Friday, July 31, 2015

One Minute of Fame or Two Month's of Hotel Stays

SPG recently auctioned off an experience to throw out the first pitch at a Chicago Cubs game.  The package included two game tickets, a pre-game photo, and no hotel stay.  The winning bid was 189,502 points. That equates to 20 free nights at my favorite SPG hotels, the The Westin Sydney or The Westin Palace Madrid.  It also could be 50 free nights at the Sheraton Oklahoma City or 73 free nights at the Sheraton Athlone Ireland. The points could also be converted into 234,502 frequent flyer miles, enough four or five transatlantic business class flights.  The auction winner bought a cool and unique experience that they could not buy with money. That is the value of points programs, they make the impossible achievable.  I'm also certain I would not spend that much on an experience that lasts about 45 seconds.
Where Could 234,502 Miles Take You?
Math Note: Math assumes maximizing the 'stay 4 get 1 free' room redemption pricing. I did not include any welcome gift or Make a Green Choice bonus points. Off season pricing used for Westin hotels mentioned. Frequent flyer mile math assumes 1:1 program transfer and maximizing the 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

QANTAS Admits Dark Secret

QANTAS admitted a long kept secret.  Their ad shown below admits that Australia is not close to the USA.  The flight from LAX to Sydney is almost 14 hours in air.  That's far.  Really far.  They try to spin this bad news as well they can, as you can see.  The trip is well worth the time and the flight is rather pleasant. 
QANTAS Ad Found Online

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

LGA Will Have $4 Billion Renovation and Not Fix Main Problem

La Guardia airport will still have only two runways and they will still intersect.  The main reason I am frustrated when flying from New York-LGA will remain.  There will be new terminals so you can wait your delayed flight with more space.
Newark Still Looking Good

Sunday, July 26, 2015

IGH - Priority Club Spire Elite Status

I lucked into this one.  I signed up for the IHG credit card for the 80,000 point sign up bonus and perpetual Platinum status.  It also comes with a free night certificate all for a reasonable $49 annual fee. Soon after my card arrived, IHG announced a new higher level in their program so Platinum is second tier.  I was disappointed because I wanted to buy top status for $49. The new level is called Spire Elite and I qualified because my credit card sign up bonus earned enough points to qualify. I doubt my domestic Holiday Inn experience will change, but this could be very handy in Europe where top elite status seems to be more meaningful. 
Spire Elite Status Could be Fun in Europe
The moral of the story is to wait until there is a 75,000+ sign up bonus before signing up for the card. I found my 80,000 offer on a reservation review page before confirming a booking. Also the card is a miserable point earner, so don't use it after hitting the sign up bonus if you aren't paying for an IHG hotel stay.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

How Is Your 2015 Status Looking?

Now's a great time to evaluate your 2015 status progress and book and extra trip or two to make sure you reach your goals.  I need to fly more, but am doing well on hotels.
I Need To Fly More, Even On CRJ's

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fun Photo

Lufthansa 747 at Denver. I love that aircraft.
Lufthansa 747-400 and Denver International Airport Tower

Monday, July 20, 2015

Premium Economy Upsell

British Airways isn't asking for too much more to book premium economy from regular economy.  That's a tempting price point for a superior product. 
Only $278 More For Better Seats

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Funny Southwest Map

Southwest provides free in-flight entertainment if you provide a fully charged device.  This is a fair trade.  I wish every airline provided a free real time map, but United charges for that on their TV system.  I thought it a funny observation that Southwest's map of the USA only has Southwest destination cities.
Southwest's View of America

Thursday, July 16, 2015

EVA Air Hello Kitty Paint

It'll be easy, no paint removal, just adding a few colors in the white space.  
【‪長榮大解密‬ ~Hello Kitty星空機彩繪塗裝過程縮時錄影】

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

FAA Removing Fun Navigation Point Names

Pilots and aviation nerds enjoy fun Nav Point names.  For example, aircraft land at Kansas City airport following these navigation points: SPICY, BARBQ, TERKY, SMOKE, and RIBBS.  The FAA has lost some is its humor because they are renaming DONLD, TRMMP, and UFIRD around Palm Beach airport.
I Love the Greg Gutfeld Show, Sunday Nights on Fox News

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day is the most amazing holiday America does not celebrate.  I'm trying to change that and you should join me.  Put on Edith Piaf radio on Pandora, procure some cheese, pastries, and wine, and enjoy to excess (for further inspiration, peruse the Air France first class menu).  Then toast the night away with Champagne.  
Vive la Air France A318!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

New York LGA Departure Picture

It's great day to fly, especially if you need to escape New York.
New York - LGA Runway 31 Departure

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sue United for Delayed Flights, Maybe?

United Airlines flights were grounded for a few hours yesterday due to an IT failure.  Not the end of the world, but attorneys are trawling around the internet to start a lawsuit. That didn't take long.  I doubt there's much of a case, but that never stopped a lawsuit before.   

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

JetBlue Charges for Checked Bags Now

Southwest must feel great right now since their Bags Fly Free promotion now works against another airline.  JetBlue changed their fare structure, after recently changing top management, and bags now cost $20 or more on basic fares.  JetBlue is also adding 15 seats to their A320 aircraft.  At this rate, they'll beat Frontier in the race to be the next Spirit Airlines.
JetBlue Removing Unique Features of Their Brand

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

4th Of July Travel Tip

I don't plan to fly this weekend because I prefer inexpensive and off peak travel.  If you are traveling, there's just one tip you need: be patient.  That's all there is too it.  Large crowds of infrequent flyers will be everywhere. Allow extra time for long lines of people who don't know what to do.  With that in mind, it will be hard to make a bad situation any worse.  Good luck!
Be Patient and Enjoy Your Trip