Fozzonuptime!

How safe is flying?

Last week I was on a Delta flight from Ft Lauderdale to JFK.  It was an early morning flight, so I was ready to nap.   After a few issues at the gate, we were buttoned up and on our way to the runway, so far, mostly uneventful.

Just as we approach the runway, the passenger in 1C yells at the flight attendent "I don't wanna go".  The flight attendent asked the passenger why and he refused to state why, so the FA called the captain and told him the request.  We ...

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A lengthy hiatus

Hello dear friends, it's been a while since I've posted anything as I've been on a lenghty hiatus due to life.

As some may know, i'm part of another podcast, Dots, Lines and Destinations which we just released episode 61 and will be recording the next episode this week.

I've got some new posts in the hopper, so hopefully life doesn't get in the way so much...

The DOJ fails the traveling public

Earlier today news broke that the DOJ had reached a settlement with US Airways and American Airlines in regards to their merger, clearing the way for their merger.    The airlines agreed to give up slots at DC Reagan (DCA) and LaGuardia (LGA) airports.  They also agreed to give up "other facilities" at a handful of other airports and agreed not to discontinue service at smaller airports.

But, this does no good to the public.  As we've seen in the past, freeing ...

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T-mobile: A globetrotter's new best friend

tmo

For years I've been a big fan of T-mobile, namely because they have had this quiet little service called Wi-Fi calling.   Wi-Fi calling is great as it lets you connect to a Wi-Fi network, in areas where the cell coverage is bad, and let you use the Wi-Fi network as a cell network.   In essence, it's Voice over IP for your cell phone.  But, not only does it help in areas of poor cell signal, but internationally.   I've sat on my phone for hours while sitting ...

Does Delta's West Coast shuttle make sense?

This week Delta announced they are launching a shuttle service on the west coast between Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).   But a shuttle between these cities is nothing new, as a matter of fact it's been tried a number of times with the most aggressive being Shuttle by United which operated flights every 15 minutes between the two cities during the 90s on a mix of 737-300s and 737-500s. 

However, rather quickly, United learned how bad of an idea it was to run ...

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Before you change your address...

In light of United's announcement last week a number of people pointed out that the new revenue requirements only apply to US rules, so one could easily change their address to an international address and not be impacted.  While on the surface this seems like an easy solution, it's prudent to be aware of the risk.

In talking to a friend last week about this we got into a discussion and I pointed out that with what companies can do with data analysis now, is far beyond anything ...

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United introducing Minimum Spend Requirements

In a not-so-shocking announcement this morning, it appears that United is following Delta's lead and has introduced a minimum spend requirement for 2014.   The requirements by status work out to be:

Premier Silver: [25,000 PQM or 30 PQS] and $2,500 PQD Premier Gold: [50,000 PQM or 60 PQS] and $5,000 PQD Premier Platinum: [75,000 PQM or 90 PQS] and $7,500 PQD Premier 1K: [100,000 PQM or 120 PQS] and $10,000 PQD

The numbers seem to be on par with what Delta has.  ...

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Westin St. John leaving Starwood?

Earlier today I received the following email with the subject SPG Participation from Starwood:

As a valued Starwood Preferred Guest member, we  are pleased to share some refreshing news with you. Beginning  August 2013 through Spring 2014 the Westin St. John Resort & Villas in St. John, USVI will undergo a revitalization during your upcoming stay on 9/14/2013.

Westin St. John Resort & Villas in St. John, USVI will be undergoing a major ...

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Delta's "NEW" Terminal at JFK

Last week Delta announced the opening of it's new Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport.  Leading up to this, Delta has spent the last few weeks promoting the new terminal and even had a preview site setup in lower Manhattan.

But Delta may have taken the cake on false advertising.   T4 actually opened twelve years ago, that's right, twelve YEARS, not last week.   What did open last week was an extension to T4.

A bit of history.  The current T4 ...

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Beware of taxis in Las Vegas

I recently stumbled upon this article about how taxis in Las Vegas overcharged patrons by $15m dollars last year.  A number of years ago I had flown to Vegas for a conference and jumped in a cab to the MGM Grand.  For many people who have been to Vegas, they know the MGM Grand is basically on the Northwest corner of the airport.  

Well, the cabbie decided to take me the "long" way, in other words, he headed out east of the airport, then south to the highway and ...

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What's in an Award?

Reading Matthew's posts about the Freddie awards got me thinking.  Today we have the Freddie's, Flyertalk awards and a host of travel magazine awards (including mass circulated (Conde Nast, Travel and Leisure, etc) as well as the ones we find in the clubs to read (Global Traveler, Business Traveler, etc).   From each of these awards, we're told that the readers or travelers voted on them, but how do we know?  A number of these voting processes can be circumvented via the ...

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A pleasant surprise from Hyatt

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Yesterday I received an email from Hyatt which surprised me.  A few weeks ago I was in Chicago and to work towards my Diamond renewal opted to do some hotel hopping.  So in the midst of this, I happened to stay at a new Hyatt and this marked my 50th Hyatt property that I stayed at.  In honor of this momentus occasion, Hyatt granted me a free night usable at any Hyatt worldwide.  Definitely a nice perk and one I didn't expect.  I wonder what my 100th Hyatt will bring...

 

American Expands Meal Selection to European flights

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A few weeks ago I received an email from American letting me select my meal for my upcoming trip to Easter Island.  I loved this but was disappointed that my trip to London this weekend didn't have it.

Today I logged in and pulled up my reservation for this weekend to see the Entree Selection Option. 

Definitely a cool little bonus.

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Is President Obama the Elitist of the Elite?

As a disclaimer, this post is not political.

The other day I flew in to Minneapolis and since I was stuck on a CRJ-700, my rollerboard had to be gate checked.  Upon arrival into MSP, the gate agent boarded the plane and told the FAs that the ramp was closed so our bags wouldn't be returned to us at the gate, but at baggage claim.  The reason was that President Obama was in town and he was going to leave "soon", but they really had no idea when.

Given that we were ...

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A Great Loss for CuraƧao: Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort

This post started out as a raving review of my stay at the Hyatt Curaçao earlier this month.  Unfortunately, as I was writing this post I learned  that the owners of the property had ousted Hyatt in a middle of the night koo.

Sadly, this is a great loss for travelers.   My stay at the Hyatt Curaçao was hands down the best stay that I've ever had.  The resort and its staff were perfect and worked together like a well oiled machine.   ...

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Heathrow Free Zone

As a frequent traveler to London, one of my frequent challenges is getting around.  Often I'll find hotels at Heathrow at very reasonable prices, which is a great place to stay if you have an early morning flight the next day.   One of the little known things about the area around Heathrow is free to ride on public buses, this is dubbed the Heathrow Free Zone.   The Transport for London's website has information on the area that is free here .

So while the hotels ...

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United revises policy for GPU and RPU Expiration

On a positive note, last night United announced on Flyertalk that they have revised their expiration policy for GPU and RPUs.  Now, instead of expiring a year from their issue date, they will expire at the end of the January of the status year.  So, if you earned your 2012 certificates, they won't expire until 1/31/2014.  

This is great news and matches the old Continental policy, which was better than the United one.   The original United granted you certificates on January 1st and gave you 13 months to use them.   The current policy grants them the day you hit 100,000 miles, so if you earn them in June, you get them for an extra six months.

United said any certificates issued in 2012 will automatically have their date adjusted and sure enough, when I logged in this morning, all of mine have been extened to 1/31/2014.

Bonus!

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Are Travel Agencies Evil?

I've long hated travel agencies and found them useless in most cases.  For years I've been forced to use a travel agency for business travel and it irks me as the agency and it's agents are often clueless and tend to be more of an obstruction to getting to my end point.

Om recent years I've learned one of the benefits of travel agencies is mixed-carrier itineraries.   Unfortunately you can't book an itinerary with multiple carriers on any airline's website so you're ...

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Houston: The Short Sighted City

Yesterday the City of Houston voted to approve a project to expand the city's second airport, Hobby, to include international flights.   The city already has a very large international airport on the north end of town, Intercontinental.  But the motivation to add international capacities at Hobby were driven by Southwest, who consolidated all of their Houston operations at Hobby a few years back. 

Southwest plans to launch flights into Central America and the ...

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Where are my pants?

Even the most experienced road warrior will find themselves in their hotel room realizing that they've forgotten to pack something.  Over the years I've forgotten a number of things ranging from my laptop's power supply to my toiletry case.  Some things are easier to replace while some are harder, rarely is anything impossible.

A few weeks ago I drove down to Maryland for a meeting the following morning.  I arrived at my hotel later in the evening and started to unpack ...

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