Danielonfriendly skies

Modified Version of TSA PreCheck Begins!

While going through security at the AA checkpoint in Kansas City this morning, I noticed that the document checker was scanning all boarding passes presented to her (even paper BPs). This seemed a bit strange, considering have only scanned mobile boarding passes for the past four years that I have flown out of MCI.

This morning, however, when my boarding passes gave me the three beeps, the document checker handed me this pink card, stating that a modified version of PreCheck was now ...

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Plane Spotting at the "Air Crossroads of the World", Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

As the fifth busiest cargo hub in the world, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is a great place for plane spotting. Unlike many domestic airport, ANC offers close-up access to runway 33, one of their many departure runways, along with their cargo operations.

Along with their sizeable cargo operations, Anchorage has a decent share of passenger operations. Handling around five million passengers per year, Anchorage is home ...

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TSA PreCheck Expanding to 60 Additional Airports by Year-End

Almost two years ago, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began the PreCheck expedited screening program at four airports. It was open only to those flying on American or Delta, from ATL/DFW/DTW/MIA, and you had to either receive an invitation from the airline or be a member of a trusted traveler program, such as Global Entry, Nexus, or Sentri. According to TSA, more than 15 million passengers have been able to utilize expedited screening ...

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A Hidden Gem @ DFW - The Employee Store

During my latest trip through the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, I decided that instead of sitting in the lounge for an hour, I would go off in search of a place that had been recommended to me by many AA employees. I had even read about it on FlyerTalk, though previous trips through DFW did not leave enough time to visit, or I was there outside the normal hours of operation.

Located to the left of gate C2, the DFW Employee store has a great collection of American Airlines ...

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How to Get Extra Passport Pages in a Hurry


When I signed up for my passport in 2007, I figured that it would be a long time before I ran out of pages. Back then, I had never heard of FlyerTalk and often flew less miles in one year than I do on a single mileage run! The only reason I got a passport was to play at a yearly hockey tournament in Canada. Previously, passengers were not required to have a passport for travel into Canada (my state ID and birth certificate worked quite well).

Fast-forwarding to May 1, 2013, I realized ...

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Marriott Gold Status via United RewardsPlus now Active!


When United tweeted about a "new rewards experience" coming soon to MileagePlus, I was one of the many people worried about what it meant. Historically, when United releases news that will be unpopular to many people, the news has usually been delivered on a Friday. United seemed to be following the same pattern, although UA Insider promised to tell us more about the new program on Monday.

Fortunately, the announcement on Monday was an actual benefit for United elite, as United Gold, ...

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Aboard the World's Longest Flight - Newark to Singapore on SQ Business Class

After spending some time, due to my long layover, in New York City I took the Newark Airport Express ($28 r/t from EWR to the city), and was surprised to see that I was the only passenger riding the bus to the airport. Traffic was extremely light that night, allowing us to make it from Manhattan to Newark in less than forty minutes.

I was dropped at the opposite end of the terminal, and made my way to Singapore's check-in counters, though I first had to ask for assistance to find ...

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American's Initial Airbus A319 Destinations Announced

Almost two years ago, American Airlines announced a major fleet renewal initiative, most of which was aimed at replacing their aging MD-80, Boeing 767-200, and Boeing 757-200 fleets. Though these aircraft had provided reliable service to American for many years, rising oil prices, and increased competition all but forced American to replace their fleet.

Though American has continued to take deliveries of the 737s, the numbers of MD-80s continued to ...

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Hyatt's Latest Promo: 'You’ve Reached an Exciting Milestone. Now, Enjoy a Free Night'


Although the last few Hyatt promotions have been a bit disappointing, I was pleased to open up my email earlier this afternoon, and discover an email from Gold Passport. Thanking me for my loyalty to Hyatt, they mentioned that my first recorded stay with Hyatt was in August of 2010 at the Kansas City Airport Hyatt Place, and since then, I had visited at least fifty Hyatt properties. As a thanks for my loyalty, the email went ...

Inflight Review: Portland to JFK on jetBlue

For the past five years, the majority of my flying has been with United or a Star Alliance partner. Of course, over the past year, American has been getting much more of my business, but besides those two airlines, I don't have too much of a chance to experience the product of non-alliance carriers very often. I last flew jetBlue in 2008, from Denver to Boston, and then from New York to Denver, though both of the flights were delayed for several hours, which left somewhat of a bad taste in my ...

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Air Canada to add Premium Economy & Update Executive First Seating

Just in from Air Canada, they plan to add a Premium Economy section to their international fleet, including the aircraft operating for their Rouge subsidiary, starting in July. Air Canada will also be taking delivery of five additional Boeing 777-300ERs (77Ws), which will feature 398 slimline seats in Economy, 24 seats in Premium Economy, and 36 seats in Executive First, which will be staggared in a 1 or 2 pair setup. Overall seats on the 77W will go from 349 to 458.

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Frontier Airlines to Outsource Employees @ All Stations (Except DEN)

For Frontier Airlines employees, and to a lesser part their customers, today is a day they will never forget.

Though it has not yet been announced to the public, Frontier employees were notified today of a drastic reduction in the workforce, and the introduction of mass-outsourcing for all stations. Below are the changes that are coming to what used to be a great carrier, and one of my favorite airlines.

All stations, with the exception of ...
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Review: Hyatt 48 Lex - Manhattan

On a recent visit to New York City, I was left with a bit of a challege to determine where to stay. Hyatt has five properties scattered through the city, with another one opening later this year.

Although the Andaz properties were enticing (I'll have a report on the Andaz 5th Ave shortly), the 48 Lex won out. Featuring 116 rooms at corner of 48th and Lexington, the 48 Lex is billed as a boutique hotel, and is different than any Hyatt Regency or Grand Hyatt you'll stay at.

Upon ...

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Changes in the Air for United's p.s. Boeing 757-200s


In August 2011, we learned from then UA Insider, Scott O'Leary, that the combined carrier would perform a nose-tail renovation on the Boeing 757-200s used for United's p.s. service from New York/JFK to LAX & SFO. United had big plans for the renovation, which included gutting the first and business class cabins in favor of the Continental business class seat. In the main cabin, all seats would feature USB and 110v power outlets, as well as complimentary in-set AVOD.

To ...

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Delta to Open the SkyDeck - Outdoor Terraces in Atlanta and New York


Delta, as part of their continued plan to upgrade airport amenities, has announced their first outdoor terraces, which will be located in their SkyClub's in Atlanta's Concourse F and New York/JFK's recently renovated Terminal 4.

New York-JFK

Though I am not a big fan of Delta, I do give them credit for their continuous improvements to the airport and on-board experience. In addition to renovating their two main ...

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American Express Offering Chip & Signature to Platinum & Centurion Cardholders


For the past three months, I have been using the chip and signature feature of the updated Marriott Rewards Visa Signature card. Before receiving this card, I had to rely on standard magnetic stripe cards when abroad, which are not the most reliable in some parts of the world. There were many times that I had to track down a human being to make a purchase, which often resulted in missed trains, or longer lines. Once I received the new card, international transactions became a lot ...

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First Class from Denver to Newark: The Singapore Adventure

Once I had booked my ticket to Singapore, I waited several months before booking my flight to Newark. Over the summer, I was unsure of where I would be on January 3rd, but I figured that I would know by the end of October, and could then add-on the domestic segment without too much trouble.

As with all great plans, something was bound to go wrong. Around Halloween, I checked the United website for availability, only to find no saver first class or economy space on any of the Denver to ...

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American Airlines to Operate Embraer ERJ-175 Jets


As American Airlines proceeds down the path of emerging from their bankrupty, they have unveiled a new logo and livery, updated the soft product on their current aircraft, taken delivery of the Boeing 777-300ER (77W), the first U.S. carrier to do so, and are consistently taking delivery of new Boeing 737-800 aircraft each month. Later this year, AA will take delivery of 8 more 77Ws, 31 737-800s, 15 Airbus A319s, and 5 Airbus A321s, which will operate in their three-cabin, trans-con ...

United Airlines Changes their Boarding Process...Again!

Before United and Continental began to combine their operations, each carrier had a boarding process that worked for them. United boarding their Global Services, First Class, and 1K customers via the red boarding carpet, while Premier Executive, Star Alliance Gold, Premier, Star Alliance Silver, and then all remaining passengers were boarding through the economy lane. Economy boarding was done with a process called WILMA- Window, Middle, Aisle, and enabled United to board their narrow-body ...

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The Singapore Adventure - Introduction

During the summer upgrade of Singapore Airlines' reservations systems, I made a few speculative award bookings for SQ First and Business class. I had never flown on Singapore, and with their policy to not release premium cabin space on their newer aircraft to Star Alliance partners, I knew it was time to book, and to book fast!

I was not fully aware of my winter/summer schedule last July, so I decided on the following awards. As a United 1K, I could change (though I would have to ...