Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 19, 2013

Save $50 On Travelocity Hotel Booking With Their Mobile App

Just saw this advertised at DFW airport. Essentially, you download the Travelocity mobile app and receive $50 off a hotel booking through Travelocity.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 2.20.29 PM

There are a few terms and conditions to consider. First, this only appears to be valid for “Good Buy” offers, not all hotels and rates.

Second, it needs to be a minimum of $150.

I’m not a huge fan of Travelocity, or OTAs in general. If I were going to recommend one, I’d recommend PointsHound.

But, $50 is still $50 if you’re looking for an affordable hotel room.

Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 19, 2013

The Winner Of The Free Gogo Pass Is….

Thanks to everyone who entered the Gogo free pass giveaway. Random.org chose the winner:

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 12.24.47 PM

That makes the winner Michael H.(oldfox) who left the comment “I would love the pass. I have never used Internet during a flight! Imagine that!”.

I’m sure you (and Gogo) will be very happy to experience inflight internet.  It’s pretty darn awesome.  Drop me an e-mail at ed at milepoint dot com to claim your prize.

Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 18, 2013

News And Notes For Saturday, May 18th 2013

My quasi-self-adopted home town of Washington DC thinks that it’s a bad idea for passengers to ride in fuel efficient taxis.

JetBlue has the unique distinction of being the first airline to announce something about fee increases that got me excited.  JetBlue raised their change fees but waived those fees for all members of their elite level, Mosaic.  You need 30 segments & 12,000 TrueBlue points or 15,000 TrueBlue points to qualify for Mosaic and get these fees waived.  That’s a pretty awesome amount of flexibility.

One Mile At A Time discusses how to get American to allow you very liberal routing for their awards.  American has been exceedingly generous for as long as I can remember with their routing rules if you’re willing to take the time to figure it out.  As oneworld continues to grow and they publish more fares in between city pairs American’s routing rules, IMO, make AAdvantage miles more valuable.

Mommy Points has a nice breakdown of how to make sure you’re earning miles for all your shopping needs.  For the infrequent traveler, credit card spend is usually the biggest vehicle for mileage accrual.  If done correctly (and without a lot of effort) choosing where to shop online can be a very lucrative way to leverage your credit card spend.

 

Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 18, 2013

Pizza In Motion Performing Tech Updates On Monday, May 20th

Just a quick note to let everyone know the site will be undergoing some updates on Monday.  Once everything is done I’ll be able to add a few features to make the site more useful for everyone.

I’ll be posting over the weekend, but I won’t be posting on Monday during the tech updates, so look for a fresh delivery of Pizza on Tuesday!

I’ve been keeping a pretty steady pace of travel this year, a bit more than I’d really like.  After a while, domestic coach flying just ain’t fun.  I was scheduled to fly cross-country today on American, from IAD to SFO, connecting in DFW.  I don’t do a lot of Friday travel, one of the busier travel days of the week.  That’s a decent part of the reason I maintain such a high upgrade percentage on American Airlines, well over 95% the last 4 years.

My upgrade out of Washington-Dulles cleared right at 100 hours, the earliest upgrades clear for Executive Platinum members.  I pre-selected the beef tenderloin salad for lunch.  American has been rolling out new benefits, including the ability to pre-select your meal on most domestic flights. I’d heard others tell me that the flight attendants hadn’t been practicing this on a regular basis or weren’t getting the information.  So far, I hadn’t had any issues but today was a good test.  I didn’t get much sleep the night before and airplane engines have this wondrous effect on me, they put me to sleep!

I dozed through meal service and woke up as the flight attendant was collecting everyone’s trays. She spotted that I was awake just about as soon as I woke up and came over to greet me.  Before I could really say anything, she noted that I had selected the beef tenderloin salad and she was holding it for me.  Great!  It was a bit different from the beef tenderloin salad I’d had the last few weeks with teriyaki ginger dressing and udon noodles.  This one was more savory, lightly crusted with herbs.  All in all, I think I prefer the tenderloin with ginger dressing and this steak was cooked a bit more than I like it.  But, a solid airplane meal none the less.

IMG_4174

 

My second flight was DFW-SFO.  This one did not clear prior to getting to the airport.  I wasn’t expecting it to, Friday night to San Francisco and all.  In fact, if there was a segment to miss, this was the one.  It looked like I was going to miss the upgrade by one seat earlier in the morning.  By the time I got to DFW things looked a bit worse as that seat had been taken (not sure by another EXP or someone buying a full-fare coach or First seat).  I was meeting a colleague at the gate as we were both flying on to SFO together, though on separate records.

I got to the gate a few moments prior to boarding and the gate agent was calling my name (always a good sign).  I had scored the upgrade (yay!).  In a random moment of kindness, I gave the upgrade to my colleague who towers over me at 6’5″ and didn’t have a great seat due to no status.  The gate agent saw what I was doing and immediately found me a bulkhead aisle seat, so things wouldn’t be all that bad for me on my second flight.

Since a decent amount of time has passed between my last visit to coach, I hadn’t seen the new menu.  Another nice benefit Executive Platinum members receive is a free alcoholic drink and food item in coach.  I took a gander at the new menu.

IMG_4176

 

IMG_4177

Nothing earth shattering and I wasn’t super hungry after the tenderloin salad.  I chose the cheese platter which hit the spot.

IMG_4175

 

I’ve had 29 flights on American Airlines this year.  Counting these two upgrades today I’m still 100% for the year, 29 for 29.

Compare that to my United experience this year.  If my math is correct, I’ve missed 4 upgrades on 10 flights.  That’s right in line with last year’s upgrade percentage on United, though a much smaller sample size so far this year.

I’ve had wi-fi on both flights, gotten a ton of work done.  I’ve enjoyed good food and good snacks, though I passed on the free wine since I need to drive when I land.  Some of my fellow business travelers decry me for connecting on flights when I could fly direct on United.  On this specific flight, United was over $400 more for the flight.  I highly doubt I would have cleared a Friday evening hub-to-hub flight on United.

Just about midway through the year and I’m happy with my decision to try to focus more on American.  They recognize my status, upgrade me and provide good service (and even provide me the occasional snack when I choose to sit in coach).  That might not be the case in the future, but it is now.  And, that’s just fine with me.

 

Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 17, 2013

Hyatt Filling In Two More Areas On The Map

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free Briggs & Riley TORQ suitcase!

Hyatt is dropping two more pins on the map in places where they’re currently a bit under served.

First up, construction is under way for a new Hyatt House in downtown Salt Lake City. Hyatt has a few properties in Utah but only one downtown, a Hyatt Place.

I’d rather see a full-service property like a Hyatt Regency, but I’m glad to see more presence in downtown.

Limited service/extended stay is an area I think Hyatt has an edge in its competitors. I was having a discussion with some friends this weekend about Hyatt as it relates to this. Virtually all Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels are new construction now. The existing properties that were converted are all imminently going through renovations. That means the vast majority of time you find a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House it will be newer and more modern (and have a better list of benefits, IMO).

The quality of their limited service and extended stay products outweighs the fact that they lag behind their competitors in the sheer number of properties. And, while Hyatt’s smaller, part of where the big chains dominate in sheer numbers of rooms is by having 3 or 4 properties in a much smaller market. Having 3 old, tired properties in a secondary market versus one new property is not an equal proposition, IMO.

Hyatt will also be adding a full service Hyatt Regency to the Amsterdam market. They already have an Andaz that’s on my list to visit and they’ll be adding a Hyatt Place later this year. A Hyatt Regency is a nice addition to this market.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free Briggs & Riley TORQ suitcase!

Southwest started a promo back in February that award double points AND double tier qualifying points through May 15th.  It appears they decided to extend it yesterday for another month and I’m not exactly sure why.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 6.12.47 AM

That means the following earning levels continue for another month:

Wanna Get Away Fares:  12 points per dollar instead of 6.

Anytime Fares:  20 points instead of 10.

Business Select Fares:  24 points instead of 12.

The double tier qualifying points count towards A-list or A-list preferred status.  If you’re a regular Southwest flier, both of these have reasonable benefits.  A-list members (35,000 tier qualifying points or 25 one-way flights) earn:

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 6.20.50 AM

 

A-List preferred members (70,000 tier qualifying points or 50 one-way flights) earn all the above benefits plus a 100% earning bonus and free wifi.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 6.24.39 AM

 

If you were flying Southwest enough to earn A-List preferred status, the 100% earning bonus and free wifi add up to substantial earning/savings.

The thing I don’t get is why Southwest decided to extend this promo.  They’re now awarding heavy bonuses for part of the summer travel season.  And, while Southwest generally has pretty good fare sales throughout the year, they don’t specialize in promos that earn more points.  I can’t remember something like this in quite some time, though they’ve only had the new program format a couple of years.

Could it be that Southwest has decided to ramp up its pursuit of business travelers even more?  When they came out with Business Select fares they solved some issues business travelers were concerned with.  They essentially created assigned seating by always guaranteeing Business Select passengers they would be one of the first people on the plane.  They’ve now added wi-fi and have had priority security lane access for a while.

By awarding double tier qualifying points they have to be assuming they’ll grow the ranks of their elite members.  And, ordinary double points is a heck of incentive for the casual flier based on Southwest’s flexibility to book any flight using points.

The summer travel season is generally busier and more expensive.  There’s been a few comments that things are just a little bit cheaper this year but I still expect most planes to be full this summer.  Extending this promo into part of the summer season is great for consumers, I’m just not sure why Southwest is continuing to be so generous.

HT: Deals We Like

Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 15, 2013

Travel Tidbits For Wednesday, May 15th 2013

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free Briggs & Riley TORQ suitcase!

 

  • A good collection of tools is essential if you want to earn and burn miles and points effectively.  Some tools get used every time you’re dabbling around with an itinerary.  Others are picked up infrequently but fill a very specific niche.  A new tool by Wandering Aramean seems to fit that bill.  The distilled description is a tool that allows you to search for award availability to….anywhere.  It allows you to search award inventory without specifying all the cities in your itinerary.  Pretty cool.  I can’t wait to find some dates in my schedule to give it a try.

Club Carlson is out with a new promotion.  The basics are that you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points for every stay at least 2 nights in length.  You can see full promotion details here.

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 7.16.03 PM

As you can see, the promo runs from May 13th to July 21st, 2013.  That means you might be able to squeeze in some bonus points on summer leisure travel.

I value Club Carlson points at about a half a cent a piece.  That makes this bonus worth about $50 in Club Carlson points earned extra per stay.  While that’s nothing to sneeze at, it certainly wouldn’t be enough to get me to switch from the current Hyatt promo, which is certainly more rewarding for my travel patterns.  And, I would still rank the current Starwood promo ahead of this Club Carlson promo, though behind the Hyatt promo.

Club Carlson is really a tale of two continents.  In the US, Club Carlson is mostly limited service and non-luxury hotels.  Your points go further but the properties aren’t aspirational.  The exact opposite is true in Europe.  Aspirational properties at higher redemption numbers.

Bottom line?  A good, if not spectacular promo from Club Carlson.  If you have stays planned at Club Carlson properties over the next couple of months, they just got more rewarding.

Remember, it’s always best to register for these hotel promos even if you’re not planning a specific stay.  It’s free, and you run the risk of having plans change and forgetting there was a promo you could have taken advantage of if and when your plans take you to a Club Carlson property.

Thanks to Loyalty Lobby for pointing this one out.

 

Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 13, 2013

Free Gogo Pass!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a free Briggs & Riley TORQ suitcase!

I’m giving away a free Gogo pass today. Pretty straight forward. For those that don’t know about Gogo, they provide in-flight wi-fi on a number of airlines:

  • Air Canada
  • Airtran
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta
  • Frontier
  • United
  • US Airways
  • Virgin America

IMG_4131

 

 

This one is pretty difficult. Just leave a comment on this post and I’ll randomly select someone on Friday, May 17th.

ETA: corrected date.

Good luck!

 

Older Posts »

Categories

%d bloggers like this: