Club Carlson Gold Status for Rezidor Shareholders


The Rezidor Hotel Group that owns and operates Carlson hotel brands in Europe, Middle East, and Africa is a publicly listed company in the Stockholm stock exchange. The Carlson owns bit more than half of the shares of the Rezidor.


Edited: The requirement has changed to 200 shares

There is a nice shareholder benefit, if you own any number of Rezidor shares. You will get a complimentary Club Carlson Gold status.

As a Gold Elite member, you will get the following benefits:

  • 50% bonus Gold Points® on top of what you would normally earn
  • A guaranteed room availability with bookings up to 72 hours in advance
  • A 15% discount at our all-day dining restaurants
  • Weekend Extend offer: up to 2 weekend nights free when staying during the week
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • Welcome present in your room upon arrival

So, use your any of the online brokerages that can sell stocks listed in Stockholm and buy few Rezidor shares. Then email, who will update your Club Carlson account to Gold status.

This offer was first reported on a Swedish frequent traveler forum. You can access Rezidor’s website that explains this offer at here.

Awards Using Delta SkyMiles on Aeromexico Now Bookable on

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Delta has made Aeromexico award space bookable now on as well. Previously you needed to call Delta reservations and have them to search for the award space. Whenever possible, I try to make my travel bookings online without having to pick up the phone, although this is not always possible, if the routing is complicated.


Quite frankly, I was really surprised that was able to price the itinerary above  correctly. It includes an open jaw Sao Paulo to Santiago and a stopover in Mexico City on the way back. This all for 100K SkyMiles and about $160 in actual taxes.


Here’s how I did and you can do it too.

Sign up for Air France-KLM Flying Blue account. You can do it online and have instant access to award search tool. The Flying Blue award search engine shows a month at a time. It is easy to find the dates when there is availability.

Los Angeles to Mexico City


Availability almost every day.

Mexico City to Sao Paulo


Business class available in only four days during 30 day period.

Santiago to Mexico City


Business class widely available

Mexico City to Los Angeles


Wide open

After I chose the dates that has availability both ways, I just inputted the airport codes and dates to the multi-city form and requested the availability by schedule and chose direct flights only.


Then I just chose one of the presented flights for each of the legs.


The online was able to price this correctly at 100K SkyMiles level. First, I mistakenly chose flights that made the first transfer in Los Angeles a stopover. The engine priced the whole trip then at 160K mile level. After choosing and timing the connections to be less than 24 hours, the website was able to price it at 100K level, and I was able to put it on hold for a week.


The seat selection functions works for Alaska flights, but shows all Aeromexico flights unavailable for online seat selection. Delta might be able to request the seats over the phone, but the safest way is to call Aeromexico that can do it for sure.


The good thing about Delta’s engine is that it can show the actual tax breakdown, but is unable to show the award fare rules.


On an itinerary like this you can always drop the last segment LAX-YVR. The leg needs to be there in order for the trip to price at 100K level.

Hilton HHonors Sending Emails for a Free Shutterfly Photo Book + 1500 Bonus Points

Couple of days ago, I received an email from Hilton HHonors for a free 20 page photo book from Shutterfly and 1500 Hilton HHonors bonus points. This offer is NOT completely free as you need to pay for shipping and handling that should be around $8.


I signed up using the link and there was no place for inputting my Hilton HHonors number. They must link it from the code that they had on the offer. The Shutterfly’s user interface was very confusing, and I don’t think that I will personally take advantage of this offer. So, if you have received this email offer from Hilton, it might make sense to order the book to get the 1500 Hilton HHonors points.


Offer valid for one free 20-page 8×8 photo book with hard photo cover. Offer not valid for licensed premium photo books, leather hard cover, padded photo cover, cloth hard cover, faux lizard hard cover or soft photo cover photo books. Offer valid on one order and for one-time redemption per billing address. Any additional pages will incur a per-page fee. Storytelling™ styles and elements will incur additional fees. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Offer ends May 4, 2012 (11:59 p.m. PST). In order to qualify for the 1,500 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points, you must order the free photo book using the promo code provided by May 4, 2012 (11:59 p.m. PST). Please allow up to two weeks from promotion end date for Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points to be applied to member’s accounts. Bonus Points do not count toward elite tier qualification.

Hilton HHonors Double Your HHonors Promotion and Rate Code PR13CB


On March 19th I wrote a piece about the Hilton’s Double Your HHonors promotion that runs from April 1st, to June 30th, 2012. I linked the terms and conditions of this offer as well as the properties that had decided to opt out. Hilton didn’t include a list of rate codes that are ineligible for this offer as they usually do. You can have a look at their previous offer that clearly had all ineligible rate codes listed.


Back in October, I wrote about a PR13CB rate code that is “Corporate Benefits Employee Offer”. You can get great discounts using this rate plan, but it is usually excluded from promotions.

Last week, I had a stay at the Conrad Bangkok, where I used this offer to lower the cost significantly. I thought that this would have been now qualifying for the double miles as Hilton didn’t publish a list of excluded rate codes. I was wrong, however. The stay posted without double miles, and when I contacted Hilton, I received the following reply:

The PR13CB-Corporate Benefit rate is not an eligible rate for the Q2 promotion.

For a list of the ineligible rates please visit .

As a courtesy, I have added 1000 bonus points to your account and a special promotion to your account that will add 2500 bonus points to your account once you complete your next stay within 60 days.

Oh well. The 3500 Hilton HHonors points that I will get as a courtesy are probably worth the 1000 BMI miles that I will miss out of this one stay.

If you are planning on collecting double miles out of this offer, you may want to have a look at a piece that I wrote about maximizing the number of miles earned.

LAN and GOL Flight Discounts in South America

I have been contemplating to hop over to South America for couple of months. I have spent quite a bit of time in Brazil over numerous trips in the past 10 years, butthere are still quite a few cities that I would like to visit like Brasilia, Curitiba, Florianopolis etc.


Yesterday, I received an email regarding a good offer from Gol. They are having a sale for all of their destinations except Caracas, Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, and Punta Cana. You need to book for a return trip and the return flight is discounted to R$ 39. Gol prices return trips as two one-ways i.e. you pay the regular discounted fare for GRU-MAO (from Sao Paulo to Manaus) and then the MAO-GRU is discounted to R$ 39. You cannot find these discounted prices on websites that have point of sale outside of Brazil. Gol’s website doesn’t accept any other foreign credit cards than American Express.


This offer from Gol is only valid for bookings made by 8AM on 16th of May. Roundtrip travel is required and the minimum stay is two days.


LAN is having a bit different sale. They are offering 15% discount for travel between or within Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela that are booked on by April 27th for travel between April 14th and November 30th, 2012.


I have set my eyes on visiting Easter Islands for a long time. When I was in in the Oceania last month, I was thinking of getting a flight to Papetee and from there taking the one weekly LAN flight to IPC. Maybe I will implement this to my planned South American trip later this year.

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Offering $50 Travel MasterCard for Two Night Weekday Stays


InterContinental Hotels Group has launched a new promotion that is valid from April 16th, 2012 to August 2nd, 2012. You can claim a $50 prepaid MasterCard debit card for a two night weekday stay. The weekday for this promotion purposes are defined as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So, in essence you need to check in on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday and stay for two nights. This promotion is capped at four $50 MasterCard debit cards. This offer is somewhat similar to what IHG was running for Black Friday last year.


This promotion is only valid for residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. This offer is NOT valid for other countries. Your stays, however, can be outside of the United States.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of rebates that require mailing out filled rebate forms and folios. Getting $50 back for a two night weekday stay is a good offer, and I might be tempted to start filling out forms again.

 So, here’s what you need to do:

1. Register for the promotion

2. Book a qualifying stay at any hotel in the IHG Family of Brands between April 16, 2012, and August 2, 2012

3. Download and fill out the rebate form from

4. Mail your registration confirmation and completed rebate form along with your hotel bill showing your qualifying stay to:
Dept. 12-82807

   P.O.Box 540027

   El Paso, TX 88554-0027

5. Your $50 Travel Bonus Prepaid MasterCard will arrive within 6–8 weeks

It seems that you can do the filing of the rebate electronically that should make it more likely that the MasterCard debit card will show up one day.


Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Le Club Accorhotels Offer of 1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or Air Canada Aeroplan Miles


Earlier in the week, I wrote about offer from City & Accorhotels for instant Platinum status for the Le Club. This offer was discontinued few days later. There is another offer of 500 bonus points for playing Facebook game (doesn’t require Facebook account) and triple points until June 10th, 2012.


Now Accor also has a promotion with Delta and Air Canada for 1000 bonus miles for a stay until the end of May. The terms and conditions would indicate that this offer is valid only ONCE, but then the same terms also refer to STAYS. To be on the safe side, I would assume that this offer is only valid once.

Here are the terms of the Delta SkyMiles offer:

1. This offer is valid every day for stays with check-in between 04/01/12 and 05/31/12 at participating Accor hotels.
2. In order to benefit from this bonus, the member must have activated Delta Air Lines and SkyMiles as the preferred conversion option ahead of the stay.
3. You must provide your Le Club Accorhotels loyalty card or member number when making your reservation, and present your card at the reception desk of your hotel when you check-in for your stay.
4.The bonus will be credited in Le Club Accorhotels points and converted ino SkyMiles according to the applicable conversion rule.
5. Reservations that include several rooms covered by the same member during his or her stay are only counted as one stay.
6. This offer may not be combined with other current offers or advantages and does not apply to groups.
7. This offer is subject to availability. General sales terms and conditions apply for reserved public rates specific to each hotel.
8. General A|Club terms and conditions apply to this offer.
9. A member can only benefit once from this offer between 04/01/12 and 05/31/12.
8. All SkyMiles program rules apply. To review the rules, visit Offers void where prohibited by law. Other restrictions may apply. Offers subject to change without notice.

Here are the terms of the Air Canada Aeroplan offer:

1. Between April 1st and May 31st, 2012 new and current A|Club members can earn 1,000 Aeroplan® Miles by staying at any eligible Accor hotel.
2. General A|Club terms and conditions apply to the “Earn 1,000 Bonus Miles with Aeroplan®” offer.
3. In order to benefit from this bonus, the member must have activated Aeroplan as the preferred conversion option ahead of the stay.
4. A member can only benefit once from this offer from 4/1/12 to 5/31/12.
5. The bonus will be credited in Le Club Accorhotels points and converted into Aeroplan miles according to applicable conversion rule.
6. ®Aeroplan is a registered trademark of Aeroplan Canada Inc.

More Information About SPG: Nice Choice Promotion Coming on May 1st

Earlier in the week I wrote about the teasers that Starwood was releasing about their forthcoming SPG: Nice Choice Promotion.

At the time the only hints that the SPG gave were:



Now we have learned that:

1. There are three different promotional periods that you can choose from May/June/July or June/July/August or July/August/September.

2. You can choose from free weekend nights, elite bonus nights towards SPG status, extra Starpoints, Starpoints redemptions awards, merchandise discounts etc.

It is still unclear at this point i.e. how many nights/stays you need for a free weekend night award. In the past two summers it has been three stays for a free night.

This promotional period would also indicate that the next global promotion won’t start before October this year. Considering that the previous promo has already ended and you need to choose three months over five month period, there is going to be three month period up to October when there aren’t any promotions.

SAS Eurobonus Offering Status Matches in China & Hong Kong


This comes handy to those who are losing their Star Alliance Gold status due to BMI exiting the alliance by the end of May, or Oneworld or SkyTeam fliers that have some Star Alliance flights. Earlier in the week I wrote about Etihad’s status match offer for Gold status, and the other week about my status match experience with Alaska.


Scandinavian Airline (SAS) is offering status matches to their Eurobonus program until the end of May, 2012. The only requirement is that you need to have registered your Eurobonus account in China or Hong Kong. You can probably get around this requirement by borrowing an address from a friend living there. Then you just need to email in a copy of the statement or the frequent flyer card to


Even if you are not planning to set your foot on a SAS flight the Star Alliance Gold status comes handy. You can always use business class check in counters, have higher luggage allowance, and have access to airline lounges. You don’t have to credit the flights to SAS’s program, but mere show the card when checking in. If you are US based Star Alliance flier, this would grant you an access to all lounges when flying domestically. No need for a lounge membership.

It is somewhat unclear how long the status would be valid. At the minimum it would be until January/February 2013. This status match program is initiated probably due to SAS’s new Copenhagen – Shanghai route.

American Airlines Sues Gailen David aka The Aluminum Lady

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This is the latest twist on the apparently never-ending saga between the American Airlines and its former flight attendant Gailed David that is the person with the entertaining Aluminum Lady parody videos. Now, American Airlines has decided to sue Dailen David and people (John Does) who are feeding him information about day to day operations that apparently AA would like to keep under  the radar


Gailen David has been advocating for more civilized air travel and been giving hints and tips about air travel on his DearSkySteward website. Last month American Airlines terminated Mr. David’s employment.


Apparently the last draw for American Airlines was Gailen David’s posts about current and former American Airlines employees bumping paid first class customers on number of flights, and naming the people who did so.

Considering that American Airlines parent AMR is going through a chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizing process, it probably wouldn’t hurt for these executives to show some humility and ride occasionally on coach.

What do you think? Is it ok for former and current executives to bump paying first class customers? Leave a comment below.

Discover America Daily Getaways Announced for the 4th Week April 30th – May 4th

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The first two week of deals were out a week ago, and then the third week one was announced as well. The only deal so far to that I consider participating is the Wyndham Rewards points on the 3rd week. You can easily transfer Wyndham points to number of different airlines.


The fourth week sees the return of the same Hilton deal as on the 3rd week. Last year, I did buy couple of Hilton packages, but I was low on points and knew that I could use them wisely.

Hilton HHonors Points Wednesday May 2nd

Packages available

150000 Hilton HHonors points for $825

250000 Hilton HHonors points for $1375

100000 Hilton HHonors points for $550

I would steer away from buying Hilton HHonors points unless you are a Diamond member and/or know how to use them properly. You can “buy” a very good deal using these points, if you are able to use them at a place like Conrad Koh Samui where rates are in excess of $600 per night.

Choice Privileges Points Thursday May 3rd

Packages available:

40000 Choice Privileges points for $166

36000 Choice Privileges points for $156

32000 Choice Privileges points for $134

Note that you can buy two each of the above mentioned packages for total max of 216000 Choice points for $912 before 10% Amex discount.  You can transfer Choice points for number of airlines, but the transfer ratio is not great, unless there is a transfer promotion.

If you are close to getting a companion pass with Southwest, it might make sense to buy Choice points, and then redeem for Southwest Rapid Rewards points. The maximum number of Rapid Rewards points you can get through this Choice promo, if you manage to get two of the each above mentioned packages, is 64800. You would need 45200 points from other sources.

You can also use Choice Privileges points for Preferred Hotels Group properties. These vary from 30K to 60K per night. Can be a good deal, if you are able to redeem at a very expensive location.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points Friday May 4th

Packages available

5000 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for $280

15000 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for $720

9000 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points for $430

You can buy one of the each three packages above. Hertz points can be handy if you are looking for a one-way or specialty rental.

New Twist on the BMI Diamond Club & Lufthansa & Star Alliance & British Airways Saga


Earlier today, I posted a screenshot from Lufthansa’s Miles & More web page that indicated that BMI’s cooperation with Lufthansa would end effective April 19th, 2012. This is the case. The earlier information about the status benefits on BMI flights was wrong, however. Star Alliance status related benefits on BMI flights will be valid until May 31st, 2012.


The last day to earn and burn Diamond Club miles will end on Lufthansa affiliated airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines) on April 18th, 2012. This is also the last date to earn and redeem miles on Miles & More program on BMI operated flights.


Last week, Asiana posted an announcement on their web page about BMI’s removal of Star Alliance. According to the rough translation from Korean, the earning of redeemable and status miles on Asiana’s program on BMI operated flights would end on May 31st, 2012. That would also be the last day to redeem miles from Asiana’s program for BMI operated flights.


It has not been officially announced when the BMI will leave the Star Alliance. It is unlikely that they could announce on April 18th that the last day for redeeming miles and get status benefits on Star Alliance would be April 18th, 2012. But then, who knows exactly what is going to happen.

It is possible and I think likely, based on the announcements that Asiana  & Lufthansa have made, that the earning and burning miles on other Star Alliance carriers besides the Lufthansa group would continue until May 31st, 2012. Certainly, I would hope so.

Anyway, I am going to try getting in few redemptions before the end of the week. Those phone lines at the Diamond Club must be very busy this week.

Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, Thailand – Review of My Stay


Hotel Muse is part of Accor’s MGallery collection of unique hotels. It was opened about six months ago and is very popular party spot among Thais. Last week, I was staying at the Grand Hyatt Erewan, and was staring at the Muse Hotel from my 16th floor window. I am always very eager to try out different brands and hotels. I had not experienced Accor’s MGallery collection hotel before, but I had heard that the Hotel Muse was very boutique and some might even call it a trendy hotel.

[nggallery id=44]

When I arrived to the hotel, I was welcomed with a very familiar smell. Apparently the hotel pumps the same fragrance to public spaces as the Hotel Victor, which used to be part of Hyatt, in South Beach.


The hotel is located on the Langsuan road about 400 meters from the Chit Lom BTS station. The road is one way so it might make few turns to get there depending on the direction you are coming from. I like the location as it is close to the Central World & Siam Paragon shopping complexes. There are quite a few other hotels in the immediate neighborhood, and I have been to quite a few of them; St Regis, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Renaissance, Courtyard, Mayfair Executive apartments etc.

Cabs are not familiar with the hotel at all, but they do know the road well. It is probably worth saving the address in your smart phone or print it out on the paper both in English and in Thai.

 Check In

The lobby is very intimate and has only two desks. The overall decor is very dark, but I liked it. It gives a different vibe to the property.

Unfortunately things started to fall apart at check in. I had made my reservation couple of hours prior to my arrival, and apparently their system and Accor’s web reservation aren’t linked electronically as I could see my reservation printed out as an email sitting on the table.

They could see that I had a Le Club Accorhotels account, but they couldn’t see what my status is. I offered to log into my account online using my laptop and tethering through my cell phone. When I showed my Platinum status online, they were satisfied.

Then, I was inquiring what Platinum benefits I would get. Would I get a complimentary breakfast or wireless internet access? According to one of the front desk employees my rate was already so good that they couldn’t offer them. I really wasn’t interested in about the wireless internet access because I could tether on the 3G network using my cell phone, but would have preferred to check out their breakfast offerings.

One weird thing during the check in was that the hotel wanted to charge the room rate immediately and then hold an authorization for the incidentals. Normally hotels just block certain amount during the check in, and you settle both the room bill and incidentals when checking out.

Somehow the only non-Thai employee, who was from Mexico, was able to find me a 9th floor corner room and gave me a Platinum gift that turned out to be a nice Hotel Muse branded shirt. The room wasn’t immediately ready, and I had to wait 10 to 15 minutes in the lobby.

The check in process took maybe 20 minutes without the wait for the room to be ready. This is way too long.

Corner Room 902

As with the other part of the hotel, the decor of the corner room I had was dark. Some might say that the hotel over uses the Muse everywhere from the water bottles to the TV, but it didn’t bother me too much. I think that it rather proves that the hotel takes branding very seriously.


The room was quite spacious for a regular sized corner room. The bathroom had a window to the bedroom as most of the newer hotel so, but you can easily close the curtain when soaking in the bathtub or taking a shower. I have no idea why, but there was no air conditioning in the bathroom. You had to have the door open from the bedroom to keep the temperature at the normal level inside.


The minibar setup was one of the better ones that I have seen. The cabinet was well designed to house both the complimentary (Muse branded) coffee & tea as well as the beverages and snacks.


Overall, the room was very functional and well thought. I really liked the decor as it was definitely trendier and thought than “normal” run of the mill hotel rooms. But, at the same time, I can understand that the concept that the Muse has probably isn’t for anyone.


Fitness Center & Pool


Both the fitness center and the pool are on the 19th floor. The fitness center was on the small side, but then this is only for the hotel guests. I was little surprised that they hadn’t bought the most up to date LifeFitness line of machines. I really like the ones that have imbedded TV on the console so that I can watch CNN/BBC while running.


The pool was on the same floor as the fitness center. It was not huge, but enough to get you wet if that’s what you wish. There were some sun chairs around and inside the pool as well on the both ends.

Food & Beverage outlets

The hotel runs a very popular Speakeasy restaurant/bar on the top two floors of the hotel. The Thai restaurant that also serves the breakfast is on the 19th floor. They have another bar on the lower ground floor. Unfortunately, I was not able to check out these outlets as I had bit of a problem with my stomach from the food that I had the previous day at the Grand Hyatt.


This is a very nice designer/boutique hotel that caters to the trendier crowd. The price that I paid was in line with other hotels in the immediate area. I really liked the dark décor of the hotel, but it probably won’t work for everyone. They do, however, need to speed up the check in process and integrate the Accor’s reservation system with the in-house one. There is no place for getting reservation made at Accor’s website by email and then inputting them manually to the system that the hotel uses. Too many things that can go wrong with this manual approach.

Also, they need to make sure that they treat the Le Club Accorhotel Platinum guests better. Most of the other hotels in Bangkok give a complimentary breakfast & internet to their elite guests even when the benefit is not system wide i.e. Courtyard by Marriott. This is due to the competitive market in Bangkok. I think that the hotel should look into this. Claiming that they cannot provide certain Platinum benefits due to the low promotional rate I paid, is borderline ridiculous.

Five Priority Club Points Promotions That You Should Sign Up For


This is an updated version of the post I made last month about three Priority Club bonus points promotions. There are now two more that are combinable with other offers.

These five promotions should work for all. The Elite member next stay bonus probably requires a Gold or higher status with Priority Club, however. Remember to sign up for the other on going Priority Club bonus points offers that you can find here.

You can register for these promotions at

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102

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 earnings.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221

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.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120

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

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

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.

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