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Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

There are freely chosen friendships and imposed partnerships. Although these discussions seem to be from a different time, you may remember that Qantas, a oneworld member and close partner of Emirates, was not really amused when Qatar Airways joined the alliance as well. And that relationship has never really evolved since then. But as Qatar Airways is also known for the fact that you should not mess around with them, they went on an concluded a close partnership, incl. at the FFP level, with Virgin Australia. Privilege Club members notably also earn status points on Virgin Australia flights. This might not be super relevant for the vast majority of Privilege Club members, but it sends a rather unfriendly signal to Qantas. And until December 06, Privilege Club members also earn double miles on all Virgin Australia flights (and these miles are now well Avios, meaning that they can be combined with points of other Avios-based programs).

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

When ITA’s Volare program recently proudly announced its first partnerships, the expectation was, of course, that the SkyTeam partners were finally integrated to the program. After having been an alliance member for almost one year, it is about time to get this part done. The surprise was hence rather big when discovering the truth: Those first partnerships are with Avis and easy Parking, which operates airport parking lots at both airports in Rome. Shortly after, these initial partners were joined by car rental companies Budget and Maggiore as well as, limited to Italy, by Best Western Hotels. Even we don’t know what to say here anymore…

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Being a member of a program of a small airline without major airline partners is always a bit problematic as the utility of points is strongly limited in practice, even more so if you live abroad. At least that problem will soon be a thing of the past for airBaltic Club members as a redemption partnership with Air France and KLM is on the horizon. We’ll need to wait to see the details, but with a low standard accrual rate of 1 point per EUR spent on rather low-priced airBaltic tickets, it might take a while to build up a sufficient points balance to be able to redeem on these partner airlines.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Mexican low cost carrier Viva Aerobus has launched its loyalty program, doters. Given the low cost profile of the airline, there are two remarkable aspects about the program. On one hand, it operates with tier levels with generous tier bonuses: The top tier level, which can nevertheless be reached fairly easily for regular flyers, earns sixfold points compared to the base level. The same earn logic/tier bonus also applies to partners, which is the second particularity of the program: Although low cost airlines in Latin America typically compete with long distance ground transportation modes such as buses, doters will incorporate exactly such Mexican bus companies as partners to its program. The explanation for this is though easy: Viva Aerobus and these bus companies share a common owner.

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

Marriott regularly runs promotions in its Bonvoy program in fall in order to stimulate demand. Looking back at the last years clearly shows that the industry is in nice recovery: Back in 2020, members earned 2,500 bonus points per stay plus an additional bonus of 5,000 points on the 3rd stay – what probably not a lot of members achieved. In 2021, the bonus was at 1,500 points per stay. And this year between September 21 and December 15, members receive 2,000 points per stay – but only from the second stay onwards (what means that you would have earned more bonus points in 2021 if you stay less than four times). Back to normality?