I’m traveling this week and Internet access has been limited, so I thought I’d just give a quick roundup of stories from around blogworld.
– If you care, I’m in Cleveland, which I bring up to mention that I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Cleveland last night. It’s perfectly wonderful, and especially wonderful because our corporate rate there was $159. $159. For a Ritz Carlton. If that’s not the cheapest rate in the entire Ritz chain, I don’t know what is.
– Today is the last day to get 50,000 bonus points for signing up for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa. After today the signup goes back to 25,000 points. (NOW DEAD)
– People are currently – and excuse me because I really, really don’t like to swear on OTR, but I don’t know how else to put it – completely losing their shit over the November 16th changes to British Airways’ award chart. BA hasn’t announced the details (and apparently won’t until then) but in short — UK-based BA members will be getting a bit of a break, while US-based members may – MAY – face a pretty severe increase in awards on partner redemptions. We’re likely looking at the end of the cheap redemptions to South America and Asia. That’s a bummer, though my favorite part is people who are saying that they can’t believe BA is screwing them over and isn’t this a loyalty program and blah blah blah. Let’s be honest – you got the miles from a credit card signup. It sucks that there’s a devaluation. For less complex trips to the US, Caribbean and Central America on AA – which is really the bulk of how most people redeem awards – it’s probably not going to change much. There have been huge credit card signup bonuses over the past 2 years, and these will continue to come. It’s a bummer that those 100k BA miles might not be good for that trip on Cathay to Hong Kong. That sucks. But go ahead and use them on American for a trip to Costa Rica. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to hoard points. Trust me.
– What does stink, though, is that in advance of that devaluation BA appears to be blocking availability to partners. Lucky has details.
– Aeroplan was briefly charging fuel surcharges on nearly all their partners. Then they rolled that back and they’re now just charging for Lufthansa. I’ve updated the OTR Airlines that Charge Fuel Surcharges on Awards chart.