Well, it’s been an insanely busy week for me, as I got back into the swing of things at work, and in life in general. As such, I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted to, so here is a weekly round-up of some of the goings-ons in the World of travel, points and miles. I’ll try to call out the top four or five stories on a weekly basis in the future.
Atlantis Resort becomes a Marriott Rewards Partner
This week, the uber-popular Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas officially joined the Marriott Rewards program. The incredible resort is now bookable with Marriott Points at the following levels:
- Beach Towers – 35,000 points per night (category 7)
- Coral Towers – 35,000 points per night (category 7)
- Royal Towers – 40,000 points per night (category 8)
- The Cove – 45,000 points per night (category 9)
While a little steep, it is a great resort, and if you’re sitting on a stockpile of Marriott points, it’s a definite option for a Caribbean vacation. The property is marketing each tower as a separate hotel. While the Cove and maybe Royal Towers could be a deal, I don’t think the Beach and Coral Towers are particularly good values considering that a night here can routinely be had for les than $150 per night.
The fact sheet regarding points redemptions can be found here. Keep in mind that with Marriott, when you redeem for four nights, you receive the fifth night free.
WOW Air announces US – Iceland and Europe routes for bargain prices
Icelandic discount carrier WOW Air announced this week that it would begin service to Reykjavik (KEF), Iceland from Boston (BOS) starting in March 2015 and Baltimore-Washington (BWI) in June 2015. Accompanying the announcement were ultra-low fares from these airports to Iceland, as well as connecting flights to London-Gatwick and Copenhagen. How cheap? We’re talking $99-125 each way! Some of these cheap fares are still left, too. For more details, check out the WOW website or The Flight Deal’s info on this deal.
While I didn’t take advantage of this deal, if you’re looking for a cheap way to Europe next spring / summer, I’d highly recommend taking a glimpse!
The Final Commercial Flight of the MD-11
It was a relatively short lifespan for the MD-11, but KLM completed the last commercial flight of the type on a flight from Montreal to Amsterdam on Friday night. Though the aircraft was introduced in only 1991, the type has been relatively quickly taken out of service. It seems this particular flight was a bit of a party flight due to the occasion. BoardingArea blogger Seth, from the Wandering Aramean hopped on board for the final flight and shared his thoughts on it.
Speculation on new American AAdvantage Program
Throughout the week, there has been rampant speculation in the points and miles community that American Airlines is on the cusp of announcing its new AAdvantage frequent flyer program, which will combine the programs of both US Airways and American. Though no announcement has been made yet, the speculation continues. Several well-respected bloggers, including JonNYC from TravelingBetter have shared info that most of the changes to the program are supposedly good, but I’m rather skeptical. Here’s his post:
Some may have seen this post on FT:
And while I dismissed that report (have since PM’d that FTer to apologize) rumors now rampant that new program rules will take effect March 2015 (somewhat surprisingly, I’d say– and not 100% confirmed.)
Several sources are calling this “AAdvantage stays AAdvantage” and it is being depicted as “largely good news” with some AA folks on the inside describing themselves as “very relieved.” But, no confirmed details that I can share at this juncture. AND, still could change up a bit.
But, in any case, these rumors point to an announcement much sooner than I would have expected..
I guess we’ll see what ultimately happens, but what I’m fearing is a shift to a more revenue-based program similar to that of Delta and United. As someone who pays for his own airfare, this would NOT be a move that I like, and I’ve opined on that before. And considering I left United because of this shift, I’ll be paying close attention to any further developments in this story.
In Case You Missed it….
- Six Initial Thoughts On My Trip Around the World
- First Look: ANA First Class Tokyo to Washington
- First Look: Air China Forbidden Pavilion First Class Shanghai to Tokyo
- First Look: THAI Royal First Class Munich to Bangkok
- First Look: United Global First Class Chicago to Munich
- I’m currently working on formal trip report installments from my recent trip around the world. I’ll probably start posting those in the next couple of weeks.
- Next week, I’ve got another international trip to take! Wherever will it be? Stay tuned to find out…
- More points and miles related how-to guides