Nov052015

When bloggers get the story wrong as in Club Carlson double elite nights

Blogger articles about two loyalty program stories this week have bothered me. The first story came out Monday, November 2 for Club Carlson double elite nights promotion. The other story happened Tuesday Nov 3 when American Airlines AAdvantage program announced it is lowering base miles earned for British Airways discount economy fares from 100% miles to 50% miles and deep discount economy economy codes to 25% miles for flights flown from February 1, 2016.

The Club Carlson double elite nights stories are mostly plain wrong by stating there is a 10 nights maximum bonus elite nights for the promotion period.

Most of the British Airways articles have a serious omission by not pointing out American Airlines codeshare flights ticketed for British Airways operated flights are not affected by the changes announced this week. American Airlines codeshare flights on OneWorld carriers still earn 1 base mile per flight mile in discount economy booking codes. There have been no changes announced for American Airlines codeshare flights on British Airways. I described why AAdvantage miles earned for my July 2016 flights on British Airways will not be affected by the February 1, 2016 changes, since my ticket shows AA codeshare flight numbers for those British Airways flights.

Loyalty Traveler – My AA codeshare luck for American Airlines reduced miles earned on British Airways discount economy tickets Feb 1, 2016 (Nov 3, 2015)

Is Club Carlson Double Elite Nights limited to 10 bonus elite nights?

One Mile at a Time – “the promotion is valid for the first 10 eligible nights during the promotion period.”

Travel Codex – “You can get up to 10 bonus qualifying nights when you register for the promotion and stay through December 31, 2015.”

FrequentFlierCrier – “A maximum of 10 bonus elite nights may be earned with the promotion.”

Loyalty Traveler – “Basically the deal is earn 2 elite nights for every eligible paid night stayed through the end of the year. The T&C indicate there is a limit of 10 bonus elite nights, although the wording could be interpreted to mean only the first ten nights of a single extended stay are eligible for bonus elite nights. I find the wording ambiguous.”

Magic of Miles had it right – “You cap out at 10 eligible nights of a stay, so as an example if you’re at a hotel for a whole month only 10 of those count twice.” But, that is Melinda’s post for a different Club Carlson double elite nights promotion from summer 2015.

Could so many bloggers be wrong?

The wording of Club Carlson’s Terms and Conditions bothered me. Now, reading what I wrote three days later, shows me I had concerns but I basically got the story wrong too.

Promotion is valid for one bonus Eligible Night toward Elite status for each Eligible Night completed during Promotion Period. Promotion is only valid for the first 10 Eligible Nights of an Eligible Stay during the Promotion Period.

Club Carlson Double Elite Promotion Terms and Conditions

I placed these Double Elite Nights T&C words in italics in my original Loyalty Traveler post. I sent an email to get clarification on the Double Elite Nights terms.

Below is the email response from Club Carlson.

A registered member can earn up to 10 Elite Qualifying Nights per Eligible Stay, but there is no limit to the number of Eligible Stays a member can complete.

Club Carlson response to Double Elite Nights

Basically, Melinda of Magic of Miles described the 10 nights limit situation correctly in her post last summer for a different Club Carlson Double Elite Nights. The maximum 10 bonus elite nights only applies when on a single extended stay of 10 or more nights. Otherwise, every hotel stay from now through December 31, 2015 counts for double elite nights.

Not that many people are likely to be interested in Club Carlson Double Elite Nights. I did not find articles on this promotion on FrugalTravelGuy.com, ViewfromtheWing.com, MillionMileSecrets.com or ThePointsGuy.com. You might even have bought the Club Carlson credit card from one of these guys.

Since most of us are already Gold elite through the Club Carlson credit card, who cares about a double elite nights offer?

Club Carlson double elite nights promotion has far more potential for Club Carlson members living outside the USA with no access to easy Gold elite status through credit card membership.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Thanks for looking into this, Ric. I had similar suspicions but did not follow them up. I chalked it up to poor wording since it seemed far too complicated on the part of Club Carlson to separately track just the first 10 night of each stay. But if that’s what they’re doing, well, good news for everyone!

  2. Ric – you are totally right re: the AA codeshare flights but here are a couple of reasons the BA devaluation for AAdvantage members is a big deal:

    1. The AARP discount only works on BA-ticketed flights (regardless of what metal)

    2. The Chase Visa 10% discount only works on BA-ticketed, BA-operated flights

    3. AA codeshares are often substantially more expensive once you get out of JV (e.g TATL) routes. There are a lot of OW destinations where AA doesn’t fly (e.g. Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, etc.) where BA can get you and BA was the only OW partner where you could earn 100% EQM in Economy. With that gone, it becomes a lot harder to retain status on AA unless one is willing to pay the often $200 – $500 premium on a simple r/t in Economy to get the AA-ticketed, BA-operated flights.

    I love your blog. My only suggestion is to think about improving your formatting and perhaps using other ways of separating your lengthy posts to make it more digestible – you have great content.

  3. I too had found the verbiage to be a little confusing, and read and re-read before hopefully coming to the right conclusion. Thanks for the legwork, clarification and shout-out!

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