You could be missing out on free hotel stays and flight upgrades while hopscotching around for the best travel deals.

U.S. News & World Report announced its picks for the Best Travel Rewards Programs of 2021-2022 on Tuesday, identifying which hotels and airlines offer the best perks in exchange for loyalty.

Wyndham Rewards was named the Best Hotel Rewards Program, unseating previous winner World of Hyatt. In addition to its namesake Wyndham hotels, the property group includes LaQuinta, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Travelodge and various other brands for different budgets. U.S. News noted Wyndham’s large network, high award availability and the ability to “book a free night with as few as 7,500 points” contributed to its top ranking.

Alaska Air Mileage Plan kept its top spot as the Best Airline Rewards Program for the seventh year in a row. U.S. News highlighted the airline’s wide selection of routes to popular destinations, like New York City and Honolulu. The program’s mileage-based earning structure was also recognized for making “it easier for members to earn miles for free flights faster.”

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Here are U.S. News’ top five picks for each category:

Best hotel rewards programs

  1. Wyndham Rewards
  2. World of Hyatt
  3. Marriott Bonvoy
  4. Choice Privileges
  5. IHG Rewards

Best airline rewards programs

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  2. Delta SkyMiles
  3. American Airlines AAdvantage
  4. JetBlue TrueBlue
  5. Southwest Rapid Rewards

U.S. News factors member benefits like free amenities, network coverage, and ease in accruing and redeeming free travel into its rankings. This year, criteria also included how travel rewards programs responded to the pandemic and flexibility for members. For hotel awards, U.S. News Travel ranks 15 loyalty programs associated with major hotel brands that have at least 50 properties, 10 or more of which are located in the U.S. For airlines awards, only those based in the U.S. are considered.

Much-delayed corridor plans ran afoul of case spikes and “differences in the anti-epidemic strategies”

The governments of Singapore and Hong Kong have ended efforts to establish an air travel bubble between the two destinations. In statements confirming the decision to halt further discussions, both countries indicated that policy changes in the fight against COVID-19 had made a travel bubble agreement unworkable.

“In Singapore, a substantial proportion of our population is fully vaccinated,” read a statement from Singapore’s ministry of transport. “Hong Kong too is progressively vaccinating its population. Both sides are focused on keeping our populations safe and preventing the risk of imported cases.”

However, the ministry said Singapore has shifted its strategy toward becoming “a COVID-resilient nation,” the statement continued. “Against this backdrop, both parties agreed that it would not be possible to launch or sustain the ATB in its present form.”

Officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region cited “differences in the anti-epidemic strategies currently adopted by the two places.” Hong Kong said that Singapore’s new strategy meant that “the basic premises that underpin the ATB have changed.”

The two countries had originally planned to start the corridor in November 2020. However a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong pushed the launch date to May, only to be postponed again because Singapore saw a spike in the number of cases. In June Singapore’s ministry of transport said it would revisit the possibility of a travel bubble with Hong Kong in July, but the latest announcement appears to scuttle the plan for good.

Notwithstanding, Singapore has announced that beginning August 21, it will unilaterally allow travelers from Hong Kong to enter without being required to quarantine. However restrictions remain in place for travelers arriving into Hong Kong from Singapore, although “Hong Kong will continue to consider adjusting its border measures to facilitate travelers from Singapore to enter Hong Kong,” according to the Singapore ministry of transport.

At the outset of the pandemic, the industry had looked at air travel bubbles as one way to safely resume international flights, but thus far, the policies have not played out in the real world of SARS-CoV-2. The failure of Singapore-Hong Kong corridor follows the suspension of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble in July.

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) — Consumers who have spent the last year fighting for refunds for COVID-related cancellations are finally beginning to see their money.

After more than 12 months, there are new signs of hope.

“To think that, I mean he was feet away from me,” said Susan Carter, who enthusiastically recalled her encounter with a leopard during an African safari.

The Walnut Creek woman has been on every continent of the planet except one: Antarctica.

“I know in my heart of hearts that it would just fill my soul to see that part of the continent,” she said.

She shows 7 On Your Side photos taken by another traveler, Breene Yuen.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Credit card chargebacks an option for those refused refunds for canceled travel

Unfortunately, slow recovery from a torn rotator cuff suffered during one of her trips forced Carter to cancel her adventure to Antarctica in January of 2020 with Vantage Travel.

Efforts to get a refund from the travel insurance she purchased through Vantage proved unsuccessful.

“They said, ‘Oh, Vantage took this over in, I don’t know, October or November. Don’t call us anymore. We have nothing to do with it,'” said Carter.

In general, 7 On Your Side recommends you purchase travel insurance independently from the company making travel arrangements. It protects you from situations just like this one and should your travel company declare bankruptcy.

The insurance company blamed the delay in getting a refund on COVID.

After one year with no results, Carter reached out to 7 On Your Side.

RELATED: Thinking of traveling soon? Expert shares tips on how to navigate pandemic travel

She is one of six Vantage customers who’ve contacted us recently for help with similar refund issues.

Carter received a refund of $11,000.

“Well, I have to tell you, I’m a pretty happy person. But I was really happy when that happened,” she exclaimed.

Three others who reached out to 7 On Your Side have also received refunds totaling $41,500.

Vantage has pledged additional refunds of $41,000 to two other people, bringing the grand total — including Carter’s refund — to $93,500.

One refund has so far been denied.

“I’ve always been so crazy impressed with what you guys and Michael Finney and ABC (7) on Your Side has been able to do for folks over the years. It’s such an amazing service,” Carter said.

Vantage Travel did not respond to our request for comment.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Have a question for Michael and the 7 On Your Side team? Fill out the form HERE! 7OYS’s consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it

Robie is an Italian artist that lives within the US. She likes to share her first-hand knowledge about Italy and helpful trip ideas. Hello sajupalu – The hotels are definitely expensive but it’s worth it to spend the cash so one can stay in the city. Hello levali2001, Thanks in your reply admire it, I’ve already booked a room @ Ciudad Fernandina, Is it going to be removed from the Itinerary that you’ve advised, I opted for the Resort due to their score. I at all times look for them in lodges now before staying, however they’re superb at hiding. To ensure you have the very best of times in Paris, France, you will have to know where to remain as there are lots of of inns to select from.

A mean room in a mid-price love lodge in a aggressive city space would in all probability have, for example, a large LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY TV and DVD participant; tea and coffee making services; maybe a therapeutic massage chair (they’re awesome!); a jet bath and an influence bathe; a mini-bar and fridge; karaoke and videogames; generally a microwave and often room service too! I do want we would realized a bit more about Cusco before we went – especially about the hotels and restaurants – regardless that we had a great time winging it. However we would definitely have chosen a distinct place to stay, based mostly on location (a top quality too).

Jacuzzis and showers are constructed into the pool in various areas and it is warm regardless of being unheated. One option for those who discover the inns too expensive is to look for house/apartment leases. Otherwise, you can use google map and verify the hotels near yours to see if they provide free shuttle services from the airport and just hop on these when you arrive and then stroll to your resort (don’t fret they won’t ask if you’re hotel guest). I stayed at The Emily Morgan Lodge final night time (05/28/11) with my husband and one other couple (our greatest pals) in the same room.

A whole lot of troopers as soon as stood where the hotel pool and courtyard are actually situated. It was once something we joked about growing up. The truth is, the reports of bed bugs in resorts along the East Coast this year didn’t even trigger me a lot concern. They are the following: Charles de Gaulle Worldwide Airport, Beauvais and Orly International Airport. You could find a superb quality apartment for forty,000SAR or cheaper in the heart of the cities and discover one thing a lot bigger or a spot with a personal pool on the sides of the cities for a similar worth.

Just from the lobby of our hotel to our hotel room door was over 1 / 4 of a mile walk a method. Drinks cost about $16 and that is one in every of Manhattan’s rooftop bars that has a pool. There’s nothing quite like sitting …

UNIGLOBE One Journey is the biggest travel management firm in Western Canada, with key company workplaces positioned strategically within the Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg markets. Line number 1 takes about forty five minutes to go the size of the canal and stops at each station along the best way. Line quantity 14 makes a cease in Lido earlier than heading out to Punta Sabbioni, which is residence to the biggest campground within the Venice space. Try The Blueberry Store , Decadent Canine , and Props for a novel buying experience! Onetravel is likely one of the oldest and most recognized journey websites for incredibly low airfares, last minute flight deals, discount hotels and car rental offers.

If you’re already doing this then effective but you ought to do this as one reserving somewhat than two so that if you are delayed and miss your connection you don’t have to pay for an additional flight. Prime off a day of climbing in the solar with a cold brew and taunt your mates stuck sitting at residence wishing they have been there! My Southwest Airline connecting was delayed and I missed my overseas flight at that day. PLUS, Duane even gave us a deal for booking with him and attending to know him by way of emails beforehand.

On a regular basis I was studying this, I stored wondering why a guardian would wish to fuss so much just to travel with their youngsters. Nepal, as with many other countries and definitely some locations right here within the U.S. are identified for having a decide-pocket here and there, so utilizing a travel belt is always a good suggestion, especially in the cities. When you find yourself traveling and need to obtain checks within the mail, there are a number of options that help you obtain your examine no matter where you might be.

I can walk to the native station so it is actually convenient…far more so than air journey. Have a backup plan in case you’re not allowed to transport your pet for no matter purpose (haven’t gotten vital permits, weather is simply too excessive for animals in maintain on day of flight, kennel would not meet regulations, pet is a snub-nosed animal). Drivers headed throughout Snoqualmie Go are prone to discover backups as a consequence of heavy journey mixed with development-associated lane reductions. Follow CheapOair on Facebook and Twitter to learn to travel the world for less.

Only a half hour a day no less than four times per week makes an unbelievable distinction. For those who would provide us with the booking quantity to your reservation we might be comfortable to look further into it for you. OneTravel is a Pennsylvania-primarily based journey website that was began within the mid-Nineties. Often bookings like that occur in a metropolis where most places are full for some cause or one other, or on international travel. Oh, and for those of you questioning, I did, in reality, get up and work …