Kevinoncloud commuting

So... Are You Earning Expedia Rewards?

A couple months ago, Expedia announced their own rewards program. Programs like Starwood won't grant points for stays booked through Expedia, but for airlines, you'll still get your points. Thus, I've decided to start using Expedia to book all of my air travel. You get one point per dollar. There are some interesting quirks to the program. For example, we have no idea what we can redeem with our points. They're supposed to announce that in April. Also, I've noticed that after I book a ...

Today's the Big Day: Will the iPad 2 Be Your Next Travel Gadget?

The New Yorkers and Bostonians already have theirs... and in about 25 minutes, doors will open here in California for the mobs to go and get their iPads. Will it be your next travel gadget? For myself, I'm still undecided. On business trips, which make the bulk of my travel, there's no way it can replace my laptop. But for vacations, could it? I'm not convinced. There's nothing worse than sitting in Economy (even E+) and having the guy in front of me ...

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Lifetime Red Carpet Club Membership: Now is Your Chance!

Do you have a membership at the club away from the hubbub (yes... that was actually UA's marketing line for a some time)? If you're a member of the Red Carpet Club, and plan to be for the rest of your life, you can buy a lifetime membership again for a limited time. United did away with their lifetime memberships many years ago, but Continental has kept their President's Club memberships alive. The prices are listed here and pasted below.

Once the ...

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Marriott's Autograph Collection Expands to Spain/Europe

Today Marriott announced that it will be expanding its presence in Spain via the Autograph Collection. The Autograph Collection is a line of boutique or independent hotels that Marriott partners with to bring into their reservations system, started last year. The benefit is that Marriott Rewards members now have even more places to earn and redeem. Furthermore, Marriotts can be on the bland side, and the Autograph collection nicely spices up their ...

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My Beef with Last Minute Tickets

I'm working in NY this week, and I was looking forward to both of my flights. SFO-JFK round-trip in P.S. - upgrades cleared in advance. Nice. Everything was set to be a pleasant experience. On Friday, I found out that I actually had a meeting on Thursday, instead of my last meeting being on Wednesday. So I called United and changed the ticket.

Price of the one-way ticket from JFK-SFO: $274.70 After change fee, amount ...
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United Express in the New Livery

I apologize if this is old news, but while I have seen the proliferation of new United paint jobs over the past few months, I have not seen any of the United Express planes in their new dressing until today. Today I actually saw four of them! Leaving Salt Lake City, I saw one parked at a gate. Then landing in Denver, I saw three of them right next to each other! I thought they looked quite pretty, to be honest. While I'll miss the tulip, this new, classy, ...

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Trip Report: Aspen, Colorado

We just finished up four amazing days in Aspen. Read on for the full trip report!

We arrived on Sunday on the United non-stop SFO-ASE flight. That flight may just be a regional jet, but wow it sure is convenient to be able to fly non-stop from home to Aspen, Colorado. It takes so much hassle out of the entire experience. The flight was very smooth, and landing in Aspen is quite beautiful. The snow was falling pretty heavily when we got there, and ...

For the Best Views While Skiing: Heavenly Lake Tahoe

While I don't love the mountain layout, the not-as-good-as-Colorado/Utah snow, or the long lift lines, the view really cannot be beaten at Heavenly Lake Tahoe. If you're going to Lake Tahoe for the first time, do yourself a favor and check this place out! Click "Read More" for more pictures. Click any of the pictures to get a full-size view!

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US Airways Denies Me the Open Window Seat, Gives Me First Class

Today I flew to SLC via PHX from SFO on US Airways. I had a window seat from SFO-PHX, but I was in the middle from PHX-SLC. I tried to check-in last night and change my middle seat, but while there were at least 5 window seats, US Airways wanted at least $22 for one of these "choice seats." A choice seat is just like any other economy seat, just usually a bit closer to the front, but there isn't any extra legroom. I decided to try my luck at the ...

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Taking Off at Telluride Airport (TEX)

I just finished an amazing week at Aspen and Telluride. I'll make sure to get a trip report up in the near future, but I thought it best to start with the last part of the trip, leaving Telluride. This airport is unique for a multitude of reasons. First off, at 9078 feet above sea level, it's the highest commercial airport in North America. Even cooler, as soon as your wheels lift off the ground, you fly off a cliff. Seriously. Check the video. See that ...

Aspen and Telluride Next Week!

The trip starts with a non-stop SFO-ASE on United. We'll do a day of snowmobiling and two days of snowboarding, coming home in the afternoon to the St. Regis hotel. We'll then spend a day driving down to Telluride, where we'll be staying at the Peaks Resort and Spa, which is actually the first time I've ver used United miles to book a hotel! After three nights there, we're flying home on US Airways TEX-PHX-SFO. I'll be sure to post a trip report when it's all done!

Ever Seen a Plane this Empty? Thai Airways BKK-KBV

I typically mean to post trip reports immediately after a trip. Then there are those times that I wait eight months to do it. Now would be one of the latter times . Today is January 31, 2011. This flight was on April 24, 2010. Eight months late is still better than never! Click after the break to see pictures of just how empty this flight was!

This flight was part of the best vacation I have ever had, and it was just a short hop down to ...

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Bing.com Daily Picture - For Once I've Actually Been there!

So who is a better photographer? Me or Bing.com? Today (January 29, 2011) Bing.com has a great shot of the Anhinga Trail in the everglades. Let me reiterate: If you have not been on the Anhinga Trail, do yourself a favor and go next time you're in the Miami area. It's pretty breathtaking. [Sigh...] I think whoever took the pic for Bing.com got a better pic than I did. Here are the two for comparison.

Bing.com:

Me:

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Main Cabin Select: Cross Country with Virgin America

Virgin America doesn't get too much airtime on frequent flier messageboards, podcasts, blogs, etc. It's likely due to their mediocre frequent flier program, lack of any status, and lack of routes around the country / world. I've only flown Virgin American (VX) from LAX-SFO and back before. Yesterday, my work life informed me that I needed to go to New York today with about 18 hour notice. I had phone calls early in the morning, and I had an early meeting ...

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Another UPGRD Podcast, Another Day Marriott Rewards Gets Ragged On....

In the most recent UPGRD podcast, Marriott Rewards once again gets called out for being one of the "worst" programs out there! Is it the best? Nope. Can you get some great value out of it? Yup. I don't feel like writing a super long post, but I'd like to tackle a couple points.

"OMG it takes 75 nights to get platinum! That's like 25 more than SPG, and the benefits aren't even very good!" Marriott gives you so many ways to earn nights, without actually ...
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Do You Have a "Jailbroken" iPhone? Here's a Quick Tip!

I know this post will only apply to my fellow geeks out there in travel land, but I use it enough that it's worth sharing. iPhone jailbreaking is the process of hacking your iPhone so that you can run unofficial code on it, allowing you to load a multitude of unofficial applications, tweaks, and generally anything you can't get from the App Store. You can get more information about how to do it here. Yes, it's totally legal.

There's a ...

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Using Marriott Gift Cheques for Paid Stays Instead of Using Points

If you're a Platinum Marriott Rewards member, you're able to spend 135,000 points to get $1000 of gift cheques (in $50 increments). These cheques can be used to pay your hotel bill at any Marriott owned property. The primary catch is that you can only use them to pay for publicly available rates (i.e. no corporate or AAA rates). On the UPGRD podcast a few months back, I mentioned how I like using these gift cheques to pay for paid stays at resorts, rather than using points. ...

Thanks for a Great 2010

It has been another great travel year for me. I've finished the year up with over 150,000 miles on United and about 20,000 or so on Alaska. Thanks to both airlines for treating me so well this year and making my travel life easier on me. United, especially, has done a great job this year. Not only have most of my upgrades cleared, but all of the "enhancements" they announced this year actually WERE enhancements. I can only think of two or three really bad delays or cancellations ...