Weekly Review: January 28, 2017

Filed Under: Weekly Review

I’m back in the U.S. after spending a lovely long weekend in Mexico. I’m taking a brief longhaul travel break, as I want to get caught up on trip reports. That includes finishing the big trip report I’m writing at the moment, and also writing the report about my trip to Cambodia and Laos last October, which is long overdue.


On the miles & points front we’ve learned more about the growth of basic economy at U.S. airlines, about management changes at Etihad, and we’ve seen some new hotel and credit card promotions.

Here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

7 Hot Limited Time Credit Card Bonuses Available Right Now


The past few months we’ve seen a lot of increased credit card sign-up bonuses. The card issuers are really getting competitive, both in terms of sign-up bonuses and in terms of perks.

So I figured I’d use this post to recap some of the increased card sign-up bonuses we’re seeing, some of which are expiring soon. In no particular order, here are some of them:

Amazing Deal: 40K Marriott Points Per Night For A Villa With Private Pool!

Al-Wadi-Desert-1Ritz-Carlton recently took control of a new desert resort in the United Arab Emirates.

Specifically, the Al Wadi Desert Resort is located in Ras Al Khaimah, which is about an hour drive from Dubai, or you can fly directly into Ras Al Khaimah Airport. This was formerly a Banyan Tree hotel, and has received good reviews.

As you’d expect, this hotel isn’t cheap, though it’s an incredible use of points.

6 Alternative Facts About Basic Economy

787 overheadsThere is a good deal of confusion in the marketplace about basic economy fares, the no-frills tickets that Delta has been selling for several years now and American and United are poised to begin selling this quarter.

My biggest concern with basic economy fares is that there’s no good way to identify them when searching using Google Flights, or really anywhere other than the airlines’ websites. This seems like an easy feature for Google to add and would go a long way toward helping consumers make an informed decision about what they are about to buy. Of course I’d like to see all of the online travel agencies implement something similar, and honestly, I think that is coming.

But it turns out that there’s a lot more confusion about basic economy than just our inability to identify these fares. Let’s look at six alternative facts about basic economy.


TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Great Deal: Get Nearly Free Hotel Stays In Vancouver
Using The Luxury Circle Program To Maximize Value At Shangri-La Hotels
Hilton HHonors’ New “2K Every Day” Global Promotion
7 Hot Limited Time Credit Card Bonuses Available Right Now
Great Garuda Indonesia First Class Fares Are Back!
Upside Adds Domestic Bookings, Offers $200 In Gift Cards
Today Only: Earn 15 United Miles Per Dollar Spent At Select Retailers
Great Business Class Fares To China On Hainan!
3 Days Left To Earn Up To 100K Points!

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Jet Airways Awards Are Now Bookable On Delta’s Website!
Here Are The 100+ IHG Hotels That Will Be Bookable For 5K Points On Monday
An Aer Lingus Business Class Award I’ve Never Seen Available Before
Preview Of IHG’s Next PointBreaks List, Which Will Go Live On January 30
Amazing Deal: 40K Marriott Points Per Night For A Villa With Private Pool!
What Happened To Etihad’s U.S. Award Charts?
American Is Increasing Standard Economy Award Rates To The South Pacific

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

Who’s Right In This Airplane Window Shade Dispute?
What Is A VPN And Why Do You Need One?
What Do Onboard Chefs Really Do?
Is It Okay To Leave Your Kids In Economy While You Fly First?
Some Hotels Aren’t Good At Measuring…
Mexico Might Be My New Favorite Vacation Destination!

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai
Review: W Dubai Al Habtoor City
Review: St. Regis Dubai
What’s Alaska Airlines First Class Like?
Review: Royal Brunei Lounge Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class 787 Bandar Seri Begawan To Dubai
Review: Radisson Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class A320 Kuala Lumpur To Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur

NEWS & Updates

Hands Down The Worst Airline Lounge Behavior Ever
United’s Premature Polaris Marketing — Brilliant Or Stupid?
United Schedules Final 747 Flights
The TSA Threatens To Cut Free Pre-Check Access… Again
11 More Airlines Have Joined TSA Pre-Check
The New Park Hyatt Bangkok Is Now Bookable
China’s Government May Soon Crack Down On VPNs
Ironic: Russia Raises Visa Fees For American Tourists
6 Alternative Facts About Basic Economy
It’s Official: Etihad’s CEO Is Stepping Down
Dubai Hotel Asks Russian Models Not To Geotag Themselves There On Instagram
British Airways Is Improving Service On Flights To China
American’s Newest Planes Won’t Feature Personal Televisions
AirAsia Could Soon Start Flying To The U.S.
Hilton Introduces Their 14th Hotel Brand — Tapestry Collection
AT&T Gets Competitive With International Data — FINALLY!
Woman Kicked Off Alaska Flight For Going On Anti-Trump Rant
SO CUTE: Two Travel Geeks Get Married On A Cathay Dragon Flight!
WOW: Emirates Is Launching Daily Flights Between Newark And Athens
Dear Google, Please Save Us From Basic Economy
Great News: Delta May Be Cutting SkyClub Memberships As A Diamond Benefit
Could British Airways Introducing Dine On Demand Be A Bad Thing?

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

  1. Lucky,

    I really hope you can write a post about Iran’s ban on American citizens. This has really upset me as I love traveling to Iran and was hoping to visit Isfahan later this year.

    A catch-all post about how Trump’s egotistical personal agenda is going to screw with the travel plans (and everyday lives) of Americans would also be informative.

  2. What is the best domestic airline for using up the airline credit for the credit cards?

    I find united is the best since you can accumulate all of them in a single account to have a larger quantity. For all other airlines you end up with a large number of small denomination gift cards which is a hassle. Anyone care to prove me wrong?

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