Alaska Is Offering A Flash Sale On The Purchase Of Miles

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Alaska frequently offers bonuses on purchased miles, typically as high as 40%. Alaska has just announced their latest such promotion, which is more of a flash sale, and it’s different than the ones they’ve offered in the past.

Through May 3, 2017, or “while supplies last,” Alaska Mileage Plan is offering 4,000 bonus miles when you buy 10,000 miles. This offer is only available to the first 2,500 members who take advantage of the promotion. I assume that if the website shows the 4,000 bonus miles when you make the purchase, you’re good to go.

Each member can take advantage of this promotion at most five times. If you purchase 10,000 miles you’ll receive a total of 14,000 miles at a cost of $295.63 including tax, which is a cost of ~2.11 cents per mile. That’s typically as cheap of a cost as you’ll see on the purchase of Alaska miles.

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Etihad Is Discontinuing A380 Service To Melbourne

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Etihad has a total of 10 A380s on order, with nine already in their fleet, and one to be delivered soon. Up until now the A380 has flown from Abu Dhabi to London, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, and Sydney.

Last month I wrote about how Etihad announced some upcoming A380 service changes — Etihad is taking the A380 off their Mumbai route as of July 1, 2017, and will instead fly it to Paris as of that date. That seems logical enough, given that Abu Dhabi to Mumbai is a pretty short route.

Etihad has just announced even further A380 service changes. Etihad will discontinue flying the A380 between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne as of October 29, 2017. Etihad offers twice daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, and we’ll see the following changes:

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Etihad Finally Confirmed My Abu Dhabi Stopover Hotel… With A Catch

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Yesterday I wrote about the issues I was having with confirming a complimentary hotel for my upcoming trip in the Etihad Residence. Etihad offers first and business class passengers a complimentary hotel room if they have a 1-2 day stopover in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad even advertises how they offer two complimentary nights in a Khaleej Suite at the Emirates Palace for passengers in The Residence. I was looking forward to taking advantage of that for my stopover in Abu Dhabi.

However, unfortunately I couldn’t get a response from Etihad. They said that the reservation would be confirmed within 24-48 hours of when the request was made. I didn’t hear back from them within that timeframe, so sent a follow-up email, and also called the number they have listed, which just kept ringing.

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Qatar Airways’ First Plane Is Now Being Configured With Qsuites

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In March Qatar Airways revealed their new business class product, which they’re calling Qsuites. The product looks stunning, as each seat will be a fully enclosed suite with direct aisle access. The way I see it, Qatar Airways already has the world’s best business class product, and that will only be improved further with this new seat.

When the product was first announced, it was said that the first plane with Qatar Airways’ new business class product will be flying in June, likely between Doha and London. However, Qatar Airways is also notorious for not doing anything on time, so I’m not putting too much weight on the timing or the route.

Well, on the plus side, it looks like Qatar Airways is at least getting a good start with reconfiguring these planes, per jbflyboy84 on FlyerTalk.

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Now Bookable: 100 IHG Hotels For Just 5,000 Points Per Night!

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IHG Rewards Club’s PointBreaks is traditionally one of the best promotions in the hotel industry. Through this promotion, select hotels are available for just 5,000 points per night. I value IHG points at ~0.5 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of booking a hotel stay for ~$25 per night.

Also keep in mind that if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card you get a 10% refund on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points back each year. That means for the first million points you redeem each year you get a 10% discount, so you’d be paying an effective 4,500 points for each PointBreaks night.

IHG’s newest round of PointBreaks hotels is now bookable at the below links (we shared the list on Friday before it became bookable), valid for bookings and stays between April 24 and July 31, 2017. There are 100 hotels participating in this round of PointBreaks, and as of now they’re actually bookable. On the plus side, this is for travel over peak summer dates, which I imagine will interest many. Unfortunately this list is also sort of depressing, so the number of good options are very limited.

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Another Perspective On The American Airlines Strollergate Incident

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There’s another first-hand account of the events that led to the altercation between the flight attendant and the mother of twins onboard an American Airlines flight recently.

Previously, we really only had video of the aftermath of the situation which mostly consisted of a woman sobbing in the front of the cabin and a first class passenger trying to aggressively defend her. We didn’t know much about what went on to cause all of that.

Well, this version provides a good bit of detail about what went on at the back of the plane. “Eric” was a passenger seated toward the back of the plane. He shared what he observed with Gailen Lee David who posted it on his Facebook page. I think before we go any further, it’s worth pointing out that David is a former American Airlines flight attendant who was fired by the company. That may or may not influence what he posts, but it is worth noting.

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The Cheapest Rate I’ve Ever Seen On Purchased IHG Points

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IHG Rewards Club isn’t my favorite hotel loyalty program, though I do think the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is the most widely useful hotel credit card, given that it offers an annual free night certificate without category caps, and has among the lowest annual fees of any hotel card.

IHG frequently sells points with a 100% bonus, which is essentially an opportunity to pick them up for as little as 0.575 cents each. Even during Daily Getaways promotions the deals don’t get any better. Daily Getaways offered a promotion on the purchase of IHG points last week, and the lowest cost was ~0.6 cents per point.

However, at the moment it looks like there’s an even cheaper opportunity to pick up IHG points, for just 0.5 cents each. As I’ve written about in the past, one indirect way to buy IHG points is to make a Points + Cash booking and then refund it.

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6 Reasons Etihad’s A380 First Class Isn’t The World’s Best

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I consider Gary Leff to be a good friend, and a vast majority of the time agree with what he has to say. However, when it comes to onboard product offerings, there’s one claim he frequently makes that I have to disagree with, and I figured that would be a fun topic to address in a post. View from the Wing constantly makes the claim that the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment is the world’s best first class product.

Last April he wrote a post sharing what he considers to be the top three first class products in the world. When talking about Etihad he notes the following, which seems to be the basis of him ranking them above Emirates and Singapore:

“The scarcest resource on a plane is square footage. Every inch counts. The greatest luxury, therefore, is space and privacy. And Etihad offers that in a way that no other carrier can come close”

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Alitalia Is Adding Flights Between Rome & The Maldives

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The Maldives can be a tricky place to get to using miles & points, so it’s great to see that there’s soon going to be yet another option for getting there.

Alitalia will be launching 3x weekly flights between Rome and Male as of October 31, 2017. The flight will be operated by an A330, with the following schedule:

AZ776 Rome to Male departing 9:45PM arriving 11:05AM (+1 day) [Tue, Fri, Sat]
AZ777 Male to Rome departing 1:10PM arriving 7:30PM [Wed, Sat, Sun]

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The Roughest 747 Landing I’ve Ever Seen

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I love aviation every bit as much as miles & points, and over the years have seen some crazy crosswind landing videos. However, recently some videos have been uploaded of a Silkway 747 cargo aircraft landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The plane has what must be one of the roughest landings I’ve ever seen, and on top of that, bounces up and then touches down again.

Check out this crazy video:

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell just how rough an impact is, so check out how the flaps on the left wing shake violently when the plane touches down. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, at least to that degree. It really is a testament to how well built planes are.

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Qatar Airways Is Adding Flights To San Francisco In 2018

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During a press conference today, Qatar Airways announced their intentions to launch flights between Doha and San Francisco as of 2018, using the Boeing 777-300ER. As of now, no exact launch date or frequency information has been provided, as I suspect they haven’t exactly ironed out those details yet.

This announcement comes just days after Emirates announced that they’re cutting 15x weekly flights between Dubai and the US, following the travel ban and electronics ban that the US recently implemented.

Qatar Airways is known for announcing new routes and then delaying them. For example, Qatar Airways announced that they planned to launch daily 777-300ER flights between Doha and Las Vegas as of January 2017, and then later announced their intentions to instead launch the route 4x weekly using a 777-200LR as of January 2018. Today they also announced that the Doha to Las Vegas route will be delayed again, until June 2018.

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That Was Quick — Approved For The BA Visa Card!

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A few days ago I applied for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card. At the moment the card has a nice limited time sign-up bonus offering additional Avios for reaching certain spending threshold — at most you can earn 100,000 bonus Avios after spending $20,000 within a year. Even if you don’t want to spend all the way to that threshold, there’s still a ton of value to be had — you can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending just $3,000 within three months.

Keep in mind that this is one of the few remaining Chase cards that isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, so you’re eligible for this card even if you’ve opened more than five accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, you’re eligible for the card as long as you don’t have the card right now, and haven’t earned the new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.

I had this card years ago back when it was first introduced, though decided to pick it up again, especially as I might find it worthwhile to try and earn the travel together certificate.

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Review: United Club San Francisco Airport

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After a quick, uneventful flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, I arrived at around 8AM, plenty early for my 1PM flight to Hong Kong. My flight arrived at Terminal 3, while my connection was departing from International Terminal G. Fortunately these are connected airside, so I made the roughly 10 minute walk. Enroute I passed the Amex Centurion Lounge, which is definitely the best lounge I had access to, though I wanted to review the United Club.

The views from the terminal connector were awesome.

At the end of the connector was an escalator leading up to the terminal.

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The Park Hyatt St. Kitts Opening Is Delayed… Again

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One of the most anticipated Hyatt hotel openings at the moment is the Park Hyatt St. Kitts. Hyatt doesn’t have many good luxury resorts in the Caribbean, so this will be a very nice addition to their portfolio. The renderings of the property look gorgeous, and I’m sure many will want to redeem their points here.

The Park Hyatt St. Kitts will be a Category 7 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a redemption will cost:

— 30,000 World of Hyatt points for a free night (no blackout dates, as long as a standard room is available)
— 15,000 World of Hyatt points plus $300 using Points + Cash
— 48,000 World of Hyatt points for a free night in a suite (minimum of three night stay required

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