Bits and Pieces for the Morning of 11-4-2011

  • As expected in yesterday’s post (where I speculate on the future of Diamond Club), British Airways parent IAG has agreed to acquire bmi. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. Sadly, I expect my Diamond Club miles become Avios points and some likelihood that I become a British Airways Gold member. Here’s hoping for a Star Alliance-wide status match offering for bmi members.

  • Cranky Flier travels with Allegiant and Spirit and lives to tell the tale.

  • Conde Nast Traveler has redesigned their website, introducing a group blog on their home page called The Daily Traveler. I’m a featured contributor, and a couple of my short pieces are up so far. Look for me to contribute a “ Tip of the Week” there as well.

  • UnRoadWarrior reports that the Amtrak-Continental relationship ends December 31st (e.g. reciprocal lounge access, points transfers), though there are apparently talks between United and Amtrak to continue/renew this relationship such an outcome is far from guaranteed.

  • One Mile at a Time reports that Hyatt Gold Passport will give Diamond members a 50% bonus on their points amenity if members have to follow up to get the points. That certainly helps get the incentives right for hotels and for the program to post points automatically, and is a solid gesture for members when they have to spend time fixing a mistake. Way to go!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Churn time is very important for many of us who recently got a Continental personal or business card. Those cards are going to be automatically converted to United Explorer cards, preventing any signup bonus. The personal card is said to be ineligible for bonus if you got the CO after 7/19/11. May or may not be how it’s actually done. I’m closing both my CO personal (3/11) and biz CO (10/11) before year end to prepare for the United Explorer bonus.

  2. There is actually more/better news on the Amtrak-United front than what was posted above. According to an official posting on Flyertalk:

    “Update on the AGR partnership with Continental

    A new partnership with United Airlines is in the works! In the meantime, here’s an update on the Continental partnership:

    Points to miles and miles to points transfers between AGR and Continental will end on December 31, 2011. If you plan to transfer Continental Onepass miles to AGR points or are eligible to redeem AGR points for miles, please do so prior to the deadline.

    Select Plus members will have access to United Clubs (with their valid Select Plus member card) through February 2012. (We will continue to keep members informed as we finalize details for Club access beyond February.)

    Through March 2012, members will be eligible to earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points on Continental operated flights. And beginning in March, members will be able to earn points on United operated flights.

    This information will be added to the Amtrak Guest Rewards website on Thursday. Check the website for future updates on the partnership.

    Becky Parks
    Senior Marketing Officer, Amtrak Guest Rewards”

    Select Plus members were not previously able to access United Clubs that were former Red Carpet Clubs; so this is a nice short term boost in benefits. Plus, the ability to earn United Miles on Amtrak travel past March means the relationship is not going away completely; so hopefully transfers will be brought back at some point and reciprocal lounge access will remain.

  3. I just “dumped” a boat-load of BA miles into some CX First awards, in anticipation of the upcoming devaluations and now I might end up with more!? I just can’t seem to get rid of these Avis…errr Avios miles fast enough!

  4. Well, there is still one option to consider – Lufthansa may decide to offer mileage transfer and comp to equivalent status in M&M to all DC members who will desire such.
    It is not even known if DC assets are or will be included into the sale.

  5. bmi has a 1,000 mile sign-up bonus. Perhaps, for those of who are not members of their frequent flyer program, we should all sign up for the bmi program, so when BA takes over, we’ll end up with BA miles, soon to be Avios points. I know a lot of us ended up with BA accounts since we signed up for the 100,000 mimles bonus last year.

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