READER QUESTIONS: Flying On Separate Tickets, Premier Travel Management, Weekly Accor Sales, Marriott TVL Rate, Hilton Gold Fast Track, Where To Switch From Aeroplan & Radisson Crystal City Issues

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

Reader Questions March 27

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

Tada’s Question Regarding Flying On Separate Tickets & Connecting Times

I have a question about airlines tickets! That i have 2 tickets in hand but all of them is connecting flight.

So i will start explain about this. My first ticket i have is Finnair that flight for TKU – HEL – CDG i will fly from TKU to HEL i am arrive at HEL 15.30 with AY224 and then i have to Fly to CDG with AY873 departure at 16.05!!! That about 35 min for change flight.

So i really afraid that i will miss CDG flight then my second ticket will be missing all of them!!! Because i have to fly to Abu Dabi from CDG with EY038 departure at 21.55

So if i miss CDG flight can i ask Finnair provide me to other airlines? Because i check next flight for Finnair it too late to arrive in CDG so it mean i need to flight with other airlines only!!!

But the problem is 2 of my ticket is book separate one is AY on is WY(They cancel flight and move me to EY). Any suggestion if in case of i miss the flight? (Really wish that not happen) but i would like to know to get some information about this because i never have any case like this before!!!

if not even a airline arrive in CDG before 21.55 so can i ask Finnair to find the flight for me to Abu Dabi (But i don’t it work in this case) Could you please give me some information about this for make my travel experience stronger to find out the situations!!!

The minimum connecting time for your connecting flight in Helsinki is 35 minutes. As both Finland and France are part of Schengen, there is no exit immigration required. You just proceed to the correct gate in Helsinki.

As long as the Finnair flight from Turku is on time, you will have no issues.

The problem is that if the flight is not on time and you end up missing the Etihad flight in France neither Finnair nor Etihad bare any responsibility because you are on separate tickets.

In a case that you miss the flight from Helsinki to Paris due to late arrival of your flight from Turku, you can request Finnair to rebook you to Paris on other airlines such as SAS or Lufthansa. They likely won’t do this unless you make a request, however.

If you are flying on separate tickets, you must leave adequate time between the flights in case there are irregular operations.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Avis DCC Scam, Using Different Star Alliance FF Programs For Status & Miles, Etihad’s Customer Service (Or Lack Thereof), Hilton Gold Medal Rate (Gone), IHG Award Availability In San Francisco, Platinum Ambassador Club Access, “High” Speed Internet At HGI & Deciphering Which Airlines Stock The Ticket Is Issued

Charlie’s Question About Premier Travel Management

Premium Travel Management (800-307-0213) advertised in a local airport newspaper. The ad says: “Save up to 55% on any business or first class flight, any airline, any destination”. They claim “insider deals, privately negotiated fares, preferred rates, 24/7 service”. What is this? Are they selling consolidator tickets? Would I get mileage credit? I realize they claim up to 55% off, but does it sound likely that they would get me a Delta (my preferred airline) seat at a significant discount?

I thought I’d see if you have any warnings first.

I would be hesitant to use these services that are advertised on local newspapers. Are they even authorized to sell travel services? Difficult to tell.

Could be that they are just selling award tickets? May be they are just a broken that is buying miles and then turning them to business and first class award tickets.

There can be consolidator fares for premium cabins or packaged ones that require you to purchase a car rental or hotel before the agent is allowed to sell them.

If you decide to go forward and purchase something, make sure that you pay using credit card. This guarantees that in a case they go belly up, you won’t lose the money paid.

There have been some examples of agents selling tickets and then canceling them before the actual travel date leaving passengers without valid tickets.

Remember that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Davik’s Question About Weekly Accor Sales

Do you know if the “weekly” Accor-Sale dont comes today and in the next Weeks, because it has the 3=2 Offer?

The weekly sales that should start every Tuesday morning have been now gone for the past two weeks without any communication from Accor. Could be because of their 3=2 offer that you are referring to.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Ambassador Benefits On Intercontinental Stay, Joining Marriott Rewards, Using British Airways Avios, Accor’s Promotions & Hilton’s Double Points Package And Double Points Promotion

Susan’s Question About Marriott’s TVL Rate

Susan sent me a link to Marriott Rewards Insiders forum where members were reporting issues when booking using TVL rate code:

I recently stayed at the Marriott CDG airport using a travel industry rate code “tvl”. It was not a super discounted rate the night was EUR 143.00.

Did not get normal credit had to call INTL customer care and ultimatelly Marriott Rewards. Was informed this was a “famtastic” rate and a corporate rate and not eligible for stay or points?? Have received credit on the travel industry rate on previous stays at this hotel and others. Saw discussions treads from the early 2000s, most recently 2012, with members having similar experiences. Per the research on the 2012 discussion — the answer was TVL should be credited as a stay under Marriott Rewards Rules.

On the rate rules nothing is stated about being ineligible for rewards credit.  On the rules page Marriott Associate and Friends and Family rates are exempt from credit and it also appears as a blurb in those specific rate rules. This sounds like a coding issue to me similar to medical coding errors. If the code is off you don’t get credit. The Rewards Supervisor is calling this a contract rate — which they define in parenthis on their rules page as rooms booked by a company at an ongoing basis?!? Also very confusing.

Any one out there experienced this problem recently?? Suggested to Marriott Rewards if this is the case they could easily update the rate rules and program rules so Reward Members looking for credit would avoid this rate option. If it is a coding problem do you need to take it up with the hotel on check out?? Or, how do you received credit?? This appears to be an ongoing issue and it really should be addressed and clarifiled ASAP.

Here’s what the rate rules for TVL say:

  • Travel Industry Program
  • – Available to active travel agents, wholesale/tour operators,
  • incentive company, commercial airline (an airline that is in
  • the business of transporting passengers, not packages), and
  • Hertz employees, Universal Air Travel Plans, Society of Active
  • Travel Writer (SATW) and Midwest Travel Writers Association
  • (MWTA) members, and CLIA agents.
  • – Limit of 1 room per qualified guest per night.
  • – Positive identification is required at check-in. The agency
  • name and address must match the reservation, plus another form
  • of ID (E.g. drivers license, passport, etc.)
  • – Acceptable forms of ID for rate qualification
  • – IATAN photo ID card (the preferred ID)
  • OR any two of the following
  • – Authorization on agency letterhead from a manager,
  • calling the travel agency directly for verification
  • ARC/IATA listing, business card, SATW/MTWA ID membership
  • card, copy of voided wholesaler voucher, employee ID for travel
  • industry employees who are not travel agents

There is a separate Fam-Tastic rate that is reserved for travel agents that requires them to pass an online course and get vouchers which are required at the time of checking in. The Fam-Tastic rates, when available, are lot lower than this Travel Industry rate which eligibility is much wider.

There is nothing on the rate rules that would deem this rate to be a “contracted” one that Marriott Rewards Insider uses to claim that it is not eligible for stay/night credit or points.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Four Seasons Loyalty Program, Homewood Suites Won’t Be Open By The Time Of The Stay, Club Carlson & Le Club Accorhotels Status Matches, American Airlines Downgrade & Marriott Renewed Status

Mike’s Question About Hilton Gold Fast Track

First of all I would like to thanks you for allowing me to enjoy Hilton Gold Membership for the third consecutive year (mainly through fast-track offers), in addition to Gold Membership at Accor Hotels.

I signed-up for GE fast track and completed the fourth stay 20 March 2015, but since then Status Progress have updated it as “Based on stays earned this year, your 2016 tier would be Silver.”

It is quite weird as till the third stay, I can see the progress as “you need 1 more stay to maintain Gold Status in 2016”.

Need your guidance in this regard.

Do you still have the Gold status with Hilton HHonors?

The status bar seems to have functioned properly. It reset once you had fulfilled the requirement for the GE fast track. The status should be valid until 2017, however. I don’t think that the status bar has been properly programmed to show this.

Gary’s Question About Where To Switch From Aeroplan.

I have been a super elite for Air Canada Aeroplan for the last 10 years or so and I almost achieved their life-time Elite status (=Star alliance gold status). However because Air Canada’s customer service and Aeroplan are so bad, I have decided to switch to another Star Alliance or even OneWorld from scratch. My question to you is which Star Alliance frequent flyer program is the best that you would recommend? How about those program that only requires requalification for every 2 years instead of every year. Which one would you recommend?

If you are close to lifetime Gold status with Air Canada/Aeroplan, I would try to stick with the program until you have achieved it. I have lifetime status with both United and American to cover Star Alliance and Oneworld.

What program is the best really depends to where and in which cabins you tend to fly. If majority if your flights are on Air Canada, I would probably stick with their program.

If you are after the fastest way to qualify or get matched to Star Alliance Gold status, I would look into Aegean or Turkish Airlines.

American Airlines AAdvantage would be the logical choice if you are based in North America. You need 50,000 miles or 50 EQP (elite qualifying points) for Oneworld Sapphire status that is comparable to Star Alliance Gold.

Delta and United have both moved to award miles based on the spend. American Airlines hasn’t made any announcement yet what their plans for 2016 are going to be.

Andy’s Question About Radisson Crystal City

I stayed 3 nights a week for 3 weeks in march at Radisson Crystal City (Reagan airport) in VA in March 2015 for the promotion of 3 nights earning 30K points.

i booked the double points biz rate and chose to upgrade for 4 free breakfast coupon per day. the hotel staff refused to give me 4 breakfast coupon and gave me one coupon per day only for all my 9 nights.

The last week on Tuesday evening when i returned to my room, all my personal belongings are gone (thrown away by cleaning ladies, i guess). toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, haircomber, socks, paper, documents, ties, snacks, sausages, so on and so forth, all were gone.

Club Carlson reward program said, they can not compensate my loss at the hotel. the hotel manager was not sincere to call me for any compensation. please advise what i can do? is there a government regulation agency that i can file a complaint?

Do you have the breakfast coupon situation somewhere in writing? If you paid for the upgrade and it induced the coupons, you should get them.

Sounds like the housekeeping thought that you had left the hotel and threw out all your personal stuff. There is NO excuse for this.

You could open a case with the BBB (access here) or with the Attorney General of VA (access here). Remember to leave appropriate feedback also on TripAdvisor with low rating. That really hurts the hotel.

Let me know what happens after you take these steps. Seems that this is a Compensation Clinic case in the making.

Conclusion

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

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