Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lufthansa buys BMI!!!!

According to the news,

LH will buy BMI, so I am guessing BMI Diamond Club will be ended soon and become LH Miles and More program. It may not happen right the way, but it should happen eventually because lots of Europe *A carriers already use M&M program

We might have to start redeeming those Miles.

Monday, October 27, 2008

free 5000 BMI miles join before Nov 2nd

BMI is offering another signup bonus promotion, sign up here and earn 5000 bonus miles right they way.

want to know more about BMI click BMI Diamond Club, section on the right

Thanks Gary mentioned in his blog.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Delta/Northwest Reciprocal Upgrades is here, effective 10/28

Effective Oct 28, Elite member in both programs will be able to upgrade on each other flights. The Upgrade request will be based on

1 Elite level
2Fare class
3 Time of request

30% bonus for AMEX Membership reward transfer to Delta

Need to register here,

offer valid from Oct 20th-Dec31,2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From Bad to Worse, Marriott Reward Program Changes

Just got this email, effective Jan 15th,2009, Marriott rewards program will do following changes

1 eliminating blackout date like SPG and hilton currently doing(not exactly, still have blackout)

2 5th nights free when u redeem 4 nights

3 50% bonus for Platinum member instead of 30%

Looking good? after I read the term more closely and have to say "the change is actually to WORSE, not BETTER."


1 Under new redemption term, no blackout date, BUT "Hotels may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days"

The current system of reduced points per night for longer stays is replaced by a system where every 5 night redemption gets one free night. You will not get any discount for a 2 or 3 night stay at one property. e.g currently, you can redeem 5 nights at Cat 7 for 130,000, but with the new system, you will need 140,000

3 Create a new Cat 8 level, so 14 Cat 7 Hotels move to here.

4 Increase Travel package award level. Currently 7 nights at Cat 1-5 + 120K miles is priced at 235,000 points, but after the change, it will become 270,000

Unbelievable, with other big names changing their program to better, Marriott is making the Program even worse, No wonder I keep telling people they are the worst for past few years and will be in the future too.

W Hotel Store Discount is Back!

Gary mentioned this sale in his blog, W store sale is back, use code WH4X5, you can get W bed at 40%off

7 day Fairmont hotels sale

Here is the link, but read the Term carefully, booking is non refundable

Sanya Yalong Bay Hotel Zone Impression

I came to Yalong Bay in 1994 for the first time and there was no hotel on the beach. The first 5 star hotel, Gloaria Resorts Sanya opened on the beach in 1995(if I remember correctly) and then next year, Horizon Resort Sanya opened at next door in 1996. At that time, there was no international brand hotel in entire Hainan Providance, Sheraton Sanya is the first international brand opened on the beach and the hotel has become one of the most succussful hotels in China right now.

Marriott, Hilton and another Chinese Brand Hotels Mangrove Resort joined the group and got a piece of cake. Intercontinental Group and Accor Hotels Group also wants to share the cake, but too bad, there is no more beach left, so Crowne Plaza Sanya and Pullman by Accor Hotels has to open on the opposite of those hotels.

Who got the last piece of cake on the beach? I thought it was Hilton, but today, on my 13th visit to these Area since 1994, I found Ritz-Carlton opened on beach side and I will check it out few days later.

Chinese Brand on beach side: Gloria, Horizon, Mangrove tree resort, no points Program except Gloria(own program)

Chinese Brand on Non Beach side: Villa5, a very nice Southeast Asia Villa style hotel with fairly priced rooms , each one has own swimming pool, but the downside is no beach. If you are tired of beach, you can try this hotel.

Traditional Upscale Brand on beach Side: sheraton,marriott and Hilton. The price at these three hotels almost identical, so brand preference is playing the role now. Sheraton is a very nice one, the hotel is well run by an Italian General Manager and rated as one of the top hotel in China for many years. Service is excellent 3 years ago, and I feel it's getting even better now. Marriott next door is not my preference at all, as some of you may know, I don't like marriott chain because its consistance on room design, this marriott is the same. If you have chance to compare travellers' photo(not those room photo taken by professionals) on Marriott Sanya and Marriott Aruba, you will know what I am talking about. Hilton is a newer hotel compared to other two, but I have not stay there yet, will stay there later and report back. From what I heard, this hotel is the No. 1 on beach side before Ritz-Carlton Open.

Traditional Upscale Brand on non beach side: Crowne Plaza and Pullman by Accor Hotels. Crowne Plaza opened three years ago and I have stayed there once for one night. Much cheaper than Beach side hotel, nice room with Plasma TV, but there is no beach, it's better to use as a business meeting hotel. Pullman by Accor Hotels just opened this year, the design is Southeast Asia style, and offers both hotel rooms and villa with private pool at moderate price.

Luxury Brand on beach side: Ritz-Carlton. the hotel just opened this year and also choose Southeast Asia style. Hotel has a luxury shopping area in the lobby. I will stay this hotel early next week and report back.

The consutruction of entire hotel zone is finished and I don't think there will be any new hotel open within this zone in the future. Haitang Bay will be the next develop area in Sanya, 14 hotels will be opened in next few years including Westin, Hilton and other international/dometic names. Also, one of them, Mangrove Resort, will be same standard as Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Venetian from $119 per night

Must book by Oct 20th, Here is the link

The $119 rate includes:

  • Luxury Suite at The Venetian
  • $50 in Slot Credits or Table Match Play for every night of your stay
  • LAVO Restaurant-Lounge-Nightclub:
    • $50 drink voucher
    • Complimentary admission and line pass for up to 4 guests

Earn Triple miles at Participating Hilton hotels In China

You need to register here, stay btw Nov 1st-Feb 29th, 2009 and earn triple miles on

"Air China, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines®, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines®, Northwest Airlines®, Singapore Airlines, THAI Airways International and United"

This means u will earn 1500 miles per stay on AA, DL, etc. A great offer for one night stay, but for longer stay, BMI is still the best option.

Another Easy 2000 BMI bonus miles

Update ur email here, you will get 2000 bonus miles. However, the offer is targeted,but it doesn't hurt to try and it only cost u less than 30 seconds.

Make sure to confirm the email in ur mailbox

join AA Dining network and get 1500 bonus miles after ur first Dine

If you are not member of AA dining network yet, here is a great opportunity to join. You will get 1500 bonus miles after ur first dine at participating restaurant before Nov 30th.

Delta 20K for Hair Loss Consultation posted

The miles for this promotion have posted to my and my wife account, it was very easy process. Check ur Delta account, it should be there now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

AA to start charging for challenges

According to One mile at a time, AA will start charging for challenges soon. $80 for Gold Challenge and $150 for Platinum

What is Challenge? It just a quick way to get AA elite status

check here

Le Meridien Shimei Bay Delayed Opening date!

Just got a email today from Revenue manager, the hotel opening will be delayed to Nov 7th due to Swimming Pool and water pressure issues and had re accommodate me to Sheraton Sanya with same rate. Too bad I don't have a chance to stay at this property on its opening day.

Shimei Bay is a newly developed hotel zone located 150km north of Sanya, there will be lot of hotels open in next few years just like Yalong Bay hotel zone in Sanya and the first The Luxury Collection hotel in China-The Alhambra Resort & Spa-Shimei Bay will be opened next year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TAM-Another Brazilian Carrier joined Star Alliance

Finally, TAM joined star alliance yesterday. After Varig went bankrupt and exited the star alliance few years ago, there was no south American Carrier in the Alliance, which made award redemption within south America on Lan airlines(one world) only. With this addition to the network, we will have more access to South American countries with our Star Allaince carriers miles

Great move!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cash and Point redemption on SPG Specialty Rooms avaliable at selected locations

From now to Dec 21st, 2008, you can redeem Specialty Rooms including Suite at some SPG properties with Cash and Points option.

Here is the list of participating locations.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hilton Rome Cavalieri rebrand Waldorf=Astoria Collection

Hilton Rome Cavalieri is one of the best Hilton hotel, although I have never stayed there, but I do heard so many good reviews for this hotel. Since the hotel rebrand as Waldorf=Astoria Collection, the points redemption will increase a lot. With old category 6, you only need 175,000 points for a 6 nights stay anytimel, but with Waldorf=Astoria Collection, you will need 265,000 for a 6 nights at this hotel during high season, which is from March 1st-Dec 31st.

Too bad I don't have chance to stay at this hotel at current rate.

Park Hyatt Tokyo

We took Airport Limousine bus from NRT to Park Hyatt Tokyo. The cost is 3000 Yen each, but for extra 100 yen, you can get 1 day metro pass, so make sure to ask NRT bus ticket counter Metro pass combo.

The bus dropped us off at front entrance, there were several hotel employees waiting, then brought us to the hotel lobby, which is located on 41st floor. From 2nd-39th floor are office building with separate entrance, and a Japanese restaurant on 40th floor.

Front Entrance

After exit the elevator, there was a Lobby Lounge, then pass another western restaurant and library, we arrived lobby. There were only three desks like concierge desk in the lobby, so check process completed while sitting there.


Lobby Lounge

Our room is on the 47th floor, the view is overlooking Shinjuku Park.

Hotel has Free shuttle every 20 mins to Shinjuku Station, you can take subway/JR from there or you can walk to lots of great places around that area.

I did not eat in hotel restaurants. With so many great Japanese restaurant downstairs, why bother to eat in the hotel.

The service was great, I left 2 laptop on Airport Limousine bus, but the front desk people found back for me after 2 hours. I think this hotel provided the best value for my Hyatt special promotional free nights certificate.

JAL New Executive Class

I took JFK-NRT on JL 5 about 1 month ago and the flight used new Executive class seats, which is called Shell Flat NEO.

Check in process at JFK was quick, since there is no one at Executive class line. It took us 5 mins then we headed to JAL Lounge. The lounge is not big, and I was busy in the computer room, so I did not take any picture. My wife did bring me some nice snacks and small noodle dish. The lounge is for JAL flights use only in the morning, then after 1:45pm, Lufthansa airline passengers start to use it.

Boarding process is quick with separate Business Class line and cabin is only about 1/4 full. the new JAL business class seats design, monitor size and IFE system, all are similar to Air China new business class.

JAL does not serve Pre-departure drink, I feel so thirsty while flight was waiting on runway due to air traffic control. The IFE system has bird eye's view function, so you can see ground during takeoff /landing and view of city.

About 1 hour after departure, the lunch service started. I forget to grab a menu from the flight because I thought it will be available online. when I checked few days ago, online only has menu from Narita, not to Narita, here are some pictures.

The second meal on flight is also available any time after lunch service, choices include eel sushi, udon noodle, Soba, Pasta and more.Since I don't drink alcohol, I did not pay attention on Wine list. I think they had 3 red wines, 2 white wines and lots of other Japanese alcohol.

The movie selections were not so good, at least for me because I have watched more than half of them before.

The seat was not very comfortable, maybe because of that 10 degree angle to 180 or a day time flight, but the food was great and so delicious. I think it's still a great value for 180k miles for 2 people on their business class.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

United Airline increases Hawaii inter-island award effective Oct 15th.

United airline is the last carrier still offering 5K miles for an inter-Hawaii island round trip on Island air. However, effective OCt 15th, 2008, miles will increase to 10K for RT and 5K for one way.

Earn double Delta miles when you transfer btw accounts

Here is the link

"Between October 1 - 31, 2008, whenever you transfer miles to a friend or family member on, your recipient will receive a 100% mileage bonus. For example, if you transfer 10,000 miles, your recipient would get 10,000 bonus miles."

If you transfer 30K from your account to ur friend/family accounts, they will get 60K in total, then they transfer those 30K back to you, you will get 60K, so basically you are"buying miles" at 0.01 cent each+ $30 processing fee.

Up to 30,000 miles can be transferred per transaction, A maximum of 300,000 miles can be transferred into any individual SkyMiles account per calendar year. Up to 150,000 miles can be transferred from your account per calendar year.