News

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

EY-ABG

Etihad Guest has started an exclusive car rental partnership with Avis Budget Group. Similarly to what British Airways did in the Executive Club at that level some time ago, it is though not entirely clear in what exactly this benefits members. Some weak advantages seem not to outweigh the disadvantage of having a smaller choice, as Etihad Guest has severed ties with its former partners Europcar, Hertz and Sixt, but also with the booking platform rentalcars.com. In the reality of a corporate travel environment where travellers have hardly a choice to select their car rental company, Etihad Guest becomes certainly a more difficult choice for many as a result.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Mar
After the relaunch of the combined Marriott-Starwood-Ritz Carlton program under the new name Marriott Bonvoy last month, the feedback was not only positive. Some minor cutbacks, coupled with operational issues left some members frustrated as they had, from their individual perspective, little sympathy for any issues related to create such a mammoth program. If you are in to turn that page and look positively into the future – understanding that it will be difficult for most to do without the program given the enlarged footprint of Marriott -, the recurring promotion to earn double points from your second stay onwards might be the right opportunity to do so. The promotion will run from 19 March to 04 June and registration is required.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

JL-StJ

Non-air redemptions certainly provide limited value in most FFPs – but exceptions confirm the rule here, too: Japan Airlines provides actually a fairly decent value for such redemptions in its JAL Mileage Bank, at least compared to other programs. And it has now extended that option to its partner Stay Japan, a platform for rental vacations in Japan. 10,000 miles can be redeemed for a 11,000 JPY voucher. At least if redeemed properly, air redemptions still offer a superior value in general, but given the rather strict expiry policy in the program, this option is not so much a move of desperation as it would be in other programs!

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Acc

As part of its continued internationalisation to become a truly global company, AccorHotels has announced that it would not only drop the French name of its current loyalty program Le Club AccorHotels, but also transform it into a wider lifestyle program, called Accor Live Limitless (ALL). Beyond some nice, but rather fluffy marketing statements, no details have yet been revealed though what this will really mean for members, in terms of the basic program proposition, but also what new added concrete benefits will be added. Given Accor’s overall business transformation, there is certainly potential to do something nice here, but for the time being, it is simply wait and see – and to keep a close look at the value of points. A concrete launch date has not been announced, but the new platform is expected to be up and running in 2020. Oh yes, ALL will also become the new jersey sponsor of football club Paris St Germain as of 2019/20 – whether this will finally stop its shameful performance in the Champions League year after year remains to be seen…

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

BA-Hot

British Airways’ Executive Club has not only started a partnership with yet another hotel booking platform, but also offers it in an interesting tweak. Members booking through Hotels.com can choose to earn either 6 miles per GBP spent – what is considerably higher to the other FFP partnerships of Hotels.com – or only half of that rate, but double dip with the loyalty program of Hotels.com, Hotels.com Rewards. With the latter offering one free night per 10 paid nights, it is fairly rewarding and doing with less British Airways miles represents therefore certainly a better value for regular hotel guests.