HomeAirline Loyalty2024: Another year in travel, miles & points coming up

2024: Another year in travel, miles & points coming up

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So, here we go again. Another year has past and another begins and that means that, for a lot of us, the the quest for the miles and points that make that our travels more comfortable and more affordable begins all over again.

Even though you’re prepared for it, there’s always something mildly disappointing about logging in to your airline and hotel loyalty accounts after a new year has begun and seeing that most of your elite status targets have been reset to zero, so I like to offset that disappointment by thinking about the year ahead and considering what the world of travel, miles and points has in store.

A few things to get used to

A few things will be new in the miles & points world this year and it will be interesting to see how they work and what effect (if any) they have on how we feel about the programs that have introduced the changes.

Alaska Airlines has revamped its Mileage Plan program for 2024 with a simplified way to earn elite status, the introduction of credit card spending as part of the path to elite status qualification and, later in the year, we’re expecting to see the introduction of new choice rewards (get more details here).

This will be the first full year that the British Airways Executive Club will (mostly) award Avios based on the price paid for a fare rather than on a combination of the distance flown and the fare bucket booked (this was first introduced in the middle of October last year).

Marriott Bonvoy has overhauled how its Suite Night awards work (now called Nightly Upgrade Awards) with upgrades now offered at more brands than ever before but, because Bonvoy is a program that never gives anything away without getting something back in return, upgrades will now only be confirmed in the three days leading up to arrival (get more details here).

Hyatt has made significant (mostly positive) changes to its World of Hyatt program with the Milestone Rewards getting refreshed, changes to the Globalist Guest of Honor benefit and, if you’re a travel advisor or a meeting/event planner, more ways to earn elite night credits (get more details here).

A few things to look forward to

American Airlines is expected to introduce its two new Business Class seats at some point in 2024. The first seat will be introduced on the Boeing 787-9s that the airline says will begin deliveries later this year …

a plane with seats and monitors
American Airlines new 787-9 Business Class

a table with a laptop on it

… while the second new Business Class seat will be revealed when the airline takes delivery of is new Airbus A321XLR aircraft.

a row of seats in a plane
American Airlines A321XLR Business Class cabin
American Airlines A321XLR Business Class seat
American Airlines A321XLR Business Class seat

Both aircraft types will also offer new Premium Economy seats.

Oman Air is expected to join the Oneworld Alliance this year and while it may not be an airline that will offer most people a whole host of new routes to explore with their miles and points, it’s an airline with good service, some very nice premium cabins and, it should offer Oneworld fans a good alternative to Qatar Airways on routes between the Middle East and Asia.

All going well, once Lufthansa’s acquisition of 41% of ITA Airways is fully concluded (I think it’s mostly already done), ITA is expected to move from SkyTeam to Star Alliance giving members of programs like United’s MileagePlus, Miles & More, and Aeroplan, yet another airline on which to earn & burn miles and points.

The new Park Hyatt Marrakech opened its doors last week (27 December 2023) and the Park Hyatt London River Thames is expected to open in late 2024 so World of Hyatt members should have at least two new high end properties to try out by the end of the year (which will make a change from all the new limited service openings that we’re getting from Hyatt in the US).

In 2024, Hilton is expected to open a the Conrad Orlando (it was originally expected to open in 2023), the Conrad Singapore Orchard (formerly IHG’s Regent property) and, amongst other new openings, the Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island, so it will be interesting to see the price points at which these properties are introduced.

Marriott opened the new Riviera Maya EDITION in early December giving Bonvoy fans a new high-end resort in Mexico, and a further EDITION property is expected to open in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) later this year. The W Prague is also expected to open in 2024 (possibly July) and for travelers with deep pockets, the Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Red Sea, and Nekajui, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve on the Papagayo Peninsula in Costa Rica will also both debut this year.

Things to make the most of

It should probably go without saying that if you have elite status in an airline or hotel program you should be looking to make the most of the benefits that the program offers in 2024.

Airlines and hotel chains have an unfortunate habit of devaluing their programs on a semi-frequent basis so it’s always a good idea to squeeze out as much out of each program as you can and while you can.

Personally, I’m aware that thanks to my travel plans for this year, I may find myself without Hyatt Globalist status after February 2025 so I plan to make the most of that status (suite upgrades, bonus points, etc…) whenever I can in 2024.

Hopefully, 2024 will bring along some nice new credit card offers for us to snap up (we may even see one or two new products come to the market) so keep an eye out for any new lucrative welcome bonuses that may get launched and, if you haven’t already done so, make sure that you make the most of some of the better offers that are still available if the product works for your wallet.

Bottom line

Happy new year and welcome to a new year in the miles and points world. Here’s hoping that 2024 brings us stress free travel, a host of welcome upgrades, lots of mile and points in the bank, and that any devaluations (yes, there will definitely be some of these) are as benign as possible.

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