American Is Offering Bonus Miles For Travel To Asia

American-787-Business-Class - 5

American has just announced a promotion offering bonus miles for travel to Asia. It’s better than nothing, but also certainly not lucrative enough to switch any business to American.

Through this promotion you can earn up to 30,000 bonus miles after two roundtrip flights, depending on your fare class. Here are the basic details:

— Registration is required between August 31 and December 10, 2016, using promotion code ASF16
— Valid for flights taken between September 15 and December 10, 2016
— Valid for travel to all destinations in Asia on either American or Japan Airlines, though they specifically include the Dallas to Hong Kong flight (which is bizarre)

The bonus miles you earn is dependent on the type of fare you book, as follows:

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Should You Book Airline Tickets Through An Online Travel Agency?

Ukraine-Airlines-Website

I don’t just redeem a lot of miles, but also book a lot of paid tickets. Lately I’ve been trying to review some unique airlines, and I’ve found myself asking whether to book through the airline’s website directly, or through an online travel agency. It’s a question I also often get asked by readers, so I figured I’d address it here.

First of all, OTAs (online travel agency) refer to sites like Orbitz, Expedia, etc. It’s worth noting that you earn miles just as you usually would for booking airline tickets through OTAs. This is in stark contrast to hotels, as you don’t typically earn hotel points when booking through an online travel agency.

Why is that? Because OTAs take big commissions on hotel stays, while nowadays their margins on airline tickets are minimal, which is why you’ll notice that they’re typically also trying to upsell you on a vacation package, hotel, car rental etc. However, many OTAs now have their own loyalty programs for hotel stays, which some consumers may even prefer to those offered by hotel chains.

The one benefit of booking through an OTA that I really appreciate is that they always allow you to get a refund within 24 hours.

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Uber Plus Offers Flat-Rate Uber Pricing For A Fee

Uber-Seattle

Uber is frequently tweaking around their pricing in test markets as a way of figuring out what does and doesn’t work, and it looks like they’re rolling out an interesting new offering in select markets.

It’s called Uber Plus, and allows you to essentially purchase fixed price rides in select markets for a monthly fee. Eligible cities for the month of September include Boston, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.

Let me explain, in the form of an example. Let’s look at Uber Plus in Seattle.

For the month of September you can pay $49, and then you’ll receive flat-rate uberPOOL rides for $3, or flat rate uberX rides for $8.

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Hyatt’s Newest Promotion: More Points More Play

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Hyatt has just announced the details of their next promotion, which will be called More Points More Play. Registration for the promotion will become available starting September 1 (tomorrow), and it will be valid for stays through November 30, 2016. Through this promotion you can earn up to 75,000 bonus Gold Passport points after 25 eligible nights, as follows:

Stay: Earn: Total Points Earned:
5 Nights +5,000 Points =5,000
10 Nights +10,000 Points =15,000
15 Nights +15,000 Points =30,000
20 Nights +20,000 Points =50,000
25 Nights +25,000 Points =75,000

I’ll post again once the registration link is live tomorrow. I suspect they were in a rush to get the details out, given that Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and SPG, have all announced the details of their fourth quarter promotions.

This promotion might look familiar, because it’s identical to the promotion Hyatt ran between April 1 and June 30 of this year. All they did is modify the name of the promotion slightly, from “Stay More Play More” to “More Points More Play.”

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Earn Uber Credit For Everyday Purchases With Uber Local Offers

Uber-Local-Offers-1

While Uber has a couple of useful long standing partnerships, including with Capital One and Starwood, they’ve also been testing out a lot of concepts in various markets. I wish they’d have a bit more follow-through on some of these concepts, as they’re usually in limited markets for a limited amount of time.

Uber still hasn’t launched an outright loyalty program, though has tested out all kinds of partnerships with other companies. Well, Uber and Visa have partnered to launch the latest such initiative, called Uber Local Offers.

As of now Uber Local Offers is available in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and may be expanded to other markets in the future. The concept is as follows:

— Uber riders can earn points for purchases at select local shops and restaurants
— The offer is only available if using the same Visa card you have on file with your Uber account
— Merchants have to opt-in to participate, so I imagine it’s a similar business concept to a mileage dining portal
— Uber riders can track their points directly through the Uber app, and 100 points (which equates to $100 of spend) gets you $10 worth of Uber credit

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KLM Is Now Serving Heineken Beer On Tap

KLM-Beer

A couple of months back, KLM announced that they’d be introducing Heineken beer straight from the tap on select KLM flights. That’s right, there’s a special Heineken trolley that flight attendants use to dispense the beer. While I’m not a beer drinker (and I know a lot of people don’t like Heineken), the concept looks awesome, and oh-so-Dutch.

While this concept was announced a couple of months ago, the first flight with beer on tap was just completed. That’s because the regulatory approval delayed the introduction of this offering. Unfortunately they only have one trolley so far, so there’s no way to predict which flight will offer beer on tap. Furthermore, this service is limited to business class passengers.

Here’s how KLM describes the offering on their blog:

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Hours Remaining For 3 Great Citi Credit Card Offers

Admirals-Club-2

I’ll make this post pretty quick, but basically there are three excellent Citi cards with offers changing in the coming hours. I’m having to pull the links to these cards this afternoon, and I suspect they’ll be pulled from other channels around the same time. I’ve written about these cards extensively, though just to recap, here are the cards to consider:

75,000 points with the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card

This excellent no annual fee credit card has an increased sign-up bonus at the moment. 75,000 points for a no annual fee card is an excellent bonus. Keep in mind that holding onto credit cards long term helps your credit score (as it raises your average age of accounts), and a no annual fee card is the ideal option for accomplishing this.

For more information, see this post.

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Air France & KLM Publish Most Extensive Promo Award List In Years

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One of the best uses of Air France/KLM FlyingBlue miles is booking their Promo Awards.

FlyingBlue publishes these every month, and they offer 20-50% off select award tickets on Air France and KLM metal.

Back in the day Promo Awards would consistently be for 50% off and would have a good number of options in business class, though unfortunately they’ve devalued the promotion somewhat since then, and the discounts are now pretty consistently for 25% off. That’s still very good, just not as good.

FlyingBlue just published their latest Promo Awards. These are valid for bookings made between September 1 and September 30, 2016 (meaning they’ll be bookable starting tomorrow), and for travel between November 1 and December 31, 2016.

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Register Now To Earn Double Points With Hilton

Hilton-Bonus

Last week Hilton HHonors revealed the details of their next promotion, which is essentially an extension of the other global promotions they’ve offered in 2016.

Hilton HHonors will continue to offer double base points for stays between September 1 and December 31, 2016. All hotels are participating, and there’s no minimum stay requirement.

The reason for this post is that registration is now open for Hilton’s Double Up promotion. Registration is required prior to check-out of your first eligible stay in order to earn bonus points for all stays. Bonus points should post withins six to eight weeks of an eligible stay.

Here are FAQs regarding the promotion, along with the full terms & conditions:

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Save 35% On Points Redemptions At Starwood Resorts

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Starwood has just announced a promotion offering 35% off free night redemptions at select resorts through February 28, 2017.

This promotion almost exactly mirrors the ones offered by Starwood in 2015, 2014, and 2013, though it’s slightly better than before.

This 35% off promotion is valid at the following properties:

To make a booking through this offer, simply call Starwood customer service — these can’t be booked online.

This promotion is stackable with fifth night free.

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Is This The Ideal Air Astana Business Class Itinerary?

Air-Astana-Business-Class

Monday I wrote about my new obsession with Air Astana. It’s an airline I didn’t know much about before Monday, though they actually seem to run a pretty cool, quirky operation. I mean, if this isn’t, um, quirky, I don’t know what is:

As I explained, when I find an airline that fascinates me I sort of drop everything I’m doing and spend a couple of hours researching. While the immediate distraction probably isn’t a good thing, I can’t get over how lucky I am that this is sorta kinda my job. In the case of Air Astana, I was intrigued by their 767 business class product, which looks really solid. They also have the newest fleet of 767s in the world.

I presented a possible itinerary I was considering on Air Astana from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul.

Half of the reason I post about trips I’m considering is so I can bounce ideas off you guys and see if you guys can improve them. And boy, you guys sure didn’t let me down.

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KLM’s Hilariously Simplistic New Ad Campaign

KLM-Its-An-Airline

KLM has just unveiled their latest ad campaign, which is hilariously simplistic. The campaign’s tagline is KLM — It’s An Airline. They’ve launched a site dedicated to the campaign at itsanairline.com.

KLM has long been a quirky airline, and this ad sums that up perfectly. Yes, KLM’s new ad campaign is all about how they’re an airline. And about how they fly passengers. And about what airports are.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the first video they released, explaining how KLM is an airline:

Once you understand that concept, you might be interested to learn about what airports are:

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Is This The Worst Lyft Passenger Ever?

Lyft-Passenger

Nowadays just about everyone has the ability to film situations on the spot thanks to smartphones, which is probably a blessing and a curse.

Well, for a recent Lyft passenger, it was probably a curse. Essentially this lady was offended by the driver’s dashboard doll, and proceeds to chew him out over it. She doesn’t just tell him it offends her, but demands that he remove the doll, and then lectures him for several minutes.

Perhaps worst of all she’s filming the situation thinking that she’s in the right, and talking about how she’s going to humiliate him and upload the video go Gawker (hah). Meanwhile the driver does an amazing job maintaining his composure.

Here’s the video:

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Surprise! Delta Increases Award Rates Without Notice

Delta-Up&Up

Ever since Delta deleted their award charts overnight they’ve taken a rather opaque approach to award pricing. In news that will surprise absolutely no one, Delta SkyMiles has implemented an unannounced price increase on business class awards awards today.

I’m pretty sure this just happened in the last hour, so updates could still be trickling through the system, but at this point it looks like the price increase is limited to business class awards to Europe.

The number of SkyMiles required for a one-way award to Europe increases from 62,500 miles one-way, to 70,000 one-way, for travel effective January 1, 2017.

Look at the price difference for Los Angeles and Moscow on Aeroflot (which Ben and I just booked earlier today!), between December 31st and January 1st:

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