...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hyatt Award Chart Changes March 2024

Hyatt has announced changes to award categories for free night stays.

You can find the full list here: https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/en/landing/award-category-chart-updates.html

Generally these types of changes are negative especially when categories move out of 4 to 5 (free night cert) and from 7 to 8 (also free night cert).  

Some things to keep in mind:

  • When you book before March 26, your reservations will follow the current free night award chart found here.
  • Reservations made or modified on or after March 26 will follow the new free night award chart and incorporate the updates noted below.
  • Existing reservations for nights on or after March 26 will receive a refund for the point difference if the hotel moved to a lower category.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Next Travel Adventure: Maldives!

Yes, you read that correctly!  I'm on a days countdown now until departure for Maldives via Brussels.  Looking forward to being back in the air internationally and also stopping over in a new city for HBB.  Here's how the journey will look from Gcmap.com:

Once again this type of itinerary is not possible without the use of points and miles.  The breakdown:

Park Hyatt Maldives (4 nights): 120,000 Hyatt points 
With Globalist status, our breakfasts will be free and we typically treat it as brunch so dinner ends up being the only expense.

BRU-DOH-MLE plus return: 170,000 American Miles for two people with Qatar Airways QSuites included BRU-MLE and regular Business on the return.  

Our overnight in Brussels at the Hilton Grand Place was a cheap rate so no need to use points for that.  

Since this is likely my last year of having Hyatt Globalist status, we need to take advantage of the extra perks (food plus room upgrades).  Should be a fun and relaxing trip!

Friday, February 23, 2024

AA Enhances Service to LSE

Good news this week for flyers to LSE!  From social media:

We're excited to announce that coming in April, American Airlines will add an additional flight each day. Then, in May, they will have larger aircraft (E170/175) for two of the three flights each day! This will provide additional connectivity for our passengers as well as more seats in our market. It is an important step in our air service efforts to prove the Coulee Region's demand for travel!
As we continue to pursue more routes and airlines, please consider clicking the link below and tell us where you'd like to go. The information we get from you will help us razor target specific destinations and carriers. Let's get moving!

I'm glad that AA is committing more seats to the Coulee region.  Now I wish United would restart service!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

AA Takes a Step Back with Earning

I was pretty disappointed to receive an email update from American Airlines recently detailing an update on earning miles and Loyalty Points.  The banner reads they want to 'reward loyalty', however, the changes mean less opportunities to earn miles and points:

  Book directly with American and our eligible partner airlines 
  Book travel anywhere as an AAdvantage BusinessTM member or contracted corporate traveler 
  Book through our preferred travel agencies

In other words, you may not be able to earn miles/points any longer when using sites like Orbitz and Kayak.  

Worst part, they don't even bother to say which are the preferred agencies!  (list promised end of April).

Terrible in my opinion.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Jetting on the Blue

Today is my first time flying Jetblue in quite some time - in 2011 I was able to take advantage of the Jetblue All You Can Jet program (Blue Pass) which allowed unlimited travel between select destinations for a one time cost over three months.  The locations at that time were amazing and I was even able to schedule a quick run to Bermuda over a weekend!

I'm flying BOS-MKE on one of the newer Airbus 220-300 series and I have to say I'm pretty impressed.  Decent legroom in economy (I didn't pay for more space), seatback system that is new with included wifi and entertainment choices through Directv, and overall excellent cabin service.  I was in one of the last boarding groups but was still able to find a spot for my backpack.

I still have some Jetblue points available though I may need to try and get a few more in the future.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Sad News: TAMU-Q to close in 2028

Cross-post from Linkedin:

I have different emotions reading the news today that Texas A&M in Qatar will be winding down operations by 2028. In my opinion, a sad day for the students and families in Qatar and MENA region. The opportunity for students to study engineering in this setting was meaningful and established positive connections around the world.

Personally, TAMU-Q along with the other universities present in Education City hosted by Qatar Foundation, played an instrumental role for me as I conducted my doctoral research and participated in the QF-sponsored Young Professional's Institute. Our first global study trip to the region offered insight into how we can establish new connections and build teams that support students. The loss of TAMU-Q will be felt by many over time. I hope I can return to Doha soon for additional research.


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Feb travel ahead

February is here!  I feel as though January took forever.  

I'm looking forward to some travel planned for this month - the holiday weekend will see me on the road again between the NE and MKE.  Hopefully there won't be many weather impacts!