Cheap Flights To Italy, Easy Bonus Miles On Hilton Stays And Free $20 At Staples

Wow!  There’s a lot to cover today.

Here’s what I’m reading about today in the world of travel:

Cheap Flights of the Day: Emirates is back with their “2 for 1” pricing to Italy with $500 tickets to Milan.  $650 flights to the Maldives as well.  And, $500 tickets to Iran (Grazie, no).

  In Case You Missed It: American Airlines Blew Up Their Headquarters.

And, Chase Ultimate Rewards Becomes More Valuable.

If you’re thinking about using that new Ultimate Rewards partner, you might want to read this first.

JetBlue has a triple points promo and a Mosaic status match/challenge offer.  While still NY-centric, JetBlue’s growth in some key cities are making them an airline to consider more frequently.

Marriott Rewards hurtles into the current century by testing out rewarding customers for dining spend even if they’re not hotel guests.

Win a free night at a luxury hotel in London.

Would you use your voice as your password?

This is pretty interesting.  You can earn 2 extra AAdvantage miles on top of your normal earnings if you book your Hilton rooms through the AAdvantage shopping portal.  They’re essentially paying a 3-4% commission to AA by buying the miles from them.  If that actually works this is a lot lower commission than what they’re likely paying an OTA.

I’m still surprised it’s taken this long for the hotels to experiment more aggressively with ways to avoid paying bigger commissions for reservations that they have less control over.  The move is on for hotel chains to offer lower rates to their loyalty members for booking directly, with Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and SPG all jumping in the game.

I still don’t think the shopping portals are widely known by “regular customers”, so I don’t think this will have a profound effect.  But, it’s certainly worth trying.

10 hotel and airline status matches you should consider.

United improving meals in coach on international flights.

It appears the Thanks Again program actually requires a bit of our attention.  I had abandoned it a long time ago, not even sure I still have an active account.

The Staples deal for $20 off a $300 Visa gift card is back again.  Free money!

There’s a guy who’s flown 17 million miles on United.  His name is Tom Stuker.  I actually met him when he literally walked up to the gate on one of the MegaDO flights I helped organize and asked to buy a ticket last-minute.  I feel sorry that he’s flown 17 million on United (though he may actually get really good service).

If you’re into sample boxes, Amazon has some good credits to take advantage of.

 

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