If you plan to redeem Marriott Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest points for a hotel stay, be sure to review the list of category changes the company is making to many of its properties on March 7. Delta is also offering up a few bonus miles offers and some positive inflight changes. Read all about them in this week’s update.
Hilton Honors points bonus for using app
Download the Hilton Honors app to your smart phone the next time you need to make a hotel reservation. Between now and the end of the year, you can earn 500 bonus points for every booking made via the app. That can really add up if you stay with Hilton often (especially since this promotion lasts the entire year), but be sure to register before your first reservation.
Qatar Airways launches world’s longest flight
Airlines seem to be one-upping each other for the title of having the world’s longest flight. The latest contender is Qatar Airways’ Doha-Auckland nonstop, which clocks in at about 17.5 hours. Qatar is a member of oneworld, and American AAdvantage miles can be used to redeem for this new flight. The best way to search for Qatar award availability (even if redeeming with American miles) is via British Airways’ website.
Triple SkyMiles for Airbnb bookings
Delta’s SkyMiles program is offering up triple the number of miles for booking an Airbnb stay through its partnership link. Between now and the end of April, this promotion offers three miles per dollar spent. And on your first stay, you can earn a bonus of 2,000 miles and a $25 discount.
Delta to offer free meals on select domestic economy flights
Following a trial on certain transcontinental flights between New York and the West Coast, Delta has announced that it is bringing back free meals in all cabins on these highly competitive routes. JFK to Los Angeles and San Francisco passengers will be offered a choice of three meal selections. This replaces buy on board food for those that liked the Flight Fuel menu. The free meals in economy stat on March 1.
Transfer hotel points to Avios
If you have orphan hotel loyalty program points that you don’t know what to do with; this could be the perfect solution. Firstly, one should never stay in a hotel without collecting points, even if it is one you don’t stay in often. You never know when those points can come in handy. British Airways’ Avios program will let you transfer hotel points to airline miles with a 35% bonus. Participating hotel companies include Club Carlson, Hilton Honors, Hyatt, IHG, and Shangri-La Golden Circle among others. Check the website for conversion rates.
Plenty of Aer Lingus award seats available
If you are planning summer travel, take a look at Aer Lingus. Despite Aer Lingus soon joining oneworld, you can also redeem United Mileage Plus miles for their flights, and awards are searchable on united.com. Take advantage fast before the availability disappears.
Marriott-Starwood changing reward categories for hotels
If you plan to redeem Marriott Rewards points for a hotel, be sure to act fast as the brand is changing the categories on many hotels. In some cases, it will cost more points for a hotel; in others, it might cost less. Be sure to review the list to see how fast you should act. The new award categories go into effect on March 7 so you have a full month. Starwood properties are changing too, and even though they are the same company, the Starwood Preferred Guest program has its own category designations.
Earn double miles for flights to Australia
If you’re headed down under, Delta has a lucrative promotion for those collecting SkyMiles. Between now and May 31, travelers can earn double base miles for eligible Delta and Virgin Australia flights. Be sure to register before flying. If you’re a Medallion member, this means you earn an additional five miles per dollar spent on top of your regular earnings.
Norwegian launches second base in northeast
Low fares to Europe are coming faster than we think. Norwegian Airlines has announced it would base Boeing 737 aircraft at Newburgh-Stewart airport for flights to Europe. The airline has announced another base at Providence meaning these two airports will soon have low-fare flights to Europe. We still have to wait and see if the major airlines follow suit.
Flying Blue awards now available a year in advance
Most airlines open up their reservation systems about 11 months before travel. Flying Blue was even more restrictive only making its award seats available ten months before travel. A new change for the better is here. Fliers can make award reservations as far as a year in advance. Keep in mind that if you are redeeming SkyMiles or other partner miles for Air France or KLM flights, the reservation restrictions are still based upon the program from which the miles are coming. Flying Blue members seem to now have the upper hand getting advance access to award seats!