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Here’s a recap of the interesting points and miles news from this week:
Earn Double Points At Enterprise Rent-A-Car With “Plus Your Points” Promotion: Now through March 31, 2014, Enterprise Plus members can earn double points (2X per $1) on rentals as well as additional bonuses like 20 points just for registering for the promotion. Other ways to obtain bonus points are to refer up to five friends to the program (to get the 300 bonus points per friend, the recommended friend must rent a car at least once during the promotion dates) or you can get a bonus of 50 points for purchasing a GPS for your rental. If you are currently not a member of the Enterprise Plus program, it is free to join here but you must be over 21 years of age. The points earned are later redeemable for free rental cars, just remember you will have to register for both the program and then the promotion.
Air New Zealand’s Hobbit Plane Flies Into LAX For The Hollywood Premiere: Los Angeles International Airport got a very special arrival on Monday, December 2, 2013, when an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 emblazoned with the dragon from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug flew in to celebrate the Hollywood premiere. The plane is the first to feature 54-meter-long Smaug in all his entirety on both sides and was greeted by Hobbit fans, as well as Air New Zealand’s CEO Christopher Luxon, cast members including Aidan Turner and Dean O’Gorman, and director Peter Jackson. “Seeing Smaug fly off the big screen and into the skies is pretty exciting,” said Jackson after the 777-300 landed from Auckland, New Zealand. “The first Air New Zealand aircraft features various characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and it’s extremely impressive, but I think Smaug running the entire length of the aircraft is even more awe-inspiring.”
Earn Double Asia Miles With Qatar Airways Now Through January 24, 2014: To celebrate Qatar Airways joining the Oneworld alliance, Asia Miles (the program of Cathay Pacific) is offering double miles on Qatar Airlines flights now through January 24, 2014 on eligible flights. To take part in this promotion, you must first register here, and then quote your Asia Miles membership number when you book a flight on Qatar Airways, and present your membership card at the check-in counter. Note that there is a holiday travel blackout period from December 20, 2013-January 5, 2014. As I previously reported, after first cementing mileage earning and redeeming partnerships with British Airways and then American Airlines, Qatar Airways officially joined Oneworld on October 30, 2013. To celebrate American is also offering double miles on Qatar flights now through December 19, 2013, and between January 6, 2014 and January 31, 2014.
Donate Your Miles To Charity And So Will US Airways: US Airways will match donations given to participating charities until further notice. For every 5,000 miles you donate to charity, US Airways will give 1,000 miles to the same charity. US Airways will donate a maximum of 25,000 miles per single account, meaning the account holder must donate 125,000 to hit the max. The account holder can donate to one or various participating charities: Make-A-Wish America, Mercy Medical Airlift, Mercy House Foundation, Keep American Beautiful, or American Red Cross. Note mileage donations are not tax deductible.
Alaska Sale: The Alaska Airlines Cyber Monday Sale is actually still going on and offering discounted tickets available for purchase until 11:59 pm PST December 9, 2013. The promotion is valid for bookings made for flights between January 7 and March 5, 2014, for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Note that there are several exceptions: Travel to and from Puerto Vallarta must be completed by February 4, 2014. Travel from all other Mexico destinations must be completed by February 19, 2014. Travel to and from Phoenix, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Tucson must be completed by February 13, 2014. Travel to Alaska is valid Thursdays through Saturdays. Travel from Alaska is valid Sundays through Tuesdays. Travel to Hawaii is valid Sundays through Wednesdays. Travel from Hawaii is valid Mondays through Thursdays. Travel to Mexico is valid Mondays through Thursdays. Travel from Mexico is valid Tuesdays through Fridays. Tickets must be purchased 14 days in advance.
Malaysia Airlines To End Partnership With Delta: Effective May 1, 2014, Malaysia Airlines will no longer be a SkyMiles partner and Delta SkyMiles members will not be able to earn miles for Malaysia Airlines flights through the SkyMiles program or be able to book new SkyMiles award travel reservations on Malaysia Airlines. This announcement isn’t particularly surprising given that Malaysia became a member of the Oneworld Alliance in February 2013, but if you’ve been meaning to earn or redeem your SkyMiles for a flight on the carrier, better do so soon.
Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner Announces Routes And Details: The new 787 Dreamliner will have a variety of perks like a new Business Class with reverse herringbone seats that transform into full lie-flat beds, with 18-inch screens and a Lavazza cappuccino machine for flyers to enjoy. Other features of this new plane include reduced noise and fuel consumption, advanced air filters and 9-inch personal TVs in economy class. Delivery will begin in 2014 and the planes will begin flying routes throughout Canada and Europe, and then later launch their first dedicated route in July of 2014 from Toronto to Tel Aviv.
Qatar Airways Announces New Flight Routes To The US: Currently flying to four cities in the United States – New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Houston – Qatar is doubling it’s flights to the US with the addition of three new routes in 2014: Philadelphia (April 2, 2014), Miami (June 10, 2014) and Dallas/Fort Worth (July 1, 2014). The airline is showing their strong commitment to the American market and they are “looking forward to welcoming their new and loyal passengers on board.” The flight route to Dallas will be operated with the airline’s flagship Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which features a two-class design with 42 Business Class lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.
Earn 5,000 Bonus Virgin Atlantic Miles And Save $90 Off Holiday Wine: Virgin Atlantic is giving you two reasons to raise your glass this holiday season with a chance to earn 5,000 bonus miles when you buy 12 bottles of wine for just $79.99 plus free shipping, which is a saving of $90. You also get three free bottles – either a gold-medal-winning Super Tuscan (if you choose an all-reds or mixed case), or a cool Argentine Pinot Grigio (if you choose all-whites). The offer is only open to Flying Club members and includes their premium choices from the Virgin Wines Explorers Club. The wine options are interesting if not top-shelf, varying from a Sauvignon Blanc from Spain’s Rueda region to a Patagonian Cabernet. Here are the full details on what you get:
- 3,000 bonus miles
- 3 free bottles of top-estate Tuscan red (worth $44.97)
- Tasting notes on each bottle
- 100% money back guarantee
You have to be 21 years or older to purchase and include your Flying Club number in your order, however, if you aren’t a member you can join by clicking here. The offer is valid for 90 days from the e-mail deployment date so through to the beginning of March, 2014.
Give A Southwest Gift Card And Earn 500 Rapid Rewards Points: Being generous can pay off this holiday season if you shop at Southwest. From now through December 9, 2013, you can earn 500 bonus points on every Southwest gift card purchase of $200 or more. They are easy to redeem online, by phone, or at the airport, and there is no expiration date.
- Purchase a Southwest gift card, valued at $200 or more, by December 9, 2013.
- Submit your purchase confirmation number, purchase date, purchase amount, name, and Rapid Rewards account number by December 9, 2013.
Better yet, maximize your points and double dip by using a credit card like the Sapphire Preferred to earn 2.14X points per $1 since this counts as a travel purchase directly from the airline. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.