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Here it is: the most exciting latest news of Frequent Flyer Programs!

This section provides you regularly with the latest news from the Frequent Flyer Programs. However, a complete news service would be far too exhaustive and of little use to you. That's why we always select the most important news which we consider to respond best to the needs of our customers.

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Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

AZ

Although Alitalia had, as reported, several years to prepare the new version of MilleMiglia, the airline surprised with the announcement that the former version would be maintained (with the small detail that all old miles will expire on March 31 – even with an activity of four Alitalia-flights, base members can save only 50% of their miles and not 100% as initially announced!). The program changes will then occur on April 01 though: The cumulation of miles will not be changed – as announced by Alitalia – to a turnover basis, but flat mileage amounts per route will be introduced in function of the booking class and fare type – on European flights 47 (!). This makes it obviously easy to hide the real changes: A flight in Premium Economy from Rome to New York accrues today 8,560 miles, as of April 01 still 3,000 or 5,000. 20,793 miles are earned today with a Business Class flight to Buenos Aires, as of April still between 8,000 and 20,000. As “compensation” for these reduced mileage credits, award levels are massively increased: A roundtrip Business Class award flight to North America will then no longer cost 80,000, but 140,000 miles, to South America 200,000 instead of 120,000 miles. So, if you earn a free Business Class flight to New York today with 10 paid roundtrip flights in Premium Economy, it will take you up to 47 as of April. But at least does Alitalia – respectively Etihad, which owns the program and is hence responsible for this disaster – seems to be realistic: All changes are only valid for the period from April 01 to June 30. That there is no need to worry about the time afterwards should hence be clear…

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

Hil

Starting in April, Hilton Honors will become much more generous – provided you are an elite member. As such, the elite bonus increases – e.g. from 25 to 80% for Gold members – and additional bonuses of 10,000 points are earned for each 10 stays per calendar year, starting with the 40th night, as well as one-time bonus of 30,000 points at 60 nights. But if you still have a home elsewhere than at Hilton hotels (or – God forbid – also stay at other hotels or don’t book directly), you will lose out with the changes: The program will stop its industry-leading and popular practice of ouble dipping between Hilton Honors and FFP miles, meaning that you cannot earn both currencies with the same stay any longer. You will still be able to convert accumulated points into FFP miles though, but unless there will be a significant change to the conversion rate (what doesn’t seem to be the case), the program is simply not competitive anymore, with a conversion rate of mostly 10,000 points into 1,000 or 1,500 FFP miles. With Marriott Rewards – the same earn rate for base members -, you would easily get double that value when converting points into miles.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

GF

The star of Gulf Air keeps on falling: As of May 01, the program will have no longer any airline partner in its Falconflyer program, after Jet Airways (March 31) and American Airlines (April 30) will have left the program, too. The once mighty Gulf Air is even no longer a shadow of itself like that and the utility of its program – although its airline partnerships were never really rewarding and hence truly relevant – will be reduced further and remain interesting primarily for true hard core Gulf Air customers. While Gulf Air has growth plans again and reversing hence a year-long downward spiral, its FFP will have a long way to come to become an element of choice again.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

VX

In the end, Virgin America’s journey was to last for ten years. While the airline continues to operate its own flights until April 24 before being fully merged into Alaska Airlines, its Elevate Frequent Flyer Program has virtually ceased to exist on 31 December. Accrual at this point is not available anymore, but outstanding points can still be transferred to Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan until February 08. The partnerships between the FFPs of Emirates and Singapore Airlines with Virgin America remain in place until Virgin America ceases its own operations. Both programs already partner with Alaska Airlines as well, so that not a lot will change for members of these programs.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in News

CX-Kar

If all your expectations upon a hotel are basically limited to a clean bed, but you’d nevertheless like not to forego Frequent Flyer miles, you should have a closer look at the new Japanese hotel chain karaksa hotels, following the concept of a minimalist hotel. It has now partnered with the program of Cathay Pacific, Asia Miles, and awards 250 miles per stay. Until April 30, triple miles are earned.