Bits: American Airlines to add new UK routes, Marriott / SPG account merger working and what I booked

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News in brief:

Changes to American Airlines’ international destinations

American Airlines has announced changes to its international network with new destinations in Europe coupled with a number of route cancellations.

The newly added routes to the UK and Ireland are:

  • Phoenix to London Heathrow, seasonal between 31st March 2019 and 26th October 2019 (daily)
  • Dallas to Dublin, seasonal between 6th June 2019 and 28th September 2019 (daily)
  • Philadelphia to Edinburgh, seasonal between 2nd April and 2019 and 26th October 2019 (daily)

The flights will be bookable on the American Airlines website from 27th August 2018.  They should also be available as Avios redemptions via ba.com at the same time.

The current UK and Ireland routes which will be closed are:

  • Philadelphia to Glasgow (as of 29th September 2018)
  • New York to Dublin (as of 27th October 2018)
  • New York to Edinburgh (as of 27th October 2018)
  • Chicago to Manchester (as of 3rd September 2018)

You can now merge your Marriott and SPG accounts – and what I booked

Whilst the functionality seems to be coming and going, it is now possible to merge your Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest accounts – I’ve done it.

If you log in at marriott.com (I had trouble at marriott.co.uk) you will see an option under the booking box.

A few clicks of the mouse and everything is done.  Your points balance is automatically updated.  Other information, including SPG stay history, is theoretically imported over the next 48 hours.

Once I’d done this I made my first two bookings to take advantage of the revised reward chart:

I rebooked the excellent Marriott Berlin (reviewed here) for the ITB travel show next March, as it dropped from 40,000 points to 35,000 points per night.  Cash rates are €699!  The Ritz-Carlton next door is 50,000 points but I don’t think it is worth the extra, especially if you have lounge access at the Marriott via your status.

I booked three nights at the St Regis New York, photo above, for 60,000 points per night.  Cash rates for my stay are $1,100 per night (plus a $50 resort fee ….) and I’m intrigued to try it out.

As I wrote the other day, I am not rushing off to book the Maldives, Bora Bora etc.  My kids are too young, I think, and it would still be a pricey gamble given that I would need four flights.  I am happier to wait a couple of years, spend more points but know that everyone will enjoy it.

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Comments

  1. In case anyone is hitting unprocessable condition when they try and do the Marriott / SPG merge – both of my accounts had the same email address (and different passwords) which seemed to confuse it. I changed them to separate email addresses and reset the passwords for both and they merged just fine.

    • FlyUpTop says:

      I merged this afternoon the two, different passwords and it all worked fine. It was working very slow earlier on a smartphone so i switched to a tablet and all worked fine.

      • OT. I have paid for specific seats on an an Avios booking in club. I have noticed that there is availability in first class on the same route but on a flight the day before. There is no cost to reserve specific seats in first class. Having checked BA’s t&c’s on seat selection it is vague as to whether I will get refunded for paying for the seats if I change flights. Can anyone confirm whether I am entitled to a refund ?

  2. KBuffett says:

    Rob – is the one night free when booking a redemption for five nights now not available with Marriott Redemptions?

  3. Should I be worried that both my SPG and Marriott are showing ZERO points now?

    Has this happened to anyone else?

  4. James Whitehead says:

    I’m seeing similar value looking at Marriott redemption for Miami in Feb half term.

    On this basis looks easily able to get 1.5p – 2p per point converting Amex MR –> Marriott – especially when taking into account the 5 nights for price of 4 deal.

    Does this now make Marriott the top value redemption for Amex MR?

    • Yes and No. Clearly in your example you can get excellent value and if you specifically save your points for such circumstances then you can get those sort of numbers. I am sitting on 1m Marriott points and would never spend them if I waited until that sort of opportunity came along, so I still think 0.5p per point (0.75p per Amex point) is fair.

      What DOES increase the value of Marriott points now is the ‘guaranteed availability’ if a standard room is available for cash. Marriott Berlin wants €699 per night when the ITB travel fair is on, and could sell out many times even at that level. I booked for 35,000 points.

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