Other Programs

Category Archives for Other Programs.

A Quick Jaunt to Southern India: Etihad First Class, Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi

Previous Installments: Introduction and Trip Planning Etihad Lounge, Washington Dulles I flew Etihad first class earlier this year both New York JFK – Abu Dhabi and also Abu Dhabi – Dusseldorf. In some ways this Etihad first class flight was better than either of those, though my return flight to DC would be better still. Etihad’s premium cabin award availability, certainly booking far in advance, is amazing. At times they’ve seemed to go through cycles where their entire first class cabin or at least the majority of it on both the New York and Washington DC routes has been open for awards. Most of the time there are 2 first class award seats. And from the US they partner only with American, which means the bulk of demand for the seats comes from American’s frequent…

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Virgin Increases Award Pricing

Virgin Atlantic is ‘refreshing’ its program earning and redemption. The upshot is that some awards are getting more expensive, for example Upper Class awards from the U.K. to the U.S. are currently 80,000 points and will be going up to 90,000 points (Boston/New York/Washington DC) or 100,000 points (Miami/Orlando/Vegas/Los Angeles/San Francisco). The old award chart is here.

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Earn a Roundtrip ticket on Airtran by Buying 64 Cokes at Wendys

As described in today’s MilesLink Newsletter, Airtran and Wendy’s have partnered to give away credits in the Airtran frequent flyer program when you buy drinks or combo meals at Wendys. You earn a quarter of a rewards credit for each combo, 20 or 32 ounce drink purchased at participating Wendys through December 31st. An Airtran coupon will be printed on the cup. You can only buy five drinks per transaction, so you may need to go stand in line a few times or circle ’round the drivethrough. After you have consumed your beverage, carefully cut out the Proof of Purchase/AirTran Flight Coupon along the dotted line. Fill out a 3×5 card with your complete name, street address (no P.O. Boxes) and AirTran Airways A+ Rewards account number and mail in a handwritten business size (#10)…

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Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental

I’ve been meaning to go to CityZen, the restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental DC, for awhile. I finally gave it a try Friday evening. The food was excellent, though there were some missteps. Valet parking is complimentary. The restaurant validates. They asked for my ticket when I entered, and they returned it to me as I left. The valet walked us the ten feet from the car to the hotel with an umbrella since it was misting. Service was friendly, knowledgeable, and discrete throughout… with one blaring exception. Little things, like replacing my wife’s napking when she got up to use the restroom, make a big impression. The dining room was beautifully-designed but loud, making conversations difficult. The restaurant has an open kitchen, but it isn’t silent or perfectly orchestrated like you’d see at Maestro.…

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Loyalty Makes You Hungry

I first mentioned Pizza Hut’s loyalty program a couple of years ago. With some time and members under the crust, they’ve concluded that the program increased “incremental orders by 93% from members over a matched control and raised incremental net sales 65 percent.” They found that, somewhat counterintuitively, charging a fee to their best customers actually worked best. It apparently builds commitment and buy-in to the program and brand.

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10% Discount on Midwest Airlines

Promo code DCMIDWEST will get you 10% off at Midwestairlines.com on tickets purchased through November 30, 2005 for travel through February 17, 2006. It’s a Diners Club card promo but terms and conditions don’t seem to require use of a Diners Club card (and the Midwest Airlines website probably wouldn’t even know if you were using one anyway, now that Diners Club is just a Mastercard — at most they’d be able to restrict payment to Mastercards but they probably don’t even do that). Travel from November 23 to 27 and December 22 to January 2, 2006 is blacked out from the discount.

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Southwest Guts the Rapid Rewards Program

As reported by NotiFlyer, Southwest is imposing capacity controls on its awards. Currently an award ticket is good on any seat. There are a few blackout dates, but otherwise award tickets aren’t restricted. As a bone to members, Rapid Rewards credits will expire after 24 months instead of 12. They’re also removing blackout dates, but blackout dates are meaningless once you introduce capacity controls. Now they’ll be able to allocate as many as zero or one seat on a flight. Who needs blackout dates? Southwest is headlining the change to 24 month expiration of credits, and buries the news in the middle paragraphs. Clearly an attempt to divert attention from the real bad news and soften the blow. Rapid Rewards members, you have my sympathy.

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Faster Free Nights Returns

Probably the best hotel promo around, Hyatt’s Faster Free Nights, will return from September 1 through November 30. The offer as usual is a free night after every two eligible stays paid for with a Mastercard. Registration for the promo will begin August 15.

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