United Improves Meals, New SPG Offer, Free Hyatt Place Night, and More

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After a great week in Hawaii and flying through the night, we are home.  Tired, dirty, and a little disoriented, but home.  Now that we have landed, here is a summary of some miles and points news that has been going on.  Never too early to start earning points and planning for the next adventure!


Price to pay for a week in paradise

United improving meal options:

If you fly United flights in a premium cabin and like to get fed on the plane, then you are in luck as United is upgrading first class food options and replacing snacks with full meals on some of its shortest flights.  It seems they are not only bringing food to shorter flights of at least 800 miles (down from 900 miles), but more importantly (to me) they are improving quality and variety of the meals served.

Recently I had become convinced United only knew how to make about three things (one of which was a very bland salad), so this really is good news.  Their new menu options will reportedly use “fresh ingredients and offer greater variety”.  Between August and September they are introducing all-new gourmet, premium salads and sandwiches, which are served chilled or warmed depending on flight distance and departure time.

Also on the list of improvements are revamping food options on United Express, improving meals in international economy, and increasing frequency of meal changes.  What no cheeseburger 33% of the time? 


Crunchy bun United cheeseburger

Seriously, I’m happy to see United making what should be a tangible improvement to its on-board experience.  Can I put in a small plea for the children’s meals to be improved as well? 

Lower spending requirement on targeted SPG Amex offers:

The Starwood Preferred American Express card has had a $5,000 minimum spending requirement to trigger the sign-up bonus for a couple of years at least, but MileValue shares a targeted version that now requires just $3,000 in spending to get the bonus.  That would be a welcome change if that version of the offer became open to the public!

Park Hyatt New York now open, but award availability isn’t:

The much anticipated Park Hyatt New York is now officially open and some of the first reports of stays are rolling in on Flyertalk.  I love Park Hyatt and New York City, so I very much want to stay there as soon as possible.  However, award availability disappeared a few weeks ago before opening and hasn’t returned since.  I have been told there just aren’t more than a handful of standard rooms there, but the problem is deeper than that since all of the availability disappeared at once and I can’t find a single day with a standard room available on points – even a year from now.

I’m one of the biggest Hyatt junkies there is, but if this award availability issue isn’t fixed for the PHNY, that will leave a sour taste.  Scarce availability is sort of okay.  No availability is not okay.  Certainly kicking myself for now locking in an award night while the availability still displayed a few weeks ago!

Free Night via Hyatt Place Contest:

I have had pretty good luck with winning contests that require sharing a photo to enter (since I guess fewer people take the time to enter those sort of things), so I shared news of the current Hyatt Place contest that is giving away 200 Hyatt Place nights in 200 hours a couple of days ago.  Turns out I did win a free night, and so have several Mommy Points readers, so I really encourage you to enter if you have a picture of, or at, a Hyatt Place.

Hyatt Place Contest

You can get full info in my previous post – just hurry as the contest ends on August 26th.

More Hyatt Targeted Promos Out:

There are now at least seven different versions of targeted fall Hyatt promotions out there, with some of the emails alerting members to their targeted offers still trickling out as late as last night, so perhaps even still today.  I still haven’t received a thing, but you can try your hand at registering for a promo in the Flyertalk wiki here.  Neither my account or my husbands worked for any of the promos, but perhaps you will have better luck!



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  1. We have an exactly 800 mile international (to Canada) flight happening on United over lunchtime in business class (front of the plane, there is no first class) at the end of August. The meal is listed as “refreshments.” Do you have any idea what that means? We’re travelling with toddlers so I want to be prepared.

    • Jody, with toddlers I was absolutely pack your own regardless of whether United had a meal or not. Hope you have a great trip!

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