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NowBoarding, your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less:
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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. Tune in daily so you don’t miss any of the best deals!
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 today is a new promotion from Hyatt that awards 500 bonus points per night when you stay at a new property. The definition of new is an interesting one, since properties like the new Grand Hyatt at SFO airport are on the list even though it’s been open a few months.
The great thing about this promotion is that it’s 500 points per night, not stay. And, it appears stackable with other Hyatt promotions, of which I’m hoping we’ll hear soon on a new systemwide promo. That could make for some interesting double stack opportunities.
I value Hyatt points at a higher rate than any other hotel chain’s points. 500 points is actually a meaningful bonus and can really add up on a longer stay. Consider that a category 1 redemption with Hyatt is only 5,000 points and you can earn a free night after just 10 nights at a new hotel. The award chart tops out at 40,000 points per night, which is a lot lower than the 100,000-ish you’ll find at Marriott and Hilton.
We’ll obviously update you here of any new promotions coming down the pike. That’s why it pays to give us a few minutes of your day.
Flying Blue is out with their monthly Promo Awards. These are for travel in March and April, key spring break season for family travelers. Unsurprisingly, that means the deals are not as good and there aren’t that many. However, if you live in Houston or Minneapolis, or can get to one of them cheaply, 50% off a premium economy award to Europe.
If you’re willing to pay cash instead of miles there’s a solid fare to Asia right now that also allows stopovers in great places like Tokyo. For under $2,000 a ticket you can fly in business class round-trip on Japan Airlines, who has a solid business class product. Depending on your routing, this fare can also earn you a ton of the elite-qualifying miles you need for status with American Airlines. I generally focus more on how I can use my miles to fly to faraway places. But, hitting a fare like this early in the year to get a head start on re-qualification of elite status plus getting to explore Asia on the cheap is awful tempting.
View From The Wing touches on a great deal for golfers and non-golfers alike, though it’s a much better deal for golfers. For $60 per month, you can get 2 free rounds of golf at any ClubCorp club nationwide as well as 2 free meals. I’ve known about ClubCorp for a while. Back when I was in the hotel industry I knew folks who worked there. They manage a couple hundred clubs across the country that any golfer would enjoy. If you travel, which is pretty likely if you’re listening to my podcast, this could be an incredible deal when you consider the price of greens fees at some clubs. As always, look for a link in the show notes for more info.
Lastly, we finish up with news that United Airlines has brought back their status match program for 2020. Even though elite status isn’t worth as much as it used to be, and costs a whole lot more, it’s still worth chasing for many business travelers. However, once you’re on the hamster wheel with one airline it’s hard to switch and start over, since you generally don’t have any perks with the new airline until you fly a whole bunch.
Status matches are a way to shortcut that process, since you generally get some benefits immediately and then have a set of requirements you need to hit within 90 days or so. United’s published version will allow you to match status up their Premier Platinum level. There are unpublished reports that they’ll match to their top-tier 1K status as well if you have Delta’s Diamond status or American Airlines’ Executive Platinum status.
If you’re matching to their Platinum status, they’ll even give you some PlusPoints when you finish off the 90-day qualification. PlusPoints is their new upgrade currency for elite members. You can use these points for short or long-haul flights, though 20 points won’t get you a ton, and you’re still reliant on United to open up upgrade space to use them.
Given the negative changes United has made, moving the goal posts even further away to achieve elite status, I’d be more likely to look for a status challenge somewhere else. But, the grass has a funny way of looking greener on those other airplanes.
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 email@example.com, or find me on social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, you can find me blogging daily at pizzainmotion.com.
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