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United Airlines, Hertz Partnership Adds Elite Benefits to MileagePlus

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United Airlines and Hertz have announced a new partnership in which MileagePlus elite members will receive elite status in Hertz’s Gold Plus Rewards program and more miles for Hertz rentals.

 

Discounts and  Bonus Miles with Hertz

Hertz is already discounted on united.com (up to 40%, though always shop around) and with this partnership, Hertz, including its Thrifty and Budget divisions, will become the exclusive rental ...

5 Things to Know About the Latest Lufthansa Strike

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Lufthansa pilots are striking again over proposed cuts to a lucrative early retirement program and will continue until 23:59 CET tonight. While the 35-hour strike was originally planned only to affect regional traffic within Europe, longhaul pilots have joined the work disruption in a show of solidarity, meaning most intra-Europe and many medium- and longhaul-flights have been canceled today. A list of cancelled flights can be found here. Here are five ...

LOT Polish Airlines Award Space Bookable on united.com

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LOT Polish Airlines is back after a long hiatus on united.com. The Polish flag carrier operates a fleet of 787s to North American gateways including Chicago, New York JFK, and Toronto and award space in both business and economy class is excellent...or at least was.

I'll be honest - I am not happy about this space re-appearing on united.com because that means it will be booked up quickly. This is the recurring tension over award space - make it easy to search and book and ...

The Zimbabwe Haircut

Four years ago I wrote a post entitled, “Haircuts when traveling” and I really meant what I wrote…one of my favorite things to do while traveling internationally is to get a haircut and I have now patronized barber shops on every continent but Antarctica. But after my latest haircut in a village outside of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe yesterday, my days of getting haircuts outside of Los Angeles are over.

My wife Heidi and I struck up a conversation with Caleb, the cook ...

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Frequent Traveler University $250 Hyatt Gift Card Giveaway

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Frequent Traveler University (FTU) is coming 05-07 December 2014 to Washington, DC and I will be speaking on a variety of travel-related topics. This is going to be a huge event with a speaker list including some of the indstury's most-respected point and mile gurus. Though tickets have sold out for the Advanced portion of this event, there are still tickets available for FTU and now a giveaway contest courtesy of Hyatt for those buying tickets this week or next.

Everyone who ...

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Moving to South Africa

...for the next month anyway. Perhaps longer.

I'm already here, actually. You can blame my wife. Or the American government. Or striking South African postal workers.

You see, not that our U.S. government wins any blue ribbons for its efficiency, but things are a little rogue here in South Africa. The postal service has been illegally striking for eight weeks, so the documents we mailed ("oh do not vorry, za documents vill be deliwered owernight" the Germans assured us) ...

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Streaming Inflight Movies and TV on United Airlines

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United Airlines has made economy class travel much more bearable by introducing streaming IFE to many of its aircraft. I had a chance to try it last week on a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt and was very pleasantly surprised.

First off, I find wi-fi on UA longhaul flights (mostly 747-400s) a bargain at $16.99, but United has lowered the price to only $12.99 - a total steal, even considering that there are no power outlets on most flights that have wi-fi (though that problem should be ...

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Ontario, CA Fights for Control of ONT Airport

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Southern California’s Inland Empire is a vast sprawl of affordable housing and big box stores east of Los Angeles that also is home to Ontario International Airport (ONT).  The once-bustling airport now looks like a ghost town at most times of day, with even further cutbacks under consideration. With a renewed emphasis on hubs, smaller regional airports like ONT find themselves fighting for survival.

 

ONT is run by the same airport ...

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US Airways 100% Bonus on Purchased Dividend Miles Extended

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US Airways has extended, perhaps for one final time, its 100% bonus on purchased miles. It appears this sale will mark the end of US Airway’s role a consolidator for premium award tickets, as word is there will never be a sale like this again. So is it time to stock up? The answer is still no.

 

First, make sure you get the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard from Barclays if you do not have one. It comes with a 40,000 miles sign-up ...

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New United Airlines Globe Surfing Commercial

United Airlines has released another commercial narrated by Matt Damon, this time highlighting United’s extensive worldwide route network from the view of a lie-flat seat…or something like that. 

It is by no means UA’s best commercial: it features a first person view staring up at many of the great cities served by United, then pans to the customer actually being supported by dozens of United employees of all stripes. As the man and his bag reach the ...

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South African Airways Award Space Again Bookable

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I wrote yesterday that South African Airways award space had been unbookable for one week using miles from any Star Alliance loyalty program outside of South African Voyager. Thankfully, the space is again bookable.

The one-week hiatus of all SA space left a big hole for travel within Africa, but all space is back and appears to be what it was before, with good availability within Africa and to Brazil. Space was only bookable via phone with United and Aeroplan earlier today, but is ...

South African Airways Award Space Not Bookable

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South African Airways has been a stalwart member of Star Alliance for the last eight years and offers an extensive route network within Africa and to key cities around the world from its hub in Johannesburg. Although I would never characterize award space as overly generous, some routes, like São Paulo - Jo'burg, offer excellent award space. But for reasons we have yet to find out, all SA flights are now unbookable using miles, unless you have miles in South African's own Voyager ...

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My Delayed Journey to Chicago

Fire in an FAA Facility shut down Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports for several hours this morning and it just so happened that I was flying from Los Angeles to Chicago this morning to speak at this weekend’s FTU Advanced. I made if safely to Chicago, in first class no less, but it took some effort!

I booked myself on the 6:44a United flight to Chicago this morning because of wi-fi. My upgrade cleared, so I was happy camper as I arrived at LAX, ready to enjoy my ...

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United Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow

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United Airlines offers an arrival lounge to intercontinental business and first class passengers in its new home in Terminal 2 at London Heathrow. Open from 5am – 2pm each day, Air Canada and South African Airways also allow their business class passengers access to it.

The concept of an arrivals lounge is brilliant – even flights form the U.S. west coast are ...

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How I Almost Missed My Flight to Frankfurt

I recently made a short trip to the USA, including a visit to some dear friends in Washington, DC. I like taking the 10pm United service out of Dulles because it allows for a full day and relaxed dinner before the short overnight flight to Frankfurt, which arrives at midday – not too early, but not too late. Flying out of Dulles for more than a decade, I tend to cut if close before flights – a pattern which has led to close calls on several occasions. But nothing like this ...

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Frankfurt to San Francisco in United Airlines First Class

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United Airlines CFO John Rainey made an unforced error when he told Bloomberg News that there was virtually no difference between United Airlines First Class (Global First) and Business Class (BusinessFirst). While true that the differences between first and business are muted compared to the products on some competitors, my recent flight in first class from Frankfurt to San Francisco nicely demonstrated the differences between the two cabins and the potential United is missing in not ...

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Airplane Food Delivered to Your Door!

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I have a confession to make about airline meals. While most curse United Airlines for the "unchanging" "nasty" "disgusting" "tried" breakfast entrée pictured below, it is one of my favorite meals and if I had the chance to order it for home consumption, I would gladly pay for it.

Nothing like chemical-filled sausage, powdered eggs and the cheesy potato surprise to start the day! But I do love it - there is just something about it I cannot ...

9-Seat Airliner Coming to California

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I have family that lives in Visalia, California and while my uncle was still alive, I made frequent trips up there - often once per month. A 3hr drive on I-5 is not a horrible thing, but the drive from LA over the Grapevine through California's Central Valley did get tedious at times. As we pulled onto CA198 we always passed Visalia Municipal Airport, and through the years I spied many different airlines operating what always turned ...

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United Cuts JFK-IAD Service, Effective October 25, 2014

Even I am not too old to remember when New York Kennedy was once a United focus city, with service to Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. JFK was also once the home of UA1, United's (and PanAm's) former around-the-world service from New York - London - Delhi - Hong Kong - Los Angeles - New York that ended after 9/11. For the last several years, though, United's presence at JFK has been a shadow of what it once was and on October 25, ...

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ExpertFlyer Now Features US Airways Awards and Upgrades

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While Delta Air Lines has demanded that ExpertFlyer remove not only award and upgrade info, but revenue info, the new American Airlines has moved in the opposite direction, working with ExpertFlyer to load availability for US Airways upgrade and award space. This is good news for smart travelers who value transparency on upgrades and awards.

I will be holding a seminar at the upcoming FTU Advanced in Chicago on how to use ExpertFlyer and I will be happy to demonstrate how to search ...