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Lufthansa Business Class to 2014 World Cup in Brazil


Business Class award availability from Europe to Brazil during the 2014 World Cup is almost non-existing.  Being creative with your routing, can provide some alternatives.

Flying from Frankfurt to Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo is a great example of an alternative routing.  A standard award search on United.com or ExpertFlyer doesn’t show business class availably between Frankfurt and Buenos Aires.  However, Lufthansa Miles & More members do have the possibility to book business class awards on flights LH510 and LH511.  Add Turkish Airlines fifth freedom flights TK15 and TK16 (Buenos Aires – Sao Paulo) and your itinerary is complete.  Surprisingly,  Turkish Airlines has plenty of business class award availability on the EZE-GRU segments.

Pic: From Brussels (BRU) to Frankfurt (FRA) to Buenos Aires (EZE) to Sao Paulo (GRU)
I called my Miles & More service center and made a tentative booking BRU-FRA-EZE-GRU-EZE-FRA-BRU with all segments in business class and stopover in EZE.  I wanted to make sure the itinerary would price & ticket correctly, and it did.  But at 135K miles and 663€ taxes & fees (!!) it didn’t really feel as a great award booking.  Adding the fact flights LH510/LH511 between Frankfurt and Buenos Aires would be operated by B747-400 aircraft (high chance of having the old business class cabin), and my initial excitement was gone.  Anyway, this was just a first attempt.  I’m sure there are more opportunities for alternative routings out there.  Do you know them?  Please share! Thanks.

This was TravelMagic 2013

Video: TravelMagic 2013 at The Hotel, Brussels. Make sure to watch HD version!
On Saturday September 21, more than 125 attendees from 12 countries gathered at The Hotel Brussels for frequent traveler seminar ‘TravelMagic 2013‘.  Read reviews at De Standaard, Dailybits and Ikvliegveel.nl, check our pictures and learn from Thijs Feryn’s presentation “Lufthansa Miles & More + Credit Cards for Belgians“. Enjoy!

All IHG Rewards Club Bonus Points Codes

Update Jan 2014: Make sure to check the IHG Rewards Club 2014 Promo Codes list
IHG Rewards Club
(previously known as Priority Club) is the loyalty program of InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo and some smaller brands.  The program offers a number of bonus codes which allow you to earn thousands of extra points.  In fact, after one stay using the codes below, you’ll earn enough points for at least one free night!  (free nights start at 5000 points)

If you don’t have an IHG Rewards Club account yet, register here.
Visit this link to register for all bonus codes or click on the codes below.
Book Direct – 2619 (2000 Bonus Points, up to 4 stays)
5000 point Platinum – 4777 (5000 Bonus Points)
New member bonus – 4648 (1500 Bonus Points)
New member bonus for 90 Days – 1027 (3000 Bonus Points per stay)
Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 2785 (3000 Bonus Points)
Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 3825 (3000 Bonus Points)
Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 1012 (5000 Bonus Points)
Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 1037 (5000 Bonus Points)
Next Stay Bonus – 7641 (1500 Bonus Points)
Next Stay Bonus – 4041 (3000 Bonus Points)
Welcome Back Bonus – 2656 (1500 Bonus Points)
Welcome Back Bonus – 1023 (3000 Bonus Points)
1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 4709 (1000 Bonus Points per stay)
2000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 1041 (2000 Bonus Points per stay)
Anniversary Bonus for 90 Days – 4644 (1000 Bonus Points per stay)
Remark: Some of the codes might require elite level status.  You can obtain elite level by status match (e.g. Le Club AccorHotels Platinum -> Best Western Rewards -> IHG Rewards Club) or by buying an IHG InterContinental Ambassador membership.
Pic: After entering all bonus codes, you’ll see something like this under “My Offer Status”

But there’s more… until the end of 2013, you can participate in The Big Win offer.  New members can earn up to 50,000 bonus points, existing members even more.  As a new member you can earn the 50K points after just four nights:

  • Stay 4 nights
  • Stay at 3 different brands (e.g. Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express)
  • Include 2 Saturday Nights
  • Use the IHG website to make your bookings
  • Complete a small survey

Conclusion:  Using the promotion codes above in combination with The Big Win offer, you can earn A LOT of extra IHG Rewards Club points.  Free nights start at 5000 points (PointBreaks), making this a very attractive offer.
Hat tip: LoyatlyLobby

Best last minute hotel booking apps + promo codes

In preparation of my TravelMagic 2013 presentation, I’ve been reviewing a number of last minute hotel booking apps.  I’ve selected 3 mobile applications which provide the best hotel deals.  Summary:
JustBook: Use voucher code ‘N24’ for €20 discount on your booking. (Update Oct 2013: N24 code expired, use ‘CJ2URGSCC’ for €10 discount on your first booking) 
You’ll also earn 500 Lufthansa Miles & More Award miles on your first booking + 2 miles per euro spent.
HotelTonight: Use promo code ‘BLAPERS’ for €20 discount on your first booking.
VeryLastRoom: Use promo code ‘$LAPERS’ for €15 discount on your first booking.

JustBook


The Justbook app offers discounted rates for hotels in +100 European cities which can be booked up to 7 days in advance.  The real deals are last minute, posted on the day of arrival at 10am.
Read More

Lufthansa A380 First Class: Frankfurt – Singapore


Pic: Lufthansa First Class tickets – Frankfurt to Singapore on A380 (Jul 2013)
Back in December 2012, I gave my parents two Lufthansa First Class round trip tickets to Singapore as their Christmas present.  They had never been to Asia before, so I promised them I would join as their tour guide.  “Two First Class tickets on the A380 to Singapore, that must have been expensive”, I hear you say.  At the time of my booking, Lufthansa was charging €15210 for the two tickets.  Instead, I used 315.000 Miles & More miles + €930 in taxes & fees. Now, I didn’t really book a ticket for my parents, I booked one for myself and my father as I wanted to use the Miles & More Senator Companion Award benefit.  There were only two First Class award seats available on flight LH778 and LH779 in Dec 2012, so I booked my mother in Business Class with the idea that if Lufthansa did not release more First Class seats, I would take the dentist chair and have my parents in First.  Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.  Six days before departure Lufthansa released more F Class seats our outbound flight LH778.  It was an even closer call for the inbound flight, where I had to call the Singapore Miles & More service center less than 24 hours before departure to get ahold of my third First Class award seat on our return flight LH779.  Unfortunately, I had to pay the full 210,000 miles + €465 in taxes & fees for that third First Class award, quite a steep number of award miles compared to other Star Alliance award redemption charts.  Our total came to 525,000 miles + €1395 in taxes & fees for three First Class award tickets BRU-FRA-SIN-FRA-BRU with the segments between Brussels and Frankfurt in Lufthansa Business Class.

Pic: Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt (Jul 2013)

Pic: At the entrance of the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in FRA (Jul 2013)
Flying First Class with Lufthansa means you can use their famous First Class Terminal in Frankfurt.  This terminal is a dedicated building just for Lufthansa First Class passengers, which has its own security, à la carte dining, spacious bathrooms, sleeping rooms, cigar lounge, bar with exclusive liquors and champagnes, etc… All included in your First Class ticket, of course.

Pic: Bathroom at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt  (Jul 2013)

Pic: Panasonic Relaxation Chairs at Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Jul 2013)

Pic: Make you own cocktails bar at Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Jul 2013)

Pic: Villiger Cigars Humidor at Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Jul 2013)

Pic: Lufthansa First Class Porsche Cayenne Chauffeur Service (Jul 2013)

Pic: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Chauffeur Service in Frankfurt (Jul 2013)
There is no need to walk to the gate when you’re flying from the Lufthansa First Class Terminal at Frankfurt Airport.  You will be escoreted and driven onto the tarmac in an exclusive car right to your plane!  We had the pleasure of enjoying a Mercedes S and Porsche Cayenne ride.

Pic: Lufthansa Airbus A380 ‘Peking’ at Frankfurt Airport (Jul 2013)


Pic: Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Cabin – 8 seats out of 526! (Jul 2013)

Pic: My First Class seat 1A on Lufthansa A380 flight LH779 (Jul 2013)

Pic: Pre-departure drink in First Class: Champagne, of course!  (Jul 2013)

Pic: Alfred Gratien Cuvée Paradis Brut Champagne (Jul 2013)

Pic: Lufthansa A380 First Class – Caviar Service Cart (Jul 2013)

Pic: Lufthansa First Class – Caviar with the traditional garnishes (Jul 2013)

Pic: Lheraud Cuvee 30 Petite Champagne Cognac at LH First Class (Jul 2013)

Pic: One of the two spacious Lufthansa First Class bathrooms (Jul 2013)

Pic: Full Flat Bed in First Class on Lufthansa A380 to Singapore (Jul 2013)

Pic: Lufthansa First Class beds 1D and 1G with privacy screens up (Jul 2013)

Pic: My Lufthansa A380 First Class bed 1A on flight LH779 from SIN to FRA

Pic: With my parents in Lufthansa First Class on the Airbus A380 (Jul 2013)