Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Year In Review

2012 was a busy year! I flew 140,595 miles (new high score), 108,115 of them paid with cash (partially financed by my real job).  Inexpensive trans-con trips in February and cheap tickets to San Juan, PR in fall helped me reach and race past 1K status.  Work travel was better than expected and I took advantage of a $300 DEN-SJU fare that allowed two stops in each direction (I never left the airport in SJU on any of my 5 visits) that let me cheaply go from not quite Premier Exec to comfortably 1K.  
Paid Travel in 2012 -
All Flights from 2012 -
Selected favorites from 2012:
Thanks for reading this year and I hope you have a great 2013 filled with new adventures.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

US Airways A320 First Class Lunch Review

I had a bad first impression with US Airways first class last month.  They got a second chance last week and I had a much better experience.  I was on an older, former America West, A320 and the seat reclined about 1 inch.  There was no wifi (first class has to pay if available) or other form of entertainment offered other than the meal service.
US Airways First Class Lunch - It's Chicken
The meal service was a choice of chicken or pasta.  I went with chicken (too many bad pasta experiences, even though it looked good for my seatmate) and enjoyed it thoroughly.  There was great flavor to the main dish. I also like the Caesar salad and cheese and tomato dish. Desert was a light lemon cake, but I didn't eat much because I was comfortable full from the main dish.  A snack basket with chips, cookies, and other treats was passed around after about two hours and available to pick over until landing. It's a nice touch I hope United will copy and help cement a good experience despite an uncomfortable seat.
US Airways First Class Dessert

Friday, December 28, 2012

US Airways Express CRJ-900 First Class Review

I flew on a new (for me) aircraft type today.  The CRJ-900 is the stretched version of the CRJ-700 and doesn't feel very spacious. The windows are narrow and the overhead bins are tiny (Embraer jets have bigger windows, usable bins, and feel more spacious). The seat was comfortable and had plenty of leg room, even with my backpack under the seat in front.  The first class service was spartan (45 min flight) with a single drink and a small snack bag.  Not a bad flight, but the CRJ-900 feels obsolete even though it's a newer model.  I have another flight in US Airways first class today, so things can still improve.
US Airways CRJ-900 First Class Seat 
US Airways CRJ-900 First Class Seat Reclined

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas pt.3

Even the local Marine Corps air station is in the Christmas spirit.
USMC Fighter Jet Lit For Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Denver Snow Day

It's a snowy day in Denver, but things are running smoothly at DEN. I can't wait to get someplace warmer.
Frontier Jets at De-Icing

Monday, December 17, 2012

United MileagePlus Program Changes in 2013

I looked at the MileagePlus benefits chart today and saw that it was "Effective March 3, 2012 through January 31, 2013."  I'm worried about what changes will be coming.  Airlines are especially bad at announcing changes in advance and program changes tend to be drastic.
United 757 at Newark
UPDATE:  Massive inflation!!!  There will be two award charts, one for United and one for partners.  Premium cabins on partners will not be worth while.  Book now while your account still has value.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

La Quinta Returns Elite Card

The La Quinta Returns Elite card must be a constant reminder that life isn't going as well as planned.  The same can be said of Priority Club Gold bag tags.
La Quinta Returns Elite Card

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Have An Idea

I'm working on an idea. If it goes well, I'll share it.  If it doesn't go well, I'll probably share it too.
Idea Button on an ERJ145

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2013 Travel Has Started - Booking At Least

I booked my first trip for 2013. Just a cheap (sub $200) to PHL with an out of the way stop in each direction. Never too early to start re-qualifying for status.  There are some cheap fares in January and February too. I found my fare using ITA Matrix and searching for UA, UA+ in the advanced routing codes for airports within 500 miles of LGA.
Even United Knows I'm Flying For Miles

Monday, December 10, 2012

Boeing Airplane List Prices

Ever wonder what a new airliner sells for? I have and found the list prices for Boeing airliners.  The twist is that these planes don't sell for list prices.  I've heard discounts could be up to 50%, but final sale prices are never disclosed.  Like shopping at a car dealer, no one should pay the sticker price.
United Airlines 777-200ER Lists for $258,800,000
Airplane       2012 $ in Millions Average
737 Family
737-700                     74.8
737-800                     89.1
737-900ER                94.6
737 MAX 7                82.0
737 MAX 8                100.5
737 MAX 9                107.3
747 Family
747-8                          351.4
747-8 Freighter         352.0
767 Family
767-200ER               160.2
767-300ER               182.8
767-300 Freighter    185.4
767-400ER               200.8
777 Family
777-200ER               258.8
777-200LR               291.2
777-300ER               315.0
777 Freighter            295.7
787 Family
787-8                         206.8
787-9                         243.6

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Airport Art - Moline, IL

Many airports have art displays to make the travel experience more interesting and localized (Madison, WI selling cheese curds is the best localization example).  Most art displays feature local topics.  A great recipe for an interesting exibition at CDG, but less interesting for MLI.
Airport Mural That Represents the Quad Cities

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Vote for Me!

I entered an Airbus contest on Facebook and am in the finals, but I need your help! Vote for my Lufthansa photo here:  Thanks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Frontier Airlines December 2012 Discount Coupon Code

Take 5% off Economy, 10% off Classic or 15% off Classic Plus fares. This promo works on regular AND sale don't miss out. Use promo code CHOICE when you book and choose the best deal.  Book by 12/10/12. Fly 12/17/12 to 1/21/13.
An Unrelated Picture From Boston, Frontier Goes There
Sign up for Frontier email alerts and you can receive these specials too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

United Express ERJ145 Exit Row

Exit rows are the first class of Southwest Airlines and 50 seat regional jets. The ERJ-145 has a ton of leg room in row 12 and is my favorite 50 seat jet. It feels much more spacious than the CRJ-200, it's main competitor.  You can really notice the difference, especially on longer flights.
Exit Row 12 on United Express ERJ-145
United Express ERJ Going to Chicago