Hyatt’s New Diamond Fast Track Is Open to Everyone (In the Know)

Park Hyatt Siem Reap 9

Yesterday afternoon I confirmed with Hyatt Gold Passport that there is a new Diamond challenge effective through April 30, 2016. The key message is that this is not a public offer -- it's not published on the Hyatt website and continues to be used as a sales tool for targeted customers -- but other people who are aware of the offer are still able to request it by calling Hyatt Gold … [Read more...]

What’s the Upper Limit of Travel Spending? Back of the Envelope Analysis

Airplane tarmac transfer

I'm on a plane right now and considering a hypothetical question: Given the physical constraints of reality, how much could the most loyal, most lucrative customers possibly spend with the airlines and hotel chains? As an aside, we'll ignore meeting planning budgets since they can be all over the map and hotels have started segmenting those off to different programs. Similarly, we'll … [Read more...]

Free M life Status and More with MGM Resorts Connections

Aria Las Vegas 1

I've written before about the M life loyalty program at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas. What I think helps it stand out against other casino loyalty programs are the many ways in which you can acquire elite status, leading to shorter taxi queues, better tables, event line passes, and more. Given the huge numbers of people you can find in Las Vegas when it's busy, these benefits have really made my … [Read more...]

Receive Free Admirals Club Access with Airberlin Status Match

Air Berlin Top Bonus Gold

Airberlin is offering a very open-ended status match offer to its Topbonus Gold tier, as I first learned from Head for Points. This includes Sapphire status with the oneworld Alliance, of which American Airlines is a member. And among the many benefits of Sapphire status are access to preferred seating, extra baggage allowance, and access to business class airport clubs (basically any lounge that … [Read more...]

Delta Hits Back with Fewer Miles for Passengers on Alaska Airlines

New Delta earning chart for Alaska

Last year Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan announced its intention to award fewer miles when its members credit Delta-operated flights. Now Delta is doing the same when its SkyMiles members credit Alaska-operated flights. I'm not entirely sure why Delta made this change, except that it may signal a further breakdown in their partnership. They've previously announced changes to their reciprocal … [Read more...]

The Best Airline Loyalty Programs in 2015

Airline Middle Tier Status 2015

As I did earlier this week for the best hotel loyalty programs, it's now time for the third annual comparison of airline loyalty programs! A lot has changed since last year's edition, and I put off this project for many reasons. It's intimidating. I'm sure I got something wrong. And not all the changes I mention have been implemented yet; this information is current as of March 1. United's new … [Read more...]

The Best Hotel Policies for Free Internet Access

Free WiFi Cover

In my comparison of the best hotel loyalty programs earlier this morning, I explained that I no longer included Internet access among the list of benefits. Why? It's no longer a differentiating factor. Nearly ever hotel offers free WiFi, and so it's difficult to distinguish between them when all I have is a small space in a large table. But there are important distinctions in how this benefit … [Read more...]