An Introduction to Airport Lounges and the Hotel Elite Status That Punishes You for Using Points

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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, 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. No biggy for me, Gary.

    Although I enjoy staying a many Intercontinental properties, I have never felt their lounges were all that great.

    So, I’ll pick up those IHG points at Holidays Inns and burn them at Intercontinental properties all day long!

    “Intercontinental Hotels Royal Ambassador members aren’t going to be entitled to club lounge access when using points”

  2. Ideally, IHG would honor elite status during points-bookings (and some properties do), but at a minimum, they should offer the ability to book higher-level rooms for additional points. Most Intercontinentals offer cash upsells on points-bookings, but that somewhat defeats the purpose of a points-booking.

  3. Hilarious elites don’t get bennies for IHG award stays. How chintzy could you possibly be? Welcome Top Tier Elite! Thank you for pissing away your hard-earned cash on our brand!. Please enjoy zero point zero Elite Benefits during your award stay! Oh my.

  4. What else can we expect from IHG — they don’t even offer complimentary breakfast to ANY level of elite members.

  5. And they “may” not let you use your Ambassador guaranteed upgrade benefits on OWB’s at the Intercon Bora Bora Thalasso unless you buy your hotel stay directly them and not some third party.

  6. Interesting that you can exchange both Starwood and Marriott points at par to Avios to get the 35% bonus. I think I would transfer Starwood points to Marriott points first at 1.8:1, then exchange them for BA’s Avios.

  7. The picture for JetBlue needs to be updated – JetBlue moved out of Terminal A at DCA quite a while ago.

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