Weekly Review: June 9, 2018

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Hello from Greece! We’re spending the week vacationing here, and I can’t believe that I haven’t been here in over 15 years. We’re having an incredible time, and I’ll have a separate post with my overall thoughts on our time in Santorini so far (suffice to say we’re having a great time).

On the points & travel front, this week Air Belgium operated their (much anticipated) inaugural flight to Hong Kong, changes were announced to the Hyatt Place brand, Silvercar added a new type of car to their fleet, Air China resumed flights to North Korean, Amex added new restrictions to welcome bonuses, and more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

Fly From Chicago To Europe For 9,000 Membership Rewards Points

Prague-Tram

If you’ve read Ben’s piece on this month’s Flying Blue Promo Awards, you probably noticed his frustration with the first round of Promo Awards under the new award program. Not only was promo award space between the U.S and Europe easier to find previously, the new program has implemented some near-nonsensical pricing logic once you go beyond Paris and Amsterdam.

That being said, whenever a program changes their rules new opportunities are created. In this case, it seems the variable origin/destination pricing may have some potential value, particularly with these promo awards. As a reminder, this month’s Flying Blue promo awards for travel starting in North America are as follows:

  • 25% off Air France or KLM economy awards between San Francisco (SFO) and Europe for travel July 31 through September 29, 2018
  • 50% off Air France or KLM economy awards between Chicago (ORD) and Europe for travel July 31 through September 29, 2018

Combined with a transfer bonus, there are some interesting award options out there.


Review: Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

A few weeks ago we saw Chase introduce the new Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, which is a compelling new no annual fee card that’s rewarding for everyday spend, has a great welcome bonus, and also offers useful perks.

In this post I wanted to write a full review of the card, as it’s a useful place for me to refer people who ask about it.

Let’s take a closer look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, return on spend, and perks, of this awesome card.


How Much Is That Toll Again?? A Roundup Of Rental Car Cashless Toll Policies

Essentially, when you drive through a cashless toll, the monitoring system picks up on your license plate or tag number, and bills you for the cost of the toll.

This is easy enough when you are driving a personal vehicle, but when rental car companies are involved, they are the ones who pass the cost of the toll along to the consumer. Given that this presents an extra step for them and they basically have carte blanche to charge whatever they want, they will charge some sort of “convenience” or “administrative” fee.

This is a huge money maker for rental car companies, so they’re not exactly going to go out of their way to disclose the hidden fees. Chances are, if you’ve ever been hit with one of these charges, you probably didn’t see it coming.


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

How To Book Cheap Japan Domestic Flights With ANA & JAL
Alaska Mileage Plan Reduces Mileage Earning On LATAM
Review: Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card
Amex Adds New Warning Regarding Welcome Bonuses
Some SPG Platinum Members Can Earn Extra Suite Night Awards This Year
Choice Privileges Summer 2018 Promotion
Getting Approved For The New Ink Business Unlimited Card
Buy Avios For Cheap Through Groupon Ireland

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

My Favorite Citi AAdvantage Credit Card Perk
Fly From Chicago To Europe For 9,000 Membership Rewards Points
50% Off Long-Haul Economy Avios Redemptions — But They’re Still Poor Value

TRAVEL With Lucky

I Flew EasyJet, And I Loved It
The Best Way(s) To Get To Central London From Each London Airport
How Much Is That Toll Again?? A Roundup Of Rental Car Cashless Toll Policies
How To Request Refunds For Canceled & Delayed Flights
My Uber Had A Hello Kitty Theme!

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Hyatt Regency Kiev
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 777 New York To Kiev
Introduction: An Unexpected Round The World Trip
Impressions Of The Park Hyatt Milan
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class 777 Istanbul To Los Angeles
Review: Turkish Business Class A330 Seychelles To Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul Airport
Emirates A380 First Class In 10 Pictures
Review: Air Seychelles Lounge Mahe Airport Seychelles

NEWS & Updates

Turkish Airlines Pulls Out Of Skytrax
Sun Country Reveals New Livery
Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant Does Hilarious Stand-Up Routine On Delayed Flight
EPA Head Enlists Staff In Frantic Search For… Ritz-Carlton Toiletries?
RwandAir May Start Flying To New York By August
Would You Travel With Transparent Luggage?
Excellent Star Alliance and Oman Air Business Class Fares From Europe to Asia
Ukraine International Airlines Adds Boarding Pass Fee On Longhaul Flights
Singapore Airlines May Cut Los Angeles To Seoul Incheon Route
Qatar Airways CEO Apologizes That Media Sensationalized His Sexist Comment
JetBlue Becomes Latest Airline To Crack Down On Emotional Support Animals
UK Government Approves Third Runway For Heathrow – But How Long Will It Take?
Emirates President Denies The Airline Has A Pilot Shortage
Alaska Airlines Is Introducing A New Boarding Process
Silvercar Adding Audi A5 Convertibles To Their Fleet
Norwegian Is Leasing A 747!
Etihad Is Making Their Biggest US Route Cut Yet
British Airways Reveals Which Routes Will Get Qatar Airways A330s
Air China Resumes Flights To North Korea (With One Day Notice)
AAdvantage Eliminating Main Cabin Extra Discount For Gold Members
Two Former Singapore Airlines A380s To Be Sold For Parts
South African Airways CEO Bets His Own Money That Airline Will Turn Profit Within Three Years
Qatar Airways CEO Promises To Avoid Controversy, 10 Minutes Later Makes Sexist Comment
Changes Are Coming To The Hyatt Place Brand Later This Year
Air Belgium Inaugural Flight Takes Off With 15 Passengers
AccorHotels Considering Minority Stake In Air France-KLM
Fiji Airways Will Join Oneworld (With A Big Catch)
When Will American Open Three Remaining Flagship Lounges?


I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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Comments

  1. Santorini is on my list for 2019 and I am in the process of researching hotels for our stay there (it’s currently between Canaves Oia Suites, Grace and Mystique), so really can’t wait to hear your thoughts/read reviews about it! Enjoy your vacation !

  2. Can’t wait to hear if your departure from Santorini airport was as shambolic and chaotic as mine was last week! The only negative in an amazing destination.

  3. Glad that you’re having a great time on Santorini.

    Your photo of the town of Oia includes the wonderful cliffside house we have rented several times over the past few years. (It’s the terra-cotta colored house just to the left of the blue church domes.) The views of the caldera – where cruise ships look like bathtub toys – is magical, day and night!

    Tip: The Kastro Oia serves the best ‘horiatiki salata’ (classic Greek salad) on the island. Enjoy!

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