Thursday, February 6, 2014

Feb 6 Update: Aloft Smart Check-In expanding, Turkey Visa application method changing, SAS EuroBonus Refer a Friend bonus

Thursday brings us the following:

News, Tips & Tricks
Don't forget to enter our contest on the FFB Blog: FFB Giveaway: Enter to win 26,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Rewards Canada reader Bill W. first alerted us many months ago about the new Smart Check-In feature at Aloft Hotels and now he lets us know that Starwood is expanding program in the coming months including three locations right here in Canada. (thanks once again to Bill W. for keeping us up to speed on this initiative)

As reminder the program is only available to select SPG members at this time but for knowledge sake here is how the program works:

How does it work?

On the day of your arrival at any participating Aloft hotel we will send a message to your mobile device with your room number. When you arrive you can bypass the front desk and proceed directly to your room. Once at your room just touch and hold your Aloft brand SPG card to the door lock and the door will unlock. It's easy-breezy!
With your Aloft brand SPG card, you will be able to take advantage of one of the easiest and fastest check-in experiences ever offered in the hotel industry. You will no longer need to check in at the front desk or kiosk when you arrive, but still enjoy full access to the front desk throughout your stay. Any costs incurred during your stay will be charged to the credit card used to book your reservation. Feel free to stop by the front desk at any time if you have questions or concerns. Also, please note that while your new Aloft brand SPG card does not list your specific SPG member tier, you will continue to receive all the benefits of your tier.

How do I join?

Currently the program is targeted to select SPG members and we are not able to add any additional members at this time. But, please be on the lookout for your invitation to join as we hope to expand the program in the near future!

Travelling to Turkey? Either on Turkish Airlines' direct flight from YYZ or via another connection point? You should note the change in their Visa application requirements which now have you go online at to obtain a Visa:
  • For the moment, Turkish visa can be obtained on arrival (if you are eligible), from the Turkish missions or over the e-Visa Application system (if you are eligible). Please note that visa on arrival will no longer be available as of 10 April 2014.
  • e-Visa is valid for tourism and trade purposes only.
  • You can check if you are eligible for e-Visa by clicking “Apply Now” and selecting your nationality. Each traveler must obtain a separate e-Visa, including infants and kids. (Even though kids/infants are included in their parent’s passports)
  • Your passport must be valid at least for 6 months by the time you enter Turkey. Depending on your nationality, there might be some additional requirements to be met. You will be informed of these after you select your nationality and travel dates.
  • You can find out about e-Visa fee by clicking “Apply Now” and selecting your nationality.
  • You can only make payment by Mastercard and Visa credit/debit card. The card is not required to be under your name. Please note that cards issued by Turkish Banks are not accepted. Kindly make sure that your card has “3D Secure System” and is open to international transactions.
  • After you receive the “e-mail address verification message”, you need to click “approve” button and proceed with the payment within 24 hours. Otherwise, your application will time out, hence the system will not accept payment and you will need to make a new application.
  • Kindly inform the Support Desk (via “Contact Form” under “Contact Us” section on main page) in case of any suspended or unsuccessful transaction throughout the whole application procedure. Please do not make a new application or a new payment unless advised otherwise. The Ministry will not be responsible for additional payments and no refund will be granted in case of such unfinished transactions.
  • e-Visa fee is only in USD .You don’t have to have a USD account. An equivalent amount in your local currency will be deducted from your account.
  • After you make payment, the link to download your e-Visa will be e-mailed to you. Please print out and keep your e-Visa with you while entering and exiting Turkey.
  • Validity period of your e-Visa is different than duration of stay. You can enter Turkey anytime within validity period. Please note that, if you wish to enter Turkey earlier than the date specified on your e-Visa, you need to make a new application.
  • Once e-Visa is processed, none of the information on it can be changed. It is your responsibility to secure that information on e-Visa is exactly the same with the information on your passport. Otherwise, your e-Visa will be invalid, and there will be no refund for it.
  • There are numerous web sites which claim to assist users in receiving Turkish e-Visas in return of a service charge. We do not have any connection with them. Therefore, we cannot be held responsible for any misuse of information or failure of service on their side.
  • e-Visa application has no connection with Turkish Embassies or Consulates General. For any information you should contact e-Visa Support Desk through “Contact Us” on the main page.

Bonus Offers

Emirates Skywards
- 500 Bonus Skywards Miles per night for up to three nights for stays at the Fairmont Grand Hotel, Kyiv. More... Until Aug 31, 14

IHG Rewards Club
- 5,000 Bonus IHG Rewards Club Points per night for stays of 2 or more nights at Holiday Inn Club Vacations® resorts in the U.S. More... Until May 23, 14

Miles & More
- 50% Bonus Miles & More Miles when you fly on Austrian Airlines between Vienna and Tel Aviv. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- Double Miles & More Miles on all eligible Budget rentals in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the USA and Canada. More... Book by Feb 28 for rentals until Apr 30, 14

SAS EuroBonus
- Earn up to 6,000 Bonus EuroBonus Points when you refer friends and family to the EuroBonus program. More... Until Mar 30, 14

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Double KrisFlyer Miles when you stay in a Fairmont Premier Room at the Fairmont Singapore. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- Earn Double KrisFlyer Miles when you stay at any participating IHG hotel in Australasia, Southeast & Southwest Asia, Japan & Korea, and the Middle East & Africa. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- Double KrisFlyer Miles when you stay on an eligible rate at a participating Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces property Worldwide. More... Until Mar 31, 14
- Double KrisFlyer Miles when you rent on an Affordable Rate for 3 or more days from a participating HERTZ location in USA , Canada , Europe, Australia or New Zealand. More... Until Mar 31, 14

Starwood Preferred Guest
- 5,000 Bonus Starpoints and free in room Wi-Fi on weeknd stays of 2 or more nights at The Westin Tampa Bay. 31 advance purchase required. More... Until Jul 20, 14

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