Marriott and Starwood post new award chart, LEVEL has a new hub in Vienna, Air Asia’s trouble with computers, Chase launches new Hyatt card
– Marriott and Starwood are out with the new award chart for their combined program (yet to be unnamed) effective August 2018
The long story short – the team has typically rounded up or down most properties. There aren’t any shocking good or bad values suddenly. The best redemption seem to be the formerly unaffordable ‘all suites’ Starwood properties that now mostly come in at ‘just’ 60,000 Marriott rewards points before a new category 8 will be introduced next year
– LEVEL has set up a short-haul base in Vienna, competing with Laudamotion and Ryanair after the demise of incumbent airberlin last year
LEVEL (like Joon) is using a fresher brand and refurbished airplanes to distinguish themselves from the somewhat boxed-in (or may we say tainted) IAG brands like Vueling, Iberia and British Airways.
You should be able to redeem Avios on those flights. There is no long-haul ‘feed’ into Vienna yet but that will likely follow suit to compete with Lufthansa omnipresence there.
– Air Asia seemingly continuously struggle to program the Airbus flight computers on several occasions in Australia which has led to several dangerous deviations from the flight plan
Air Asia is an accident waiting to happen and I try to fly them as little as possible but guess what their route network and price point is what brings me back.
– Chase has revamped the Chase World of Hyatt card
The card now comes with a higher sign-up bonus and you can earn more free nights and qualifying nights for status when you keep spending. This card is attractive for many ‘manufactured spenders’ as it allows you to get a free night for every $15,000 in spend and gives you an elite night credit for every $5,000 in spend.
I have long argued that credit card issuers don’t encourage high spending enough. Chase has heard that finally and will likely see some outsized spending going on this card as Hyatt has a strong brand and lots of fans for its loyalty program.
So far the Hyatt card was NOT affected by 5/24 and likely this card isn’t as well for now. There are plans to this restriction though and current card holders (or who received a sign up bonus in the last 24 moths) can only upgrade to the card.