I have to admit that I feel a bit guilty about how easily I made it through the ordeal which was Sandy last week. A big part of it is that I got lucky – just a few more feet of storm surge and my apartment would likely have been flooded and I’d be ripping out sheetrock and destroyed possessions right now. But I got lucky. The flood waters stopped at 10th Avenue, just a couple hundred yards from my front door. And even suffering four days of no power, we got power back last week; many more in the region still have no power. I had easy access to mid-town Manhattan and further north, where power, heat, food and friends were easy to come by. Thousands upon thousands did not have that and do not have that still today, a week later.
Things are slowly getting better around here. Power is coming back, the transit system is getting back online and where things are still broken the support from the community is incredible. In the travel world the response from JetBlue is nothing short of tremendous. They’ve been at the front of the industry in allowing for changes to travel plans for customers affected by Sandy and they’ve also been on the ground in New York City, supporting the NYC Food Truck association’s efforts to distribute 25,000 hot meals to city residents affected by the storm.
And now a group of us here on Boarding Area are stepping up to crowd-source some additional support. As a group we’ll be donating $1 toward the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for each comment on our Hurricane Sandy posts (like this one), up to a combined $1,800 total between the participating blogs.
We’re encouraging everyone to donate points, time or dollars. Or just take a few seconds to comment on this post. EVERY little bit counts. Many of us in the miles and points community are fortunate enough to have the time and resources to travel (I escaped to Hawaii for the day over the weekend), so let’s help those who are still struggling to get life back to some semblance of normal.
From a previous post I made, here are the hotel and airline programs I’m aware of offering points or matching donations made by members:
- JetBlue is matching customer donations up to the first $50,000 donated to the American Red Cross and also offering 6 points per dollar to their TrueBlue members. JetBlue is also making their presence felt on the ground in New York City, paying for meals from the Wafels & Dinges food trucks to be distributed to residents.
- Delta is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross relief efforts. Additionally, SkyMiles members can also donate miles or money to the Red Cross; there does not appear to be any miles promo associated with it at this time.
- United Airlines is matching up to $100,000 in donations to three charities: the American Red Cross, Feeding America and AmeriCares. As of this morning their member have already donated more than $300,000 to the charities so the match is maxed out. Additionally, members who give a minimum of $50 will receive 250 bonus miles. Donations of $100 or more will receive 500 miles. The company will issue up to 5 million miles as part of the effort.
- American Airlines is offering 250 AAdvantage miles to members who donate $50 and 500 miles to members who donate $100 or more.
- Hilton is offering 10 HHonors points for every $1 donated (through their GlobalGiving site) through the end of the year.
- Starwood Preferred Guest will match points donations made to the American Red Cross through November 30th. Donations start at 2,000 SPG points.
- Salvation Army accepts donations of United and Delta miles with a minimum of 1,000 miles.
- When you make charity donations using your US Bank FlexPerks card, you earn 3x for your donation.
Please consider donating through one of these programs (or another, if you are so motivated) if you can.
Leave a comment on this post stating how you like to help others in need, and it will raise $1 toward the hurricane relief efforts (one comment per person, please). Then head to the similar posts at View From the Wing, Deals We Like, Mommy Points, GhettoIFE and Very Good Points. The deadline to get your comment counted is 11:59PM Eastern on Thursday November 8th (so we can get the donations out by the end of the week). Thanks so much for taking the time to participate!