Damianonin der luft

Luckily Changes to UNITED Mileage Plus not as dramatic as Rumored!


After the drama of some rumors posted online about what the new UNITED mileage program would look like, many are relieved that the changes are not th at bad, and in fact do give some extra perks to higher status level folks, but taking some things away from the entry level elite members.

I reported back in mid August that UNITED leaked some false info out to get peoples reactions and also cut down on the blow when they indeed made the official announcement. It appears that is what has ...

Manchester UK to Istanbul Turkey - 100% on Asian Airlines on a Star Alliance Reward.


So when I was looking to book one of my, Europe-to-Europe Star Alliance reward bookings, I found a way to fly from Manchester, UK to Istanbul, Turkey all on wide-body aircraft, all on Asian Airlines, all with reward space. So let the fun begin!

If you do not know my MO on booking rewards in Europe, I want to get the most out of my 25K UNITED miles. I love the 24 hour “max connection time” rule… this allows for a nice day in a city. (note that when staying in one ...

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The Power of the Star Alliance..

A bit random.. but I'm sitting in the Scandinavian (SAS) Lounge, in Brussels, getting access with my Continental Airlines status, flying Brussels airlines on a ticket purchased from British Midland International (bmi), getting mileage credited to my UNITED account.. Got to love the power of the Star Alliance.

Hilton Manchester Airport (UK) - "Deluxe Room"


So I typically have a bit lower expectations for airport hotels, well the Hilton Manchester Airport (MAN) in the UK has just reinforced that. Sure I will be here only one night, for a very early flight.. but the little things matter to me. The check in experience was ok but I was not told I was upgraded as a HIlton Diamond, but sadly the only way I could tell that I was in fact “upgraded” was a sign on the door of the room stating “Deluxe Room”

The ...

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Me, Myself & Irene


Well what started out to be a simple mileage run from London to Denver on UNITED, turned out to be a bit more exciting. I booked the following flights:


with a return


I was using two systemwide upgrades to confirm all the flight including the CO flights, I was looking forward to checking out the CO Business First product.

Then the forecast was not looking good to fly thru New York, so I called UNITED and got rerouted via ORD on ...

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SWISS to change branding


SWISS International will be changing its branding. A new logo will be adopted starting in October. It shows a SWISS tailfin with its Swiss-cross design, reflecting the livery of the company’s aircraft and enabling SWISS to be instantly recognized as “the airline of Switzerland”.

SWISS’s advertising and promotional materials will also be given a clear new look.

 “I am convinced that, with our stronger brand profile, we will be better ...

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The Hilton & HGI Frankfurt Airport (Germany) will now open in December.

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The long delayed Hilton Frankfurt Airport and Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport is reported to be opening a bit ea rlier then last expected. I’m told now that both hotels will open sometime this December. The dates on Hilton.com have been jumping all around and as of this post still list an opening date of May 2012. I was informed today that both hotels are on track for Dec.

 The Hilton Frankfurt Airport will have a total of 249 rooms, 89 of them Executive, 16 Suites, 1 ...

Is UNITED the Source of the Leaked Changes to the Mileage Plus Program?

As “rumors” about the new UNITED mileage plus program has hit the Internet, and is now all over frequent flyer blogs and forums some might think the people at the top of UNITED are mad about the “leak”. A confidential insider at UNITED tells me this is “all part of the PR plan”, he adds “This is a free way to gauge the reaction of program members”.

I know many might roll your eyes at the prospect of UNITED leaking info to get a reaction, ...

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Envoy Suites Coming to US Airways A333 This Fall


A few weeks back I booked my First flight with US Airways in a very long time, I need to fly from MAN (Manchester, UK) to Seattle and I found a very attractive fare for US Airways Envoy class. It booked as (Z) Business for the over the Atlantic legs and (A) First for the domestic legs. The long haul flights from MAN-PHL and return are with the US Airways A330-300. The A333 is currently equipped with recliner type seats 2-2-2 in Business.

There is also one row of the former US Airways ...

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Really annoyed with Hilton Honors –How you could get screwed.


As a loyal Hilton Diamond for the past 6 years I think I have reached the point were I’m going to jump ship. Don’t get me wrong there are some real nice Hilton Family hotels out there, and they have hotels all over the world. The VIP treatment is very good in Europe and Asia, but when it comes to some unpublished changes to the Hilton Honors program I see the writing on the wall. Hilton is playing games, and could possibly be guilty of a form of bait and switch.

Hilton ...

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I Miss Frankfurt Airport as My Neighbor


After 5 years living in Germany, I have recently moved to Northern England and this would be the reason for my lack of posting here on UPGRD. Now that life is getting back to normal, I have all my stuff and most importantly I have started to travel and plan to travel again.

After living just 15 min away from Frankfurt airport for 5 years, I now realize how nice and lucky that is for a person who loves to fly and travel. Over that time I was able to fly only on Star Alliance carriers ...

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A Drive from Germany to England via the Euro Tunnel; I Got Lounge Access!

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 Today I drove from Germany to England via the Euro Tunnel. I’m moving to England and work picked up the bill for the Euro Tunnel and approved the FlexiPlus ticket for me & my car to get to the UK. The Felix Plus ticket provides complete flexibility it and has a few extra perks;

Turn up at anytime and board the next train Dedicated check-in Priority BoardingLounge access Free boxed lunch with drink

All this has it’s price, it is around 199GBP that’s ...

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Hyatt Confirmed Bed Type Guarantee Pays Off!


I was a guest at the Hyatt at Dulles airport a few weeks back, I checked in around 930pm and had a king bed room booked. When I walked to the desk I was informed that the hotel was sold out and there was no room with a King bed left.. I really did not care; I just wanted to sleep after a flight from Frankfurt, Germany. The very nice agent then said, Oh, I found one, we have to make sure our Diamond members get their bed types, I will put you in the Presidential suite. This was my second stay ...

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Dreaded call from UNITED EZ-Update Guy

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A quick hello from LAX. I’m back state side for a week or so and had time to squeeze in a quick mileage run. Wednesday I did IAD-DEN-LAX in UNITED first and the return was the same routing for the next day. I booked this trip back in March and put some regional upgrade certs on the booking that cleared at that point. I did not want to do this run in Y, and most all of my flights are international so the regional certs just expire or I give them away.

Wednesday was an easy day, ...

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The trials and errors of the New UNITED - UA to change boarding process back!


Looks like UNITED got hit with some feedback regarding the “new” boarding process that they started a few weeks back.


UNITED posted on it’s facebook page this message

“We’ve been listening to your feedback about the recent boarding changes and starting June 8, we’ll return to boarding by zones on United-operated flights. Continental-operated flights will continue to board from the rear to the front, but in the near future, ...

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Review: Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel

I had a wonderful 5 night stay at the Conrad Centennial Singapore back in April. I took advantage of the AMEX awards for 4 nights and one Q3FN (Promotional Free Night). before I get into the details of this stay, all I can say is that I was impressed from the time I arrived till the time I walked out the door. I tend to look for negative things when ever I step foot in a hotel, I can honestly say I had a very hard time finding anything negative about the property.

The Conrad ...

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Air France Airbus A380 takes out Bombardier CRJ700

An Airbus A380 operated by Air France hit a Delta Air Lines (Comair) CRJ700 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport, spinning the smaller plane and its occupants 90 degrees. Here is the video!

Here is the ATC recording:

None of the 520 people on AF A380 or the 66 on the CRJ700 were hurt. The A380 was unable to fly to Paris and is now immobilized.

The video is just crazy how the A380 just moved the CRJ700 like ...

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Embassy Suites Orlando - Lake Buena Vista - A Review (and it is not good)

My stay at this hotel was shocking, I have never been to a Hilton Family hotel that was so poorly cared for. The bathroom in my suite had inches of hair and muck in the corners. It was disgusting, I went to tell a cleaning lady outside the suite, she looked at me and walked away saying “no English” I then posted my disappointment on Embassy Suites Facebook page and was told by a corporate representative that she would contact the hotel and someone at the hotel would contact ...

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Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress - Orlando, FL - Review

I had the pleasure to stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL. To sum it up, WOW. I was very impressed with this hotel, the grounds, the staff, the rooms, and the Regency Club all very much impressed. The size of this hotel is also just impressive, and the grounds around the hotel make you feel like you are on your own island. The hotel recently completed its $45 million renovation with very modern and fresh to all thel 815 guestrooms and suites. I was impressed with the number ...

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"'We are declaring an emergency" UA497 - Listen to ATC tapes

The Times-Picayune, has posted the audio and transcripts of yesterdays emergency landing of UNITED 497 at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. The flight had just departed on its way from New Orleans to San Francisco.

The audio is an example of how professional the crew handled this situation. The plane was reportedly rocking back and forth and returned to the airport within minutes of taking off. You can hear the crew report "smoke" and when the plane ...

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