Doubletree for $5/night, Santa’s DOT response, a slippery slope on mistake fares, and more


Welcome to this week in review around the web, where we’ve recapped some good reads from around the ‘net. This week, we see just how good the first quarter Hilton promo can be, just how bad it is if the DOT allows airlines to cancel tickets on a whim, and how Santa has the authority to fly from rooftop to rooftop. All that and more below.

The DOT Has Asserted Jurisdiction Over Santa Claus, But Granted One-Time Permission to Deliver Toys

Yup, that’s me! Err….Santa.

For aviation enthusiasts concerned about Santa’s legal standing for flight this evening, rest assured that the DOT has got that covered (if only they’d also take care of the Swiss First Class snafu below, the holiday would be complete). And for those of you wondering what kind of screening Santa has been subjected to, see the video at the bottom of the post to rest assured that the TSA is on the case.

Hilton Honors Points Unlimited Jan 1-Apr 30 promotion potential for $5 hotel nights

Ric Garrido at Loyalty Traveler writes about an incredible way to game the first-quarter Hilton promotion and turn it into $5/night hotel nights at any Category 1 Hilton. If you’re traveling with a partner, you could spend 10 days in a DoubleTree for less than $60 plus the cost of an incidental charge each day. Heck, at that price, I’m tempted to live in a Cat 1 Hilton for the first quarter of 2018. The beauty of this is that you and your partner don’t even need separate stashes of points since you can pool Hilton points and just transfer enough of yours to your partner (or vice versa) to make this work.

‘Couldn’t make it up’ #2: bmi regional gives out topbonus miles – but you can’t spend them

For those readers who bemoan that their American Airlines AAdvantage miles are worthless without SAAver availability, I point you to this: a program in which you can earn but literally can’t spend your miles. And they are adding a new partner. Hopefully, topbonus is getting paid for the miles up front this time around…but for the moment, this is one type of mile I wouldn’t want to earn.

Etihad Goes After Topbonus Issued Award Tickets Demanding “Random” Fuel Surcharge Payments

If you are still tempted to credit to topbonus in the hopes of using those miles to book an award with Etihad in the future, check this out — it looks like Etihad is contacting ticket some ticket holders who booked with topbonus miles and demanding an additional fuel surcharge or the tickets will be canceled.


I don’t usually get very emotional about mistake fares. As I’ve said in the past, error fares are like refundable lottery tickets — if you win, you get the jackpot. If you lose, you get your money back. However, the recent Swiss First Class award ticket debacle is entirely different. Award seats were made available to partners at standard prices and Swiss later canceled the tickets. The danger with that precedent is that it would basically mean that airlines are free to cancel any time for any reason — while consumers had better do it within 24 hours or face stiff penalty fees. Matthew Klint at Live and Let’s Fly isn’t backing down on this one, and I’m glad he isn’t. In this post, read his well-crafted and logical response to the Swiss answer to his DOT complaint.

At What Point Do You Assume A Great Fare Will Be Honored By The Airline?

If, after reading Matthew Klint’s post above, you think that he and I are petty to cry foul over an airline refusing to accommodate his first class ticket and instead offering to fly him in business class with a 22-hour stopover in Canada to extend his trip, I’d recommend checking out this post from One Mile at a Time. Lucky’s reader question perfectly illustrates the trouble with allowing airlines to cancel on a whim — how do you know when you can start making other nonrefundable plans?

That’s it for this week around the web!

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