Reader Questions: Iberia Flight Cancellation, SAS & Optiontown, IHG Spire & Royal Ambassador, Le Club Euro Voucher in Australia, SPG BRG With Ctrip & Earning AA EQP’s & Miles


Here are six 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

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.

Alejandro’s Question Regarding Iberia Flight Cancellation

We are 3 friends that have book flight from VLC to MAD to LHR to SFO in next Nov 25th 1 pax in business that’s me and 2 in economy,  return is SFO to ORD to MAD to VLC on Dec 8th all flights are Iberia numbers but the only Iberia metal will be ORD MAD, I have received a phone call from Iberia rep. Telling me that on Dec 8th the Iberia flight from ORD to MAD is cancelled and ask me to move one day earlier Dec 7th or one late Dec 9th, of course I don’t want to cut my holidays 1 day and can’t extend it one more day, the option for Dec 8th is via MIA but 6:40 am flight from SFO I hate to flight that early means no sleep the previous night.

Can I ask any compensation to Iberia if the cut one day our holidays?  Can I ask them to upg my 2 friends to business on the leg ORD to MAD on Dec 7th in compensation to cut our holidays one day? What do you suggest to do? How I should act with Iberia

I would request Iberia to move you to other airlines that can get you to your final destination roughly in the same time frame. The rebooking is at passengers convenience and not the airline’s. They can move you to any other airline that operates the route such AA/UA/DL/LH/BA/KL/AF etc. I would have a look what alternate option would be acceptable for you and contact the airline again.

Dan’s Question Regarding SAS & Optiontown

Hey John do you know anything about option town? I paid for an upgrade on SAS but they didn’t have the class of service on the plane. I sent a copy of our boarding passes to option town for a refund, and heard nothing. I emailed them and called them and they said based on my seat assignment (not my fare class) that I was on SAS Plus. The ticket and gate agent both stated that there was no SAS Plus. Now I am waiting on SAS to reply to me that the plane in question did not have SAS plus. Any suggestions would be helpful

There was no SAS Plus on the flight that you were upgraded using Optiontown? There must be a miscommunication between SAS and Optiontown here then.

I would email both SAS and Optiontown (and Tweet as well) that, if the issue is not solved within 7 days, you will do a chargeback via the credit card used for not receiving the service you paid for.

Art’s Question Regarding IHG Rewards Club Spire Elite & Royal Ambassador Status

I am an IHG Royal Platinum Ambassador and also a Spire Elite.

How do the two levels interact?
I am confused – but happy with both.  Love the comp drinks in the mini-bar for IHG hotels as a RPA.

Also, does the Elite Spire only require 75,000 points to continue and the RPA require the large number of room nights.

You are not the only one confused regarding these two programs (and then there is the Kimpton one as well).

Ambassador and Royal Ambassador benefits only apply for stays at InterContinental hotels. When you purchase the Ambassador status, you will automatically become Gold member of IHG Rewards (if you are not already one). In a rare case that Royal Ambassador wouldn’t have met the Spire requirements, they will be given this status.

Ambassador members are all members of IHG Rewards Club also where they collect points that they can use for free nights at InterContinental or other hotels associated with IHG such as Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.

The Royal Ambassador status requires currently 60 nights of which minimum of 20 must have been at least 3 different InterContinentals. IHG briefly posted a requirement of 75 nights for this status that supposedly was a mistake.

So briefly, Spire benefits only apply for stays at all other IHG brands expect the InterContinentals where Ambassador/Royal Ambassador benefits apply.

And yes. I do appreciate the minibar benefit also. Just drinking a complimentary lemonade from InterContinental Double Bay’s minibar here in Sydney.

Marcus’ Question Regarding Using Le Club AccorHotels Euro Voucher in Australasia

I am in possession of Accor Hotels’ reward voucher and am finding that places where I can use it are quite limited in this part of the world ,i.e. Tasmania Australia . It is in euro denomination but can be used in most countries ,but there seems to be not much info. on which businesses accept them. Any ideas would be appreciated .

All Le Club AccorHotels participating hotels accept these Accor Rewards vouchers denominated in Euros. Some may give you a terrible exchange rate, however.

Alex’s Note About Trying To Get SPG Match Ctrip

My episode this trip with StarWoodHotels. It seems that they are making claim more difficult.

Starwood had denied Alex’ Best Rate Guarantee Claim against lower price found on Chinese website called Ctrip was “on request” only.

I have had this exact scenario with Starwood as well. It is difficult to tell whether a rate on Ctrip is immediately confirmed or not. Not sure if any reader have personal experience with booking a Starwood hotel on Ctrip.

Howard’s Question Earning Elite Qualifying Miles & Points On AA

Just had a quick question about the AAdvantage redemption chart, for example here:

In this case, if I book and fly in the deep-discount economy class, does it mean that I would earn 0.50 EQP on the entire distance flown, or would it be 0.50 EQP on each of the base miles awarded (i.e. 25% of the total distance flown)?

These are independent of each other. Sometimes you may earn more award miles than EQPs (Elite Qualifying Points) per mile flown and on this Airberlin case there are fares that only earn 25% award miles but .5 EQP per mile flown.