Just got a letter from US Airways MasterCard informing me that my card has been upgraded to Dividend Miles Select benefits. This is really nothing more than a snazzy way to tell me that I have two new benefits associated with my card. Benefits that make this great card a truly awesome and one of a kind airline miles card. Very similar to what Continental does with one of their credit cards by waiving bag fees for card holders. No bag fees waived here, which I don’t really care about since I already hold Preferred status, thus all my bags fly free. Here’s what I can look forward to:
A 5,000 mileage discount on all award tickets booked. This would indicate that a Domestic Saver coach award round-trip would cost 20,000 miles instead of 25,000
Award processing fee waiver which equals to $ savings
I don’t feel like going over the full rules and restrictions, but I’ve attached a detailed scan of the brochure. It’s large and clear enough so you can read through all the rules here (2.2MB size).
Here’s a smaller version of the front and the back of the brochure,
Unfortunately, there isn’t a promo code one can mention when calling US Airways, so it’ll take some time for an agent to locate information for the new benefits. Involving a supervisor would be the best procedure, for now at least. A supervisor was able to assist and pull up information quickly, while a basic agent told me he never heard of this before, which is understandable given the benefits haven’t even started.
My Mom also carries this card, but hasn’t received this letter yet. I’m wondering if I should call Barclays bank to find out whether she is also a DM Select card holder.
Before we take a look at the goodies inside, I have to say that this is by far one of the nicest elite membership kits I’ve seen so far. Granted, I had to dish out $150 for Ambassador status ($100 is for renewing every year), but the benefits associated with this tier as well as the 5,000 points and free night certificate are definitely worth it. Since a majority of my stays this summer will be at InterContinenental hotels, I figured it made perfect sense to sign up now. Plus, the 5,000 points boost will help me get closer to re-qualifying for Platinum status for 2010 since all points earned part of this program qualify you for elite status. A very unique and refreshing characteristic to this program.
I was only expecting a letter with a plastic card in it, but never an actual boxed kit. I always thought of the IHG hotels family as the cheapest (I mean quality-wise, not price) of the major chain families since very few hotels have lounges and almost all phone agent positions are outsourced, albeit friendly. Still, I was pleasantly surprised when I received this today:
Luggage tag close up (notice that it’s not plastic, but heavy duty metal):
Free night certificate for one weekend night with the purchase of one additional weekend night (no blackout dates or restrictions, expires 1 year from date of issue):
For more information on the IC Ambassador program, click here. Another limited time benefit is free internet for Ambassador members at select InterContinental properties until July 31, 2009.
As I mentioned this morning, I was able to visit United’s Red Carpet Club which opened in June of 2008 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. I had to leave the airport earlier than expected, so I wasn’t able to enjoy a full, planned, 3 hour stay, but I managed to snap a few pictures from both the outside and inside of the lounge.
While the lounge is nice, the views are very poor:
Before I left, a quick look at the busy Lufthansa gates:
Overall, I thought the United B18 club at O’Hare was much nicer than the one at the F concourse, but the staff was very rude. Still, they didn’t card me and gave me two drink “chits”. For those who are new to this concept, it’s basically a drink voucher or ticket which entitles you to one free alcoholic drink at the bar. However, for Lufthansa international Business & First class passengers, the amenities could be considered dismal! Lufthansa needs to open their own branded lounge at this airport. Until that happens, I don’t plan to route any of my international Lufthansa departures from Chicago O’Hare.
I’m heading to the airport today, but I’m not flying anywhere or buying any tickets. I’m also not picking anyone up or dropping anyone off! Technically, that is! I’m escorting someone through security, getting them to a lounge and finally to a gate.
I haven’t done this before, but for the first time in my life, I purchased a fully refundable Y class ticket for a Lufthansa flight going to Dusseldorf, Germany with a full intention of canceling said ticket, once I’ve done my good (or some may say naughty) deed of the day.
The plan- a simple one:
Get my friend checked in with Lufthansa
Escort us both through security
Go to United’s one-year-old B18 Red Carpet Club and relax for a while
Head to gate B16 and send her off to Dusseldorf
Call Lufthansa and cancel ticket for a full refund
I’ll also try to get some pictures of United’s B18 lounge and hopefully post them on the blog while in the lounge. Apparently, United only offers free wifi for members and business/first class passengers, but I’m good with my Sprint Treo 800w tethering internet to my Dell Mini 9.
I don’t know why, but I’m really nervous when it comes to purchasing fully refundable tickets. I’m afraid they will find some reason to deny a full refund, but it looks good from where I stand today. Hopefully, the cancellation process goes smoothly and quickly since I will be canceling after already checking-in. I also want my $1516 refunded to my credit card in a fair amount of time- before my statement comes to a close.
Ever day at the gym, I can’t help but notice ABC’s various commercials that mix in characters from multiple shows. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I love this approach and find it very catchy since there’s something for everyone. US Airways did this sort of thing with their US Airways/ different brands commercials, just like their west coast predecessor- America West Airlines. Remember this?
How about taking it up a notch? Wouldn’t it be neat for alliance carriers to partner up and do this sort of thing? Instead of house it could be airport. Ads could involve humor and promote coordination between member carriers. Check out what ABC did? Very clever, and Sally Field with Jimmy Kimmel is over-the-top hilarious.
US Airways Chairman’s, Platinum, Gold and Silver members now earn a preferred mileage bonus on all Lufthansa flights.
A 5,806 miles one way L.A. to Frankfurt nonstop will earn a different bonus for each tier:
Chairman’s (100% bonus) – an additional 5,806 miles per direction
Platinum (75% bonus)- an additional 4,355 miles per direction
Gold (50% bonus)- an additional 2,903 miles per direction
Silver (25% bonus)- an additional 1,452 miles per direction
Keep in mind, these bonus miles don’t count towards Preferred status requalification. They are only redeemable miles for future award redemptions.
I always thought Lufthansa flights should be part of the Preferred bonus. Aside from United, Lufthansa is the second closest partner US Airways has! For a while, the bonus was also offered on all ANA, but I have no clue as to how ANA was picked by US Airways. That said, ANA no longer participates in the preferred bonus. Neither does Hawaiian Airlines.
Charlotte, NC to Honolulu nonstop on US Airways is supposed to start in November 2009. The extra 767 for this route will come from one of the three now officially downgraded to seasonal European routes (Brussels, Milan, Zurich). Apparently, this will be a seasonal route that will operate until Summer 2010 and resume in fall 2010 again. It will most likely affect Delta’s nonstop 747 service from Atlanta, GA to Honolulu, HI.
Charlotte, NC to Honolulu, HI. 4,678 miles.
I will definitely take this flight into consideration when I go to Kauai next year. I’m assuming the meal service will be lunch or dinner followed by pre-arrival snack westbound, while the east bound will most likely offer dinner, followed by breakfast prior to landing. That’s in First Class, of course. In coach, I’m going to guess that meal service will be complementary to compete with Delta.
Just got my Priority Club quarterly paper statement in the mail and there’s a free and easy way to get 1,500 points. As always, chock full of information and will be my literature during a nice bath, haha! You all better admit it now- you love sitting in your bath tub with that stolen Lufthansa rubber ducky and salivating over your paper statement and bonus offers! Imagining you’re in a jacuzzi at an exclusive airport lounge or hotel. I know, I do! Well, no rubber ducky from Lufthansa for me until after this summer. Ha ha!
Anyway, you can get 1,500 bonus points for switching to e-statements at priorityclub.com/email.
Here’s how it works. You receive 500 bonus points for switching (must switch by June 30, 2009). You then receive an additional 1,000 points if you remain opted-in for e-statements through at least September 30, 2009.
After you confirm the posting of points, you can always switch back to the paper statement method of delivery if you prefer statements in the mail.
With the good news of two Marriott properties in the Maldives, comes a reality check. JW Marriott Fiji Resort & Spa At Momi Bay will never happen. All plans have been abandoned. I don’t know the exact reasons, but I recall reading it had something to do with a 50/50 mix of financial problems and political troubles.
That’s all I have for you. Sorry I couldn’t dig up more.