Nickonrandom segments

Snowmageddon or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cancellation

 The winter cancellations that hit the US this past weekend really bring back the memories of last January (Snowmageddon) and my experience, both the high points and the low points.  With the holidays, I have been busy and so not as able to write this long winded post weaving the tips from my experience last year.

I was flying from YYZ to GSO connecting in ORD.  As is my custom, I arrived extra early because of the new mandatory pat-downs to enter the US (This was ...

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InterContinental Concierge iPad App: Now You Can Take the Concierge Everywhere

 Those of you who have ever booked a room at a InterContinental or other high end luxury hotel are probably used to getting an email link to the concierge website of your hotel with recommendations for your visit.  This is one of the things I love when I am booking a nice (usually reward, though sometimes paid if the price is right) stay.  It gives you a little guide to the city, with some locations that you might not even think about.  

Thus, I was excited to read ...

Year End Summary of a Premier Executive By Segments

As the year winds down, and I am finished with paid flights stays for the calendar year 2010, I figured I would provide a summary of my travels.

Airlines 

United: 31 Butt in Seat (bis) segments - 13 mainline, 19 UAX; 43.439 EQM, 64 EQS, and $600 in bump vouchers - Requalify as 1P by segments

US Airways: 10 bis segments - 5 mainline, 5 express

Continental: 8 bis segments - 3 CO Express, 1 CO Connection, 4 mainline

Air Canada: 11 bis segments - 10 ...

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Megabus Expands in Washington DC

 While this is technically old news, it was brought to my attention by coverage in the local paper, but Megabus is expanding their operations in Washington DC into a full hub.  With the expansion they are adding service to the following cities:

Buffalo, NY Charlotte, NC Hampton, VA Harrisburg, PA Knoxville, TN Pittsburgh, PA Raleigh/Durham, NC Richmond, VA Toronto, ON

Matthew has blogged more than enough on his Megabus ...

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Hotel Review: Doubletree Hotel Denver - North

These past two weeks, I've been staying at the Doubletree Hotel Denver - North in Westminster, Co for work.  The primary reason for this is that it was close to the work site, and the only other close options were a Hampton Inn, and other properties which are not a part of a program that I am placing any effort into.  Generally, I have found the Doubletree chain to be completely inconsistent, as until recently Hilton did not force any requirements on the brand so many properties are ...

Regional Jets and Getting Bumped

Last Sunday, I was looking toward an extremely miserable hour flight from GSO to IAD in the last row on a ERJ-145 operated by Trans States Airlines.  Fortunately I had been able to change my seat to 3C, but that is still a horrible seat for someone who is 6'5.  I showed up to the airport not expecting any bump opportunities, because there were ~4 seats showing as still open.  My fear at this point was being bumped back to the last row because of weight and balance issues. ...

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TSA Slowly Making Full Body Scanning the New Primary Scan

 This past Saturday, I was flying from Denver and was quite shocked to see how much the Full Body Scanning machines were being used.  These machines were sold to us as a new method for providing extra screening, and were not going to replace metal detectors.  However, I saw them being used as the primary screening method for most of the passengers flying out of the checkpoint in the morning.  People were first being directed to the full scan, and then only being sent ...

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Information Security: Creating Passwords you can Actually Remember, and Other Travel Profile Security Tips

 First, I apologize for what will be a Technical post, but with the use of passwords that everyone has, it is important that we remember good password security, in light of the recent cyber attacks on Visa, Mastercard, potentially the airlines, and an averted one on Amazon.com. This is a response to both Mike and Mark's posts about some recent events that although technical in nature, have a major impact on your information in your travel profiles, and your money.  I will also ...

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New Hertz Promo Issues Challenge to Competing Companies

First off, a little disclaimer.  I am a Hertz renter because on average they have better cars and a more flexible rewards system than the other authorized rental car provider for my employer.  However, I was blown away when I saw on FlyerTalk, a link to the new promo, the Hertz Ultimate Enjoyment Challenge.  Anybody who has rented from Hertz, or even even looked at their rates knows, Hertz is one of the most expensive worldwide rental car companies.  I've found on an ...

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TSA in the News: Week Ending December 12, 2010

Time for another roundup of TSA in the news.

The TSA in addition to drawing the ire of privacy minded individuals, is now creating international incidents.  And this is made even worse because of the reason that the agent gave for requiring her to get the extra screening.  The whole method the TSA handled this situation shows how much work we have to create both a secure and respectful travel security apparatus.  The agents were completely unprofessional, and if this ...

Courtyard Lobby Demo is still in Denver and Atlanta

For those looking for a nice place to relax, if you are still flying through Denver and Atlanta, make a point of finding the display for the new lobby at Courtyard by Marriott.  It includes comfortable seating, power ports (more than one for every seat), a table to work on, and the new Courtyard information board.  Yes, this is an advertisement, but for a free open lounge it is quite worth it.  I checked it out when I was flying out of Denver yesterday, and heartily recommend it for anyone that does not want to spend money on Red Carpet Club access.  

As a fair warning, it does get crowded easily as travelers know to take advantage of it, and Marriott does have representatives who are trying to sell you on staying at Courtyard (but they also are giving out luggage tags.)  In DEN, the display is located at the West end of Concourse B next to the Continental and US Airways gates. 

Delta to Install Inflight Wi-Fi on 223 Regional Jets, Regional Jet Wars Continue

The Regional Jet Wars Continue.  Years ago, United launched them by being the first US carrier to install First Class and Economy Plus in their fleet of 70 seat regional jets.  Delta has had First Class on the CRJ-900 and the EMB 175 for years now, but this year they and American announced that they were going to be installing First Class on the CRJ-700 to completely match United's offering of First Class in the 70 seat class of Regional Jet. 

On Monday, Delta upped the ...

Aeroplan to require flights on Air Canada to Attain Elite Status

Aeroplan (the company that provides the frequent flyer program for Air Canada) announced yesterday that in order to earn status with them, you must fly a minimum of 10,000 Status flight miles or 5 status flight segments.  Some bloggers are questioning why Air Canada would institute such a requirement on their generous program, but I can see two reasons for this.  

First, there are many people who use Air Canada status to gain lounge access, since it only requires 35,000 ...

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TSA In the News: Tuesday November 23, 2010

Today has been a busy day for TSA in the news.  There are the standard reports of passenger complaints about the TSA after finally experiencing the new, enhanced security procedures, and also the lead up to National Opt-Out Day taking place tomorrow, the busiest travel day of the season.  

First we start with this report from Adam Savage of Mythbusters about his recent flight to Seattle and undergoing the full body image scan, while accidentally having contraband in his bag ...

Get Touched By the TSA on November 24, Win an iPod Touch

Just a quick little contest tidbit, getting touched by the TSA is a major topic here at upgrd lately, and now the social network Loopt is highlighting it with a special giveaway on November 24, National Opt Out Day.  They are offering travelers on November 24 the opportunity to win one of 10 iPod Touches just for checking in at an airport, commenting on it, and then pushing the post out on Twitter with the hashtag #touchedbyTSA.  

Even though I am not flying that day (I'm driving to visit family), I support this contest and really like that they are using humor to bring attention to the new invasive security procedures.   If only the TSA gave out these as compensation for the violations of our freedoms 

United Making it Harder to Earn 1K by Segments

 As the new United and Continental elite program comes into focus, they announced today the alignment that is occurring to prepare the programs for merger at the end of 2011.  As the resident segment flyer here at upgrd.com, I feel an obligation to really discuss how big of a change it is for those of us that earn status by segments.

Segment flyers are those primarily flying for business, and most of the flights are relatively short.  To Illustrate the significant ...

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The TSA and Image Scanning in the Blogosphere Today

Today seems to be a big day online discussing the TSA and specifically the full body imaging technology that is in use.  The first big posting is a TSA scanner in Orlando commenting on the TSA procedures and professionalism.   Overall, the article is a wonderful read since it does give insight into the attitudes of scanners, but this one passage really stands out:

Sorry TSA, I can support the full body scanners but I can’t support the new invasive pat down ...

Twitter and Enhancing Your Travel Experience

My last post got me to thinking about some of the major travel companies, and what they have to offer you for participating on Twitter, and also some of the blog writers that use Twitter to create a good feed for their posts.  Some companies have multiple Twitter accounts: some for brands, service, and deals.  Others have a single account that does a little bit of everything.  The hardest part is keeping track of it all.  Therefore, I am going to use this post as a ...

Priority Club Special "Twitter" Promotion Gives $50 Flight Credit for Booking Weekend Stays

 As everyone here at upgrd.com knows, Priority Club is one of the most generous hotel loyalty programs, with all of their great promotions that are stackable.  Of course right now everyone is in the middle of enjoying their Sweet Dilemma promotion, but they have also launched a Black Friday promotion, exclusively through twitter.  For each stay that includes a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night stay, you receive $50 credit that can be used on any airline.  The only catches ...

Delta to Install Economy Plus on International Fleet

While there are extremely few details available at this point, I think the news the news does warrant posting here, and bodes well for Economy Plus on the combined United.  According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Delta will be adding an Economy Plus seating arrangement on all internationally configured flights.  This means that obviously they see a financial incentive for this sub cabin.  Although this is international configuration only, this is right after the economy upgrade program which they have been doing already. 

If Delta is doing this, then obviously United can't drop the program, since marketing would be under heavy attack if they dropped the section.  Hopefully this means Economy Plus will stay in the domestic cabins.  What do you think about the chances of Economy Plus now that Delta has jumped on the bandwagon?