Kevinoncloud commuting

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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Pictures and Thoughts: An Overview of the Star Alliance Lounge at Heathrow LHR

It occurs to me that I sure do post a lot about lounges… In the case of United, they often suck. Singapore Airlines hooks up the ice cream, and Air Canada provides a great dose of Canadian charm, even when they let people weasel in because Canadians are just too nice :-).

If you're flying a Star Alliance carrier and you're in London Heathrow, you have a couple lounge choices: the BMI lounge and the Star Alliance lounge. I decided to visit the latter.

I got to Heathrow ...

Check Out Donald Trump's Private 757!


I just saw this over on Gadling... I think it's hilarious / awesome that Trump's 757 only seats 43 passengers. He must have installed Economy Plus Plus! :-). Some of the stuff is a bit over the top like 24kt gold plated seatbelts. Of course, Google's got Donald Trump beat with their 767. But even that's not that cool anymore... Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has his own "flying palace," a private Airbus A380. C'mon, Trump... Catch up... 

16 Days in China: Hanging Out in the HKG Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge

Part of my big trip to China included a night in Hong Kong. While I didn't get to see any of the city, I spent the night at the LMC, and then I went to the airport the next day to relax before my flight to Beijing. My stopover was just used as a day to adjust to the timezone before beginning work on Monday.

The Hong Kong Airport really is one of the  nicest airports I have ever been to. Many frequent fliers deem this airport to be their favorite. For me, that would be YVR ...

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Marriott to Open New York City's Tallest Hotel


(Image courtesy of

I originally saw this over at Gadling, but reports that Marriott is set to open the tallest hotel in New York City. When I first read the article, I assumed that Marriott would be building some epic new hotel a la JW Marriott or Marriott Marquis. Instead, this hotel will be a combo Courtyard by Marriott / Residence Inn. Floors 6 - 32 will be designated for ...

A Look at the SWAG

Are you posting at MilePoint? Or are you still a FlyerTalker? In order to incentivize people to post at MilePoint, Randy Petersen has created a "store" where you can earn free things, in exchange for being an original member or becoming a silver member. The two things I've qualifed for are the t-shirt and the luggage tags. Let's take a look...


Woot! Free shipping too!

I think the shirt is really nice. It's a nice color, and it's not obnoxious. ...

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Boeing Rolls Out the ANA 787 - Flights Begin in September!

(Image ripped off from Brad's Blog)

After countless delays, it looks like the 787 might finally arrive. In fact, Boeing just rolled out ANA's 787, ready for delivery next month. All Nippon Airways will take delivery of the plane in September. If you're looking to redeem miles on one of these flights in a premium cabin, I wouldn't get your hopes up.

The interior of the first aircraft includes 264 seats -- ...

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I'm Annoyed with Pricing Engines' Inaccurate Pricing

My favorite tool for finding flights is Kayak. Kayak will perform a search, with pretty specific parameters you give it regarding stopover airport, takeoff time, landing time, etc. I use it to find flights, and then I typically go to BigCrumbs and then onto Expedia to book the flight, that way I get $3.20 from BigCrumbs and Expedia Rewards points from Expedia, all in addition to the typical airline miles I'll earn once I fly.

In any case, Kayak is only useful when it reports prices ...

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Park 'N Fly SFO is a Zoo (Thanks to FastTrack Closing)

I parked at Park 'N Fly SFO last week for my trip to the UK. Driving by FastTrack to get there was somewhat of an odd experience, as that lot had always been completely full. Now it's one big huge empty lot. However, there were maybe fifteen cars on the lot, which I did find humorous. When FastTrack announced they were closing, they mentioned that you had two weeks to get your car out of the lot. I always wondered what would happen to those who had parked ...

Review: Hilton St. Anne's Manor; Verdict: Skip

Every travel year has its ups and downs. I'll just have to add my stay at the Hilton St. Anne's Manor to the list of downs. The disappointing part about the Hilton St. Anne's Manor is that it could be a really classy, unique property, but it will take a bit of renovation to get it to that point. Read on for the full report.

After landing at Heathrow, Blue Diamond Car service (which I must give a shout out to - Zam and the other drivers there are fantastic!) picked me up, and we ...

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Kevin's Photography v. Part 2!


Microsoft's search engine may leave something to be desired, but I love their daily pictures, and thus it remains my homepage. Every now and then, MSFT decides to stick a picture up there that is eerily similar to one I've taken before. I like to compare my photog skills to theirs.

Part 1, at least according to Matthew, was won by Click here to see the comparison of the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades.

Part 2 is below. What say you, commenters? You can click ...

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A Great Trip Across the Pond: 9/25 UA930 SFO-LHR in Business

I was a bit surprised to hear the agent at the Red Carpet Club tell me that I was number one on the list for an upgrade to London. Being on a on a U fare, I was only one higher than W, which is the minimum fare class needed for an SWU. I figured there would be some 1K or GS with a higher fare code on the list. Then again, maybe everyone with a higher fare code already cleared.

In any case, it had been a long day. I worked the better part of a full day in the office, and then I was ...

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Air India's Star Alliance Application Suspended


Today isn't the best day for Air India. USA Today, and many others, are reporting that Air India's application to join the Star Alliance has been halted. It's interesting news. The Star Alliance press release says the following:

The member airlines of the Star Alliance network and Air India have jointly concluded that the integration of Air India into the global airline alliance will be suspended. This is due to the fact that Air India ...

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The Worst International Business Class Seatmate

Seatmates in International Biz matter way less than seatmates in Economy. Generally, you don't share an armrest, and if you do, it's quite large. If the seatmate happens to be obese, at least the wide seats with high walls keep them from pouring over onto you. If said seatmate is stinky, typically the extra room will prevent you from having to smell them the entire flight. In fact, I find United's International Business Class seats so pod-like that it is often easy to forget you're sitting ...

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The Sad State of Food Today at the SFO United International Red Carpet Club

Hungry? I sure am. Let's walk through what you might eat if you were here with me right now at 5:45PM on Monday, July 25, 2011, at the San Francisco International Terminal Red Carpet Club.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Interested in sampling some fine candies? Fear not! United has you covered.

As you can see, one of the United employees has likely robbed a B-rate restaurant, stealing all of their after dinner mints. How thoughtful! There's a ...

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