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Exploring the Value of the British Airways "Travel Together Ticket"

The frequent flier world has been abuzz recently with the announcement of another 100,000 British Airways points sign-up bonus credit card. Many people, including myself, decided to pick this card up. This card requires $20K of spend in order to get the full 100,000 point bonus. One of the less reported on perks is the "travel together ticket" (essentially a companion pass for a single award ticket) after $30K of spend. Normally, I wouldn't say this is even close to worth it, but if I'm ...

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The Tank @ The Golden Nugget Las Vegas: Shark Tank / Swimming Pool Combo

Work has brought me to Las Vegas this week, and my fiancé and I decided to make a fun weekend out of it. We came to Vegas on Friday. I'm currently staying at the Westin Casuarina (she has since departed), but on Friday night we stayed at the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. "Why on earth would we stay there?" you might ask..

Well, a few years back, The Golden Nugget installed a shark tank, and they put it right smack ...

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St. Regis Mauritius Opens on September 15, 2012 - Category 6 - Bookable Now



Our October honeymoon begins in Mauritius, and we were really hoping to be able to book at the brand new St. Regis Mauritius. Thankfully, now we can! The St. Regis Mauritius has had its fair share of delays. The opening has been pushed back multiple times, but it looks like this time it's for real, as the booking system is already open.

There are a bunch of great properties to redeem points at on the island of Mauritius. In Starwood land, ...

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New South Park Rips on the TSA Pretty Hard - HILARIOUS

South Park is back with its 16th season, and I couldn't be happier. I've been watching since Season 1, and it's actually the only TV show I watch regularly (although I do love Modern Family as well). Episode 1 of this season took a particularly hard stab at the TSA, and it was absolutely HILARIOUS. I won't give too much away. I'll just say that the episode is definitely NOT good for kids, as if you expected otherwise.... and TSA = Toilet Safety ...

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Booking My Ultimate Honeymoon with Points: Intro



Flights from San Francisco to Mauritius

Lodging in Mauritius

Flights from Mauritius to Luxor

Egypt Lodging

Flights to Cairo to the Maldives

Maldives Lodging

Flights from the Maldives back to San Francisco

I think the "ultimate free honeymoon" is something that many young business travelers aspire to attain. Maybe they're consultants or maybe they work in sales, but either way, they spend a lot of time in airplanes ...

A night at the Hotel Icon in Houston, Texas

I'm always hesitant to give a full review of a hotel after just a one night stay. So while this won't be a review per se, I'll share my experience at the Hotel Icon in downtown Houston, which I thought was a fantastic hotel that I'd look forward to staying at again. The Hotel Icon is part of Marriott's Autograph Collection. The Autograph Collection is a group of boutique hotels that are either historic or unique in some sort of nature. Before the Hotel Icon, my only other Autograph Collection ...

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United Airlines Merged IT System: Issues Still Exist

March 3rd was the big day when United and Continental merged their IT systems. It came and went without a hitch for most.

At first, I thought all was good for me. My EQMs PQMs got transferred over. My lifetime mileage balance was the same, and all of my itineraries were merged. Then as my travel resumed and I began my normal day to day activity, I realized that things were not so unified.

My first hint was my trip to the Red Carpet Club United Club. I got there and gave them ...

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Don't Forget That Old Mileage Plus Number Quite Yet...

I walked into the SFO United Club today, and as usual, I gave them my boarding pass to scan for my membership. Usually this is a two second process, but the agent asked me if I was a member. I said that I was, and she said she needed my Mileage Plus number. I did my best to try and remember my new number, but she stopped me and said, "No... the old one..." I remembered that one.

After I sat down, I logged into the T-Mobile WiFi. Once again, I tried my new number. No go. I tried the old one. Success.

I'm sure there will be similar cases of this over the next couple weeks. It looks like it's not quite time to un-remember that old Mileage Plus number yet! 

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W Hotel Austin Texas Review ~ Corner Suite

We just finished up a long weekend at the W Hotel in Austin, Texas, and we really had a great stay there. This stay was actually a combination of a paid stay for business and a points stay for pleasure. Luckily, we didn't have to change rooms when the stays switched over.

The hotel is situated in the heart of Downtown Austin, not far from most of the office buildings, a plethora of great restaurants, and the Sixth Street Nightlife. It's only a ...

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Analysis of 3/1/2012 Starwood Hotel Category Changes

Thanks to Ben, I noticed that Starwood had posted their annual set of category changes. Starwood, like most hotel chains, assigns a category to each hotel, and this category is roughly designed to reflect the prestige / cost / location of the property. For example, as New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world, the aloft Harlem there is a category 3 category 5 hotel, but while Le Meridiens are typically nice, because Thailand is relatively inexpensive, the Le Meridien Chiang ...

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The Continental Calzone: United Airlines Phoenix to Houston

I don't typically blog about my boring business travel. Every now and then there's something surprising like an emotional support dog or WiFi on a United filght, but today I just felt that not only was the service really great on the United (Continental) flight from Phoenix to Houston, but the food was also great as well. Combine that with the fact that the Continental 737-900 is my favorite domestic plane in the post-merger fleet. That makes for a bloggable flight.

It's been a long ...

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Fun Travel Story: Stumbling on the Grammy Award Maker's Shop

Yesterday, we had the Grammies. My fiance and I plopped down in front of the TV and watched a bunch of people Adele win cool golden record player awards. We couldn't help but reminisce back to the time when we accidentally stumbled upon the grammy maker's shop almost exactly a year ago and got a private tour!

We were on a skip trip to Aspen and Telluride, and we had a day dedicated to driving from Aspen to Telluride. Even though it would only be ...

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Reminder: United Airlines / Foursquare Promotion Still Live - Keep Checking In!

Just a reminder... once you've linked your Foursquare account with United Mileage Plus, make sure to keep checking into airports! I blogged about the promotion initially here.

Once your Foursquare account is all set up, just check into the airport when you're there. Or, if you're like me, you can check into SFO every day when you pass it as part of your commute! United never really said when the promotion would expire, and I thought they would yank it after a month or so. But here we are, two months later, and the promotion is still live. The miles take 6 - 8 weeks to post, but they are finally coming in.

50 miles isn't much, but when you've checked in over 40+ times, that adds up :-). And I'm still going...

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0 for 4: ROUGH Week with Upgrades on United Airlines!


Ouch! I haven't had this many consecutive upgrade-less flights since before I was a 1K with United four or five years ago.


Tuesday, Jan 31 - UA 252 SFO-DEN, A320

No Upgrade


Thursday, Feb 2 - UA 1663 (CO Operated) DEN-IAH, 737-800

No Upgrade


Thursday, Feb 2 - UA 1171 (CO Operated) IAH-DCA, 737-700

No Upgrade


Friday, Feb 3 - UA 915 IAD-SFO, ...

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United Airlines Boarding Process Creates More Gate Lice: Premier Golds


First, let's define gate lice, according to Urban Dictionary…

Passenger, often inexperienced flyers in Kettle Class, who crowd around or line up at a gate at an airport completely blocking the boarding area and preventing First and Business Class passengers from being able to get on the plane when they're allowed to. They can also cause delays and confusion if a passenger in a wheelchair needs to board as the chair has to plow through the mass of gate lice hovering around the ...
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When Free Hotel Internet Sucks


I'm so sick of hotel internet. Why does it have to consistently suck? Sure…. there are exceptions. The W in Seattle had pretty fast internet last week, and i can think of a couple other properties that have had decent internet speeds, but by and large, hotel internet is awfully slow. To think that some people actually have to PAY for those speeds is absolutely ridiculous. Internet was so slow a couple nights ago at the Courtyard Boulder Louisville that I decided to run a head to ...

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Hilton Honors Responds to SPG: Enhancements for Elites


Starwood rolled a bunch of great updates for Platinum Members this week. I won't re-hash them all. You can read about the changes here and here. And if you want to read Gary's thoughts, go here. My thoughts will come in a future blog post.

Today, Hilton responded. Previously, Elite members would have to choose between a list of benefits. As of today, Diamond Members get them all. Check here to see the list of benefits on Hilton's ...

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This is My "Emotional Support Dog"


So I'm checking into the my flight at the United Premier section of SFO, and things are going just fine. I notice a man with a dog to the right of me. I take notice because it doesn't look like a seeing eye dog, and it doesn't have any sort of "clothing" on to identify itself as a special dog. It looks like this guy just brought his pet in here. Whatever - this is San Francisco. I turn back toward the counter and stop caring. Then I hear the ...

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United Airlines Should Fix the Last Minute / High Revenue Ticket Seating Situation


Okay... I've blogged about this before, but now as I check in for my flight to Denver, it is irking me again. Check out the seatmap.

I've got a window seat, and Denver isn't really that far away. That being said, as a guy who flies over 100,000 miles per year on United, I think I *deserve* a better seat. Yup. That's right. I used the word, "deserve." I hate when people use that word when it comes to travel, especially as they're typically lobbying ...

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