Ed Pizza: Let me hit the button before we say all the funny stuff off line.
A man of the people, except for, I'm flying specific inaudible
Richard Kerr: Is money.
Ed Pizza: Get some cash money. Gee, I wonder what Jeremiah inaudible
Richard Kerr: Oh, I didn't know we were recording. I'm going to tell you about how big my mug is again.
Announcer: Climb a board. This is the Miles To Go podcast. Your source for the latest in travel news, reviews and strategies you can't afford to miss. And now here's your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.
Ed Pizza: Hey guys. Welcome back to the Miles To Go podcast. Mr. Kerr and I have a long list of stuff to get through. I don't know if we'll get through all of it, but we've got a listener question. We got a little bit of an update on the Hyatt all inclusives. We're going to touch on Delta changing the policy that they just changed on Sky Club. You might not be able to buy a $27 beer in the airport anymore.
Richard Kerr: Oh.
Ed Pizza: I know. And then at some point we're going to talk about me being an idiot.
Richard Kerr: That's every week, man.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, I know. There's some other stuff going on out there that we might hold for next week. Like Star Alliance's new credit card and Southwest adding in flight power. But those are on our radar as well. Richard, are you home this week? Oh wait, no you're not, because you and I are meeting at Disney.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, that's right. I was just looking at the crowd calendar to confirm it's still three and four crowd calendar days. Had some good reservations open up last night to make me and my son's trip, hopefully that much better. So ready to lock and load. The only problem is it's going to be 95 and full sun this week, according to weather bugs. So it's going to be a little warm.
Ed Pizza: I wonder if it's humid in Florida yet. Uh... you know.
Richard Kerr: Yes. Since February.
Ed Pizza: All right so for folks listening, don't forget, you can leave us a voicemail or text us at 571-293-6659. You can shoot us an email, Ed@pizzainmotion.com. He is @curbpoints on social media, I am @pizzainmotion. And I'll be joining Richard at Disney. I do wonder obviously we've been seeing crazy stuff out of the crowds down there and I noticed they announced last night or they didn't announce, but one of the sites that covers him pretty heavily WDWNT announced that they had extended the hours in May and June, which I think is interesting. This is normally a slow time of year for Disney. They're they're clearly seeing enough incoming demand that they want to extend hours. You know, Disney kept the hours pretty tight after the pandemic, so I'm sure they're only doing this because they think they can actually make more money.
Richard Kerr: Tuesday, we get to Magic Kingdom. They have open 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM are the regular hours. If you're staying on property, you can go 8:30 AM to 11:00 PM. And if you're in a deluxe resort and above, you can go 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM. So technically we could do 8:30 AM to 1:00 AM. Should we do that with a seven year old? That's the question.
Ed Pizza: Without a seven year old you wouldn't do it.
Richard Kerr: No, I probably wouldn't. I'd be that weird dude by himself taking a nap in the bushes somewhere. "Is that the guy that comes to Disney by himself?" "Yeah. That's him. Yeah. Okay. He's just taking a nap. He's fine."
Ed Pizza: I forget I think the Swan properties are considered reserved because we did for our Give Kids the World challenge, we used that.
Richard Kerr: We're not going to do that.
Ed Pizza: We can do it. We can try to go to one.
Richard Kerr: We're doing Hollywood studios. We're actually not even going to road drive. Cause we're not flying in until late, but we're going to do Hollywood studios and we're going to take a nap. And then we're going to try and crush the Magic Kingdom that night when the crowds are low. So that maybe the next day we can chill a little bit instead of having to wake up and worry about all the stuff we worry about now, if you want to ride all the rides. So we'll see how it goes. We'll see how long he hangs in there.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right, well let's squeeze in a quick listener question before we try and get through our topics. This one's from Holly and she says, "Hey Ed, love the podcast. I'd love for y'all to talk more about," and she does say "y'all" because I don't say "y'all" just to be clear for everyone.
Richard Kerr: Also all the reader questions are only addressed to Ed ever. I want everybody remember that.
Ed Pizza: Well, hey, see now that you just backed yourself into a corner. "Hey Ed love the podcast. I'd love for y'all to talk more about booking in all different portals. Seems like you and Richard," see right there, you're in there, "are pro booking in the Capital One portal. Seems like almost everyone of the points in mile space is anti Chase Portal. Also, you don't really seem that dorky on the pod. Laugh out loud" and which is a-
Richard Kerr: But he is that dorky in person, so.
Ed Pizza: He is. That's that's a reference to our friend from New Orleans, Erin, a listener who in person was nice enough to tell me that she did not think I was anywhere near as nerdy in person as on the pod.
Richard Kerr: That's hilarious.
Ed Pizza: But there's your red meat this morning, Mr. Kerr. But what do you think of the Chase Portal?
Richard Kerr: I don't have any problem with 1.5 cents per point if you're reserved. Even 1.25, if you're preferred. Can be great when there's just no availability or if you want to book, I think frontier is on the Chase Portal, yes? I don't think spirit is one of the low ball carriers is. But when there's just not availability or if it doesn't make sense for how many miles you're being charged versus the cash price, like you come out ahead. Plus remember it's treated as a paid ticket, so if you're an elite status person, you get elite qualifying miles or loyalty points or medallion qualifying dollars and segments. So, and you earn redeemable miles on it.
So always an added bonus, I have no problem with redeeming through Chase Portal. Is it my first choice? No, like of course I want to transfer to travel partners and redeem for war tickets. But if I got to fly the family of four down to Houston and United 830,000 miles, but the tickets only 200 bucks, then I'm probably going to go through Chase Portal. Or maybe Capital One, but members only 1 cent per point. So I don't have any problem with that. And Ed's like taking his earphones off and scratching himself, like a dog. What are you doing?
Ed Pizza: All kinds of stuff this morning. Yeah. I don't have a ton of experience with the Chase Portal. I think it's absolutely critical if you have the Sapphire Reserve. I think neither Richard nor I are big fans of Sapphire Reserve right now, based on what you get for the extra annual fee. But one of the things that you do get is you get that higher rate 1.5 cents per point, instead of 1.25 cents per point through the Chase Portal. So if you have the Sapphire Reserve, I think that's one of the reasons why you're keeping it. I don't book a ton through the Chase Portal mostly because the cap one portal gets me 10 X, not 10 X on everything, but 10 X on hotels, 5 X on flights.
I won't book rental cars through it until they fix that whole Hertz interaction thing. But the 10 X is appealing to me. 1.25 for my points on Sapphire preferred, like Richard says, like there are probably some edge cases where that makes sense. I don't come across them a ton. I also find the Chase Portals a little bit harder to navigate. It's just not a great interface. Cap One's not super awesome either, but I struggle a little bit with how Chase comes together. They used to be able to find deals on Disney tickets there. I haven't seen any in a while. So it's still something we keep an eye out for. They've had some screaming deals for Lego land tickets here a time or two. But you can usually find those other places as well. So I think it has its value Holly, but I think it's mostly for folks who are Sapphire Reserve. And if I was going to book paid travel, not redeeming points, I would go Cap One for that 10 X, if you have it or some of the spark bonuses, if you don't have a Cap One.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Just remember math, folks. 1.25 to 1.5 that's a quarter. 0.25 cents.
Ed Pizza: Wait, that's what it is? It's a quarter?
Richard Kerr: It's a quarter. And it's a quarter of a quarter.
Ed Pizza: Breaking news, people.
Richard Kerr: One quarter of a cent. inaudible annual fee, $95 annual fee. Do you know how many points you have to redeem for the portal at a bonus of 0.25 cents to make up for that fee? It's massive. So when people justify to themselves, I'm going to pay this massive annual fee because I get one quarter of a cent more. Just do the math people. It's all I'm saying. And don't make that argument to me anymore. Cause that don't make no sense. You don't redeem that many points to the Chase Portal to make up for that annual fee. Anyways off the soapbox. Next topic.
Ed Pizza: Notice that Richard did not do math. We'll just note that for the audience.
Richard Kerr: One quarter of a cent.
Ed Pizza: So I'm going to hand the steering wheel to you, for just a second here, man. I know. I'm going to tee up what we got left and you pick where we go next. So we got the Hyatt all inclusive update, Delta on sky clubs, $27 beers, and Ed being an idiot
Richard Kerr: Now. And also ladies and gentlemen, this remember this has been nine months of co-hosting the podcast with Ed and now he's turning the wheel over, so if you think Ed has trust issues, you're right.
Ed Pizza: Oh, I'm taking the wheel back shortly though. And has it been nine months? Do we need like an anniversary present or something? What do you get?
Richard Kerr: What is year one? First anniversary's paper. So you owe me something in paper. I don't know. I don't know how long it's been. Anyways.
Ed Pizza: Money. Money is paper.
Richard Kerr: Ooh, it is. Or plastic these days or metal these days, I guess, with a credit card anyways. Yeah, we talked about the New York City Port Authority that controls Newark, LaGuardia and JFK a few months ago about the viral tweet where somebody said "beer costs $27, this is outrageous." And then congressmen and representatives and everybody in the IG of the port authority jumped in and were going to do a huge investigation.
Well, the results of that investigation are out. And of course they found that this is price gouging and that they're only going to be able to charge a 10% premium over the quote unquote street price of what food and beverage is in New York City. Now that's already ridiculous. So I'm not even sure what that means, but I actually have a problem with this.
Just like we talked about last time. If it's a necessity, like a bottle of water, got it, cool. Everybody at some point needs a bottle of water or whatever else you want to call a necessity medical items that are for sale in the airport. But if it's 9:00 AM and a place wants to charge you a $27 beer and somebody wants to pay it, that's their prerogative ladies and gentlemen. I don't understand why the Port Authority except for public relations perspective has to come in here and tell a vendor what they can charge for completely non-essential items. So I don't agree with this at all. I think if you're an alcoholic at 8:00 AM and you want to pay $27 for a beer, then maybe that'll help discourage you from doing that, and you get on the plane sober for once. If you're broke. I don't know, man, I just don't like them doing this. What do you think?
Ed Pizza: I'm a hundred percent in agreement with you, airport rent was already high and it's only gotten higher. There's significant demand to be in airports. We know a little bit about it from the restaurant space and quite frankly, these companies need to make more money because they're being charged higher than street rent. And so they've got to make it up somewhere. And I don't really have a problem with them charging $27 for a beer if somebody's going to pay it. I do think it's interesting that it took them nine months to do this investigation when they could have just like-
Richard Kerr: Really? That's fast, man. I thought they'd come back to this in 25 with a plan for a train to LaGuardia, as well as capping beer prices.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. It's surprising to me that they couldn't just call someone over at the airport and say, "Hey, can somebody only take a picture of the venue?" And then they would've known that it was $27 beers. But this is going to come through some other way. This is sort of like when they cap Uber fees and Uber eats fees and stuff like that. These companies are going to make money. In most cases, they're publicly held companies. I don't remember if OTG is public or not. I don't think they are, but they're going to make money. And so they're just going to have crappier customer service now because they'll have less employees to serve us all when we go there and they'll be more self-service kiosks, and the food quality will be poorer. They'll adjust portion sizes. They'll find a way.
So the bottle of beer won't be $27, but some other thing will go up in price or the portion will get smaller or the employees will get even worse than they already are. So we're going to pay this in one way, shape, or another and they should just let the market determine it.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Closing comment on this. New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne who represents new Jersey's 10th district said, "simply put travel is stressful enough. Being bamboozled at the bar for a bottle of beer is no way for our region to greet or wave goodbye to our neighbors." How can you be bamboozled when the menu you're holding before you ordered has the price on it?
Ed Pizza: Well, and I think it's very literative that he bamboozled the bar for a bottle of beer. I wonder who wrote-
Richard Kerr: But it has the price on the menu before you ordered. If you're being bamboozled, you're an idiot. Thank you, Congressman, thank you for your contributions to society today. Anyways, I read that quote, I was like, "oh my god, politicians. I can't man."
Ed Pizza: All right, well you ready for the red meat of me being an idiot?
Richard Kerr: Every day.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. So, in a backwards way, we're going to talk a little bit about my summer vacation.
Richard Kerr: Finally. You're teasing for months.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. I've been teasing for a year. So we booked a trip to Iceland. This goes back to before the pandemic, when Delta had that incredible deal where you could essentially double up the value of transferring points to Delta vacations for Delta vacations trips. The points were worth twice as much as they normally were turning us into a great value. And so the theory there for a lot of us was to pick destinations that you couldn't normally book for points. And Bermuda was one of those places. We booked the Bermuda vacation back in 2019 for 2020, the world kind of ended there for a couple years. These points that we transferred, turned into a certificate with Delta vacations when we canceled the trip. Ended up rebooking for Iceland this summer. So we're going to do the entire ring road, folks who have tips on where to stay and activities and stuff like that, I would love to hear it. Cause I'm still not booking hotels. Even though everybody tells you that you should do it six months ahead of time. We are going to flaunt that hard and fast rule.
I couldn't book it online, cause I had the certificate. Short version is I had to get an agent involved. The rental car portion of the trip was like 1300 and change. The agent was like, "well, no, look, I can save you a little bit of money. I've got a certificate here, an extra discount that I can put on that'll take it from 1300 and change to a thousand and change, well 1100." Great. I was expecting to pay almost 1400, I'm going to pay 1100. The Delta vacations confirmations are ugly old, like 1980 style text. And I did a bad job reading them.
And as it turns out for my 10 day trip, I have a rental car for the last day of trip. Which is bad for Iceland. First, I looked around and so I can get a car for like 2,500 bucks for our dates at this point. Still looking, I might be able to find a better price. But I called up, Delta vacations immediately admitted it was their mistake. They had no cars left. And I knew that before I called, cause I could see on the website. So I knew that we're just talking about like a credit of some sort. And after going back and forth for about an hour with a supervisor, very polite, super sweet. We got to the point where I just was running out of time ad patience. And so for that moment, they refunded me what they thought the car was worth, which was 500 and change. Which clearly wasn't what I was going to pay and clearly not what I'm going to pay.
And then they ended up giving me $150 in vouchers per family member. And then I was able to convince her to cut the voucher, to put all of our names on one $600 voucher so it was more flexible. So I didn't have to book airfare with it. I could book like a Disney hotel or something. So I now have call it roughly $1,100 back in vouchers for something that should have cost me 1400 if it was done right the first time. And ultimately is going to cost me a lot more than that 2,500. So I'm one of those people that, and a lot of people in our community are very "they made a mistake. They need to make it right." You know, I clearly have some culpability here because I did not read the confirmation correctly. And I am curious, Mr. Kerr, what you think is a fair resolution to this problem.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. This one's tough, man. Clearly, if you're booking a 10 day vacation to Iceland with the rental car, you're going to have a rental car for more than one day. So that's on the agent. Right?
Ed Pizza: Well, and to be fair too, there's not a 10 day hotel. That's why they were very quick to know that this was a problem because there's not even 10 days of hotels, because they don't sell hotels outside of Reykjavík.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, it's tough, man. I think you would've gotten it fixed immediately if you'd recognized to your point. But if the agent said it was going to be $1,100 and then did the total price come through with the $1,100 price that y'all had talked about?
Ed Pizza: Well the whole trip is transparent. Like they couldn't even tell me what the airfare was. She's like, "well, here's what you paid for one night of hotel. I can see that and we can back that up. But all this pricing is very..." The only reason why I know it was 1400 for the car or no, it was close to that was because I was pricing on the website with different options, like flight plus hotel, flight plus car, flight... You can kind of see how much it changes if you fiddle around a bit. So I could roughly find out what the cars were adding on.
Richard Kerr: Oh man. How long ago did you book this? Between, how long did you call yesterday? How many days?
Ed Pizza: Oh, a lot. Yeah. I booked it in February, so almost three months.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Oh that's rough, man. I feel like now that you got a $600 voucher and a refund for that, they probably made you as whole as they could, seeing as you didn't catch it right away. But were they understanding like, "yeah, we done messed up here", but you said they couldn't really fix it cause there are no more cars?
Ed Pizza: Well there are cars.
Richard Kerr: Don't have access to inventory. Yeah.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. They didn't have access to inventory. They wouldn't book outside of whatever their pools were. And some of the companies that they book with still have cars, but obviously not at the discounted prices that Delta vacations gets their cars for. So that was, that was probably the one part that felt a little frustrating to me was because like it felt like-
Richard Kerr: Yeah, they could have made it right.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Like I'm sure that supervisor can. And that's why I thought I would email because at the end of the day, the company that I'm renting a car through has cars. But if you go to the Delta vacations website and try and book a trip, no cars appear for that car rental agency.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I think you probably ended out pretty good. They could have told you like, "sorry, you got the confirmation two months ago. Like not our..." inaudible anything. That's rough, man. I hear you. No bueno. So now what's it going to cost you to rent a car?
Ed Pizza: It's going to cost me probably an extra $1,300- $1,400. And I don't want to be greedy, but I feel like getting my money back. Like I said, there was some discussion about what they thought the car was worth and what I thought the car was worth. I think it's fair to say the car was worth 1100 because that's the amount that it was booked originally. And so they've, they're essentially giving me back what I quote unquote, paid off the certificate for it.
And that feels to me, like it comes up a bit short on solution. I don't expect them to pay 2,500. Not because I don't think they should, it was their mistake, but I don't see travel companies make those sorts of fixes very often. But I do feel like I wasn't going to spend another couple hours on the phone trying to fight through it.
I do feel like trying to help me bridge the gap between the 1100 and the 2,500 would've been fair. But it was clear that the woman that I was speaking to who was very pleasant just gets her teeth kicked in all the time. And getting upset and making her day miserable wasn't going to help me get a bigger voucher. So I don't know. I mean, I'll probably write an email, explain the situation to them and hope they give me something more meaningful.
At the end of the day, I don't love the Delta vacations interface. I don't love that these certificates now have to be booked with a phone agent. And I can't really see the reservation till later. I've been told that this voucher because of how backed up Delta vacations is won't come for probably three or four weeks. And I need it to book for a Disney trip this summer. So overall I wouldn't use Delta vacations again, it's mucky, it's messy. I guess if they had another double promo like this, I would probably focus more on maybe like a hotel and car reservation. But I don't think I would do flight inclusive stuff with them anymore. And I don't know that I would do sort of like an offbeat destination, like Reykjavík. Bermuda's maybe like that Mendosa line of things I would trust them with.
Richard Kerr: It's more and more stories. I cannot remember the last time I booked a package that included different things. I just, as a control freak, once I lose control of each reservation by itself, I just can't handle it. But it's a huge value. So I mean, no fault in people who did it. I mean, when that huge value came along. So at the end of the day, you're still, I think going to get a great value for a trip it's just frustrating when you don't have that transparency and control over each part of the reservation.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. You know, I was at least thankful that we were able to upgrade from regular seats to comfort plus using some miles, which I thought, I wasn't a hundred percent sure based on reading beforehand that we'd be able to do that. I'm still significantly annoyed that I'm flying a short red eye flight overnight in a comfort plus seat. And I know I'm going to be an absolute mess the morning that we get there.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Man of the people right there.
Ed Pizza: Right, Yeah look, who's talking. But I think I can burn the rest of this Delta vacations cash up on hotel and car rental stuff at Disney World. So I mean, I'll get value for the rest of the money that we have tied up there on Disney vacations. But I don't know that I'd don't know that I'd be a repeat customer at this point. And if I did, it would likely be at a much smaller amount.
Richard Kerr: Fair enough. Hey, I got a surprise. You always get a surprise in on me. I got a surprise topic for you.
Ed Pizza: I know, but I don't tell you it's a surprise until the end.
Richard Kerr: Well, we do things different, Pizza, all right. So you have to get over that. All right.
Ed Pizza: We? Got a mouse in your pocket?
Richard Kerr: Woo. I don't know where to go with that one. Okay. I've been on Facebook and in Points and Miles communities for, I don't know, almost 10 years now. Got my start in there. Are you ready for the dumbest post I've ever read in Points and Miles Facebook group? The dumbest post I've ever read?
Ed Pizza: Well, hold on. Is it mine?
Richard Kerr: No, it's not.
Ed Pizza: Okay then yes.
Richard Kerr: This comes from the Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Titanium Ambassador Elite group. And I'm not going to use the gentleman's name or the best response I've ever read. Here it is "Simply unbelievable. Tried to arrive a night early at the Philadelphia West Marriott. They want to charge me $398 for the night. Big event going on. Where is the loyalty to those who stay 100 plus nights a year? Perhaps time to start shifting my loyalties." And the first comment made me spit my coffee out a few days ago, says, "Not to be harsh, but this is the stupidest elite traveler post I've ever seen." He wants to arrive a day early in this reservation, they have a big event and they want to charge him a reasonable rate because of that big event. And he says he'll switch his loyalties. You think people are kidding, but then you read the comments where they write rebuttals back and it's like, "Oh, he's serious. All right." Well, man, I tell you what, this is a community for you right there. People who are completely out of touch with reality. Unbelievable.
Ed Pizza: He definitely should switch his loyalties, but...
Richard Kerr: Yeah, it's from whatever he lives into reality. Like come on. That's where he should switch. Anyways. That was my surprise for the day. I read that then I just get inaudible
Ed Pizza: And you wonder why I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook groups?
Richard Kerr: What we talking about next?
Ed Pizza: Oh, let's do Delta real quick. Since I think it's a quick hit. So they've sort of retracted the policy that never actually came into effect because I think they gave us about a month notice. But for folks who listened last week, the new policy was that they were going to restrict club access to club members. But you couldn't show up more than three hours before your flight departure and you couldn't visit the club after you arrived. So they have now eliminated the part where you can now visit a club after you land.
Richard Kerr: Yay. All five people that do this can get their cup of coffee. I'm so happy for them.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And it's funny because so I listen to other podcasts, as you well imagine. And I listened to the Dots Lines folks cover this. Dots Lines and Destinations and their comment was, "well, why would Delta do this unless this was actually a significant number of people?" And of course our answer, not to them, but just in general was, there's no way this can be a significant number of people. I just think they made a bad decision and they made the only decision. Maybe they felt they could. I still don't think there's a ton of people that visit clubs after they land. And I don't think there's a ton of people that are there more than three hours ahead of time at domestic airport. Like it's hard to be more than three hours ahead of time for a domestic flight just by definition of the damn clock.
Richard Kerr: By the definition of the damn clock.
Ed Pizza: I mean, come on, the club opens at 6:00 AM. So like-
Richard Kerr: The good news is all the Twitter Delta Diamonds who were going to jump ship from Delta because of this, can now stay put, because they can go to the club upon arrival. I'm so happy for you out there, people who are Delta Diamond and were going to leave your Delta Diamonds status because you couldn't get in the club after arrival.
Ed Pizza: Well, they're going with the Marriott guy that couldn't book his hotel room. So for folks who were concerned about that, good news, all seven of you are just fine this year.
Richard Kerr: Hey look, I mean, I've done it a couple times. Like maybe I've landed and like I got a buddy or a colleague landing in a few hours and I'm going to go chill and just meet him at the airport. But it's so rare that, there are other ways ladies and gentlemen to get in the club, if you really need to get in the club, we nod. Like you can figure it out. Yeah.
Ed Pizza: And as mentioned on Dots Lines, like there is one use case for a business traveler that does make sense. For me let's just say I've got an afternoon meeting somewhere with someone and I drop the kids off at the airport, oh, sorry, dropped the kids off at school. At that point, I want to make-
Richard Kerr: Drop the kids off at the airport. Yeah.
Ed Pizza: I mean, I might.
Richard Kerr: Go get on your plane.
Ed Pizza: Once I drop the kids off at school. There's nothing to do around the house usually. So it's like, "let me get to where I need to get and make sure I'm going to be there on time". So I will fly in early sometimes and then hang out the club for a little bit, work and then go to my meeting. Like that's what the club memberships were supposed to be back when you bought them.
So, I'm happy to see them make this change. I still don't think it affects all that many people. But yeah, huge, massive news from Delta this week. And let's also try and squeeze in a little bit of opinion from you on the new Hyatt all inclusives. We've got 52 new properties that are added. One byproduct this, but Hyatt's added a bunch more brands. So for folks that aren't familiar, there's a benefit called the Brand Explorer. For every five Hyatt brands you visit, you get a free night at a category 1 to 4 property. It's not huge value, but pretty easy to get 200 bucks in value for a category 1 to 4 night.
Richard Kerr: Oh man. Huge value for me. The Hyatt Regency Orlando airport was over 400 bucks a night for a couple nights from now. And I use a 1 to 4 certificate for that.
Ed Pizza: Nice, nice. But I think that's you maximizing, but is it fair to say you can easily get 200 for a category 1 to 4?
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Easy.
Ed Pizza: So now, you used to only be able to earn three free nights because of the number of brands that they had. They now, when the dust settles on this all inclusive move, will have 26. And so that means you can earn five free nights and looking at these properties, some of them are as cheap as 12,000 points a night. And that's pretty smoking for an all inclusive. Hyatt doesn't have a fifth night free benefit like some other brands do. So no further savings there, but boy, I mean 12,000 points a night for all you can eat food and drink. I don't do this a ton, but it would have to be pretty bad food and drink to not be able to get that kind of value out of it.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I'm going to call an article here from Mark Over Miles of memory that I really like out of the 52, 9 were the category A, that are 15,000 point for regular or 12,000 point per night off peak. He went through TripAdvisor for all nine of these and ranked them based on the TripAdvisor reviews of which ones he would try first, or maybe you should try. Pretty great article. My whole deal is these are all Dreams or Sunscape branded. Again, maybe because I've never been to a Dreams or Sunscape or Mexico all inclusives cause they're just not my bag. I have these stereotypes about these kinds of resorts where the food's bad, the booze is watered down or the booze is bad based on what we've seen in the news, like makes you sick. Or it's just not a situation where I would kind of take a leap of faith.
Now, if it's 12,000 points per night, I might take a leap of faith and I would go with the Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana that Mark has ranked as number one, based on his trip advisor deal. But I don't know, man, I just have such a stereotype in my head of these places. The people that go there, "this is our resort, we go here twice a year, every year only. And this is our place and it's fine. It's okay." I just don't... I don't know. We're going to have to go do it but I got to do it with like buddies or something. I don't want to go buy a couple's trip or just by myself to go check this out. So that way if it's crappy, then at least you can just have fun screwing around with buddies or something. But what do you think, man?
Ed Pizza: I read the same story on Miles to Memories. And from Mark's post, I was surprised that they were ranked as high as they were. And for perspective for folks, I would say at least for most normal folks, once you get down around a three star resort on like Trip Advisor, Travelocity or places like that, you probably don't want to stay there. We're staying in a couple of those in Reykjavík just because we kind of sort of have to based on different places. But I mean like below three stars definitely is like the Mendoza line outside of the country. I think a couple things first off, I think that I think what we learned from all inclusives when we stayed at Hyatt Ziva was that they can actually be good. Now, the ones that we stayed at were under the Hyatt brand and they had clearly instituted some standards. So that's one thing.
But I think the other thing, for me to your point, I don't think I'm going to go to Cozumel or Cancun to stay in one of these, unless we just needed like a quick throw away, mindless trip. Because I think most of the properties in those areas are lower quality anyway. Where I think these get interesting is the fact that you've got like Costa Rica and Dominican Republic and some places that are sort of off the beaten path where you could explore a new area. So I think in those cases, that's where I would target if I was going to try one of these. And if the property wasn't super awesome, I'd say, all right, well cheap vacation, good food and drink, maybe mediocre food and drink. But in a place that I probably wasn't going to be able to stay using points. Ixtapa, Punta Cana, places like that.
And clearly there are some other points places there, but like getting outside the Cancun, Cozumel area. Costa Rica's on this list, Panama's on this list, there's some South American properties on the list. So that's where I'd focus if I were going to try it. We probably will try it. I don't know that I'll go out of my way to pick these versus picking like a regular Hyatt property. It'll be more destination based. So if a screaming flight deal came up to Punta Cana, I wouldn't have a problem trying the Dreams. But there's also a nice Hyatt Ziva in Punta Cana if I remember correctly as well.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I think the flight deals going to be the problem. They're just not going to come around, right. So you're going to have to invest a lot of points or miles or cash into getting to these places right now because of how high airfare is this summer. I'm just trying to take a look for what the nightly rates are here at these places to see what kind of value you're getting. So just a random day in June, the Dreams Punta Cana is 470 a night or 15,000 points. That's fantastic value for your points to check it out. But again, I just have no idea of the quality.
And the other question I have is the tipping situation at the all inclusive resorts. Some people say it's just out of control. Some people say resorts have obviously trained their staff like "don't go hunting for tips". Like that would get annoying to me real fast. I understand that people work hard there and I'm happy to leave it like a nice tip at the end of the stay, like give me an envelope, leave a tip or whatnot. But if every time I interact with somebody, it's obvious that they're looking for a tip, that's stressful to me and I don't want to do that. So, if you have any feedback on that situation at these resorts, I would love to hear that as well before I take the dive, but it looks like fantastic value.
The base rooms are 470, but the next categories up, jumps quick to like 700 or a thousand bucks a night. So I don't know, man, it was worth the research trip.
Ed Pizza: I think so. And I think the only place I'd debate would be something like Punta Cana because you got the new Hyatt Cap Cana resort down there. So the others, I would definitely consider it. There's also a promo going on right now. So if you do want to book these for this summer, you can pick up an extra 5,000 points if you're staying three nights or more. And that's even on points vacations. So if you're lucky enough to find something off peak for the summer, that's in the 12 to 15,000 point range, you can also get a 5,000 point rebate. So call it like a 10% discount on your points redeemed, which again, these are really good affordable vacations if you can find the airfare to go with them. So if you're looking for a way, if inflation is kicking you in the family jewels, then this is a way to get a cheap trip this summer.
Richard Kerr: Which it really is man, we need to talk about that next week. Remind me Elite Status Benefits at the AMR collection, not a thing right? You're just able to redeem points, kind of like small luxury hotels of the world. Or is it a thing?
Ed Pizza: That's my guess. They haven't announced any yet. They haven't announced any late checkouts or stuff like that. You know, I think there's probably some level of your mileage may vary. And these are also obviously less inclusive in the Hyatt brand as of right now, whereas like Hyatt Ziva, even Hyatt Zilara were branded Hyatt properties where you could redeem suite upgrades and stuff like that. So little unclear, you do get some benefits at the small luxury hotels of the world, but no firm benefits here yet. I'd say let's give it some time and see how it all shakes out.
Richard Kerr: I'm just going to have to throw one of these on for a weekend in June and just for the heck of it, get a couple of us to go down and check it out.
Ed Pizza: I'll check my schedule. Oh wait, you didn't invite me.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I never said you. I said I would check it.
Ed Pizza: All right, well we're going to leave it there. We'll have star Alliance card and Southwest in-flight power for a future episode to talk through. And we'll probably talk a little bit more about my summer vacation plans. Other than me being an idiot. And speaking of summer, we have been getting some shade thrown at us from Julian on Twitter, but still haven't been able to get him and Summer to commit to coming back on the show.
Richard Kerr: You know what? I just don't think they want to do it at this point.
Ed Pizza: I think it's entirely possible. Do you think they'll listen this far into the show and hear that we're making fun of them?
Richard Kerr: No. So we should just end every show making fun of them. That way they'll never know.
Ed Pizza: By the way, folks, Richard has the largest coffee mug I can recall seeing in quite some time at this point.
Richard Kerr: It literally says coffee, but I gave up coffee pretty much 98% of the time. So it's tea. So I have a coffee mug that has tea in it that makes some of you twitch, I'm sorry. I understand your personalities.
Ed Pizza: That's really the thing that makes me twitch, and there's a long list. But yeah, we'll be talking summer vacations. Richard and I will be recapping our Disney trip. Are we going to cross paths? Did you get an EPCOT pass?
Richard Kerr: Yes. We have park offers so we can meet you.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Cool. All right, folks, that is a full wrap on this week's show. Big thanks to Jeremiah for making Richard and I sound good, even though he can't make us look good. We are both on the road this week. And then I've got back to back to back to back work trips before the end of the school year. And then on to the summer vacation season. Still hunting Summer and Julian for a Fantastic Four recap. It's been way too many months since that. All that and more until we upload again, we've got miles to go.
Announcer 2: The Miles to Go Podcast is produced in association with Crooked Path Productions.
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