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Redemption

capture111

In a previous post, I described a series of customer service issues that I experienced with Delta. Up until now, I assumed that these were unimportant to Delta – I received no response to my complaints, despite being in their top tier of customers.  After an incident that started on Saturday and ran well into Sunday, I felt a lot better, because I discovered wasn’t the only one getting snubbed by the company. 

I have, for the most part, stopped flying with ...

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Irreconcilable Differences

I remember the day I fell in love with Delta.

My father, who had been internal counsel at Delta in the 1970s, continued representing them in a variety of matters for the next twenty years.  Somewhere in the middle of that period, on one of our family trips, my father took me to a window at the A concourse in Atlanta, and taught me how to identify planes.  It was so long ago that the T concourse was only for international flights, which meant little more than Gatwick and ...

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The New Orleans Experience, By Way of Thibodaux

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In October, I traveled to New Orleans (out of Munich) for a few days to attend the wedding of a family member.

I had an unused return ticket stored, and flew BusinessElite from Munich to Atlanta.  I then connected on an award ticket (I know, right?) from Atlanta to MSY.  Shocking enough, this was my first experience with an award ticket after the upgrade program started, and at five days out from each respective segment, I was upgraded.  This trips were on a Thursday ...

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Reexamining the International Upgrade Issue

A great amount of time has been spent complaining about Delta’s policy for international upgrades – that is, upgrades on a product with BusinessElite, where BusinessElite service is provided.  No real amount of change has been seen with this product.  The relatively recent addition to standby when an upgrade seat is not available at booking changes nothing – when it comes to the price of a ticket that is eligible for an upgrade.   What if a plan was ...

Portugal, Or Where Money Goes to Die

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As part of my struggle to earn miles at the end of 2010, I wound up picking Lisbon as the second of my destinations.  I had never been to Portugal before, and I was looking forward to seeing how it compared to the rest of Europe that I knew so well.  KLM had decent flight prices, and it seemed like a good place for a weekend trip.  

The airport in Lisbon is small, and seemingly completely dominated by TAP Portugal.  Continental has daily service to Newark, and US ...

Egypt Before The Fall

CairoAirport

In December 2010, I was rapidly growing paranoid about my requalification to Diamond status on DL.  I was roughly 7000 miles short, so I pulled out the Great Circle Mapper and looked at options.  I knew that the easiest thing would be for me to use AF, KLM, or Alitalia to a hub and then connect to something further.  This can be somewhat of a problem, as when you are in the center of a map, getting far enough - in MQM terms - requires some work.  I ended up deciding ...

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San Marino in 24 Hours

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In late June, Matthew and I took a quick trip to San Marino.  For those of you unfamiliar with the location, San Marino is an enclave-state located in northeast Italy, just west of Rimini, and about an hour south of Bologna.  While it depends on Italy for almost everything, it is, in fact, an independent place.

We both got into the Bologna airport late in the afternoon, and Matt was able to hook up a very reasonable deal for a Renault at the Sixt car rental agency. ...

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Berlin, As Seen from the Courtyard by Marriott

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Berlin is, in my humble opinion, the city in Germany that has the most fun.  If it were not for atrocious unemployment (13.6% compared to a national average of 7%), I would certainly be looking for work there.  The crowd is diverse, the entertainment offerings are plentiful, the living is cheap, and the people are nice (Berlin is to Mother Teresa what Munich is to Pol Pot).  You can’t ask for much more.

The city was formerly served by three airports, and will soon ...

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Congratulations to Aer Lingus, for Taking 42 Days to Answer an Email

I wrote about Aer Lingus a while back, and a baggage issue that I had when I connected from DUB to MUC.  Do I deserve the money back for the bag that I paid for, but didn't check, because DL interlined the bag all the way through?  Absolutely not.  The rules are the rules.  Nevertheless, it never hurts to ask.  

The denial of a refund is no surprise.  What will likely keep me flying with Aer Lingus again, though, is the fact that it took 42 ...

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Munich's SkyTeam Options

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As one might expect in a non-hub city, Munich's airport does not cater well to the SkyTeam world.  Terminal 2 is dominated by Lufthansa and Star Alliance - and the amenities are good.  The post-security shopping is ample, there are an ample number of restaurants and bars, good lounges (as will be covered in another post), and bountiful smoking "shacks".  Free newspapers and coffee are available to everyone at stations throughout the post-security area.

On the other ...

The Senators of Munich

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Lufthansa has a variety of offerings for the lounge-ready crowd at Munich Airport.  Terminal 2, which contains all of the Star Alliance airlines, in split into Schengen and non-Schengen areas.  In the non-Schengen area, there are three lounges: Senator, Business, and First Class.  From mid-May of this year until September, these lounges are undergoing renovation and are closed.  As I've never been involved with any Star airline on a long distance flight, I did not visit ...

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An Aer Lingus Experience

corourke

For my Atlanta – Dublin flights, I needed a connection to the Munich airport.  The only non-stop options were Lufthansa and Aer Lingus, and there was no chance that I was connecting the night after a red eye, which I originally thought was going to be a short hop from Newark.  Considering that Lufthansa credits no miles for low fares, and their relatively high prices, I chose Aer Lingus for the flight.

Aer Lingus operates on a completely unique, hybrid model.  For ...

Deutsche Bahn, Or Why You Should Stick to Flying

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Deutsche Bahn has the potential to be an amazing service, and were it not for atrocious customer service, they would be.  Let's take a look at the various aspects of their operation.

Rewards

Bahn.Bonus is the rewards program for DB.  The usual accrual and redemption options are available through both DB and their partners, which are plentiful and diverse.  One elite status level exists - Bahn.Comfort.  Unlike most airline programs that accrue status by miles (as ...

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Delta and The Lesson of Picking Battles

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I'll readily admit that I wasn't aware of the controversy with Saudi Arabian and SkyTeam until very recently.  I was reading the Delta Blog entry about fleet updates when I found a very curious post, which I thought was simply an anti-Semitic jab that they accidentally let slip through, and I took a screen capture thinking they would realise their error and reverse it.  Sadly, it was only the beginning of a great deal of controversy.  

Matt has done an excellent job of ...

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Breaking Rumor from Lufthansa

Today, in a Senator's Lounge in Munich, I decided to chat up a cute-enough agent to try to get free Wi-Fi.  In the German Senator's Lounges, Wi-Fi is free to First Class and Hon Circle members, and pay access for everyone else.  T-Mobile runs the service, and it is priced much like it was when Delta, United, and American were charging for the service in the US.

Here's the conversation, translated from German:

Me: Hi there, gorgeous.  Is Wi-Fi free for Star ...

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Delta Makes Good

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Update: See comments 1 and 2 below for a possible explanation of what happened here.

About six months ago, I posted about the use of DL SWUs on AF – allowing someone to buy a premium economy (Premium Voyageur) ticket on AF metal and upgrade into business.  This was notable because the premium economy prices were much better than DL’s Y/B/M fares, and there was generally “OK” availability in the upgrade bucket.  I was successful in getting my ...

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The Return of Majnun

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Majnun (Arabic: مجنون): "madman"

It’s been a long time, folks, but today, I emerge from hiding and return to enlighten you with the stories of my travels.  It is no secret that I’ve been hiding overseas for a prolonged period of time.  I’ll remain here for a bit longer, but I’ll be home soon enough.

In the meantime, I’ll share regular postings about my experiences here, and further enlighten you on mileage strategies when you live ...

Where are the Ladies?

Let's finish this quickie, shall we?

Matt wrote a post about good cabin crews, but I'd like to add the finer points.  Let's start with where the good cabin crews are long gone:

Any mainline US carrier Almost all mainline European carriers

The times have changed, and we don't have weight quotas anymore.  A few too many of the crews took the weight limit removal as a license to get fat.  When I say "a few,"  I mean almost all.  ...