Here are eight 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.
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.
Dan’s Question How Close to Global Services Status On United Airlines?
I am 1 million miler on United. I am consistently 1k. I am close to hitting 100k pqm in the next few weeks. I am “over $12k” in pqd. How short am I from Global Services?
What I have understood about the Global Services status on United, it basically only counts dollars spend on United metal and could be anywhere from $30K to $50K annually if not (market dependent) more. I am sure that LoyaltyLobby has Global Services members among its readers that could chime in.
Max’s Question Choosing Between Enterprise Or National?
My company got now a contract with enterprise. Previously I used Avis preferred, where I got within 3 minutes my key and sometime are ok. My focus is getting off the airport as soon as possible.
Are there 2 loyalty programs? Enterprise and National? What would you prefer? Is there a possibility to get an status match from Avis or Star Alliance Gold?
Do you have some tips for Enterprise and National? My aim is to travel as easy as possible. 500 miles for my airline programs an upgrade and had no problems with surcharges or discussions about damages.
As a business traveler, I would stay away from Enterprise, but National tend to be good. You can sign up for the Emerald Club and then you can just choose whatever car you want from certain selection when you book minimum midsize card.
You should sign up for the Emerald Club and collect free rental days. In my opinion those are better than possible few hundred miles with airline partners.
READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Using Avios for Hotels, Terrible Accor Stay, Right Frequent Flier Program For Asia, One FF Number For Elite Benefits And Another For Miles, Hilton Online Check-in, From MileagePlus To KrisFlyer & Delta Frustration
Randy’s Question Maintaining Diamond Status With Delta?
I travel a great deal on business and consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about some of the frequent traveler programs, however I could use a little help and assistance. Typically, I maintain 3 primary hotel programs Hyatt (Diamond), Marriott (Platinum for Life), Hilton (Diamond), and am considering adding SPG due to their companionship program with Delta (Diamond).
Typically, I don’t fly more 2-3 times per month, and it’s exclusively with Delta. I’m trying to maximize my Delta miles, including MQM miles, in order to maintain my Diamond status, however it’s not easy. Last year, I made Diamond using flight segments rather than miles, so I didn’t have any rollover miles. Currently, I have just less than 50,000 MQM miles and 54 segments for this year, and I need 125,000 MQM or 140 segments.
I could use a little help developing a better plan for maintaining my airline status. Any suggestions? I use the Delta AMEX card as it offers 30,000 MQM per year, which I have collect 15,000 already. I expect that I will be traveling to the Texas area later this year, but I doubt that I’ll achieve enough mileage to maintain my status. Are you aware of any mileage/segment run deals that would help me?
So, you would be standing at 65K MQM’s when you count in the full EQM boost from Amex if you spend the $30K this year. I could see the value doing couple of extra trips if your MQMs would be in the 100K range for the year.
Why wouldn’t you take couple of vacations? I would go to Asia or Europe. There are usually good fares ex-Europe to South America on US airlines (very cheap) that are good deal considering the MQMs earned.
It all boils down how much you value your time and extra money that you would be throwing Delta’s way in form of unnecessarily trips. I wouldn’t do Mileage Runs per se but rather going somewhere where I would like to go and earn the miles along the way.
Senq’s Question About Accor’s 10K Bonus Points Promotion?
I have signed up for the Accor 10000 bonus points may promotion for 3×2 stays. I have already had two of those stays and would like to have a third stay for the last 5000 points.
During the time period of the offer I have made some reservations (cancellation free of charge), hoping that I would be able to use at least one of them. Regarding those reservations I have got two questions:
– Due to a change in my travel plans I will not be able to be in the country where I made two of those reservations. Do you think it will be possible to online check in, so the credit card will be charged, to get the bonus points?
– The other reservations I made, and where I can personally check in, were made in Ibis Budget. Am I right that for a stay at Ibis Budget as not being part of the Le Club program I will not be able to earn the promotion points?
Ibis Budget hotels are not Le Club Accorhotels participating, so that would not help with the promo at all. I believe that the actual charging of the credit card happens at the hotel level and merely doing an online check in wouldn’t help with this. You could always contact the hotel to find out what they say.
There was a long discussion that using the online check in changes the date of your reservation that Le Club Accorhotels uses to determine the booking date tat triggers the bonus points (read more here).
One option would be to have a friend who lives in the city that one of the reservations was made to check you in as a second guest. Unfortunately, I cannot see any other way to have this resolved.
READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS & COMMENTS: Le Club Accorhotels Benefits On 3rd Party Bookings, Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills Reflag To Marriott, Hilton HHonors Triple Points Rate Offer, Close To Marriott Lifetime Platinum Status, US Airways Flight Delay & Flight Cancellation On United Issued Award
Andrew’s Question HHonors vs Marriott Rewards?
I’ve always been a Marriott guy yet thinking of switching to Hilton. I’ll be doing 70 or so over nights this year.
1. What does the “continental breakfast” for Gold and Diamond at Hiltons , and Doubletrees get you ? In trying to compare it to the hot , nice breakfast I get at the Marriott concierge lounge.
2. Also, typically does it take the same amount of pts to get a room points for each chain? I see where each do 10pts for 1 dollar spent.
Overall, I would say that the breakfast situation is better at Hilton hotels compared to Marriott. Hilton doesn’t exclude resorts from this benefit as Marriott does (remember those vacations where you use your points).
You earn more points with Hilton HHonors, but awards cost more as well. As a Diamond member you earn 20 points per USD (not counting in any possible points from credit cards), that is 10 points per USD charge as a base, 5 additional points for choosing the Points + Points, 5 additional points for Diamond members + 1,000 points for choosing the points as your My Way benefit.
Hilton also requires hotels to have award availability when they have standard rooms for sale. This is not the case with Marriott Rewards where hotels can also have blackout dates even when Marriott advertises no blackout dates (doesn’t make any sense).
I have spent more nights with Marriott since joining the program, but have found Hilton HHonors to be more rewarding as of late. For example there is not summer promotion from Marriott.
Gary’s Question About Malaysian Flight Cancellation?
We have a business class oneworld booking (around-the-world type) with Qantas.
One of the upcoming sectors in September (Malaysian Airlines MH30 KUL-IST) has just been cancelled (Malaysian will no longer fly this route).
Qantas have helped us change the ticket but instead of a direct flight it is KUL-SIN-DOH-IST (the only way to do it with award availability on the date we had).
This involves staying the night in KL before the first flight (which we didn’t have to do before) as it leaves 7.5 hours later.
I asked Qantas if they would pay for a hotel in KL, but they said no, that’s what travel insurance is for but suggested we contact Malaysian Airlines to see if they would pay for a hotel.
Does this seem OK? Is there any other sort of compensation we should ask for? I guess we are somewhat limited being on an award booking.
To be honest with you, I don’t think that you have any other choice than to pay for the night in Kuala Lumpur where the hotel prices are rather low.
Sebastian wrote earlier (access here) about the constant Malaysian Airlines flight cancellations due to low demand (they often consolidate several flights to one) and the fact that they are canceling/downsizing many routes.
Their schedule is in total chaos and I wouldn’t book too far in advance as there are likely more changes coming.
READ MORE: READER QUESTIONS: Easy Hilton HHonors Gold, Using Aeroplan Miles Towards Tuition, Using VS Miles On SA Flights, Le Club Accorhotels Platinum With Minimum Effort, Buying IHG Rewards Club Points, Hilton Hawaiian Village Awards & Southwest Flight Delay But Left On Time?
Tonys’s Question On IHG Rewards Club Points + Cash Nights And If They Are Qualifying?
A specific question re Royal Ambassador – do you know if you book part points / part cash does your IHG account get credited as a “qualifying” night which counts towards your total?
IHG Rewards Club has quite unique approach to Points + Cash nights that guarantees that all the properties are participating.
They actually just sell you the points for the cash portion and then redeem the night as a regular award. This allows easy way to buy more points. When you cancel an award all the points go back to your account.
Award nights are qualifying nights towards the Gold/Platinum/Spire status but they don’t count towards the Royal Ambassador status, however.
Royi’s Question How To Reach Expedia Tier 3 Support?
i’ve been having a lot of difficulties with Expedia lately and I’m trying to get their Tier 3 support as their Tier 1 and Tier 2 are really useless and just can’t help me out. i really need a professional to help me sort out what happened.
If you have any idea how to get their Tier 3 support I’d appreciate it.
Dealing with Expedia has became a royal PITA as of late.
The problem is that they are using their own or outsourced call center in Asia and the service that you receive from the agents is very time consuming. It takes an hour to resolve a simple rebooking due to flight cancellation that would take competent agent less than five minutes. This could be due to the limited tools they have available to resolve these issues.
Expedia has (or at least had) Tier 3 support based in Las Vegas, but all you get nowadays by calling that number is an answering machines requesting you to leave a message.
If you issue is not urgent, I would encourage you to file a complaint with the BBB or DOT in case you are dealing with an airline related issue.
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.