Weekend in Hamburg (Germany)

Pic: Giant spider at Hamburger Kunsthalle und Galerie Der Gegenwart

Pic: Bratwurst at Rathausmarkt Hamburg (Jun 2012)
Hamburg, my 7th Brussels Airlines Flyday destination this year. You might wonder why I take so many trips using this €99 promo. It’s simply the cheapest way to earn status miles with Miles and More. Each Flyday trip earns me 3126 status miles (including 25% executive bonus). This is by far the best offer available for Miles and More members to earn the maximum number of status miles per € spent. Earning these status miles is important to achieve (or maintain) elite status. Miles and More has three elite statuses: Frequent Traveller (35K status miles) Senator (100K status miles) and HON Circle Member (600K status miles in 2 years) All three statuses come with a number of privileges. My current Miles and More status is Senator and is valid until Feb 2014. To extend my status with two years, I need to earn again 100K status miles in one year (in 2012 or 2013). Right now I’m at 59K status miles of which 22K were earned with SN Flyday trips, 30K with a LH business class flight to Seoul (ICN) and 6K with a SN New York (JFK) trip in economy class. I want to re-qualify for Senator status this year, as Lufthansa (owner of Miles and More) made it much more challenging to earn status miles with cheap business class tickets as of April 1, 2012. The Seoul flight which I took in February of this year was only €1111 and earned me 30K status miles (200% of flown miles). With the new Lufthansa ‘enhancements‘ cheap business class flights now only earn 150% status miles (Z booking class) or 100% status miles for promo business class flights (P booking class). That same BRU-ICN return trip would now only earn me 15K status miles. With 41K status miles still to earn this year, I’ll need to take another 13 weekend trips if I want to re-qualify solely on Flyday trips! 🙂

Pic: InterContinental Hamburg exterior (Jun 2012)

Pic: King Bed Executive room 301 at Intercontinental Hamburg (Jun 2012)

Pic: Intercontinental Hamburg – Ambassador Welcome Amenity (Jun 2012)
Contrary to my hotel successes on previous weekend trips, InterContinental Hamburg was a miss. Originally, I had booked one night at Radisson Blu Hamburg on Club Carlson points and one paid night at InterContinental Hamburg using the 35% off rate at Greenroom.co.uk After I had learned my PriorityClub status level was upgraded to InterContinental Royal Ambassador again (thanks to a generous blog reader and twitter follower), I had cancelled my Radisson Blu Hamburg reservation and added a second night using the 35% off rate. With €194 for 2 nights I had significantly exceeded my €100 hotel budget for weekend trips, but expected extra value as renewed InterContinental Royal Ambassador (my previous RA status expired in January). Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. My 2-level upgrade (a RA benefit) was a non-bookable King Executive room with dated furniture and tiny bathroom. It really angers me when hotels try to circumvent loyalty program privileges, in this case by creating fictional room categories to avoid the need for upgrading Royal Ambassadors to Junior Suites. The only real RA benefits provided were complimentary internet and minibar. Again, also with the minibar the hotel cheated by removing any hard liquor and only provided cheap soft drinks and beer. The hotel was also lacking a Club lounge and charged €26 for breakfast, a ridiculous charge which made me eat all cereal bars from the complimentary minibar instead. One would start to think his Hilton HHonors Gold status has more value than the InterContinental Royal Ambassador status. (HHonors Gold status comes with complimentary breakfast for 2, room upgrade, free internet and at some properties even with Executive Floor Lounge Access)

Pic:IC Hamburg – Complimentary Minibar for Royal Ambassadors (Jun 2012)

Pic: Rowing at Aubenalster lake near InterConinental Hamburg (Jun 2012)

Pic: Elbe Philharmonic Hall at Hafencity Hamburg (Jun 2012)

7 Comments on “Weekend in Hamburg (Germany)

  1. Pingback: SWISS First Class A330-300: Zurich to Dubai | bart.la

  2. I suppose the flydays aren’t worth it anymore to earn status? 🙂 From what I saw for the b.light economy (119 euro’s), you get between 125-750 miles (one way). With b.flex you get 1250 miles but it costs 300+ euro’s (one way) 🙂 I suppose it’s wrong to think you can earn enough miles for trips like the Maldives without investing in a lot of time in an airplane (thus costing lots of money). Sure wish they had bigger sign up bonuses here 🙂

  3. Hey Bart, M&M Silver requires 35k status miles and not 30k according to their website.

  4. The ‘flyday’ offer seems to be a great deal.. I sure hope they will be bookable again soon for birthday weekend travel, better to wait until then if you look at difference in miles acquired 🙂

  5. Pingback: IC Hamburg Master Thread [merged] - Page 10 - FlyerTalk Forums

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