Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Unexpected platinum rewards


The price of loyalty
As a frequent traveller, I have learnt to appreciate comfort and as a creature of habit, the renewed experience of modes of travel, places of accommodation or refreshment, and services that make for the enjoyment of home away from home inadvertently enrols you into loyalty schemes.
In a bygone age, I had memberships of too many kinds of loyalty scheme, store cards, credit cards, train cards, hotel chain cards, airline loyalty schemes and obscure services that were more spam generators than you could care to be distracted by.
With time, I learnt to retain the ones with value and discard others whilst consolidating my activities with broader service providers than individual and discrete offerings.
Staying for free
When it comes to accommodation, I have kept with hotels.com and only use bookings.com if I cannot find accommodation or a good deal. For every 10 nights booked on hotels.com, I get a reward night the equivalent to the average price of the 10 nights I paid for. In six years, I have collected 52 reward nights and redeemed 40 of them saving me about £2,500 in hotel costs.
When I lived in The Netherlands for almost 13 years, KLM, then the 2003 merger Air France – KLM was my choice of airline apart from when I went on package holidays. On moving back to the UK, retaining that service has meant a stopover in either Amsterdam or Paris, a little inconvenience, but it is an outsized contribution to my loyalty points.
Platinum-plated reward
Having acquired enough Airmiles to reach Platinum last year, I was on my return from South Africa in January 55 points short of retaining my Platinum status. It would have required at least 2 business class return flights within mainland Europe to remain level par by the end of May.
I remember, just 3 years ago, I was only 30 points short of Platinum moving up from Gold, but never go to make it up. The Airmiles programme is called Flying Blue and though we get miles for distance travelled in relation to the class of travel, the measurement for traversing statuses which were based on the number of flights has changed to XP or eXperience Points.
So, imagine my glee when because of the Coronavirus pandemic I received an email from the Flying Blue programme that the XP threshold required to maintain our status by the end of the qualifying period had been reduced by 25%. As my qualifying period runs until the end of May, my already earned XP was enough to retain Platinum. [Flying Blue]
Thank you!

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