Latest news about airlines & their loyalty programs

3 Oct

Shangri-La extends status of its Diamond & Jade members until end of 2022 !

Shangri-La's Golden Circle has extended tier status for all of its Diamond and Jade members globally. With this extension, all Golden Circle Diamond and Jade members will maintain their current tier status and benefits until 31 December 2022.

American Express Platinum (multiple jurisdictions) members had the Golden Circle Jade status benefit discontinued on 31 March 2021, so this tier extension is definitely welcome news. Golden Circle members typically need the following stays and nights to qualify or maintain their status in the year ahead - Diamond: 50 Nights or 25 Stays or Jade: 20 Nights or 10 Stays.

But the Shangri-La status does not just have benefits by itself, but also, it has many associated perks which come with it, including:

1. Short-cut to Star Alliance Gold status - Shangri-La Jade-tier and Diamond-tier members receive instant KrisFlyer Silver status once they join up their Shangri-La Golden Circle and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer accounts. After that, Shangri-La Jade Members need to take 3 flights on Singapore Airlines, or just 1 flight as a Diamond member to receive KrisFlyer Gold status.

Once you have KrisFlyer Gold status, you have the equivalent of Star Alliance Gold status, which means you unlock the associated benefits on flights on Star Alliance members across the globe.

2. Enjoy Taj InnerCircle Gold status - Under the terms of a strategic alliance between Shangri-La Golden Circle and Taj Inner Circle, there is an automatic status match between the tiers of the programmes.  Golden Circle Jade members match to InnerCircle Gold and Golden Circle Diamond members match to InnerCircle Platinum (and vice-versa).

While Taj InnerCircle is mostly an Indian hotel company’s loyalty programme, Taj also has hotels in various countries worldwide, such as the US, UAE and UK.

Shangri-La will also waive the cancellation charges regardless of booking channel for all guests, if cancelled more than 24 hours prior to arrival date. The hotels reserve the right to contact all inbound international guests at least 30 days prior to their arrival dates to confirm or cancel their reservations.

These changes are part of the Shangri-La Cares program. 



30 Sep

2021 Airline of the Year - Skytrax

 
The 2021 Skytrax World Airline Awards winners were announced this week.  ....and the winner of the 2021 Airline of the Year goes to...Qatar Airways.
Singapore Airlines ranked 2nd, and ANA All Nippon Airways in 3rd place. Qantas was ranked 8th

Qatar Airways also received the awards for the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best Business Class Seat and the Best Airline in the Middle East.

Singapore Airlines, ranked No 2 worldwide, won the top accolade for the World’s Best Cabin Crew and was also honoured with awards for the World’s Best First Class, the Best Airline in Asia and the World’s Best First Class Seat.

ANA All Nippon Airways maintained its No 3 global ranking from last year and also won the World’s Best Airport Services award. Winning the 2021 award as the World’s Cleanest Airline is a particularly important success during the global pandemic.

Best First Class class was awarded to Singapore Airlines, with Lufthansa and Emirates second and third respectively.

The rankings for Best Business Class were identical to the overall rankings - Qatar, follwed by Singapore and then ANA.

Virgin Atlantic
was named the World's Best Premium Economy Class airline, ahead of Singapore Airlines in 2nd place and Lufthansa in 3rd position.

For more details, or to see how your favourites fared, click below.



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6 Jun

Alaska Airlines Ceasing Emirates Partnership

Alaska Airlines is adjusting its partnerships as part of its intergration into the OneWorld Alliance.  As part of that, Alaska Airlines will cease its partnership with Emirates on July 31, 2021.  

Through 31 July 2021, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members flying on Emirates on a paid ticket, no matter the class, will receive lounge access at the Emirates Business Class flagship lounge in Dubai International Airport (DXB).

There remains a small window of opportunity.  Award redemptions on Emirates are available through July 31, 2021. For future travel, changes made to a booked award on Emirates on or after August 1, 2021, will require cancellation of the award and re-booking on a different Alaska Airlines partner.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given it is another OneWorld member, award bookings for Qatar will become available in August 2021.



5 Jun

Accor Qantas

Qantas announced plans on May 31st to giveaway a suite of mega prizes to Australians who get the COVID-19 vaccine, including unlimited travel for a year.  This is in addition to the announcement a week earlier that it would offer frequent flyer points along with travel vouchers and status credits to Australians who get inoculated.  It is understood the options being considered by Qantas include giving people who get both their two COVID-19 jabs up to 1000 frequent flyer points, flight vouchers towards domestic and international flights, and status credits, which allow people to move into high Frequent Flyer tiers.

Any reward would be available to people who had already received their jabs and the program would run until the end of 2021 when the vaccine rollout is due to be completed; the details are yet to be completed. Now, the national carrier has launched a further incentive scheme which it hopes will boost vaccination rates and help get state and international borders reopened permanently.

“We’re looking at having 10 mega-prizes, at least one for each state or territory, where a family of four can have unlimited free travel for a year on the Qantas and Jetstar networks,” CEO Alan Joyce revealed on Channel 7’s Sunrise program.

The trips would be in economy class and each of the ten winners.  “In addition to that, the Accor Group have come on board and they’re offering one million Accor Points, which gives free accommodation at 400 hotels and resorts across the country.”

Joyce said the program would launch in July, "will include anybody that has already been vaccinated (and) will apply to anybody that's vaccinated through to the end of 2021."

“We have a vested interest in this, we want to do everything we can to ensure the borders domestically open and stay open and that we get international up and running,” he explained.

The airline has consistently said that it will require all passengers to be vaccinated when it restarts international flights beyond New Zealand.

More Australians vaccinated means more potential travellers making bookings.

While the moves may not be entirely altruistic, I think both companies are to be commended for “putting their money where their mouth is” and not just relying on Government to provide support for the ailing sector.

It’s understood that vaccinated Australians will be able to claim their rewards and enter to win a mega-prize through the Qantas app from July.

Don’t be surprised to see if this coincides with the launch of the
Qantas/Accor dual points earning (crossover) capability that was announced in November 2020 as part of a closer strategic relationship between the companies.  This too was scheduled to launch mid-2021 and will be the first partnership of its kind between an airline and hospitality group in the Asia Pacific region.



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