Daily Points: New Priority Pass Lounges, United Orders A321XLR, Flying Blue Promo

Daily Points

A new Priority Pass lounge was added in Charlotte and two lounges in New York (JFK) are now officially on the Priority Pass website. United Airlines placed a large order for 50 Airbus A321XLRs and Air France published their Flying Blue Promo Awards.

A Second Minute Suites opens in Charlotte (CLT) Airport

A second Minute Suites has opened in Charlotte (CLT) along with their airport recent expansion and is now on Priority Pass. This location is open past security between the D/E Connector near the Food Court.

One visit entitles you to a one hour stay, which you reserve for free using the Minute Suites’ mobile app.

This Minute Suites has a shower, but you have to pay $20 per 30 minutes. (It would be nice if there was an option for another a swipe from a different Priority Pass card could get you the shower for free.) 

There were also several other Priority Pass additions or deletions: 

  • New York (JFK)- The Primeclass Lounge and Air India Maharaja Lounge are now officially on their website. The unofficial lounge additions were previously announced by TPG.
  • Miami (MIA)- The temporary lounge at Terminal E has closed down. 
  • Hong Kong (HKG)- The Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge has closed down.
  • Hyderabad (HYD)- The Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge has closed down.
  • Marsh Harbour (Bahamas)(MHH)- Added the Skyview Airport Lounge.
  • Cancun (CUN)- A new lounge called “The Lounge in Partnership With Air Transat” was added to Terminal 4 and has a shower, a taco bar, and a children’s playroom.
  • San Christobal Island (Galapagos)(SCY) added a nice looking lounge called Magma Lounge.

Our Airport Lounge Map is now up to date, which you can access easily on your phone via Google Maps. (The map below takes a few seconds to load)

United Orders 50 Airbus A321XLRs

United has placed a large order for 50 Airbus A321XLR Aircraft, which will begin international service in 2024 from Newark (EWR) and Washington D.C. (IAD) to Europe. The sticker price on the deal is $7.1 billion, but United will pay a lot less with discounts.

The A321XLR is expected to be a replacement for the Boeing 757 and will save offer United a 30% fuel savings over the Boeing 757.

However, the A321XLR does not solve the issue of replacing United’s aging Boeing 767s. Boeing’s concept “NMA” 797  was supposed to fill the 767 gap, but the outlook of that plane is unclear.

In other news, United’s partner Mesa Airlines will add 20 Embraer E175 LL aircraft, which will be operated for United Express. 

December Flying Blue Promo Awards

Air France released their list of Flying Blue Promo Rewards for December 2019 for travel between 1/2/2020 to 3/31/2020. There are some pretty good deals this month:

  • Chicago (ORD)- 42,500 points round-trip for premium economy or 87,000 points for business class.
  • New York (JFK)- 45,500 points round-trip for premium economy.
  • Edmonton- 61,000 points round-trip for business class.

Travel News

  • Hong Kong Airlines received a $568 million loan from Chinese state banks to avoid bankruptcy. The airline previously missed payments to its staff and for the video content on its in-flight entertainment systems. Unless the situation in Hong Kong improves dramatically, it is highly likely that the airline will fail in the next 12 months.
  • Delta and LATAM begin codesharing early next year to build a partnership for travel between the U.S. and South America. Delta and LATAM are also working on a loyalty and lounge access agreement that should be reached sometime in 2020. Additionally, LATAM will end their long-standing partnership with American Airlines on February 1, 2020. 
  • Italy’s Government has approved a €400 million ($433 million) loan for Alitalia. The loan will allow Alitalia to restructure to attract a potential buyer. If a buyer cannot be found by May 31, 2020, the Italian government may consider nationalizing the airline.

Deals and Points News

  • A new 30% Amex Transfer Bonus to Virgin Atlantic from now through 12/28/2019. Virgin Atlantic offers a good value for first-class flights on ANA or business class flights on Delta.
  • A new 40% or 50% Amex Transfer Bonus to Hilton (1 Amex point to 2.8 or 3.0 Hilton points) with an unknown expiration date. I don’t plan to transfer any points because I earn enough Hilton points from sign-up bonuses on their credit cards, and Hilton’s dynamic pricing makes it hard to find a good deal. But if you have very little Hilton points with a good redemption in mind, a 50% bonus can be a good deal. 
  • There is a targeted 70,000 points bonus for the Chase Hyatt card with the email subject line: “First time ever: Earn up to 70,000 Bonus Points.” [DOC]
  • Amex Offer: Lowes, spend $50+ and receive $10 statement credit.
  • Amex Offer: Dell, spend $599+ and receive a $120 statement credit.
  • Discover sent out targeted offers via email for 10% Cashback Bonus up to $100 in purchases through 12/31/2019 when you use either Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay.
  • American Express is targeting businesses for a second Business Platinum Card with a 75,000 point bonus. [DOC]
  • Wyndham has a 40% points sale through January 14, 2020, which lowers the price per point to 0.93 when you buy 45,000 points (63,000 with bonus). Wyndham points previously offered great value when every hotel was only 15,000 points, but now hotels require either 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 points per night. [Loyalty Lobby]