Fabulous Bathroom Toiletries At Parker Palm Springs

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Parker Palm Springs just sent out an email about their category change next month. Award nights at this property are getting pricey moving from 12K per night to 20K. Also, they are currently in litigation with Starwood for faking occupancy reports in order to get higher reimbursements from Starwood for award nights consumed at their property. They will be likely (forced) to leave SPG once these issue have been solved.

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Despite all these changes and problems, this is the hotel that has had the weirdest mix of bathroom toiletries that I have ever seen. The above photo is from the showerless bathroom and the photo below is from the shower.

Hilton HHonors Award Availability Until 2015 (Beat The Devaluation)

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Now that Hilton is royally “screwing” those that tend to use their points for high end aspirational properties, it is good to note that awards are actually bookable all the way until 2015. You can read my piece about this Hilton change here.

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Above is the comparison table for the new point requirements for category 10 properties. Some of them are going up more than 100% considering the current sweet spot of 6 night VIP awards.

AirAsia India Coming By 4th Quarter

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AirAsia is launching an Indian unit by the years end in cooperation with the Indian conglomerate Tata. This joint venture was announced in India yesterday.

airasia-india

There are already quite a few “different AirAsia’s flying around in Asia. There is AirAsia (AK), Thai AirAsia, (FD), Indonesia AirAsia (QZ), AirAsia X (D7), Philippines AirAsia (PQ) and the newest entrant the AirAsia Japan (JW).

Bidding Based Upgrades Coming to Copa (Plusgrade)

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Copa, Star Alliance member airline based in Panama, has started to offer an option to bid for business class upgrades on its flights. This service if provided to the airline by Plusgrade. You can read more about this on Copa’s website here.

copa-plusgrade

Copa uses United’s Mileage Plus as its frequent flier program and grants complimentary status based upgrades on its flights for Mileage Plus elite members (GS/1K/PLT/1P and Silver).

Up To 3000 Bonus American Airlines Miles For Budget Rentals

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American Airlines just sent out an email about the new offer from Budget. You can get up to 3000 bonus miles for rentals of 5 days or longer at Budget’s airport locations in the United States and Canada until April 30, 2013. You can access Budget’s web page for this promotion here.

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You will receive bonus miles for shorter rentals as well; rentals of 2 days get 750 bonus miles and rentals of 3 days 1500 bonus miles. You need to use the coupon number MUAZ062, when making the reservation, and choose American Airlines AAdvantage as your airline partner.

US Airways & Virgin Atlantic Frequent Flier Agreement Ending On June 11

Virgin Atlantic, which is being partly bough by Delta, and US Airways, which is merging with AA, are ending their frequent flier partnership effective on June 11, 2013. You can access Virgin Atlantic’s web page about this partnership here and US Airways’ here.

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You can earn miles on each others program until June 11 and that is also the last day to redeem US Airways Dividend miles on Virgin Atlantic and vice versa.

Priority Club “Stay More” Promotion With Online Booking Bonus Component

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Priority Club launched their January 7 to April 30, 2013, Stay More-promotions back in January. If you have registered for any of these variants, this one won’t work for you. You can find my comprehensive post about these promotions here.

Priority Club Stay More Promo Online Booking Bonus Terms and Conditions
Priority Club Stay More Promo Online Booking Bonus Terms and Conditions

Priority Club has a version for lower number of stays that also has an online booking bonus component of 1000 bonus Priority Club points for bookings made through IHG’s websites.

Priority Club One Time Bonus Offers for Febuary (2013)

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There hasn’t been a change on these one time bonuses from January to February. I just went through them. There has been couple of new ones that Priority Club has emailed, but they seem to be just duplicates of these.

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Note that you can combine these with the current Stay More bonuses that I have written here, here, and here. Don’t forget to earn cashback for your InterContinental Hotels Group stays.

1000 Bonus Starpoints For Sheraton Club Bookings

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Sheraton is relaunching the promo they had for the same period of the last year without the requirement of paying the stay American Express credit card. You can earn 1000 bonus Starpoints per stay for stays that are booked for Sheraton’s Club level.

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You need to book rate code DAILYFS or SICLUB. For telephone bookings the rate code is CL1. This offer is valid for stays between February 20 and May 31, 2013.  You can access the Starwood’s website for this rate promotion here.

British Airways Introduces Fares Without Checked Bag – Becoming No Frills Airline?

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British Airways has introduced fares out from London Gatwick to Amsterdam, Jersey, Dubrovnik, Turin and Tunis on a “trial” bases starting on travel from February 26, 2013. Previously, the airline has advertised being a full service airline with no add ons required for checked bags and on board refreshments even on short haul routes.

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Thing to note that this only affects the above five routes from London Gatwick on a trial base. If this trial is successful, I wouldn’t be surprised this to spread to all shorthaul destinations server from Gatwick and eventually from London Heathrow as well. There is very little information that you can find about this trial on BA.com. Here’s link to a PDF that is aimed for travel agents that tries to explain the rationale behind this decision.

Southwest’s Double Tier Points Promo Going Nationwide

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Southwest’s launched a promotion for double Rapid Rewards points nationwide and double tier points for flights to/from Milwaukee on February 4, 2013. Now, Southwest is extending the double tier promotion nationwide.

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This double tier points promotion is valid for flights from February 20 to May 15, 2013. Note that only tickets issued after February 4, 2013, are eligible for both double tier points and double Rapid Rewards points promotion. You can access Southwest’s web page for this promotion here.

Starwood Award Category Changes For 2013

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Starwood just released a list of their properties moving up (218) and moving down (48) on March 5, 2013, in award categories. You can book using the current rates until March 4 as far as the hotel has loaded award availability.

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Note that SPG can make more changes to award categories before the change takes effect on March 5. Last year, there were quite a few properties that did change in fact. You can access the PDF file here.

Wyndham Award Charge Changes – New Categories & Devaluation of Points?

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Wyndham had a small banner on its front page about “Free Nights Starting Faster”. I thought that this sounded like Hyatt’s past Faster Free Nights promotion. You can access Wyndham web page about this change here.

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But it turned out that this is not necessarily an enhancement. Wyndham is introducing new award level at 5500 points (the former lowest was 6000) and 35K/40K levels are removed.

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.

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

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