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Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

SN

Brussels Airlines apparently does not much luck when it comes to Frequent Flyer Programs. It stopped its former program Privilege in late 2009 and merged it into Miles & More. They soon found out this program did not really fit the majority of its customers and introduced LOOP, a program that provided increased flexibility. But that will now be discontinued on January, 31, too – with the argument that Miles & More has developed further in the meantime. This is not entirely wrong, but it continues not to be an option for the infrequent flyer, who collects a few hundreds of miles per flight, which expire after three years – long before having collected the 35,000 miles required for an award flight within Europe. LOOP points can still be redeemed until January, 31, 2021. Points not used until then will expire, meaning notably that they can’t be carried over neither to Miles & More, nor to the Eurowings program Boomerang Club. Will we still witness a third program attempt by Brussels Airlines? Not this year, but maybe before the end of this decade.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Sta

Clearly, the times when alliances were growing significantly are over for all alliances. But Star Alliance, still the largest one, actually lost two of its members – Avianca Brasil and Adria Airways – in 2019 as they went bankrupt. And 2020 could well bring another, much bigger casualty in the form of Air India. The airline is likely to collapse according to reports if its privatisation fails – and there are no signs that any white knight is waiting around the corner. As Star downsizes due to such airline failures, this sets it apart from the other alliances, which see some member movement due to strategic changes. At oneworld, for instance, Royal Air Maroc will be joining in late March – though that will not compensate for the loss of LATAM, leaving the alliance on September 30.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

SK-Six

SAS’ EuroBonus continues to be a safe bet for car rentals, especially thanks to its recurring promotions: Rentals of at least two days with Sixt booked over the SAS website for rentals until March 31 yield at least 4,000 bonus points in the EuroBonus program. Higher car categories even earn a bonus of 6,000 or 8,000 points respectively. As reservations under this promotion need to be placed until January 19, it is definitely worth sparing a few minutes right now in order to think about any car rental needs for the coming weeks!

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Hil

2020 starts in a good manner for Hilton customers: Through May 03, bonus points are awarded in its Hilton Honors program, both in function of the number of stays and of nights. Each stay entitles the member to 2,000 bonus points. A parallel bonus of 10,000 points is awarded for every ten nights. Depending on one’s profile, this corresponds approximately to a doubling of points. For instance, while you’d usually accumulate 15,000 points as base member for staying five times during two nights at a rate of 150 USD per night, this promotion would add 20,000 points to the balance. Another good news of the program is that members can now earn points for up to four rooms in the same reservation, rather than only two until now.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

AiM-ME

Collecting miles for everyday activities has become much easier in the Middle East. On one side, Emirates’ Skywards program launched an innovative app called Skywards Everyday, allowing members to earn miles across many partner categories in the UAE, with an instant credit of miles. On the other side, the Middle East version of the established Air Miles program with its many associated partners in the program has introduced new conversion partnerships with the programs of Emirates and Etihad. Previously, it already had a partnership with Qatar Airways, which has though become less relevant for most local markets since Qatar Airways had to stop flying there due to the political situation. While the Air Miles program is primarily targeted at local residents – for instance, high minimum amounts apply for converting points into miles of one of the partner FFPs -, Skywards Everyday definitely also allows occasional travellers to the region adding some miles to their balance during their stays.