Airline & Hotel Status Is Everything Post Covid 19
ABINGDON ON THAMES – November 10, 2023.
In this the latest Beyond The Boardwalk blog post, I’m going to explain why Airline and Hotel status is everything in 2023 – and the secret to unlocking travel deals since the COVID 19 Pandemic.
If like me you’re a regular traveller, you might be scratching your head on why cash travel deals are now non existent and everything is so expensive. Take New York where a distinctly average Manhattan hotel can cost upwards of £500 for two nights! Gone are the days of that cheap Boston weekend getaway costing under £500. Or are they?
I recently spent an enjoyable afternoon on a Zoom call with top Los Angeles Travel Concierge and owner of Ask A Concierge, Sarah Dandashy who told me how the sands of travel booking have shifted towards status rather than cash deals. The full podcast and video are coming soon.
So in 2023 status is everything and I can testify to that having been to Los Angeles, New York, Antigua and San Francisco so far this year. In total I have redeemed 80, 000 miles from my Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account along with airline and Government imposed taxes of £280 per trip. And here’s the rub, New York normally needs a redemption of 20, 000 miles but has constantly been on offer this year during various ‘Reward Seat Sales.’ If I had paid cash for all of those flights I’d be looking at spending over £2, 500 based on an ecomomy fare!!!!!
How do you collect airline miles? Well I have the Virgin Atlantic Credit Card which gives me 3/4 of a mile for every £1 spent. I pay for everything I can on the card and make sure that I pay the statement in full at he end of the month to avoid interest. My average household outgoings are around £1000 a month so that means 700 miles a month into my account. On top of that I have brought miles this year on promotional offers. So for example buy 5, 000 miles and get another 5, 000 for free. And when I book travel, it’s via Virgin Atlantic’s Shops Away website where hotels.com currently offer 5 miles for every £1 spent.
And the same applies to hotels. I have been a long time member of the hotels,com Rewards Programme. It rewards you with a free night’s stay after you’ve booked 10 nights with them. And those 10 nights don’t have to be consecutive, they’re cumulative – so as you can imagine those free nights soon mount up if you stay for business too. My four night hotel stay in San Francisco cost me £357 but because I paid with my Virgin Atlantic Credit Card and hotels.com had an offer on, I saw a whopping 7,804 miles added to my account.
So why do I choose Virgin Atlantic & hotels.com when there’s thousands of loyalty schemes out there? In simple two words: ‘Brand Loyalty.’ I have travelled with Virgin Atlantic for 29 years and been with hotels.com for 20 years. It’s fair to say that every time there’s been a issue with a booking it’s been resolved with the minimum of fuss.
Here’s two examples of that. This year I travelled to Antiqua on a non refundable, non changeable hotel booking. I was all set to go when Storm Bret hit. One call to hotels.com and the booking was changed to new dates and a refund issued.
And in 1994 I flew to the USA and Florida for the very first time. The return flight was delayed overnight and I ended up in a Hyatt Hotel with food and drink paid for. Little did Sir Richard Branson know that his investment in me then would pay dividends for me flying his Virgin Atlantic airline for three decades!
So happy travelling and feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.