Tuesday, September 29, 2015

United Airlines A320 First Class Breakfast

It took into September before I was upgraded and served a meal.  Life is rough with United selling more and more first class seats.  Tasty breakfast on an A320 to LGA.  Nothing special on it's own, but very special to me.
Eggs and Sausage

Friday, September 25, 2015

Denver Airport Beer Flights - Beer Garden

Munich Airport has an actual beer garden and they have a Lufthansa lounge that is similar to a beer garden. This isn't that.  Denver's Beer Flights program features Colorado micro-brews and is a great way to kill 30-60 minutes outside security (sorry connecting passengers).  There were no Oktoberfest style beers, soft pretzels, or white sausages. Still fun, $10 for a souvenir glass and 10 2oz pours.
Rules of the Game
Airport Drinking That Isn't Cliched
Ad Caught My Eye In Terminal

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Trip From Bond Villain Island

United's new 787 Dreamliner flies from XXX airport to Houston.  Shhhhh. This isn't on the route map, so don't tell too many people that United is flying a corporate shuttle for a Bond villain.
I Thought We Departed From Denver

Friday, September 18, 2015

Denver Airport Distances

Ever land an wonder if you are in Kansas not Colorado? It happens all the time for me at DEN.  Denver International Airport is one of the largest, by area, airports in the country, so you are right to feel like the taxi distance is absurdly long.  A quick check of a map shows that DEN is completely inside Colorado and Wyoming is the closest state to the airport.
Still Feels Like Kansas

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Big Bonus Miles on AA Credit Card

Note: I am NOT compensated for this post.

The Citi AA Executive card is offering a 75,000 mile sign up bonus.  The card also comes with an Admirals Club membership, Global Entry fee waiver, and a slew of other perks.  The card costs $450 a year. Also $7,500 in net spending is required in the first three months for the bonus miles.  Not a bad deal for frequent American Airlines flyers who can put $2,500 a month on the card, but I'll pass.
I'll Let This One Go By, View From 747-8 Top Deck

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Odd Black Smoke at Denver Airport

I'm guessing it's just a diesel engine turning over, but billowing black smoke isn't something I want to see at the airport.
I Think The Black Smoke is Expected

Friday, September 11, 2015

Intentional Retro Jet

Here's an intentionally retro paint scheme on a United 737.
Continental 737 at O'Hare

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Does This Count as Retro?

I doubt this counts as a retro paint scheme, but it's starting to feel that way.
Retro Jet Spotted in Denver Last Weekend

Monday, September 7, 2015

Great View From Club Lounge Sheraton Tribeca

The 21st floor club lounge at the Sheraton Tribeca New York has an outdoor patio with an amazing view.  This is the best view and light on the Empire State Building I've ever seen.  The patio isn't a year round feature; when I was here in January, there was a foot of snow out there.



Sunday, September 6, 2015

Chicago O'Hare Airport Construction

As part of the endless and boundless make work program that O'Hare Airport is for the city of Chicago, it's under construction.  Again and forever.
Chicago: Ubi Est Mea - Where's Mine?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lufthansa Miles and More Temptation

I’m a member of at least 15 airline frequent flyer programs. That sounds like a lot, but there are dozens of other programs I can join, but do not interest me. For a program to interest me it must meet one of these criteria: 
1) Attractive Reward Value: Earning and burning points for general award travel. This is the core of my frequent flyer hobby. I don’t have anywhere in mind, but I have the miles to go anywhere I choose. United, American, Southwest, British Airways, and Delta (at least when I joined 8 years ago) fit this category. 
2) Unique Redemption: Limited service markets I travel or want to travel. Alaska Airlines fits this category with their extensive network north of Seattle. Hawaiian, Iceland, and Singapore also fit this group. 
3) Website Search Features: Most airlines websites are miserable for booking award tickets. Many only show availability one day at a time and can only search a limited set of partner airlines. I joined Qantas and ANA to search award space on their superior websites (space should be the same across all alliance members). Then I use that information to book with my preferred program. 
4) Doesn’t Play Well With Others: Frontier and Spirit flights only credit to their own programs. I feel compelled to collect miles even if all I might earn is a magazine subscription. Southwest is like this too, except their miles have value on flights. 
5) Just for Fun: Something somewhere grabs my interest and I join a program. Air Berlin has flight awards that start at 2,500 points and has many free point offers. 500 points here and there quickly earn a free flight. Qatar, TAP, and Etihad also were just for fun sign ups. 
Lufthnsa A320
Lufthansa’s Miles and More program is now interesting. United’s most recent devaluation made first class on partners astronomically expensive. Also Lufthansa, like Singapore, has ample first class space for their members, but severely restricted space for partners. 85,000 points for a one way first class flight from Europe to North America is good value (United charges 110,000 points, the old price was 67,500). The First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is amazing and I want to return some day. There is also a good credit card sign up bonus offer available and Lufthansa is an SPG transfer partner.
Doesn't Play Well With Others
Update:  The 50,000 mile bonus is gone, so wait for it to return before signing up.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Football Season Is Here

I'm interested in baseball still, but a few people might be interested in the football season kicking off. To appeal to a wider audience, here's an NFL related picture.
Carolina Panthers A319
Pity this year the Cubs would be the best team in the NL East or West, but are third in the Central division.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Booking United Flights With Global Premier Upgrades

Global Premier Upgrades, formerly System Wide Upgrades, permit upgrades without any miles or copay. The pre-merger United.com website had a search option for using a System Wide. The post-merger website has no comparable feature. This means users have to use the Advanced Search and search for fare classes W and V, the two cheapest fares that work with System Wides. Then there is no way to know if the upgrade will clear at booking. The best method for confirming upgrades at booking is making a reservation and then trying to apply the upgrade. The website will say if seats can be confirmed. If the flight is waitlist space only, cancel the reservation and try a different date. There’s no fee because you are cancelling 15 minutes into the 24 hour free cancelation window. United will put an authorization hold on the credit card used, so your available credit will be used up quickly.
Difficult to Move Up Front

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

MileagePlus and Mercedes-Benz Offer

Wow, United actually has a great offer available.  Most emails I've read recently are bad ways to acquire miles and worse ways to spend them, but the Mileage Plus Mercedes Benz offer is a great deal.  The deal is run through TrueCar.com and starts with the best TrueCar prices then adds an additional discount ($500-$7,000) and bonus miles (up to 50,000).  This is probably the best price on a new Mercedes publicly available.  Now if only I had a spare $100,000 for a 577 hp station wagon.
Like 757's, Good Deals Are Harder to Find