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Starwood and Uber Downgrade Co-Earning Potential, American Upgrades Planes and More

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Hilton HHonors has announced its newest promotion for the winter season, and American is finally stepping up and adding power outlets to the majority of its fleet. But, it will take until 2020 to have the majority outfitted so power up for your next flight, just in case. Don’t miss the latest updates to the Starwood and Uber partnership.

Rack up 2,000 HHonors points per night

At any Hilton HHonors family hotel worldwide, guests will be treated to 2,000 bonus points per night when paying ay points-earning rate. This promotion is a great way to rack up points, especially when staying at some of the more affordable brands like Hampton Inn. The bonus offer is valid for stays between February 1 and April 30. Be sure to register at HiltonHHonors before your first stay.

American saying goodbye to personal TV screens on new planes, adding more power outlets

American is taking delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, but when it does, these planes will not come with seat-back video screens like the new Airbus A319s it recently received. The airline says that its travelers are often bringing their own mobile devices and prefer to use them for their own entertainment. Passengers can also stream live entertainment for free using the plane’s wireless Internet signal so they won’t be left high and dry at 30,000 feet. Worried about losing battery life? Many of American’s planes (including a large majority that came from US Airways) do not have power outlets, but the carrier recently announced that by 2020, 85% of its planes will be equipped with power ports. That’s a long time to wait, but at least there’s a timeline.


American saying goodbye to personal TV screens on new planes
Passengers can stream entertainment from their own device on AA’s new Boeing 737 MAX

American offers transatlantic mileage bonus

While it may take a while to get more power at every American Airlines seat, there’s a chance to score bonus miles if you are flying between North America and Europe on American or its oneworld partners British Airways, Finnair or Iberia. Between now and the end of March, flyers can score as many as 40,000 miles depending on the class of service. Even cheap economy fares are eligible for 5,000 miles per roundtrip. One caveat, be sure that your flight has an AA code in front of the flight number, and don’t forget to register before flying. 

American rejiggers boarding process, again

American is altering the way that it boards flights effective March 1; this time, there will be nine boarding groups. Prior to all groups being called, Concierge Key members will be invited to board (similar to what United does for Global Services flyers). Next, first class fliers can board followed by Executive Platinum and alliance top-elite members in group two. The last group, nine, is reserved for those that pay the cheapest Basic Economy fares when they become available.

Changes coming to Starwood and Uber partnership

If you’re accustomed to earning Starwood Preferred Guest points for using Uber, prepare for changes coming February 1. During the month of February, guests staying at a Starwood property will earn 5 points per dollar spent when using an Uber. Otherwise, Starwood points will now be earned at a rate of two points per dollar spent instead of one for one. Beginning March 1, Uber users staying at a Starwood hotel will earn two points per dollar spent (in the past, elite members earned more points). While it’s hard to say no to free points, this change is a downgrade. Be sure your Starwood and Uber accounts are linked so at least you earn some points. 

Changes coming to Starwood and Uber partnership

Changes are coming if you use Uber to earn SPG points

Domestic United Clubs losing showers

United is planning to phase out showers in domestic clubs as they go through scheduled renovations. Showers will only be a published benefit of its Polaris lounges that are located in the airline’s main hubs. This important perk was a favorite of many travelers, especially those on red-eye flights, looking for a refresh before hitting the pavement. This news come just as United has recently upped the cost of membership.

New CLEAR lanes open at two NYC airports

If you have CLEAR membership, which permits you to expedite airside access at many airports, there are new airports offering the service. Delta Diamond Medallions also receive the service free of charge. Terminals at New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports now offer the service, and plans are in place to expand the service to other Delta hubs including Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul. 

American updates Cole Haan amenity kits

Since this week offers no shortage of American Airlines’ news, let’s continue with the latest round of amenity changes. New amenity kits in four different designs are coming to American’s first and business class cabins this month. Other changes include a new design for pajamas in the first class cabin.

Last chance for Delta Choice Benefits

If you’re a Platinum or Diamond Medallion, this is your last chance to request the special Choice Benefits that Delta offers its top elites. These include everything from bonus miles to regional and global upgrades. The chance to request these special benefits from the past elite-earning year ends on January 31 so be sure to make those selections within the next few days.

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