The Best of the Rest is my effort to summarize all the travel/miles & points stories that interested me on a daily basis but didn’t have time to write about in length. On a daily basis, I try to keep track of roughly 100 different blogs (try being the operative word) that have interesting things for you and I to learn from. Some are passed along without comment, while I add my analysis to others. This is your shortcut to find out what’s going on in the travel world without having to read dozens of travel blogs to get all the best info. Here’s what I’m reading about today (and it’s a BIG list):
Cheap fares to places in Mexico like Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are ripe for the picking right now. American is offering fare sales out of most United hubs (Newark, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Cleveland), but alas no Dulles for me. The fares are $210-$225 and available through February. Awesome deal you should jump on.
Are some Hyatt properties taking advantage of the requirements to make standard rooms available for awards? This isn’t the first post I’ve seen on this subject, and it’s starting to become at least a small concern for me. I wrote recently about why I think SPG handles this portion of their loyalty program better than Hyatt. Since then, I’ve learned it’s not a hard and fast rule with Hyatt as I was able to redeem a few more points to get a 2 bedroom unit at a Hyatt House, which is not a standard room type. But, for the most part, unique room types are hands off. Developing….
Meanwhile, SPG is sending out e-mails offering some members 1,000 points to link their Emirates account to their SPG account. Given that a big portion of SPG’s members are in the US and a big portion of Emirates customers are not, it’s not surprising they might try to goose some more people to sign up. 1,000 points isn’t a lot, but for doing something so simple, it’s an easy get.
Figuring out how to get elite qualifying miles for partner flights overseas can be a challenging game. If you’re thinking about booking any partner flights, you need to read this thread. It may sound corny, but know before you go.
My wife will be happy to tell you I’m a junk food junkie. Which means I’m a sucker for cake, pie, Devil Dogs, Twinkies and cupcakes. That’s why this post about really good cupcakes caught my attention. Mmmmmm, cupcakes.
Amazon Prime Now is the newest salvo by Amazon to take over the world of purchases. Doctor of Credit details a $20 discount on a $50 Prime Now purchase. Prime Now offers 1-hour and 2-hour delivery service. I was pretty astonished when I tried out free same-day service by Amazon, and was wildly pumped. I can imagine how convenient 1-hour delivery would be.
We have determined that it is not commercially feasible to operate the slots allocated to Delta for Seattle-Haneda service on a consistent daily basis year-round because: (i) demand for Seattle-Haneda service is highly variable, peaking in the summer and declining in the winter; and (ii) Delta lacks a Japan airline partner to provide connectivity beyond Haneda to points in Japan and other countries in Asia. While Delta would prefer to continue to develop Seattle- Haneda service in competition with the American/JAL and United/ANA alliances at Haneda, Delta will follow DOT’s guidance in Order 2015-6-14 and return the slots to DOT.
Make sure to read the rest of the letter, including more sour grapes from Delta about how they’d prefer to see the world work.
Frontier Airlines charges an award booking fee for anything you ticket less than 6 months from the date of travel. That’s just insane. But, One Mile at a Time has a post about how to avoid that fee.
United Airlines is buying 5 percent of Brazilian carrier Azul for $100 million. This is interesting to me for a few reasons. I chaired a panel earlier this year where I got to listen to Alex Malfitani, the Head of Loyalty (love that title) about all the exciting things Azul has going on. It sounds like there will be codesharing and some joint loyalty participation between the two airlines which is a good thing. It wasn’t too long ago that Azul announced their first flights to the US, launching service to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. Lots of interesting things going on with David Neeleman’s newest brain child.
Apparently, One Mile At a Time is also apparently the best place to discuss how to track down a flight attendant you’ve fallen in love with. Go figure.
Brian from The Gate reports about a new fee Hertz is instituting. It strikes me as just plain annoying:
Beginning on 7/15/2015 there will be a new refueling option for Hertz rentals in the United States. This Express Fuel option applies at select locations to rentals during which the entire distance driven is 75 miles or less. If you drive 75 miles or less and do not purchase gas, or purchase gas but fail to produce a receipt, a charge of $13.99 will be applied. If you drive 75 miles or less and produce a receipt of a fuel purchase made during your rental, the $13.99 charge will not be applied.
Look, I understand why this is an issue for Hertz. If you drive a short distance and the gas gauge is being read by an employee, it’s easy to argue the tank is full when Hertz has to spend money to fill the tank. I don’t actually keep my receipts for gas very often, so I could see myself filling the tank and running afoul of this, which would royally tick me off. I get the issue, I just don’t think this is a good solution.