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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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 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 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 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.
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. It's a stellar Cash Back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.
It's a stellar Cash Back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.