New Centurion Lounges, Big Hilton Honors Changes, Delta Diamond Improvements and More
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:
This week American Express confirmed that it's going to begin expanding its fantastic line of Centurion lounges to international locations starting with the opening of a lounge in Hong Kong (HKG) later this year. The lounge will emulate the US locations, meaning you can expect a full premium bar, hot and cold food items, plenty of seating, free Wi-Fi and more.
Hilton's loyalty program received a significant refresh this week. The first thing you'll (maybe) notice is that the name is now Honors, instead of the previous HHonors. In addition to a new name, Hilton's added several perks including a Points & Money option, Points Pooling, Amazon Shop with Points and a Diamond Status Extension.
If you're a Delta Diamond Medallion member, the airline's made some improvements to the benefits you'll receive. Most notably, it's changed how you get SkyClub access as a top-tier elite.
Marriott's charting a new course for two of its newly acquired brands as a result of its merger with Starwood. The chain will be introducing changes to both the Aloft and Element brands focused on improving the guest experience.
Hilton Honors is allowing you to earn elite status with the chain through March 2019 by completing a status match. Once your request a match with Hilton, you’ll be granted your matched Honors status for 90 days, and then you must complete four stays within 90 days to retain Gold or eight stays within 90 days to retain Diamond through March 2019.
If you have a flight on Spirit Airlines departing on or after April 4, make sure that your personal item abides by the airline's new — and shrunken — guidelines.
With more and more Mainland Chinese carriers launching flights to the US, you'll definitely want to be aware of the fact that many (if not all) of them completely ban the use of cell phones while in-flight — and yes, even when they're in airplane mode.
In other news...
FlyHomes and Lyft Launch Partnership to Reward Home Buyers With Ride Credits
Last year we told you about the brokerage firm called FlyHomes that will award you frequent flyer miles when you purchase a home. Now, the broker has launched a program called A Year of Lyft, which gives prospective buyers free Lyft rides to homes they're touring as well as ride credits after purchasing a home.
Cathay Pacific Makes Minor Cuts to First-Class Amenities
Anyone who's flown in Cathay Pacific first class has experienced one of the best first-class products in the sky. However, on your next flight in Cathay first you'll notice that the airline's made some very minor cuts to in-flight service — you'll get a pre-packaged box with two pieces of chocolate instead of a plate with several pieces and you'll no longer receive the pre-departure amuse bouche.
American Airlines Reducing Earning Rates on Some Qantas Flights
Beginning May 1, 2017, AA is reducing earning rates for tickets booked into select fare classes (R,T,H,N,G,S) for select Qantas flights. See the above chart to see what you'll earn according to the new scheme.