Weekly Review: November 21, 2015

Hello from Abu Dhabi!

I spent much of the past week in Bali, which is still one of my favorite places in the world. That was followed by a quick overnight in Doha, where I stayed at the St. Regis.

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I’ll be headed back to the US in a few days, and then later in the week I’m headed to London. So much for settling down! 😉

Featured Stories

American AAdvantage 2016 Changes (Including Award Chart Devaluation)

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The big news from this week is the confirmation of a new American AAdvantage program for 2016, including a new award chart as of March 23, 2015.

I’m not at all happy about these changes, but I guess this is the natural result of the industry being consolidated down to just three “big” international carriers? There’s something that really stings about huge cuts in mileage earning rates compounded with huge increases in award costs.


Big Questions Regarding The Marriott & Starwood Merger

Marriott-Starwood-Merger-1It was also announced this week that Marriott will be taking over Starwood in a $12.2 billion deal which should close in mid-2016.

This makes them the world’s largest hotel chain, with 5,500+ hotels in 100+ countries spread across 30 brands.

What does this mean for travelers, and which questions remain unanswered?


Holiday Credit Card Bonus Offer Roundup

flexpoints The holidays are upon us and the credit card companies are jockeying to get their card at the top of your wallet. Well, at least some of them are.

None of them are mind blowing, of course, but if you’ve already got one or more of these cards, it may make sense to strategically shift around some of your spending for the next two months.


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Extra 10% Bonus On The Purchase Of Lifemiles
Good Deal: Buy IHG Points With A 100% Bonus
Hyatt Offering Diamond Status Matches Via Twitter
Buy Hilton Points At A Discount Through December 15, 2015
Buy LifeMiles For Under 1.5 Cents Each
Act Fast: Amazing Deal On Portable iPhone Charger
2,500 HHonors Bonus Points Per December Stay
Holiday Credit Card Bonus Offer Roundup
Chase Sapphire Preferred Offering Biggest Sign-Up Bonus In Years
Chase Freedom’s Increased 4th Quarter Amazon Bonus
Huge Savings On Cathay Pacific First Class With Gilt
Save 25% When You Buy Starpoints
Buy American Miles For Under 2 Cents Each
Awesome Deal: $15 Statement Credit For Amazon Purchase
Save Money With The New Citi Smart Savings Program
25% Bonus When You Convert Citi ThankYou Points To Etihad
Up To 30% Bonus On Purchased Hyatt Points
Up To 40,000 Bonus Miles When Converting Points To Aeroplan
Last Chance: Get Citi Prestige $250 Airline Credit For 2015
500 Free Hilton HHonors Points

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Redeem Miles For LAN’s New Flight To Washington Dulles
Icelandair Awards Now Bookable Using Alaska Miles
How Much Are My Favorite American Awards Going Up In Price?
Chase Makes Changes To Ultimate Rewards Points Transfers

TRAVEL With Lucky

The First Time I’ve Been Scared At Immigration…
My Experience Matching SPG Gold to Hyatt Diamond
Do AAdvantage Changes Impact My Loyalty To American?
When A Flight Attendant Is Nice To Passengers But Rude To Crew
Mandarin Oriental Or Holiday Inn?

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle
Review: American Business Class 777-300ER London To Los Angeles
Review: Iberia Economy Class A321 Madrid To London
Review: Sala VIP Amnios Lounge Madrid
Review: The Boulders (Curio – Hilton)
Review: Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid
My First Flight On Malaysia Airlines In Years…
Day Trip To Toledo

NEWS & Updates

Getting Airline & Hotel Fees Waived In Light Of Recent Events?
Southwest Flight Delayed Because Passengers Spoke Arabic
Thoughts On Chocolate-Raspberry Mousse, Falconry, And Starwood
Iraqi Airways To Launch Baghdad To Washington Flight In 2016?
Lyft Lost How Much Money So Far This Year?!?
Passenger Kicked Off Spirit Airlines Flight Due To… Paranoia
Buy Up To American AAdvantage Elite Status For 2016
A Firsthand Account Of Air France’s Emergency Diversion
Prediction: AAdvantage Will Be Added As A Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner
W Hotel San Diego Leaving Starwood: Why This Is Especially Interesting
Big Questions Regarding The Marriott & Starwood Merger
BREAKING: Multiple Air France Flights Diverted Because Of Security Concerns
American Cutting Mileage Earning Rates On Partner Airlines In 2016
Sigh Of Relief: More Almonds Returning To American’s Nut Mix
Aer Lingus’ New Revenue Based Program, AerClub
American AAdvantage 2016 Changes (Including Award Chart Devaluation)
Implications Of Marriott Buying Starwood
KLM Adding Fee For Economy Seat Assignments
TSA Doesn’t Do Their Job, Armed Officers Charge Plane
Delta Comfort+ Changes: What You Need To Know


Hope everyone has a peaceful and relaxing weekend, and a Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US!

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