British Airways ‘Know Me’ Initiative – Let’s Google Passenger Photos

This should be nothing new to of my blog. Last month, I wrote about Starwood GPS’s (Global Personalization at Starwood) initiative to spy SPG member on their Facebook, LinkedIn, FlyerTalk et all profiles to “enhance” the stay experience.

Now, British Airways has started similar ‘Know Me’ initiative. Some flight attendants are armed with iPad’s that they are supposed to use to Google photos of the passengers to offer them more personalized service like welcoming them on board using their name etc. Also these iPad’s have information about passengers past and forthcoming flight activity and possible problems that they have reported previously.

british-airways-know-me

There has now been number of pieces written on the British media about this including Evening Standard & Daily Mail. Even the Fox News picked up the story in the United States.

british-airways-know-me-daily-mail

As was the case with the Starwood, I wouldn’t mind if I had given an explicit permission for BA to snoop me on Google et al. I do think, however, that the time would be better spent by enhancing the customer experience on the ground and on the board.

My First Half of 2012

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It has been an interesting 6 months so far in 2012. My original plan was to stay somewhat still, but something went wrong along the way to say the least. First though, I was totally grounded for the entire month of January. The traveling didn’t start before the beginning of February, but somehow I managed to rack up close to 116K flown miles so far this year.

ll-first-half-2012

Countries Visited 20

The counties visited, not just transferred, so far this year are United Kingdom, Japan, China, Thailand, New Zealand, Fiji, Western Samoa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, UAE, Hong Kong, Macau, Sri Lanka, Italy, Vietnam, Philippines, Qatar, and Australia. I had been to all of these before except Fiji and Western Samoa. The number of counties that I have been so far is around 70.

Both Fiji and Western Samoa were interesting. I didn’t care too much about the tourist ghetto that the Denarau in Fiji is, but once you go further out to Natadola Bay and to the capitol of Suva, the situation completely changed. Suva was a bustling and interesting city. Obviously Apia, the capital of Western Samoa, was nowhere near as busy as Suva, but it was equally interesting place. The smaller the island the more hospitable the people tend to be.

Flights Taken 54

The mix of airlines that I flew on the first half is quite interesting: Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, ANA, Thai, Air New Zealand, Air Pacific, Emirates, China Eastern, Blue1, Ethiopian, Gulf Air, Qatar, Asiana, Bangkok Airways, Firefly, KLM, & Malaysian.

The number of segments flown was 54. The shortest one was from Helsinki to Stockholm on Blue1 in economy (award) 249 miles and the longest one from Dubai to Melbourne in first class (paid) on Emirates 7231 miles. This goes to against what I normally preach; redeem for business/first and pay for economy. But there are always exceptions to the rule.

Hotels Stayed At

This year I have somewhat unusual mix of hotels. Last year I had qualified for the Hyatt Diamond by the end of February, but in 2012 I have had only one paid Hyatt stay so for. For the first time ever, I requalified for the Hilton HHonors Diamond status first. This was partly due to free night certificates from a last year’s promo that I have used this past spring.

The number of Starwood stays is down significantly as well, although I have almost requalified for the Platinum status. I won’t, however, have nowhere near as many stays this year than I had in 2011 (around 110) or 2010 (around 130).

InterContinental Hotels Group Stays

I had quite a few nice InterContinental stays in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Koh Samui, Fiji, Phnom Penh and Abu Dhabi. The former Nikko hotel in Kuala Lumpur that was rebranded as InterContinental Kuala Lumpur was the only InterContinental that doesn’t treat Royal Ambassador members well. I stayed also at the Holiday Inn Suva that was to my surprise a nice hotel, and at the Crowne Plaza in Abu Dhabi that had Molton Brown bathroom amenities on the suite that I received there. The Holiday Inn Sharjah was like a flashback from the 80’s or 90’s as was the Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur.

Hilton Hotels

The first half was full of nice Hilton chain stays; Conrad Bangkok (not my favorite), Conrad Hong Kong (so so), Conrad Macau (fabulous), Conrad Singapore (very nice), Conrad Bali (always take good care of me), Conrad Koh Samui (good but not perfect), Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund (perfect), Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel (great), Hilton Auckland (good), Hilton Fiji (nice as well), Hilton On The Park Melbourne (good), Hilton Colombo Residence (good), Hilton Colombo (good), Hilton Shanghai (ok), Hilton Narita (bad), Hilton Singapore (good), Hilton Baynunah (ok), Hilton Al Ain (ok), Hilton Doha (good) & DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur (fabulous).

Hyatt

Hyatt hasn’t done too much for me lately, but the new Park Hyatt  Ningbo was very nice as well as was the Grand Hyatt Jakarta. I also stayed few days at the Hyatt Bali in Sanur and Hyatt Casino hotel in Manila. In Melbourne I revisited both the Park Hyatt and the Grand Hyatt hotels. The Park one is still my favorite of the two. I got a food poisoning during my stay at the Grand Hyatt Erewan in Bangkok. The stay at the Grand Hyatt Macau on my birthday was a complete disaster check in taking over an hour. Unfortunately, the newly renovated Park Hyatt Sydney didn’t impress me and the situation with the Park Hyatt Shanghai was the same.

Fairmont Hotels

The two Fairmont properties that I went two Fairmont Peace hotel in Shanghai and Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi were both stunning on their own ways.

Starwood

Had quite a few Starwood stays as well in the first six months of 2012. The worst one by far was the Sheraton Heathrow hotel. What a piece of crap. Le Meridien Jakarta was quite nice and the Le Meridien Bangkok has never failed to take good care of me. Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers (good), Four Points Bangkok (ok), Royal Orchid Sheraton (good), the brand new Westin Ningbo was great, Westin Kuala Lumpur (ok), Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi (good), Westin Sydney (good), Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur (good), Sheraton Shanghai Hongqiao (good), Le Royal Meridien Shanghai (very nice), Sheraton Shanghai Pudong (good), The Hongta Hotel Shanghai former St Regis (good), Sheraton Shanghai Hongkou (very good) & Sheraton Fiji (ok) were other Starwood hotels that I spent a night or two in the first six months of 2012.

Accor

I have never quite understood Accor’s brand and decided to familiarize myself with them. Stayed at the Muse MGallery collection hotel in Bangkok (very good), Mercure Nadi (terrible), Novotel Suva Lami Bay (good) & Pullman Legian in Bali (good). I have to say that I am continuing to be confused. Not quite sure what to expect. Maybe I need to have few more Accorhotel stays later in the year as well.

Carlson Hotels

Only had two stays with the Carlson hotels in the first half. Somewhat unsatisfactory stay at the Radisson Blu Denarau resort in Fiji and an acceptable stay at the Radisson Suites in Bangkok.

Marriott

Marriott got some of my business on the first half as well. JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur (very nice), Renaissance Kuala Lumpur (nice), Renaissance Bangkok (very nice), JW Marriott Bangkok (very nice), Courtyard Bangkok (nice), Renaissance Doha (good), Putrajaya Marriott (ok) & Marriott Executive Apartments Sathorn Vista Bangkok (good).

Unaffiliated hotels

I also had few stays at unaffiliated hotels; Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore that doesn’t participate to Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards (very nice), Ramada Katunayake Colombo International Airport (bad), Hotel Millenia Apia (bad), Aggie Grey’s Hotel Apia (great) & Tanoa International hotel Nadi (good),

Conclusion

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The first six months of 2012 was quite a ride after all. The 3rd quarter of 2012 looks equally busy, and I am very excited to visit both the Easter Islands and French Polynesia for the very first time.

Best Western Bonus Points Offer For South America 1000 Bonus Points

Best Western just emailed about a promotion that started on July 1st and ends on August 31st, 2012. You will receive 1000 bonus points for (both stays) every two unique Best Western branded hotel stays in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela). You need to register for this promotion before your stays.

best-western-rewards-south-america

According to the terms of this promotion it is only valid for bookings made at the Best Available Rate. Best available rate is NOT often the most economical so it pays to check all rates, whether they are qualifying for this promotion or not. You can earn this offer multiple times. This offer is valid for Best Western Rewards members in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean in addition to the participating countries listed above.

The terms and conditions of this promotion of this promotion are somewhat contradictory. At one point is says that you will receive 1000 bonus points for BOTH stays and then next that you will receive 1000 bonus points for every TWO stays. Also, the start of this promotion is June 1st or July 1st,although that doesn’t make difference at this point as we are already in July.

Here are the terms and condition of this promotion:

Best Western Rewards® members (“Member(s)”) residing in the U.S, Canada, the Caribbean Islands or at any participating country† who BOOK THE BEST AVAILABLE RATE and completes at least one (1) qualified stay* in 2 different unique  Best Western branded hotels in South America (participating country†) between July 1 and August 31, 2012 (“Promotion Period”) will receive 1,000 extra bonus points for both stays. Members will receive 1,000 bonus points for every two (2) qualified completed stays.   Each stay must be at a  unique Best Western hotel to earn the bonus points.  No limit to the number of bonus points awarded during the promotion period. *A “qualified stay” for the purpose of this promotion is defined as one or more consecutive nights at the same Best Western hotel at a rate eligible for earning points or airline/partner rewards through best western rewards. Only one (1) check-in/check-out permitted per qualified stay. Other restrictions may apply. Offer not valid with any other promotion or discount. Promotion is subject to cancellation or change without notice.  Please allow  2 – 3 weeks for posting of bonus points. All Best Western Rewards program rules apply. See www.bestwesternrewards.com for additional program terms.

Each Best Western® branded hotel is independently owned and operated. Best Western and the Best Western marks are service marks or registered service marks of Best Western International, Inc. ©2012 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved.

†Participating Countries include: BWR South America Club are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and  Venezuela.

Terms and Conditions:

  • To enter this promotion, you must be a Best Western Rewards® member.
  • You can only book the Best Available Rate to get the 1,000 bonus points.
  • You must stay for a minimum of 1 night in 2 different “unique” Best Western branded hotels in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela)  between July 1 and August 31, 2012 in order to receive 1,000 extra bonus points for every 2 qualified completed stays.
  • Each stay must be at a unique Best Western hotel to earn the bonus points.
  • No limit to the number of bonus points awarded during the promotion period.
  • This offer is valid only for stays during June 1 and August 1, 2012.
  • Cancellation of your booking means you will not receive your 1,000 extra bonus points.
  • Book in all channels.

Sign Up For Priority Club Shopping Emails & Get 500 Points

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Priority Club is giving 500 bonus points for their Priority Club Shopping email sign ups.

priority-club-shopping-500

It is fast and easy. I just did it myself. Just click the link and give Priority Club Shopping permission to start sending you shopping related emails. Wait until the bonus points post and then you can unsubscribe if you so wish.

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American Airlines Has Now Made Award Flights on Qantas Bookable Online

American Airline has been slowly extending the number of partner airlines that can be booked on AA.com. Earlier this year American Airlines made Hawaiian and British Airways award flights bookable on AA.com in addition to Alaska ones. Now you can also book awards including Qantas flights on AA.com.

I decided to test this by searching for award availability from Helsinki to Sydney.

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The economy awards appear to be wide open in the month of November.

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Searching for business class only returns availability on three days.

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First class is also available for about half of the dates.

The fare engines returns number of flights with connection from British Airways to Qantas or Qantas to Qantas in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Narita.

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You have to be careful with the flights, however. The engine returns quite a few combinations where the second long haul is in fact in business class and not in first. The feeder flight from Helsinki to London only has economy and business class. As a matter of fact the AA’s engine was not able to return a single date in November from Helsinki to Sydney in first class.

aa-ba-qf-hel-syd-c

I was finally able to find one itinerary that was pricing correctly in business class on all of the three segments in question. I don’t like the way the AA hides “carrier imposed surcharges” and doesn’t provide a clear breakdown of taxes and fees. Probably around 70% to 80% off that fee are the fuel surcharges of the BA’s Helsinki to London and London to Narita segments.

aa-ba-qf-hel-syd-c-itinerry

Conclusion

It is great to have more AA partners bookable online without having to call the reservations. AA now has four partners online and quite a few to go before you can book as complex itineraries as one can on United.com.

Expedia Summer Gas Card Promotion Get Up To $100 Gas Card

Expedia is running a gas card promotion with select hotels. You need to book by August 31st, 2012 and stay by September 30th, 2012. You will receive $25 gas card for stay of $150 to $249, $50 gas card for stay of $250-$449, and $100 gas card for stay over $450.

expedia-extras-gas-card-banner

There are close to 400 hotels in United States, Canada, and Mexico that participate to this promotion. You can use the following link to check the prices, or you can just do a search, and the hotels that are offering this deal are marked by “Expedia Extras” icon advertising this offer.

expedia-extras

Last year Expedia has a similar promotion that was valid at most hotels worldwide, and I was able to get a gas card out of it. Essentially this is about 20% discount if you can find a competitively priced hotel at that $450 mark.

expedia-extras-gas-card

Once you have booked any of the participating hotels, you need to go back to your account and choose the gas card and fill out the relevant info for Expedia to fulfill the offer. You will receive the gas card few weeks after your stay in a mail.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion from Expedia:

Special offers are only available at participating hotels. Prices shown above include applicable discount. Hotel savings are based upon Expedia’s everyday hotel rates, excluding taxes and other fees. Minimum stay may be required. Pricing may vary based on travel dates and length of stay. Offers are subject to availability and may be discontinued without notice. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply.

Up to $100 Prepaid MasterCard® debit card is available on standalone hotel at qualifying Expedia Special Rate (ESR) hotels only. Qualifying hotels will show offer on search results. Book between 05/15/2012 and 08/31/2012, with travel completed by 09/30/2012. Minimum purchase is between, $150 and $249 total, before taxes and fees for a $25 Prepaid MasterCard® debit , $250 and $449 total, before taxes and fees for a $50 Prepaid MasterCard® debit, and $450+ total, before taxes and fees for a $100 Prepaid MasterCard® debit. One card issued per qualified itinerary. To receive a Prepaid MasterCard debit card you must complete the offer redemption form located at the bottom of your itinerary and provide a shipping address. Card will arrive 4 to 6 weeks after travel completion. Limit one Prepaid MasterCard debit card per booking and per person during promotion period. To be eligible, you must be a US resident, at least 18 years of age or older, you must make a qualifying booking, and you must complete your stay at the booked hotel. Shipping to the 50 states, District of Columbia and US territories only. Not redeemable for cash. If you cancel your hotel or vacation package you will forfeit your prepaid card.

The $25, $50, and $100 Prepaid MasterCard® debit cards from Expedia are issued by First California Bank (FCB) pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated. MasterCard and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. Fiserv Solutions, Inc. is a registered MSP of First California Bank. The Prepaid MasterCard debit cards from Expedia can be used wherever MasterCard debit cards are accepted, and use is governed by the terms in your Cardholder Agreement, which you will receive with the card.

Expedia reserves the right to substitute this offer with an offer of equal value at its sole discretion without prior notice. This offer is nontransferable, not redeemable for cash and void where prohibited. Expedia and its suppliers are not liable for any loss or damage to any person or property in connection with redemption or use of this offer. The use by Expedia of third-party trademarks or product names does not imply that any such third party endorses, sponsors, or is otherwise affiliated with Expedia or this offer.

American Airlines AAdvantage Bonus Miles on Cathay Pacific Flights to Hong Kong & On American Flights Between Chicago and Helsinki

American Airlines has two mileage promotions going on at the moment. You need to register for both of these before travel. Note that the Cathay Pacific offer is only valid for business and first class while the offer to Helsinki also applies to high coach fares.

american-airlines-bonus-miles

This is about the best time of the year to visit Helsinki, where I used to live for 6 years. There is enough to do and explore for several days and you can always take a ferry or helicopter to visit Tallinn in Estonia as well. Helsinki is the world’s design capital in 2012. You can read more about this on the following website. You need to register for this offer prior traveling.

american-airlines-chicago-to-helsinki

This offer is valid for travel from June 26th, 2012 to September 30th, 2012. There is no ticketing date restriction on this offer that is also valid on Finnair, BA, and Iberia codeshares.

Booking Class

Bonus Miles for Round-Trip Travel

Business Class (booked in J, D, R or I)

25,000

Full-Fare Economy (booked in Y, B or H)

20,000

Discount Economy (booked in K, L or M)

15,000

Offer Dates:
June 26, 2012 through September 30, 2012

Promotion Code:
AAHEL

Cathay Pacific is offering bonus miles for their flights to Hong Kong from United States and Canada for AAdvantage members. The bonus miles only apply for first and business class cabins. You need to book the travel by July 31st, 2012 and travel must be completed by August 15th, 2012. You need to register for this offer prior traveling.

american-airlines-cathay-to-hong-kong
Fly Cathay Pacific roundtrip from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, or Vancouver to Hong Kong on a qualifying First Class ticket between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012 and earn 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles. Or, fly on a qualifying Business Class ticket and earn 8,000 bonus miles. There is no limit to the number of bonuses you can earn during the promotion period and the bonus miles are in addition to your standard base miles and class of service bonus. Just book your trip between June 15, 2012 and July 31, 2012 and register prior to travel.

 

 

First Class
(booked in F or A)

Business Class
(booked in J, C, D or I)

Bonus miles earned for each
roundtrip

10,000 bonus miles

8,000 bonus mile

Bonus Code:
CXS12

Register today by selecting the red “REGISTER” button below.

Dates:
Book your trip between June 15, 2012 and July 31, 2012.
Travel on/between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012.

Here are the terms and conditions of the Chicago to Helsinki offer:

AAdvantage bonus mileage offer is valid for round-trip travel on nonstop American Airlines operated flights between Chicago O’Hare and Helsinki, Finland from June 26, 2012 – September 30, 2012. Includes travel on codeshare flights marketed by British Airways, Iberia or Finnair. This promotion is only valid for AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on published fare tickets booked in J, D, I, R, Y, B, H, K, L or M. Bonus will be awarded based on the booking class purchased. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or Million Miler status. Registration prior to travel is required.

Here are the terms and conditions of the Cathay Pacific offer:

The offer applies to F, A, J, C, D and I fares only. Offer valid on Cathay Pacific operated flights for travel with an American Airlines or Cathay Pacific flight numbers, between JFK/LAX/ORD/SFO/YVR – HKG only. Two one-way flights booked in different reservations are not considered a roundtrip. Travel must be completed between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012. Offer is not combinable with any other offer. Offer for AAdvantage U.S. residents only. AAdvantage miles must be earned for flights to qualify for the bonus. Bonus miles do not count toward elite-status qualification. Registration prior to travel is required using Promotion Code CXS12 at www.aa.com/offers.

Cathay Pacific reserves the right to change or terminate the offer without prior notice.

Triple Delta SkyMiles for Stays at Selected Hilton Family of Hotels

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Hilton and Delta have teamed up offering triple Delta SkyMiles for stays at selected Hilton family of hotels from July 1st to September 20th, 2012. You need to register for this offer in advance and have Delta as your Double Dip airline partner. This offer is combinable with the current Triple Your Trip-promotion for double points for weekday nights and triple for weekend ones.

hilton-hhonors-delta-q3-2012-triple-miles

The number of participating properties is around 316 of more than 3700 Hilton family of hotels worldwide. If you are planning to take advantage of this promotion, you should read the list of participating hotels very carefully.

The number of Delta Air Lines SkyMiles that you earn from your Hilton stays is dependent of the brand in question. The table below is the fixed mile option. You can also choose variable miles that is one mile per eligible USD spent before promotion is factored in.

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hilton-hh-dd-dl-table

You may want to consider crediting to Virgin Atlantic, if your earning preference is to maximize  Hilton HHonors points. You can read more about this strategy here.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

To be eligible for this offer, you must (1) select Delta Air Lines as your preferred Double Dip® Points & Miles™ Partner in your Hilton HHonors™ account profile, (2) complete a stay at a participating hotel or resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio from July 2, 2012 through September 30, 2012, and (3) register online at www.HHonors.com/DeltaTriple prior to check-out. You must be a Hilton HHonors member to earn Points & Miles for hotel stays.

Triple Delta Air Lines Miles (Both Fixed and Variable Miles members): Earn triple miles with the Delta SkyMiles® program per qualifying stay at a participating hotel or resort in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. Reward stays are not eligible for this offer. There is no cap on the miles that may be earned during the promotion period. Miles are not eligible to earn Medallion Qualification Miles. Allow up to six weeks after qualification, and after promotion has ended, for miles to be credited to your account. This offer may be combined with other offers and/or promotions. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the Delta SkyMiles full Terms & Conditions please visit delta.com/skymiles. Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

Here is the list of participating properties:

Hotel Content HOTELNAME CITY
Arab Emirates
Hilton Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Hilton Baynunah Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Hilton Dubai Creek Dubai
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Dubai
Hilton Fujairah Fujairah
Hilton Jumeirah Beach Residences / Dubai / UAE Dubai
Canada
Hampton Inn & Suites Calgary / Northwest Calgary
Hilton Lac Leamy / Ottawa Valley Gatineau-Ottawa
Hilton Suites Toronto / Markham Conference Centre and Spa Markham
Hilton Garden Inn Toronto / Vaughan Vaughan
Hilton Suites Winnipeg Airport Winnipeg
Chile
Hilton Garden Inn Santiago – Airport Santiago
Cameroon
Hilton Yaounde Yaounde
China
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Wuxi / Lingshan Wuxi
Colombia
Embassy Suites by Hilton Bogota / Rosales Bogota
Costa Rica
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiesta Hotel Puntarenas / Costa Rica Puntarenas
Algeria
Hilton Alger Alger
Ecuador
Hampton Inn Guayaquil / Downtown Guayaquil
Hilton Colon Quito Quito
Egypt
Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort 6th of October City
Hilton Cairo World Trade Center Residence Cairo
Hilton Dahab Resort Dahab
Hilton Hurghada Long Beach Resort Hurghada
Hilton Luxor Luxor
Spain
Hilton Buenavista Toledo Toledo
Ethiopia
Hilton Addis Ababa Addis Ababa
United Kingdom
Hilton Belfast Belfast
Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 Colnbrook
Hilton London Canary Wharf London
Hilton London Green Park London
Hilton London Islington London
Hilton London Docklands London
Hilton London Tower Bridge London
Jordan
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Aqaba Aqaba
Lebanon
Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Beirut
Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace Beirut
Mauritius
Hilton Mauritius Resort Flic-en-Flac
Mexico
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Queretaro Colinas del Cimatario
Doubletree by Hilton Mexico City Airport Area Mexico City
Embassy Suites by Hilton Mexico City / Reforma Colonia Tabacalera, Mexico
Hampton Inn Guadalajara / Aeropuerto El Salto
Hilton Guadalajara Guadalajara
Hilton Villahermosa Airport Villahermosa
Namibia
Hilton Windhoek Windhoek
Netherlands
Hilton Amsterdam Amsterdam
Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Schiphol
Hilton Garden Inn Corpus Leiden Netherlands Oegstgeest
Hilton Rotterdam Rotterdam
Hilton The Hague The Hague
Nicaragua
Hilton Princess Managua Managua
Saudi Arabia
Hilton Jeddah Jeddah
Qasr Al Sharq Hilton Jeddah
Venezuela
Embassy Suites by Hilton Valencia / Downtown El Vinedo, Valencia
South Africa
Hilton Cape Town City Centre Cape Town
Hilton Durban Durban
Hilton Sandton Sandton
Alabama
Embassy Suites Hotel Birmingham Hoover Birmingham
Embassy Suites Hotel Huntsville Huntsville
Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham / Downtown / Tutwiler Birmingham
Hampton Inn Birmingham / Leeds Leeds
Hampton Inn Birmingham 1-65 / Lakeshore Birmingham
Hampton Inn Jacksonville Jacksonville
Arkansas
DoubleTree Club by Hilton Springdale Springdale
Hampton Inn Bryant Bryant
Hampton Inn North Little Rock / McCain Mall Area North Little Rock
Hampton Inn Van Buren Van Buren
Arizona
Embassy Suites Hotel Phoenix / North Phoenix
Embassy Suites Hotel Phoenix / Scottsdale Phoenix
Embassy Suites Tucson / Paloma Village Tucson
Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix / Goodyear Goodyear
Hampton Inn & Suites Tucson East / Williams Center Tucson
Hampton Inn Phoenix / Scottsdale @ Shea Blvd Scottsdale
Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale / North / Perimeter Center Scottsdale
Hilton Phoenix Airport Phoenix
Hilton Phoenix East / Mesa Mesa
Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa Sedona
Hilton Suites Phoenix Phoenix
Homewood Suites by Hilton Phoenix / Biltmore Phoenix
California
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley / American Canyon American Canyon
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles / Westside Culver City
DoubleTree by Hilton Monrovia / Pasadena Area Monrovia
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego / Del Mar San Diego
DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego / Golf Resort Hotel San Diego
DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma / Wine Country Rohnert Park
Embassy Suites Hotel La Quinta Resort / Spa and Conference Center La Quinta
Embassy Suites Hotel Ontario Airport Ontario
Embassy Suites Hotel Santa Ana / Orange County Airport / North Santa Ana
Hampton Inn & Suites Goleta Goleta
Hampton Inn & Suites Redding Redding
Hampton Inn & Suites San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo
Hampton Inn San Diego / Del Mar San Diego
Hampton Inn Visalia Visalia
Hilton Los Angeles Universal City & Towers Universal City
Hilton Newark / Fremont Newark
Hilton Sacramento / Arden West Sacramento
Hilton San Bernardino San Bernardino
Hilton San Jose San Jose
Homewood Suites by Hilton Palm Desert Palm Desert
Colorado
Hampton Inn & Suites Colorado Springs / Interquest Park Colorado Springs
Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs Colorado Springs
Hilton Grand Vacations Club Valdoro Mountain Lodge Colorado Springs
Homewood Suites by Hilton Colorado Springs Breckenridge
The Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs Colorado Springs
Connecticut
Hampton Inn Rocky Hill Rocky Hill
District of Columbia
Embassy Suites Hotel Washington / Convention Center Washington
Embassy Suites Hotel Washington DC Washington
Hampton Inn Washington / Downtown / Convention Center, DC Washington
Florida
Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach / Resort & Spa Deerfield Beach
Embassy Suites Hotel Fort Lauderdale / 17th Street Fort Lauderdale
Embassy Suites Hotel Jacksonville / Baymeadows Jacksonville
Embassy Suites Hotel Miami Airport Miami
Embassy Suites Hotel Tampa / University South Florida / Near Busch Gardens Tampa
Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood Airport. Hollywood
Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando / South Lake Buena Vista Kissimmee
Hampton Inn & Suites Palm Coast Palm Coast
Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota Airport Sarasota
Hampton Inn Bonita Springs / Naples / North Bonita Springs
Hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale / Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Hampton Inn Niceville / Eglin Air Force Base Niceville
Hampton Inn Orlando International Airport Orlando
Hampton Inn Tampa / Brandon Tampa
Hilton Garden Inn Boca Raton Boca Raton
Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers Airport Fort Myers
Hilton Garden Inn Jacksonville Downtown / Southbank Jacksonville
Hilton Grand Vacations Club at South Beach Miami Beach
Hilton Grand Vacations Club on International Drive / Orlando Orlando
Hilton Grand Vacations Club @ Seaworld International / Orlando Orlando
Parc Soleil by Hilton Grand Vacations Club Orlando
Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place / Airport Melbourne
Hilton Palm Beach Airport West Palm Beach
Hilton Suites Boca Raton Boca Raton
Hilton Tampa Airport / Westshore Tampa
Homewood Suites by Hilton Jacksonville / Downtown / Southbank Jacksonville
Homewood Suites by Hilton Palm Beach Gardens Palm Beach Gardens
Homewood Suites Fort Meyers Airport Fort Myers
Georgia
Embassy Suites Hotel Atlanta / at Centennial Olympic Park Atlanta
Embassy Suites Hotel Atlanta / Buckhead Atlanta
Embassy Suites Hotel Atlanta / Kennesaw Town Center Kennesaw
Embassy Suites Hotel Atlanta / Perimeter Center Atlanta
Embassy Suites Hotel Brunswick Brunswick
Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta / Camp Creek Marketplace East Point
Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta / Galleria Atlanta
Hampton Inn Savannah / I-95 North Port Wentworth
Hilton Atlanta / Marietta Conference Center Marietta
Hilton Atlanta / Northeast Norcross
Hilton Atlanta / Perimeter Atlanta
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta / North Point Alpharetta
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta / Northeast / Gwinnett / Sugarloaf Duluth
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta / Perimeter Center Atlanta
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Downtown Atlanta
Hawaii
Embassy Suites Hotel / Waikiki Beach Walk Honolulu
Hilton Grand Vacations Club @ the Hilton Hawaiian Village Honolulu
Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kingsland Resort Waikoloa
Hilton Grand Vacation Club Grand Waikikian Honolulu
Hilton Grand Vacation Club Waikoloa Beach Resort Waikoloa
Iowa
Hampton Inn Ames Ames
Idaho
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Priority Club Last Minute Reward Nights Out For July

Priority Club just released a list of last minute reward nights for this coming weekend. You need to book them on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights this coming weekend.

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These last minute rewards nights are offered at 50% discount of the usual number of points needed. This time they have 88 hotels on the list of which 11 are InterContinental hotels. There are 51 hotels in the United States and 21 in China on this list.

priority-club-last-minute-rewards-july-ic

Sometimes there are good values on the Last Minute Rewards list, but nothing really caught my eye this time around.

Transferring BMI Diamond Club Miles To British Airways Avios Now Possible (Maybe)

10 Comments

British Airways and BMI announced back in May that you could transfer BMI Diamond Club miles to British Airways Avios and vice versa starting on July 3rd, 2012. BMI just sent an email explaining the process.

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I already did the status transfer from BMI (Gold) to British Airways (Gold) last month and that process was flawless, although not instantaneous. The status transfer took only few days. I decided to check out, how I could transfer some Diamond Club miles to Avios now that the transfer too is up and running.

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First, I had some trouble finding the “Combine My Avios” link on my “Manage My Account” section of BA’s website.

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The screen informing about the process was very straightforward and I decided to proceed.

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Next I was prompted to fill out my BMI Diamond Club number and associated password. And then I was hoping for the best….

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Here the problems started. The BA’s website just returned page not found-error message.

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Decided to try again. This time combining Avios not available-error message popped up.

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I thought that for sure BA and BMI had tested this few times before releasing and was presented yet another error message. This time my combining Avios was supposedly already open.

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Maybe the problem was Firefox? No. Internet Explorer returned the 404 page as well.

Oh well. Nothing happening around BMI and BA can surprise me at this point. I am sure that the tool will be up in a day or two, but getting this right from the get-go shouldn’t have been too big of a task.

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Buy Miles Bonus Offer

Delta should do better targeting to whom they are sending these offers. I find it highly unlikely that someone like me, who has close to 800K SkyMiles sitting on their account, would buy more regardless of the bonus offer.

delta-mile-sale-web-page

Anyway, I received the following offer couple of hours ago. Delta is offering a 50% bonus for buying miles for up to 60K purchased miles – 90K after the bonus has kicked in. The price of a mile purchased through this offer is 2.5 cents.

Transaction Terms:

  • Minimum/Maximum mileage purchased per transaction: 2,000 / 60,000
  • Mileage increments: 2,000
  • Rate per mile: $0.035
  • Applicable Taxes. Visit terms and conditions page for details.

Personally, I wouldn’t pay 2.5 cents for a SkyMile, but there could be unusual circumstances where it might make sense. I have never had a problem using my United Mileage Plus or American Airlines AAdvantage miles. I have, however, when trying to use Delta SkyMiles

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According to the terms and conditions this offer is targeted. You can always, however, follow the link to see if the bonus offer shows up for you as well before making the actual purchase.

www.delta.com/skymiles/buy_transfer/buy_lto_exclusive50.jsp

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Terms and Conditions:
Eligibility: This offer is open only to the recipients of original email. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Transaction must be completed by July 31, 2012, to receive the 50% mileage bonus. The 50% mileage bonus offer expires at 11:59 pm CST on July 31, 2012. Offer does not apply to miles purchased under the SkyMiles Gift Miles program or miles transferred under the SkyMiles Transfer Miles program. The 50% mileage bonus will post to the account within 24 hours of purchase.

Buy Miles may only be received into SkyMiles accounts that have been established for at least 10 days and have earned at least one mile since enrolling in the SkyMiles program. This program may not be available in all markets or geographic areas.

Taxes and Fees: Miles may be purchased for $0.035 USD per mile (minimum 2,000 miles) plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax. An additional 5% GST and/or other applicable taxes apply to purchases by Canadian residents. Purchased miles are not refundable and are applicable toward all SkyMiles Awards.

Award Travel: Taxes and fees for Award Travel are the responsibility of the passenger and must be paid at the time the ticket is booked. Award Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or in all markets. Purchased and bonus miles do not count toward Medallion® qualification or Million Miler™ status.

Miscellaneous: All Delta SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit Membership Guide & Program Rules. Offers, prices and rules are subject to change without notice. Offers void where prohibited by law. Additional restrictions may apply.

Frequent Flier Accounts & Phishing Attempts – Case American Airlines

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I rarely see any spam on my email inbox as I have been using Google to host (paid service) my personal and business email accounts for few years.  Due to the number of spam that I receive, I have found it useless to even have a look at my spam folder. How many Viagra or PayPal account security emails can you glance through daily?

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Earlier today, I received a very good phishing attempt that Google didn’t catch. This was a preferred seat purchase email supposedly coming from American Airlines. It wasn’t addresses to be, but it is not uncommon to mistakenly receive emails intended to others.

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The email header looked ok. It shows notify@aa.globalnotifications.com as a sender. This is the same sender email address that AA uses for real notifications as well. Above is the fake one and below the real one.

aa-email-header-right

But this email is not for real. I would encourage everybody to set their browser to show the actual URL for all the links. This email had all the links to point to a website in Russia, as I have highlighted in red.

I had been waiting for an email from American Airlines with an eticket number for Etihad business/first class award redemption that I had made and paid earlier in the day. Somehow that email had ended up in my spam email folder.

US Airways Dividend Miles Share Miles Offer – Buy Miles at 2.27 Cents

US Airways has been very predictable as of late, when it comes to their miles sales. When one sale is over, they typically have a new one starting, albeit with bit a different twist, in a few days. Last month US Airways was selling miles at 1.8 cents each. Now, they just sent an email blast regarding their latest offer.

us-airways-share-miles-offer-july

This share miles offer is basically just selling miles at 2.27 cents each, if you transfer the maximum allowed that is 50K miles. You pay 1 cent per mile to transfer and some set fee, but the receiver will get a 50% bonus.

us-airways-buy-miles-july-price

I don’t need US Airways Dividend miles at the moment, but even then this price is on the high side considering their most recent sales. If you have use for US Airways Dividend miles and have firm redemption in business or first class in mind, this still can be a very good offer. Just a word of warning. It has been recently somewhat difficult to book Lufthansa flights using Dividend miles. Apparently, US Airways is blocking Lufthansa availability just like United used to do. Other than Lufthansa group of airlines seem not to be affected by this.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Offer valid for your FIRST Share transaction (purchaser or recipient) made between July 1, 2012 00:00:01 AM PT and July 31, 2012 23:59:59 PM PT. This bonus is only applicable for Share Miles and the offer does not apply to Buy or Gift Miles transactions. Bonus amounts will be awarded upon completion of the transaction. Bonus miles will be awarded to the recipient of the Share. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Only purchases made online are eligible.

Miles are shared for $0.01 per mile plus a processing fee of $30 and a tax recovery charge of 7.5%. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents. Miles purchased through Buy, Share or Gift Miles do not count towards Dividend Miles Preferred status. All other Dividend Miles Terms and Conditions apply. Miles may be used based on award availability at the time of booking. Please note that Dividend Miles accounts less than 12 days old are not permitted to Buy, Share or Gift miles. All purchases are non-refundable.

Middle East Airlines (MEA) Lebanese Flag Carrier Joins SkyTeam

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May and June saw two airlines based in the Middle East/Gulf joining the SkyTeam. Saudia joined on May 29th and Middle East Airlines (MEA) on June 28th, 2012. MEA is a relatively small airline operating a fleet of 17 aircraft and is based in Beirut, Lebanon.

mea-singing

As the airline is now a full SkyTeam member, earning miles on other SkyTeam frequent flier programs on MEA flights as well as using miles for MEA flights should be possible. Not sure, how long it is going to take Delta to update their website, as they still seem not to be aware of the fact that Saudia joined the SkyTeam more than a month ago.

skyteam-mea

The number of destinations the airline currently serves in Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Gulf is around 30. The airline operates two routes to Iraq that should make Baghdad and Irbil easier to reach using SkyTeam.

mea-middle-east

mea-gulf

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mea-europe

Beirut is a wonderful summer destination to visit. I have been there twice, and have flown in once on MEA from Istanbul. When I was there last time three years ago, there were still some signs in the downtown area about the brutal civil war that the country went through. The new downtown area that was being built looked very nice, however.

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