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 ...

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 ...

United Flight Attendant Makes Me…. an 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 ...

"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 ...

Review: Budapest Marriott

Let me spoil this for you right away. The Marriott in Budapest is one of the nicest Marriotts I have ever stayed at. This is a fantastic property that made our stay in Budapest extra special.

The Budapest Marriott is situated on the Pest side of Budapest. Pest is on flat terrain while ...

Booking Award Flights for an Ultimate Honeymoon: Part 1

I posted about my honeymoon a while ago, and I had people guess which islands we were planning to visit. None of the guesses were actually that close. The initial honeymoon plan was to go to Mauritius, Seychelles, and the Maldives. Those plans have changed a bit since the initial "imagination ...

Air Canada's Aeroplan Announces Transfer Bonuses: 20 - 25%

Just landed in my inbox... Air Canada's Aeroplan just announced a transfer bonus that is live for less than a month. From today, November 21, 2011 until December 12, 2011, Aeroplan members can get bonuses of 20% to 25% on points transferred into their program's miles. Here are the ...

A Quick Look At the Czech Airlines Lounge in Prague

We finished our euro-trip in Prague, and while we had a 6AM flight to Frankfurt (followed by an A380 trip to SFO in business class - woot!), we made time to quickly stop in the Czech Airlines Lounge.
I'll spoil the surprise and tell you that this lounge was nothing amazing, but the thing I ...

Expedia Rewards Just Got Way Less Valuable

Well, this bummed me out. Not only is Expedia going to change their rewards chart (likely for the worse), we will now be earning points at 50% the rate we were earning before.
Here are some "highlights" from the e-mail:
All vacation package bookings will now earn double points (2 ...

Check this Relic Out: My Dad's Eastern Airlines Frequent Flier Card

I thought this was worthy of a post. My dad, who is already a Million Miler with United (and also Delta), started digging through his old frequent flier cards a few weeks ago, scrounging for a Continental card, so he could possibly merge his lifetime Continental miles with United as of the first of the year. Anyhow, we found his old Eastern / Continental Airlines card. What a relic! It was on a flimsy piece of paper, rather than on the plastic that "modern" frequent flier cards are on.


Chicago to Brussels & London Heathrow to Los Angeles in United Economy Plus

The life of a frequent business traveler isn't always glamorous. In fact, despite what family members and friends might think, it's usually NOT. Dealing with time changes, giving presentations, having to go out to dinner, not being able to see friends, etc - okay - I'm getting off topic here, but ...

A NEW Kind of Elite Status for Me! YELP ELITE!

Mike might be a Yelp h8er, but i'm a Yelp l0ver. There have been a few "firsts" for me in 2011 like SPG Platinum Status and being a half million miler with United, but I'm proud to now have a new status: Yelp Elite!
Yelp status is a bit elusive both in terms of qualification as well as ...
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Have You Ever had a Better Hotel Room Balcony?

My dad and I both had reservations at the Marriott Budapest, and we are both Marriott Platinum members (he's actually a lifetime platinum member). It's a funny thing to be traveling with my parents… Normally I always hope for the best possible upgrade, but with my mother being a bit "picky," ...

Frankfurt to San Francisco in Lufthansa's A380 Business Class

The grand finale of our two week trip to Europe included a trip on Lufthansa's A380 from FRA back to SFO. My fiancé and I were super excited for this last part, as neither of us had ever flown on a A380, and we were keen to experience a flight on the biggest commercial plane ever! I ...

Yawn: Starwood Preferred Guest Award Stays Now Count Toward Elite Status

Announced on Gary Leff's blog a bit earlier, it appears that SPG will now be crediting award stays toward elite qualification. The leaked internal e-mail reads as follows:
SPG® is excited to announce the launch of a new benefit that affects all SPG members. Starting October 1, 2011, and ...