Kevin cloud commuting

16 Days in China: Vancouver to Hong Kong in Air Canada's Executive First Suite

While I have been flying over 100,000 miles a year on United for at least four years, it wasn't until last year that I had some trips abroad where I could use those systemwide upgrades. I had a trip to India / Thailand, and I went to China once. I was upgraded on three of the four legs, and I became quite fond of United's International Business Class ...

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16 Days in China: The Vancouver International Maple Leaf Lounge

After an enjoyable trip from San Francisco to Vancouver, I had a few hours before heading off to Hong Kong. I went over to the International Maple Leaf Lounge to relax and get some work done. The woman who let me in was very friendly, and she took a look at my boarding pass, looked up my flight information, wrote the departure gate on the pass, and told me ...

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Expedia to Spin Off TripAdvisor as a Public Company in Q3 2011

I saw this on TechCrunch a couple days ago. Pending approval by the board of directors, TripAdvisor will be its own company soon. I was surprised by this for a multitude of reasons:

Am I the only person that didn't know Expedia owned Tripadvisor in the first place? Why hasn't Expedia tried to sell me more stuff on Tripadvisor? They ...
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16 Days in China: SFO-YVR in Air Canada Executive Class

I wasn't originally going to write a post about this first, short leg of my trip, but I was so impressed with the segment that I decided otherwise. I flew from San Francisco to Vancouver in Air Canada's Executive Class on an EMB190. I was in seat 3F, and I was quite impressed with the seats. The EMB190 is, for all intents and purposes, a regional jet. Air Canada really does a great job of ...

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United Promotion(s) for Bonus Miles

I saw on Flyertalk yesterday that United was sending out targeted promotions for bonus miles. I did not receive one of the e-mails. Here is what it says:

Move business forward. Fly with United.
Whether you fly on United®, United Express®, Continental® or Continental Express®, our expanded network offers you even more ...

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Our Day Trip to the Taj Mahal

Gosh... This post sure is overdue. It has been almost a year since my visit to the Taj Mahal and my epic trip to India / Thailand, and I can't believe I haven't taken the time to post about the experience earlier! The Taj Mahal is a tough place to visit. Getting to India is often difficult enough for Americans, but then once you're in India, Agra is not ...

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16 Days in China: The Itinerary

Next Friday, I'm off to China for sixteen days! I'm quite excited about the trip. I have two weeks of business in Beijing, but I have tried to add a bit of "me time" to the trip as well. I'm leaving on the 8th via Air Canada for Hong Kong. And thanks to a friend of mine, that will be in Air Canada's Executive First cabin. I'm quite excited about that, to be ...

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We Will Earn Miles on Flights Booked with Expedia Rewards

Yesterday I wrote about how redeeming flights on Expedia rewards works. I speculated that I didn't think it was possible for Expedia to have worked out an agreement with every air carrier, and I also noted that it was interesting that the "price" in points for flights was exactly 100x the price in dollars for the same flight on their site. It led me to wonder whether an Expedia ...

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Redeeming Expedia Points for Flights: Here's How it Works!

In the past couple weeks, I've posted a couple times about Expedia Rewards. I won't rehash everything here, but now you can book flights with Expedia Rewards points. I made a few sample bookings today, and it didn't take me long to figure out exactly how it works. Want to head to the Maldives for a weekend and not pay for it? Me too. I tried to use ...

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No More Foreign Transaction Fees on Marriott Rewards Premier VISA

marriott Rewards Premier Card no transaction fees

Timing certainly is a funny thing. I spent a few days in Canada last week, and I charged items to both my Marriott Rewards Premier VISA card as well as my Starwood Amex. Charges posted to both accounts, and I took a look at the activity online. At first, neither had international transaction fees. Then after a day or two, the Amex card's fees popped up. ...

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Now You Can Redeem Expedia Points!

Just over a week ago, I asked if you were earning Expedia rewards. Expedia announced their own rewards program a few months back, and it allows you to earn one point per dollar spent on travel at Expedia, with a few exceptions. Most hotel stays booked on Expedia do not earn points at their respective chains, but nearly all of the airline tickets do. Thus, ...

China for Business, Europe for Pleasure: Woohoo!

I'm currently in the process of booking a business trip to China, and I'm going to do my best to have some fun while I'm out there. Also, my cousin is getting married this Fall, and I'll be off to Switzerland for the wedding. We will also spend some time in Stockholm, Budapest, and Prague! Stay tuned for the details. I'll let you know when it's all booked! As always, I'm doing my best to keep costs down, keep mileage earning up, and see if I can't get some premium cabin action in there as well.

Fancy Sking a Glacier? My Trip Report of Whistler Blackcomb

I just finished up a pretty ridiculous week of travel and work. For the most part, it was not very pleasurable. However, I was fortunate to be able to tie a bit of skiing into my business trip to Vancouver, and I decided to head up to Whistler, British Columbia. Ever since being a kid and reading Ski Magazine, I have always wanted ...

Ignite: Hacking Frequent Flier Programs

I saw this post initially on LifeHacker. So out of curiosity, I clicked the link. To be honest, there's a lot of misinformation in there. I'm sure readers here will find plenty of things to pick apart... I started writing a list of bullet points of things that were incorrect in that video, but I'll just let the hippie talk for himself. Now on the flipside, I guess it is a pretty decent five minute summary of all the tricks of the trade. Here's the source post. Thoughts? Video is embedded below the break!

My First Experience with the Newly Renovated 757 on United

Considering how much I fly, I'm surprised it took me this long, but I just had my first experience on one of United's newly re-configured 757s. Seatguru doesn't even have the new configuration loaded yet. I was sitting in 15A in Economy+. Here are some thoughts / pics regarding the new configuration (click the pictures for larger versions).

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Trip Report: Telluride (and my first Mileage Plus Hotel Redemption)

After a fantastic time in Aspen, it was off to Telluride! I mean c'mon... Tim McGraw has a classic song about the place that practically makes you want to sell everything and move there so it must be an amazing place! Read on for the report.

Getting from Aspen to Telluride is actually not the easiest thing in the world. While both Aspen and ...

The Continental Domestic First Class Blankets Are More Like Sheets...

I've found the United / Continental merger to have more positives than negatives, thus far, but I really hope they re-think their "blanket strategy." The blankets United gives in Economy are better than the blankets Continental is providing in first class. I slept alright on the redeye from SEA-EWR, but I could have used a better blanket! Just sayin....

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Delta: "Fly 125,000 miles this year, and we'll give you 100,000 more!"

If you've had status on Delta once before, you may have received this offer. Basically if you fly 125,000 miles this year, they'll give you 100,000 more. That's a pretty sweet deal, with a couple caveats.

  • Caveat One: Delta miles are relatively useless.
  • Caveat Two: If you're an elite member of another airline, you're likely already getting a 100% mileage bonus. Moving over to Delta, you wouldn't get that bonus until you hit 50,000 miles.

So yeah. It's cool, but I don't expect any other carriers will match that. Interested?

Update: The post initially said that you had to fly 100,00 miles. Commenter Microwave let me know that Diamond Medallion is actually 125,000 miles.

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Cheap Travel Companion: Dual-Core Android Tablet On Sale Today

Today only, is selling the Viewsonic G-Tablet for only $284, after shipping. If you don't already own an iPad, but you would like to dip your toe in the tablet waters, like myself, this is a great buy! You can find cheaper Android tablets out there, but this one is a top of the line performer with a dual-core nVidia Tegra chipset. The one hiccup ...