Intelligence – November, 26 2008

Intelligence – November, 26 2008

Northwest’s AirCares is celebrating its 16th anniversary. Over 700 million WorldPerks miles have been contributed to AirCares partners by Northwest and its customers. The missions of AirCares partners include disaster relief, last wish granting, special needs and cancer research, to name a few…

Varig Smiles members can now earn and redeem miles on Brazil’s low-cost carrier GOL…

Amtrak reported its sixth straight year of steadily increasing ridership. There were 11.1 percent more passengers riding Amtrak trains in the 2008 fiscal year than in 2007. Alex Kummant, President and CEO, cites “highway and airway congestion, volatile fuel prices and increasing environmental awareness” as factors contributing to the company’s growth. The most popular routes include short-distance service, such as the northeast corridor that connects Washington, D.C. and Boston…

AirMilesMart has added Starbucks as a merchant. When you go through their site to reload your Starbucks card, you can earn three points per dollar spent, which can then be transferred 1:1 into Starwood Preferred Guest points…

When reporting Continental’s recent third quarter loss, the airline reported a $27 million increase in revenue related to a reduction in the company’s frequent flyer liability…

Aer Lingus and United Airlines have begun a codesharing agreement that includes reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. United Mileage Plus members can now earn Mileage Plus miles on Aer Lingus codeshare routes when flying select booking classes and can redeem miles for any Aer Lingus flight. Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club members can earn points on transatlantic United flights and redeem points across the United network. Beginning April 2009, Gold Circle Club members will be able to earn points on select United domestic flights…

Uzbekistan Airways is in negotiations with SkyTeam to join the global alliance. The airline, sponsored by Korean Air, is expected to join SkyTeam in 2009…

Lufthansa is now offering seasonal nonstop flights between Miami and Duesseldorf…

The codeshare partnership between Southwest Airlines and Canada’s WestJet is still several months away according to Southwest’s CEO, Gary Kelly, as reported in a recent interview with In Business Las Vegas…

India’s Jet Airways is a new parnter in United Mileage Plus as of Nov. 15, 2008. Mileage Plus members can now earn and redeem miles with Jet Airways…

Rumor has it that American AAdvantage is going to start charging for status challenges (a way to qualify for elite status in a short, dedicated period of time). The price is expected to be $80 for a Gold challenge and $150 for a Platinum challenge…

Canada’s WestJet will be leaving the AIR MILES Reward Program at the end of this year. After Dec. 31, 2008, AIR MILES members will no longer earn AIR MILES, but can still redeem for WestJet flights…

Southwest Airlines is set to codeshare with Volaris by 2010, subject to government approval. Volaris is a low-cost carrier in Mexico…

Choice Privileges members can now earn points for car rentals with Avis and Budget. Members will earn 750 points for each completed rental of 1 to 3 days, or 1,000 points for rentals of 4+ days.

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