Marriott Category 1 to 4 Free Night Certificate Value

Marriott recent promotions have had free night certificate as an award option for every two stays and usually capped at max 3 free certificates during the promotional period. I consider these certificates as a bonus and try to assess a value to them so that it would be easier to compare offers from number of chains.

marriott-category-1-4-ecert

Benefits of points:

1. Never expire

2. Can be used for fifth night free awards

3. Can be used for travel packages etc.

Free night certificates expire, cannot get discounts for five night stays, cannot be combined for travel packages, won’t earn you a stay credit, doesn’t count as a stay towards a bonus, the stay won’t earn you points etc.

Normally, a free night at category 4 property would set you back 20K Marriott Rewards points. But you cannot value free night cert at the same value due to the points laid down above.

The value that I assign to a free night certificate due to all points mentioned before is $100. It doesn’t hurt that it is a nice round figure.

Of course there might be occasions that you can use them during a time when there is something going on in the city and the hotel rates are through the roof. You do have to ask yourself, however, had you stayed at this hotel during the time and be willing to pay the rate that the hotel was charging.

Conclusion

I really like Marriott’s recent promotions for these free night certificates. It is important that you put an estimate dollar value for the free night certificate so that you can compare promotions between hotel chains.

Priority Club Best Price Guarantee Tweaked Again

Priority Club announced their best price guarantee September last year. The main catch was and still is that you can get the first night free if you find a lower price from a competing website.

priority-club-brg

There have been quite a few changes already since inception of this guarantee like requirement of both prices to be on the same currency and requirement of cancellation & payment policies to be same.

Now, Priority Club has enacted two new rules:

1. You or anybody living in your household cannot claim consecutive free nights at properties that are within 50 miles of each other.

2. Abuse of the program.

There must have been some that have been claiming consecutive free nights at different properties. Now, Priority club is trying to put an end to this. If you are traveling with someone, you can do separate BRG’s for different nights and it would be ok under this rule as long as you are not living in the same household

Abuse of the program? It is clear that if someone is trying to resell/barter these free nights that it is not ok. But let’s say that someone claims 50 free nights a year out of this program. Is it abusing it?

Conclusion

All the hotel chains have some sort of “Best Rate Guarantee”. The Priority Club one is not yet totally watered down, although introducing same currency requirement made it close.

If you are planning to take advantage of Priority Club’s guarantee, you should familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of this offer closely.

Here are the current terms and conditions of this guarantee:

Best Price Guarantee Terms and Conditions

Best Price Guarantee is our promise to guests who book directly on our branded websites. We have made additional adjustments to the Guarantee and to the Terms and Conditions to further define what claims will qualify and to further help identify and support valid claims.

Best Price Guarantee: Every hotel reservation booked through an IHG web site is guaranteed to have the lowest room price (room rate) or total room cost (including all taxes and fees) publicly available on the internet or IHG will provide the first night’s room price free and match the lower average nightly room price found for that stay for the rest of the nights of that stay, under the following terms and conditions:

  1. Book. Complete a valid (meaning a complete booking with an approved credit card) room booking with the lowest available price (room rate) on any IHG website for any IHG branded hotel using the “Best Available Rate Search.”
  2. Lower Price. If you find a lower room price that also has a lower total room cost (including taxes and fees) for a one-night stay, or a lower average nightly room price that also has a lower average total room cost (including taxes and fees) for a multi-night stay, on a non-IHG website within 24 hours after booking on an IHG websites for the same stay, we will provide you with the first night’s room price at the IHG hotel free and match the lower average nightly room price found for your entire stay for the rest of the nights of your stay after verification of the lower average nightly room price and lower average total room cost (including taxes and fees).
  3. Reporting an IHG of a Claim. Contact us using the online claim form or by contacting the Best Price Guarantee Support Desk within twenty-four (24) hours after your booking on any IHG website to make a claim under the Best Price Guarantee. The average nightly lower room price and lower total room cost must be available for booking at the time of claim verification and both must be lower than those found on an IHG website, as determined by IHG customer service representatives.
  4. Matching Rooms. The Best Price Guarantee is available only for the exact same room type. For example, if you book a king bed with a sofa bed room type on an IHG website, and are comparing it to a non-IHG website, you must find a price with the same king bed with sofa bed room type on the other website.
  5. Matching Terms. All terms for the room price, including, but not limited to pre-payment, deposit or other requirements must be equal to terms found on an IHG website to be used for comparison. For example, when you book a room that may be cancelled without penalty on an IHG website, you may not compare it to a room with a pre-paid or non-refundable price on a non-IHG website. The Best Price Guarantee is not available for bookings on websites where the booking details are unknown until after purchase.
  6. Matching Prices. For multi-night stays, the average nightly room price and the average nightly total room cost found on a non-IHG website will be compared to the average nightly room price and the average nightly total room cost for your multi-night reservation on the IHG website. The room price and the total room cost on the non-IHG website must be available in the currency of the hotel. The average nightly room price and the average nightly total room cost must each be a minimum difference of 1% or $1 USD (or the equivalent in the hotel’s currency) (whichever is higher) of the IHG room price and the IHG total room cost, respectively. In the event that the total room price, including taxes and fees, is the same on both the IHG website and the non-IHG website, then the claim will not be valid.. Coupons or vouchers may not be utilized to lower published room prices for the purposes of making a claim. The room price and the total room cost must be quoted, booked, and paid for in the currency of the hotel. The Guarantee does not include extra fees such as extra person charges, except as stated in paragraph 6.b. below. Regardless of the number of lower prices found, only one free night will be awarded per stay. For valid claims, each additional night’s room price during the stay will be lowered to match the average nightly price for the entire stay found on the non-IHG website.6. b. Japan. In Japan and on the ANA websiteLink will open in new browser window., the room price does include extra person fees. ANA hotels are not eligible for Best Price Guarantee rooms, but all other IHG hotels on the ANAIHG website are eligible.
  7. Comparison Prices Must Be Available to the General Public Online. The Best Price Guarantee applies only to prices both advertised and available to the general public on a non-IHG website at the time of verification. For example, this does not include prices offered on membership program websites; corporate discounts; negotiated prices; group, rewards program, incentive, meeting, convention, consolidator or interline prices; prices obtained via auction or similar process; or prices available only by using a coupon or other promotion not offered to the general public. The average nightly lower price may not come from a website where you call to get the price, or from an e-mail that you received.
  8. Packages Comparison. “Room prices that include food or beverage items such as breakfast or dinner, entertainment items such as tickets to a show, and/or free local calls, parking or other bundled items will be considered as packages. These package or inclusive prices must be compared to prices with the same type of inclusive items.”
  9. Rewards Points. Priority Club Rewards points are determined based on the price actually paid by the guest at the time of check out, assuming the price otherwise qualifies for points. Points are not awarded on free nights. The Best Price Guarantee does not apply to Priority Club Award Nights booked on an IHG website.
  10. Additional Free Night Restrictions. Once a valid claim has been made and approved by IHG for a specific date, no further claims by the same person will be accepted for the same date. If members of the same household make claims for consecutive nights at the same IHG hotel or at different IHG hotels within fifty (50) miles of each other, only the Best Price Guarantee claim for the first night will be honored. In the event of a valid claim, reservations are non-transferable after the claim is found to be valid, and the name on the reservation must remain the same as when the claim is verified and no additional names may be added to the reservation after the claim is found to be valid. Valid government issued ID is required upon check-in that matches the name found on the reservation. Employees of any IHG company or employees at any IHG hotel are not eligible for the Best Price Guarantee.
  11. Verification of Claims. All claims are subject to verification by IHG. IHG must be able to verify the lower room price and the total room cost (and, for multi-night stays, the average lower room price and the average total room cost) found on the non-IHG website at the time the claim is processed and verify that both the room price and the total room cost at the time of verification are lower than those found on IHG’s websites.
  12. Changes. IHG reserves the right to modify, restrict availability, or discontinue the Best Price Guarantee, at any time, for any or no reason, and without prior notice or liability to you. The IHG Best Price Guarantee Terms and Conditions that are in effect at the time of your booking will determine your eligibility under the Best Price Guarantee.
  13. Abuse of Best Price Guarantee. IHG reserves the right to cancel a previously awarded free night and to cancel the lower prices for the rest of the nights of a multi-night reservation if it is found that a customer has violated or circumvented the Best Price Guarantee Terms & Conditions. Resale of rooms eligible for the Best Price Guarantee is strictly prohibited. In the event IHG believes that a room eligible for the Best Price Guarantee has been resold, or the Best Price Guarantee is otherwise being intentionally abused or manipulated to circumvent its intent, we reserve the right to cancel the previously-awarded free room night and to cancel the lower prices for the rest of the nights of a multi-night reservation, and to reject future Best Price Guarantee claims from any persons who participated in such actions.
  14. Definitions. A “non-IHG website” is defined as a website not owned by IHG, that sells IHG rooms’ inventory directly to consumers, and that provides a confirmation of a completed reservation at the moment of completion of that reservation. Sites that do not reveal the hotel brand name until after the payment has been completed (including bidding sites) do not qualify for this Guarantee. A “stay” is defined as one night or consecutive nights at the same hotel location, regardless of frequency of check-in/check-out.

Published on 10/22/12

Flybe Finland Has Become Oneworld Affiliate on Finnair Routes

Oneworld made an announcement last week that starting on October 28, 2012, Flybe Finland is oneworld affiliate on routes its operates on behalf Finnair. The routes that Flybe is taking over are operated by Embraer E190 regional jets that operate to cities like Manchester, Budapest, Munich and Warsaw.

flybe-finland-oneworld-affiliate

These flights that the airline operates on behalf Finnair should conform to Finnair’s service standards, although the flight attendants wear Flybe uniform and are employed by Flybe. Both Finnair and Flybe pilots operate these flights.

finnair-operated-by-flybe

You have to be very careful to make sure that you are on a Finnair route that is just operated by Flybe Finland. You can do this by looking at the flight number. The flight numbers that are in the AY2XXX and AY3XXX series are Finnair flights operated by Flybe.

flybe-codeshared-ay

Finnair does codeshare on other flights that are operated by Flybe. These are not operated on behalf of Finnair and oneworld benefits do not apply on these flights.

flybe

Flybe operates as a discount carrier in the UK and the oneworld affiliation only applies to flights operated on behalf of Finnair.

Conclusion

This situation with Finnair’s outsourcing is becoming confusing. If the flight is Finnair one but operated by Flybe Finland, you will receive all the oneworld status related benefits and Finnair service. Flights that Finnair merely codeshares with Flybe, are not eligible for this.

The only way is to have a look at the flight number. AY flight numbers starting with 2XXX and 3XXX are Finnair flights, although could be operated by Flybe.


Priority Club One Time Bonuses for November

7 Comments

This is a monthly update of Priority Club one time promotions that are valid. These are all combinable with other promotions as long as they are not conflicting.

Priority Club always has number of ongoing promotions that you can sign up for. If you don’t, you are really not maximizing the number of points you can earn with the program. I will have an update post on the onetime bonuses on Wednesday morning.

You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here. By combining all the promotions, you can get Platinum status + 60K points in just seven stays.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States or Asia Pacific. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account.  They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 – 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up.  Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 – 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 – 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 – 3000 Bonus Points

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 – 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 – 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 – 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

You need to be a Priority Club Gold or lower member and do the required number of stays to get the Platinum status + bonus points.

We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

Conclusion

If you are not taken advantage of numerous Priority Club onetime bonuses, you are leaving lots of points on the table. You can easily get Priority Club Platinum status in just + 60K Priority Club points in just seven stays as I have outlined above.

If I have missed any onetime bonus opportunity, you can always leave a comment below or send me an email to john@loyaltylobby.com.

50% Off Award Sale at Select Club Carlson Hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 Comment

EDIT: The list of participating properties below is incorrect. Club Carlson launched this promotion with old list of participating properties. You can find the correct list of participating properties here.

The Club Carlson 50% off award sale is back. You can save 50% of the usual number of points required at the select properties in EMEA. This offer is valid for bookings made between October 29, 2012 and March 30, 2013. The offer is valid for stays from November 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

club-carlson-50redeem-2012

You can make the booking using the Club Carlson’s website, but you need to have promotional code 50REDEEM on the promotional code field to bring up the discounted rates. (Please note that this offer is bookable from 29th of October)

club-carlson-50redeem-2012-text

This offer is valid only for standard awards and doesn’t apply for Points + Cash bookings (and presumably also for Premium Room Rewards).

There are few Radisson Blu hotels that caught my eye on this list:

Radisson Blu Hotel Baku

radisson-blu-baku-50redeem

Hotels in Azerbaijan tend to be on the expensive side due to the oil boom.

Radisson Blu Hotel Addis Ababa

radisson-blu-addis-ababa-50redeem

Many of the international aid and NGO’s have their African HQ’s in Addis Ababa and the hotels then to be rather expensive there as well. I have transited through Addis Ababa twice after Ethiopian joined the Star Alliance, but haven’t yet spent a night in the city

Radisson Blu Hotels in Norway

radisson-blu-bergen-50redeem

Norway is very expensive country due to the strength of their currency. Saving 50% off the awards could make it somehow bearable.

Radisson Blu Royal Suite Hotel Jeddah

radisson-blu-royal-suite-jeddah-50redeem

I was looking at options for hotels in Jeddah the other day as I was planning on having a long transit there early next year. All the hotels are $200++.

Radisson Blu Hotel St Gallen

radisson-blu-st-gallen-50redeem

I have been to Switzerland few times but never to St Gallen. Saving on award cost might make me to go there early next year.

Conclusion

Personally, I really like using points when programs are having award sales. You always need to consider the price of the hotel and how many points you would earn if it would be a paid stay.

Here’s a list of participating hotels:

AUSTRIA 

Park Inn by Radisson Linz Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

AZERBAIJAN 

Park Inn by Radisson Azerbaijan, Baku Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Baku Normally 50K – during the sale 25K per night

BELGIUM 

Park Inn by Radisson Antwerp Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Leuven Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Park Lane Hotel Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

ETHIOPIA

Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

FRANCE 

Park Inn by Radisson Lyon Ouest Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

GERMANY 

Park Inn by Radisson Stuttgart Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Radisson Blu Gewandhaus Hotel, Dresden Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Park Hotel & Conference Centre, Dresden Radebeul Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

HUNGARY 

Radisson Blu Beke Hotel, Budapest Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

IRELAND 

Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

LITHUANIA 

Park Inn by Radisson Kaunas Normally 9K – during the sale 4.5K per night

NETHERLANDS 

Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Park Plaza Eindhoven Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Park Plaza Utrecht Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

NORWAY 

Radisson Blu Hotel Norge, Bergen Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Hotel, Alesund Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen Normally 50K – during the sale 25K per night

POLAND 

Radisson Blu Hotel, Gdansk Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Radisson Blu Sobieski Hotel, Warsaw Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Park Inn by Radisson Astrakhan Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Donetsk Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Rosa Khutor Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Park Inn by Radisson, Kazan Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

Park Inn by Radisson, Pulkovskaya St Petersburg Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

SAUDI ARABIA 

Radisson Blu Royal Suite Hotel, Jeddah Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

SPAIN 

Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria Normally 50K – during the sale 25K per night

SWEDEN 

Radisson Blu Hotel, Malmo Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

Radisson Blu Royal Park Hotel, Stockholm Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

SWITZERLAND 

Park Inn by Radisson Lully Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Radisson Blu Hotel, St. Gallen Normally 50K – during the sale 25K per night

UKRAINE 

Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Radisson Resort & Spa, Alushta Normally 44K – during the sale 22K per night

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 

Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi Yas Island Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

UNITED KINGDOM 

Park Inn by Radisson Aberdeen Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Bedford Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Doncaster Normally 15K – during the sale 7.5K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Manchester Victoria Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Park Inn By Radisson Northampton Normally 28K – during the sale 14K per night

Park Inn by Radisson Rotherham No longer Park Inn

Park Inn by Radisson Telford Normally 15K – during the sale 7.5K per night

Radisson Blu Hotel, East Midlands Airport Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Radisson Blu Hotel, Liverpool Normally 38K – during the sale 19K per night

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

This 50% off Award Night offer (“Offer”) is available to Club Carlson members only at participating Radisson Blu, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Park Plaza, and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Award Night bookings made between 29 October 2012 and 30 March 2012 for stays beginning 1 November 2012 and completed no later than 31 March 2013.  The Offer must be booked using your Club Carlson member number and promotional code 50REDEEM at clubcarlson.com or by phone with Member Services available at +44 207 949 0378. This Offer reduces the number of Gold Points normally required to be redeem for a standard Award Night by 50%, as determined by the applicable hotel redemption category. The Offer is valid for standard room Award Nights only and is subject to availability. Points + Cash bookings are not eligible for this Offer.  This Offer, and your membership in Club Carlson, is subject to all Club Carlson Program Terms and Conditions; if you are not a member, enroll at clubcarlson.com. The Offer is not valid for existing reservations. We reserve the right to add, modify, or discontinue this Offer with or without notice. Offer is void where prohibited by law. By booking the Offer, you agree and consent to these terms and conditions.

Triple Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Miles at Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Hilton HHonors also offers triple Thai Royal Orchid Plus miles at Hilton family of hotels worldwide between October 1 and December 31, 2012. You need to register for this offer and have Thai Airways as you Double Dip partner airline.

hilton-hhonors-thai-triple-miles

Please note that you cannot earn Royal Orchid Plus miles at Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites brands.

Variable or fixed miles? This entire depends of your folios point eligible folio amount. You will either earn 1 miles per 1 USD or 500 fixed miles per stay. If your eligible folio amount is more than $500, you should choose variable miles. For stays that your folio amount is less, the fixed 500 miles per stay is better.

Conclusion

If you are collection Royal Orchid Plus miles on your Hilton stays, you should sign up for this promotions to have them tripled. Pay attention to the three brands that won’t earn you any miles on Thai’s program. These three brands are not presented in Asia, however.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Offer valid for eligible stays completed between 1 October – 31 December (“Promotion Period”) at any participating hotel in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. Hilton HHonors™ members must first register at HHonors.com/ Tmroyalorchidplus prior to check-out of your stay within the Promotion Period. Registered HHonors members will only receive bonus miles for nights completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends. To be eligible for this offer, you must (1) be both a member of Hilton HHonors™ and Royal Orchid Plus; (2) select Thai Airways as your Double Dip earnings partner in your HHonors Profile, and (4) you must be a HHonors member to earn Points & Miles for hotel stays. Ensure that you select Points and Variable Miles or Points and Fixed Miles as your Double Dip™ Earning Style within your HHonors profile. A preferred airline must be selected in your HHonors profile.

Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for miles to appear in your Royal Orchid Plus account. Offer is not transferable, is not valid for groups and cannot be combined with other select offers. Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

All Royal Orchid Plus program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit Thai Airways. Certain negotiated and group rates are ineligible for participation, for a full listing of excluded rates, please click here.

Triple Asiana Miles at Hilton Family of Hotels Worldwide

1 Comment

Hilton HHonors has triple miles for Asiana Club Miles for stays between October 1 and November 30, 2012. You need to register for this offer and choose Asiana as your Douple Dip airline partner.

hilton-hhonors-triple-asiana-miles

You can choose between fixed or variable miles when you have Asiana Airlines as your Double Dip partner.

Fixed miles (500 miles at most locations) is better as long as your folio is less than $500. If you folio is more than $500, the variable miles option (1 mile per USD) is better.

If you have stays at Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites locations, where the fixed miles option is only 100 miles, the revenue threshold for variable miles is better as long as the folio is more than $100.

Conclusion

This is a nice offer for Asia Club members that use Hilton for their stays. You have until November 30th to take advantage of this offer.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Offer valid for eligible stays completed between October 1 and November 30, 2012 (“Promotion Period”) at any participating hotel in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio. Hilton HHonors™ members must first register at HHonors.com/AsianaTripleMiles prior to check-out of your stay within the Promotion Period. Registered HHonors members will only receive bonus miles for nights completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends. To be eligible for this offer, you must (1) be both a member of Hilton HHonors™ and Asiana Club; (2) select Asiana Airlines as your Double Dip earnings partner in your HHonors Profile, and (4) you must be a HHonors member to earn Points & Miles for hotel stays. Ensure that you select Points and Variable Miles or Points and Fixed Miles as your Double Dip™ Earning Style within your HHonors profile. A preferred airline must be selected in your HHonors profile.

Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for miles to appear in your Asiana Club account. Offer is not transferable, is not valid for groups and cannot be combined with other select offers. Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™ and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

All Asiana Club program rules apply. To review the rules, please visit Asiana Airlines. Certain negotiated and group rates are ineligible for participation, for a full listing of excluded rates, please click here.

BMI’s Last Flight Landed at Heathrow on Saturday

The water cannon salute greeted the BMI (British Midland International) flight BD928 that was arriving from Baku to London Heathrow to mark the ending of this airline that lasted for close to 75 years. The airline started as Air Schools Limited in 1938. You can read more about the airlines history here.

bmi-last-flight

The last few years have been very turbulent times for BMI. Lufthansa owned the airline for few years and sunk hundreds of millions euros into it and finally gave up earlier this year. The airline was sold to the International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of British Airways and Iberia.

The IAG bought the airline mainly for the slots at the London Heathrow airport.

Conclusion

It was a sad day for all of us that had had vested interest in BMI over the years. I have been the member of BMI’s Diamond Club for years and credited all my business/first class Star Alliance carriers flights to this program.

Redeeming the miles wasn’t always easy as you had to deal with BMI’s outsourced call center in somewhere India. Dealing with the BMI’s call center probably has shortened my life expectancy by couple of years.

United’s Mileage Plus Retro Claim Turnaround Time

Back in May and July, I had number of flights on Qatar’s business class. At the time of taking the flights, I wasn’t sure where I would credit the flights. I made a claim with United for these flights in September, but they only credited one of the tickets because they no longer had access to the other eticket for verifying the business class booking class.

united-retroclaim-page

It is easy to do a claim for flights taken with Star Alliance carriers. All you need is the eticket number, flights number and they might ask for your seat number as well. These all can be submitted electronically on United.com and there is no need to attach files or mail boarding passes.

The situation with non-Star Alliance carriers is bit different. The website still suggests that you would need to mail the documents to United and there are number of addresses all over the world for Mileage Plus. You can, however, do these requests online as well. You just need to use the Contact Mileage Plus web form that allows you to attach up to 3 documents.

united-airlines-retroclaim-qr

To get the other ticket credited to Mileage Plus, I used ExpertFlyer to pull up historical fares for the date when the ticket was issued and found the fare and the business class booking class. The base fare matched what was on Expedia’s eticket receipt.

So, on Saturday morning (in Kuala Lumpur) I attached the PDF of boarding passes, the Expedia eticket receipt and the screenshot of historical fares of the ticketing date and submitted it to Mileage Plus.

united-retro-credit-response

To my surprise, I received a reply from United 15 hours later that they had processed the claim and the miles should show up on my account within 3 to 5 days.

Conclusion

Sometimes, I don’t credit the flights at a time of taking them to any frequent flier program. This allows me to later decide the program where it makes sense for me to credit them.

When you are flying in on paid business or first class, there are hardly any status related benefits that a frequent flier plan would provide. To get certain benefits i.e. first class check in and lounge access when flying in on business class on oneworld, you can always show your card and request that they don’t record the number.

I still have three business class LAN flights that I took in September that I haven’t decided if I should credit them to American Airlines or Alaska.

Is Virgin Atlantic the Next Star Alliance Member?

4 Comments

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has never been part of an alliance, although the airline is 49% owned by Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines. Now, Sir Richard had said in an interview that the airline would be joining an alliance in a matter of month according to a UK newspaper The Telegraph. You can access the article here. Year ago, Sir Richard said in a Forbes interview that the airline would be joining an alliance soon.

virgin-star-alliance

Even if the airline would decide to join an alliance, it would probably take about a year before the airline would become a full alliance member. When established carrier Qatar Airways decided to join the oneworld alliance earlier this month, it was expected that the joining process would take 12 to 18 months.

virgin-atlantic-partners

Virgin Atlantic’s arch rival British Airways is a founding member of oneworld alliance. It would then leave Star Alliance and SkyTeam as potential candidates for Virgin Atlantic. Singapore Airlines owns significant amount of the airline currently has ties with Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, and US Airways that are all Star Alliance members. The airline doesn’t have a single SkyTeam member airline currently as its frequent flyer partner.

Conclusion

Virgin Atlantic has been a non-alliance airline since its inception and Sir Richard has always been anti alliance, but apparently he has changed his mind at some point in time. Star Alliance would be a logical choice based on the current partners the airline has.

30% Hotel Points Conversion Bonus from United Mileage Plus

7 Comments

United’s Mileage Plus just announced a conversion bonus of up to 30% for hotel points transferred to miles. This offer is valid between October 26 and November 30, 2012, and requires registration.

united-airlines-mileage-plus-hotel-conversion-bonus

The bonus is dependent on number of miles transferred in and is capped at 50K miles that will yield 15K bonus miles.

united-airlines-mileage-plus-hotel-conversion-bonus-chart

You can transfer hotel points on number of programs. United will tally the total number of points transferred in and will then calculate the bonus. The maximum number of bonus miles you can earn is capped at 15K.

Here are the hotel partners that you can use to transfer points in:

Marriott Rewards

united-marriott-rewards-transfer

Doesn’t make too much sense to convert Marriott points to United Miles. You are better off by going the Marriott Travel Package route. For 270K Marriott Rewards points you would not only get 120K United Miles but also 7 days at category 1 to 5 Marriott property.

Hilton HHonors

united-hilton-transfer

You would only get 1 per 10 Hilton HHonors points. You would need to transfer 500000 Hilton Points that would be enough for two weeks at the Hilton Bora Bora to get 65K United miles after the bonus.

Priority Club

united-priority-club-transfer

It is relatively easy to earn Priority Club points. 250K Priority Club points would transfer to 65K United Miles after the bonus that is fair.

Club Carlson

united-club-carlson-transfer

You can get 18K United miles for every 100K Club Carlson. This is a fair transfer again. For 300K Club Carlson you would get 54K United that would be 69K United after the bonus

Hyatt Gold Passport

united-hyatt-transfer

50K Hyatt would be 25K United. You would need to transfer 100K Hyatt to get 65K United after the transfer bonus. 100K Hyatt is about five days at top tier Hyatt property. (Please note that I have corrected this after the first publications)

Starwood Preferred Guest

united-spg-transfer

Most of the other airlines would give you 25K miles for every 20K transferred, but United is 2 Starpoints per 1 miles. Transferring Starpoints to United miles make no sense at all.

Choice Privileges

united-choice-transfer

This is the only program that I don’t have an opinion of whether it makes sense or not to transfer to United.

Wyndham Rewards

united-wyndham-transfer

Earlier in the year, I transferred all my Wyndham points to AA. 128K Wyndham points would convert to 66200 United miles after 15K bonus that is ok.

Conclusion

The best time to convert hotel points to miles is when the airlines are offering transfer bonuses. But even then you should always figure out if it makes sense. I have tried to lay out above what makes sense and what doesn’t.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

MileagePlus Hotel Points-to-Miles Promotion Official Rules

  1. Eligibility: Offer valid only for MileagePlus® members residing in the United States.
  2. Registration: To qualify for this offer, members must register for the promotion between October 26, 2012 and November 30, 2012 (“Promotional Period”).
  3. Qualifying Activity: A member must earn a combined minimum of 5,000 award miles as a result of one or more points to miles conversion transactions from any combination of MileagePlus hotel partner programs that are conducted during the Promotional Period (“Qualifying Activity”) in order to qualify for MileagePlus Hotel Points-to-Miles bonus miles.
  4. Posting of Promotional Miles:At the conclusion of the promotion, all miles earned by each member from Qualifying Activity will be combined, and bonus miles will be credited into the member’s account on or before January 31, 2013, according to the following schedule:1,000 bonus miles will be deposited when Award Miles earned from cumulative Qualifying Activity is between 5,000 and 9,999;or 2,500 bonus miles will be deposited when Award Miles earned from cumulative Qualifying Activity is between 10,000 and 19,999;

    or 5,000 bonus miles will be deposited when Award Miles earned from cumulative Qualifying Activity is between 20,000 and 49,999;

    or 15,000 bonus miles will be deposited when Award Miles earned from cumulative Qualifying Activity is 50,000 or greater.

    No bonus miles will be awarded if total Award Miles earned by such member from hotel points converted during the Promotional Period is less than 5,000. The maximum bonus miles that can be earned by a member under this promotion is 15,000. MileagePlus will not be responsible for technical problems with partner miles postings, or failures or delays in miles postings by hotel partners, that would render any points to miles converted as ineligible under this promotion.

  5. General: This offer is not combinable with other MileagePlus offers. Offer subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply. Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program. Please allow 6-8 weeks for miles to post to your account. United may change the MileagePlus program including, but not limited to, rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the MileagePlus program at any time and without notice. Bonus award miles, award miles and any other miles earned through non-flight activity do not count or qualify for Premier® status unless expressly stated otherwise. United and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the member. The accumulation of mileage or Premier status does not entitle members to any vested rights with respect to the program. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, go to www.united.com.

Up To 3000 Bonus Avios (British Airways) for a Hilton Family Hotel Stay

15 Comments

You can earn onetime bonus Avios of up to 3000 points by registering for this offer by November 30, 2012, and staying at Hilton family hotel by December 31, 2013.

hilton-hhonors-avios-promo

The number of bonus Avios that you earn is dependent of the British Airways Executive Club status that you have at the time the stay posts

1. Blue members – 1000 bonus Avios

2. Bronze members – 1500 bonus Avios

3. Silver members – 2000 bonus Avios

4. Gold members – 3000 bonus Avios

You need to have your Hilton HHonors profile set to Points & Miles and have British Airways as your double dip partner. If you folio amount is less than $500, you should choose Fixed miles. Otherwise, you should go for variable miles (1 Avios per 1 USD).

Conclusion

This is a nice onetime bonus for a Hilton family of hotels stay that you can earn.

I am a Gold member and it is a no brainer to have British Airways as a onetime double dip partner and earn 500 base points and 3000 bonus Avios.

Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:

To participate, you must register at http://www.hiltonhhonors.com/friendsintherightplaces. All members who qualify for the promotion will be automatically entered into a draw run by British Airways. Full terms & conditions of the draw can be found here: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/HILTON-COMPETITION-TC-2012/public/en_gb

Bonus Avios offer is valid for eligible stays completed after registration, at participating hotels between 19th October 2012 and 31st December 2013. Only stays booked after registration will be eligible for bonus Avios.

HHonors members choosing Fixed miles award will earn 500 base Avios per stay and the appropriate bonus Avios based on their Executive Tier status at the time of the first stay. HHonors members choosing Variable miles award will earn one Avios per USD spent and the appropriate bonus Avios based on their Executive Tier status at the time of the first stay. Blue members will receive 1,000 Bonus Avios, Bronze members 1,500 Bonus Avios, Silver members 2,000 Bonus Avios and Gold members will receive 3,000 Bonus Avios.

Customers must be an HHonors member to earn bonus Avios. Hilton HHonors members must have their earning preference set to ‘Points & Miles’ and must have ‘British Airways’ as the preferred airline partner.

Avios accrued and awards issued are subject to British Airways Executive Club Terms and Conditions. Members must allow 4-6 weeks for the Bonus Avios to reach their accounts.

Hilton HHonors membership, earning of Points & Miles, and redemption of points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

Delta Stops Checking Through Bags on Separate Tickets

5 Comments

Delta and most of the other US network carriers have checked in bags to the final destinations even when the passengers have had separate tickets. This practice is coming to an end on Delta starting on January 15, 2013. Delta has issued the following statement, although it is not publicly available on Delta.com.

Effective for travel on or after January 15, 2013, Delta Air Lines policy will be to check a passenger’s baggage between the origin and destination points that are indicated on a single or conjuncted ticket exclusively. If a second ticket is presented for travel on another airline beyond the destination of the first ticket, the passenger will be advised that Delta will only check the bag to the destination on the first ticket(s). The passenger must collect the baggage at baggage claim for their first ticketed destination, and then re-check their baggage with the down-line carrier for the next flight.

Previously, in cases where a passenger presented more than one ticket to a Delta airport agent at the origination point, Delta would offer to check the baggage from the origin on one Delta ticket to the final destination on the second ticket, collecting both Delta’s and the other airline’s fees. This was done on a courtesy basis but has never been part of an official policy.

The policy update does not apply to interline itineraries, wherein the passenger has an entire journey on one ticket. In these situations, Delta will continue to check baggage through to the ticketed destination as normal policy.

This clarification of policy helps Delta ensure that checked baggage service is consistent for all customers.

Below are examples of a single-ticket and multi-ticket scenarios.

Single ticket example:
Ticket 1 – ATL-LAX on a Delta flight connecting to another airline operating LAX-NRT.
Delta Policy: Delta will check the baggage from ATL to LAX to NRT.

Multi ticket example:
Ticket 1 – ATL-LAX on a Delta flight
Ticket 2 – LAX-NRT on a different airline
Delta Policy: Delta will check the baggage for the ATL to LAX flight only. Upon the flight’s arrival at LAX, the passenger must collect the baggage at the Delta baggage claim and then proceed to check it with the down-line carrier for the next flight LAX to NRT.

There are often discounted air fares that do not allow end-to-end ticketing i.e. using Delta filed fare to Los Angeles and Cathay Pacific filed fare from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Until January 15, 2012, Delta can (or could) check your baggage through to Hong Kong. After January 15, you need to collect your bag(s) in Los Angeles and recheck with Cathay Pacific.

Conclusion

There is no need for Delta to do this. Sometimes having separate tickets is the only sensible solutions. Passengers must reserve lot of extra time for picking up bags, considering how long it usually takes for US carriers to deliver them, and then rechecking them with other carriers.

There are airlines that dot not through check bags with other carriers if on separate tickets unless they are on the same alliance. Delta won’t even do this.

The reason behind this customer unfriendly move has to be the goal of collecting more checked bag fees. There really isn’t any other reason behind this dumb move.

Tropicana in Las Vegas to Become Hilton Hotel in December Under the DoubleTree Brand

1 Comment

Hilton has had few hotels on the strip over the years. The Flamingo Hilton, now just known as Flamingo, and Las Vegas Hilton, now known as Las Vegas Hotel, both belonged to the Hilton chain. There are few Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare properties in Las Vegas.

hilton-doubletree-tropicana-picture

Now, the Tropicana hotel just by the airport is about to join the Hilton’s DoubleTree brand on December. The hotel already comes up on searches at Hilton.com, but is not bookable yet, however.

hilton-doubletree-tropicana

The hotel has gone through a significant renovation process to bring it up back to usual Las Vegas standards. The hotel is currently 22nd based on the traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.

hilton-doubletree-tropicana-tripadvisor

Conclusion

Las Vegas has always been a tough market for hotel chains. It is good to see that Hilton is again going to have a Hilton family of property on the strip, although sometimes inconsistent DoubleTree brand.

It is interesting to see what Gold and Diamond benefits Hilton HHonors members are going to receive at this property. The Las Vegas Hilton, that dropped/lost the Hilton brand at the beginning of this year, gave very good benefits for both Gold and Diamond members. Hopefully Tropicana is going to be as generous.

Trending Posts

X
ALERT: COVID-19 status extension policies