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Miles & Points: The Week’s Best Frequent-Flyer Deals (Week of December 11, 2015)

SmarterTravel

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

United Promises Operational Superiority

United is the latest major airline to promise on-time flights and fewer cancellations. But with cuts to its mileage program, it’s one step forward, one step back.

Hyatt Goes Offline December 15 – 18

Between December 15 and December 18, Gold Passport members will be unable to redeem their points, while Hyatt performs systems maintenance. Four days… really?

United to Follow Delta, American with Bare Fares

United is the latest mainline carrier to signal its intention to offer Spirit-like no-frills fares. Cheap may come at a price, however.

More Hotel Consolidation: Accor to Buy Fairmont

The hotel industry has taken yet another cue from the airlines: Bigger is better. Last month, Marriott purchased Starwood; and this month Accor is buying Fairmont.

United Says ‘Let ‘Em Eat Stroopwafel’

United shook up the travel world this week with its announcement that it would serve free snacks beginning in February 2016. Stroopwafels, anyone?

From Starwood: Bonus Points for Keyless Entry

Guests at Aloft, Element, and W hotels can earn a 2,500-point SPG bonus for using the keyless-entry function on Starwood’s mobile app.

Engineers Call Out Airlines on Flight Safety

Air travel has never been safer, right? That complacency is amiss, according to a group that represents 40,000 aircraft-maintenance engineers.

DOT Warns Airlines on Damaged Bags

According to a recent report by the DOT’s Enforcement Office, the airlines have been routinely rebuffing customers’ damaged-bag claims. Airlines must mend their ways, or face fines.

Win a 3-Night Trip for 2 to Rome (or $5,000 Cash)

Enter the VB Imports “Experience Rome” sweepstakes by December 31 for a chance to win a trip for two to Rome, including air, three nights’ hotel, a $250 gift card, and a winery tour.

Somebody has to win, right? Might as well be you.

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