Here’s a recap of the interesting points and miles news from this week:
50 Free Aeroplan Miles: Now through December 31, 2012, when you register your Aeroplan and Costco numbers online on the Costco Canada promo page, you’ll be awarded 50 free Aeroplan miles. Ostensibly this looks like it’s for Canadian members, but there’s nothing in the T&C saying you have to be Canadian to qualify for this (admittedly small) bonus, so you might as well try!
20% Off Starwood Preferred Guest Points: From now through November 30, 2012, SPG members can purchase Starpoints for themselves or others at a 20% discount up to a max of 20,000 points per account. Starpoints usually cost 3.5 cents each, but with this promo, it comes out to 2.8 cents. You can purchase in increments of 500 points ($14 each). While 2.8 cents per point isn’t an amazing deal, I regularly pull much more value than that out of my SPG points with award options such as Cash & Points and the fifth night free option which saves you 20% of your points on a five-night redemption, not to mention the current Redeem and Reward promo which rebates you 30-50% of your points at various top-tier hotels and resorts in North America, and for which I found a redemption at the W South Beach that would net me over 13 cents per point in value. While I won’t be taking advantage of this since I can mint Starpoints quicker with my Starwood Amex, it might make sense for those who know how to gain more value than the 2.8 cents per point paid.
You can get up to 5,000 United miles by purchasing Marriott gift cards through November 26, 2012. You get 500 United miles for a $150 purchase, 1,000 on a $250 purchase and 2,000 on a $4,000 purchase. If you purchase two $400 and a $250 for a total of $1,050 you’ll get 5,000 United miles- which to me are worth about $100- not bad for a $1,050 purchase!
Free Langham Gateway Status for Visa Signature Cardholders: Langham hotels, whose U.S. locations include Pasadena, CA and Boston, is offering complimentary elite status to Visa Signature Cardholders. Langham 1865 Gateway status normally requires 3 stays within 12 months. To enroll as an 1865 Gateway member, you can enter your info here and input your Visa Signature Card’s first 6 digits as the Invitation Code. 1865 Gateway status includes 4pm late check-out, complimentary fruit and bottled water upon arrival, express check-in and check-out, and personalized room preferences. The original Langham in London is a gorgeous historic property, and the chain has properties in Australia, New Zealand and throughout Asia as well, so though they’re not overwhelmingly present in the Western Hemisphere, when you’re traveling across the Pacific, you should be able to take advantage of your new status. As a reminder, some of the Visa Signature cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire, British Airways Visa, Hyatt card, Marriott Rewards Premier, Marriott Rewards, Southwest Plus, Bank of America’s Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines cards,Capital One Venture, Citi Hilton HHonors and Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, US Bank FlexPerks, Citi AAdvantage Visa Signature.
4,500 Avios for Telegraph Subscription: For UK readers out there, The Telegraph is offering 4,500 British Airways Avios to new subscribers who sign up for their premium subscription “Print Pack,” which includes: the daily newspaper, a welcome gifts, the Telegraph for iPad, iPhone and Android, exclusive offers and premium newsletters. It’ll run you 30.37 GBP per month, but if you’re a subscriber anyway, might as well get a free short-haul flight out of it.
Sofitel 40% Sale: Until Sunday, October 21, Sofitel is offering a 40% discount on stays between December 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013. Some properties require a 3-night minimum stay, and have blackout dates. You can find a full list of participating properties and their restrictions here. Some of the more interesting ones on the list include the Sofitel Rio in Brazil, the Sofitel Marrakech, the Sofitel So Bangkok, Sofitel Moorea, Sofitel Bora Bora, Sofitel Vienna and Sofitel Athens, while properties in the US include hotels in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. Le Club Accorhotels is also hosting a Facebook quiz where you can earn 500 points per week for 4 weeks for a total of 2,000 points – the equivalent of $60 in vouchers for hotel stays or 1,000 airline miles (though you usually have to convert in higher increments than that, starting at 4,000). Accorhotels is also offering a triple points promo where when you book stays between now and November 25, 2012, for weekend stays between now and December 30, 2012, you’ll earn triple points. Normally you earn 2 points per euro you spend at Accor properties like Sofitels and Novotels, but with this promo, that hits 6 points per euro – that’s even more than their top-tier Platinum members earn (just 4 points per euro). Unfortunately, the bonus is only calculated on base earnings, not including elite status bonuses, so you’re stuck at 6 points per euro. Stays must include one weekend night – Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Delta Aircraft Fleet Updates: Earlier this week on Flyertalk, Delta announced some exciting new enhancements to its fleet. First, Delta will begin receiving the first 12 of their expected 100 new 737-900′s in the fourth quarter of 2013. Theses planes will contain 20 first class seats, 21 Economy Comfort seats, and 139 Economy seats and will feature Boeing’s new Sky Interior. First class seats will feature new 11-inch personal TV monitors, while coach seats will have 9-inch monitors. Delta is installing 48 flatbed seats in BusinessElite aboard its 747-400′s, and adding personal monitors to all of coach. The 757-300 is here to stay, which is why starting in the end of 2013, this entire fleet will receive seatback personal TV monitors and the new Boeing Sky Interior. They will also be adding 10 more economy seats on this plane while increasing the average seat pitch thanks to new composite materials and seat design. The domestic 767-300‘s have finished their modifications with six more first class seats being added for a total of 30 now. On the international 767-300ER‘s the 76L is in process of receiving flatbed seats similar to the 767-400′s. There will be 36 BusinessElite seats. However, on the high-volume routes, Delta will be flying the 76Z which will only have 26 flat bed seats in BusinessElite. The A330 will begin to receive 34 flatbed seats and will feature 15.4-inch personal monitor in BusinessElite, and coach will get the 9-inch monitors. Over the past year, Delta added more first class seats to the MD88, and now this fleet has 16 first class seats. The MD90 fleet will be receiving powers ports in first class starting in 2013. Delta is adding 88 717-200′s to their fleet. They will offer the same seats as the new 737-900 but will not have AVOD, due to the short distances these aircrafts will be serving. They will, however, feature Delta’s new wireless entertainment on demand as well as Gogo WiFi (see below).
When it comes to Wifi, Delta has it on its entire domestic mainline fleet and all regional jets with two class cabins – over 800 planes in all. International satellite WiFi is coming starting in early 2013, and the first plane will be a 767-300ER. In addition, domestic WiFi will be receiving an upgrade to Gogo’s next generation ATG-4 platform, which is expected to increase the speed. Delta is rolling out a wireless entertainment on demand system where customers will be able to wirelessly stream movies and TV shows directly to their laptop or tablet while in flight, and since it’s a separate service from the regular WiFi it will have no impact on the speed or bandwidth available to customers using Gogo and purchasing a Gogo WiFi session is not required to view content. Prices for these videos will start at .99 cents, and passengers will be able to view whatever they buy for 24 hours after purchase, even on the ground. There goes an end to the days of being bored on the plane.