DLD 66: Upgrades when you want them

November 6, 2014

Live from World Travel Market in London the crew is talking about Etihad’s The Residence, the new AAdvantage program for 2015 and a hotel loyalty program which doesn’t really focus on loyalty, at least not the way we’ve typically looked at it. Also, we’ve got a special guest on this episode. Kerwin McKenzie is the brains behind PassRider.com, a site focused on the non-rev side of the travel experience. And he has some unique insight into the way things work behind the scenes. Added bonus: We recorded whilst under the departure path for London‘s City Airport so every now and then you get to hear a plane taking off in the background.

Departure from London City Airport

In this week’s show:

  • Three of us sat in the mock-up of the Etihad Residence cabin on display at the show. Yes, it really is as ridiculous as they initially advertised.
  • American announced the 2015 version of their AAdvantage program. Very little changed, unless you are a US Dividend Miles member. But that’s OK because a bunch of bloggers will tell you those changes are good for you without any solid data to back up that claim.
  • Universal Points launched just a few weeks ago. The company offers a loyalty program for independent hotels to help encourage direct booking rather than OTA traffic. And the play is a straight 5% cash back. Good deal or crazy?
  • Some talk about how wifi and live TV are beamed to the planes in United’s fleet and why the coverage is where it is and not where it is not.
  • Is a canceled long-haul flight, botched reroute and terrible service all the way through worth more than 5,000 points in comp? We tackle that in this week’s Rolo Rant.

All that and more in this week’s episode!

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