Are United "Confirmed" Regional Upgrades Worthless?

"Confirmed" upgrades on United used to work. Back in the day, if a cabin was mostly open, I could apply one of my confirmed upgrades and voila. Upgrade confirmed. I don't think I've seen a confirmed upgrade actually upgrade one of my flights in quite some time. I was especially surprised for an ...

Trip Report: Etihad from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi

After flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg and killing our long layover in JNB, it was time to head for Abu Dhabi en route to the Maldives! Our itinerary was CPT-JNB-AUH-MLE, with the last two segments being on Etihad Airlines. I was really excited about the last two flights, as I had never ...

Review: Sheraton on the Park Sydney (Executive Suite)

I’ve had the pleasure of doing business in Sydney a couple times this year, and for my most recent stay, I decided to give the Sheraton on the Park a try. Last time I was in town, I stayed at the Marriott on the Harbor. I selected the Marriott for my first stay based on its proximity to the ...
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Head to Head: Austin's American Admirals Club vs. United Club

I recently found myself in Austin, and a few days before my trip, Brad mentioned that he had an expiring American Airlines Admirals Club pass and wondered if anyone could use it. I said that if he had no other use for it, I'd use it to check out the Admirals Club in Austin. After all, I had never ...

Review: Andaz San Diego

A recent business trip brought me to San Diego, and while I usually stay at the W Gaslamp or the Sheraton in Mission Valley, I figured it was time to start shifting some stays over to Hyatt. I looked online, and I found an Andaz downtown. I had never stayed at an Andaz before, and I was excited to ...

Testing United Wi-Fi on 4 Different Flights: The Results

I have been really excited for United Wi-Fi for a long time. For years, Gogo has slowly crept onto just about every airline out there. Delta even offers it on some regional jets. Gogo, in its current implementation, uses a ground link that relays to a cellular connection. This makes flying over ...

Review: The W Hollywood

Hotel reviews are a funny thing in that you never know when the reviewer just had an abnormally good or bad experience with the hotel. As it pertains to this review of the W Hollywood, you should have no such concern about me. This review is based on countless stays I've had at this hotel over the ...

Cape Town to Johannesburg on British Airways

We had an absolute blast in Cape Town. Interestingly enough, The Points Guy recently visited Cape Town, and he had just as many great things to say about it as we did. However, after all the great times we had, it was time to go to the Maldives! I had booked a ticket with American Airlines miles. ...
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A Day Trip Around South Africa's Cape Point

I love Cape Town. Let me just reiterate that. We had SUCH a fantastic time, and we can't wait to return. A highlight of the trip was our day trip around Cape Point. Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town are on the north end ...

United Airlines Satellite Based Wi-Fi is Finally Here... Sorta.

Announced today on the United Hub, United Airlines has announced that it has introduced satellite based wi-fi on the first of its international wide-body aircraft. It will be very interesting to see how the speeds compare to GoGo based in flight Wi-Fi. GoGo Wi-Fi uses a link to connect to the ...

Avoid TEP Wireless for Your International Hotspot Needs

If you're reading this blog, you probably have some kind of elite status with a hotel chain. Thus, you're likely to get free internet access at the hotel when you're traveling abroad. However, if you want mobile data on the go or if you're staying at a hotel that isn't in one of the chains ...

Cage Diving with Great White Sharks in Gansbaai, South Africa

Our honeymoon brought us to Cape Town, but… it wasn't supposed to! No… we were supposed to be in Egypt, seeing the pyramids, walking in the Valley of the Kings, and touring the Nile River. Unfortunately, circumstances led us to cancel this portion of our trip, and we immediately ...

Review: Hiton Cape Town City Centre

Cape Town was the second on our list of three honeymoon destinations. We started with the island destination of Mauritius, and we ended with the Maldives. Cape Town was sandwiched in between. Surprisingly, Cape Town turned out to be our very favorite place on the whole trip! I will have a sequence ...

2012 Travel Status: Where I Landed

2012 has come to an end. Soon all of our elite qualification meters will be reset to zero, and it will be time to play the game again in 2013. As I reflect on the different status levels I have earned, I can say that it isn't too different from my previous year. Check out my 2011 status ...

Has the TSA Ever Locked Your Suitcase Before?

There's a first time for everything. When my wife and I were unpacking after arriving in Cancun, Mexico, we noticed that her suitcase could not be unpacked... It was locked with a lock we had never seen before.

Very odd... I tried the usual combinations... 0,0,0. 1,2,3. 1,1,1. Nothing. As I started fiddling with this lock, I noticed the bottom of it was marked by TSA.

I mean c'mon... what's the point of that? Locking my suitcase without giving me the combination? What a bunch of pranksters! Anyhow... I had the last laugh... Hotel "engineering" had some bolt cutters that came in handy.


A Quick Look at the Amedee-Maingard Lounge at the Mauritius Airport

While this article is current as of December 2012, Mauritius is currently in the process of building an entirely new international terminal. After having a wonderful stay at the Four Seasons Mauritius, it was time to continue our journey in Cape Town, South Africa!
We arrived to the airport ...
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Is this United's Plan to Exterminate Gate Lice? I Hope So!

In early 2012, a few things happened to make United's boarding process significantly worse for top-level elites.
The red carpet lane, designated for 1Ks, Global Services members, and premium cabin passengers, was done away with. United introduced the Premier Access lane, replacing the red ...

Using BigCrumbs and Expedia to Book Flights

When you fly on a paid ticket, you earn miles. If you pay for that ticket with a rewards earning credit card, you earn points for the purchase as well. Many people assume those to be the only two ways to earn miles on the purchase. It turns out that you can earn an extra set of points by ...

The Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita: The Conclusion

The Grounds, Garden Villa, and Service
The Food
The Conclusion
This post is the third and final in my review of the Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita. If you couldn't tell from the other two posts, we found the overall experience to be fantastic, and this was augmented further by ...

The Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita: The Food

The Grounds, Garden Villa, and Service
The Food
The Conclusion
We had an absolutely wonderful stay at the Four Seasons in Mauritius. We ate like kings. The food at this resort is absolutely fantastic. The food is so good that I thought it was worth an entire post to highlight some ...
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