Speculation: Hilton HHonors Might Devalue Soon

It’s just speculation on blogger Howie Rappaport’s part, but he’s a very smart guy.

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2016/04/is-hilton-hhonors-ripe-for-a-devaluation.html

As a recently-minted Hilton Diamond with lots of HHonors points, I’m really hoping it doesn’t happen.

Hilton Hotel

Lots of Free Points from IHG Hotels, If You Qualify

If you qualify, you can get a lot of extra points (30,000) for just 3 stays at IHG properties (Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, etc.).

http://www.ihg.com/hotels/gb/en/global/offers/hotel/bookdirect

Unfortunately, none of the accounts that I control qualified.

Holiday Inn

Looking for a Hotel in China, Russia, Egypt? Why Booking.com Is Your Best Bet

One obstacle for the self-directed traveler to nations without our Latin alphabet is the language barrier. When you arrive at the airport, how can you tell your taxi driver which hotel you want to go to?

According to this blog post, Booking.com “…has thoughtful touches such as options for local language printer-friendly confirmations with GPS coordinates listed.”

So, if you print out your booking on Booking.com, you will be able to print it in the native language of the nation it is in. And, you can put the GPS coordinates into your mobile phone’s mapping software and make certain your taxi driver is headed in the proper direction.

Credit Cards That Give Early Airline Boarding Privileges

Howie of the Frugal Travel Guy has compiled a list of which credit cards provide some sort of priority boarding on America, Delta and United Airlines.

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2016/04/here-is-a-helpful-breakdown-of-credit-cards-with-early-boarding-benefits.html

Early boarding is an important bonus if you have carry-on luggage, since those who board last often find little or no bin space.

Southwest Airlines has a completely different boarding process, related to when you check in. First dibs go to those who paid for the top categories of airfares, followed by those who purchased a $30 boarding upgrade at the gate, then a mixture of those who paid $15 for EarlyBird and those who checked in right when the 24-hour window opened. The last on are those who checked in when they arrived at the airport.

American Airlines Offering New 6500-Mile Awards to Some

If you have an American AAdvantage credit card, and if you want to fly on some particular routes, you may be able to do so for only 6500 American frequent-flyer miles each way.

The discounted destinations change monthly. The list is shown as “Step 3” on this page: https://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/reduced-mileage-awards.jsp

You can learn more here:

http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2016/04/02/american-unveils-new-flight-awards-just-6500-miles-way/

These reservations must be made by phone to 800-882-8880, but the usual telephone booking fee is waived.

American Airlines, Photo by Thomas Hawk / Flickr
American Airlines, Photo by Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Lufthansa Summer Sale

Lufthansa has announced a sale on summer fares between the US and Europe.

http://lufthansaflyer.boardingarea.com/lufthansa-launches-summer-fare-sale/

Savings range from about 10% to 30% for outbound travel between July 4 and August 22, and tickets must be purchased by April 8 for travel beginning at least 50 days in the future.

Other airlines recently have been offering some deeply-discounted airfares for similar routes, so this is not a particularly exciting announcement.

The Airport Butler Will Be Your BFF at the Airport

Some things are more difficult when you are traveling alone. You have to deal with all your luggage alone, there is nobody to help you at the security lines, nobody will save your seat at the gate while you go to the restroom or to buy a cup of coffee. Until now…

Enter Airport Butler Concierge.

For a fee, the Airport Butler will meet you at the curb when you arrive at your departure airport, help you schlep your luggage (including pets) to check-in and through security, and stay with you until you have boarded your flight. They know the local language and customs, which can be a great benefit.

When you arrive at your destination, the Airport Butler will greet you as you de-plane and accompany you until you are connected with your ground transportation.

http://www.afar.com/magazine/travel-vip-style-with-the-airport-butler

At this time Airport Butler Concierge is available only at San Francisco (SFO) and Vancouver (YVR), which are used by tens of thousands of student and vacationing Chinese, but they hope to expand to other airports.