Point Me to the Plane has been on a 2 1/2 week hiatus but will return back to a normal posting schedule come May. In the meantime, if you happen to be in Seattle this weekend for the Freddie Awards or Frequent Traveler University, come say hello! It’s always great to meet readers in “real-life”. Oh and to kick things off in May we will be giving away another 50 AA 10% certificates!

Off to the Freddies (and my first flight simulator experience) at the Museum of Flight…

museum_of_flight_entrance

Posted by Adam | No Comments

As someone who’s obsessed with everything travel related, what’s not to love about the Freddie Awards? This lowly blogger gets invited to mingle and share some cocktails with the travel industry elite – from the heads of loyalty at the major airlines and hotels, to the best travel writers and bloggers in the business. This was my second trip to the Freddies and I was just as appreciative and inspired as last year. The Freddies are a real awards ceremony, though more time is spent chatting at the pre and post ceremony happy hours than actually handing out awards. In any case, it was once again a fun night and below I share a picture tour for those of you who were not in attendance…

A welcoming party (and red carpet) greets each guest upon arrival at USA Today headquarters in McLean, VA

To the ceremony…

Two Freddie wins at the table behind us for Jet Airways…

…and finally the swag. Interestingly enough, all giveaways were notebooks this year…yea, very exciting! Look out for a post next week with a reader contest to win one of these from AMEX, Priority Pass, and USA Today…

I’m still down in DC for Frequent Traveler University. If you’re here, come find me! I’ve met some great people and I’m excited to meet even more readers.

Oh, and I guess I should mention the winners as well…

Program of the Year

Americas Airline: American Airlines AAdvantage

Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Airline: Virgin Australia Velocity

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Hotel: IHG Priority Club Rewards

Europe/Africa Airline: Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Europe/Africa Hotel: Le Club Accorhotels

Best Promotion

Americas Airline: American Airlines AAdvantage

Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Hotel: Taj Hotels & Resorts InnerCircle

Europe/Africa Airline: Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Europe/Africa Hotel: Le Club Accorhotels

Best Redemption Ability

Americas Airline: AviancaTACA LifeMiles

Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Airline: Virgin Australia Velocity

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Hotel: Hyatt Gold Passport

Europe/Africa Airline: Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Europe/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Customer Service

Americas Airline: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Airline: Emirates Skywards

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Hotel: Hyatt Gold Passport

Europe/Africa Airline: SAS EuroBonus

Europe/Africa Hotel: IHG Priority Club Rewards

Best Elite Program

Americas Airline: American Airlines AAdvantage

Americas Hotel: Hyatt Gold Passport

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Airline: Virgin Australia Velocity

Middle East/Asia/Oceania Hotel: Hyatt Gold Passport

Europe/Africa Airline: Air France/KLM Flying Blue

Europe/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Loyalty Credit Card

Americas: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card

Middle East/Asia/Oceania: JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Credit Card

Europe/Africa: Flying Blue American Express Card

Posted by Adam | 3 Comments

Who knew the Freddies crowd could party?  Just arrived back home at 345am EST after a great night.  As a new blogger it was great to meet and chat with some of my mentors – Ben Mutzabaugh from Today In The Sky, Frugal Travel Guy Rick Ingersoll, and of course Frequent Flyer Guru Randy Petersen.  Not to mention my fellow Boarding Area bloggers including Mommy Points and The Weekly Flyer and everyone at our esteemed table 35!   It was also fascinating to speak with some of the leaders of our favorite loyalty programs, more on those conversations in a future post. Hosting duties were handled by Robert Wuhl from HBO’s Arliss.

Full analysis tomorrow but American’s AAdvantage swept the Americas category winning Program of the Year, Best Promotion for Earning, Best Customer Service, & Best Elite Program. I definitely agree with the assessment, I constantly find AAdvantage miles the easiest to redeem on both AA and their partners, especially when compared to Delta SkyMiles.

SPG swept the Europe/Africa category winning Europe/Africa Program of the Year, Americas & Europe/Africa Best Promotion for Earning, Best Promotion for Redemption Europe/Africa & Middles East/Asia/Oceania, and Best Customer Service & Best Elite Program Europe/Africa. I was honestly surprised that SPG did not win more Americas awards.

Marriott won big in the Americas with Program of the Year, Best Promotion for Redemption, Best Redemption Ability, Best Customer Service & Best Elite Program.

The Delta SkyMiles American Express card won best loyalty card.  I’d venture to say that the Chase cards have had better promotions and provided greater value last year, though of course I am always partial to my trusty SPG AMEX card.

What are your thoughts on the winners?  Any surprises?

PS  – Why not sample the benefits of the big winner?  American is offering a DIRECT STATUS MATCH for United fliers discontent after the merger. No flying is required.   Check out Getting Status for the full details.

Posted by Adam | One Comment

home top