Benefits are like drugs for frequent flyers with elite membership, upon attaining, we always look forward to them. Once you enjoy them, you will never want to lose the benefits.
Ever wonder what are the special benefits frequent flyers who flies Economy Class or book Hotel Room at promo rates enjoy?
1. Complimentary Airline Lounge Access
Etihad Airways First & Business Class at Abu Dhabi
Airline Lounge is a dedicated space for airline guests to relax, dine and chill before their flight. Normally reserved for First & Business Class passengers. However if you are an Elite member of an Airline or Alliance, you are given access even flying Economy Class.
Depending on airline, some lounge are quite luxurious even providing free massage, champagne & fine dining for their best customers.
Related Read : Etihad Airways First & Business Class at Abu Dhabi Review
2. Free Business Class Upgrade
Thinking of telling the counter you are going honeymoon & hope to be upgraded? Or making friends with air stewardess hoping to be led to Business Class? Or wearing tuxedo & pretend you are an important executive?
There is no harm asking, but speaking with several air stewardess friends, their reply were It Doesnt Work that way.
We do receive complimentary business class upgrade few times a year as elite member of the airline. The best bet, is always during oversold flight. Definitely elite members are the first group to be upgraded instead of honeymooners.
Related Read : Flight Review : MAS Business Class Paris to KL MH0021
3. Extra Baggage Allowance
With airlines trying to charge travelers every possible ways they could think of, baggage allowance fees & overweight fees always hit travelers hard. I have lost count how many times AirAsia has increased their baggage fees.
For frequent flyers traveling on Economy Class with elite membership, baggage allowance is something we do not worry.
As Etihad Platinum member, I’m given extra 20kg free allowance on top of 30kg for Economy Class, in total 50kg of free baggage allowance. Etihad Gold extra 15kg & Eithad Silver extra 10kg.
For Malaysia Airlines, Enrich Silver 5kg, Enrich Gold 50% while Enrich Platinum extra 100% of baggage allowance. Singapore Airline KrisFlyer Gold additional 20kg allowance. Cathay Pacific Silver 10kg, Gold 15kg & Diamond 20kg additional allowance.
4. Dedicated Immigration Clearance & Security Check Lane
Prior to arrival, we will receive Immigration Fast Track card normally for Business Class & First Class passengers that will bypass the normal immigration line where 200 people queuing to have their passport stamped.
This usually works in country of the airline originates & some airports the airline partners with to offer this service.
5. Priority Baggage Arrival
Even flying on Economy Class, baggage will arrive first at the carousel with First & Business Class passenger.
During counter check in, baggage will be attached with Business Class tag so it will be placed together with First & Business Class baggage. No more waiting 30 mins to collect luggage.
6. Priority Check In Counter
30 minutes before airline check in counter is open, long queues can be seen as travelers waiting patiently to check in early which allows them time for tax free shopping or have a meal before flight.
The same goes for the last 30 minutes where some travelers decided to avoid the early check in queue. Queue time can be long especially on a full flight & worst on a full A380 flight that could sit 400 passengers.
For Airline Elite Members, even on Economy class, we are able to check in the Priority Business & First Class counter which is usually empty and fast.
7. Free Room Upgrade
Sofitel So Bangkok
Free Room Upgrade is a benefit I receive always as Accor Platinum & Hilton Gold member when staying in their hotels. Normally for 4 & 5 star hotels.
Sometimes the value could be huge as much as 1 to 2k difference especially getting upgraded to Suite or Villa from Standard Promo Room which was booked.
Related Post : Luxury Hotel Reviews
8. Complimentary Hotel Executive Lounge Access
Similar to Airline Lounge, some hotels especially higher end business hotels do have dedicated Hotel Executive Lounge for higher category room guest. During booking it will state Executive Lounge or Club Benefits to indicate this category room is eligible to enter the Lounge.
As hotel elite member, the access is complimentary even booking Standard Promo room. This is to reward loyal guest for staying with the hotel group frequently.
Depending each hotels, Executive Lounge usually provides breakfast, all day beverages, high tea & the Evening Cocktails. Evening Cocktails serves a variety of Canapes, Pastry, Champagne, Cocktails & Others. Hotels in Asia tend to have better hotel lounge than Western Countries.
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9. Early Check in & Late Check Out
Another benefits I truly enjoy, especially arriving my destination early morning, I know I can check in to the hotel & get some rest, freshen up and get ready for sightseeing without needing to wait till check in time at 3pm.
When I have night flight or train departs in the evening, I can always rely on Late Check Out benefit so I can rest at my room up to 4pm before checking out instead of getting stuck between check out time & flight time.
10. Extra Discount on Best Rate Guarantee
This is applicable to everyone, only problem normal travelers do not bother to check, while cost sensitive frequent flyers knows there is a huge savings in Best Rate Guarantee.
Best Rate Guarantee works if you find a published rate on the Internet that is lower than what is published on the website you have book & file a claim on it. Most will match the lower rate & some will even provide more discount such as Marriott Hotels.
The guarantee does not apply to rates that are not publicly available, such as negotiated corporate or group rates, or discount rates offered only to members of groups or individuals who meet previously-specified criteria, including AAA members, seniors, government employees.
During my trip to USA, I did few BRG and 1 of them was Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay (pic above). The rate booked per night was USD239 while I found a cheaper rate at USD140 per night & filed for BRG.
Within 24 hours, Marriott agreed to match the lower price + additional 25% discount. Hence daily rate became USD106 per night instead of USD239. That is a whopping 56% discount!
We stayed at Marriott Miami for 3 nights saving a total USD399 (RM1,330; SGD515) with BRG.
Hopefully after reading this post, you will have better understanding how to earn exclusive treatments from hotels & airline. Share this article to your friends!