Saturday, February 28, 2015

Delta Has The Wrong Idea About Me

Delta ran an ad for their TechOps MRO service in my twitter feed.  I'm not in a position make this type of purchase decision and I wonder what my browser history had in it to make this ad appear.
Unexpected Twitter Ad

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Indianapolis Airport Art Display

The Indianapolis airport, IND, has a world class collection of art on display in the terminal.  Here's a few examples.
Direct from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Indy 500 Roadster

Monday, February 23, 2015

United Airlines Economy to Oslo & Back

I flew to Oslo again just for the miles and only spent 90 minutes in Norway before returning.  I did this trip once before for miles and enjoyed it very much because I was upgraded to business class.  This time was different, I was stuck in coach, an exit row, but still coach.  It wasn't too bad though.  On the way out, I had an empty middle seat and on the way back I had my own row.  Being able to spread out helps more than I expected and I was also able to enjoy a movie and sleep well.  Alcohol in coach to Europe on United is not free, otherwise the catering could be described as decent.  Next time I go to Norway, I'll leave the airport and not go in the depths of winter. 
United Coach Breakfast to Europe
United Coach Lunch from Europe - Beer Costs Extra
United Coach Dinner to Europe
I Was Upgraded to EWR on a 757

Friday, February 20, 2015

United Airlines First Class Lunch - 2015

Always take the soup, it won't disappoint.  Unfortunately, the meals in first class this year are mundane and bland.  United can learn a ton from Lufthansa's catering team.  Here's a few examples of filling, but uninspired meals I've seen this year.
Ham and Cheese
Asian Chicken Salad
Chicken Wrap

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

W Hotels That Were Something Else First

The W hotel brand started in 1998 and there are some fantastic new hotels in the brand's portfolio.  My favorite is the W Boston followed closely by the W South Beach.  Unfortunately not all W hotels are new constructions, like the W Chicago Loop.  The give away that this was an old hotel, among other things not including the small rooms with poor sound insulation, was the mail chute by the elevators.  These are the marks of nice, but old, buildings.  I did mail some post cards with them, so they are fun and practical too.  
Sign of an Older Building

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Airlines' Long Term Technology Investments

Airlines like to hang on to investments for a long time.  Take the MD-80 as an example or that US Airways just retired their last 767-200 after 25 years of service.  They are also the only industry clinging to perforated paper printers, the highlight of mid 1980's technology.  Luckily airlines can order paper and ink on the internet or these printers would be in the trash next to floppy disks and Zip drives.
30 Years Old and Going Strong

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Broken Seat Back TV

Is it worth taking a delay for the aircraft's seat back TV system to be fixed?  It can be reset in air, but it's a much longer 8 hour flight without it.  I'd say push back and press your luck with the reset procedure.
TV Resetting

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ewwww - Oatmeal Raisin

Midwest Express did the in flight cookie best.  It was chocolate chip every time and everyone got one.  They even sold them at Brewers games in Milwaukee. United does not live up to that standard.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

United Airlines 757-200 Business First Class Seats

I love the 757; it's a wonderful aircraft without rival (Boeing and Airbus are working to change that). The aircraft is over powered, has amazing range, looks cool, and boards through the second door so first class passengers turn left.  Fewer United Airlines passengers are turning left these days though. The 737-900ER is taking over most of the 757 routes. The legacy United 757's are swiftly being retired to be parted out or converted to freighters for FedEx.  The legacy Continental 757's still in service are the stretched -300 version and the international configuration -200 version. These have 8 fewer first class seats, so upgrades are difficult to find. I was lucky recently to have an upgrade from IAH to EWR and enjoyed the big screen and the bed.  The seat was great and I slept very well. 
Seat 2A For Taxi, Takeoff, and Landing
Seat 2A Reclined
Seat 2A Flat Bed

Friday, February 6, 2015

Southwest A-List Fast Track Offer

The tempting Southwest Airlines short cut to A List status offer only gives status through December 31, 2015.  If the status lasted through December 31, 2016, I would have flown the three round trips for status, but it isn't worth it for me for 10 months of status.
Southwest 737 at Las Vegas

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mr Bussa, we’re making changes to the Executive Club

I dread emails from airlines announcing changes to frequent flyer programs.  They are never good news. Prices are raising for premium cabin travel, first class is 33% more, business class 50% more, and premium economy 33% more. Coach is the same, but the expensive fuel surcharge fees make coach a losing proposition anyway. Book before April 28 to avoid the higher prices, full details here.
I Can't Afford a Business Class Ticket With These Changes

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thoughts on an MD-80

Here's a nice obituary for an MD-80.  Airports have had American MD-80's for as long as I can remember, it will be a big change when they are gone.
American Airlines MD-80's

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Camera - Sony W830

My dependable Canon point & shoot has retired.  One of the in inner lenses got some dirt on it and repairs are not cost effective. My new point & shoot is the Sony W830. My iPhone is great for quick snaps with no zoom and good lighting, but I need a small camera that is good in low light and with an optical zoom. I settled on the Sony because I got a smoking deal on it.  I'm still getting used to the differences between Sony and Canon and am excited to post some new pictures. Contrary to many recent news stories, there still is a need for point & shoots, even though the market has shrunk.
New Photo Machine
Dirt That Forced My Canon To Retire Above Terminal
There's a Slight Shutter Delay - Still Learning
Have the Shutter Delay Under Control
A few samples
The joy of optical zoom
Works at night too