Daily Points: Airlines Reduce China Service, IHG Discontinues PointsBreak

Daily Points

Airlines are reducing service to China, IHG discontinues PointsBreak, 800 Wyndham hotels are changing categories, and Hyatt announces new hotels.

Airlines Reduce or Cancel Service to China

Several airlines are reducing service or canceling flights to China in light of the coronavirus, which has caused more than 100 deaths.

British Airways suspended all flights to mainland China until March 1, 2020. Customers who had travel booked to China through February 23, 2020, can rebook to the same destination at a later date or request a refund.

Finnair is suspending its flights to Nanjing and Bejing until the end of March. 

United Airlines is reducing service to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai due to a drop in demand.

Air Canada is reducing service to China to match a drop in demand.

Cathay Pacific is reducing capacity by more than 50% to mainland China until the end of March. 

IHG PointsBreak Promotion Discontinued

IHG discontinued one of their most popular promotions, PointsBreak, which allowed customers to book hotels at a reduced rate of 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 points. 

The original PointsBreak promotion allowed customers to book a hotel for only 5,000 points per night. There were usually a few good options for redemptions, but the quality of the hotels decreased over time.

In 2018, IHG added the three different points levels and the quality of the hotels improved, but recently the PointsBreak list has been subpar.

Wyndham Announces Category Changes for Hotels

Wyndham Rewards prices awards at either 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 points. Wyndham announced that 500 properties will be moving down a category (from 30k to 15k, or 15k to 7.5k) and 300 will be moving up a category. 

The pricing will go into effect on February 11th. If the property goes down in category, you will automatically receive a refund.

A list of the hotel changes has not been released, but 80 hotels will be moving from 15,000 points to 30,000 points and 220 hotels are moving from 7,500 points to 15,000 points.

I miss the days of every hotel being 15,000 points because you could get really great value from some of their top-end hotels. I’ve moved on from Wyndham after that change, but there still is some value in their program.

Hyatt Will Add 190 Hotels by 2022

Hyatt announced that they will be adding 50 new hotels in 2020, and at least 140 additional hotels by 2022.

A couple of interesting hotels are:

  • Park Hyatt Los Angeles at Oceanwide Plaza, 184 guestrooms, 2021
  • Park Hyatt Los Cabos (Mexico), 163 guestrooms, 2021
  • Park Hyatt Mexico City (Mexico), 155 guestrooms, 2021
  • Andaz Palm Springs (Calif.), 150 guestrooms, Late 2020
  • Andaz Toronto – Yorkville, 160 guestrooms, 2021
  • Andaz Turks & Caicos at Grace Bay, 184 guestrooms, 2021
  • A 130-room Alila hotel in Encinitas, Calif., which will mark the Alila brand’s first new-build hotel in the Americas in early 2021;
  • The 80-room Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, A Destination Hotel (Va.), which will mark the second Quirk Hotel in Virginia, joining Quirk Hotel Richmond in March 2020; and
  • A 161-room Joie de Vivre hotel and 226-room hotel within the Destination Hotels brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., in late 2020
  • Thompson Washington D.C., 225 guestrooms, January 8, 2020
  • Thompson San Antonio, 162 guestrooms, Late Summer 2020
  • Thompson Dallas, 219 guestrooms, Fall 2020
  • Thompson Hollywood (Calif.), 190 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Austin, 200 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Denver, 220 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Savannah (Ga.), 193 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson South Beach (Miami), 150 guestrooms, 2022
  • The Ambassador Chicago, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, 285 guestrooms, February 2020
  • El Capitan, a Joie de Vivre Hotel (Merced, Calif.), 114 guestrooms, Summer 2020
  • A hotel within the Joie de Vivre brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., 161 guestrooms, Late 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria (Va.), 124 guestrooms, January 22, 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Portland (Ore.), 220 guestrooms, February 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis, 145 guestrooms, Spring 2020
  • Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th New York, 163 guestrooms, March 2020
  • Hyatt Centric San Salvador (El Salvador), 138 guestrooms, April 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale (Fla.), 238 guestrooms, May 2020
  • Hyatt Centric City Center Philadelphia, 332 guestrooms, June 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis (Tenn.), 227 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Austin (Texas), 200 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Nashville (Tenn.), 252 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Sacramento (Calif.), 172 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Koreatown Los Angeles, 310 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric SouthPark Charlotte (N.C.), 175 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta, 218 guestrooms, 2022
  • Hyatt Centric Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada), 364 guestrooms, 2022

Travel News

  • JetBlue’s founder, David Neeleman, new airline Breeze Aviation (formerly Moxy) has reached a deal with Azul Airlines (also founded by David Neeleman) to sublease up to 28 E195s by 2022. Breeze has 60 Airbus A220-300s on order, so this deal would allow them to launch U.S. flights early when their get their FAA operating certificate. 
  • Spirit Airlines is launching a route from Baltimore to San Salvador in April. 

Deals and Points News

  • Star Alliance now allows airlines to eliminate lounge access at contract lounges for Star Alliance Gold Members, which is now in line with United Airlines’ recent change to limit Star Alliance Gold members from accessing contract lounges (lounges that are not run by United or Star Alliance airlines) [VFTW]
  • The cost of bringing a guest into the Delta SkyClub is increasing from $29 to $39 or 3,900 SkyMiles. 
  • Hyatt has a 25% off points sale through February 29th, which brings the cost down to 1.8 cents per point. I value Hyatt points at 1.8 cents, but I would not buy points unless you have an award stay in mind.
  • Chase is sending out a targeted emails offering 500 bonus points when you use your tap to pay using your Chase card at least 3 times in transactions of $1.75 or more.

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