Bits ‘n Pieces for May 15, 2013

News and Notes from Around the Interweb:

  • Delta’s Lawyers Move to South America? AviancaTaca LifeMiles makes some mostly minor tweaks to their award chart. I don’t like unannounced changes. Some programs are more trustworthy than others, and the ability to make changes at will is why I don’t like keeping huge balances (sometimes unavoidable) and why I don’t generally buy miles that aren’t for immediate use.

  • Let’s Spend All The Loot Before The Cops Catch Us: The FAA awarded bonuses to a substantial portion of its workforce right before making sequester-imposed cuts, despite a directive from the Department of Transportation not to do so. (HT: Alan H.)

  • 90% of Expensive is Still Expensive: Reader S.B reminds that the British Airways Visa still offers 10% off on paid BA tickets. At one point the benefit was set to expire in December 2012, but it was extended.

  • On a scale of 1… to 5000! Last weekend I stayed at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. The views were spectacular, the staff friendly, the food not very good. My only real complaint though was that the ceilings didn’t dampen noise at all, and I could hear every footstep taken by my upstairs neighbors. Every. Foot. Step. Meanwhile, Do it for the Points was staying at the nearby Doubletree and gives it five stars. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

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. I worked at the CMCR for several years in high school and college. Agreed, tough to beat the views.

    Skip the Doubletree and next time stay at the Broadmoor. It’s rates are actually very reasonable, especially in the off-season.

  2. Wouldn’t call LifeMiles untrustworthy. Spoke with someone in the know there about the program and inflation from the selling of miles. Said the mile sales are a good business for them, but that a minority of redemptions that involved multiple segments / carriers were less so, and some adjustments would be made to compensate.

    Sounds like that is what this change reflects. They were at least upfront with me about it!

  3. @Greg, LifeMiles has yet to experienced the effect of selling miles cheaply. As it gains more and more popularity in the FF community, you’ll soon see more and more award blocking from other members of the *Alliance.

  4. Do it for the points feels the opposite
    Perhaps you should just swap the bookings next time.

    “On our trip to Colorado Springs, Chris and I decided to stay at the Doubletree and not at the conference hotel, Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Looking back, we probably should have stayed at the hotel and saved us late night car rides back to the hotel”

  5. @Cdiddy Prince Harry and entourage had taken over the Broadmoor sadly, though I am actually not all that impressed with the property from a previous visit there

  6. I will also add they said the redemption rate is very high on the sold miles – usually shortly after the purchase, and rarely more than a year in an account. Versus holding for several years for miles earned by flying.

    So what they’re responding to is rather real-time. Now if the deal keeps getting popular…well then we have another ‘adjustment’ coming in 6 months.

  7. From Greg’s comments, it seems like LifeMiles actually wants people to build a relationship with and continue to use the program long-term, rather than just use it as a quick way to get a cheap/free trip. That concept seems to horrify some people, although I don’t have a problem with it. It would’ve been nice if they had given notice, though.

    I would expect these cheap miles sales to diminish or to cease eventually, given the above.

  8. After reading this, I’m glad that I complained about my original room at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and was moved to a top floor. Sorry for all of the stomping around…

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