this property was very good.

IC Review Manila Write Up
IC Review Manila Write Up

You need to do a write up of between 75 to 500 words. I decided to point out that they honored most of the Royal Ambassador benefits even on an award stay.

IC Review Manila Pros Cons
IC Review Manila Pros Cons

Then you can check some pros and cons about the hotel.

IC Review Manila Photos
IC Review Manila Photos

I do have quite a few photos of this hotel but decided not to upload any of them.

IC Review Manila My Info
IC Review Manila My Info

They want some basic information about me.

IC Review Manila Preview
IC Review Manila Preview

You can then have a look at the preview.

IC Review Manila Thank You
IC Review Manila Thank You

Just submit and you are done.

Conclusion

It seems that leaving review of properties is slowly coming to all hotel websites. Personally, I prefer reading on an independent website like TripAdvisor or FlyerTalk than the branded site. I just always have a feeling that they really don’t want to publish reviews that are critical of the property in question.

There are also lots of rules regarding what you can write if you want your InterContinental review published. The terms are whopping 1139 words. The submission guidelines are somewhat reasonable few hundred words.

Let’s see if my favorable review of the InterContinental Manila will get published on one day.

What’s Happening with United Airlines?

The U.S. Department of Transportation just released their August Air Travel Consumer Report for the month of June, 2012. I have been following these reports to see if United has had any improvement when it comes to delays & complaints. The United’s numbers on the latest report are downright ugly compared to other legacies in the United States.

You can access the August Air Travel Consumer Report here.

Flights Arriving on Time

DOT Report Flights Arriving on Time
DOT Report Flights Arriving on Time

Compared to the first quarter of 2012 when United’s flights arrived on time 80.9% the June figure of 70.1% is bad. It is also the dead last compared to major legacies and regional carriers.

Flight Cancellations

DOT Report Cancellations
DOT Report Cancellations

United was third as of percentage of operations cancelled at 1.6%. In June United canceled total number of 727 flights. This number doesn’t include cancellations by United Express carriers.

Mishandled Bags

DOT Report Mishandled Baggage
DOT Report Mishandled Baggage

United has, again, the highest number of mishandled bags at 4.9 per 1000 enplanements. Compared to June 2011 the number is 15.6% higher.

Denied Boardings

Airlines maximize their revenue by overbooking their flights. There is no incentive neither for full fare/flexible ticket holders nor restricted ones to actually cancel their travel arrangements even if they are not making their flight(s).

In a case of overbooking, airlines tend to try finding volunteers first by offering them future travel credits and confirmed space on later flights. If there are no volunteers, the airlines then start involuntarily deny passengers.

DOT Report Denied Boardings
DOT Report Denied Boardings

Compared to April to June 2011 to 2012 period United’s number of involuntarily denied boarding compared to number of passengers enplaned, has more than doubled from 0.93 to 2.11 per 10000 passengers.

United is dead last on legacy carriers on this measurement as well. Your likelihood of getting involuntarily bumped on Delta is about one sixth compared to United.

Consumer Complaints

Filing a complaint with the DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division is normally the last resort if the carrier has not resolved the issue using other communication channels.

DOT Report Complaints June 2012
DOT Report Complaints June 2012

The number of complaints that United has received is more than double per 100000 enplanements to compared to second last which is US Airways. For comparison, Southwest had more enplanements than United but only received 19 complaints compared to United’s 585.

Compared to June 2011 the number of consumer complaints that DOT received in June 2012 is 169% higher when adjusted for number of enplanements.

Of all the 1353 complaints that the DOT received against the airlines operating in the United States (excluding foreign) ones, United’s share of 585 complaints represents 43%.

Conclusion

Obviously the operational merger with United Airlines and Continental Airlines has not gone as expected. The DOT operational and complaint figures doesn’t paint a very rosy picture of the current state of the airline.

I have flown more than a million mile with United and Continental combined and went through the difficult bankruptcy time as a United frequent flier member in the early 2000’s. It is sad to see that merger hasn’t worked anywhere near as expected from the consumer’s point of view. These DOT statistics are just horrific.

Why I Prefer Booking Airline Tickets Using Online Travel Agencies Like Expedia?

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There seems to be two schools when it comes to buying airlines tickets; one group prefer always booking using the airline’s own websites and the other uses travel agents like Expedia.

expedia-grid

I belong to the latter group and here is why:

1. Easier to compare prices among several airlines.

2. Agents are often able to offer more combinations than airlines.

3. You can easily ticket from different country than where your credit card is issued.

4. No need to present a credit card at check in.

5. I can get some cash back for my purchase.

6. I can choose the country where the ticket is issued.

7. I don’t have to go through the process of declining all the “extras” that the airlines are trying to sell in addition to the air transport.

8. The agent, the ticketing carrier or the operating carrier can fix and help in case that there are problems along the way.

9. Automated ticketing. Some carriers still queue some reservations for manual review before the electronic ticket is issued.

There also some drawbacks to consider as well:

1. The agent should do all the changes before the travel begins.

2. There could be a charge for using the agent’s services.

3. Sometimes it is difficult to pull up the exact fare rules.

Conclusion:

Unlike with the hotels, I rarely see any benefit of booking directly with the airline compared to online travel agents like Expedia. I prefer having a greater number of options

Priority Club Bonus Points Bonanza for New Account

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Even if you have a Priority Club account and Gold or Platinum status, it might make sense to sign up a family member as well for all the bonuses you can get. This works especially well at the properties where there are not any benefits for being a Gold or Platinum member.

priority-club-august

I just had a stay with a family member at a Holiday Inn Express location. I signed up for all the one time bonuses that you can find here and for other ongoing bonuses that you can find here. Also, the property in question was offering an opening bonus of 2K Priority Club points per stay.

priority-club-signed-up-promotions

All the bonuses except the Anniversary Bonus Offer & Elite Member Next Stay Bonus-posted. The 2K opening bonus from the property should post separately in couple of weeks.

priority-club-excel

Conclusion

It can make sense to open a Priority Club account for a family member as well to take advantage of the available bonus offers.

By taking advantage of the survey offers and downloading a toolbar, the account should have more than 10K Priority Club points that is enough for two free nights using Point Breaks.

BMI Diamond Club to British Airways Transfer “Expired Avios”

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Last week, I wrote about the ability to transfer miles from BMI Diamond Club to British Airways Avios. The tool was introduced back in July but, at the time, it had some functionality issues that I also  reported. I thought that everything going ok with my transfer. How wrong I was!

ba-bmi-expired

Apparently the miles that I transferred from BMI to BA expired the very same day that the transfer was completed. I have not had any activity on my Executive Club account for years as I have credited all my onewold alliance flights to American Airlines AAdvantage program. The BA’s system incorrectly just expires them.

ba-bmi-problem

I thought that this would be a perfect occasion to test how good BA’s Twitter team is at resolving issues. Sent the above tweet yesterday and should hopefully hear something from BA later today.

Conclusion

BA’s system incorrectly expires miles that are transferred from BMI if you haven’t had any account activity for some time. Not sure why BA has not corrected this issue.

If you have the same issue as I, you need to contact British Airways Executive Club to correct the issue.

Wyndham Opening Special – 16000 Bonus Points per Stay for Up To 3 Stays

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Wyndham is having an opening special at 20 properties around the United States that are either new build or reflags from other chains. You will get 16000 bonus points per stay for up to 3 says for total maximum of 48000 bonus points. Your stays need be between August 6th and October 6th, 2012. Note that you can combine this with other active Wyndham promotions like the current Summer 2012 promotion of quadruple miles or points.

wyndham-opening-special

We’ve just opened 20 new hotels and want to invite you to celebrate with us. Simply complete one stay through October 6, 2012 and you’ll earn 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points. That’s enough for a free night!

Plus, as an added incentive, rates are starting at $59.99 at the new Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham hotels and $79.00 at the new Wyndham Hotels and Resorts hotels. There are many locations to choose from across the United States so book now and take advantage of this limited-time offer.

Here’s the list of participating properties:

wyndham-opening-list-1

wyndham-opening-list-2

wyndham-opening-list-3

wyndham-opening-list-4

wyndham-opening-list-5

wyndham-opening-list-6

wyndham-opening-list-7

Conclusion:

This is a very nice bonus offer for the 20 properties in question. Even if you are not planning to redeem for Wyndham stays, you can always convert the points to airline miles. One stay at these properties should earn you enough Wyndham Rewards points for 7000 airline miles transfer.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

2012 Revere Promotion Terms and Conditions – Free night 16,000 bonus points

To qualify for the “16,000 bonus Points” promotion (the “Promotion”) and earn 16,000 Wyndham Rewards® points, the member must (i) be an active member (ii) click through the email and book a stay at any of the 20 participating properties at a qualifying rate between August 6, 2012 and October 6, 2012 and complete their hotel stays by October 9, 2012.(the “Promotion Period”). Members will receive 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points for up to 3 stays within the Promotion Period at any of the 20 properties regardless of the number of rooms booked. 16,000 bonus points is redeemable for one free night stay at a Tier 4 hotel. Member stays with check-out dates after October 9, 2012 will not be counted towards the Promotion. One stay includes all consecutive nights at the same hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs.  For a full list of the 20 participating properties click here. Members should allow six to eight weeks after completion of stay for the bonus points to be credited to their account.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

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I was just doing rebates for other two Priority Club Visa rebate card deals: Priority Club Vacation Pay and $50 Travel MasterCard for two night weekdays offer, when I came across this offer of $100 Visa Prepaid Debit card for stays of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of wedding. This offer is valid until December 30th, 2012 for residents of United States & Canada. The stays can be at international locations, however.

priority-club-sweetheart-deal

Yes, there are, some, InterContinental Hotels Group hotels that are worth spending some time even on a honeymoon like the InterContinental Resort in Fiji that I visited earlier in the year. But it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t collect these Visa Prepaid cards if you just happen to travel for work within 90 days of getting married.

priority-club-sweetheart-deal-terms

The terms and conditions seem to allow for more than $100 Visa Prepaid card as long as the stays are separate.

One reward (Visa prepaid card) will be awarded on every qualifying three-night honeymoon stay at participating InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® and Express by Holiday Inn™, Holiday Inn Club Vacations™, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® hotels for U.S. and Canada resident stays worldwide between January 1 – December 30, 2012.

They also require a copy of marriage license:

Rebate documents required:
1. Copy of marriage license. The date of the wedding must be within 90 days of the honeymoon stay.
2. Copy of final hotel folio.

Conclusion

If you have been married within the past few weeks or going to, you can take advantage of this offer for even non-honeymoon stays. The only requirement is the minimum three night consecutive stay for a $100 rebate that comes in a form of prepaid Visa card.

Here are the full terms and conditions of this offer:

Honeymoon Terms and Conditions

For honeymoon rebate, must book a three-night honeymoon stay at any IHG brand hotel worldwide on or after January 1, 2012 and stay between January 1 – December 30, 2012. Open to residents of Canada, the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Book the Book Early and Save to receive up to 20% off of the Best Flex rate or book any qualifying rate. A stay is defined as three consecutive nights at the same hotel, regardless of frequency of check-in/out. A stay is qualified when paying qualifying rates, which include most business and leisure rates. Qualifying Room Rates do not include the following reduced room rates: net wholesale individual and group rate, certain package rates, employee discount rate, friends and family rate, crew rate, special discounted contract rates, seasonal worker/crew rate, 50% travel club discount rate, travel industry discount rate, distressed passenger rate, Priority Club Reward Nights/Airline Hotel Reward rate, complimentary hotel stays and any other rates not defined as a Qualifying Room Rate. Rates booked via third parties such as Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Booking.com are also valid under this promotion , but specifically excluded are opaque (hotel name, location and/or rate not visible until after booking is submitted) and “name your own price” rates as well as any rates not available on this approved online booking site.

One reward (Visa prepaid card) will be awarded on every qualifying three-night honeymoon stay at participating InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® and Express by Holiday Inn™, Holiday Inn Club Vacations™, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® hotels for U.S. and Canada resident stays worldwide between January 1 – December 30, 2012.

Rebate documents required:
1. Copy of marriage license. The date of the wedding must be within 90 days of the honeymoon stay.
2. Copy of final hotel folio.

Submit rebate redemption form along with copies of the required documents as stated above to the address shown on the rebate form. Rebate must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2013. Limit one reward payable per qualifying form per household.

Reward will be returned to the name and address designated on the required rebate form (U.S. and Canada addresses only). Reward for U.S. residents will be fulfilled in U.S. dollars via a Visa prepaid card. Reward for Canada residents will be fulfilled via check in Canadian dollars. Claims postmarked after applicable dates, incomplete or illegible submissions, counterfeit copies of forms or receipts, and duplicate submissions will be rejected. IHG is not responsible for loss of rebate forms or rewards due to lost or misdirected mail or for illegible entries. Good for actual purchases by end users only; excludes resellers and distributors of products and their families. You should receive your reward within 6-8 weeks after claim is received. Limit one reward per person, receipt, household, family or address. IHG reserves the right to request additional information regarding this claim.

The IHG Visa prepaid card is not redeemable for cash and may not be used for cash withdrawal at any cash-dispensing location. Each time you use the card the amount of the transaction will be deducted from the amount of your available balance. Additional Terms and Conditions apply to the card. Please refer to the Cardholder Agreement insert provided with your prepaid card. Subject to applicable law, a monthly maintenance fee of $3 (USD) applies, but is waived for the first six months after the card is issued. No additional fees will be assessed once the card balance reaches zero. The Visa prepaid card is non-transferable and non-refundable. The card is issued by MetaBank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Cards can be used at any merchants that accept Visa debit cards. IHG reserves the right to substitute a check of equal value in lieu of a Visa prepaid card at its discretion. Offer valid only on purchase of hotel room nights at IHG hotels as stated above. Your rebate rights cannot be transferred, and this offer is void where taxed, restricted or prohibited by law. Keep copies of all materials submitted: originals will not be returned. Warning: Fraudulent submission could result in federal prosecution under mail fraud statues (Title 18, USC Sections 1341 & 1342). Your reward will be mailed within 6-8 weeks. If you have not received your reward within 10 weeks, visit www.ihgrebate.com or call 1-877-829-8587.

Employees or their family members of IHG companies are not eligible to participate in this promotion. Offer void where prohibited, taxed, or restricted by law. Promotion sponsor is Six Continents Hotels, Inc. For full rebate details, and to download rebate form, go to www.holidayinn.com/sweetheartdeal.

Download US Airways Dividend Miles StoreFront Shopping Assistant & Get 500 Miles

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When I was poking around my US Airways Dividend Miles account yesterday, I came across this offer of 500 miles for downloading their “StoreFront Shopping Assistant”. I have more than 179K miles sitting on my account, but would need to get the account to 180K for an award redemption. I could always buy the required points or transfer them in from a hotel program like SPG.

us-airways-dividend-miles-storefront-assistant

But, hey, if you are giving me free miles, I am happy to take them off your hands (Cartera’s in this case). Word of warning; this requires downloading software to your computer, installing it, and doing at least a search before uninstalling it. This should be enough for the free miles to post per the terms and conditions.

us-airways-dividend-miles-storefront

*To qualify for the initial download 500 bonus miles offer, make at least one search or purchase using the Dividend Miles StoreFront Assistant. Bonus offer is valid only for the initial download and install of the Dividend Miles StoreFront Assistant. Not valid on subsequent downloads or installs. For a list of complete terms and conditions please click here.

Here’s direct link for the offer, but you should find a banner on your Dividend Miles account advertising this offer.

There were few steps in between including your Dividend Miles account number and last name. They didn’t ask for the account password, however.

us-airways-dividend-miles-storefront-register-cards

Then there was an offer to register credit cards for some in store offers as well. I did bypass this as I was only interested in getting the free miles.

us-airways-dividend-miles-storefront-asistant-download

The download is rather hefty at 12.3MB. It doesn’t take too long on a good internet connection.

us-airways-dividend-miles-storefront-asistant-installation

You have to agree the installation thing before it is up and running.

us-airways-dividend-miles-browser

It then requires you to close all your browsers. After installation you will see additional bar on your browser. I did couple of searches that should be enough for the miles to post per the terms and conditions.

us-airways-dividend-miles-storefront-uninstall

I didn’t want to leave this “spyware” on my computer. So, I decided to uninstall it.

Conclusion

Some work for the 500 miles, but I needed them to hit the 180K RDM mark. Just make sure that you follow the terms and conditions of this offer closely and take couple of screen shots along the way.

Accor A-Club / Le Club Accorhotels Platinum Status for New Accounts

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Accorhotels has had number of promotions for a complimentary Platinum status in their Le Club-program. These offers are targeted, but if you sign up using the right offer, you will get the complimentary Platinum status too

Please note that this offer is still availabke. If you think that you might need Platinum status in the next 12 months, it would be better to sign up now.

le-club-accorhotels-sign-up-august-2012-benefits

You can read about my Platinum experiences at Mercure Nadi in FijiNovotel Suva Lami Bay in Fiji, and Hotel Muse in Bangkok. I recently stayed at the Pullman hotel in Bali and have uploaded the review video on YouTube.

le-club-accorhotels-welcome-email

Last time, after I had the offer up, it was all over the internet in couple of hours and the sign up offer was disable in less than a day. This time I am trying to preserve this offer longer for LoyaltyLobby readers.

Here’s what you need to do get the sign up link:

1. Sign up for the blog email updates and just reply to the welcome email that you would like to get the Accor Platinum sign up offer.

or

2. Follow us on Twitter and send me a direct message requesting the sign up link.

or

3. Like us on Facebook and send me a message for the link.

Please note that I am sending the links manually. You may get it almost instantaneously or it may take up to 12 to 14 hours.

le-club-accorhotels-platinum

If you have an old A-Club account, you need to make a decision whether opening a new account is worthwhile for you. Please note that you cannot use an existing email address that is on file with A-Club for signing up a new account.

Here is a quick look at the Le Club Accorhotels Platinum benefits:

A|Club Platinum status

With 60 nights or 25,000 A|Club points.

– 100% A|Club points bonus for every stay
Exclusive benefits at Sofitel*, Pullman and MGallery hotels.
– Welcome drink and gift
– Room upgrade**
– Late check-out up to 4:00 pm**
– A room always available if you reserve at least 3 days before your arrival.
– A Thalassa sea & spa Institute beauty and treatment product when you stay at Sofitel Thalassa sea & spa
– A welcome gift for any stay of 10 nights or more at Adagio, plus late check-out**
– Dedicated customer service

* Except Thalassa sea & spa
** upon request, and subject to availability

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status Until March 2014 for American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, and Virgin America Frequent Fliers + Bonus Points & Miles (Targeted?)

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Hilton HHonors has an exciting offer for AmericanDelta, JetBlue, United, US Airways and Virgin America frequent fliers. You will get an instant Gold status through March 14t, 2014 and bonus miles and/or bonus Hilton HHonors bonus points depending of the airline offer in question. This offer appears to be targeted to the recipients of this offer by email.

Sign up for our daily blog updates by email and follow us on TwitterFacebook to be first to know about exciting Hilton HHonors bonus points opportunities and program information.

Note that all the other offers are for FOUR STAYS during the promotional period but the United’s offer is for FIVE NIGHTS. There are various ending dates until which you have time to do the stays. Read the airline specific terms and conditions.

Friend of mine alerted me about this offer that was first posted on FlyerTalk.

Other Fast Track Offers for Hilton HHonors Gold Status

Hilton has an offer in the Asia Pacific region for instant Gold status for Visa Infinite card holders. There is a way around to get this offer even if you don’t have a Visa Infinite card. Hilton also offers fast track to Gold status only after four stays or nine nights over 90 day period via their MVP program.

Remember that you can double dip with Virgin Atlantic and transfer the miles back to Hilton HHonors. I wrote about this strategy recently.

American Airlines AAdvantage

hilton-offer-american

– 500 AAdvantage miles after your first stay by November 28, 2012¹.
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².
– 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay by November 28, 2012³.

This is a good offer. I like the 50K bonus Hilton HHonors points after fourth stay.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

hilton-offer-delta

– 500 miles from Delta after your first stay by November 29, 2012¹.
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².
– 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay by November 19, 2012³.

Same offer as American’s. You will receive 50K bonus Hilton HHonors points after your fourth stay.

JetBlue TrueBlue

hilton-offer-jetblue

– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more¹.
– 500 TrueBlue points after your first stay by November 22, 2012².
– 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay between August 2 and November 22, 2012³.

Still the same offer. 50K Hilton HHonors bonus points is a nice amount.

United Airlines Mileage Plus

hilton-offer-united

– 6,000 MileagePlus bonus award miles after five nights stayed by November 25, 2012¹
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².

This offer gives you flat 6000 bonus Mileage Plus miles after five nights.

US Airways Dividend Miles

hilton-offer-us-airways

– 500 miles from US Airways after your first stay by December 2, 2012¹.
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more².
– 25,000 HHonors Bonus Points after your fourth stay by December 2, 2012³.

The bonus point offer is only 25K Hilton HHonors points compared to 50K on American, Delta and JetBlue offers.

Virgin America Elevate

hilton-offer-virgin-america

– 1,600 Elevate points after your fourth stay by December 12, 2012¹
– Instant HHonors Gold status through March 2014 and you can enjoy complimentary room upgrades, high-speed Internet access, breakfast and more²

Like on the United’s offer you won get any bonus Hilton HHonors points here. The bonus offer is 1600 Elevate points after fourth stay.

Conclusion

If you received the offer email for complimentary Hilton HHonors Gold status basically just for singing up, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of this it even if you don’t have any planned Hilton stays. The status will be valid until March, 2014.

Hilton HHonors Gold status is good for a complimentary breakfast and/or lounge access, some extra points, complimentary internet access, room upgrades, and you will be eligible for VIP only awards.

Hilton HHonors Gold is probably the best mid-tier hotel chain status.

You can combine this offer with other current Hilton promotions.

Terms and conditions of the American Airlines offer:

¹To earn 500 AAdvantage miles, you must complete one stay between August 8 and November 28, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for AAdvantage miles to appear in your AAdvantage account. AAdvantage miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the AAdvantage program. Go to www.aa.com/aadvantage for complete details. American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Unless specified, AAdvantage miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million MilerSM status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 28, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

³To receive 50,000 Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 8 and November 28, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 50,000 HHonors points are enough for two free reward nights at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards. AmericanAirlines, AAdvantage and Million Miler are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.

Terms and conditions of the Delta Air Lines offer:

¹To receive 500 miles, you must complete one stay between July 29 and November 19, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to appear in your SkyMiles account. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit delta.com/skymiles. Partner offers subject to the terms and conditions of each individual offer. Offers void where prohibited by law. Other restrictions may apply. Offers subject to change without notice.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 19, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

³To receive 50,000 Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between July 29 and November 19, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 50,000 HHonors points are enough for two free reward nights at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards.

Terms and conditions of the JetBlue offer:

¹If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 22, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

²To receive 500 TrueBlue points, you must complete one stay by November 22, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for TrueBlue points to appear in your TrueBlue account. Offer available to TrueBlue members in good standing. The name and True Blue number provided must exactly match those listed in the TrueBlue account. Offer has no cash value, is not not redeemable for cash, is not valid for group stays, is nontransferrable, and cannot be combined with other offers. TrueBlue points may not be granted retroactuveky and will not be granted for any stays outside of the eligble offer dates. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice or liability. TrueBlue program Terms and Conditions apply. Please visit trueblue.jetblue.com for complete details.

³To receive 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 2 and November 22, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 50,000 HHonors points are enough for two free reward nights at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards.

Terms and conditions of the United Airlines offer:

¹To earn United Mileage Plus miles for your stays, simply stay at a Hilton Worldwide hotel, pay an eligible rate, and present your United Mileage Plus account number at time of reservation and at check-in. To receive 6,000 bonus award miles, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 5 and November 25, 2012. Miles accrued, awards issued and bonus offers are subject to the rules of the UMP program. United, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners. Please allow 6-8 weeks after completed qualifying activity for bonus award miles to be posted to your UMP account. The UMP program, including accruals, awards and bonus, is subject to change without notice. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the passenger. United and Mileage Plus are registered service marks. For complete details about the UMP program, visit www.united.com.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by November 25, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

Terms and conditions of the US Airways offer:

¹To receive 500 Dividend Miles, you must complete one stay between August 12 and December 2, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for Dividend Miles to appear in your Dividend account. US Airways is not responsible for products or services offered by Hilton. Airline miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the Dividend Miles Program. Go to usairways.com/dividendmiles for complete details.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by December 2, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

³To receive 25,000 Bonus Points, all qualifying stays must be completed between August 12 and December 2, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks from completion of your stays for points to appear in your HHonors account. Hilton HHonors points required for a free night range between 7,500 HHonors points for a Category 1 hotel and up to 80,000 points for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. 25,000 HHonors points are enough for one free reward night at a Category 1-3 hotel. Free nights (for standard room, double occupancy) are defined in the HHonors program Terms and Conditions. For information on reward stays, visit HHonors.com/Rewards.

Terms and conditions of the Virgin America offer:

¹To receive 1,600 Elevate Points, you must complete four stays between August 22 and December 12, 2012. Please allow 6-8 weeks for Elevate Points to appear in your Virgin America account. Virgin America is not responsible for products or services offered by Hilton. Points accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the Elevate Points Program. Go to virginamerica.com/frequent-flyer/elevate-member-guide.html for complete details.

²If you’re already an HHonors member, please contact Hilton Reservations and Customer Care so your account can be updated to qualify for this offer. Offer is valid for the recipient of this email only and is non-transferable. You must update your account by December 12, 2012 to obtain Gold status, which will be valid through March 2014. Thereafter, standard requirements must be met to maintain Gold status. Gold status member may choose from a variety of on-property benefits, which vary by hotel and are subject to availability.

Transferring BMI Diamond Club Miles to British Airways Executive Club Avios

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When I tried transferring some of my BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios back in July, it was an utter failure. The website wouldn’t work at all and the transfer didn’t go through. I predicted that the service would be up and running at some later date.

Now, I would have some use for Avios and decided to try this functionality again.

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It is difficult to find the correct option on BA’s website. You need to scroll down once you have logged in to your Executive Club account to find the correct “Combine My Avios” tab.

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You will then get a screen with British Airways, Iberia, and BMI logos and some text explaining about the Avios. Both British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus use Avios as their miles currency.

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Once you choose “Combine My Avios” you will get another screen. You need to plug in your BMI Diamond Club account number and the password.

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Then you need to decide the number of miles that you would like to move. It shows the number of miles you have in your Executive Club and BMI Diamond Club accounts. In my case the Executive Club account balance is zero.

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Once you have plugged in the number of miles you will get one more screen that shows the direction and number of miles. You need to confirm this one more time.

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You will see the “Please wait a moment” interstitial for few seconds.

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And if you combine was successful you will shortly see a confirmations screen.

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You will receive two emails two; one from British Airways and another one from BMI.

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When you go back to your Executive account the transferred miles are already there and ready for use.

Conclusion

At least the transfer tool moving BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Executive Club Avios is now working. Unless you have use for BA Avios there is no need to initiate the transfer before the Diamond Club is finally laid to rest. This should happen sometime later this year.

Carlson Hotels Friends & Family Discount

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Many of the hotel chains are offering discounts for friends & family members of their associates. Carlson hotels is no different on this.

Note that I would use this rate plan only if I knew someone working for Carlson hotels as the name of the employee friend may be requested prior or during your stay. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a person working for Carlson Hotels from anyone’s extended circle of friends.

Searching for Friends & Family Rates

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Searching for these rates is easy at Carlson’s website. You only need to use promotional code CARLSONF when doing the rate search.

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The availability of this rate plan is very spotty as one can expect considering that the price is fixed at 80 euros per night. You can use the rate calendar that shows two months availability at a time.

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There were only two properties in Paris that had any availability this year and both offered few dates in August.

Carlson Family & Friends Rate-Classic Room

PRICE:
80.00 Euro (EUR) Per night Tax included For 1 nights per room

ROOM DESCRIPTION:
– +/- 20 square metres
– Room type / Bed type / Smoking preference confirmed
– Free broadband
– VAT and applicable taxes included

FEATURES:
– Please note – employee name and work location will be required at time of check-in.
– Discounted rate for family & friends of Carlson employees globally
– Guest will be charged equivalent of EUR 80
– Please note that currency exchange rates are subject to change
– Room type / Bed type / Smoking preference confirmed
– 25% discount on food and beverage (excluding alcohol) in the all day restaurant
– Buffet breakfast, VAT and applicable taxes included

INSTRUCTIONS:
No points/miles awarded
1 night minimum stay required.
A maximum of 3 rooms per person may be booked at this rate.
Rate intended for leisure travel only.
Guest will be responsible for room rates, applicable taxes and surcharges, in addition to any other charges that they incur.
Rate subject to availability and change.

GUARANTEE POLICY:
Credit card holds accepted
Travel agency holds accepted
Company hold accepted

CANCELLATION POLICY:
Cancel today thru Aug 14 2012 = No penalty
Cancel Aug 15 2012 thru Aug 16 2012 = 80.00 EUR.

Things to keep in mind:

1. You need to know someone working for the Carlson Hotels.

2. The availability can be very spotty at popular locations.

3. The price is equivalent of 80 euros in local currency.

4. Breakfast is included as are all the taxes.

5. It is not qualifying stay for points or stay credit.

Conclusion

This is a terrific offer for friends and family members of Carlson hotels. The price of the room is fixed regardless of the location and includes all the taxes and breakfast. You should ONLY consider using this rate if you know someone working for Carlson hotels and have their permission.

During times when Club Carlson is running good point promotions it probably makes sense to pay the regular rate to get qualifying stay and associated points in the process.

Finnair 15% off Business Class Fares & Finnair Plus Silver Status After a Round Trip

Finnair is offering a 15% discount on business class fares when paying using American Express card. Also, residents of China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States will get an upgrade to Finnair Plus Silver status just after one return trip. Finnair Plus Silver status is equivalent of Oneworld Ruby. You need to register for this offer.

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There are quite a few good business class offers from the countries where this offer is valid to Asia. Finnair is trying to fill their planes to Asia and apparently the business class demand must be somewhat soft at the moment. Recently SAS was offering status matches to their Eurobonus Gold status for residents of China and Hong Kong.

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You can fly Stockholm to Narita and back in Finnair’s business class for about $3.4K. The price is most likely even cheaper during better sales and/or other destinations.

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Conclusion

This offer sounds quite good but it is not that great after all. The Silver Finnair Plus status would require 40000 Finnair Plus points (kilometers) and the route above would earn 39848 points by itself. Of course other closer destinations than Tokyo would earn less.

2000 United Airlines Mileage Plus Miles + 2000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points + GoGo Pass for $59

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Milepoint is apparently having a premium membership drive and offering a nice package just for $59.

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Here is a list of benefits & discounts that you will receive for $59.

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Let’s say that if you value your Hyatt and United points at 1.5 cents each then the value of these two is greater than the price of $59 that Milepoint charges for their Premium membership. I have circled in red the benefits & discounts that I have found to be useful.

Conclusion

This is a very good offer that I will take advantage of as well. Buying 2000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and United Mileage Plus miles for just $59 is a very good deal.

Milepoint is a Flyertalk clone that was (surprisingly) founded by the founder of FlyerTalk (after selling the latter to Internet Brands).  For frequent traveler related information I have found the FlyerTalk to be far more useful than the Milepoint.

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