Thursday, August 16, 2018

Glad I Have Lifetime SPG Status

I'm glad I grabbed lifetime Platinum status with SPG last year and it will transfer to the combined Marriott program. The new numbers for lifetime Marriott status are a huge hurdle.
Next Up - Lifetime United Status

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tax Haven Travel - Portland

Portland, OR is a great city for a weekend of beer, food, and shopping, especially since there is no sales tax. Downtown has a large mall and an Apple store. A little bit north, there are more brand specific shops and breweries. I enjoyed my stay the The Nines hotel and the MAX light rail is a great way to get into town from the airport and hop around central Portland. 
Horizon Q400 Departing Portland
The Portland Japanese Garden is a bit out of the city center, but a great morning or afternoon of tranquility. The airport has shops after security that sell beer and wine if you'd prefer to carry on liquid souvenirs

Saturday, August 4, 2018

AA Award Changes

My American Airlines saver award trip has changed 5 times in as many weeks. My original arrival time was backed up over 4 hours and I didn't want the new 5 hour connection, so I called reservations. Since the arrival time was greater than 4 hours different, I could pick any available flights to make my trip work, not just saver award flights. This was great news, because I could switch from an obnoxiously early departure time to a reasonable time. Added bonus, the new flight was on an A330 with flat bed seats. This was better than I booked.
Old Flat Bed Seats
Then my flight changed again. The connecting aircraft changed to an all coach E145 and arrival moved back 2 hours to 11:04PM. I booked first class and a 5:30 arrival originally. This was a non-starter and I call AA reservations. I was looking to cancel and rebook for an alternate airport.
No First and No Fun Over 60 Minutes
The reservations agent let me change my arrival airport and pick from any flight with seats. This was great, so I booked a reasonable flight and hope it will stick. I'm also back in first for both segments. The key is being persistent and having flight options to suggest to the phone agents before calling. Also 4 hours difference is the magic number for American agents to offer you anything reasonable.
No Flat Bed Seats, but Open Bar

Thursday, August 2, 2018

New CRJ Cabin

The tube is the same diameter, but new CRJ 700's, 900's, and 1000's can have larger bins and in seat power as part of a cabin refresh from Bombardier. Offer not valid on CRJ 200's.
Delta Will Have New Cabins on 20 new CRJ's

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Boeing 737 MAX Selling Well

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are a tweak of the previous version. They are quieter and more efficient, but still the same basic design (just lengthened tube) from before I was born. The new model is also selling well. That's too bad for passengers. Boeing needs a sales flop before they will take out a blank sheet of paper. The 737 is cramped and a fresh design would be more comfortable for passengers. 
737-500, Close Enough

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hilton Points are Almost Worthless

Hilton out did Delta. Hilton award nights are dynamically priced and wildly expensive. I'm an SPG guy, but was looking around to see if better hotel program value could be found. It's been a while since I looked at Hilton and YIKES, awards got expensive. I think I'll go Marriott and Hyatt.
Delta Also Has Wildly Expensive Awards

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Farewell Crossover Rewards

The SGP - Delta Airlines reciprocal benefits program ends July 15th. I got a few free checked bags and some bonus points from it. I was also 1 away from clearing an upgrade. I'm an infrequent Delta flyer, so it was of limited value to me. Still, I'd rather have it than not.
Still Sitting in Back

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wasn't bad at all

My carry on baby was a great flyer yesterday. She didn't mind it at all or make a peep. There were loud children and people watching TV without headphones, far worse to sit next to than my kid.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018

Pilatus is an interesting aircraft company based in Switzerland. They have always been the rugged option for operations in less than idea areas. Here's a video of their new PC-24 taking off and landing on a dirt strip.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

JP Morgan Reserve Card Guide to Benefits

JP Morgan mailed me an updated guide to benefits outlining changes coming in August to the Reserve card. I don't have a JP Morgan Reserve card. It does look cool.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Boeing Buys Embraer - Kinda, Not Really

Boeing is taking over Embraer's commercial aircraft operations, kinda through a joint venture. I guess it was cheaper than designing a new aircraft like the 717 and smaller than the 737-700. This is a response to Airbus taking over the C-Series aircraft. It's all confusing, but blank sheet aircraft design for Airbus and Boeing is only for wide bodies these days.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Delta Airlines GDPR Request

As an Irish citizen, I made a GDPR request to Delta Airlines through their web form (Ask A Question > Privacy & Data Protection) last week. Delta rejected my request because I don't live in the EU. Some companies read the law to include EU citizens out of the EU, but Delta apparently does not agree. 
Contact with any GDPR questions.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Farewell Fairmont President's Club

FPC was the best value in rewards programs when I started travelling for work. 10 nights earned a free night starting with night 30. Didn't matter the rate or hotel, it was great. They also gave out spa/restaurant certificates. I also enjoyed the bag tags that Fairmont would pay to FedEx the bag it was attached to back to my house if it was lost and found.
I also miss Dividend Miles
Dear Andrew Bussa, 

We wish to inform you that effective 2 July 2018, Fairmont President’s Club will be integrated with the award-winning loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels. As you may know, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts was acquired by AccorHotels in 2016, a global travel and lifestyle group based in Paris, France.

As a result of this change, your membership in Fairmont President’s Club will be replaced with a membership in Le Club AccorHotels on 2 July 2018.
Please note the following:
• As of 2 July 2018, your membership to the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program will be governed by the terms and conditions of the program available here. If you benefit from your program after this date, this will indicate your agreement with these terms and conditions. You are of course free to decline to take advantage of the benefits of Le Club AccorHotels by informing us here. You would then lose the benefits that you could have acquired as part of Fairmont President’s Club.*
• To enable us to continue to best respond to your needs, to measure your satisfaction, to improve our customer knowledge and to personalize our offers and the commercial communications that we may send you and, if relevant, to manage your membership of the Le Club AccorHotels program, the personal information that you have provided as part of your relationship with Fairmont and Fairmont President’s Club will be transmitted to the entities of the AccorHotels group. Of course, you are free to decline transmission of this information by informing us here. Objecting to this transmission will automatically result in you being unable to benefit from the changeover to the Le Club AccorHotels program.*
Your Fairmont President’s Club profile indicates you have declined the option to receive marketing information from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and/or Fairmont President’s Club. Le Club AccorHotels will continue to respect your privacy and communication preferences. 

For more information, you may wish to visit the Fairmont President’s Club Members’ Integration Website. 

Thank you for your loyalty. We look forward to welcoming you at Fairmont again very soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Simplify Your Credit Cards

There are some many cards out there with different bonus categories that it is difficult to keep a clear view of what's the best card to go with a purchase. Simply your wallet. Focus on 2 or 3 core cards and relax a little.

Another key tip is to use a card at every opportunity. Cash doesn't earn points.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Farewell eMiles

eMiles seems to be shutting down. I haven't used them in a while since it was a poor return on my time.
I did earn some United miles from them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Airline GDPR Requests

I'm testing the waters for airline GDPR requests. American Airlines and British Airways are the most promising, but I haven't made it to the end of either. I have an open request with Delta and Lufthansa Group. United replied to me with a change of address link, I don't think they knew what I was asking.

Stay tuned! I'll share the results and process.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Fiji Airways to be first oneworld connect partner

The first airline to join in the new capacity as a oneworld connect partner will be Fiji Airways.
Fiji 737 Tail Detail
oneworld connect partners will provide select alliance benefits to frequent flyers from any oneworld member airline travelling on their flights, with a more extensive range of benefits offered with their oneworld sponsors.
oneworld aircraft
Customers with Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer programme will be able to use priority check-in desks, where available.  Also, customers with Emerald or Sapphire status will be offered priority boarding.
Also oneworld
The additional benefits offered by oneworld connect partners to customers from their oneworld sponsors and vice versa include, through check-in of passengers and their baggage for journeys including connections between a connect carrier and any of its oneworld sponsors, the ability to earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards, and earn frequent flyer status points, for eligible flights. 
oneworld again

Frequent Flyer Packing Post

I was included in a write up on frequent flying packing tips.
The Key is to Relax

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Transferring Hertz Points

I didn't know this was an option from Hertz. The Southwest partnership looks like the only enticing value. As with most transfer opportunities, don't transfer points unless you need them or there's a limited time bonus. Always remember the relative point values. 
Hertz Values

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Time to start thinking about holiday award travel

I like to star planning early and am thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas season travel later this year. I have a few ideas and a few programs with miles, so it gets complicated quickly.
I Feel Like I Have Too Many Delta Miles

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Southwest Airlines Infant Fare

The Southwest Airlines infant fare isn't really a deal. I love the idea of having a row to ourselves as a family of three and I called reservations to ask how much an infant fare would cost. The Wanna Get Away fare was $205 round trip. The infant fare is a modest discount off the Anytime fare of $716. It's not worth buying if a Wanna Get Away fare is available.
I Hope The Infant in Arms Family Has an Open Middle Seat

Friday, May 25, 2018

ANA Flying A380s to Hawaii in 2019

ANA picked up 3 A380s as is customizing them exclusively for Hawaii flying. I like the focus on the leisure market and the fun touches and changes they made from standard ANA aircraft. 
ANA Aircraft Always Look Great

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Photo Post

Babies are tiring. That’s why the 737-600 and A318 are hard to find.
Baby Boeing 737-600

Sunday, May 20, 2018

It's a Baby

My wife and I just had our first child. I'm grounded for a while, but planning adventures for 3 now.
Baby United Express Plane

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thinking of Europe

All the Air France strike news has rekindled my interest in flying to Europe. Seriously. Lufthansa has strikes about 1/3 of the time I have a reservation with them. Memories. Last time I got to fly British Airways and Air France. The time before got me my first ride on a 747-8. All those trips were bought with miles, but Lufthansa paid cash to rebook me, so I earned miles. Strikes can be fun.