News and notes from around the interweb:
- Gol Smiles is offering a 200% bonus on purchased miles through tomorrow, June 18. Here’s their award chart. They partner with Delta, Air France KLM, Etihad, Aerolineas Argentinas, Qatar, TAP Air Portugal, Alitalia and COPA. The regular purchase price of miles is R$ 0,07 apiece or ~ 2 cents. With this, miles cost less than 7/10ths of a cent apiece.
- US courts have found that American Express rules that merchants who accept their cards can’t steer consumers to lower-priced cards to violate anti-trust laws. American Express says that the opposite is true: without these rules Visa and MasterCard (which have over 1.1 billion cards in the US to Amex’s 55 million) would gain market share and get closely to monopoly. A court will hear American Express’ appeal, but refused a stay so Amex will alter merchant contracts to allow them to push other cards while still accepting Amex. (HT: Alan H.)
- 100 free miles for joining the TAP Air Portugal (Star Alliance) frequent flyer program
- Up to 20,000 Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles for an Economist subscription through September 30. AsiaMiles is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
- The $100 statement credit limited-time offer for the Citi Hilton Reserve Card is still available. You just have to walk through making a reservation to get it.
- Delta has one of the limited Tokyo Haneda slots. They were barely using it. American wanted it. DOT said use it or lose it, Delta said they would use it if they had to, but appealed saying they shouldn’t have to. The DOT’s ruling went final. Delta gave up according to tweets from aviation analyst Will Horton.
- The California Labor Commission ruled Uber drivers are employees, not independent contractors.
That will be appealed, of course, and note that California’s finding is likely to be different than the majority of jurisdictions.
California noted that Uber provides — and terminates for poor reviews — access to its app. That’s a unique perspective, since companies monitor the performance of independent contractors regularly and the primary tool a driver is using is their car and because drivers set their own hours and can make or lose money based on where they strategically place themselves to drive and which hours they work. Nonetheless an interesting development.
- Singapore Airlines first class gets new china