OneWorld

Using frequent flyer miles doesn’t mean it’s free

My hometown of Nashville recently gained a non-stop flight to London Heathrow on British Airways which is nice in so many ways and many folks may think that’s a great way to redeem their frequent flyer miles…but is it really?

Let’s say you have 60,000 American AAdvantage miles and are ready to splurge on a trip to London. You log into your AAdvantage account on aa.com, plug in dates that will work for you, check the Redeem miles box and hit Search.


The website returns the full week of results.


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Categories: Advice, American Airlines, British Airways, OneWorld | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Earn 1000 AA Miles for Hyatt House or Hyatt Place stays

American Airlines and Hyatt are teaming up to allow you to earn 1000 miles for each stay at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House property between February 20 and June 30, 2018. You must register by this Monday, April 30th. The date of your stay is determined by your checkout date.

When you check into a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House, you must choose one of these options:

  • Earn 1000 AAdvantage® bonus miles plus the standard 500 AAdvantage® miles for your stay OR
  • Earn 1000 AAdvantage® bonus miles + World of Hyatt Base Points for your eligible spend

The terms and conditions further state:

Back-to-back stays within one 24-hour period at a single participating hotel are considered one stay. Only one (1) check-in/check-out permitted per stay. Please allow four to six weeks after your qualifying stay for bonus miles to be posted to your American Advantage account.

If you didn’t get the email about this promotion you can register on the World of Hyatt website.

Categories: American Airlines, Hotel, Hotel Promos, Hyatt, OneWorld | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

New benefits, slightly higher fee for the Citi AA Platinum Card

The Citibank AAdvantage® Visa was the first rewards credit card I ever had and I’ve held on to it through various iterations including a switch to MasterCard for over 20 years. But it’s one I keep for the benefits instead of for its earning power.

To me the primary benefits are a free checked bag on domestic flights and the 10% rebate on miles when purchasing an award ticket (up to 10,000 miles per year). But at present the card earns 2x miles on all American Airlines purchases and 1x miles everywhere else. While I do have a couple of small recurring charges on this card, I spend less than $50 per month on it.

Starting July 22, 2018 it seems that Citi will attempt to get me to spend more on this card by offering 2x miles at restaurants and gas stations as well as a $100 AA flight voucher if I spend $20K or more during my cardmember year and renew the card. They’ll also raise the annual fee from $95 to $99 which seems…cheap.

My reaction: well, it’s better than nothing. But if Citi was hoping to drive me to use this card more often, this is not going to do it. I already get 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar at restaurants through my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I get 3x of Citi’s own Thank You Points per dollar at gas stations via the Citi Premier card. Thanks to my Barclay’s American Airlines AAviator card I can earn that $100 voucher for $20K spend, get the free checked bag AND, thanks to having converted that card over from the US Airways card, I get 10K miles bonus each year I renew.

The only reason I keep this card is for how it’s helping my credit rating’s average age of accounts score and the 10% mileage rebate though that only helps in years when I redeem AA miles. And it’s frustrating to me when I want to book an international trip as soon as the window opens but AA hasn’t released ANY award seats from Memphis to an AA hub so I have to buy a positioning flight.

So, nice try, Citibank but let’s see if you can do better.

Categories: Credit Cards, American Airlines, Citibank, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cathay Dragon A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Beijing

Exploring Asia Overview
Cathay Pacific B777-300ER Business Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge Review: The Cabin at HKG
Cathay Dragon A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Beijing
Lodging Review: Regent Beijing Hotel
Beijing: Dongcheng District
Beijing: The Great Wall
Beijing: Run-ze Jade Garden
Beijing: The Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs
Beijing: The Legend of Kung Fu
Beijing: Tiananmen Square
Beijing: The Forbidden City
Beijing: Hutong Tour via Rickshaw, Tea Tasting, Flying to Xi’an
Lodging Review: Hotel Shangri-La Xi’an
Xi’an: Qing Dynasty Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi’an: Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
Xi’an Wrap-Up, Flying to Lhasa, Lhasa Home Visit
Lodging Review: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
Lhasa: Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market
Lhasa: Canggu Nunnery and Sera Monastery
Lhasa: Potala Palace
Leaving Lhasa and Flying to Chongqing
Viking Emerald
Shibaozhai Temple
Cruising the Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam
Jingzhou City Walls Tour
Wuhan: Hubei Bells Performance and Provincial Museum
Shanghai: Shanghai Museum
Lodging Review: Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai
Shanghai: Old Shanghai and Yuyan Gardens
Lodging Review: The New Otani Tokyo Hotel
Tokyo: City Tour
Mt. Fuji and Hakone Tour Returning by Shinkansen
ANA Suites Lounge Review, Tokyo Narita
All Nippon Airways B777-300ER First Class Tokyo Narita to Houston

About 10 minutes before boarding time one of my companions and I left our third companion in The Cabin (his flight was an hour later) and headed back upstairs to our gate, which was only about two gates away from the entrance to The Cabin.

Boarding started on time and we entered through door 1L, turned right and went through the small (8 seats) first class cabin and into the first of the two business class cabins.

KA 900 – HKG-PEK
Departs: 8:00 AM
Arrives: 11:15 AM
Duration: 3h 20m
Aircraft: A330-300
Seat: 12C (Business Class)

Though our flight was on Cathay’s regional subsidiary, Dragon Air, I can’t imagine there was much difference between this plane and the Cathay B777 our friend flew an hour later.

I didn’t seem to get a photo of the seats though they reminded me a bit of those in Turkish Business Class. Seat controls were built into the side of the armrest, above the magazine holder.

Seat Controls

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Categories: Award Travel, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, OneWorld | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cathay Pacific Lounge Review: The Cabin at HKG

Exploring Asia Overview
Cathay Pacific B777-300ER Business Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge Review: The Cabin at HKG
Cathay Dragon A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Beijing
Lodging Review: Regent Beijing Hotel
Beijing: Dongcheng District
Beijing: The Great Wall
Beijing: Run-ze Jade Garden
Beijing: The Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs
Beijing: The Legend of Kung Fu
Beijing: Tiananmen Square
Beijing: The Forbidden City
Beijing: Hutong Tour via Rickshaw, Tea Tasting, Flying to Xi’an
Lodging Review: Hotel Shangri-La Xi’an
Xi’an: Qing Dynasty Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi’an: Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
Xi’an Wrap-Up, Flying to Lhasa, Lhasa Home Visit
Lodging Review: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
Lhasa: Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market
Lhasa: Canggu Nunnery and Sera Monastery
Lhasa: Potala Palace
Leaving Lhasa and Flying to Chongqing
Viking Emerald
Shibaozhai Temple
Cruising the Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam
Jingzhou City Walls Tour
Wuhan: Hubei Bells Performance and Provincial Museum
Shanghai: Shanghai Museum
Lodging Review: Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai
Shanghai: Old Shanghai and Yuyan Gardens
Lodging Review: The New Otani Tokyo Hotel
Tokyo: City Tour
Mt. Fuji and Hakone Tour Returning by Shinkansen
ANA Suites Lounge Review, Tokyo Narita
All Nippon Airways B777-300ER First Class Tokyo Narita to Houston

Our flight to Hong Kong landed a few minutes early and the three of us followed the signs to the gate for our next flight. The closest lounge was The Cabin. We saw the little “cabin” on the main concourse and found that it was basically just a signpost for the elevator or stairs that would take us down to the actual lounge.

My first impression was that it was a bit dark inside but part of that was due to the overcast day. Once we got past the main entrance there were massive windows all along one wall, overlooking the tarmac. In some ways it was a great view for avgeeks but it appeared all the planes were for shorthaul flights and they were all Cathay or Cathay Dragon branded so there wasn’t a whole lot of variety. Still, if the operations side of an airport is of interest to you, this could be a fun place to wait for your next flight.

Tarmac View from The Cabin HKG

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Categories: Airline Clubs, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Cathay Pacific B777-300ER Business Class San Francisco to Hong Kong

Exploring Asia Overview
Cathay Pacific B777-300ER Business Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge Review: The Cabin at HKG
Cathay Dragon A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Beijing
Lodging Review: Regent Beijing Hotel
Beijing: Dongcheng District
Beijing: The Great Wall
Beijing: Run-ze Jade Garden
Beijing: The Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs
Beijing: The Legend of Kung Fu
Beijing: Tiananmen Square
Beijing: The Forbidden City
Beijing: Hutong Tour via Rickshaw, Tea Tasting, Flying to Xi’an
Lodging Review: Hotel Shangri-La Xi’an
Xi’an: Qing Dynasty Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi’an: Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
Xi’an Wrap-Up, Flying to Lhasa, Lhasa Home Visit
Lodging Review: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
Lhasa: Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market
Lhasa: Canggu Nunnery and Sera Monastery
Lhasa: Potala Palace
Leaving Lhasa and Flying to Chongqing
Viking Emerald
Shibaozhai Temple
Cruising the Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam
Jingzhou City Walls Tour
Wuhan: Hubei Bells Performance and Provincial Museum
Shanghai: Shanghai Museum
Lodging Review: Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai
Shanghai: Old Shanghai and Yuyan Gardens
Lodging Review: The New Otani Tokyo Hotel
Tokyo: City Tour
Mt. Fuji and Hakone Tour Returning by Shinkansen
ANA Suites Lounge Review, Tokyo Narita
All Nippon Airways B777-300ER First Class Tokyo Narita to Houston

Three of us were flying to Beijing on Cathay Pacific from San Francisco via Hong Kong. Two of us bought positioning flights and arrived a day or two early while our third companion was able to get economy award seats all the way from Nashville. By early afternoon our luggage was in storage at our airport hotel and we spent the afternoon enjoying a late lunch and just killing time at the mall until we could go to the airport.

Our flight was due to depart at 12:50 AM and the Cathay counter doesn’t open until 8:30 PM. We’d arrived at the airport a bit before that so had to hang out and wait for the counter to open. After seeing the chaos that was the Economy check-in line, we were so glad to be in premium cabins – one of us in first, the other two in business.

As there are only six first class seats, our companion seated there was through the check-in process quite quickly. It obviously took a bit longer for the two of us in business class but the line still moved quite efficiently. We all received our invitations to the Cathay lounge and were directed to the A gates security line.

While there was a priority line for premium cabin passengers, it didn’t move all that quickly as there were flights by several airlines leaving at the same time and there were language barriers as well, with many non-English speakers moving through. They were having everyone move through the nude-o-scope machines until the line got so backed up that they allowed ten or so of us to go through the regular metal detector. I was thrilled to be in the right place at the right time for that.

We made our way to the Cathay lounge and were granted access. After walking around all day, a couple of us wanted to take showers and that was so refreshing. The shower rooms were clean and plenty big enough that your clothes didn’t get splashed while you were showering. It really made a difference for the long flight ahead.

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Categories: Award Travel, Cathay Pacific, OneWorld | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Earn AA Miles for Stand Up To Cancer Donation

From now through December 12, make a donation of $25 or more to Stand Up To Cancer and receive 25 AAdvantage miles per dollar donated.  If you use a Mastercard for your donation (like the Citibank AA card or the Barclaycard AA card) Mastercard will match up to $1,000,000 in donations.

If you received an email from American Airlines with this offer, just click on the link in your email to be taken to the donation page or you can just click here.

 

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Multiple 100K Mile Giveaways

Three different airlines are offering a chance at 100,000 miles + $2500 cash when you register through their shopping portals.  If you choose to do additional shopping through these portals you can earn more entries into the contest. Continue reading

Categories: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

20% Bonus (or more) Converting SPG Points to American Airlines

Starpoints, the currency of the SPG Hotel Chain, are usually considered the most valuable transferable points/miles currency out there. That’s because not only can the points be used at SPG hotels like Radisson, St. Regis, W Hotels, Westin, etc. but they can be transferred at a 1:3 ratio to Marriott for use at their hotels. In addition, SPG points can be transferred to a host of airlines at a 1:1 ratio – but when you transfer 20,000 points at one time, SPG gives you a 5000 mile bonus. Just take a look at all these partners!

From now through October 15, there is a promotion between SPG and American airlines where when you transfer points to AA, a 20% bonus will apply after the conversion. So if you transfer 20K points to AA, SPG gives you 5000 miles and you end up with 25K AA miles. Then a 20% bonus applies and you get another 5000 miles.

In addition, for each 100K miles transferred during this promotion, you get a 10K AAdvantage mile bonus. Now this must be done in multiple transactions over multiple days because SPG limits you to 79K points converted in a single day. So if on Day 1 you convert 60K points (resulting in 75K AA miles before the bonus) and on Day 2 you convert 20K points (resulting in 25K AA miles before the bonus) you’d not only get the 20% bonus each day (15K on Day 1 and 5K on Day 2), you’d then get an additional 10K bonus resulting in a total of 130K AA miles.

There are minimum transfer amounts based on your SPG status:

  • Preferred (basic) members have a 2500 point minimum
  • Gold members have a 1500 point minimum
  • Platinum members do not have a minimum

If you’re in need of AA miles this is a great way to boost your balance quickly. The transfers are not instant. Research over the past couple of years seems to indicate it takes a minimum of 2 days and perhaps as many as 4 days for the miles to show up in your AA account. But you don’t have to wait for the miles to show up to initiate another transfer. So with the example above you could transfer the 60K points today and the 20K points tomorrow even though you wouldn’t see the miles reflected in your account until mid-week.

If you’re ready to transfer points, follow the link in the email you should have received from American Airlines or click here.

Categories: American Airlines, American Express, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards, SPG Amex | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Buy AA miles for a Penny Apiece

If you own one of the American Airlines Aviator credit cards issued by Barclays, check your account to see if you’ve been targeted for the new Flight Cents program. Flight Cents is a program where your purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar and you earn one AAdvantage mile per cent.

So if your purchase comes to $17.46, your credit card statement will reflect $18 and you get 71 AAdvantage miles for your purchase: 17 for the purchase and 54 miles purchased for the 54 cents that were rounded up.

This pilot program runs October 1 – March 31 and you must register your account by September 30th by selecting the max number of dollars that can be rounded up in a month with the maximum being $500, which would net 50K miles.

This will certainly make me look at using my Aviator card more frequently during this time period despite the fact that my largest stash of airline miles is currently with American.

Were you targeted for this or a similar offer?

H/T: View From The Wing

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, American Airlines, Barclays, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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