Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alas, United points expire for frequent fliers

We knew it was coming but we have been dreading it!

Continental Airlines frequent flier miles will expire after 18 months in accounts without activity, though members will be able to avoid this without flying or using the miles. I don’t want to take the risk of engaging in an activity that may prevent miles from expiring. Everyone will be using their miles so awards will be difficult to obtain.united_continental_logo_det

Continental Airlines frequent fliers have been feeling like United has been treating them like 2nd class passengers now that Continental's merger with United Airlines has gone through.

Recently, many frequent fliers from Continentals main hub have noticed the deterioration of service and elite benefits. United has been heaping on the fees, cutting meal service and ticket prices have gone up now that they have less completion. The United fee for upgrading to a better seat increased, and chances of a free upgrade have diminished.

They are calling the Global Entry (line skipping) Program a new perk, but passengers can apply for Clear or Global Entry, even if they are not a United Frequent flyer member. -Though elite members of the MileagePlus program can apply for the benefit without paying the $100 application fee. Clear speeds you through airport security for a fee of $179 unlimited usage per year, and you can add a household member for just $50.

The new combined, frequent flier program will have 4 tiers:- Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum.

A benefit that OnePass elites have strived for, has been added to the new MileagePlus. It gives elite status benefits to spouses or partners of passengers who accumulate a million frequent-flier miles.

Your Lifetime Flight Mile balance counts towards your Million Miler status: Earn at least one million lifetime flight miles and your Elite status will never fall below our Silver Elite level. Trouble is that silver does not really get you and your spouse many perks, sure you get baggage but my credit card covers free bags. I was happy to attain this but there is no chance of an upgrade with Silver! The best is if you earn four million miles, you will always be Presidential Platinum Elite but that is not going to happen now that flying has become more unpleasant.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Adult play ground on the Strip is a must-see resort destination

There’s something surreal about sitting on the terrace with gondolas going by and a fake sky above with clouds painted on the bright blue ceiling. I feel like I’m on a stage and expect to see Mary Poppins go by. It’s an experience that puts a smile on everyone in this amazing place. We posed for photos with the life sized blue Man statues at the Venetian Hotel and went to see the live Blue Man Group act out their theatrical performance of music, comedy and multimedia. We danced and ate Sushi at the Tao nightclub after enjoying a sunset view from the rooftop pool.Venetian-big

Through December 31, 2011, Priority Club® Rewards members can earn 500 points for every night stayed, up to 20,000 points. Plus, stay at two IHG brands to double, three brands to triple, and four or more brands to quadruple your points, up to 80,000 points.*
Use the new Holiday Inn Express iPhone app to book or via any IHG channels (brand websites or call centers) by October 31 to become eligible for the 25,000 bonus points. Guests who book in any other way, including directly with The Venetian or The Palazzo, will be ineligible. This is because you may be able to get a lower rate if you don’t book this “Bonus Points Package”. I know that business travelers often book the Holiday inn rates that give you extra points if their company is footing the bill but Las Vegas is a place visited by vacationers preferring the lowest rate, I did stay at the Venetian while on a conference all inclusive rate and return to relax because the Palazzo hotel has such a great spa.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good deal and the IHG websites usually do bring up the best rates.The best advice is to check all the rates on the day that you make your reservation and book the Best Flexible Rate so that you can change the reservation if a lower rate comes up. Expedia often has low Flash sale rates and often you can even earn hotel program points if you like to stay loyal to a brand. Room rates range from $115 in value season to $199 on peak weekends depending on date selected. Minimum two-night stay required. There is also a Nightly resort fee of $20.
you'll earn 25,000 bonus Priority Club if you register and stay four or more nights at The Venetian or The PalazzoLas Vegas by October 31, 2011 to use for stays before December 15, 2011. They are  InterContinental Alliance ResortsTM,  The points are in addition to base points you already earn. That’s enough points for at least one free night during a future stay at many IHG hotels, including Holiday Inn® and Holiday Inn Express® hotels worldwide.

The  Venetian is the world’s largest five-diamond, four-star resort and all the accommodations are suites so you don’t have to rely on getting a Platinum elite Priority Club upgrade. All Ambassador benefits apply at The Venetian and The Palazzo Resorts with the exception of the complimentary daily newspaper which is included in the resort fee, as is the internet fee.
The Palatial Palazzo in Las Vegas has the most luxurious Place to be pampered and lounge in the spa hot tub at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. It’s an addictive experience!  There is a rock-climbing wall but I just enjoyed putting my feet up, while sipping tea in the tranquil lounge.