- It seems that United has quietly upped change fees from $150 and $250 to $200 and $300 for new tickets. Most of the tickets I have purchased with United over the last several years have come with a $150 change fee – and that is a ton. $200 is just a ton plus $50. I can’t help but think that change fees hit families harder. First, because there are more folks traveling so more change fees to pay, but second because the more people you are responsible for the more likely someone will have an emergency, illness, job issue, etc. that causes the trip to have to change. Of course I know that changes happen in the world of business travel as well, but it is the family leisure traveler that I always am the most concerned about. Don’t be shocked if other airlines start to match this increase…though do be glad that at least for now Southwest has said they are sticking with no change fess despite their “accidentally” having a $75 fee showing on fares to San Juan.
- On a more positive note, there are several reports of people getting a free night at any Hyatt in the world as a “thank you” for having stayed in 50 unique Hyatt properties. A quick count showed that I am just below 40 different Hyatts in the last couple of years, so I wouldn’t be eligible quite yet. However this does not seem to be a universal gift at this point as there are also plenty of folks with 50+ unique properties who have not received the free night. Time will tell if this will be an across the board gift, or if it will be selective like the 50,000 United miles gift that was given to some Hyatt junkies in 2012.
- American has been proactively handing out miles for those who’s travel plans were impacted by the April 16th IT related cancellations. The amounts seem to be tied to elite level with the highest tier getting 7,500 miles and non-elites getting 1,500 miles. Having such widespread cancellations and delays stinks, but they really do seem to be handling it as well as any company could, so thumbs up for that!
- United is offering up to 1,500 miles for per night for hotels booked via their site for a limited time. The number of miles you earn is based on the price of the room per night with rooms with an average nightly rate of $149 and up paying out at 1,500 miles per night. I can’t help but wonder if this is at all related to sites like PointsHound or RocketMiles that are also offeringimpressive numbers of frequent flyer miles for bookings. PointsHound even has a feature where you can earn both hotel nights/points and extra frequent flyer miles. Personally I would not be jumping to book via the United site as I like to be sure I am earning hotel points and elite stay credits, but if all you care about is miles then it can be worth looking at.
Thanks it for today – have a great night!