Help the Relief Effort in Puerto Rico, Delta's $250,000 MQD Waiver Requirement, New Centurion Lounges 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.
Click here to assist our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico, who desperately need help.
Join TPG and Red Ventures in Donating to Help Puerto Rico
Last week, Hurricane Maria left the island of Puerto Rico completely devastated — the storm knocked out the island’s fragile power grid and even now, electricity has not come back for the vast majority of people. It’s hard to put into words the magnitude of the damage to this US territory in the Caribbean. Click here to donate to those in need.
'Delta and Amex Have Lost Their Minds:' Flyers React to Airline's New $250,000 MQD Spend Requirement
This week, Delta increased the Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD) waiver spending requirement to $250,000, a figure that shocked many. However, some of the airline's most loyal flyers believe the new requirement is actually a positive change.
Amex's Philadelphia and Hong Kong Centurion Lounges to Open in October
Two of American Express’ most exciting Centurion Lounges to date are gearing up to welcome cardholders in the days and weeks to come. The new Hong Kong (HKG) location will be the first to open on October 2, followed shortly by Philadelphia (PHL) later in the month.
Lufthansa to Launch Domestic 747-400 Service
Your chances to fly aboard a Boeing 747 on a US carrier are dwindling. If you're in Germany, though, you'll have more options in the coming months, as Lufthansa has added tons of domestic 747 flights between Frankfurt (FRA) and Berlin (TXL) for November.
Finally, American Airlines Admits Basic Economy Means Higher Fares
Since AA rolled out its basic economy product, it's been marketed as a lower-cost option but the evidence showed otherwise. On Thursday at American Airlines’ Investor and Media Day, AA President Robert Isom admitted what we have already known to be true: “Basic Economy is not a price cut,” he said during a presentation.
Hugh Hefner Aboard Playboy's "Big Bunny" DC-9
Hugh Hefner — founder of Playboy magazine and CCO of Playboy Enterprises — died at 91 on Wednesday after a life that made him a symbol of the sexual revolution. He lived the Playboy brand his entire life and a huge part of that was his very own DC-9.
Bid Miles for the Final United 747 Flight
In case you weren't able to snag a seat on the last United 747 flight when they went on sale, you still have a chance to get on board — the airline is offering a special auction through which you can bid MileagePlus miles to secure one of two remaining spots on the flight.
Ryanair Cancels Additional 18,000 Flights Through March 2018; Suspends Some Routes Altogether
A bad situation keeps getting worse for Ryanair. What began as a mass cancellation of 2,300 flights through October — due to a pilot shortage caused by lack of planning for vacation — has led to even more cancellations on the horizon. Ryanair announced Wednesday that it's cancelling an additional 18,000 flights between November 2017 and March 2018.
In other news...
Qatar Places Order for Additional Boeing Aircraft
Boeing and Qatar Airways announced this week that the Doha-based carrier has ordered four 777-300ERs and two 747-8 freighters in a deal worth $2.16 billion. The order should provide a nice boost for both of aircraft programs, though it's still likely that we're close to the end of production for the 747-8 passenger variant.
Lufthansa and Singapore Joint Venture Agreement Goes Into Effect October 1
Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines announced a joint venture back in 2015, which will finally begin on October 1. This means the two — and SWISS — will share costs and revenue on flights between Frankfurt (FRA), Munich (MUC), Zurich (ZRH) and Singapore (SIN).