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Jun 28

Flippen Hell cost of living vs travel + Qatar promo + Aeroplan Etihad cs + more

Our latest Youtube vid – Oman

Still the most beautiful country I say, scenery that rivals summer Cape Town. (We toured Oman in Winter for 20 days)

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1. Flippen hell, finally

  • Finally after many years of travel, the lockdown has enabled most savvy travelers to compare 3 straight months (thus far) of cost of living / staying home vs cost of being abroad and as you may know the former is more expensive, see when you travel using loyalty as an elitist all the perks equals savings, one wouldn’t need to run to the grocery store every day, nor pay cleaners nor electricity, elitists often get largest suites, even when staying free on points, lounge access that often comes with, laundry, 3 generous meals per day and unlimited drinks throughout, some come with the comps via butler services..
  • Even if you not staying free and pay your way as an elitist, eg I changed my last trip abroad to Saudi Arabia which made more sense ( & cents) to save the points booking a new hotel (costing me 13k points per night with 5th night free) and rather take up a cash rate of 340 SAR pn for 20 nights that included just about everything + more with regards to upgrades and food, the checkout yielded more back in points (yes more points) with elite bonuses + 2x points for a future trip (Waldorf Maldives at a easy 96k per night with 5th night free with no taxes ? vs their 2000 usd nightly rate ++taxes are of the best options).
  • It doesn’t end there, often anyone ( no elite status needed) can juggle airline promos just the same as we proved the previous year end trip with Egypt Air Business class, getting more back in miles value than the tickets we paid.

Specials however, come and go, sometimes they repeat themselves, here are some unheard of ones that many seem to be taking advantage of:

2. Qatar promo.

Flexibility at its finest!

Ever seen something like this? To be honest what I love the most of this promo is how creative one can get in each of the valued flexibility points.

When Qatar launched this promo via email it put most savvys head in a spin, everyone hopped on the lowest business class tickets from 500$ short haul, eg CMB – MCT and change it to further away, remember here you can CHANGE YOUR DESTINATION as long as its 5000 miles radius (not km!), I wonder if they still allowing departure and arrival points for changes one after the other as they were initially?

No 2 Unlimited changes? so the swells not peaking in North Male Atoll but Bali will be going off on all cylinders for a surfers upcoming trip, sorted.

No 3 In theory how many book and cancels with 10% value added can one muster?

No 4 Swop for Qmiles. The rate is $1 spent per 100 Qmiles and valid for 3 years. Talk about a cheaper way to buy miles, unheard of? Note: usually 1000 Qmiles would cost $35 to buy.

Qatar in my own opinion has some of the most creative promos, remember their kids fly free promo ? I could book all 6 in my tribe to Istanbul return for Zar 18,000 !

Still on Qatar, now with Status!

Top Tier

Taken up QR’s amazing targeted promo that yields:

AL Maha meet and greet worth 400 Qar per person

100% bonus miles and 100% family miles

Business Lounge access + 5 Complimentary passes ( note: worlds best first class lounge ‘AL Safwa’ was taken off access for Platinums last year unless they flying in business or First)

Unique 60 Qcredits loaded – apart from miles Qatar’s premium elite status comes with Qcredits, one may use these Qcredits to upgrade from just about any class fare in Economy to Business or from any class fare from Economy to First Class ( you might recall a older post showing when they used to fly DOH-MED, the metal did not have a business cabin so all business flyers got coded as first class with access to the Al Safwa Lounge as well). Speaking of Al Safwa, using Qcredits should get you the access when upgrading from DOH. You can also use Qcredits to pay for fees and extra baggage (dont!) save them for flights out DOH that has the worlds only 1st class suites in business class named THE QSUITES, that has like 2 double beds facing each other for 4 pax, enough place for baby in middle too.

for more on this check out Qatar’s Qcalculator

3. Emirates drops fuel surcharges!

Another unheard of topic. 1st class Emirates now from $41. Most airliners seem to have been doing the same to stimulate travel with the lower oil prices. For EK fuel surcharge chart click HERE scroll left to pic no7

4. Etihad 50% bonus value.

Etihad also jumped on the ME3 bandwagon with a unique offer of their own this month, buy any travel voucher and get 50% value added.

5. Match made in Heaven.

WOW! Etihad and Air Canada sign code share agreement.. and for those in South Africa seem to be in the ‘goldilock zone’ to pick up avail into AUH and beyond. The trick to maxing Aeroplan is to how shall I say, SAA Journeyblitz it? find 2 segments separately then apply them A to B, B to C and then C to A. Need Aeroplan miles fast? see no 6 below.

and just when I thought those Zar 1000 First Class Apartment flights were no more..

6. Marriott buy points 60% bonus

Marriott uniquely transfers their Marriott Reward points to just about any airline miles program at a 3:1 rate (except Air new Zealand) with a added 25% bonus on all points transferred at 60k points thresholds.

Also, Marriott points are great for stays with elite 5th night free redemption’s at the worlds biggest hotel chain boasting 30 brands.

Buy Marriott points HERE.

7. More on Points sales:

Etihad has a 30% points sale HERE, however I wonder if booking and using their slider to manufacture points would still be more cost effective.

Hilton has a 100% points sale too, ends July 15th, click HERE.

Offcoarse not forgetting it rarely makes sense to buy points unless they are actually saving you money for superior use.

Using elite status would in certain events get you bulk of the points free with its bonus off stays.

It seems most websites of hotels are offering prepaid voucher with bonus value through all the major hotel brands. Do check them out if you are looking for any further deals ahead.

8. The A380 demise.

Air France has retired all their double decker A380’s after 10 years of service. Most airliners including Emirates, Qatar, Qantas and Etihad have also grounded them due to their high operational costs. Airbus will no longer be making A380’s. Sad to say in the next few years walking upstairs will be a memory of the past. Do you remember seeing your first A380 in 2010 and then flying on your 1st A380 trip?

9. Countries are opening up.

Europe has just unveiled their plan to open in July to certain countries.

Hawaii opens on August 1st.

Maldives opens up to everyone with no restrictions on July 15th.

Yes we used the offer in no 2 above and booked cheapest flight to Mumbai and changed it to most expensive flight into Male, not quite the maximum 5000 mile change flexibility, but as any traveler would know Maldives is of the most expensive airfares around.

I wonder if Charter flights would be allowed sooner from SA as we promoted bulk of last year and at the start of this year as Islands due to warm climates and open spaces with rooms distanced between each other on most resorts might just be the safest escape for those yearning.

10. Love the Hilton Doubletree cookies?

View this post on Instagram

FIRST TIME EVER: the recipe for Double Tree cookies. The first food to be baked in space now can be made at your home: Official DoubleTree Signature Cookie Recipe Makes 26 cookies ½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks) ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar ¾ cup packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 ¼ cups flour 1/2 cup rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt Pinch cinnamon 2 2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips (I personally love Hersheys cinnamon, not sure if they stock in SA, but widely avail in Dxb and NY) 1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts  Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.  With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.  Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.  Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.  Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour. note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft. Video link in bio. #happybaking #doubletree #cookies #mostwanted #foodie #biscuits #eatsomemore #theTLway

A post shared by TRΛVELOYΛLTY (@traveloyalty) on

Here’s the secret recipe. Enjoy.

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