Why My Award Booking Partner Has Had 17 Negative Covid-19 Tests

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • What my award booking partner Steve Belkin has been doing during the pandemic. He’s had 17 negative Covid-19 tests. In March I wrote about his decision to stay abroad or come home to the States and shared his Tanzania experience in September.

  • 100 free miles: Spirit Airlines is hosting a Brett Young concert on the tarmac and inside of a plane, livestreaming it Thursday February 4, 2021 at 8 p.m. Eastern, to celebrate the launch of their new frequent flyer program. Everyone who tunes in gets 100 miles.

    Young’s performance will begin inside one of Spirit’s newest aircraft before moving outside, where an impressive light show will illuminate the plane’s livery — featuring the artist’s face and the details of an upcoming sweepstakes that will be revealed during the show. Spirit and Mastercard turned to First Tube Media to make the event as bright and memorable as the airline’s signature yellow planes, and to make sure hits like “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Mercy” really shine.

    “We know a lot of our Guests miss going to concerts,” Spirit Airlines Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Bobby Schroeter said. “Inviting Brett Young to play at the airport is our way of bringing them that experience. We’re giving everyone who attends the concert 100 Free Spirit points to show them how quickly their points add up and how easy it is to redeem them, which they can do for every fare on every flight.”

  • Deep dive into JetBlue’s current route network strategy

  • Uber is offering discounted rides to vaccine centers in the UAE. Right now people will go to lengths to get their vaccines, and incentives probably aren’t necessary. There’s more demand than supply.

    That is likely to flip soon-ish, and before enough people have been vaccinated to quell the pandemic. So we need to think about how to encourage vaccination, how to make it easy to do, and consider paying people to get it. Forget stimulus checks, any payment should be made to incentivize behavior that brings the pandemic under control.

  • Jamco, which has done seats for Singapore Suites and ANA first class, has a new anti-microbial business class seat, Venture Pristine meant to “maximise cleanliness during flight while also allowing sanitising the seat after use both easier and more effective.”

  • U.N. cautions staff to avoid flying Pakistan International Airlines and any other carrier owned by the Pakistani government.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Amusing that a frequent-flier blog (which caters to people several sigmas outside the norm with respect to frequency of travel) would that that 17 negative COVID tests is click-worthy. Many of us have employers that require weekly or even more frequent testing, so 17 might be viewed as, say, Silver Medallion?

  2. You make the mistake of assuming the vaccinations will actually bring the pandemic “under control.” That’s a dangerous assumption. It’s a possibility, but by no means a certainty. Seasonality may remain more important than vaccination for some time. We don’t know yet. The good news is that all viruses ultimately become endemic and we are likely very close to that point with Covid. And, right now — and likely due to seasonality — Covid is decreasing everywhere in the USA.

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