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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jun 5 Update: Delta decimates Elite Status earning on certain partner flights, Virgin Atlantic reward sale out of YVR, new Ritz-Carlton offer

I can't believe it is already the middle of the week! This week is flying by even with nothing terribly exciting going on in the loyalty world! Actually let me retract that, the news from Delta Airlines I guess could be called exciting but for all the wrong reasons (see below)

News, Tips & Tricks

Delta Airlines and their SkyMiles program have been going through lots of changes over the past year or so, most of them have not been good and that has earned them the nickname "SkyPesos". Devaluations, poor availability and the move to revenue based elite earning structure have put the program into many frequent flyers bad books. Then yesterday even more bad news came out of the SkyMiles head office, the reduction or elimination of MQM (Medallion Qualifying Miles) on SkyTeam partner airline flights. All the details can be found on Delta's site here but here are some of the quick details of the changes coming on September 1st:
  • You will still earn full MQM's on Aeromexico, Air France, Alaska, Alitalia, GOL, KLM and Virgin Australia
  • There will be reduced MQM's on Aeroflot, Air Europa, Czech, Kenya Airways, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Tarom, Aerolineas Argentinas, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern,Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines
  • There will be no MQM's awarded on Hawaiian, Korean, Malaysia or Olympic
The Korean Air one is quite a surprise as Korean is a major player in SkyTeam like AF KLM, AZ and Delta! These changes in fact hurt those of us in Canada and the rest of the world even more than SkyMiles members in the U.S.. The reason why is that as of Jan 2014, US based SkyMiles members will have the revenue based portion of Medallion Qualifying take effect where not only will you need Medallion Qualifying Miles or Segments but you will also require Medallion Qualifying Dollars. Of course those MQD's can only be earn by flying on a flight marketed by Delta (ie ticketed by Delta). So what this means is that U.S. members will be funnelling their spend through Delta to ensure the can qualify for elite status whereas those of us in Canada don't have to buy Delta tickets but as long as eligble flights are credited to SkyMiles we would earn MQMs & MQSs and ultimately elite status. But now with this change it will be harder for Canadian's to qualify as we can only rely on MQMs or MQSs. This is especially bad news for those who were utilizing airlines like Korean, China Airlines etc. and crediting those flights to SkyMiles for elite status recognition.

Virgin Atlantic is running a Flying Club Reward Ticket sale and their Vancouver - London route is included. The discounted rate is only 35,000 Miles (+$450 in fees) for an economy class ticket. Normally the redemption rate is 47,500 miles (+$660 in fees). Tickets must be booked by June 17. Full details can be found here

Travel Deals
Both Air Canada and WestJet are running seat sales for flights within Canada.  Flights need to be booked by June 6 at aircanada.ca or westjet.com

Bonus Offers

American AAdvantage
- Earn up to 30% Bonus Miles when you share/transfer AAdvantage Miles to your friends and family.More... Until Jul 1, 13

IHG Rewards Club
- Earn up to 30,000 Bonus Priority Club Points for a certain amount of nights or completing a certain amount of stays at participating InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo™, Holiday Inn®, Express by Holiday Inn™ and Holiday Inn Express® hotels worldwide. More... Until Jul 31, 13

Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- Earn one certificate for a complimentary night at a Tier 1-3 hotel after the completion of two paid stays at participating Ritz-Carlton hotels.  Maximum of two complimentary night certificates awarded per member. More... Register by Sep 30 for stays between Jul 1 and Oct 31, 13

US Airways Dividend Miles
- 1,000 Bonus Dividend Miles and a $10 Food & Beverage credit at 150+ participating Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element Hotels & Resorts in North America. More... Until Dec 31, 13

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- 25% Flying Club Miles Discount with the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Reward Seat Sale.More... Book by Jun 17, 13
- 15% Bonus Flying Club Miles when you purchase Flying Club miles online. More... Book by Jun 30, 13

Voila Hotel Rewards
- 25% VHR Points Discount on award nights for stays at any VOILĂ€ network hotels Worldwide. More... Until Jul 31, 13
- 1,000 Bonus VHR Points Discount when you refer people to the VHR program. Points are awarded after you referral's first stay. More... Until ?

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