Four Season To Launch Loyalty Program In 3rd Quarter

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Four Seasons, luxury hotel chains based on Canada, is set to launch guest loyalty program in 3rd quarter of 2013 according to Regional Vice President and General Manager of Four Seasons hotels in Thailand Rami Sayess who was interviewed by HotelierMiddleEast.com. You can access the full article here.

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According to the article the Four Seasons had been contemplating of having a guest loyalty program already for a while. Now, that the hotel has 90 properties open and another 60 on the pipeline, it has the number of properties to run such a program in a meaningful way.

Lufthansa Considering Low-Cost Long-haul Unit?

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Lufthansa has been feeling the pain of gulf carriers, although their frequencies to Germany has been curtailed. Now, according to an article on Bloomberg, the airline is considering launching a separate low-cost unit to handle Asian traffic. You can read more about this from the Bloomberg’s article here.

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Lufthansa recently farmed out all of its short-haul flying not touching Munich or Frankfurt to Germanwings unit that is not part of Star Alliance. This was done trying to cut costs of its European flying.

Any Bright Spots On Hilton’s New Award Category List?

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Today (March 27) is the last day to redeem at the current point levels before Hilton HHonors introduces a new award categories and pricing tomorrow. You can read my post about this change here.

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Loyalty programs evolve from year to year. I would compare this Hilton change to the one British Airways did couple of years ago. BA Avios used to be very good currency for international business and first class tickets on partner airlines due to flexible routing and stopover rules. This all changed and now they are best used for short haul flights in economy. That’s quite a drastic change.

Quadruple Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles At Hilton Hotels In London & Scotland

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Hilton HHonors has a new promotion for quadruple Virgin Atlantic miles between March 31 and June 30, 2013, at participating Hilton family of hotels in London and Scotland. You need to register for this promotion and access Hilton’s web page for this promotion here.

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The beauty of having Virgin Atlantic as Hilton HHonors double dip fixed mile partner is the earning rate of 1000 Flying Club miles per stay at full service properties. This is quadrupled to total of 4000 miles per stay during the promotional period.

Lowered Priority Club (IHG Rewards Club) Gold & Platinum Qualification Requirement

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Yesterday, IHG made an announcement about scrapping the Priority Club Rewards name and introducing IHG Rewards Club. I wrote an article about this change that you can access here.

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Part of the new enhanced benefits package, is the lowered qualification for both Gold and Platinum status for those that frequent 3 or more IHG brand. It was unclear, however, what the lowered requirements would be.

SPG Platinum Qualification Gift For 2013

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Starwood has historically sent a $25 voucher off of a hotel stay for those that have requalified for the SPG status. Redeeming these $25 vouchers have sometimes been an uphill battle at the property level, however.

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In 2013 SPG seems to have a different approach, as this email that I received from a LoyaltyLobby reader illustrates.

Hyatt March (2013) Edition of the 48 Hour Sale – C48MAR (2nd Week)

Hyatt is having their (twice) monthly 48 hour sale where you can save up to 30% off of best available rates (BAR). Sometimes you can save quite a bit of money and sometimes you cannot. Always remember to check the other discount rates that you are eligible for such as AAA or AARP. You can access the Hyatt’s web page for this promotion here.

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These rates are valid at select US, Canada, and Caribbean hotels for stays between March 29 and July 10, 2013. The promotional dates for individual properties may vary. You need to book this offer by 11:59PM CDT on March 27, 2013.

IHG Rewards Club + New Benefits – Priority Club Name Retired

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InterContinental Hotels Group is revamping its frequent guest program. Priority Club name is retired starting in July and replaced by IHG Rewards Club. You can read more about this announcement on IHG’s website here.

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IHG Rewards Club Gold and Platinum members are guaranteed complimentary internet starting in July and this benefit is rolled out to all members in 2014.

Emirates Instituting Fuel Surcharges On Award Tickets Issued After March 31

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Emirates just sent out a very innocent sounding email to Skywards members with a “Programme updates” subject. Usually when you receive such an update or “enhancement” email from loyalty program, there is nothing for you to benefit.

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I already wrote an article back February, when I noticed that Emirates had instituted fuel surcharges on itineraries originating from Australia and New Zealand without giving any prior notice. Also, the amount of fuel surcharges were hidden on “taxes” and there wasn’t any way to get a proper breakdown. You can access the article here and “Why airlines love fuel surcharges” article here.

Global Hotel Alliance March Flash Sale Of Up To 50% Off

GHA just sent out an email about their March three day flash sale that is likely to end on Wednesday. You can get discounts between 20% to 50% at participating properties. The promotion code of this offer is GHAFLASH0313 and you can access the website here.

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Last time there was a pricing mistake at participating property in Maldives that doesn’t seem to be on the list this time around. Maybe they received enough bookings?

Priority Club Point Breaks List Is Out – Valid Until June 30, 2013

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Priority Club just released their latest list of Point Breaks hotels that you can book for only 5000 points per night.  These hotels are available for booking until June  30, 2013, but popular hotels will drop off from the list fast.

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You can access the list of Point Breaks hotels that you can find also below by going here.

Turkish Airlines Smiling Doctors Members Get 5000 Bonus Miles After First Flight

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Turkish Airlines has just launched a Smiling Doctors program that is part of Miles&Smiles. Qualified Smiling Doctors members can earn one time bonus of 5000 miles after their first flight. You can read more about this program here.

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You need to be a Miles&Smiles member and also join the Smiling Doctors program. Uploading of a diploma through Turkish’s website is required. They may call on you if there is a medical emergency during a flight.

SAS Going All Economy On Short Haul

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SAS, the troubled Scandinavian airline, is going to scrap the business class from all of its intra-European flights starting on June 9 this year. You can read more about this change in Danish here.

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SAS is going to introduce Economy Plus service that is identical to current Economy Extra service on SAS. You really want to avoid deeply discount economy on SAS as it comes with ZERO on-board services besides water or coffee/tea.

Last Call For Hilton Awards At Old Rates (Use Them Now Or Regret Rest Of Your Life)

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Hilton HHonors drop a bomb last month by introducing new hotel award categories. You have until 12:01 CMT on March 28 to book under the current award categories & rates.

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If you have accustomed to use your Hilton points for aspirational awards such as Conrad Maldives, you are really getting “screwed” by this change. There is really no polite way of saying this. The number of points required for awards often doubles.

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