Ritz-Carlton to Build First "Reserve" Property in the US (Puerto Rico)

(Image courtesy of PR Newsire)
It looks like Ritz-Carlton is going to be expanding their "Reserve" line of properties with an addition on Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico. According to a manager at the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, The Reserve line is designed to be a complete luxury resort ...
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SPG Award for Earning Platinum: $25 or a Magazine Subscription

I think the sentence, "It's better than a sharp stick in the eye!" applies here. I qualified for SPG Platinum status about a month ago. This was the first time I had ever achieved this status level with Starwood. This morning I got an e-mail from Starwood congratulating me on my newly earned ...

So You Think US Airways Sucks? Perhaps You Want a Free Bumper Sticker?

(Picture courtesy of USAirSucks.ORG)
Now this is just hilarious. Tracy Reed, owner and maintainer of usairsucks.org, is giving away free bumper stickers to anybody who wants one. Well, the stickers are a bit self promoting, pointing you right back to his site, but it's still hilarious ...

FastTrack Parking at SFO Loses Lease, Shuts Down

Well, this is annoying. You can definitely file this one under "things I wasn't expecting to hear on Monday morning." It turns out that FastTrack SFO, my airport parking lot of choice, has closed its doors. They sent the following in an e-mail:
Attention: Bay Area ...

Alcatraz: San Francisco's Best Tourist Attraction

The question comes up all the time: "If you only had one day in city XXX, what would you do?" It's never an easy answer, and unless you're in Barstow, CA, you usually need more than one or two days to fully experience a city. But when it comes to San Francisco, my home town, my answer to that ...

Will You Be in L.A. this Weekend for Carmageddon?

Have you heard the news? Ten miles of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles will be shut down this weekend. Many sites are doing count-downs. The ten miles of freeway that will be shut down are considered by many to be the most busy freeway sections in the world. Growing up in L.A., I would tend to ...
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Delta Sky Zone: A Lounge for the Kids!

Yesterday, Delta unveiled a new lounge for kids, the Delta Sky Zone. It's basically a kids-only lounge with XBOX 360s, televisions, educational materials, and more. I'm a bit jealous of those kids! I wish our big-boy and big-girl lounges had XBOX 360s in them. Growing up with my father ...

16 Days in China: Coming Home in Air Canada's Executive First Class Suite

To culminate my long, wonderful journey to China, I flew home on Air Canada PEK-YVR-SFO. This was part of an open-jaw itinerary that included my outbound flight to Hong Kong. While the outbound upgrade was confirmable at booking time, I definitely had to sweat it out for the return home. Part ...

Finding a Better Award Seat: It Pays to Keep Checking

I'm off to Europe this September for a couple weeks. I'll post the full details of the trip later, but I just finished booking a significantly better award ticket than the one I had before, and I thought it was worth a post. My girlfriend and I are actually flying to and from Europe on paid tickets, ...

The Pee Pad at the JFK Red Carpet Club Really Grosses Me Out

Sure... males have been known to miss the urinal from time to time. We're all guilty of that one. How does such a problem get solved? Someone comes in and mops the bathroom. At the JFK Red Carpet Club, they have a different solution. There is a cylindrical padding that is pushed against the wall, designed to absorb urine. If this is not the intent of padding, then it is surely what actually happens. This padding often has stains on it, and it grosses me out to think that someone is supposed to theoretically swap this out for a new one regularly. I have always found one of the perks of a lounge to be nicer bathrooms, but the JFK RCC pee pad really detracts from the niceness of that one. United, can we please get rid of that thing?


A Nice Weekend at the Westin Mission Hills Villas

My girlfriend and I had to do two nights (Thurs - Sat) in Vegas for an obligation, and we wanted to extend the weekend, but given how much we both love the craps tables, we figured it best to leave Nevada in order to preserve our wallets. We wanted to find a spot with a great pool and easy access to ...

Woot! SFO Gets Another A380!

I have been out of town for about three weeks so I haven't had time to notice any changes at my local airport. However, this morning after I landed, and while I waited for my Fast Track parking bus, I noticed these new flags in the area. Looks like Air France has brought the A380 to ...
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UA Flight Not Available for Check-In? Use the Cargo Site for Plane Swap Info

United.com online check-in is usually pretty reliable. It always "just works," except when it doesn't. Now is one of those times for me. When I tried to check in, I got the dreaded message below:

This is a pretty ambiguous message, and it often means there's a plane swap happening. As you ...
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How Many Vegas Buffets Can You Handle in One Day?

I know my answer: somewhere between zero and one.

Harrah's Total Rewards is hoping you might be interested in two, three, four, or seven! I just saw this ad in the Vegas airport. Now I SUPPOSE I could see the value in paying $45 for a breakfast buffet and a dinner buffet, but I mean, in the spirit of the promotion, that's pretty boring. If you're going to go ahead and grab this sweet deal, don't be a sissy - eat at all seven!


Have Any Old VISA Signature Card? How About Some HHonors Gold For Ya!?

Random promo that was pointed out to me earlier today... If you have a Signature VISA Card, you can get temporary HHonors Gold status through August. After getting the temporary status, if you stay three nights between now and the end of August, then your status is extended until March 2013. ...

The Lounge Loophole: Getting There Without a Plane Ticket

Interesting situations call for interesting solutions. I'm doing a weekend in Vegas / Palm Springs with my girlfriend, and we're meeting here at the Las Vegas airport. We're flying in from different locations, and while I was able to snag a $49 Southwest LAX-LAS fare at 8:30AM, she was not able to ...
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Video: Star Alliance Gold Gets You a Free Ride to the Air China Shanghai Lounge

Well, I thought this was kinda neat. When I flew Air China Economy Class from Shanghai Pudong to Beijing, I was given a ticket to get a free ride from security to the lounge. I thought it was silly at first, but I decided to give it a whirl, because... well... why not? Turns out the ride was pretty necessary! That lounge was far away!