Saturday Selection: A new 12K Andaz, new Centurion lounge, secret Virgin Clubhouse hours and more

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This weekend’s selection from around the web includes what could be a nice new use of Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificates, a good tip for those with Virgin Clubhouse access at JFK, the best way to book Flagship First and more.

Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach – a Concept by Hyatt

There’s a new Andaz property in Thailand. Unlike most who live Hyatt, I’m not a big fan of Andaz properties in general, but the photos of this place look really nice. What’s more, it’s available for just 12,000 points per night. That could make this a good use of Category 1-4 free night certificates and it could also make standard or premium suite awards interesting. It’s worth noting that cash rates for standard rooms were around $200 on the nights I checked, so it’s not necessarily a killer value on points — but at that price point in Thailand and at a higher-end Hyatt brand, I expect this will probably be quite nice.

This is how to redeem just 62,500 Amex, Capital One or Citi points for a first-class flight to Australia

This post from The Points Guy details what must be the best way to book American Airlines Flagship First Class while it still exists. Reading this post a couple of days ago tangentially led to a bit of a rabbit hole that I fell down today and a post that I’ll publish next week. The bad news here is that I don’t think you’ll find this widely bookable for 62.5K Etihad miles, but if you can find partner availability this would be quite a deal.

American Express Opening Centurion New York In Midtown With Food By Chef Daniel Boulud

View from the Wing reports that Amex is opening a new Centurion lounge, this time in Manhattan on the 55th floor at One Vanderbilt. Like Gary, I visited the 91st-93rd floors of that building for the Bilt x Wells Fargo launch party last year and it has a pretty terrific view of New York (selfie of the view pictured above). We don’t yet know what view the Centurion Lounge will have, but I bet it’ll be nice. Unfortunately, most of the space will be for Centurion cardholders only. Fortunately, Miles to Memories reports that a couple of rooms will be open to Amex Platinum cardholders. I do not expect that access will be free, but I’ll certainly be curious to see how this space turns out and what kind of access policy it has.

Delta Air Lines unveils 1st-ever route to New Zealand, adds more service to Paris

New Zealand is a notoriously difficult destination to reach with miles and points and I don’t expect that this new Delta route between Los Angeles and Auckland will do much of anything to change that. The Points Guy has the details of the new route launch, but I wouldn’t expect this to offer award availability at any sort of a reasonable price. But we can dream.

Secret Hours at JFK’s Virgin Clubhouse

Last month, I made the mistake of showing up to Orlando International Airport really early for my flight because I was expecting to visit and review the new Plaza Premium lounge there, but if you follow my Instagram story you know that my review was very short. It was essentially, “Wow, this lounge is only open from 2pm-9pm most days – I should have Googled the hours before coming to the airport”. But Dave at Miles Talk reports why you might not want to only rely on Google and/or what it says in your lounge finder app: it sounds like the Virgin Clubhouse at JFK is usually open at far more convenient times than the officially-posted hours might have you expect.

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NK3

I would caution people on the JFK Clubhouse. There is a long Flyertalk thread about this. From the data points there, it seems like more often than not people with Amex cards are turned away in the evening. YMMV, but I would not get too optimistic about getting in.

Pam

Plaza Premium hours at MCO are rediculous. I have a JetBlue flight in a few weeks at 9am, and was shocked to see the lounge opens at noon. Their defense is it’s partner airlines fly in the afternoon, but what about those of us with priority pass access?