Airline loyalty program puts a beat down on it’s members. I don’t follow Air Canada all that closely for its loyalty program. There was a time when they were one of the best programs, but they’ve shot themselves in the foot a few times through devaluations that have made them less popular. But, reading this Milepoint thread the other day, I had to stop and read the first post again.
You see, one of the benefits I enjoy most about being a top-tier member of a couple airline programs are the system-wide upgrades (SWUs). These are instruments the airlines hand out in limited quantity annually to their top fliers so they can upgrade flights to the next class of service, anywhere that the airline flies. That means from DC to Des Moines or DC to Tokyo. American is the most rewarding, allowing their SWUs to be used on pretty much any published fare. United is less generous, restricting some of the cheapest fare buckets. Delta restricts most coach fare buckets for use of its SWUs.
And now, Air Canada has introduced…..the not-so-free “free upgrade”. For the privilege of using these upgrades, everyone except the highest tier elites will pay $500. Each way. That’s $1,000 round trip to Europe. $1500 for Asia. Yikes.
Mommy Points has a good breakdown on how to bundle points together as a family to stretch free travel further.
Wandering Aramean breaks down his recent trip to the Panama Canal which is a great reminder I need to get off my butt and finish up my own summary of our Panama Canal journey. It truly is one of the most amazing marvels I’ve seen in my travels.
Hack My Trip provides a detailed breakdown of Hertz Gold Plus. I love Hertz, it’s my primary rental company. But, I usually credit my points elsewhere since airlines will frequently run very valuable special promotions. That being said, one-way rentals is an incredible soft spot in this program.
If you missed the live chat last night on Milepoint with top executives from Hyatt and MGM, you also missed giveaways for free Las Vegas show tickets and 3 prizes of 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points each, along with tons of valuable insight from these programs. Don’t miss out next time!