Great Business Class Fares, Easy Virgin Miles, United Blocking Awards, New Amex Lounge Restrictions, Polaris Coming To More Aircraft & A Lot More News From The Past Week

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In case you missed it here’s a roundup of some of the more popular/important posts that appeared on Traveling For Miles this week.

Over the past seven days we’ve seen numerous good/great/fantastic Business Class fares posted for flights out of Europe to destinations in the US, Asia and South America, we’ve seen United blocking awards on select Star Alliance airlines, British Airways announced a refresh to its Premium Economy soft product, a very easy way to earn 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles was posted, Hilton launched a very good points sale, Marriott rebranded its loyalty program, I annoyed a few people by disliking a credit card an there was a lot more news too.

It’s been another busy week….and this selection was only part of it! 🙂

Click on the headlines to read more

Good News: Emirates Adds Seasonal A380 Service To Boston

a large white airplane on a runway

Last summer Emirates flew an A380 to Boston as a one-off exercise and left many people wondering if this was a sign of things to come. Since then the Dubai – Boston route has continued to be served by an Emirates 777-300ER and there’s been no further news surrounding the A380….until now.

Sometimes I Really Don’t Like Spending My Miles & Points…And That May Be Bad

an airplane flying in the sky

I view my miles & points balances as just another set of currencies I have at my disposal to pay for trips. I don’t view them in quite the same way as I view cash (cash is clearly a lot more versatile and less prone to devaluation) but, because of the time and effort I put in to building up my miles and points balances, I’m anything but flippant when it comes to using them….and here’s where I encounter a contradiction.

DEAL: Star Alliance Business Class Scandinavia – China From $1,783 RT

a group of people walking on a long stone wall

Scandinavia has been the starting point for quite a few good Business Class deals recently (like the great fares to the US West Coast and Qatar Airways’ Business Class fares to Asia) and now Star Alliance has joined the party by posting some very good Business Class fares out of Scandinavia for travel to China.

TAP Air Portugal Increases Flights To New York With Its A321LR

a city skyline with the sun shining on the water

TAP Air Portugal is in the midst of a serious fleet overhaul right now with Airbus A330-900neo and A321neo LR aircraft being brought in to take over from aircraft whose cabins saw their best days some time ago. Now the airline has scheduled its newest narrow-body aircraft to fly to NYC.

New Offer: Buy Hilton Points With A 100% Bonus From Today

a balcony with chairs and a beach view

Hilton has launched its first points sale of the new year and it’s starting out with one of the better promotions we usually see it offer. Between now and the end of February you can earn a 100% bonus on all points purchases of 10,000 points or more.

DEAL: Finnair Business Class Stockholm – Bangkok From $1,737 Roundtrip

a group of pagodas in front of a white building with Wat Pho in the background

Right now Finnair has a sub $1,750 roundtrip Business Class fare available for travel between Stockholm and Bangkok and, thanks to some great availability and the Business Class cabin on offer, this should be very interesting to oneworld flyers.

Korean Air Adds Fees For Award & Upgrade Cancellations

a large airplane parked at an airport

Back in December Korean Air responded to an increase in the number of passengers cancelling fares at the very last minute (sometimes when already on the departing aircraft) by increasing the penalties for cancelling a ticket once in an airport’s departure area.

Now the airline has gone a step further by adding penalties for award ticket and upgrade cancellations which occur within three months of departure.

Marriott Unveils Its New Loyalty Program Name – Marriott Bonvoy

a black background with white text

It’s been a poorly kept secret for some time (although a lot of us hoped it wasn’t true) and today Marriott has announced that it will be renaming its new loyalty program “Marriott Bonvoy” from 13 February 2019.

TAP Air Portugal Will Fly Its A321 LR To Washington D.C.

a close-up of United States Capitol

Earlier I wrote about TAP Air Portugal scheduling its soon-to-be-delivered Airbus A321neo LR on its Porto – Newark route from June this year and now the airline has added its new aircraft to another of its East Coast destinations – this time it’s Washington D.C.

Earn Up To 120,000 Points With Radisson Rewards This Quarter (Award Nights Count)

flags on a building

We’ve recently seen what IHG has to offer for 1Q 2019, Hilton has had its 1Q promotion running for a couple of weeks and now we have a new promotion from Radisson Rewards…so it’s just Marriott and Hyatt that are sitting on the sidelines.

Earn 1,000 Bonus Virgin Atlantic Miles PER DAY With Avis

a close up of a logo

Avis and Virgin Atlantic are running a promotion in which you can earn up to 1,000 miles/day for rentals made by the end of May with maximum earnings of 10,000 miles.

DEAL: Lisbon – Sao Paulo Business Class From $1,584

a lake with a city in the background

The series of great Business Class fares out of Europe continues with an incredibly cheap deal to Sao Paulo published by TAP Air Portugal. Best of all (and unlike a lot of the other great Business Class fares I’ve written about recently) this fare is for non-stop travel.

British Airways Unveils Changes To World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)

a person eating food on a tray

British Airways has been updating the World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) cabins in a number of its aircraft since the middle of 2018 and now the airline has revealed how it plans to refresh the soft product it offers to its Premium Economy passengers.

Aer Lingus Has Officially Revealed Its New Livery

a plane flying in the sky

There have been a few leaks across the internet recently but now Aer Lingus has officially revealed the results of its rebranding including a new livery for its aircraft. The rebranding will continue later in the year when new uniforms are unveiled.

United Will Start Adding True Polaris Business Class To Its Dreamliners This Year

a plane taking off from a runway

United has finally been making some headway with the rollout of its Polaris Business Class product over the past 12 months as it took delivery of aircraft featuring the new cabins, refitted a number of existing aircraft with the new Polaris seat and finally got its lounge program back on track too…and now we know when the Dreamliners will get a much needed upgrade.

This Is Why I Don’t Like The American Express Gold Card (USA)

a sunset over the ocean

Earlier this week I was going to discuss my reasons for disliking the American Airlines Gold Card but because the Amex website decided that it wasn’t going to let me view the Gold Card webpage I didn’t get around to doing that. Now all is back to normal so here’s why I dislike Amex’s newest premium credit card.

Get National Executive Elite Status With Amex

a group of logos

Frequent Miler has reported that it’s now possible to get top-tier status with National just by registering through a link aimed at Amex cardholders and, having just gone through the sign-up process myself, I’m happy to confirm that it works and that it takes just a few minutes.

BAD NEWS: United Airlines Is Blocking Singapore Airlines & Thai Airways Awards

a large airplane parked at an airport

There are few things that annoy me more in the miles & points world than loyalty programs who don’t play fair and right now United MileagePlus is being extraordinarily underhand in the way it’s treating its members.

United is a member of the Star Alliance so it should be possible to use United MileagePlus Miles to book most award types for travel on its fellow Star Alliance member airlines…but that’s not the case right now.

Amex Imposes New Centurion Lounge Restrictions For Platinum Card Holders

a sign on a wall of green plants

Over the past few years Amex has been forced to address the overcrowding in its popular Centurion Lounges as some lounges (like the one in Miami) were turning into a bit of a joke.

The card issuer has removed paid access for regular American Express cardholders, limited the number of guests that Platinum Card holders can bring into the lounges (to two) and, in the case of some lounges, Amex has recently only been been offering access to travelers arriving within two hours of their scheduled departure time.

Now Amex is going a step further.