Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for March 2003.

Light posting for the next week

I’m real busy at work the next couple days, and I’m not taking my laptop with me on my trip that begins Wednesday. Look for only occasional posting until 3/31. But check back — because I’ll have a whole mess ‘o goodies saved up to share by then!

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I Feel Safer Flying Than Living a Mile From the Pentagon…

I’m quoted on the state of business travel in light of the current unpleasantness in an article from today’s Financial Times. My basic take is that, for me, it’s safer to be flying than living a mile from the Pentagon… Business travelers will still make trips if there are opportunities, but the War (and concommitant uncertainty)’s effect on the economy might make those opportunities somewhat more scarce. If I did have to fly to London, I’d avoid US or UK flag carriers though. I told the reporter that I’d fly JFK to Heathrow on Singapore Air (and explained that Singapore, Kuwaiti, and Air India all fly the route). They somehow mixed up the quote, saying I’d choose Air India.

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Can you still earn United miles at restaurants?

Media has now caught onto the story about United’s frequent flyer partners bailing out. As I mentioned in a previous thread, Hilton no longer allows transfers of United miles into Hilton points. That way, they aren’t waiting for payment from United for those Hilton points. However, the story above may not have things quite right about the other partner with a changed relationship. Another loyalty program partner, Florida-based iDine Rewards Network Inc. — a national dining rewards plan — also has suspended its frequent-flier reward agreement with United, she said. iDine, which rewards frequent flyer miles for eating at restaurants, may not have actually ended the relationship entirely. They seem to have ended the option of redeeming United miles for dining credits to reduce your bill at some restaurants. Like Hilton, in this case iDine…

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Transferring Miles Out of United

Many folks are increasingly worried about their United Mileage Plus miles, as the airline publicly discusses the possibility of liquidation and as the effects of an invasion in Iraq play havoc with United’s revenue. Randy Petersen, whom I much respect, thinks that United miles are certainly safe over the coming weeks, and I’ve gotten the impression from him that he believes the Mileage Plus program will be safe (in some form) even if the airline itself goes away. His argument (though I don’t wish to speak for him, and it’s possible that I won’t do it justice) is that the loyalty program is a value creator rather than a cost. Air Canada sold off a chunk of it’s program for a nice amount of money. Randy thinks Mileage Plus is worth perhaps $3 billion, whereas…

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