Gary at View from the Wing blogged a few days ago about the pending announcement of Starwood improvements in the works. Well, Starwood was nice enough to invite FlyerTalkers to join in on the conference call at 8AM this morning to explain the new feature, so I dragged my rear out of bed to listen in. Seriously, as a college student, getting up at 7:30AM on the first day after a long weekend is not only painful but also inhumane, so consider me dedicated to the cause.
Well, this morning Gary already pointed to a new program, “SPG Flights,” whereby you can redeem points for air travel….. and that’s the big announcement! Gary already goes through the redemption chart, which is based on the cost of the ticket and doesn’t do any better than 1.5 cents per point at best.
A few highlights from the conference call:
- You don’t pay taxes or fees, just points, which is an advantage over the airline mileage programs
- They’re not taking away any other benefits 😉
- It just provides more flexibility, they’re not even saying that it’s necessarily a great use of points
- There’s a $35 “service fee” when changing tickets in addition to whatever the airline charges (although it was a bit vague, didn’t really explain that)
- You earn miles and can upgrade as you usually would be able to, given that this is basically a revenue ticket.
Overall I was hoping for something more exciting (like added elite benefits), although I can definitely see this as being a good benefit for some. While I’m not in this situation, I know plenty of people that have more miles/points than they could ever use, so being able to use your points for something you’d otherwise have to shell out cash for is always a nice option to have.
OK, back to sleep!