Bits ‘n Pieces for November 6, 2012

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Loyalty Traveler says that online travel booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz are getting lower commissions from hotels than they used to — down from 20% – 25% from the major chains to closer to 15%. It’s these high commissions that cause the chains to restrict points and elite benefits on reservations made through these sites, in order to encourage direct booking. While non-chain hotels pay more (due to less negotiating power), apparently the commissions they’re paying are down too — though I’ve certainly seen some properties which have to cough up close to 40% of a room night to the booking sites.

  • One Mile at a Time highlights the new frequent flyer partnership between Bangkok Airways and Japan Airlines. That sounds obscure, but it’s really useful — Bangkok Airways flies many leisure routes such as Bangkok to the Maldives and Koh Samui. They’re a quality airline, often with reasonable pricing. I flew them last year and would have credited the miles to Japan Airlines had I had the chance, since JAL is a transfer partner with Starwood Preferred Guest and has reasonable rewards on airlines like Emirates.

  • Online Travel Review flags a $25 discount on roundtrip Southwest Airlines tickets to Florida, you can e-mail yourself a promo code.

  • View from the Wing (self-referential: hah!) — the free Accor Platinum status I posted about yesterday is still working as of 8:45am Eastern. They have an annoyingly glitchy website at times, but if you sign up using an email address they do not already have on file the status should be reflected instantly. But I do not expect the offer to last long (or, even, potentially for more than a few hours). (Update: Deal is dead. Likely to be back in a matter of weeks with another link..)

  • New Girl in the Air details a big US Airways bonus for Shuttle flights between New York, DC, and Boston: from November 1 through January 31, 3 Shuttle segments earns 6000 bonus points and 6 Shuttle segments (equal to 3 roundtrips) earn a total of 18,000 bonus points. Shuttle flights that are part of larger itineraries count. Registration is required. I usually don’t credit these flights to my US Airways account but will change that practice during this promotion.

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. The last time SWA ran this promo the $25 could be used on any RT flight. Might be worth a try if your flying SWA.

  2. @Gary, I think pointhound meant: you said “Shuttle segments earns 6000 bonus points and 6 Shuttle segments (equal to 3 roundtrips) earn a total of 18,000 bonus points.” when you meant ‘miles’ instead of ‘points’?

    on another note, I can’t seem to GET a promo code for the SWA deal.

  3. okay one has to wait a long… bit and then you’ll get your swa code (and only do one recipient at a time).

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