Round Up: Bonus Hyatt Points In Las Vegas, Air New Zealand Adding WiFi & More

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A round up of some of the smaller bits of travel news I’ve noticed over the past week that don’t warrant a blog post of their own but that could be useful nonetheless. Included Air New Zealand announcing the introduction of WiFi onboard, Hyatt offering bonus points in Las Vegas, JAL partnering with Priority Pass and more.

Earn 20% More Hyatt Points At M-Life Properties in Las Vegas

hyatt-las-vegas-promotion

Hyatt has introduced a promotion whereby guests staying at MGM Properties in Las Vegas (and the one Hyatt Place property too) will earn 20% more points on their stays between 19 October and 29 December 2016.

Registration is necessary via this webpage

Participating properties are:

  • Aria (reviewed here)
  • Bellagio
  • Delano
  • Excalibur
  • Hyatt Place Las Vegas
  • Luxor
  • Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • Monte Carlo
  • New York – New York
  • The Mirage
  • The Signature at MGM
  • Vdara

Regular Hyatt Earnings:

  • No status – 5 points/dollar spent
  • Platinum Status – 5.75 points/dollar spent
  • Diamond Status – 6.5 points/dollar spent

With a 20% uplift from this promotion all those figures will increase by 1 point/dollar spent.

JAL Partners With Priority Pass

Japan Airlines (JAL) has partnered with Priority Pass to offer JAL Mileage Bank members the opportunity to use miles to purchase a Priority Pass Prestige membership and get free unlimited access to over 950 airport lounges.

jal-priority-pass

While I’m always interested in new ways to use miles & points I’m struggling to see the value here.

The cost of the Priority Pass membership is 40,000 miles and that gives the card holder free unlimited visits….but any guests are charged at $27/entry.

Firstly, there are any number of credit cards that offer Priority Pass membership and one of the benefits (including Citi Prestige, Alex Platinum & Chase Sapphire Reserve) but, even if you don’t have one of credit cards, you can still purchase the same membership for 10% less via this link here.

In essence, if you took up this offer, you would be paying 40,000 JAL Miles for a product that you can buy for $360 and therefore getting only 0.9 cents of value per mile.

For most people that is a very poor use of miles so, unless you’re absolutely rolling in miles and have no access to a credit card that would get you a Priority Pass membership, I would stay well away.

Turkish Airlines Now Offering Advanced Exit Row Bookings

I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the dramatic fall in sales that Turkish Airlines has seen over the past year but the airline is now allowing all passengers to pay for medium/long haul exit row seating in advance.turkish_airlines_logo

Here are the details (per Turkish Airlines):

  • All paid seating is subject to availability at time of request. Paid seating is available on all Turkish Airlines mainline operated flights. Paid seating is not available on flights operated by codeshare partners. That is to say, seat selection is not allowed yet in flights operated by Turkish Airlines and marketed by another airline.
  • Paid seating for group passengers (bookings containing more than 9 passengers) is only available where the reservation has been made directly with Turkish Airlines Reservation Systems.
  • All unticketed passengers are not eligible to choose seats in advance.
  • Chargeable seats including emergency row seats can be purchased between 100 days before the flight and until 48 hours before the flight, within 48 hours to the flight seats can be selected on airport only.

And here are the costs:

  • Flights to/from Delhi – $59 one-way
  • All Long Haul Flights – $79 one-way

Find Airline Award & Upgrade availability

Air New Zealand To Introduce Onboard WiFi

Australian Business Traveller has reported that Air New Zealand plans to introduce fleet-wide internet access from 2017.

Chris Luxon, the CEO of Air New Zealand, used a press conference to announce that “world class wifi” would be coming to the airline’s domestic and international network.

Air New Zealand will be fitting Inmarsat’s new global GX satellite equipment to the aircraft and the airline will be trialling the product on one of its 777-300ER aircraft and an Airbus A321neo before rolling it out further.

air-new-zealand-business-classAir New Zealand Business Class

Happily, for international flyers, it will be the long-haul fleet that will see wifi added first with the domestic fleet following in 2018.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace is quoted as saying:

Our customers want WiFi on those longer flights to LA, San Francisco, Houston and Vancouver, they’re up to 14 hours, so our focus will be to get the long-haul fleet done as quickly as we can

And I couldn’t agree more. It’s one thing not to have wifi on flights of 1 – 3 hours (most travelers can live with that) but when your work is wholly internet based then going much longer than that without access to wifi can be frustrating….and that’s just another reason I’m not a fan of flying BA on long-haul.

No pricing model has yet been agreed although the fact that Qantas has announced that it will offer free-wifi on its aircraft will probably have a big bearing on how Air New Zealand proceeds.

The one thing I really hope Air New Zealand considers carefully before announcing their pricing is the speed that the new system can offer – there is absolutely no point in offerign free wifi if all that means is that 300+ passengers are going to log on and download speeds are lower than dial-up was in the early 90’s. I’d much rather pay and be able to get some work done than have a free service that was unusable.