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TPG in Travel + Leisure, On Board Qatar’s Inaugural A350 Flight & More

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Each Saturday, we round up news stories that you may have missed from the week before, including several that already appeared on The Points Guy, and some more that we haven’t covered yet. If you’re an avid TPG reader, scroll down for the new stuff. Here’s the top miles, points and travel news you may have missed this week:

Despite the aborted take-off, Qatar's A350 business class is phenomenal.
Despite the aborted take-off, Qatar’s A350 business class was phenomenal.

Why Qatar’s A350 Inaugural Flight Was My Most Memorable Flight Ever

TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig was one of 36 passengers on board Qatar’s inaugural A350 flight from the US to Doha. The flight started with an aborted take-off, which Zach caught on video. However, despite the incident, he found that the delicious food and amazing cabin crew made up for it. Plus, the plane has a truly amazing business class with a 1-2-1 configuration, allowing for lots of personal space. For more details on the flight, click here.

You can read more TPG tips in Travel & Leisure.
You can now read more TPG tips in Travel & Leisure.

Read TPG In Travel + Leisure

I’m now contributing to Travel + Leisure, bringing the world of points and miles to a whole new audience. You can check out my  “On Points” column, running each week on Travel + Leisure’s website. My first article is a guide to Five Ultra-Fancy Vacations You Can Buy (Mostly!) With Miles and Points. Click here for more information.

Q1 categories.
The Q1 2016 categories for the Chase Freedom include gas station and local commuter transportation purchases.

Chase Unveils 5x Freedom Bonus Categories for 2016

The latest cash-back promotion for the Chase Freedom is officially open for enrollment. The first of 2016’s 5% cash-back categories include gas stations and local commuter transportation. Chase Freedom cardholders can now activate the bonus to get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases starting in January. The most recent bonus category was for spending with select online retailers, including Amazon and Zappos — and it was bumped up to 10% on Amazon purchases in advance of the holiday shopping season. If you activated the bonus before December 15, you have through the end of 2016 to earn on these purchases. To read the full post, click here.

Kuwait Airways is ending its NY-to-London route. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Kuwait Airways Ends NY-London Route

This week Kuwait Airways informed the Department of Transportation that it will eliminate service between JFK and London Heathrow. (It will continue its service between JFK and Kuwait City.) The airline was recently in the news for refusing to let an Israeli passenger board a flight she was ticketed for, and in October the US Transportation Department threatened legal action against the carrier for its refusal to sell tickets to Israelis — a policy of the airline due to a Kuwaiti law that prohibits its citizens from entering “into an agreement, personally or indirectly, with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship.” Click here for the full story.

Citi Executive card authorized users can access Admirals Clubs.
Authorized users of the Citi AAdvantage Executive card can now access Admirals Clubs.

Citi Executive Card Authorized Users Can Now Access Admirals Club

Authorized users of the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard can now enjoy full Admirals Club membership. American has more than 50 Admirals Club locations worldwide, each offering complimentary drinks and snacks, Wi-Fi and power outlets — and a few even have on-site showers. For more information on this new perk, click here.

In Other News…

Flight attendants can offer upset customers snacks and drinks.
United flight attendants can now offer customers snacks and drinks to compensate for service issues.

United to Offer Free Food and Drinks to Dissatisfied Customers

If you’ve had poor service on a United flight, speaking to a flight attendant should now get you some complimentary cocktails and snacks. In an effort to improve its customer service, United is giving its flight attendants the go-ahead to respond to customer complaints by offering free beverages and food.

Kimpton & IHG currently each have their own rewards programs, but this may change.
Kimpton and IHG currently have their own, separate rewards programs, but this may change.

Kimpton Likely to Integrate Loyalty Program with IHG Rewards

Last year, Kimpton merged with IHG, but the loyalty programs stayed separate. It seems that both programs will continue to run in 2016, but there’s been some vague discussion about integrating the programs in the extended future. Hopefully, when this happens you’ll be able earn and redeem points between both programs.

Air Europa has a new frequent-flyer program called SUMA. Image courtesy of Boeing.
Air Europa has a new frequent-flyer program called SUMA. Image courtesy of Boeing.

Air Europa Launches New SUMA Rewards Program

Spanish carrier Air Europa launched a new rewards program called SUMA. If you hold Flying Blue elite status, SUMA will currently match it for you. The rewards program has three levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Plus, if you register now, you can get 787 miles for free in honor of the new Air Europa 787 Dreamliner.

Jet Airways to partner with KLM and Delta to fly from Amsterdam to Mumbai and Delhi.
Jet Airways will partner with KLM and Delta to fly from Amsterdam to Mumbai and Delhi.

Jet Airways Partners with KLM & Delta

Starting March 27, 2016, Jet Airways will partner with KLM and Delta to operate a daily, nonstop flight from Amsterdam to Mumbai and Delhi. This partnership offers access from 50-plus destinations in Europe to the USA and Canada via Amsterdam.

Delta bonus points for shopping via portal.
Delta bonus points for shopping via its online portal.

Earn Elevated Bonuses Through the Delta Shopping Portal

You can currently register to earn 1,000 bonus miles by using the services of two or more participating non-airline partners by February 29, 2015. Shopping through the Delta Portal counts as non-airline activity; the list above shows the elevated offers by merchant.

Chase Freedom®

Apply Now
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
0% for 15 months 14.24%-23.24% Variable $0 3.00% Excellent/Good