Friday, July 31, 2015

One Minute of Fame or Two Month's of Hotel Stays

SPG recently auctioned off an experience to throw out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game.  The package included two game tickets, a pre-game photo, and no hotel stay.  The winning bid was 189,502 points. That equates to 20 free nights at my favorite SPG hotels, the The Westin Sydney or The Westin Palace Madrid.  It also could be 50 free nights at the Sheraton Oklahoma City or 73 free nights at the Sheraton Athlone Ireland. The points could also be converted into 234,502 frequent flyer miles, enough four or five transatlantic business class flights.  The auction winner bought a cool and unique experience that they could not buy with money. That is the value of points programs, they make the impossible achievable.  I'm also certain I would not spend that much on an experience that lasts about 45 seconds.
Where Could 234,502 Miles Take You?
Math Note: Math assumes maximizing the 'stay 4 get 1 free' room redemption pricing. I did not include any welcome gift or Make a Green Choice bonus points. Off season pricing used for Westin hotels mentioned. Frequent flyer mile math assumes 1:1 program transfer and maximizing the 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

QANTAS Admits Dark Secret

QANTAS admitted a long kept secret.  Their ad shown below admits that Australia is not close to the USA.  The flight from LAX to Sydney is almost 14 hours in air.  That's far.  Really far.  They try to spin this bad news as well they can, as you can see.  The trip is well worth the time and the flight is rather pleasant. 
QANTAS Ad Found Online

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LGA Will Have $4 Billion Renovation and Not Fix Main Problem

La Guardia airport will still have only two runways and they will still intersect.  The main reason I am frustrated when flying from New York-LGA will remain.  There will be new terminals so you can wait your delayed flight with more space.
Newark Still Looking Good

Sunday, July 26, 2015

IGH - Priority Club Spire Elite Status

I lucked into this one.  I signed up for the IHG credit card for the 80,000 point sign up bonus and perpetual Platinum status.  It also comes with a free night certificate all for a reasonable $49 annual fee. Soon after my card arrived, IHG announced a new higher level in their program so Platinum is second tier.  I was disappointed because I wanted to buy top status for $49. The new level is called Spire Elite and I qualified because my credit card sign up bonus earned enough points to qualify. I doubt my domestic Holiday Inn experience will change, but this could be very handy in Europe where top elite status seems to be more meaningful. 
Spire Elite Status Could be Fun in Europe
The moral of the story is to wait until there is a 75,000+ sign up bonus before signing up for the card. I found my 80,000 offer on a reservation review page before confirming a booking. Also the card is a miserable point earner, so don't use it after hitting the sign up bonus if you aren't paying for an IHG hotel stay.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

How Is Your 2015 Status Looking?

Now's a great time to evaluate your 2015 status progress and book and extra trip or two to make sure you reach your goals.  I need to fly more, but am doing well on hotels.
I Need To Fly More, Even On CRJ's

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fun Photo

Lufthansa 747 at Denver. I love that aircraft.
Lufthansa 747-400 and Denver International Airport Tower

Monday, July 20, 2015

Premium Economy Upsell

British Airways isn't asking for too much more to book premium economy from regular economy.  That's a tempting price point for a superior product. 
Only $278 More For Better Seats