Airbnb and United Partner Up, New Award Ticket Options to Europe and 5x on Amex Travel

Airbnb and United Partner Up, New Award Ticket Options to Europe and 5x on Amex Travel

Airlines in the SkyTeam alliance are making it easy to request missing miles from past flights. Frequent flyers should always double-check their accounts to make sure they receive credit for flying. It’s easy to forget to look and sometimes miles are missed. Other news this week include new amenities aboard Hawaiian Airlines, new routes between North America and Europe, 3x on Airbnb through United’s app and a new 5x bonus for Amex premium cardholders.

Hawaiian Airlines introduces new amenity kits

Hawaiian Airlines is making some positive, big changes like adding flat-bed seats in its business class cabin on widebody planes and introducing new amenity kits for premium cabin passengers. Popular Hawaiian designer Sig Zane created an exclusive flower pattern for the kits, which will also be given to first class passengers flying nonstop to New York JFK, the airline’s longest route to the mainland. Contents include hand, lip and body balm, hydrating mist, a dental kit, bamboo comb, and socks with a playful slipper design with the words “E Hiamoe Maika‘i” (sleep well). In addition to Hawaiian Airlines miles, American AAdvantage members can earn and redeem miles on Hawaiian flights.

Air Canada creates kids’ loyalty program

Altitude Skyriders is the new initiative targeting Aeroplan frequent fliers between the ages of 2 and 12. Participants get some free goodies like a log book to keep track of their flights and a special luggage tag. They earn the standard amount of points just like adults in the Aeroplan program, but it is a clever way to engage younger travelers when they take flight. 

Air Canada's kids loyalty program
Altitude Skyriders is Air Canada’s loyalty program for kids

Airbnb and United partner to award miles

Like Qantas and Virgin America, United is now awarding miles for Airbnb stays booked through its MileagePlus X app. It is easy to use and offers bonus miles at a large variety of retailers. If you have the Mileage Plus Explorer credit card, you get a 25% bonus on top of the three miles you earn per dollar spent on Airbnb stays.

SkyTeam launches mileage request system

If notice miles have not posted properly after a recent flight on a SkyTeam airline, things are getting easier. In the past, boarding passes and receipts often had to be mailed physically to an airline for mileage credit. Luckily, SkyTeam airlines are getting new website capability that allows you to request missing miles by entering the ticket number and flight details. Not all members will have it up and running on their website yet, but it is in the works.

American Express offers 5 points per dollar on travel

Now the most generous program for earning points on travel, American Express is proving it still offers some amazing cards. American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders can now earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar spent with airlines booked either directly or through the travel portal on the Amex website. These points can be used to redeem for travel, for retail gifts, or for transfers to various airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Earn 5 Membership Rewards points with American Express Platinum card

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card offers unique cardmember events

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card from J. P. Morgan Chase offers many special experiences to cardholders. They can enjoy as many as four events per year including VIP access to fashion week in New York or jazz weekends in New Orleans. These exclusive opportunities (like dinner with a famous chef or fashion designer) are not available to the general public, which is why they are so special. They carry a fee, but also bring unique visits that cannot be organized elsewhere. Other new benefits of the card include credits for Global Entry and Priority Pass membership to over 900 lounges worldwide.

American Express and Westin provide cash back

If you spend more than $250 at a Westin using an American Express card between now and December 14, you are eligible to receive a $50 statement credit. The offer needs to be linked to your account first, which is simple. Log on to the Amex website and check to see if it is available in the Amex Offers section or you can tweet #AmexWestin to have your Twitter account linked with American Express. 

Citi puts limit on point sharing

A new limit is now in place for those that like to share Citi ThankYou points with friends and family. The company now says that cardholders can only share or receive 100,000 points in a calendar year. For those that want to redeem for big vacations, this makes it a bit harder. 

Citi's limit on point sharing

Icelandair grows its route network and LOT Polish expands

The Icelandic national airline is launching new service to Tampa/St. Petersburg and Philadelphia from its hub at Reykjavik (Keflavik). Icelandair is rapidly expanding its North American network and makes it even easier to get to Europe at attractive fares. Travelers can include a free stopover in their reservation. Icelandair also partners with Alaska Airlines meaning that flyers can earn and redeem miles in Alaska’s Mileage Plan program when flying on its flights. Service to Tampa begins September 7, 2017, and flights to Philadelphia begin May 30, 2017. In addition, like Austrian Airlines to Vienna, LOT Polish will launch new flights between its Warsaw hub and Los Angeles in April of next year. These are great options to earn and redeem miles in the Star Alliance network from LAX.

Turkish Airlines opens first U.S. lounge

Washington Dulles is the lucky airport to receive Turkish Airlines’ first business class lounge in North America. Like its popular lounge in Istanbul, this location serves delicious Turkish cuisine and provides comfortable seating. The best part about the lounge is that it is a Star Alliance Gold facility. Like the Lufthansa lounge at Dulles, any Star Alliance Gold flyer (even domestic travelers) with a flight on the alliance can access the lounge. This is a lesser known benefit that Star Gold members should be taking advantage of in their travels.