Points Miles and Bling

Anshul was a hyper mobile professional, traveling across 5 continents, to recruit international students for Canada. Now he travels predominantly on miles and points and loves to share his personal travel gaffes and triumphs.

List of airlines that offer free transit hotel

Free transit hotel can be of great convenience to travelers with long layovers, especially if they don’t have access to airline lounges. As an airline service, it is also the least advertised perk. Before you jump the gun in excitement, free transit hotel offered by airlines come under strict terms and conditions (no surprise there). The list below is by no means comprehensive or complete, I have compiled them based on personal/shared experiences and some research. Airlines that offer free transit hotel Before we get to the list, note that complimentary hotel night/s are provided only when the airline...

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Free Russia e-Visa for citizens of 18 countries

As of August 1st 2017, Russia has started issuing e-visas to citizens of 18 countries, for visiting Russia’s far east. The Russia e-visa is part of an initiative by the The Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East to boost tourism and development. New Russia e-Visa The new e-visa will be valid for visiting Russia’s far east regions of Primorye, Khabarovsk, Sakhalin, Chukotka and Kamchatka. E-Visa applications can be made online and will be processed within 3 days. This e-visa will allow travelers to enter Russia through the border crossing in the Free Port of Vladivostok or Vladivostok International Airport (VVO)....

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Cheap flights to India from US and Canada, starting $575

Another round of cheap flights to India, starting at $575, this time mostly on Star Alliance and Sky Team airlines. Most of these fares are available from September to November travel window. These are deep discounted economy fares booking into lower fare buckets which fetch 25% – 50% of flown miles. I have highlighted cities and fares under $700 USD. All fares listed below were searched using Google Flights and prices verified directly through the airline websites. Cheap flights to India, from US: New York – Mumbai (Turkish):  $610 USD Washington DC – Delhi (Delta/KLM):  $630 USD Washington DC – Mumbai (Delta):...

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Headphones conundrum – Bose Quite Comfort 35 or Bose SoundSport ?

Travel gadgets – I love them and but don’t like to spend on them, until now that is. I am in the market for headphones that are travel (and pocket) friendly. Its hard to look past the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 for its sheer popularity amongst travellers. I spot at least a couple on every flight I have boarded. This is a big deal for me since I have NEVER bought a pair of headphones more than $50. Honestly, I pride myself in taking good care of everything I own, so things last a long time under my care....

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Ottawa Points and Miles meetup on August 27th

Join us for the 3rd edition of Ottawa Points and Miles meetup at Andaz Ottawa, on Sunday, August 27th, 2017 from 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Please remember to RSVP your spot. OTTAWA POINTS AND MILES COMMUNITY The Ottawa points and miles meetup is close knit group of 30 odd passionate travelers, and always looking to grow. Join us if you love finding ways to travel for cheap through travel hacking. We will discuss and share tips and tricks for the following; Supercharging your points and miles balance MS in Canada Redemption sweet spots and award booking tricks Credit card bonuses Chasing elite status/Status...

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Breaking: Qatar visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately

The increased diplomatic isolation and sanctions from the neighbouring Arab nations have had a detremental domino effect on Qatar’s economy, tourism included. In a welcome move, Qatar has announced visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately (August 9, 2017). In addition, Qatar is also considering waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or a valid visa from the nations of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Schengen countries. Qatar visa-free entry According to the press release by Qatar Airways; A) Nationals of the...

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Last Day: Hyatt 40% bonus on points purchase

Its the last day to take advantage of the Hyatt 40% bonus on points purchase promotion. This offer ends August 9th, 2017 ET. HYATT 40% BONUS ON POINTS PURCHASE Bonus is tiered with 30% additional points with purchase of 5000-9000 points and 40% bonus on purchase of 10,000 – 55,000 points in a single transaction. Purchase can be made in increments of 1000 as needed. You can buy 10K (+ 4K bonus) points for $240 USD at 1.71 Cents Per Point or maximize the promotion by buying 55K (+22K Bonus) for $1320 USD, again at 1.71 cpp. This is good...

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Air Canada denied boarding to mother with infant twins, bizarre safety rule

Air Canada denied boarding A mother and her 3 children, including infant twins were scheduled to fly Air Canada from Seoul, South Korea to P.E.I, Canada. Except, they were in for a rude shock when Air Canada denied boarding citing a Canadian safety regulation – One adult for each infant. Since the mother was traveling with two infants among three children, Air Canada deemed it a safety hazard and denied them boarding. Note, Air Canada’s booking system allowed the reservation to be confirmed and ticketed.  According to the mother, Tara Stemkoski, Air Canada phone agents had confirmed that she would...

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Do Elite Status benefits extend to travel companions?

Elite status with airline loyalty programs comes with a myriad of benefits that amounts to significant savings. Better yet, many of these elite status benefits extend to travel companions. In this post I want to highlight the standard benefits that do extend to non-elite travel companions. Elite status benefits extend to travel companions Priority Seat Selection: As long as all travelers are under the same reservation, elite members can pre-select seats for companions at the time of booking. Complimentary Preferred Seats: Airlines that offer complimentary preferred seats as an elite benefit also extend that to travel companions under the same reservation. Priority Airport...

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Fare alert! Business class Toronto to South America from $1460 CAD

Aeromexico (Sky Team) and Copa (Star Alliance) are showing great fares on Business Class Toronto to South America – Buenos Aires,Montevideo, Lima. The fare availability is excellent from mid-September to early December. Fares are searchable using Google Flights and can be booked directly with the airline. As an Alaska MileagePlan partner, Aeromexico flight will fetch 125% miles flown and an additional 150% bonus for MVP Gold 75K members!! Copa tickets book into fare class D which earns 150% LifeMiles (Avianca FF program) or 125% Aeroplan, among other programs you can credit to. Toronto – Buenos Aires (Copa or Aeromexico): $1770 CAD (~$1420 USD) A round trip YYZ-MEX-EZE-MEX-YYZ is a total...

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