Mistake 1: In March I had a 20-night stay at Starwood hotel and failed to sign up for a Platinum Challenge. Even if had signed up in April they would have retroactively gone back to March 1. I called yesterday and got signed up dating back to May 1, which this Wednesday will leave me at 16 nights, 2 short ahead of a special weekend getaway where I really wanted the benefits to apply for my wife. Loyalty Lobby covered this in 2012, the major change is that award nights now count for qualification.
Mistake 2: To change things up from my repeated Starwood Hongta stays in Shanghai, I spent a week at the Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong. I previously wrote how I did not properly research points earning, at Intercontinental in Asia there is a flat 2,000 Priority Club points per stay. I would have done better by staying at the rather nice Holiday Inn across from the Hongta. Now it bites more that my retroactive Starwood Platinum Challenge would have already been complete.
I was redeemed my SPG 2013 Gold Elite 25% an award stay with great difficulty. The agent booked it wrong, somehow split the 3-night stay into a 2-night and 1-night and took out the full points price. Took nearly two hours of follow-up calls and various agents to get it corrected. Each person said they were not familiar with this promo and had issues with the code I was given at registration. Looking at FlyerTalk and MilePoint, people are having mixed success. No online redemption.
That’s about all from my week in China. I did explore a Delta+Gol award for a potential summer Brazil trip with friends. I got the Delta segments to price low economy on the outbound, mid economy on the indound, put them on hold. Either the system was wrong or the agent or both, and I was calling during the middle of the US night on a weekend. Adding the Gol segement to the existing hold or starting a new reservation was adding 20,000 miles to the price, treating the ticket as two separate trips a US-Brazil and a Brazil domestic. The trip fell through before I steeled myself for a Monday of calling. Good to see decent Gol availability a few months out, you can check on Flight Stats.
Items of interest:
- UPGRD Matthew on Saudia in economy class, he beats me to the publishing punch.
- Personal Finance Digest on Three credit cards with unusual benefits.
- Mommy Points on Hyatt Stay Certificates. A bit too complicated and pricey for me.
- Noob Traveler on using Avios for Air Berlin. I hunted around a bit for some of their non-European destinations. Space is hard to find. Intra-Europe may be better.
- Pizza in Motion on The Gamification of Travel: A Fun Way to Earn Expedia Rewards. I have avoid things like foursquare and not even going to read through this, I do not want to spend more time fiddling with my phone.
- Travel is Fee on Why Travel Hacking is Better Than Extreme Couponing. Because at its heart it is all the same thing, just different payouts and glamor.