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 ...
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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 - ...

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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." ...

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Reader Question: Living in Dallas w/ Monthly Trips to L.A.: Which Airline?

I've got a reader question that I wrote a response to, and after writing a long response, I decided it might be appropriate for everyone. Bakersfield Ramin writes...

Hey There!

So I'm in Dallas now, and i fly back to Los Angeles every 2-3 weeks, and I figured that American Airlines flies out a lot from DFW - so I'd use them. I signed up w/ their Citibank card for the miles. ...

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2011 Status Qualifications: Where I Landed

Last night, I took my last flight of the year, and boy was it a doozy. Now with the year in the past, it's time to reflect on milestones I hit in 2011, and what I'm hoping for in 2012.

United Airlines

It was a good year for me on United. I started the year off as a 1K, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to ...

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Delta Airlines OAK-LAX: My Worst Delay Strikes Last in 2011



I'm writing this post on my MacBook Air from the tarmac in Oakland. We're plopped in one of Delta's finest CRJ200 regional jets. That's sarcasm, if you couldn't tell.

If your first reaction is, "Delta flies from Oakland to Los Angeles??" you're in good company. I had no idea until I booked it. We're flying down to LA for the long weekend, and ...

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Great Award Availability Next Summer on a Hot Route: Maldives (MLE) to Singapore (SIN)


I'm using Etihad Airways to get to the Maldives next fall, but if your bucket of miles are with a Star Alliance carrier, your only option for flying directly out of the Maldives (MLE) is Singapore Airlines to Singapore. Singapore runs two daily flights:

SQ461, MLE-SIN, departs at 3:00PM, lands at 10:50PM SQ451, MLE-SIN, departs at 11:25PM, lands at 7:15AM

So basically you can ...

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My 2011 Quick Travel Videos

When I'm traveling, I take pictures of everything. Every now and then, I see something so neat that I decide to film it. And every now and then, I like what I filmed so much that I edit it and stick it on YouTube.

When I was in Shanghai, I thought it was pretty cool that I got a ride in the cart to the Air China Star Alliance lounge:

On that ...

SPG First Quarter Promo: 2x and 3x Points, Discourages Hotel Hopping

It looks like SPG just announced their newest promotion. The Points Guy writes a fairly long summary here, but here's the basic gist:

Two night stays earn double points. Stays of three nights or longer earn triple points.

This is an interesting promo for a couple reasons. First, it's kinda similar to the last promo. The primary difference is that the last promo gave you an extra ...

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Two United Airlines Gate Agent Pet Peeves of Mine


I have a few pet peeves of United Airlines Gate Agents, and coincidentally, I'm bumping into two of these this morning. Granted, I think many of these irks are characteristics of ALL gate agents, regardless of airline, but I have the most experience with United. Here are the following that I'm hitting today:

Telling Everyone that the Flight is Going ...
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Trip Report: Long Weekend at the St. Regis Punta Mita

Thank you, SPG Getaway Free Promotion. This promo let my fiancé and I enjoy a long weekend at the St. Regis Punta Mita. I actually think the promotion enabled MANY people to use their free nights there. Brad used his free nights there, the guy who shared a cab with us to the airport used his there, and judging from the threads on Flyertalk, many many ...

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End of Year Goodie: United Airlines Starts Bumping Up Status of Some Fliers


My fiancé has been carefully plotting her 2011 path to Premier, with her plan being to get over 25,000 EQMs about a week before the end of December. She didn't realize how close she was on segments, and apparently if you're a half segment short of Premier, there's a good chance that United will give you an early status bump. That's what happened to her.


Take a look at the screenshot. She's 0.5 segments short of the 30 segments required for Premier Status, and she's already listed as a Premier member.

For those on the edge, though, I wouldn't recommend praying for a bump in status from United. Typically you have to be REALLY close for them to grant you mercy, and even then, it's not guaranteed.

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KLM Wants You to Find a Seatmate with Facebook / LinkedIn


I was watching CNN tonight, and I saw a story that was so ridiculous, I wasn't sure if it was true. I Google'd it, and yup, it's true: Finding a seatmate through Facebook.

Details are scant, but the idea is for travelers to look at people with similar interests and then book a seat. But don't worry if you don't want anyone snooping on your ...

United Flight Attendant Makes Me…. an iPhone Stand?

iphone stand

I was getting some work done this morning on UA 517 from Atlanta to Chicago, and I had things organized on my tray table quite nicely. I had my 11" MacBook Air on the left, where I was working. On the right, I had my iPhone propped up against my Diet Coke can so I could watch some video podcasts while getting work done.

As I was working, the flight ...

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"We have an excellent room for you, Mr. Hanson... It's a 'pure' room."


I checked into the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead a couple hours ago, and upon checking in, the Front Desk Agent said to me, "We have an excellent room for you, Mr. Hanson" - now usually at this point, as elites, our ears perk up. We envision suites or large corner rooms or something like that, but then she continued, "It's a 'pure' room." She then went on to say ...

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