Have You Won $200 And National Emerald Elite Status?

National-Emerald-Club

Last week National Car Rental sponsored a giveaway for readers of One Mile At A Time as part of their One Two Free

FIVE winners were randomly selected, and will each receive a year of Emerald Club Executive status, along with a $200 American Express gift card.

The winners were selected by random.org, and are as follows:

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Lack Of American Saver Award Availability Is A Glitch

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A couple of days ago I wrote about how American seemingly stopped releasing all saver level award space for travel starting in December. While there’s no denying there has been a trend the past several years whereby American is releasing less and less saver level award space, I was convinced this was a glitch. I don’t know of any airline that has ever stopped releasing all saver level award space across the board, and I wouldn’t expect American to be the first.

And I was correct. American has confirmed that this was a glitch as a result of a huge schedule change which was loaded over the weekend, which was related to the rebanking of flights at their Chicago and Dallas hubs. Apparently award availability should be fully functional again by late Wednesday.

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What To Do On A Longhaul Flight?

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Reader Jeff emailed me yesterday to say that he’s taking his first longhaul flight in first class soon (flying Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to New York, for what it’s worth), and wanted to know what my “routine” is for longhaul flights — when do I change into pajamas, eat, watch movies, etc.

Now, what I’d recommend doing and what I actually do are two very different things.

What I should be recommending is to:

— Drink lots of water
— Don’t overeat or drink a lot of alcohol or carbonated beverages
— As soon as you board the plane (or ideally even before that) adjust your time to what it would be at the destination, and sleep accordingly

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How To Book Awards From Multiple Accounts

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Ideally we’d all have enough miles to get everywhere we wanted to go, but that isn’t always the case, particularly for couples and families. So I thought it might be helpful to go through some examples of how to book awards from multiple accounts, or when you have miles in different programs.

I’ll try not to get as deep in the weeds this time, but anyone who has tried booking awards for multiple people from multiple accounts will understand that this stuff is innately complicated.

As an example, let’s say we have a couple in New York who wants to go skiing in Verbier for the Valentines/President’s Day weekend. Just because they can, I suppose.

We’re going to call them Chris and Sam.

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Should You Credit American Flights To Alaska?

American-737-Economy-Class

Reader Keith asked the following question on a post I wrote last month about Alaska status matching to MVP Gold 75K:

“Hi Lucky,

Based on what AA recently did with it’s lack of milesAAver award space on international travel, Glitch or no Glitch, I’m thinking of crediting all my EXP miles earned in 2015 to my MVP Gold75K acct. Having taken advantage of this status match. I’m confused by the bonus mileage earning on the AS website. Will I earn 100% bonus MVP Gold75K miles no matter what class of service I travel on AA metal? I’m solely interested in the award redemption ability. There seems to be better international award availability redeeming with AS partners then with AA and it’s partners on the AA site. Do you think this is a wise strategy? If not, why?”

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Is Hyatt’s App Showing Award Reimbursement Rates?

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I’ve written in the past about the fascinating but complex world of hotel award reimbursement rates. For the most part hotels are owned by investment companies, and have management contracts with the major hotel chains. Basically the global hotel chains get a cut of revenue in exchange for running the hotel and slapping their name on it.

That being said, it gets a bit tricky with award nights. The major hotel chains don’t have blackout dates on award nights, so as long as a standard room is available you can redeem points for it. But how do you balance the interests of the individual hotels with the interests of the overall hotel chain and loyalty program? Here’s how I explained it in the past:

During the recession most hotel loyalty programs introduced “no blackout dates” as a selling point of their programs, and that worked great at the time since hotel occupancy was extremely low, and the marginal cost of filling an extra room was very low.

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How To Be A Douche: Arrest Uber Drivers

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As much as I’m a fan of Uber, there’s no denying that at times the methods they use to enter new markets are questionable at best. To some degree I don’t really think they can be blamed. The taxi mafias are corrupt as could be, and clearly there are some shady dealings between them and the relevant regulatory authorities.

So by using questionable methods to enter markets and then being shut down, Uber is at least starting the conversation and forcing themselves to be heard in court.

Regardless of how you feel about Uber, though, I think this guy deserves an award for being the world’s biggest douchewaffle, as he has performed citizen’s arrests on eight UberX drivers in Sydney:

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Censored: The Picture Dad Doesn’t Want You To See

Birthday-Cake

I don’t think there’s any denying that my dad has been a good sport on this trip, especially when it comes to pictures. I’ve shown him all the pictures I posted of him, and he (sometimes reluctantly) approved of them. ;)

However, for the first time yesterday I took a picture he didn’t approve of.

What was the picture of? The below birthday cake that the Park Hyatt Sydney gave my dad on his birthday.

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Up To 35% Off Starwood Hotels

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Starwood’s “Cyber Monday” sale is back, but with an expanded booking window, so you have a full two weeks to book at these rates. Availability is limited though, so if your plans are firm I’d certainly recommend booking sooner rather than later.

For bookings made between now and December 7, you can receive up to 35% off at selected hotels for stays through February 1, 2015, and at selected resorts for stays through April 15, 2015. That’s often a pretty fine distinction, so check the details of the specific property you’re interested in.

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British Airways Ate My Award Seats!

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As part of what I like to call my “award chronicles” over at PointsPros, I had a small mishap with a booking last week. I figure if for no other reason than entertainment, there’s a good takeaway here that can protect you from the same fate.

A family of four was planning a trip to Europe using Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Traveling from New York, the award itinerary they preferred was on British Airways.

As y’all likely know by now, BA imposes offensive fuel surcharges on award tickets. I really appreciated Ben’s post questioning why airlines aren’t lowering fuel surcharges from last week, because I’m over in the corner asking the same thing.

Yup, on a simple round-trip from New York to London in first class, you’ll be using 120,000 Avios (or 125,000 AAdvantage miles) + $1,180.40 in taxes and “carrier-imposed fees.”

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Airberlin Inflight Wifi Coming Fleetwide

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Inflight wifi is something that’s becoming increasingly important to business travelers, and it’s interesting to see the different approaches airlines take towards it. In particular, it’s interesting how differently airlines seem to perceive the elasticity of demand for the service among passengers.

On one end of the spectrum you have Emirates, which is now basically offering free wifi — the first 10MB is free, and the next 600MB is just $1. They view inflight wifi as part of their core product offering rather than a profit center, which I think is brilliant.

Then on the other end of the spectrum you have Singapore Airlines, which charges $1,200 for inflight wifi. Clearly they view it as a profit center and not a core product offering. ;)

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Winter IHG PointsBreaks Now Live

PALACE-PORT-GHALIB-RESORT

On Friday I mentioned that the IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks preview list was released, whereby select hotels are available for just 5,000 points per night. Today the official list of just over 175 properties has gone “live”.

While the main PointBreaks page hasn’t yet been updated, if you go to the individual participating hotel links (below), you should see the hotels already bookable at just 5,000 points per night.

The new IHG Rewards Club’s PointBreaks list is valid for stays through Saturday, February 28, 2015.

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