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.

Marriott Travel Packages

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Marriott Travel Packages are the best way to use Marriott Rewards points IF you need some airlines miles as well. These packages consists of 7 nights stay at a chosen category or tier (Ritz-Carlton & Marriott Vacation Club) hotel and set number of miles at various airline programs. You will also get a 25% coupon for Hertz rental that I have never been able to use as rates that are not discount eligible have always been a better deal.

marriott-travel-packages

The reason why these are such a good deal is that you will get a nice chunk of airline miles in the process. You can collect airline miles on your Marriott stays but it is far better just continue crediting towards Marriott points and take advantage of MegaBonuses. Then, when you have enough points in your account to redeem for a Marriott Travel Package, you just issue one.

Marriott Travel Packages Levels
Marriott Travel Packages Levels

You can essentially “transfer” Marriott Rewards points at 1 to 1 level for airlines like United, US Airways, and British Airways.

Here’s an example of redeeming for cat 1 to 5 travel package + 120K airline miles

If we assume that you would use the 7 nights at category 5 property, it would cost you 25K per night but you would get the 4th night free. The number of points required would be 150K.

marriott-travel-packages-airline-miles-levels

The travel package at category 1 to 5 costs you 270K Marriott Rewards points. If we deduct the point value of the room part (150k), you “transfer” the 120K Marriott Rewards points to 120K airline miles.

Choosing the number of airline miles level

Each of the travel packages has four level for number of airline miles you would earn by redeeming a travel package. I would suggest that you go for the highest level if possible.

Upgrading the hotel category part of the travel package

If you redeem for a category 1 to 5 package and would later want to stay at the category 6 property, you can do this by paying the difference in points that is 30K. You need to call Marriott Rewards customer service and they can do it instantly.

Downgrading the hotel category part of the travel package

I always suggest that you should issue the travel package at the lowest category first if you are not sure how you are going to use it. You can always upgrade it.

But if you issued the package at the higher level that is required for your stay, you can always call the Marriott Rewards customer service and request them to downgrade it and get the difference in points deposited to your account.

Extending the hotel certificate

The hotel certificate that is deposited to your Marriott Rewards account is valid for 12 months after issuance. I have personally, however, been able to extend these more than twice. You need to contact the Marriott Rewards customer service to achieve this. I cannot guarantee that it will work for you, but it has for me.

Unable to use the hotel award

Try extending the award certificate. I have managed to do this few times. If they are not willing to do it, consider giving it away as the number of points you get back is not a lot. If you issued it higher than the lowest category level, downgrade it to the lowest level and get some points back to your account.

If you are not able to use it or give it away, you will get some points back for unused certificate and it is dependent and what mileage level you originally issued it.

Here are some values that you can expect to get back IF you need to redeposit unused hotel certificate from the travel package

Travel package with highest number of miles redeemed:
Cat. 1-5 : 10K points
Cat. 6 : 25K points
Cat. 7 : 40K points

Travel package with lowest number of miles redeemed:
Cat. 1-5 : 40K points
Cat. 6 : 55K points
Cat. 7 : 75K points

When to redeem

Some airlines like US Airways and American Airlines, which used to be a Marriott partner, tend to run promotions once in a while for transfer from hotel programs. They might give you a 35% to 50% bonus for miles transferred in. This is the time to redeem. I redeemed 3 or 4 travel packages when the partnership with American Airlines was ending and AA was offering bonus for points transfers. I made my first Million Miles status with AA with the help of Marriott.

Few of other tips

– You can use the ward certificate for less than 7 nights but you won’t receive any points back. Just do a reservation online for 7 nights and leave early. Otherwise, you can contact the Marriott Rewards and have them to make the reservation for you

– If there is a day in between that is not available for points, you can pay for it in cash. You need to arrange this with the Marriott Rewards customer service i.e. you stay at the hotel for 10 nights and use travel package for nights 1 to 3 and 7 to 10. You can pay for nights 4 to 6.

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 1

marriott-travel-package-1

Note that you will receive 50K, 70K, 100K or 120K miles in any of the participating airlines: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways or Virgin Atlantic

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 2

marriott-travel-package-2

Note that you will receive 35K, 50K, 70K or 85K miles in any of the participating airlines:

Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines  or TAP Air Portugal

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 3

marriott-travel-package-3

This package is reserved entire for Southwest. You will receive 50K, 70K, 100K, or 120K Rapid Reward points that are COMPASSION PASS QUALIFYING. If you redeem the highest package and deposit the points to Southwest, you receive a Southwest Companion Pass for a year.

Marriott Travel Package: Hotel + Air Package 4

marriott-travel-package-4

This package is for JetBlue TruBlue and Virgin America Elevate members. You will receive 25K, 35K, 50K, or 60K points.

Conclusion

IMHO this IS really the best way to use Marriott points IF you prefer getting a lot airline miles along the way. There are some drawbacks to this as well that I listed above and workarounds like extending the certificate for a year.

Here are the short terms and conditions of this award:

To redeem for a Hotel, Air & Car Package reward:
Contact the airline you will use as your carrier.  (You must be a member of their frequent flyer program.)  Inquire about the number of miles needed to travel from departure location to your destination and remember to take into account the number of people traveling in your party.

Once you know the number of miles needed, call
1-800-MARRIOTT to make your hotel reservation.  Make sure to inform the reservation agent that you are using a Travel Package Reward.

After your reservation is confirmed, you can complete the reward order over the phone or order online.

Reward Delivery Information

  1. Hotel certificate will be issued electronically and will be available at the hotel upon check-in.
  2. Airline miles will automatically be sent to your frequent flyer account.Please allow approximately 6 weeks for your miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account or contact your local Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

    Miles will automatically transfer into the frequent flyer mileage account that matches the name on your Marriott Rewards account.  Once processed, airline miles cannot be transferred back to your Marriott Rewards account.

  3. You will receive a paper certificate for your Hertz rental.Please allow 10 business days for US delivery, 4 weeks for delivery outside the US, or contact your local
    Marriott Rewards office to inquire about express service (may include a fee).

Air France-KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For September – October 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 August 29, 2012 for September/October travel. You can access the list here.

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012

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. Destinations within Europe are for listed city pairs only.

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.

The following list includes some destinations that are still left from the previous list.

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-europe-1

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-europe-2

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-north-america

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-south-america

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-caribbean

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-africa-middle-east-1

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-africa-middle-east-2

flyingblue-promo-awards-august-2012-asia-pacific

Conclusion

These promotional Flying Blue awards represent quite good value, but the high fuel surcharges that both Air France and KLM collect make redeeming for anything else than business class most of the time bad proposition.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Air France-KLM Flying Blue promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Here are the terms and conditions of these promotional 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 Carribean and Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia.

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

It is always good time to burn miles when airlines temporarily lower the number of required miles. Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program does this every couple of months. They recently released the list for destination that they have at 50% for July and August 2012. The booking window started on June 28th, 2012. The number of destinations, where these discounted awards are available, is somewhat skimpier than usually.

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 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.

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

fb-promo-july-north-america

fb-promo-july-south-america

fb-promo-july-africa-middle-east

fb-promo-july-asia-pacific

Here are the terms and conditions of these promotional 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 Carribean and Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia.

KSML – The Reason for My KLM Upgrade Failure

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Last week, I was in Kuala Lumpur and needed to get to Jakarta for the weekend. KLM has some tag on flights here in Asia like KUL-CGK, SIN-DPS, and TPE-MNL.  I have also taken the now discontinued BKK-TPE flight in the past with KLM.

klm-plane

These fifth freedom tag flights tend to be very competitively priced as was case with my Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta return. I sometimes buy these in business class, but this time I decided to pay only for the economy because the flight time is around 90 minutes or so.

Due to the short flight time and for the fact that the KLM provides a full service on these flights, it often makes sense to order a special meal. These are often delivered first and offer more variety than the food that they provide.

I sometimes order a MOML (Moslem meal), KSML (Kosher Meal), or any of the numerous other special meals the airlines offer. As my flight was from Jakarta on the return, I decided to check out how is the KSML option out from predominantly Muslim country, Indonesia.

The choosing of special meal on KLM’s website is very straightforward. I wish that all the airlines would have this process implemented as seamlessly as KLM. There were plenty of options and I chose KSML for both the KUL-CGK and CGK-KUL sectors.

klm-check-in-cgk

The check in was chaotic even at the business class counter that I can use as a SkyTeam Elite member. I was offered an upgrade by the check in agent for 700K that is around $70. I made a counter offer of 500K IDR and we agreed to 600K IDR. Here starts the interesting part. They were not able to accept a credit card for the payment. Cash would have been the only option. I am truly wondering had KLM seen a penny of this upgrade for cash or if it had been just distributed by the outsourced employees working for KLM.

klm-kosher-box

Anyway, I was then told that I am NOT eligible for the upgrade for pay because I had ordered a special meal.  BTW this is really often the case. If you have ordered a special meal, you are then not eligible for the paid or complimentary upgrades, because they do not have available your special meal in an upgraded cabin, and apparently they are not able to serve your economy diner in business class.

klm-kosher-meal

Business class at this price for this short haul would have been a decent deal; bottle of champagne, business class amenity kit, one of those Dutch houses that they distribute, and some edible food. But it wasn’t the end of the day that I didn’t qualify due to the special meal that I ordered. The actual flight time was 90 minutes and somehow I survived, although the Kosher meal was not the RIGHT choice.

Fare War Over the Atlantic: Most US/Canadian Cities to London in Business Class for Less than $2K RT

There seems to be a flash fare war brewing over the Atlantic. AA and BA were advertising Queen’s Jubilee two day sale and soon other carriers were matching as well. The last day to book these is today 17th of May.

fare-war-atlantic

You can now find airfares to London on Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, United Airlines, Delta, Air France, American Airlines, Iberia, and British Airways and probably on few others as well for less than $2K return in business class.

Most of these fares have relatively tight outbound window from North America to Europe, but the return can happen within the ticket validity/fare rules.

These $2K fares out from the eastern seaboard are not that common during holiday periods. They are, however, rare from the west coast.

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

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It is always good time to burn miles when airlines temporarily lower the number of required miles. Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program does this every couple of months. They just released the list for destination that they have at 50% for May and June 2012. The booking window started on April 28th, 2012

af-klm-promo-logo

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 for both directions. The discounted awards within Europe, however, are only from the listed cities. Other 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.

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.

  • 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 Carribean and Indian Ocean, Africa and Asia.

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

af-klm-europe-1

af-klm-europe-2

af-klm-na

af-klm-sa

af-klm-am

af-klm-ap

Hyatt Gold Passport Summer 2012 Promotion for up to Five Times the Miles

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Hyatt has teamed up with number of airlines; Air China, Air France-KLM, ANA, American Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern, Delta Air Lines, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar, Southwest, and United to offer up to five times the miles or points.

hyatt-summer-promo

This promotion starts on May 1st and end of August 30th, 2012. You will receive the normal number of miles or points for the first stay, triple bonus for stays 2 and 3, and quadruple miles or points for the stays 4 to 11.

hyatt-united

Please note that this promotion is NOT based on nights but rather on stays. You will receive the same number of miles or points regardless how many nights you stay. The promotion is capped at 11 stays.

The cumulative maximum number of points that you would earn by having 11 stays on Air China’s and China Eastern’s programs would be 39200. By crediting 11 stays to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards would earn you 29400 points. In all other programs the cumulative number of points after 11 stays would be the grand total of 24500 miles/points.

This promotion quite frankly works for me. Most of my stays are for one night. Getting 2500 miles for a one night stay is a rather good deal. Maybe I will finally set my foot to Hyatt property this year.

Air China – Phoenix Miles

hyatt-air-china

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

hyatt-air-france-klm

 

ANA Mileage Club

hyatt-nh

 

American Airlines AAdvantage

hyatt-aa

 

British Airways Executive Club

hyatt-ba

 

China Eastern

hyatt-china-eastern

 

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

hyatt-delta

 

Etihad Guest

hyatt-etihad

 

Lufthansa Miles & More

hyatt-lufthansa

 

Qatar Airways – Privilege Club

hyatt-qatar

 

Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards

hyatt-southwest

 

United Airlines – Mileage Plus

hyatt-united

Here are the promotional terms and conditions of the United offer, but they are basically identical for each of these airlines.

More stays means 5X more miles and even more rewards

ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to participate in the Hyatt Summer Airline Promotion (“Promotion”), you must be a member of Hyatt Gold Passport and a member of United MileagePlus.

HOW TO REGISTER: Between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Promotion Period”), you can register for Promotion via hyatt.com/UNITEDSUM12A or by calling 1-800-228-3360 and requesting enrollment code UA12S. You must register in advance for stays to qualify. Stays completed before registration are not eligible. You only need to register once.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: After registering for the Promotion, complete two (2) or more stays at any participating Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Place® , Hyatt House™ or Hyatt Residence Club™ hotel and resort worldwide between May 1, 2012 and August 31, 2012 (“Stay Period”) and request United MileagePlus miles for each Eligible Stay. You must provide your United MileagePlus member number at check-in for each Eligible Stay. For each Eligible Stay during the Stay Period, you will earn the award miles as summarized in the chart below. A Eligible Stay is a stay at a participating hotel during the Stay Period with at least one (1) Eligible Night during the stay and request United MileagePlus miles for each stay. For the purpose of this Promotion, an “Eligible Night” is defined as one (1) night at any participating hotel or resort at an Eligible Rate when choosing United MileagePlus miles as the method of loyalty reward upon check-in at a participating Hyatt property and paying an Eligible Rate (as defined below). Award nights do not constitute an Eligible Night. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive eligible night credit for the room they physically occupy, regardless of the number of paid rooms. Only stays that occur after registration for Promotion will be counted as Eligible Stays.

Flying Blue Avis Accelerator Is Back – Up To 50000 Bonus Miles for 6 Avis Rentals

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Word of warning. Avis run a similar promotion last year and it was very difficult for many to get the miles that they were due from Avis. If you decide to participate to this offer, make sure that you follow the Terms and conditions to the letter, and keep copies of reservations/receipts until you have the miles posted in to your account.

fb-avis-accelerator-2

To get the 50000 bonus miles you need to have 6 rentals each of 3 days or longer between April 1st and 30th of September 2012. The reservations need to have the Flying Blue AWD number that depends of your Flying Blue status and your Flying Blue number.

fb-avis-accelerator

Please note that you can probably get lower rates from Avis using various discount codes that are not eligible for this offer. Last year, I was looking to participate, but it just wouldn’t work for me. The rates were too high using the Flying Blue codes compared to other ones that I was eligible for. Obviously this depends where you rent and which discount codes you are eligible for.

If the rates are competitive using the Flying Blue discount codes, it makes sense to rent using them. Although Flying Blue charger very high fuel surcharges even on award tickets, the miles can come handy at time.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Air France-KLM Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For March – April 2012

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It is always good time to burn miles when airlines temporarily lower the number of required miles. Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program does this every couple of months. They just released the list for destination that they have at 50% for March and April 2012. The booking window starts on February 28th, 2012

air-france-klm-promo-march

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 for both directions. The discounted awards within Europe, however, are only from the listed cities. Other 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.

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

Europe

air-france-klm-promo-march-europe

Africa & Middle East

air-france-klm-promo-africa-middle-east

Asia Pacific

air-france-klm-promo-asia-pacific

Caribbean

air-france-klm-promo-march-caribbean

North America

air-france-klm-promo-march-north-america

South America

air-france-klm-promo-march-south-america

Earning Alaska Airlines Elite Status on Partners and Emirates

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Last week I wrote about the promotion that Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan was having for their newest partner Emirates starting March 1stdouble redeemable miles, and then there was the big news of ditching the prayer cards from first class (finally).

Alaska Airline is alliance independent, which is rather rare these days. The airline has an agreement with number of airlines i.e. American, Delta, British, KLM, LAN, Air France, and Emirates where crediting Alaska’s Mileage Plan will not only earn you redeemable miles but also elite qualifying miles as well. You can redeem miles on these partners as well (Emirates starting later point this year), but the only drawback is that you cannot mix and match carriers to have multi carrier itineraries. You can have Alaska feeder flights for partner awards though. There are airline partners that only earn redeemable miles as well

alaska-airlines-partners

Alaska Airlines was thought of changing the accrual elite qualifying miles so that the class of service bonus for business and first class wouldn’t count. This, however, turned out to be just a glitch on their website over the weekend that has now been corrected.

Why would I care? I have 32707 miles coming in Emirates paid first class travel starting in the beginning of March (Emirates had a great business and first class sale back in January). I haven’t made up my mind where I should credit these flights. Had a few EK F flights the other year that made me Gold in their program, then I was demoted silver, and finally I will be base level member before these flights will take place. Quite frankly the EK Gold status is fairly useless if you are flying in paid business or first class. It does have some benefits especially for those flights in economy like business class check in, lounge access, extra luggage allowance, more miles etc.

These Emirates flights alone would give me 49K elite qualifying miles on Alaska’s Mileage Plan. Due to the double miles promotion and Mileage Plan Gold status (I could get status match based on my United status) redeemable miles bonus, which also applies to partners, the number of miles earned from these two tickets would be around 115K. It would be a nice enough number for partner redemption in business class

There are some nice status benefits for Alaska’s elites on Delta and American:

Priority Boarding on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines

Checked Baggage Fee Waiver for first two bags on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, and for the first checked bag on Delta Air Lines for MVP® member and persons traveling in the same reservation. Companion waiver does not apply to group bookings

Priority AAccess™ Check-In and Security Lines at select airports when traveling on American Airlines

Preferred Seating on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines

If I would credit another 41K on Alaska’s plan, it would not only make me Alaska’s MVP Gold 75K but also give a bonus of 50K redeemable miles. The benefits on AA wouldn’t matter for me personally as I made the lifetime Platinum status with that program the other year.

Not sure where I should credit these Emirates flights? The Emirate’s Skyward miles are not that useful for anything else than upgrades from economy to business, or from business to first. The proposition of crediting to Alaska’s Mileage Plan is tempting because I value their miles more, and I would be close to making the Gold status on these couple of tickets. But, I might have Emirates flights coming later this year in economy, so the Emirates Gold status might come handy as well. Luckily, I have another month time to contemplate on this issue as my flights are not before beginning of March.

Air France-KLM Promo Awards (50% Discount) Are Out For January – February 2012

It is always good time to burn when airlines temporarily lower the number of required miles. Air France and KLM’s Flying Blue program does this every couple of months. They just released the list for destination that they have at 50% discount for January and February 2012.

air-france-klm-promo-awards

Thing to note is that you can book these one way and these are not only for originating from Europe. All the destinations are for both directions. The discounted awards within Europe are only from the listed cities. Other 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-promo-partial-list

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