A roundup of the most important stories of the day. I keep you up to date on the most interesting writings I find on other sites – the latest news and tips.
Earlier in the month when American Airlines promoted that they had added live TV to over 100 planes I pointed out that they still hadn’t added free inflight texting the way they had promised one year ago and which Delta and Alaska already offer.
American had announced free texting right after Delta made their announcement. But American didn’t follow through. They aren’t saying never, but will no longer even say it’s coming.
Here are the results from a survey of Berlusconi Market, Dream Market, and Olympus Market. Where they present more than one data point I average them for this chart. It’s important to note that these are asking prices. The people selling miles may or may not have a good idea of what they’re worth, and in some cases may be looking for a sucker (buying 500 Expedia points?).
Hyatt used to be super generous with elite status matches. If you had a pulse they’d give you 90 days of Diamond status including confirmed suite upgrades, and an expedited path to keep that status.
No doubt they brought over a lot of great members with the offer, but they also picked up plenty of people who just wanted to have that one special trip (honeymoon, anniversary) but transferring in Chase points, booking a cash and points redemption, and applying a suite upgrade to it. Probably at the Andaz Maui or Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris.
The strongest value proposition for Delta cards is first the initial bonus and second, for those who fly Delta but not enough to earn elite status, there are key benefits of status which come with the cards.
If there’s one or more of these cards you haven’t had before, now is the best time to apply.
American has announced four changes to its AAdvantage program. All are fairly minor and fall into the ‘good to know’ category that can make award booking easier, cancelling a little more cumbersome, and one redemption more expensive.
HG Rewards Club – the loyalty program for Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and related brands — is offering a bonus up to 100% on purchased points through September 20. This applies to purchases of 5000 or more points.
What’s even better is that IHG recently dropped the regular price of points to a penny apiece, so with a 100% bonus you’re buying points for $0.005 each. They’ve also increased the number of points you can buy in a year to 100,000.
Airlines have an easier time delivering consistent benefits than hotel chains do. Occasionally gate agents do not do their jobs correctly but for the most part airlines are able to follow their own rules for delivering elite benefits.
Hotel chains rarely own the hotels themselves any longer. And in some cases they do not even manage the hotels.
Over the summer American Airlines began offering complimentary (and unlimited) drinks in their Main Cabin Extra seating, coach seats with more legroom. They consider exit rows to be Main Cabin Extra, in contrast to Delta which calls their ‘Comfort+’ seats the section at the front of the economy cabin.
Back in June I wrote about flight attendant concerns with offering unlimited alcohol to Main Cabin Extra passengers.
China is the next big thing. That was true 15 years ago, and may still be true 15 years from now (without ever actually becoming).
American carriers used to operate two-thirds of the flights between the U.S. and China, and now that’s flipped. And to hear Dr. Zhihang Chi, Vice President and General Manager of Air China North America, tell it “the US carriers are losing interest in the China market.”