Triangle Trip

Tag: points

How Virgin America loyalty program work?

by on May.01, 2009, under Airlines

Everyone is used to their accruing airline miles, and then redeeming those airline miles to get their free airplane ticket.  This is good for most of us who try to find the cheapest ticket possible because we still get the same number of miles independent of ticket price.

However, Virgin America‘s (VX) loyalty program (“Elevate”) is a good reward model in favor of themselves, and not the consumer.  That combined with no status wonders how they will attract the business flyers.

You earn 5 Virgin America Elevate points for every pre-tax US dollar spent on a ticket.  I had flight of total of $49.60, pre-tax was $36.10.  I earned 36 * 5 = 180 Elevate points.

On Virgin America’s website, you can switch back and forth between dollars and Virgin America points when booking a ticket.  The rough conversion is 46.51 points per US dollar.

Examples: A $38 flight is 1768 points, and a $101 flight is 4698 points.

So if you are stuck with a short mileage flight but expensive ticket, go with Virgin America. Virgin America offers you more bang for the buck! You will also enjoy the nice new planes – before they go out of business per The Captain’s previous post.

Leave a Comment :, , , , , , more...

SPG – Point inflation just around the corner?

by on Jan.12, 2009, under Business Travel, Hotels, Rental Cars

Earn 500 bonus Starpoints every night and an additional 5,000 every 10th night.”

Starwood Hotels (W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton) have been addressing the economic downturn with a strategy that I can only call a self-inflicted double whammy.  Because of falling demand, prices for a single night at Starwood properties have been falling.  While this is a normal business practice, what’s disconcerting is that at the same time, they are rolling out excessive point-earning incentives.

In exchange for short term solvency, they are guaranteeing a future “market correction.”  Will it be in the form of a bankrupt points program?  Will a Sheraton reward rise from 2,000 points to 10,000?   Will Westin rebrand as Le Meridien? For someone with a very generous balance of points, I’m downright worried.

If anything, SPG should be increasing their rates for this fairly inelastic market.  Yes, there are alternatives like video conferencing, but they’ll never replace the effectiveness of a face to face meeting.  On top of that, I’m guessing that SPG’s bread & butter business traveller is as greedy as I am.  The hotel stay is going to be reimbursed, so they’re not going to compromise their starpoints balance to save $20 a night by moving over to the Hilton.

I don’t care how bad the economy is, any self-respecting consultant won’t be found at a La Quinta.  What’s next?  Online coupons?

-Terminal D

5 Comments :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...