ANA Business Class for $300, Hilton refunds non-refundable rates and Airbnb revenge (Saturday Selection)


Southwest wants you to clean up that mess, Cathay goes full Soup Nazi, the most expensive Airbnb guests ever and Hilton’s bizarre refund policy for non-refundable stays. All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting posts from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

Southwest just wants folks to clean up before they leave

two men standing in front of a plane
Why are Greg and Nick smiling? They cleaned up all their rice before they sat down

Everyone experiences hygiene differently on flights. Some people like to get down to bare feet and spread out, some folks like to sanitize their whole seat with wet wipes and keep to themselves. But we’ve all seen both children and adults leave their personal area in what could best be described as a “state of dishevelment.” One Southwest flight attendant finally had enough. After seeing what was evidently a pile of rice in the middle of the aisle, she refused to let a plane take off until the offending party fessed up to what they messed up. This led #RiceGate to actually trend on twitter for about 34 seconds.

Couple takes revenge on Airbnb host by running water and gas nonstop

10 things your houseguest won't tell you - MarketWatch

Over the years, my wife and I have talked about using our place for a vacation rental when we’re out of town for long periods, but there’s always been a slight unease with the idea of folks we don’t know staying at our house. You know, the whole, “don’t worry, it’s just a rental” attitude. An Airbnb host in South Korea experienced just this sort of thing recently when a couple decided to take revenge on him in a uniquely pecuniary way because he refused to allow them to cancel their booking. They checked in, stayed for a couple of days and then left all of the water and gas in the house running full blast for days. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the host was saddled with over $600 in utility bills from the distinctly un-green patrons.

Cathay wins the award for world’s most confusing transfer bonus

a man in a white robe
Cathay Pacific’s Head of Partner Programming

On a recent episode of Frequent Miler on the Air, Greg and Nick described Hyatt’s Most recent “Bonus Journeys” promotion. Or rather, they tried to describe it, eventually just giving it the award for most confusing promotion of the year. Evidently, Cathay was listening and then tried to one-up Hyatt in true “hold my beer” fashion. The headline of their new promotion is a “Up to 55% transfer bonus from 13 partner programs.” Well that sounds pretty good. Except there’s actually two bonuses, a “base” bonus and an additional bonus. For three programs (Shangri-La, IHG and Esso), you only get both bonuses if you haven’t transferred points into the program within the past year. If you have, you only get the base bonus, not the bonus bonus. Make sense?

What about the other 10 programs, you might ask? If you haven’t transferred into Cathay’s program within the last year, the world’s your Asia Mile. And if you have? No. Soup. For. You. 

ANA accidentally sold business class tickets for $300 each

a seat and a table in an airplane

ANA has some extremely well-regarded premium products. The First Class Suites, especially, have long been lusted after by many points and miles enthusiasts. In fact, earlier this year, when ANA extraordinarily made multiple first class seats available on several flights, we got so excited that Greg booked them for the team and we built our annual challenge around flying it together. Well, some folks got an even better deal. For a very brief time, ANA was selling Trans-Pacific business class flights for $300 and first class flights for $700-900 (as opposed to the normal $5,000-$12,000).

Hilton non-refundable room are…refundable?

a woman looking up at a light bulb drawn on a chalkboard

A Head for Points reader shared a story with them that had Rob doing a deep dive into Hilton’s T&C’s. Turns out, in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean, Hilton’s non-refundable room rates are actually kind of refundable. This can be done by paying $50 and making another non-refundable room reservation at any property in the US, Mexico or the Caribbean. Obviously, you then still have another non-refundable room reservation, but the reader in question was able to make an $81 one-night reservation at a random Hampton Inn and then get the majority of a $1700 advance purchase reservation back (less $81 and the $50 admin fee). I’ve no idea why this is the policy in those three areas and not the rest of the world. Come to think of it, I’ve also got no idea why such a strange policy exists in the first place.

Best advice? Try not to book a non-refundable rate with Hilton. But if you do and you’re stuck, there’s at least a thorny path out.

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