Month: December 2019

Credit Card Savings You Might Be Missing & An Awesome Status Gift

NowBoarding! Your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less:

 

Don’t forget to check out the Miles To Go Podcast where we bring you the latest travel news, tips and tricks each week to help you save money and travel better.

 

Links And Full Transcript

NowBoarding, your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less. This is your host, Ed Pizza, bringing you the latest travel deals and travel news you need to know Monday through Friday.  No more worrying about missing out on the best deals.  Give us a couple of minutes every day and we’ll give you what’s going on in the world of travel.

Look for links to all of today’s stories in the show notes on whatever podcast platform you’re listening.  And, please share the show with a friend!

First up this morning is a savings program that I’ve never heard of, and it likely means I’ve been leaving money on the table. Visa Savings Edge is a program for small businessesthat helps them automatically save money when spending on a linked Visa business credit cards.  For folks who carry the popular Ink cards from Chase, or if you’ve taken advantage of the awesome bonus offer for the Capital One Spark Miles card, you’re eligible for extra savings.

Some of the examples include 2% off at Chevron, 3% at Stamps.com, 5% at Mailchimp.  If any of you are using the 2% rebate at Papa Johns, we need to have a serious conversation about your taste in pizza.  There are also a handful of travel brands participating as well.

Once you’re signed up, the rebates should automatically post to your account.  Make sure you grab your free money for expenses you already have with merchants you already do business with.

It looks like Hong Kong Airlines got the cash injection they neededto be able to keep flying. Last week we covered the news that the airline had been given only days to raise money before government authorities would revoke their authorization to operate the airline.  For the time being, it still makes sense to proceed with caution if you’re considering Hong Kong Airlines for future travel.

Members of World of Hyatt can now earn and redeem points at the new hotel within a hotel, NoMad in Las Vegas.  This boutique hotel is inside the Park MGM, which is newly renovated.  You might know it as the Monte Carlo if you haven’t been to Vegas in a bit.  I’ve stayed at NoMad.  It’s an interesting property.  The rooms are lovely, some of the most comfortable I’ve seen in Vegas.  The bar has a great vibe.  We had an off experience in the restaurant right after it opened.  I do have it on my list to go back and try again.  At any rate, you can now earn and burn Hyatt points at NoMad, which means you have 13 non-Hyatt hotels to choose from if you’re looking to take advantage of your Hyatt status.

United Airlines has announced an order for the Airbus A321XLR to replace the aging 757s in their fleet.  The XLR stands for extra long range, with the single-aisle aircraft having a range of 4,700 nautical miles. That’s a bit longer than your average 757.

The announcement of this aircraft order does two things for consumers.  With the first planes being delivered in 2024, it’s an indication that those 757s will likely continue flying until the XLRs start to arrive.  It’s also a good indication that United intends to continue serving some transatlantic routes effectively from the East Coast on a narrow body plane.  That’s generally a good sign for consumers when it comes to finding flight availability, even if most of the seats are of the upright variety.

Are you one of the lucky Hyatt Globalists that is receiving American Airlines Executive Platinum status as a gift this year?  Color me impressed by this really great offering we’re hearing about from frequent travelers.  Executive Platinum is the highest status you can earn without an invitation.  It’s an excellent top-tier status.  No concrete word on whether this status match includes systemwide upgrades, which would be truly great.

That’s a full wrap on today’s travel news. If you’ve got a piece of travel news that you think I should feature on NowBoarding, you can e-mail me at ed@pizzainmotion.com, or find me on social media, Twitter, Facebookand Instagram. And, you can find me blogging daily at pizzainmotion.com.

And, since we’re still getting started on this new format, you can do me a big favor and leave me a review on whatever podcast platform you’re listening to. Reviews and ratings are a huge part of what helps us reach a larger audience. And, if you’re enjoying the show, please tell a friend. That’s your travel news in 7 minutes or less. I hope you’ll join us again on a future flight!

50% Off Award Flights To Europe & Discounted Target Gift Cards

NowBoarding!  Your travel news in 7 minutes or less.


Don’t forget to check out the Miles To Go Podcast where we bring you the latest travel news, tips and tricks each week to help you save money and travel better.

Full Transcript

NowBoarding, your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less. This is your host, Ed Pizza, bringing you the latest travel deals and travel news you need to know Monday through Friday. No more worrying about missing out on the best deals. Give us a couple of minutes every day and we’ll give you what’s going on in the world of travel.

Look for links to all of today’s stories in the show notes on whatever podcast platform you’re listening. And, please share the show with a friend!

First up is news on the fast-moving partnership with Delta Airlines and South America’s LATAM. LATAM was long a partner of American Airlines but jumped ship recently. We now appear to have a date as to when the relationship with American Airlines will end. LATAM has announced that all tickets purchased via LATAM for American Airlines flights up until January 31, 2020 will have the same conditions irrespective of the flight date. That seems to indicate the partnership will end that day on a go forward basis. It’s good to see that they’ll honor benefits on tickets sold for travel past that date.

Meanwhile, Delta and LATAM will start their codeshare agreement on February 1st. We still don’t have a solid date on when the two airlines will shared details like their loyalty partnership or lounge access, but we expect that to launch in 2020.

December 8th is an easy day to score free cash at Target stores. For the past handful of years they’ve had one day where they sell discounted Target gift cards. December 8th is this year’s version. Details aren’t 100% firm, but it seems you’ll be able to buy 3 Target gift cards at a discount of 10%. In previous years, this has been limited to one card up to $300, so we’ll have to wait just a bit longer to get the exact details. But, this is essentially free money, especially if you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet.

AirFrance-KLM’s Flying Blue has announced their Promo Rewards for December, which are valid for travel in February and March. There are 50% discounts on award flights to Europe in Economy and Premium Economy as well as 25% discounts on Business Class. If you tune into NowBoarding or the Miles To Go podcast on a regular basis you may have heard us cover the recent transfer bonuses for AirFrance from both Chase and Capital One. If you add these two together it can make for a very cheap vacation.

United Airlines has rolled out their new PlusPoints system for elite upgrades. The interface actually looks really user-friendly. Check the link in the show notes to see the screen shots. Early reports are that upgrade inventory on high demand routes is still very hard to find. In the end, PlusPoints may be little more than a slicker interface to watch your upgrades go unused.

Finally, the big news of the day after we published the news yesterday was United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz stepping down in 2020 and passing the torch to Scott Kirby. Scott Kirby is very adept at squeezing every last penny of profit out of an airline and their customers. He’s not been famous for positive relationships with the unions at a number of his previous stops. It’ll be interesting to see if the airline continues Oscar’s mantra. Each time I’ve heard Oscar speak he had one phrase which summed up what United was trying to do. “Proof, not promises.”

That’s a full wrap on today’s travel news. If you’ve got a piece of travel news that you think I should feature on NowBoarding, you can e-mail me at ed@pizzainmotion.com, or find me on social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, you can find me blogging daily at pizzainmotion.com.

And, since we’re still getting started on this new format, you can do me a big favor and leave me a review on whatever podcast platform you’re listening to. Reviews and ratings are a huge part of what helps us reach a larger audience. And, if you’re enjoying the show, please tell a friend. That’s your travel news in 7 minutes or less. I hope you’ll join us again on a future flight!

Transportation Strike Could Snarl Travel And Cash Back On Hotels

A quick note: For some reason this didn’t publish yesterday. Most likely user error. My apologies.

NowBoarding!  Today’s travel news in 7 minutes or less:

Don’t forget to check out the Miles To Go Podcast where we bring you the latest travel news, tips and tricks each week to help you save money and travel better.

Full Transcript

NowBoarding, your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less. This is your host, Ed Pizza, bringing you the latest travel deals and travel news you need to know Monday through Friday. No more worrying about missing out on the best deals. Give us a couple of minutes every day and we’ll give you what’s going on in the world of travel.

A quick side note, thanks to Daniel for sending some feedback my way last night. I’m going to try to make an effort to give you guys a bit more of each story as I share the news. I’m trying to balance keeping the show short so you can tune in easily every day with making sure I’m delivering enough valuable information. Please keep the feedback coming!

Look for links to all of today’s stories in the show notes on whatever podcast platform you’re listening. And, please share the show with a friend!

First up this week is word of a strike in France for transportation workers. This could obviously affect your airline travel, since Air France union ground crew workers are supposed to strike. Air traffic controllers are said to be a part of it, which would make matters much worse. And, this strike is also supposed to affect rail workers. Train is a great way to get from airports like Charles-de Gaulle to downtown Paris. And, I’ve taken the train to get to smaller cities outside of Paris. If you have a trip planned soon, it’s time to start thinking of backup plans.

Next up is the news that BankDirect will start sending 1099s for the miles you earn with their banking product. BankDirect has been around for ages. It’s a way to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles on your banking. The program is not as lucrative as it once was, but it’s still a reasonable way to earn a few miles. There are competing opinions on how bad the change from BankDirect is. One Mile at a Time thinks it’s not worth the hassle, while View From The Wing thinks this is a small cost and still a viable way to earn some miles.

One of the more popular cash back apps, Dosh, is offering a $30 cash back bonus for hotel bookings right now. This is on top of the regular cash back you’d receive on a Dosh booking. Deals We Like has more details on this easy way to pick up cash if you’re planning a hotel stay in the near future.

Richard Branson is no longer interested in selling his controlling stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM. This was essentially a way for Delta to gain a majority control in the airline through a series of different transactions. It’s unclear how much this cost Richard Branson, or how mad Delta is. But, it’s highly likely this is better for frequent fliers than if Delta had control of the award charts.

Finally, today is the first day of United Airlines new upgrade system, PlusPoints. The system offers more flexibility to elite travelers for the upgrades they receive. PlusPoints replaces the Global Premier Upgrades and Regional Premier Upgrades, also referred to as GPU and RPU for us nerds. This is likely to be a positive change, adding a bit of flexibility for travelers. However, unless United loosens their hold on inventory, this will likely end up as a non-event for most travelers.

That’s a full wrap on today’s travel news. If you’ve got a piece of travel news that you think I should feature on NowBoarding, you can e-mail me at ed@pizzainmotion.com, or find me on social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, you can find me blogging daily at pizzainmotion.com.

And, since we’re still getting started on this new format, you can do me a big favor and leave me a review on whatever podcast platform you’re listening to. Reviews and ratings are a huge part of what helps us reach a larger audience. And, if you’re enjoying the show, please tell a friend. That’s your travel news in 7 minutes or less. I hope you’ll join us again on a future flight!

Double Check Your Bookings & Biz Travel Holiday Gift Guide

NowBoarding!  Today’s travel news in 7 minutes or less.


Don’t forget to check out the Miles To Go Podcast where we bring you the latest travel news, tips and tricks each week to help you save money and travel better.

Full Transcript

First up this week is a word to the wise. Live and Let’s Fly lets us know that things are rocky right now at Air Canada and Aeroplan. They attempted a systems integration last week that did not go well. It’s not only a good time to check your existing reservations. It’s also a good time to have a plan B if you were planning to use Aeroplan to book an upcoming trip. That’s why it pays not to procrastinate. I’m famous for waiting too long to book trips and getting tripped up by things like this.

Another cautionary tale this week is via View From The Wing. Hyatt is losing the Ocean Resort and Casino in Atlantic City as part of the World of Hyatt program. This sort of thing happens from time to time. However, this one is a bit more painful.

For starters, the change is happening at the start of 2020, less than a month from now. Second, Hyatt isn’t doing much to help those affected. Other than offering to move award reservations to a paid rate or transfer them to another hotel, people with award bookings are stuck. There are no similar properties nearby. In fact, the next closest hotels are a Hyatt Place and Hyatt House in Mt Laurel, over 40 miles away. I get that Hyatt’s in a bad spot here. But, part of why I continue to patronize Hyatt is because they have continued to stand behind their members where other chains take the easy way out.

I could be wrong here, but I think most customers understand when something like this happens. However, since the matter is completely out of the customer’s control, a few extra Hyatt points in someone’s account seems a worthwhile value to let customers know Hyatt empathizes with them in the situation. Here’s hoping Hyatt finds a solid resolution for customers here.

It’s holiday shopping time, and there’s a gift giving guide for business travelers written by yours truly. Road warriors have different needs than occasional travelers and leisure travelers. Gear has to justify its weight and space in a backpack or briefcase, and you better get solid value for money spent. If you’re hunting for the perfect gift for a business traveler, we’ve got plenty of suggestions they’re bound to love.

God Save the Points shines some light on 5 Marriott Moments you might consider spending your points on. Experiences are becoming a bigger part of loyalty programs, but they’ve been around a while. Heck, it’s 7 years ago since I redeemed my SPG Starpoints to get my wife a tennis lesson with Andre Agassi. Still the single greatest redemption I’ve ever had. Anyway, take a look at these Marriott Moments. The Hotel Danieli in Venice is one of my favorite, which means once again I’m saying Gilbert from God Save the Points has good taste.

Last up this week is a reminder about Kimpton Hotels’ secret social password. Make sure to have the password when you check-in for a Kimpton stay to earn a mystery prize, like free breakfast or a bottle of wine. The current password is “Stay Human”. Thanks to Ben at One Mile at a Time for reminding us of this fun benefit.

That’s a full wrap on today’s travel news. If you’ve got a piece of travel news that you think I should feature on NowBoarding, you can e-mail me at ed@pizzainmotion.com, or find me on social media, Twitter, Facebookand Instagram. And, you can find me blogging daily at pizzainmotion.com.

 

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