British Airways Devalues Award Rates For LATAM Flights

July 15, 2024 at 08:35 EDT By Spencer Howard

Head for Points flagged that British Airways devalued award rates for LATAM flights. You might recall that British Airways just recently increased award rates for flights on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.

New Economy Award Rates By Flight Distance

  • Up to 650 miles: 8,500 Avios, up from 6,000 Avios
  • 651-1,150 miles: 13,500 Avios, up from 9,000 Avios
  • 1,151-2,000 miles: 15,500 Avios, up from 11,000 Avios
  • 2,001-3,000 miles: 17,000 Avios, up from 13,000 Avios
  • 3,001-4,000 miles: 31,250 Avios, up from 20,750 Avios
  • 4,001-5,000 miles: 41,250 Avios, up from 25,750 Avios

I would imagine business class award rates have been devalued as well, but I haven't had a chance to dig into it yet.

How To Get Around An American Airlines Award Glitch

July 15, 2024 at 07:54 EDT By Spencer Howard

JT Genter from Award Wallet flagged that American AAdvantage continues to have issues including with award tickets that include a partner airline and a connection on American Airlines itself.

If you try to pay the taxes/fees for an award ticket to complete the booking but get an error, put the award on hold instead and call American to complete the booking. Once you reach an agent, let them know you put the award on hold after the payment would process and ask them to help you complete the booking.

American AAdvantage allows you to hold an award ticket for five days if the flight is at least 15 days from departure. Within two weeks, you can hold a ticket for one day. Regardless, I would call right away if you can.

New Lifemiles x Gol Smiles Partnership

July 12, 2024 at 05:54 EDT By Spencer Howard

View From The Wing flags that you can now transfer lifemiles to Gol Smiles at a ratio of 1:3.

"This creates interesting arbitrage opportunities – with occasional American Airlines flyers having the ability to move points into a Star Alliance program (Lifemiles) and occasional Star customers being able to credit to LifeMiles and have the opportunity to redeem with American. This is in some ways similar to the role that Aer Lingus played as it partnered with both United and British Airways."

IHG One Rewards Stealth Award Rate Devluation

July 12, 2024 at 05:10 EDT By Spencer Howard

Loyalty Lobby: "When I did a similar comparison last time, point values ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 US cents each. IHG may have tightened the cash/point range, and you won’t see those higher values, or at least not now."

"But looking at these current point values, you should have your head checked if you are swiping the IHG/Chase cobranded card for anything other than IHG hotel stays. Even then, half of the properties are incorrectly coded at Chase’s end as non-IHG, and you need to chase up the points (pun intended)."

Points Wire Note:

At this point, it's tough to justify buying IHG points even with a 100% bonus. It might make sense if you have a co-branded Chase IHG credit card and can get a 4th night free, but that's about it.

IHG Promo: 15% Off Award Stays At New Hotels

July 5, 2024 at 09:19 EDT By Spencer Howard

Through September 30, you can get 15% off award stays at select new and renovated IHG hotels. Unfortunately, this promo does not stack with the 4th night free benefit available to those with an IHG One Rewards credit card.

Direct link to offer

Amex Devalues Popular Schwab Amex Platinum Benefit

July 3, 2024 at 12:06 EDT By Spencer Howard

Danny the Deal Guru: "The Schwab Amex Platinum card has a unique feature. It lets you redeem Membership Rewards points for deposits to an eligible Schwab account at  a value of 1.1 cents per point."

"Now Amex is notifying members of an upcoming change that is bad news for those who use this cash out method heavily. Starting in October, redeeming at 1.1 cents per point will be limited to just 1 million points per year. After that you will only get a value of 0.8 cents per points."

Amex has listed the notice under the card's benefits. It reads:

“Important Note: Starting Oct 1, 2024, the rate for redeeming Membership Rewards points for deposits will change. Basic Card Members will be able to redeem Membership Rewards points for deposits to their eligible Schwab account at a rate of 10,000 points for a $110 deposit for up to 1,000,000 points, after which they may continue to redeem points at a rate of 10,000 points for an $80 deposit through the remainder of the calendar year.”

Virgin Atlantic Devalues Delta Award Rates To Europe

July 2, 2024 at 09:41 EDT By Spencer Howard

Thrifty Traveler: "With absolutely no warning, Virgin Atlantic just quietly raised award rates for many Delta One tickets to Europe to as much as 77,500 points by adding peak and off-peak prices. It gets worse: The airline is also adding a cash surcharge of more than $1,000 on each and every Delta business class redemption."

New Virgin Atlantic Rates On Delta - Business Class

  • East Coast to Europe: 57,500 points + $1,032.30 (15% mileage devaluation)
  • West Coast to Europe: 77,500 points + $1,032.30 (55% mileage devaluation)

I would expect flights from the Midwest to match the East Coast rates as Virgin Atlantic typically groups the East Coast and Midwest together.

Points Wire Note:

No-notice devaluations are among the most disrespectful ways to treat loyalty program members so this is rough.  Even if you could stomach a 55% rate increase, the addition of $1,025+ surcharges is horrendous and makes this a non-starter.

Given that Delta owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic and has repeatedly shown that it hates aspirational award bookings, I can't say I'm totally surprised by this - just disappointed.

How To Access Flying Blue Award Calendar

June 30, 2024 at 13:23 EDT By Spencer Howard

Thrifty Traveler flagged that Air France and KLM have removed an easy way to access the award calendar.

"When trying to pull up Flying Blue's flexible price calendar using the old trick of leaving the date field blank when searching, you'd be met with only blank dates on the calendar."

"Type in your departure and arrival cities and select business class …. but rather than leaving the departure date empty as you once would, scroll to the absolute last date on the calendar Air France or KLM will let you select."

Once the calendar displays, you can click the arrows to scroll to your desired month.

How To Book QantasLink Flights With Avios

June 30, 2024 at 13:04 EDT By Spencer Howard

Head for Points flagged that QantasLink flights are bookable with Avios, but not online. To find award space, you can use the American Airlines site then call British Airways to book.

Additionally, they noted,"If the British Airways agent initially says there’s no availability for a return flight, ask them to check as one way flights each way rather than return – they will often then appear."

QantasLink is a subsidiary of Qantas that operates regional flights within Australia.

Trouble Booking Air France-KLM With Virgin Points, Try This!

June 30, 2024 at 12:18 EDT By Spencer Howard

Frequent Miler flagged a nifty solution to problems booking Air France and KLM award tickets via Virgin Atlantic Flying Blue.

If you get an error when you submit your credit card details, use Virgin Atlantic's online chat function.

"Virgin Atlantic offers an online chat function. You might not see it on their home page, but if you click through on a desktop browser from their home page to “My booking… Manage booking” (or browse directly to: you should see a red box in the bottom right corner that says “Need Help? Chat to us.” Click that. If you have any trouble with it not popping up after clicking, try another browser instance."

Follow the prompts and select the following options to get to an agent:

  1. Flying Club
  2. Spending Points
  3. Our Partners
  4. Partner airlines
  5. No
  6. Speak with an advisory

Hopefully, the chat agent will be able to get you sorted!

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