Around the Forums and Blogs for Wednesday, March 26

  • The Points Guy calls out Delta for failing to quickly fix the ‘IT issue’ that is preventing Skymiles from accessing business class award and upgrade inventory on Air France, while not doing anything to assist affected customers such as making more upgrades and awards available on their own product in the meantime. The problem has been ongoing, with little communication from Skymiles about when it might be solved, and one begins to wonder whether they aren’t exactly anxious to fix it (since that would entail higher redemption costs).

  • Deals We Like highlights an offer for 20% off at Starwood hotel restaurants for showing your SPG member card. This is on top of the miles earned for spending at those restaurants. And it doesn’t require you to be a registered guest. Not all hotels participate.

  • Online Travel Review highlights another link for the United Explorer card with larger than usual signup bonus. It apparently works for some, did not work for me, I discuss other ways to get the ‘60,000 mile offer’ (which is really a 50,000 mile offer) in this post earlier in the week.

  • Heels First Travel reminds you to always ask for the priority luggage tags.

  • Matthew Klint violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • JonNYC over at TravelingBetter.com has some interesting details on the evolution of American’s Concierge Key program — that’s the ‘super secret’ level that George Clooney had in Up in the Air. Concierge Key began mostly for corporate travel buyers and folks in their old VIP program, and gradually expanded to individual high revenue customers. This year for the first time it comes with Executive Platinum status for those who don’t otherwise earn it. Outside of granting this status, it’s primarily useful during irregular operations, though if I were LA-based I’d sure enjoy the associated Flagship check-in privileges.

  • I’m very much looking forward to the newly announced Park Hyatt in Siem Riep, Cambodia – thanks to uggboy at Milepoint.com for the heads up!

  • Flyalog has updated answers to Audience Rewards trivia good for 6-10 miles with each of Starwood, Delta, and US Airways.

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 Milepoint.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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Comments

  1. I know you were trying to be a sardonic, but I’ll be a stickler for a second — bribing a foreign official the way Klint did doesn’t violate the FCPA.

  2. @David – perhaps, I am no expert in the statute, but Matthew is certainly a covered person. and he made a payment to a foreign official for the purpose of influencing that official’s actions — arguably in violation of that person’s duties.

    I wondered whether the immigration officer constituted a ‘foreign official’, but the DOJ applies a very broad definition, to include any employee of a foreign government.

    I did not mean to say that Matthew ACTUALLY violated the statute. And posting his story to his blog hardly constitutes sufficient evidence for an investigation let alone a conviction.

    And I’m certainly not an expert in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I really WAS just being funny. But I don’t think I was being CRAZY :)

  3. At least the Hyatt is rebranding & not building new…Siem Reap has been completely exploited by large foreign hotel companies – it’s a shame…Luxury hotels are damaging to the environment there. If going, stay local if you can.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/citys-thirst-for-groundwater-threatens-ancient-temples-20101001-1610v.html

    http://www.tourismcambodia.com/news/localnews/1569/private-water-raiding-threatens-angkors-temples-built-on-sand.htm

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