Matthewonlive and let's fly

ExpertFlyer Now Features US Airways Awards and Upgrades

expertflyer-logo

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 ...

German Court Lifts Ban on Uber

A Frankfurt court that had banned Uber ride service from operating within Germany late last month has lifted the ban: Uber is back in business in Germany.

Uber is mobile app based ride sharing service that offers an easy way to hail a driver - all transactions are handled by credit card, no tipping, and the price often comes out cheaper than with a normal cab. I used Uber to get around London last weekend and had very good, prompt, clean, and reasonable service each time.

Not ...

1 Comment Read more

A Weekend in England with My Best Friend

stonehenge03_446

I do not talk much about my friends, but you should know a little bit about John, one of my closest friends of more than 15 years. He never did especially well in high school and skipped college, but he is the shrewdest, smartest, and most successful businessman that I know. Quite frankly, who needs college when you run two businesses very well? He's a workaholic like me, but I managed to drag him out of LA for a weekend to check out England. 

The purpose of the trip, at least ...

3 Comments Read more

Tickets Available for United SFO Family Day on October 12, 2014

United Airlines hosts a Family Day at its giant maintanence center at San Francisco International Airport each autumn. In past years, select members from Flyertalk and MilePoint have been invited to attend and I have attended twice - it is a great event. This year, United has again extended an invite beyond employees and family to the greater United family--its most enthusiastic customers.

Date: Sunday October 12th Time: 11:00am to 4:30pm Location: SFO Maintenance Center

This ...

1 Comment Read more

A Note from Captain Denny Flanagan

justabuckfront-9-11-2014

Captain Denny Flanagan sent me the following note this morning --

My Flying Friends,   It's early morning on September 11th in Shanksville Pennsylvania. I am here with over 50 United crew members to honor the memory of the Pilots, Flight Attendants and Customers of United Flight 93. It has been 13 years since that terrible day and time makes us forget, but we should not. When you hear the Nation[al] Park Ranger tell the story of the Flight 93 coming in at a steep angle ...

When Chaos Breaks Out Onboard

One of the reasons I avoid low-cost-carriers in Europe is because of incidents like the one captured on the video below:

Flights within Europe on carriers like Ryanair can be very inexpensive if you buy early or buy at the right time and that attracts the clientele seen in the above video (among others).

> Read More: The Ryanair Experience - Frankfurt Hahn to Pisa

What would you do in a similar circumstance? There is a thin line in which revelers having a good ...

2 Comments Read more

September 2014 Flying Blue Promo Awards for November + December Travel

09_2014_fb_promo_awards_north_america

Air France/KLM Flying Blue has released its Promo Awards for September 2014 and the pickings continue to get slimmer for business class deals between North America and Europe. This month, there is not a single city 50% off or even 25% off business class space in North America - the closest business class sale is Panama City.

But a 25K r/t economy class award is nothing to scoff at if you live in Detroit (Detroit - Tel Aviv or anywhere in Europe for 50K r/t is about as cheap as it can ...

Up to 100% Bonus on Purchased US Airways Miles - 7 Tips and Tricks

us-airways-100-buy-promtion-september-2014-01a

US Airways is once again running a 100% bonus on purchased miles through September 30, 2014. Every other month US Airways has been running this promotion, but I would not expect it to last - I sense an imbalance in supply and demand that will be solved through a dramatic award chart devaluation coupled with a further increase in the cost of miles once the merger with American Airlines is complete. But for now, US Airways Dividend ...

2 Comments Read more

Kidnapping Forces United Flight from Washington to Beijing to Divert

united-airlines-kidnapping-washington-to-beijing

I love the movie Argo, which tells the story of how Canada and CIA operative Tony Mendez smuggled out a cadre of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran Hostage Crisis. In the gripping conclusion (full of artistic embellishment but nevertheless riveting), hearts pound as the Swissair 747 bound for Zürich gently ascends out of Mehrabad Airport to the consternation of the Revolutionary Guard and continue to pound until the aircraft safely leaves Iranian airspace. But ...

2 Comments Read more

United Airlines' CFO Disses His Company's Global First Class Product

united-cfo-john-rainey-foot-in-his-mouth

John Rainey, United Airlines' infamous CFO who claimed that elites are over-entitled, has put his foot in his mouth again...this time by trashing his company's three-cabin international first class product, dubbed "Global First". But it was not just a curious denigration...it was a fairly accurate statement and a sign that United does not see a three-cabin first class in its future.

Watch the video on bloomberg.com.

Rainey appeared on ...

13 Comments Read more

Additions and Subtractions to Virgin Atlantic Route Network

delta-virgin-atlantic-02

Virgin Atlantic, strengthening its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines, has announced new routes that will bring the two carriers closer than ever before. With the lastest shuffle, the USA wins while Canada, India, Japan, and South Africa loses.

The new Virgin Atlantic routes include:

A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit offering new connections across North and Central USA such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis and Indianapolis on Delta A fifth ...
3 Comments Read more

United Airlines Should Capitalize on AA's Poor New In-Flight Meals

new-united-airlines-salad

Both Rocky and Sriram have sampled American Airlines' new onboard premium class menu, effective 01 September 2014, and both found it to be supremely lacking. They are not the only ones, for I have not read one positive review of the new meal policy. Meanwhile, United Airlines has announced a true enhancement in in-flight meal service, adding meals to shorter flights that do not currently offer meals and making the menu more attractive. Polling consistently finds that travelers do not choose ...

7 Comments Read more

How I Learned That I Could Never Be A Farmer

railhof_26

My wife's suggestion seemed innocent enough: let's visit my cousins on the farm for a couple days before the wedding. I was at the farm once - in the winter of 2013 - and it seemed like an okay suggestion, as long as I could find internet. "Oh don't worry, you have your cell phone and USB internet," said my wife.

The farm is located near the village of Mulfingen, in Baden-Württemberg near the Bavarian border, with Schwäbisch Hall the nearest town about 25km away. This ...

4 Comments Read more

Orbitz and American Airlines Fighting Again: Who is to Blame?

american-airlines-orbitz

American Airlines has pulled fares from Orbitz (again) and will also pull US Airways' fares starting on September 01, 2015. Though AA is a partial owner of Orbitz, the carrier and the online travel agency have been unable to agree on a fee arrangement for selling AA/US flights. History makes me hopeful this blockage is temporary in nature, but is nevertheless detrimental to consumers. Which side is to blame for this latest squabble?

Here's ...

2 Comments Read more

Massive British Airways Executive Club Devaluation Coming?

Gary wrote an alarming post yesterday pointing out that Iberia, owned by the same parent company as British Airways, has obliterated its partner redemption chart for Avios redemptions. Shorthaul trips on American Airlines that are 4,500 Avios with BA are 19,500 Avios with IB! Although this is not a new chart, merely the first the time Iberia has published its current partner chart, many are rushing to redeem their remaining BA Avios in anticipation of a similar devaluation and moaning that ...

6 Comments Read more

Abundant Turkish Airlines Award Space on New San Francisco - Istanbul Route

new-route-san-francisco-to-europe-08

Turkish Airlines is launching new non-stop service between San Francisco and Istanbul in April 2015 and the award space is abundant in both business and economy class - even on the inaugural flights! We're not just talking about one or two seats - most days have at least nine award seats available.

The new service will commence on 13 April 2015 and operate 5x weekly before going daily on 13 May 2015. TK will place its 777-300ER on the route, which has full lie-flat beds in ...

3 Comments Read more

British Airways Companion Voucher Now Valid for One-Way Travel

British Airways offers a companion voucher when you accrue more than $30,000 in spending on its Chase-branded credit card. With this voucher, you can redeem your BA Avios for a complimentary companion ticket, paying only the taxes and fuel surcharge on the second ticket. Although BA's exorbitant fuel surcharges often make the use of the voucher a poor value (I let mine expire...), if you are traveling to Europe, the Middle East, or South Africa the voucher can come in handy.

One ...

2 Comments Read more

Pictures: Airline Amenity Kits from World's Leading Carriers

With the loss of Darren, our resident expert on airline amenity kits, I admitedly have not kept up with the current amenity kits offered by airlines outside the handful of Star Alliance carriers I frequent regularly. The Daily Mail has taken on the mantle with a great photospread of more than 20 airline amenity kits from the following airlines:

Emirates - ****** British Airways - ***** airberlin - **** Air Canada - *** Air New Zealand - ***** American ...
2 Comments Read more

Giving up Lufthansa First Class for Love

lufthansa-first-class-itineary

Today was the day that my wife was to fly Lufthansa First Class for the first time. I was looking forward to it so much! First Tokyo Haneda to Frankfurt, then Munich to Toronto in First Class tomorrow with visits to the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt and First Class Lounge in Munich. Lufthansa First has been one of the pinnacles of commercial flying since my first flight in first class six years ago, but I was curious to see how my German wife Heidi would like it. After all, she was not ...

10 Comments Read more

Review: Park Hyatt Vienna

a-park-hyatt-vienna-wein-60

Vienna is a stately city rich with majestic architecture, an erudite culture, and a regal sense of style. In the center of the old city, replete with cobblestone walkways, horse drawn carriages, and glistening statues of historical luminaries, a new Park Hyatt hotel has opened on the site of a former monarchical bank. My wife and I celebrated my birthday in Vienna last weekend and stayed for two nights at Park Hyatt’s newest property.

A ...

9 Comments Read more