Etihad A380 First Apartment Award Space Wide Open to/from New York!

1stapt
May 04 2015

Via One Mile at a Time it appears that award space is wide open for two passengers to fly Etihad’s first ‘apartment’ onboard their A380 between New York JFK and Abu Dhabi. You can use Etihad’s own points (Citi ThankYou Rewards points transfer to Etihad if you have the Citi ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige cards) or you can you American AAdvantage miles. This is the single most aspirational award product in the sky. The upper deck of the Etihad A380 has just a single aisle. There’s a shower onboard. There’s no product with as much personal space. You can find the availability yourself on the Etihad Guest website, you are looking for ‘Guest First’ availability. Or just call. But as of now most flights most days have the space open. American, for instance, charges…

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Denver Airport Was Invaded by Storm Troopers on Star Wars Day

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May 04 2015

It was a sort of clever idea at first, “May the 4th be with you!” But brands spend a lot of money on consultants and ad firms to try to graft onto internet members. And so brands can’t stop tweeting about Star Wars Day. Denver international Airport got into the meme (though I sure hope they didn’t spend a lot of money doing it, they need all the reserves they can get to deal with continued baggage system problems). A full set of photos are available on the Denver airport’s Facebook page. Check them out. Really. Here’s a taste: I’m left with several questions. No doubt you can add your own. Denver is a United hub. Is that Jeff Smisek guiding in the plane? What does it say about TSA that Darth Vader brought to…

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Hyatt Lets You Transfer Points to/from Any Member for Free

transferform
May 04 2015

Hyatt’s 40% bonus on points purchases, stackable with a 20% rebate can certainly be a good deal — especially for elites, redeeming cash and points, at expensive hotels. Thinking about how to really make the most use of this, I started to ponder the 55,000 point per year purchase limit for Gold Passport points (which used to be just 40,000). Just like you can scale the Starwood 25% bonus on purchased points using family accounts, you can exceed Hyatt’s purchase limits using multiple accounts. And they don’t even have to belong to family members. I find that most people aren’t aware of Hyatt’s generous rules for transferring points between members. Any two members may transfer points with no fee by filling out and submitting a form to Gold Passport. That’s right – you can combine…

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Emirates Could Introduce Its New A380 First Class ‘Railcar’ This Year

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May 04 2015

When Etihad first announced their A380 Residence concept last year, Emirates didn’t want to be left in the dust and announced same day that they were doing the same thing. At the time it seemed like they simply didn’t want to let themselves be one-upped. They ‘announced’ they had similar plans but had no details or renderings. Now Skift reports that it could debut as early as this year. “In the last two or three months, it has been in the final stage,” [Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president of commercial operations] said, adding that the new cabin will be unveiled “hopefully” this year and at “almost the same pricing” as current cabins. “It should be more commercially viable for passengers.” …Emirates’ product will be “more like if you’re in a railway…

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American Express Plenti Launches, Lets You Earn Rebates at Many of the Places You Shop Anyway

plenticard
May 04 2015

The new American Express free to join coalition loyalty program Plenti has officially launched and is taking signups. I broke details on it back in mid-March. I’m looking forward to earning points (worth a penny apiece) for activities across retailers I undertake already — like earning off of my monthly AT&T bill and for buying gas. Initial direct earning partners: Examples AT&T: 1 point for dollar on monthly wireless bill (requires paperless billing) and 1 point per dollar on devices, accessories, and other products at AT&T-owned store locations. Exxon: 1 point per gallon of gas and 2 points per dollar on non-fuel purchases. Mobil: 1 point per gallon of gas and 2 points per dollar on non-fuel purchases. Rite Aid: There will be rotating product offers. Enterprise, Alamo and National: 1 point per dollar on…

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Another Club Carlson Devaluation Coming June 1

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May 04 2015

Last year Club Carlson reduced elite bonuses, moved many hotels up in reward category, and introduced a new more expensive top redemption tier. A month ago Club Carlson announced the elimination of the last night free benefit on award stays for members with their co-brand credit card. Now — effective June 1 — Club Carlson is changing categories for hundreds of hotels. Via Well Traveled Mile, 212 hotels get more expensive and 117 get less expensive. The increases are centered in Europe (where 128 – more than half the total – go up and only 27 go down). Asia Pacific gets less expensive (9 go up and 40 go down). None of this should really be surprising. The Club Carlson program was ‘overindexed’ (to use Jeff Diskin’s the awkward phrasing). You can generally expect offerings…

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Starwood’s CEO Has a Unique View on Loyalty

unitedronald
May 03 2015

Adam Aron no longer has ‘interim’ in his Chief Executive Officer title at Starwood. He launched Pan Am’s first frequent flyer program. As Hyatt’s Chief Marketing Officer he launched Gold Passport. I had the pleasure of interviewing him on stage at the Travel Executive Summit on Thursday in Atlanta. Aron was Senior Vice President of Marketing at United and I got to tell the story about his economy meals partnership with McDonalds (the associated happy meal toys available on United’s Orlando flights are still available for sale on eBay). United replaced the galley carts to keep the burger warm while the lettuce and bun stayed cool. He was CEO of Norwegian Cruise Lines, of a chain of ski resorts, and later went into private equity. He became part owner and CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers.…

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