Hyatt hurting, college collecting, problems pricing & more


A look at Hyatt’s Q2 results, using credit card rewards to save for college, why you don’t necessarily need to worry – yet – about your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles and more in this week’s Week In Review Around The Web.

Hyatt’s Brutal Second Quarter Financial Results

Hyatt Centric New Orleans French Quarter
Hyatt Centric New Orleans French Quarter

I don’t think any of us expected Hyatt’s financial results for Q2 to be anything but bad, but some of the figures were still a little surprising. For example, Hyatt Centric properties had occupancy of less than 5% from April to June. On the one hand that shouldn’t be surprising given the locations of that brand in city centers, but I still figured they would have had more guests than that.

I was also surprised that their Hyatt House brand didn’t fare a little better than it did. Since March, we’ve spent a month at a Candlewood Suites (IHG) and a month at a Residence Inn (Marriott). Both properties seemed to have fairly high occupancy during our stays, presumably because both those brands offer a kitchen in every suite which made it far easier to shelter in place. While not every room at a Hyatt House has a kitchen, many of them do, so I thought Hyatt Houses would have had higher occupancy than 25.9%.

The COVID-19 impact resulted in Hyatt losing almost quarter of a billion dollars in the span of just three months. For some more details, see this One Mile At A Time post.

My Plan: Using My Travel Hacking Skills To Help Pay For College

College graduation

I’ve been thinking more and more recently about using cashback earned from cashback credit cards to save for retirement or general investing purposes.

Mark at Miles to Memories has clearly been doing something similar, although his focus is on saving for his children’s college education. He’s committed to saving $500 per month using credit card rewards and other income related to the hobby and will be sharing the results each month.

I always enjoy reading stats posts like this which is why I do a similar thing on my own site, so hopefully reading his monthly reports will provide encouragement to others (myself included) to take advantage of the rewards we earn to put more money aside.

No, Virgin Atlantic Hasn’t Gone Out Of Business And Your Miles Are Fine

Mr Branson, are my Flying Club miles safe?

It’s not often that you see a company sending out a worldwide email blast linking to a blogger’s take on the news they’re emailing you about. That’s what we had this week though when Virgin Atlantic sent an email to Flying Club members about the news of their bankruptcy, linking to this God Save The Points post in the process.

As Gilbert notes in the post, your miles are safe – for now. There’s no guarantee that’ll be the case in the coming months and years, but I think all of us hope that filing Chapter 15 bankruptcy will help Virgin Atlantic survive for the long term.

It was a little strange though that Virgin Atlantic decided to wait long enough to communicate with its customers about their widely-reported bankruptcy filing that they were able to use someone else’s blog post as a rebuttal in their email as to why you shouldn’t be worried.

Coronavirus Has Upended Everything Airlines Know About Pricing

Money Wings Flying

With everyone’s normal travel habits having changed as a result of the pandemic, airlines have generally had a hard time getting people on their planes, let alone working out the best way to price their flights.

This WSJ article delves a little deeper into why airlines are having such a hard time adjusting their pricing models. I apologize in advance if you’re unable to read the full article due to the paywall; I was able to read it in full when first clicking on it, but since then I’ve hit their paywall even in incognito mode.

Travel Blogs Rode Credit Card Referrals Wave: What Comes Next?

Business graph results down

If you’re an avid reader of Frequent Miler, it won’t be news to you that points and miles blogs were hit hard by the pandemic, not only due to credit card affiliate links being pulled by some banks but also because card approval requirements have become far more stringent in recent months. Greg has been very open about how that’s affected Frequent Miler, both on our podcast and in posts such as this one and this one.

This article on Skift provides more information on how this is affecting other sites and what the future might look like for some of your favorite (and not-so-favorite) sites. With The Points Guy moving some employees over to other Red Ventures companies, it makes me grateful that Greg doesn’t also own a window-selling telemarketing company.

American Is Pausing Mileage Expiration Until 2021!

What was lost has now been found. Or reinstated.

I’ve seen a number of people asking in various travel Facebook groups recently how they can keep their American Airlines miles from expiring. While the easiest answer is generally to leave a comment on an Award Wallet blog post as you’ll get 5 AAdvantage miles for free, it’s not something you need to be immediately concerned about for now.

That’s because American Airlines is pausing the expiration of miles until January 1, 2021. Dan’s Deals has more information about this change, including their surprisingly generous policy of retroactively reinstating miles that expired after July 1. January 1 is less than five months away though, so it’s worth having a plan for how you’ll extend your miles if your miles would ordinarily be due to expire in the meantime.

That’s it for this week’s Around The Web. Check back soon for this week’s Last Chance Deals.

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