Reminder – 5K Bonus Points from Hilton HHonors

Just a reminder that Hilton HHonors is running a 5,000 bonus point promotion right now. This limited time offer will reward you with 5,000 Bonus Points per stay at any hotel, now through July 6th. This is in addition to being able to earn Double Points or Double Miles with the current Double Your HHonors promotion. Registration is required. Click here. Register for the Double Your HHonors promotion here. -MJ, June 21, 2015

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The Weekly Recap – June 20, 2015

The week is winding down, and tomorrow, we begin a brand new one. My travel hiatus comes to an end too. I’ll be heading to DFW and DCA during the week. If you’re in either place, reach out and say hi. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the past week’s content here at MJ on Travel. Cruise to Nowhere Planned? Check Your Booking Massive New Ships for Carnival Corporation Skiplagged and SkyMiles – Just Like Money United Departing JFK – For Good Deal Alert – Some AAmazing Fares From Atlanta Keeping Promises – Marriott Rewards Premier Visa CLOSED Update from Kimpton’s CEO Enjoy the rest of your weekend! -MJ, June 20, 2015

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Update From Kimpton’s CEO

Those of us who have come to appreciate Kimpton Hotels’ unique properties and benefits of the Kimpton Karma program have been waiting for word. Yesterday, an email arrived signed by Kimpton’s CEO that I think helps shed some light on where Kimpton and Kimpton Karma are headed. Here’s the text of the email in full with some (emphasis) on key points from me. Dear MJ, Where has the time gone? It’s June already and it feels like just yesterday we announced our acquisition by IHG. We have been steadily working with our new family at IHG to identify ways to bring the best of both worlds together. We remain firmly committed to our guests and to continuing to innovate for you.…

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Keeping Promises – Marriott Premier Rewards Visa CLOSED

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post on my declining interest in continuing to carry the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa. While I could still use the annual category 5 certificate that it provides, the truth is that with devaluation over time, that certificate is no longer a compelling value to me. Once upon a time, I could use it for one of my favorite pre-cruise hotels, the JW Marriott Miami, but no more. While the $85 annual fee isn’t horrendous, I’ve been looking for a reason to cull my credit card inventory, and this card was at the top of the list. Just a little while ago I called to close the account. The account was closed and the credit…

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Deal Alert – Some AAmazing Fares From Atlanta Right Now

This is a short “heads up” post. I was shopping for some fall and early 2016 travel yesterday and today, and I’ve stumbled upon some borderline amazing fares on American. I picked up an Atlanta – Miami roundtrip for $102 all-in per person for our January 2016 cruise. Frankly, I wouldn’t normally purchase travel this far out, but I took that and ran with it!!! And for giggles, I just shopped a couple of trips to Los Angeles, including this one in September. That’s even more incredible than $102 to Miami!!! Those amazing Miami fares are already gone on the dates I picked for Miami, but there are still some good deals out there. I didn’t see anything near matching from Delta,…

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United Departing JFK – For Good

United Airlines announced today that it will end all flights from New York’s JFK Airport, and relocate its premium transcontinental p.s.® flights to its Newark International hub. According to United, “beginning October 25, all regularly scheduled Newark–Los Angeles and Newark–San Francisco flights will offer: flat-bed seats in the United BusinessFirst cabin; premium in-flight service; more extra-legroom Economy Plus seats than any other carrier; and modern interiors with in-flight Wi-Fi and personal on-demand entertainment with individual seatback monitors and power ports for customers in every row.” To support the expanded services, United will reallocate a number of 757s from trans-Atlantic markets and replace that flying with 767s. Further, as part of the drawdown of services at JFK, United has reached an agreement with Delta Air Lines…

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SkipLagged and SkyMiles – Just Like Money

Rene penned a piece this morning on using Skiplagged to maximize the value of your SkyMiles. In fairness, he was quite clear that this is NOT the thing to do if you intend to remain a member of the program. In fact, the title of the post was “Can SkipLagged & hidden city ticketing help with Delta awards? YES (but don’t do it)!” (emphasis mine) Having worked for another airline, I can’t count the number of messages I received from corporate security telling me to greet customer X on flight XXX to let them know that they’d been caught using “back to back” or “hidden city” ticketing. And by the way, the one-way walk up fare you’ll need to buy…

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Massive New Ships for Carnival Corporation

This morning, Carnival Corporation announced details on a massive new ship order originally alluded to back in March. The world’s largest cruise company has entered into a contract with Meyer-Werft for 4 new ships that will be the company’s largest and the biggest cruise liner’s ever built when measured by guest count. According to the company, the new ships “will also feature a revolutionary “green cruising” design. The ships will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) — the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough. Further, “each of the four next-generation ships will have a total capacity of 6,600 guests, feature more than 5,000 lower berths, exceed…

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Cruise to Nowhere Planned? Check Your Booking

Carnival was first to announce a change in the U.S. view on cruises to nowhere via Sr. Cruise Director John Heald’s Facebook page. Disappointing news :Due to recent changes in how ships are cleared into and out of the United States by U.S…. Posted by John Heald on Thursday, June 11, 2015 I never knew the backstory on “cruises to nowhere” but a read of the Passenger Vessel Services Act leads me to think they were an exception that has long been OK as long as vessels entered international waters. This Seatrade Cruise News article adds even greater clarity. “Revenue cruises to nowhere from US ports on foreign-flag ships are coming to an end. Traditionally such short sailings have been…

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The Weekly Recap – June 13, 2015

Another week done, and just 1 week left in my travel stand down. Off the road or not, there is always something going on worth writing about. One of the most interesting things that happened this week was what I termed the “Delta Mixed Award Kerfuffle.” Interesting, not because of the stir caused, but more by one tiny little thing a Delta spokesperson said. “…..as part of changes to the 2015 SkyMiles program, we aligned with the revenue shopping rules…..” Which leads me to recommend that if you read one blog post this weekend (in addition to mine, of course 😉 ), read this one from Tiffany at One Mile at a Time. Perhaps the best piece on Delta and the direction SkyMiles…

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