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 ...
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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 ...

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! 


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 ...
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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...
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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...