READER QUESTIONS: Combining Hilton Promotions, Best Oneworld Alliance Program To Earn Miles & Status, Airberlin EC 261/2004 Compensation, Hilton 5,000 Bonus Points Offer, Transferring Points Between Hotel Loyalty Programs, Star Alliance Status Match From AA & GOL Smiles Ticketing Issue

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

Reader Questions & Comments June 20 2015 U

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.

Peter’s Question About Combining The Hilton’s 5,000 Bonus HHonors Points Promo With Other Offers

Dear John HHonor 5,000 bonus point can combine with double point promotion ? I see this… “P.S. – If you haven’t already signed up for the Double Your HHonors promotion, be sure to do that too and you’ll also earn Double Points or Double Miles at all hotels through August 31st.” and registered both offers. Another question that if I book Millennium Hilton in Bangkok with this rate “DISCOVER ASIA Special offer”, could I get 5,000 bonus point ?

The beauty of Hilton HHonors is that you can stack promotions. You can stack the 5,000 bonus points offer with Double Your HHonors and all the other promotions such as the ones for Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria stays.

You can read my piece about stacking Hilton HHonors promotions here.

READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Canceled Enterprise Car Rentals, Where’s Marriott Summer Promo, Taxes & Fees On Hyatt Awards, Australia To North America Using AA Miles, British Airways Status Match & Marriott Taipei Opening Delay

Joel’s Question About Best Oneworld Alliance Program To Earn Miles & Status

I’d like to know which loyalty program of the One World alliance is the best to earn miles faster with partner airlines and to reach the next level of membership tiers.

There is no easy answer to this as it depends on the type of fares that you fly (economy, business or first) and whether you do most of the flying on one airline.

If you fly American Airlines a lot, it makes sense to credit the flights to AAdvantage and earn status. American currently credits all paid fare classes 100% and if you make to Platinum you get 100% elite bonus on top of that.

Those that fly on premium fares can get status with British Airways easily due to way they calculate tier points per segment.

It gets trickier if you fly a lot in discounted economy across variety of Oneworld Airlines. Many discounted fares earn very little if anything on partner programs.

Generally speaking it makes sense to sign up for the airline program that you take most flights.

Toby’s Question On Airberlin EC 261/2004 Delay Compensation

I’ve a question about the delay rule in Europe. I sent in to Air Berlin for compensation.

They have responded with an agreed 250€ as gesture of good will, when I book a new trip and send details to them.

What is the intended rule for delays? I arrived a little more than 4 hours late during transfer within Europe.

Airberlin tries to do its best of not following this law. I recently had a case where they owe me 600 euros due to equipment swap. They offered 500 euros after I purchase another flight from then and send in the details. I have two other cases with Airberlin and has retained a lawyer to deal with them.

You could contact your national enforcement body and request their help to deal with Airberlin. You can access the contact list on EU’s website here.

READ MORE: Reader Questions & Comments: Using Corporate Rate At Marriott, IHG Rewards Club Platinum Status Match, Le Club Accorhotels Account Regularization, Getting Most Out Of Hotel Loyalty Program & Earning IHG Rewards Club Points & Bonus Points Packages For Multiple Rooms?

Bill’s Question About The New 5,000 Bonus Points Offer

I do not understand why I cannot find some of the Hilton offers that you mention and give links to on LoyaltyLobby when I start from For example, I cannot find reference to the current 5,000 points offer till July 6 if I start from Is it some kind of hidden link? Can you explain please?

You cannot find any of the Hilton related airline offers on that I have written about.

Hilton and other loyalty programs have decided to better award those that are interested in hotel promotions instead of awarding every loyalty program member that stay at their hotels.

Eric’s Question About Transferring Points Between Hotel Loyalty Programs

My name is Eric and I found your site while trying to figure out the best way to transfer Choice Privileges (165,000)  and IHG Rewards (45,000) to any one of the following Hotel loyalty programs…Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham or Marriott.

Can you please direct me as the best way to do this?

We’re traveling to Maui and the Rewards points I have are with hotel companies that do not have a property where we’re traveling. (Maui).

If it only would be that easy.

These are competing programs and you cannot transfer points in between them. You can usually convert hotel loyalty program points to airlines miles, however.

The only way I can see this to work for you is if you can find a person that have use for Choice Privileges or IHG Rewards Club points and you could do a swap (someone else books for you and you book for him/her).

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

Mark’s Question About Star Alliance Status Match From AA & Hilton Status

With the merger of US Air and American I am Platinum with American /One world will be hit the Highest level next Quarter so would like to see if I can get Status Match as I do sometimes need to travel on a Star alliance long haul and it helps.

Likewise with Hotels. I am mostly Marriott but stay a lot in the Hilton and others so looking for what I should know.

The question is that can you travel enough on Star Alliance to keep the status once you receive the match?

Turkish Airlines still does straight status matched to their equivalent on Star Alliance Gold that would get you the benefits including lounge access when flying United domestically in the US (UA Gold wouldn’t give this). United also offers status challenges for AA fliers.

You can get Hilton HHonors Gold status by staying with them four times within any 90 day period by signing up any of the Gold Fast Track offers that I have written about. Alternatively, you can ask for a Diamond offer that requires 21 nights within 90 days. You can read more about both of these offers here.

GOL Smiles Issue?

I’m writing you regarding a serious problem I have with Smiles. While doing I booking for Qatar F from Doha to Bangkok something went wrong and I didn’t proceed to the payment. After starting over the flight wasn’t available anymore, because my friend booked the same and there are 2 seats available.

After calling around 10(!) times they found my reservation and it was possible to finish te reservation by phone. I paid with my miles and the reservation showed in my account. But I didn’t received an e-tickets or PNR from Qatar. After asking on Twitter Smiles gave me a PNR for the Qatar website and I was able to manage my booking and choose seats.

But earlier this week I wasn’t able to sign in anymore. I contacted Qatar and they told me that my booking was auto can cancelled due to lack of valid ticket! I called back (again) to Smiles and they told me that it happened because they weren’t able to pay the taxes. So now I still need to pay the taxes but it’s not possible, they can’t process the payment in their system (I gave them my CC details).

The only possibility now is to cancel the ‘pending’ reservation and to start over. But when checking the availability for the flights I booked the return leg is available again but the first leg not. So I’m wondering if the first leg will be available again when I cancel my reservation. But it’s strange that the return leg already is.

I hope you understand my problem. Do you have any idea what I need to do now? I want this to end as soon as possible. I attached some screenshots to this mail, from the Smiles website and from Qatar support.

Well. I have not heard anything positive from Smiles telephone customer service. I have understood that there is none unless you speak Portuguese. I dealt with so many incompetents agents over the years that I have little patience left.

Seems that the GOL Smiles failed to actually issue your ticket and Qatar Airways canceled your reservation after set period of time.

Sometimes you have to babysit your reservations to ensure that they have been ticketed.

I don’t think that there is any other option than trying to search for award availability and try to book it if it resurfaces using Smiles again on same dates.


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

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