Northwest has announced changes to elite qualification for 2005 and changes to its award charts as well. Business class flights from the U.S. to Europe are going from 80,000 to 100,000 miles roundtrip. Oddly, first class to Europe remains 100,000 miles roundtrip. Flights to Asia in business class are going from 90,000 miles to 120,000 miles. First class is going from 120,000 miles to 160,000 miles. Travel to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific (such as French Polynesia) is going from 80k/110k/140k for coach/business/first class all the way to 100k/150k/200k. The above changes are huge devaluations of the Worldperks programs from my point of view. I just redeemed an American Airlines 145,000 mile first class award to French Polynesia and Australia using Air Tahiti Nui and Qantas. The same destinations on Northwest would cost…
Amtrak introduces new elite level
I saw this the other day and didn’t get around to posting. Now NotiFlyer has beaten me to the punch! Amtrak is adding a new top tier elite level to their Guest Rewards program.Guest Rewards members who earn 10,000 points or more annually will be admitted to the new “Select Plus” level, beginning March 1, 2005. Benefits include a 50-percent bonus points on all rail travel, unlimited access to ClubAcela, Metropolitan, and First Class lounges, single-class upgrades available 48 hours in advance, and companion coach vouchers. This is a good move because the existing Select tier elite level is quite easy to reach and has been devalued slightly through limited club access as a result of having too many members.
Holiday Shopping Bonus Miles
The online shopping portals are rolling out the mileage offers. United is offering 1000 bonus miles for spending $50 and 2500 bonus miles for spending $100 at one of five select merchants, on top of the regular miles earned. The bonus can be earned three times on purchases made through December 31. Send $100 in flowers via FTD, for example, and earn 4500 miles – for a nice 45 miles per dollar spent. That’s a nice improvement over the otherwise-excellent 30 miles per dollar that’s available the rest of the year Through December 31st, Delta is offering 150 bonus miles when you spend $100 and 500 bonus miles when you spend $250 in addition to regular miles earned with selected merchants at their online mile. If you earn $150 with two or more merchants you’ll…
American Airlines Enters Calls Center Alliance With Hotels.com
American Airlines has entered into an agreement with Hotels.com to transfer customers from one call center to another. In other words, when you end your call with American the AAgent will ask whether you would like to be transferred to Hotels.com for hotel accomodations. American will even give you 150 miles for completing a Hotels.com stay. It’s strange that American is charging booking fees for making a reservation through a call center at the same time they’re using their call center as a cross-marketing profit center. My strategy will be whenever I want to make a Hotels.com booking I’ll call American, ask a silly question (But not book a ticket! Don’t want that booking fee!), and take the Hotels.com transfer for the bonus miles. The only other place offering points for Hotels.com bookings is GlobalPass.…
Another silly proposed security rule
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants passengers on planes headed to the U.S. to be on board an hour before flight time. They trot out the usual justification The United States wants to tighten passenger checks to prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11 Even though, of course, this measure wouldn’t have prevented September 11 in the first place. As if we didn’t already have to get to the airport early enough, not only would the push back that time even further but connections would have to be much longer. It would no longer be enough to have an hour between connecting flights if you actually have to be onboard the new plane an hour before takeoff.
What happens if you read this website and you have too many miles to use?
You can always give them away to charity. Miles aren’t taxed when you obtain them (except if you win a contest or buy them), and they aren’t deductible when you give them away. But you can make some needy folks much better off. Liz Morgan, general manager of customer loyalty at Delta, said that last year customers donated 88 million SkyMiles award miles to 26 charities, including Operation Hero Miles, the United Way and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In one sense, that’s a lot. On the other hand, it’s a tiny fraction of the miles earned each year. Hal Brierely, an airline-marketing consultant in Dallas, said there were awards representing more than a trillion miles sitting unused in the accounts of Americans who bank them like any other asset. Unless the miles are going to expire,…
Vacationing and Flu Shot Arbitrage
Via Travel Notes, a Jamaica Resort is offering travel packages which include flu vaccines. ”There is no shortage of flu vaccines in Jamaica and there’s no mad rush of people trying to get one,” said Zein Nakash, marketing vice president at SuperClubs, which owns the Grand Lido Negril resort and spa. … ”We should have enough (vaccines) for anyone who wants one,” she said. Which leads me to ask: how is it that ‘too many’ vaccines made it to Jamaica and not enough to the U.S.? And if the packages are in high demand, as suggested by the article, why aren’t flu shots being exported to the U.S.? Surely the flu shot package cost exceeds the the transportation cost of the vaccine. I can speculate, but I’m not enough of an expert to offer a…
America West Improves Credit Card Signup Bonus
The offer for an America West Visa Platinum has improved — 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase if you apply online.That just more or less brings the signup bonus to industry norms, and so I’d only get this card (which comes with an annual fee) if I really wanted America West miles in particular, though other cards like the Starwood American Express will still earn the points more efficiently for regular spending.
Not sure what this says about the culture
Yo, bust this: Rapper Psalm One has an upcoming album titled “The Death of Frequent Flyer.”I may think on this one for awhile.
Seattle to Rome: $107 + tax roundtrip
USAirways has a fare of $107 (a bit over $200 with tax) from Seattle to Rome with a connection in Philadelphia. Naples and Florence price the same way (with a likely connection in Munich). Lots of availability as it’s a coach ticket booked in H inventory, one of the higher coach classes. You cannot depart after March 31st, there’s a six day minimum stay, you must travel on the weekend, and you cannot travel during the Christmas holidays I’m able to get this to come up on Expedia, Orbitz, AA.com, and United.com. Sometimes I can get it on USAirways.com, but their website is glitchy. Use a multi-city search and enter Seattle-Philadelphia, Philadelphia-Rome, Rome-Philadelpha, Philadelphia-Seattle. Since this has been available since yesterday, I wouldn’t expect it to be up for much longer.