Reader Questions: Sheraton Free Weekend Nights Promo, IHG Europe Sale, China Southern Or Etihad, Turkish Airlines Credits, Redeeming Etihad Guest Miles, United Lounge Access & Redeeming Marriott Or IHG For NYC?

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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 October 25 2015

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.

Richard’s Question About The Sheraton Free Weekends Promotion?

Sheraton recently had a free weekend night promotion. If you redeem these nights, would they contribute toward nights YTD for status?

These are qualifying nights for both stays and nights. They also count towards lifetime status.

Voucher’s Question About Possible IHG Year End Sale For Europe?

Any idea about IHG flash sale this year? I remember it use to be around October for the last 2 years. (Flash / Christmas / Winter) sale!!

I have not received any advance info about possible flash sale for Europe that IHG has had on previous years. They tend to recycle the offers, so wouldn’t be surprised to see one this year as well.

Hotels tend to be rather empty around the Christmas and New Year when the business travel is down.

Mayank’s Question Choosing Between China Southern Or Etihad?

I wanted to know if you have flown Economy with China Southern Guangzhou LAX sector on their A380. I was planning a return trip(Delhi – LAX) and was not sure to choose Etihad or China Southern as they are the cheaper fares available. I am gold with Alitalia (thanks to newsletter from you about status match), I am star alliance Gold with Air India. Price from China Southern is really nice at 850 USD return ex Delhi and refundable fare is about 900 USD. I am worried about seat conform and special meal availability. Problem with Etihad is 16.5 hours flight ex AUH. China Southern is 12 hours ex Guangzhou

I have flown on China Southern from Seoul to Dubai and the ICN-CAN segment was fine. The CAN-DXB was my worst ever long-haul segment. The seat pitch was terrible, no individual entertainment screens and food. I spent most of the flight in the galley.

The experience could be better on A380, however. I would say that I have taken flights on Etihad economy and they have all been just fine.

Emil’s Problem With Turkish Airlines flights

Emil’s Hi John, I fly frequently on Dubai / Istanbul flight. For some time back I got for every flight 1850 status miles. Lately I get sometimes 465 miles, sometimes 900, different numbers. Even more puzzling, last week Oct 06 I flu Dubai Istanbul and got 465 miles and Oct 07 Istanbul Antalya (which is 1/3 as flying time) and got 600 miles.

The number of elite qualifying (sometimes called tier miles) and award miles is often dependent of the fare class you purchase.

Joachim’s Issue Redeeming Etihad Guest Miles

I wonder if Etihad offers all these double and triple miles because most of the time there is no flight available to book award travel and this is just a shady method of luring customers. I have now for three week tried to book a flight from the US to Abu Dhabi and either it shows they are all booked or crazy amounts of miles required to book. I am giving up travel on Etihad.

As is the case with most airlines, you do have to be flexible if want to use the miles the most effective way. You should always book only when the lowest amount of miles is available for redemption. The number of miles required for “open seats” or whatever Etihad calls these is just ridiculous (could be close to a million).

Matheu’s Question Using Non-United Star Alliance Gold Status For Lounge Access

If i put the miles for a domestic flight at MileagePlus, i can access the United Club with another StarAlliance Gold card?

You certainly can. It is easiest if you have the other Star Alliance Gold card with you. Just hand tat with your boarding pass that has your United frequent flier numbers.

Malcom’s Question Using IHG Rewards Club Or Marriott Rewards Points For A Stay In New York?

I am both a Marriott lifetime platinum member and an IHG Spire member and I am booking a long weekend leisure trip to New York for February next year. I have enough IHG and Marriott points to book any tier hotel in the city with those chains. I would like to stay in a hotel that rewards their top level members with lounge access including snacks and alcohol, upgrades to a suite and complimentary breakfast.

I am currently considering staying at the Marriott Marquis hotel on Times Square as I have stayed there before and was upgraded to a suite no question. I am also disappointed there is no guaranteed lounge access or complimentary breakfast with the new IHG Spire level.

So which IHG or Marriott hotel would you or your readers recommend?

IHG Rewards Club doesn’t guarantee club lounge access or complimentary breakfast at any status level. There are many InterContinental hotels that do give Royal Ambassador members club lounge access, but that is never guaranteed.

Marriott Rewards Platinum members are eligible for space available suite upgrades based on their status in the Asia Pacific, although you often do receive them elsewhere as well.

Just make sure that the Marriott property that you choose does have a lounge and is open during the weekends.

Most of the lounges do not offer alcoholic beverages on complimentary basis in United States. I don’t have personal experience at this specific hotel.


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