Get Your 6 to 12 Months Regus Businessworld Gold Membership For Free

25 Comments

Just last week, I visited one of the Regus locations in Bangkok and wrote a piece about it that you can access here. Regus offers temporarily office space in 95 countries and has more than 1500 locations. I have received Regus Businessworld Gold offer few times for being an elite member with airline frequent flier program, but that is not a requirement to get this access for free, however.

regus-business-lounges

I just used Google and searched the airlines that offer complimentary Businessworld Gold membership for their frequent fliers. You can get 6 months free membership via Enrich (not even required to join the program) and 12 months free via Lufthansa’s Miles & More (need membership number).

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Gold Nordic Country Status Matches Processed?

3 Comments

Seems that Flying Blue took its time (7 weeks) to process the status match from SAS Eurobonus Gold to their Gold. Some of these matches were processed already a while ago, but my online status just changed yesterday.

flying-blue-gold

When you have a look at your account statement, it shows that you are an “invited” Gold. I have never credited anything to my Flying Blue account, so all the counters are at zero.

Taxes & Fees (Fuel Surcharges Really) On Flying Blue Awards

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Taxes & fees can be really high on awards that are issued using miles from frequent flier programs that charge the fuel surcharges as part of the taxes & fees on award tickets. You can read my take why airlines love fuel surcharges here.

klm

LoyaltyLobby reader sent me the following email few days ago:

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For March – April 2013

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Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program releases a list of promotional destinations every couple of months that are redeemable for half the usual number of miles. They just announced the latest list of destinations that are bookable from February 27 (earlier for Flying Blue elites) that you can access here.

flying-blue-promo-awards

Thing to note is that you can book these also as one way.  These are not only for originating from Europe as all the destinations are valid for both directions.  Awards allow the origin/destination in Europe to be in zones 1, 2, and 3, basically meaning that these awards are valid from/to anywhere in Europe.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Gold Nordic Country Status Matches Slowly Being Processed

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Air France-KLM made a very good status match offer for residents (and other countries as well by a mistake) of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, for an instant Gold status on their Flying Blue program. This offer was launched on January 22, 2013.

flying-blue-gold

They shortly after releasing the offer changed the terms and conditions to only offer this match to residents of the four countries mentioned above. A week later, the entire offer was withdrawn that was supposed to be valid until late spring.

KLM Reduces (Partially Eliminates) Free Checked Bag From European Routes

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The ancillary revenue streams are becoming more important for the airlines. Most of the network carriers in the United States now charge for checked bag (no charge for elites) and this seems to spreading now to Europe as well. You can read more about these changes on KLM’s web site here.

klm-baggage-changes

KLM is part of the Air France-KLM Group. Air France just announced their new shorthaul carrier Hop! that also charges for checked bag.

Air France-KLM Discontinues Flying Blue Gold Nordic Status Match Campaign

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Seems that Air France-KLM were overwhelmed about the success of the status match campaign that they were offering in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. I wrote about this status match offer on January 22, 2013.

flying-blue-gold-status-match-update

This promotion was originally supposed to be valid until end of May, but was later changed to end of February. Now, it has been entirely discontinued.

HOP! Air France’s New Regional/Mid-Haul Airline

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Air France is consolidating its three regional carriers starting in March under the “HOP!” brand. Air France will continue to operate its own short and mediumhaul network feeding the long haul operations at the Charles de Gaulle hub, routes that have high portion of business travelers, and flights from regional bases in Marseille, Toulouse, and Nice.

air-france-hop

HOP! Route structure

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Gold Status Match Campaign

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These status match offers from number of airlines come and go yearly. Last year, I took advantage of status match offers from Alaska, Etihad and SAS. They can come handy for extra miles, lounge access, and for matching with other airlines.

flying-blue-gold

Now, Air France-KLM has a status match campaign for Flying Blue Gold status from any alliance. Airlines don’t normally match within an alliance, but this would indicate matching from other SkyTeam airlines as well.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For January – March 2013

Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program releases a list of promotional destinations every couple of months that are redeemable for half the usual number of miles. They just announced the latest list of destinations that are bookable from December 30, 2012 (earlier for Flying Blue elites) that you can access here.

Thing to note is that you can book these also as one way.  These are not only for originating from Europe as all the destinations are valid for both directions.  Awards allow the origin/destination in Europe to be in zones 1, 2, and 3, basically meaning that these awards are valid from/to anywhere in Europe.

flying-blue-promo-awards-europe-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-europe-2013

flying-blue-promo-awards-north-america-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-north-america-2013

flying-blue-promo-awards-south-america-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-south-america-2013

flying-blue-promo-awards-caribbean-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-caribbean-2013

flying-blue-promo-awards-africa-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-africa-2013

flying-blue-promo-awards-asia-pacific-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-asia-pacific-2013

flying-blue-promo-awards-middle-east-logo

flying-blue-promo-awards-middle-east-2013

Note that zone 3 includes countries in North Africa + Israel:

Europe 1
Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg

Europe 2
Austria, Balearic Islands ,Finland, Denmark, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain , Sweden

Europe 3
Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Canary Islands, Croatia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Libya, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Poland, Romania, West Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine.

Thing to remember is that Flying Blue charges rather hefty taxes and fees for award tickets. The fees are mainly fuel surcharges (YQ) that they collect. As a result, it rarely makes sense to redeem for an economy class ticket. Also, there are no changes or cancelations of any kind allowed on promo tickets. You either use it or lose it.

You can sign up for the Flying Blue account and have a look at the availability. I would suggest first trying to find availability for the long haul flights and work the connecting fights, if needed, separately.

Conclusion

These promo awards can make lot of sense if you have Flying Blue miles in your account and are looking for one way or business class award. The fuel surcharges are rather high on the long-haul awards.

Here are the terms and conditions of these promo awards:

  • Reservations must be made exclusively on www.airfrance.com or www.klm.com (except for bookings for children, infants and minors, who are not authorised to book an award on the website).

  • In the event that a technical problem occurs when reserving the promotional fare or if the reservation cannot be finalised, the Flying Blue member must log on to the site and repeat the procedure.

  • This award ticket may be used on connecting flights within Europe and on connecting flights from Europe to long-haul flights and vice-versa.

  • These promotional Promo Award@ may not be modified, cancelled or refunded.

  • Promo Award@ are available for one-way tickets and round trips.

  • Discounts (SkyTeam scale applicable) apply to the award ticket price only (SkyTeam scale is valid). Applicable taxes and fees are paid by the Flying Blue member.

  • Flex Award are not included in the Promo Award@ offer.

  • Business Elite and Economy Elite bookings are available exclusively to Flying Blue Elite members (Platinum, Gold and Silver). These Elite travel classes provide extra award seats on routes to the United States, the Carribean and Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia.

Delta Buys Singapore Airlines’ Share of Virgin Atlantic

There have been rumors around for some time that Delta was in discussion with Singapore Airlines to buy its share of Virgin Atlantic. Today, the deal was announced. Delta is buying the 49% share of Virgin Atlantic for $360 million. Singapore Airlines paid $968 million for its share of Virgin Atlantic back in 1998.

delta-virgin-atlantic-walsh

The deal is expected to close at the end of 2013 after US and European Union competition regulators have reviewed the deal.  The airlines are planning to form a transatlantic joint venture for flights between the United Kingdom. Most likely nothing is going to happen interim to the frequent flyer programs of both airlines.

delta-buys-share-of-virgin-atlantic

There has also been speculation on the UK press that Air France-KLM would buy part of the 51% share that Sir Richard Branson owns/controls.

Sir Richard has also been very vocal lately that the airline is likely to join an alliance soon. If this purchase by Delta goes through and Air France-KLM buys part of the share owned by Sir Richard, it is very unlikely that the alliance of choice would be anything else than SkyTeam.

virgin-atlantic-flying-club-partners

Currently, Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club doesn’t have a single SkyTeam airline on its partner folio. It has seven Star Alliance carriers (Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways & US Airways) and one Oneworld carrier Malaysia Airlines (joining Oneworld in February of 2013).

Conclusion

From my personal perspective, I would rather see Virgin Atlantic joining Star Alliance than SkyTeam that I consider being a tertiary alliance compared to Star and Oneworld.

Hilton 30% Off Sale in Europe, Middle East & Africa + Bonus for Air France & KLM Fliers

Hilton has a new 30% off of Bed & Breakfast/BAR for Hilton family of hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa for stays/bookings made/consumed between November 1 and December 31, 2012. The discount at Hampton Inn locations (if you can find any) is 20%. You can access this sale here.

hilton-hhonors-fb-sale

There is a huge list of properties for this offer, but the discounted rate is NOT offered at all of them. I tried Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa and Hilton Abu Dhabi and these two properties didn’t have this rate plan available on any day between now and December 31.

hilton-fb-sale-no-availability

Hilton Sofia did return discounted rates on some dates under this promo that were better than other rates available on Hilton.com. The discount also seems to apply for all room types.

hilton-fb-sale-sofia-suite

Note that this discounted price is prepaid, non-refundable, and non-cancelable.

The Flying Blue Twist

This sale offer was targeted to Flying Blue members, but you don’t have to be a member to take advantage of the discounted rates. You will, however, have to be a Flying Blue member if you want to receive the one time flight bonus that Air France-KLM is offering for members that make a booking using this offer.

You will receive some bonus miles for one flight during this period that is dependent of the class of service:

  • 1,500 Miles per seat booked in Economy Class
  • 2,000 Miles per seat booked in Premium Economy
  • 2,500 Miles per seat booked in Business Class

I have no idea how Flying Blue can be aware of the fact that you would have made a reservation under this Hilton offer unless you decide to Double Dip the stay with Flying Blue. Even then, I doubt that they can code the double dip to have information about booking through this offer.

Please be prepared to “fight” to get the bonus miles.

Conclusion

This is a good offer for a 30% off of a Bed & Breakfast rate if you can find a participating property. Just make sure that your plans are firm due to the prepaid rate.

Personally, I wouldn’t bother with the Flying Blue part of the offer. There are better Hilton airline related bonuses out there for the 4th quarter than this i.e. Virgin Atlantic one.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

OFFER SPECIFIC TERMS & CONDITIONS

30% HOTEL DISCOUNT

1. To participate you must be a Hilton HHonors™ member and a Flying Blue member. To be eligible for earning Points & Miles™, Hilton HHonors™ members must select AIR FRANCE KLM (Flying Blue) as their preferred airline in their HHonors profile and select either HHonors Points and Variable Miles or HHonors Points and Fixed Miles as the Double Dip® Earnings Style option. Please visit HHonors.com/DoubleDip for more details. HHonors members choosing HHonors Points and Variable Miles earn 10 HHonors Base Points + 1 Flying Blue Award Mile per eligible U.S. dollar spent. HHonors members choosing HHonors Points and Fixed Miles earn 500 Flying Blue Award Miles per stay at Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and 100 Flying Blue Award Miles per stay at Hampton Inn.

2. Offer is subject to availability at participating hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio in the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East & Africa. Book between 1 November 2012 and 31 December 2012 and stay between 4 November 2012 and 31 December 2012 to receive a discount of 30% off the Bed & Breakfast Best Available Rate at participating Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts properties and a discount of 20% off the Best Available Rate at participating Hampton hotels.

3. Hotel stay must be booked online only at www.hilton.com/fbsale. Full non-refundable prepayment required at time of booking unless otherwise indicated by local law. Your payment card will be charged immediately for the total amount quoted for the entire stay as reserved and refunds or credits will not be issued. Charges cannot be applied to other stays, services or merchandise. Booking cannot be changed. Must book at least three (3) days in advance of arrival. Each hotel has a policy addressing blackout dates that may apply. Offer is not valid for group bookings. The Best Available Rate is a specific rate type that varies depending on time of purchase, is unrestricted, non-qualified and excludes discount or negotiated rates not available to the general public, including, but not limited to: membership, corporate, government, promotional, group, packages, unpublished or rates only available on auction websites. The Bed & Breakfast Rate is similarly a specific type of rate that includes breakfast for the registered guests. Unless otherwise stated, quoted rates are per room per night, based on double occupancy and do not include taxes, gratuities, resort fees or incidental charges. The Hilton Minibreaks offer, which includes a second room for children at half-price, cannot be combined with this offer.

4. Flying Blue Miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the Flying Blue Terms and Conditions issued by AIR FRANCE KLM, which can be found on the AIR FRANCE KLM website. Please note that your contract for Flying Blue Miles is with AIR FRANCE KLM and Hilton Worldwide do not accept any liability in relation to the membership scheme.

5. Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions, HHonors.com/Terms.

© 2012 Hilton Worldwide

EARN UP TO 5000 Flying Blue BONUS MILES ON FLIGHTS

1. The promotional period is: booking between 1 November and 31 December 2012 for a stay between 4 November and 31 December 2012.

2. To qualify for the Flying Blue Bonus Miles, you must complete a stay at any participating Hilton Worldwide property booked via www.hilton.com/fbsale the indicated promotional period, and make a flight with AIR FRANCE or KLM between applicable countries (see below for a full list).

3. You will earn the following Flying Blue Bonus Miles on a one-way flight:

  • 1,500 Miles per seat booked in Economy Class
  • 2,000 Miles per seat booked in Premium Economy
  • 2,500 Miles per seat booked in Business Class

4. The number of Flying Blue Bonus Miles you receive, in addition to the regular number of Level and Award Miles, will be the same whatever your membership level.

5. You will receive your Flying Blue Bonus Miles within 6 weeks of the promotion ending.

6. The applicable countries for this promotion are: Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and the United Kingdom.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For November – December 2012

Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program releases a list of promotional destinations every couple of months that are redeemable for half the usual number of miles. They just announced the latest list of destinations that are bookable from October 30, 2012. You can access them here.

flying-blue-promo-awards-logo-october

Thing to note is that you can book these also as one way.  These are not only for originating from Europe as all the destinations are valid for both directions.  Awards allow the origin/destination in Europe to be in zones 1, 2, and 3, basically meaning that these awards are valid from/to anywhere in Europe.

Note that zone 3 includes countries in North Africa + Israel:

Europe 1
Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg

Europe 2
Austria, Balearic Islands ,Finland, Denmark, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain , Sweden

Europe 3
Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia,Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Libya, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Poland, Romania, West Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tunisia, , Turkey, Ukraine.

flying-blue-promo-europe-logo

flying-blue-promo-europe-october-af-kl

flying-blue-promo-europe-october-air-europa

flying-blue-promo-north-america-logo

flying-blue-promo-north-america-october-af-kl

flying-blue-promo-caribbean-logo

flying-blue-promo-caribbean-october-af-kl

flying-blue-promo-africa-middle-east-logo

flying-blue-promo-africa-middle-east-october-kl

flying-blue-promo-africa-middle-east-october-af

flying-blue-promo-asia-pacific-logo

flying-blue-promo-asia-pacific-october-af-kl

 

Thing to remember is that Flying Blue charges rather hefty taxes and fees for award tickets. The fees are mainly fuel surcharges (YQ) that they collect. As a result, it rarely makes sense to redeem for an economy class ticket. Also, there are no changes or cancellations of any kind allowed on promo tickets. You either use it or lose it.

You can sign up for the Flying Blue account and have a look at the availability. I would suggest first trying to find availability for the long haul flights and work the connecting fights, if needed, separately.

Conclusion

These promo awards can make lot of sense if you have Flying Blue miles in your account and are looking for an oneway or business class award. The fuel surcharges are rather high on the long-haul awards.

Here are the terms and conditions of these promo awards:

  • Reservations must be made exclusively on www.airfrance.com or www.klm.com (except for bookings for children, infants and minors, who are not authorised to book an award on the website).
  • In the event that a technical problem occurs when reserving the promotional fare or if the reservation cannot be finalised, the Flying Blue member must log on to the site and repeat the procedure.
  • This award ticket may only be used on connecting flights into or out of the Europe 1, Europe 2 and Europe 3 zones if the connections are to long-haul flights.
    For European flight promotions, connecting flights within Europe are not included.
  • These promotional Promo Award@ may not be modified, cancelled or refunded.
  • Promo Award@ are available for one-way tickets and round trips.
  • Discounts (SkyTeam scale applicable) apply to the award ticket price only (SkyTeam scale is valid). Applicable taxes and fees are paid by the Flying Blue member.
  • Flex Award are not included in the Promo Award@ offer.
  • Business Elite and Economy Elite bookings are available exclusively to Flying Blue Elite members (Platinum, Gold and Silver). These Elite travel classes provide extra award seats on routes to the United States, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia.

Air France-KLM, Etihad & airberlin to Form Strategic Partnership

The news that broke before the announcement of Qatar joining the oneworld alliance was the agreement between Etihad and Air France-KLM about strategic codesharing partnership that will take place.

air-france-klm-etihad-airberlin

Air France and KLM will codeshare to certain destinations operated by Etihad via Doha. Etihad will codeshare to some European destinations operated by Air France and KLM. Airberlin will codeshare also with Air France and KLM.

Airberlin is oneworld member airline and both Air France and KLM are members of the competing SkyTeam. Etihad owns part of airberlin and has provided loans to the airline. It is on Etihad’s best interest to ensure that airberlin is successful and stops losing money.

The website airlineroute.net, which specializes to airline route news, posted the following route/codesharing update about Air France, KLM, Etihad and airberlin yesterday:

AIRFRANCE operated by ETIHAD
Abu Dhabi – Colombo
Abu Dhabi – Dhaka
Abu Dhabi – Kathmandu
Abu Dhabi – Male
Abu Dhabi – Paris CDG
Abu Dhabi – Seychelles

KLM operated by ETIHAD
Abu Dhabi – Colombo
Abu Dhabi – Islamabad
Abu Dhabi – Lahore
Abu Dhabi – Melbourne
Abu Dhabi – Sydney

ETIHAD operated by AIRFRANCE
Paris CDG – Bordeaux
Paris CDG – Copenhagen
Paris CDG – Madrid
Paris CDG – Nice
Paris CDG – Toulouse

ETIHAD operated by KLM
Amsterdam – Abu Dhabi
Amsterdam – Billund
Amsterdam – Cardiff
Amsterdam – Newcastle
Amsterdam – Oslo
Amsterdam – Stavanger

AIRFRANCE operated by airberlin
All AB Germany – France Routes
Berlin Tegel – Gdansk
Berlin Tegel – Graz
Berlin Tegel – Krakow
Dusseldorf – Dresden

airberlin operated by AIRFRANCE
Paris CDG – Bordeaux
Paris CDG – Lyon
Paris CDG – Marseille
Paris CDG – Montpellier
Paris CDG – Nantes
Paris CDG – Nice
Paris CDG – Toulouse

Service also operates from Paris Orly

KLM operated by airberlin
All AB Germany – Netherlands Routes
Berlin Tegel – Kaliningrad
Berlin Tegel – Kaliningrad
Berlin Tegel – Krakow

airberlin operated by KLM
All KL Netherlands – Germany Routes
Amsterdam – Edinburgh
Amsterdam – Glasgow
Amsterdam – Manchester

At first look the number of destinations that the airlines codeshare isn’t that great. Air France still has a codeshare agreement in place with Qantas regarding Australia. but Qantas has announced that it will drop it due to the agreement between Qantas and Emirates. Maybe Air France-KLM will tunnel their Australian traffic via Abu Dhabi on Etihad in the future?

The situation with the airberlin is just weird. The airline just officially joined the oneworld alliance earlier this year and was sponsored by British Airways. Now, the airline starts codesharing agreement with Air France & KLM that are both part of the SkyTeam alliance.

Conclusion

This is interesting development and might skew Etihad to join SkyTeam at some point in the future. These codeshare agreements aren’t that beneficial for the consumers unless the airlines are going to form a deeper partnerships and start honoring each other’s frequent flier benefits as well.

Etihad also has a codesharing agreement with American Airlines. Both airlines’ frequent fliers can redeem miles on each others flights.

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