Kevinoncloud commuting

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.

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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 while I've had a great record with my United Systemwide Upgrades this year, a terrible thing happened: I ran out :-).

Thus, on my most recent trip to Brussels and London, I flew in United ...

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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 benefits. There are no rigid requirements for qualification, but the program is invitation only. The main way to get the invitation is by writing lots of Yelp ...

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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," to say the least, when it comes to hotel rooms, I had another wish: I hoped for the best possible upgrade, as long as it wasn't better than my parents' room :-).

My flight was a couple ...

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Seen on my LHR-LAX Flight Today: A Woman "Jogging" Laps Up and Down the Aisles

I'm not sure what is more ridiculous: the fact that I saw this happening today or the fact that the flight attendants / passengers didn't try to stop her. I awoke from my 3 hour nap in my exit row seat, stood up to wait in the line for the restrooms, and I saw a woman going pretty quickly up the aisle. I thought something might be wrong. Then she hit the galley, turned around, and started jogging down the aisle in the other direction. Then when she hit the ...

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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 planned to use a United systemwide "paper" upgrade converted for use on Lufthansa, but I screwed up, booking a fare code that was ineligible. However, we got extremely ...

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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 onward, all SPG Award stays and nights will count toward elite status qualification. This includes Free Night Awards, Cash & Points

Awards and Awards earned through promotions (e.g., ...

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Marriott Platinum Status After Only 19 Nights

In the past, I've made it a goal to keep top tier status on a single airline and a single hotel chain. Historically, that's been United and Marriott. This year I decided i would go for Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status, in addition to Marriott Platinum, and I got the former a few months ago.

At 75 nights, Marriott Platinum status has the highest amount of required nights of any hotel chain. That has a tendency to scare people off, but there ...

Prague Marriott Tries to Screw Users of Gift Cheques

I've posted about the usefulness of Marriott Gift Cheques before. Marriott Platinum members can get $1000 in $50 increments for 135,000 Marriott Rewards points. It's a great value for hotels that have a high rewards category (i.e. require a large amount of points) but have relatively low paid rates. Good examples would be Caribbean resorts during low season or some Eastern European places.

We decided to use Gift Cheques at the Budapest Marriott and Prague Marriott. In Budapest, it was ...

Tylenol PM + 5 Hour Energy: My Travel Cocktail of Choice


Don't let the title mislead you… I don't actually mix the two, and I don't even take them at the same time. However, If i'm flying across the Pacific or the Atlantic, it is usually for business, and thus it's important to acclimate myself to the timezone as quickly as possible. I have discovered that Tylenol PM and 5 Hour Energy can make my acclimation much quicker!

When it comes to 5 Hour Energy, my strategy is pretty simple. I don't take ...

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Seen on my FRA-SFO Flight: Name the Caption!


First off, apologies on the picture quality. I know it's blurry, but I was trying to take a picture of a sleeping passenger without getting caught :-).

I've got a couple for ya…

"I didn't know Al Bundy was on my flight…"

"I wonder what that guy is dreaming about!"

"Caught! Red HANDED!"

(and yes - his hand was in his pants, not his pockets)

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Review: Sheraton Stockholm Hotel


As part of our euro-trip, my fiancé and I were meeting a cousin of mine in Stockholm before going to a wedding in Switzerland. The three of us had never been to Stockholm (or Scandinavia in general), and we thought it would be fun to check out Stockholm.

There is not a full-service Marriott in Stockholm so that left us to choose between the Hilton and the Sheraton as places where we could burn points for a "free" stay. The Hilton had no availability at the regular ...

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LOVING My Middle Seat Near the Bathroom...


What could I possibly be talking about?

Maybe the back row isn't so bad if it's on the top floor of an A380 in Lufthansa Business Class on a 10+ hour flight from FRA-SFO. It's even better when traveling on a non-upgradable Economy Class fare, and all of a sudden, the gate agent angel forgets to look at your fare class, takes your soon-expiring UA paper SWUs, processes the upgrades for you and your fiancé, and puts you in Business Class five ...

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Engaged! Honeymoon (and Wedding) Planning Begins!

I'm engaged!


Here comes wedding planning, something that I'm assuming will be a less than pleasurable experience. However, one thing that I'm REALLY looking forward to is planning the honeymoon! I've been saving points and miles for so long, always keeping a "mental minimum" for what I thought would be the perfect honeymoon. So… time to figure out some dates and book!

Before I give it away, perhaps you can guess where we're going?

Here are some hints:
- All lodging will be at either Hilton or SPG properties
- We'll be going to three different islands
- Star Alliance flies to the first island, but not the second
- There are no non-stop flights from island 2 to island 3

I'll reveal the destinations in the "near" future, but we're not going to go until October 2012 so I need to wait a bit before I can book the whole thing, and i don't want to give it away until it's booked!

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I Just Boarded an SAS Flight in Stockholm Without Ever Showing ID...

This was shocking, to say the least. We got to the ARN airport at 5AM for our 6:20AM flight. We used a kiosk to print out our boarding passes. We had two checked bags, and we dropped those off. Those did require ID to be dropped off. Then we went through security - boarding passes were checked, but not passports or ID. I was surprised, as we were now near all of the gates. I figured they would check our ID before boarding the flight. I was wrong.

Pretty ubelievable that in 2011 I'm able to board a flight without any sort of identification. Of course, I did need ID to check my bags...

Well done, Stockholm Airport.

Update: @Euan, I was flying to Zurich. Not only did I not have to show ID in Stockholm, I did not have to get my passport stamped or checked in Zurich! No ID check in Stockholm or Zurich...

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ODD: Orbitz Issues Me a Slightly Different Ticket Than I Paid For!

I can file this under "things I've never seen before."

As you might know, I've been really frustrated with online booking sites. They have been showing all sorts of cheap prices, only to actually not have that fare available. I had been looking for a cheap fare for my girlfriend and I to go to Puerto Vallarta to spend a long weekend at the St. Regis Punta Mita.

We already had award tickets to return from Mexico, but we needed one-way SFO-PVR tickets out there. We only wanted ...

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Summary and Commentary: The Fall Hotel Chain Bonuses

Here's what we have so far...

Starwood Preferred Guest: Double points on all stays from September 6th to December 18th. If your stay includes a Sunday or Thursday night, then you'll get triple points instead.

Marriott Rewards: Targeted offer, but if you're a Marriott Elite, you can usually call Marriott Rewards to switch to the promotion of your choice. Runs from September 15 to January 15. Deals We Like sums it up best:

2 stays = 1 free night for a category 1 to 4 ...

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How I Messed Up My Chance of an A380 LH Upgrade (And How You Can Avoid It)

Grrr… This is annoying… and it's 100% my fault. Well, one could say that it's the fault of complicated fare class requirements along with obscure rules for upgrades with a partner airline, but in reality, the rules were there, and I didn't check close enough.

We're off to Europe for a couple weeks, and we're flying on an open-jaw economy revenue ticket, purchased through United Airlines, to get there.

We're starting our trip in Stockholm, and we're flying ...

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The Miller Brewery Tour: Free Fun in Milwaukee!

I love great tourist attractions. At the top of my list are places like Alcatraz and the Taj Mahal. I also like free things. I especially like free parking. And free beer. The tour of the Miller Brewery Tour in Milwaukee includes all of these things! We just wrapped up a family vacation in Wisconsin, and it was an absolute blast! One of the highlights was our tour of the Miller Brewery.

Miller actually merged with Coors in 2007. Thus, I suppose it would be proper to refer to the ...

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