Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 - Year in Review

It was a busy year with a new job and my wedding. I flew 96,075 paid miles and 134,608 including award redemptions. I earned lifetime Platinum on SPG and barely made Gold on United. My goal for 2018 is 1,000,000 status with United and I am about 60,000 miles away.

Promotions were infrequent and planes are more densely packed. United's 10 wide coach on 777's is miserable. Extra dense coach seating makes me miss the 747 even more.
Paid Fares
Maps courtesy
All Flights

Travel Highlights:

Favorite Photos:

Friday, December 29, 2017

Funny Airline Magazine Ad

Here's a funny ad I found in United's Hemispheres magazine.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Photo Post

The A319 has great proportions.
Frontier A319 N923FR
Frontier A319 in Denver

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lufthansa Group Goes Spend Based for Mile Earning

More airlines are moving to a revenue based mileage earning model and Lufthansa is just the latest in a long list. I earn Lufthansa miles from partners, Avis and duty free shopping mostly, so I can get discounts on trinkets from the Lufthansa World Shop (3,000 mile minimum to redeem in store). Partner earning isn't impacted, so I'm not worried.
Lufthansa 737-500 Tail

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Free Checked Bags

I'm flying Southwest a lot in 2018 and excited for free checked bags. My wife earned a companion pass, so I fly free too. 
Bags and Me Fly Free

Monday, December 11, 2017

Remember To Earn Points or Cash with Online Shopping

Remember to use airline shopping portals or MrRebates to earn cash or points back with your online shopping.
Cash Back is Better than Spirit Miles

Saturday, December 9, 2017

EI-EIE A320 for Alitalia

Cool registration, better if it ended in O or 0.
Irish Registered Alitalia A320

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Happy Weekend

I hope you are comfortable with your status levels on the year. Don't trust the final days of the year to mileage or mattress run because there''s no margin for disruption.
I Got Star Gold from United Gold in 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Good Lounge

A good view is critical to a good airline lounge experience. The T2 lounge in Madrid has a wonderful view.
Runway and Ramp Activities

Sunday, December 3, 2017

United Polaris 767 Experience

It's funny United is telling me about all the cool stuff (lounge and seat) I won't be experiencing. My flight was over 5 hour late, so I switched to Lufthansa and had a lovely experience. 

Dear Andrew,

Your upcoming travel includes our brand new United PolarisSM experience, which brings a new level of quality to every aspect of premium cabin travel. The transition to United Polaris service represents our largest product transformation in a generation.

Your first United Polaris flight:*
Reservation Number: ABC123
Departure Date: November 28, 2017
From: Madrid  To: New York/Newark

About United Polaris

The United Polaris experience was created to provide travelers with enhanced comfort and relaxation for real sleep in the sky.


Relax on board with services and amenities focused on inflight comfort and restful sleep. Enjoy elevated dining options, custom Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, and more.


Enjoy an exclusive experience and unparalleled pre-flight relaxation. Chicago O'Hare is home to the first United Polaris lounge, with eight other locations opening through 2018.


We've developed new custom-designed, direct-aisle-access business class seats, which will start arriving in the coming months.

We're confident that our new United Polaris service and amenities will truly elevate your travel, and we hope you're excited to take part in such a momentous product launch.

Thank you for choosing United, and we look forward to seeing you on board.
Lufthansa is Still Better

Friday, December 1, 2017

Iberian A340

They like the 4 engine Airbus, cheap to buy and good performance for high altitude fields in Latin America.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

30% Off at the Airbus Shop

Get 30% off for Black Friday (Nov 24-26) at the Airbus Shop. Also save about 19% on VAT if you are shipping outside the EU. 
I'd Bet the A380 is Discounted Year Round

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Functional 727-200 at Guam

You don't see 727's flying much these days, but there's one based in Guam flying cargo around the region for Asia Pacific Airlines.
Boeing 727 for Asia Pacific Airlines

Saturday, November 18, 2017

AA Holiday Bonus Miles

Not as generous as years past, but an easy 500 miles or 5,000 with minimal effort. The catch is that the offer is limited to 10 specific partners. It's worth registering and buying something via the online mall.
I'll Take It

Friday, November 17, 2017

From the Flight Deck is Back

United's From the Flight Deck audio station, channel 9, is back on 777-300's. The station plays the ATC feed from the cockpit. It's really fun to listen to, especially around taxi, take off, and landing. It was part of the United brand standard until they took out in flight entertainment on narrow body aircraft and installed uncomfortable seats on wide body planes

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Guam Airport

While mileage running for status, I found myself with extra time in Guam. It looks close to the water, but isn't. I recommend renting a car if you have a few hours for a layover.

View from United Club at my 737 to Tokyo

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Miserable IHG Value

IHG has really gone down hill since they removed the price caps by brand on award nights. For 30,000 points (enough for a free night or two), they'll pay the $85 Pre Check fee. I don't recommend paying that fee even with money because for an extra $15, you can get PreCheck and Global Entry.
IHG Award Nights Start at 5,000 Points

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Photo Post

The 10 wide coach seating on domestic 777's and 777-300ER's has ruined the onboard experience for me. Way to suck the fun out of flying. Again.
Crowded Back There

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sad Sight - Final United 747 at SFO Landing

The special United 747 farewell flight to Hawaii returned yesterday, empty of passengers and joy. I grabbed a picture at work.
United Airlines N118UA 747-400 Friendship
N118UA coming in to SFO one last time

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

United 747-400 Friendship

I spotted the special 747-400 United is using for farewell flights.
United Airlines 747-400 Friendship Farewell Flight SFO
United 747-400 at SFO - Soon a Thing of the Past

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

United Wants New 767's?

United floated the idea of buying new 767's even though the aircraft is cargo and USAF tanker only now. I feel they this may help them get a deal on A330's or 787's.
I Don't See Many 767's on the West Coast

Sunday, November 5, 2017

United 2549

United Airlines 2549 is a fun flight number with flights like SFO-OAK.
United Airlines 737-900ER Portland
United Airlines 737-900ER

Friday, November 3, 2017

Boeing Store Christmas Sale

The Boeing Store has announced their Christmas sale plans and Nov 13-26 is the ideal time to buy a PacMin model.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Picture Post

I booked the last flights I need for my 2017 status goals. I have a lot of time in coach ahead of me.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Qantas Will Buy You a Passport

Qantas will buy Americans a passport, but not a visa to Australia. 

We’ve heard the majority of Americans don’t own a valid US passport. Since we’re not your typical airline, we’d like to do something about that.

Just book your trip to Australia with Qantas, and we’ll cover the cost of your new passport. That’s $135 off your booking, per person, on all eligible flights. If you have a passport already, no worries, you can still enjoy the discount. Consider it our contribution to your next one.

Book your Australian vacation today with Qantas’ Passport Take-Off.
Qantas A330 VHQPD
Thanks Mate

Friday, October 27, 2017

Free Shipping at the Boeing Store

Use code OCTSHIP at check out for free shipping from the Boeing Store. I'm going to grab a hat or a shirt. Maybe a sticker or two. Maybe more.
Hawaiian Airlines 717 N490HA
Nice Looking 717

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cool United 747 Send Off

I like the idea of United selling 747 mementos for miles. I don't think the value is good though. The panel and window frame already sold out, so I suppose enough people disagree.
United Airlines 747 747-400 at SFO Airport
Farewell Friend
For a better deal on seats, check eBay.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Goodbye United 747-400

United is retiring the 747-422 in early November. I still see a few each day landing at SFO and they look much better than the 777-300ER. They are also more comfortable in coach.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Quit It United

United needs to stop removing moving walkways and making airports homogeneous. Newark was first, now Houston Intercontinental is at it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lovely SFO Arrival

My flight into SFO last night was like a sightseeing trip with an amazing view of San Francisco and Oakland on the way in. We were also 20 minutes early.
Great View on the Left Side

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Picture Post

United won't stop until all padding in coach is removed.
Please Quit It