September 2, 2008
Starwood’s loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest, has allowed members to transfer SPG to airline loyalty programs, which has been useful if not occasionally cumbersome benefit. However, now the program has gotten even better — SPG points can be used to book flights directly on www.spg.com/flights.
It gets better: there are no black out dates. On my first try comparing SPG Flights to an airline site, I found SPG offered several loyalty point options while the identical route on the airline’s Web site indicated there were no loyalty point flights available.
And, it gets better still: While airline redemption programs impose fees on airline mile redemption flights, SPG Flights redemption includes taxes and booking fees in the price of the flight.
This is great news for travelers, the savviest of whom should be signing up for Starwood American Express cards from their desks in the Sheraton. It is also interesting for the travel industry — the most competitive loyalty program to book flights is now run by a hotel.