Evolution of Mid-tier vs. Top-tier Elite Status

If you've flown Swiss or Singapore, you'll know that this is far too many business class seats to cram into a cabin.

While it’s great to have elite status on several airlines and many hotel chains, it sometimes boggles me how airlines and hotels design their mid-tier and top-tier elite structures. Elite Status is kind of nice, but it can be hard to use the benefits I recently commented on Scotts’s … [Read more...]

How and Why to Redeem SPG Suite Night Awards

Suite Night Award request confirmation

I just returned from a weekend vacation in San Diego, which was significant in that it was my first trip all year with Megan alone and not our parents. For a few days the only people who could annoy us were each other. ;) When booking the hotel I made a point to look at Starwood … [Read more...]

Are Frequent Flyer Programs a Fool’s Game?

United PQD Table

Airline loyalty programs have long tempted their most frequent customers with upgrades, bonus points, and other forms of special treatment. But the definition of a “frequent flyer” for many carriers has begun to shift from one who flies a lot of miles to one who simply opens his wallet the … [Read more...]

United and Delta’s Revenue-Based Programs Are Bad News for Corporate Travel

I was in New York last year with a day to spare and decided to look for some new travel startups. One of them was Rocketrip, and I had a nice chat with its CEO, Daniel Ruch. The basic concept behind Rocketrip is that it helps companies incentivize their workers to reduce corporate travel … [Read more...]

Kimpton Revamps Loyalty Program: Karma Rewards

Introducing Kimpton Karma

Last year I matched to Kimpton's loyalty program, InTouch, and made good use of it with stays at Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland, EPIC Hotel in Miami, Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, and Alexis Hotel in Seattle. Alexis remains my favorite, though it didn't hurt that my wedding party … [Read more...]

United’s Changes Are Bad for Everyone, and That’s Not News

United new fare multiplier

I'm not the first to break the news about the most recent devaluation (of many) for United Airlines' MileagePlus, nor am I the first to remark that United is simply copying Delta's changes to its own Sky Miles program. My feelings are on par with Wandering Aramean's, who believes it was … [Read more...]