Unicorns, Four-Leaf Clovers, and Air New Zealand Business Class Award Space


After four years of absolutely no business class award space on its transpacific and transatlantic longhaul routes, Air New Zealand has suddenly decided to open business class award space to its Star Alliance partners. It is too early to tell whether this is a temporary fluke or a new pattern, ...

How Does United’s New illy Coffee Taste?

United has partnered with illy to provide coffee in its worldwide network of airport lounges and eventually all flights. Great concept, great company, but how will it taste? I’m pleased to report that it tastes wonderful.
I was on a dreaded 3hr redeye from Los Angeles to Chicago last ...
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A Few Thoughts on the Park Hyatt New York

I had a quick business trip to Boston and New York over the weekend and ended up at the Park Hyatt New York on Sunday/Monday for what turned out to be a two-day, one-night stay. Here are three takeaways on Hyatt’s flagship North American property.
1. Service was over-the-top ...
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United Brings Back Early Boarding for Families with Children


Starting Monday, 15 February 2016 United Airlines will bring back aircraft pre-boarding for families with young children aged two and under.
The new boarding priority will be:
People with disabilities / active-duty members of the military in uniform / families with small ...
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United Airlines Announces San Francisco to Singapore Route on 787-9


United Airlines has announced plans to offer daily non-stop service from San Francisco to Singapore beginning 01 June 2016 on its 787-9 aircraft. The new route will be one of the world's longest at 8,446 miles (second only to Dallas to Sydney on Qantas...for now). Further paring back its Tokyo ...
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Alaska Airlines Brand Refresh


For the first time in a quarter century, Alaska Airlines is refreshing its brand image in a major way, with changes coming to everything from credit cards to aircraft livery.

Why the change now? Isn't one of Alaska's best selling points that while other carriers are changing (for ...
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My Incredible Amtrak Guest Rewards Redemption


Amtrak is devaluing its Guest Rewards program tomorrow, so if you are sitting on any sizable quantity of Amtrak points and thinking about a long-distance journey in the next year, you need to call Guest Rewards at 1-800-307-5000 before midnight ET this evening to book.
Wanting ...
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UberX Finally Available at LAX


After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations with recalcitrant regulators, UberX will finally be allowed to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) starting today, January 20, 2016, at 8am PT.
Uber has suffered a string of setbacks in trying to bring its low-cost ...

United Global Services and 1K Members Now Get Free Food in Economy Class


Rumors have been swirling over the last few days that United Airlines' top-tier elite members would receive complimentary food in addition to complimentary alcoholic beverages when flying in economy class. I reached out to United for confirmation on Monday via Twitter and heard nothing ...
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Amal Clooney Cautions Against Visiting Maldives


Human Rights lawyer Amal Clooney was on Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss the Maldives...not a usual topic for the Sunday morning talk shows. I found the segment fascinating and encourage you to watch it in its entirety--

What really made me stop and think was her statement that, ...
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LifeMiles Mixed Cabin Redemptions Now Possible

In a surprising move that suddenly makes Avianca LifeMiles much more valuable, mixed cabin awards are now bookable! First, business, and economy class can now be mixed on a single itinerary, with the highest cabin establishing the price of the award.
Up until now if you booked a first class ...

Full Hot Meal on a 1hr Economy Class Flight

Hop on an 11.5hr flight from Newark to Honolulu on United Airlines in economy class and you’ll be given the choice to buy a meal or snackbox onboard.  Don’t want to spend anything? Coffee, tea, or soft drinks (and a stroopwafel starting next month) will have to hold you over. On the ...
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In the Maldives, When They Say No Alcohol, They Mean No Alcohol

The Maldives is not the only nation that take a hard-line stance against alcohol, but it certainly is one of the more paradoxical examples. While the nation maintains a strict Islamic façade, it looks the other way as dozens of luxury resorts scattered across its sprawling atolls not only ...
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When is a Vacation Too Long?


I'm back from a very long trip...the longest trip I've ever taken.
I realize some of you will snicker when I reveal my vacation was only 3.5 weeks, but for someone who is used to taking 2-3 day trips, this was a total change of pace.
My introduction to Etihad Airways, with four ...
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"You can't get in a long tube with a bunch of demons...it’s deadly!"

 
If you've ever wondered why some preachers need a private jet, you're not alone. Thankfully the answer is now a little clearer. You may just want to skip my commentary and go right to the video at the bottom.
The story starts around a kitchen table with renown ...
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United CEO Oscar Munoz Receives Heart Transplant!


United CEO Oscar Munoz, who suffered a heartback and was forced to temproraily step down just weeks into his tenure, recevied a heart transplant on Wednesday.
United isssued the following statement:
Our president and CEO, Oscar Munoz, underwent a heart transplant operation early ...

New "Economy Plus Essentials" and "Economy Plus Enhanced" Bundles on United

Airlines are in the business of profiting from ancillary fees and both Delta and American have already introduced bundled packages for economy class passengers that include perks like extra legroom, lounge access, checked baggage, and priority security and boarding. United has now debuted its own ...
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New Year's Eve Gala Dinner at Park Hyatt Goa


As I mentioned yesterday, my wife and I rang in the new year in Goa at the Park Hyatt, a lush resort complex nestled in a very picturesque part of India. As is the case with many resorts over the New Year's holiday, a "compulsory gala dinner" was part of the package, here at a cost of INR ...
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A Premature Evaluation of 2015

It is the last day of 2015 but I think it is still too premature to evaluate the year. Award Expert and this blog continue to grow, I appeared on TV three times, was quoted in several publications, spoke at a handful of travel conferences, and I even bought a house in LA and got into better ...
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