For a self proclaimed points and miles expert, as well as avgeek, there have been a lot of good and bad last year in the travel world. From the awful crashes that lead to the grounding of the 737 MAX jets and the retirements of many 747s, including recently the last Qantas 747 flight to the US, to brand new amazing points’ hotels and new airlines routes, 2019 has been quite the year. This is the list of the top five things I want to see in points and miles in 2020.
#1 Award Ticket Discounts
The closer we got to Christmas and New Years last year, the more I am seeing amazing economy award redemptions. American Airlines had a number of amazing new Online Web Specials for all sorts of different routes. I have seen a number of transcontinental routes for as low as 5k miles one way. That is insane, especially once you factor in that they are full fledged tickets and not basic economy. Additionally Delta has been offering some amazing award redemptions. You can fly to the Caribbean for around 13k points R/T! Keep in mind that many of these fares are basic economy, but nonetheless, that is an amazing deal. For 2020, I am hoping to see many more discounted award tickets and maybe even see airlines dip their toe into discounting business and first class tickets.
#2 Less Loyalty Program Devaluations
Although many airlines and hotels have been devaluing their award charts recently, including United’s switch to dynamic award pricing, I am wishing that 2020 will be a better year. Yes, some airlines and hotels, including Korean Air and Hyatt, have already announced devaluations in 2019 for 2020. Since they announced it during 2019, I will include it in last year’s devaluations. I know that the purpose of these companies is to make money, but for the sake of the consumer, please stop the changes. After all, if it aint broke don’t fix it.
#3 MAX Jets Back In the Air
Many people may disagree with me on this one, but I want the MAX jets back up in the air as soon as possible. Yes, we need to make sure every single safety consideration is taken care of first! Before the groundings, I experienced one of my best transcon flights on a MAX 8 in a surprisingly quick time. In addition, Southwest’s ability to fly their MAXs again would increase the number of flights out of BWI, allowing for more direct flights and further use of my companion pass for free travel. Finally, once the MAX jets get back in the air, Boeing will be able to move more resources to their new NMA, which I am excited to see.
#4 New and Refreshed Credit Cards
Lat year we have seen a number of new benefits and features added to both new and refreshed credit cards. Take the American Express Green Card for example. After the refresh, they made a great card that offers amazing new rewards such as a LoungeBuddy credit and CLEAR credit. With increased competition in the credit card market, I hope to see more competitive credit cards out there next year.
#5 Domestic Lounges
Although Priority Pass lounge access is amazing, I have found that there are a number of US airports that go unserved. With Southwest being one of the main airlines I fly, I am disappointed that few of their hubs have lounges that I can access including Chicago Midway, Houston Hobby and Baltimore-Washington. There has been an increase in the number of domestic lounges on the Priority Pass network, but I would still like to see more growth. United Polaris and AA Flagship lounges are great, but unfortunately there are too few of them. In comparison to these airlines’ other lounges, the other lounges are definitely lacking. I wish I could see more of these ‘premium’ lounges throughout their networks. However, I am excited to see United’s new polaris lounge at IAD.
American Express Centurion lounges are some of my favorite lounges, but there are too few of them and they are crowded. In addition to the amazing increase in Centurion lounges coming in 2020, I hope to see even more. It would be great if they opened one at Washington National Airport, right (AMEX take a hint!)? I am definitely not biased by the fact it is the closest airport to my house. I love the brand new lounges that I have visited in 2019 and cannot wait to see more, including the new Centurion lounge in Phoenix.
Overall, I am wishing that my points and miles will take me farther for less and in more comfort and style. I love some of the changes that have been made in 2019, but some have been pretty bad. For 2020 I am wishing for more of the good and less of the bad; that’s not too much, right? What do you want out of the travel world next year? Let me know down below.
Joyce Turner says
Want to know inexpensive ways to travel as a college student.