First of all, my apologies — I’ve been M.I.A. for the last couple weeks. Frankly, life has gotten into the way, as I’ve been busy with work, finding a new place for when my lease expires next month, and of course spending time with my family over Thanksgiving. Once everything settles down, I will start posting a little more, as I still have trip reports and how-to guides and all sorts of stuff I want to write about!
In the meantime, I’ll briefly touch on a few things going on in the World of travel, points and miles — a weekly roundup of sorts. It’s been a relatively slow week, but there’s still stuff happening!
Hyatt Award Chart Changes
Hyatt announced that 70 of its properties will be changing award redemption categories next year. But wait, it’s not all that bad! Out of the 70 changes, 22 were increases in category (bad) and 48 were decreases in category (g00d). The complete list can be found here: Hyatt Award Chart Updates
Southwest International Flights from Houston
Southwest announced six more international destinations from Houston’s Hobby Airport. They include Cancun, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose del Cabo / Los Cabos, Mexico; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Belize City, Belize.
When Southwest initially announced its intentions to fly internationally from Hobby, Houston’s other airline – United threw a bit of a temper tantrum by claiming that this international competition would inexplicably make its planned Houston to Auckland, NZ route no longer feasible.. It therefore canceled the route and laid off hundreds of employees from its Houston hub. I’ll be interested to see if United throws another fit after this announcement!
Flying in Lufthansa First Class? Want to take your pet falcon with you? Don’t worry! Now, you can!
Interesting New Flights
A bevy of new route announcements were made in the last week or so, none more interesting to me than Air New Zealand’s announcement of an Auckland to Buenos Aires Route and ANA’s announcement of Tokyo-Narita to Houston service.
The AKL-EZE route is interesting simply because it’s always fun to see a new long-haul route, particularly in the Southern hemisphere. This route connects New Zealand directly to the South American continent, but strangely enough, not to a Star Alliance hub. It also opens up some interesting possibilities for an antipodal around the World route, writes Seth from The Wandering Aramean blog.
The ANA announcement is interesting, simply because United recently canceled its second frequency of NRT-IAH. The fact that ANA is now doing this same flight raises some eyebrows. Perhaps ANA thinks it can better market the route to Japanese and Asian customers with its extensive Asian route network? I guess we’ll see how it works, but I wish ANA the best of luck — its on-board product is vastly superior to that of United — especially up front!