Matthewonlive and let's fly

Flying on 9/11, 12 Years Later


It has been three months since I have flown on United Airlines—it seems like yesterday that I was running for my connection in SFO—but today I took to the air again, flying from Los Angeles to Newark. In the dozen years since the 9/11 attacks, I have never had opportunity to travel on 9/11 and I was curious if the experience would be any different on this day.

It was not. And that is a good thing.

Same airport check-in at LAX with United agents not acknowledging me ...

2 Comments Read more

Singapore Airlines Video Ad - “Understanding Your Needs”

Singapore Airlines has launched a new “The Lengths We Go” ad campaign and the first installment is entitled “Understanding Your Needs:” 

It is a powerful ad emphasizing the Singapore personal touch and it successfully reinforces the mystique that Singapore depends upon to sell premium tickets. 

But I cannot help thinking about my recent trip to Australia on Singapore Airlines, where I did enjoy wonderful tea and some of ...

Royal Jordanian Award Space Now Bookable on


American Airlines has added Royal Jordanian to the growing list of carriers that you can now redeem AAdvantage miles for online. RJ is a oneworld partner based in Amman that serves Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Montreal in North America and has an extensive route network throughout the Middle East and Asia.

The list of partner awards now bookable on has grown to include:

Air Berlin Alaska Airlines British Airways Finnair Hawaiian Airlines Royal ...
2 Comments Read more

Now Hiring: Award Expert Executive Aide

I have chosen the non-conventional career path of working for myself instead of working for others, and as Award Expert has grown, it has consumed a growing chunk of my time. Even with an excellent team already lending support, growth has been limited by the hours of the day and I am approaching a plateau if I do not bring in more help. I hate turning clients down, but I refuse to provide subpar service—I cannot in good conscience take on your trip if I cannot provide effective, timely, ...

6 Comments Read more

Last Call for 30K Starpoints Bonus from Starwood American Express Card

UPDATE: Offer now expired.

Today is the final day to take advantage of the enhanced sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and Business Card from American Express. 

Starwood points are great for booking Starwood hotel properties, but they are also a valuable means to top up your mileage balances in 30 airline loyalty programs, including many not reached by American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate ...

Last Day for 100% Bonus on Purchased US Airways Miles


Update: Offer Expired.

US Airways has been good about offering a 100% bonus on purchased Dividend Miles every second or third month for the last two years, but today is the last day for the current promotion. 

Buy 10,000-19,000 miles and receive a 50% bonus Buy 20,000-29,000 miles and receive a 75% bonus Buy 30,000-50,000 miles and receive a 100% bonus

Read this post for FAQs on US Airways Dividend Miles Star Alliance ...

1 Comment Read more

The Bigotry of Fear Exposed at JFK

The story of Aditya Mukerjee, a Hindu-American who spent three hours detained at JFK for triggering an explosives alert at a TSA checkpoint is a troubling story and cause for deep introspection. I must admit, even my first reaction was "better safe than sorry." But that was the wrong conclusion--to defend the government and defend JetBlue is to defend paranoia, intimidation, and bigotry. I will not defend such conduct, and you shouldn't either.

Some, like Flying with Fish, are ...

13 Comments Read more

New United Airlines Transpac Route from SFO: Chengdu

United Airlines will announce a new transpacific longhaul route from San Francisco tomorrow and an insider tells me the new destination will be to Chengdu (CTU).

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China and home to more than 14,000,000 people. 80% of the world's pandas live in the Sichuan province and Chengdu is an Air China hub and also served by other Star Alliance carriers including ANA, Asiana, Thai, and EVA.

The flight will purportedly be operated three times weekly by a 787 aircraft beginning in June 2014. More details after the official announcement...

1 Comment Read more

False Alarm: Still No Fuel Surcharges on Most AA Awards

I awoke to news this morning that American Airlines would begin imposing fuel surcharges on all award travel, including flights on its own metal, and my heart sank. Currently fuel surcharges are imposed on British Airways flights and a moderate fuel surcharge is imposed on Iberia, but no fuel surcharge is collected for all other partner awards and AA's own flights. Until last night...when people began finding their award taxes were several hundred dollars more than anticipated. AA even ...

3 Comments Read more

American Airlines Adds New Flights at LAX

American Airlines is growing at Los Angeles International and today the carrier will begin service to five new cities:

Indianapolis, Indiana Columbus, Ohio Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Hartford, Connecticut Bentonville, Arkansas

Earlier this year AA began serving Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina and Eugene and Redmond, Oregon from Los Angeles and this November AA will begin non-stop service to West Palm Beach from LAX. In December, service between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil ...

2 Comments Read more

Disgruntled Former United Airlines Purser Extracts Revenge by Phoning in Bomb Threats


A former United Airlines purser has pleaded guilty to to making a false bomb threat against a United flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow. He could face up to five years in prison and has agreed to pay $250,000 in damages to United.

Court documents suggest Patrick Cau was a disgrunted flight attendant, who worked for United for 15 years and rose to the rank of purser, but left the company after United declined to investigate his claims that a male supervisor sexually ...

1 Comment Read more

A Delicious Breakfast on American Airlines


I admit it. I do like airline food. Though I am getting better at turning things down, I still eat almost anything put before me on an airplane. Most of my domestic flying this year has been transcons to/from Newark on United Airlines, which feature a multi-course meal and menus in first class. Despite the griping by many frequent flyers about United's subpar offerings, I tend to enjoy the food, even looking forward to it. My favorite meal of the day--both on the ground and on an airplane--is ...

8 Comments Read more

American Airlines Airbus A319 Photo Tour


American Airlines has taken delivery of its first new Airbus A319s and invited me and a cadre of other travel writers to examine the new aircraft in Dallas last week. I was already at LAX on another matter, so it made it easy for me to hop on an early flight to DFW in order to check out AA's latest fleet addition.

It was my first ...

13 Comments Read more

Rumor Confirmed: United 777s to Sydney, 787 to Osaka, 747 Returns to Chicago


United Airlines will replace its 747-400s with three-cabin 777-200ERs on its flagships Los Angeles/San Francisco-Sydney routes starting next spring. Other changes include a 787 on the San Francisco-Osaka route (currently a mix between the 747 and 777) and the return of the 747 to Chicago to serve Tokyo Narita.

In an internal memo to United employees, United explained why it will bring the 747 back to Chicago after clustering its 747 base in San ...

15 Comments Read more

Higher Costs + No More Holds = Delta Further Devalues Skymiles Program

Delta Air Lines has announced an "enhancement" to their Skymiles award chart, raising the price of saver business class redemptions up to 25% in some markets. Citing abuse, the carrier also announced an end to the ability to hold award reservations starting on September 09, 2013. The option to cancel and award reservation without penalty up to 24 hours after booking will remain. The new award chart is effective immediately, but only for award travel on or after June 01, ...

6 Comments Read more

Cathay Pacific Announces New Service to Newark Beginning on March 2, 2014


Cathay Pacific teased us on Facebook and Twitter last week with the image above, stating that it would announce new service to either Boston, Seattle, Miami, or Newark this week. Newark is the winner and the new flight is already loaded in the system, with plenty of award inventory. Service commences on March 2, 2014 with a three-cabin 77W aircraft, featuring economy, premium economy, and business class. No first class cabin.

CX890 HKG 5:00p ...
1 Comment Read more

Limited Starwood American Express Sign-Up Bonus

UPDATE: Offer now expired.

Through Labor Day 2013, Starwood was offering an enhanced sign-up bonus on its Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and Business Card from American Express. 

Starwood points are great for booking Starwood hotel properties, but they are also a valuable means to top up your mileage balances in 30 airline loyalty programs, including many not reached by American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Frequent Flyer ...
1 Comment Read more

Sneak Peek at JetBlue's A321 Business Class + Mini-Suites


JetBlue has released the first images of its new Airbus A321 interiors, including a look at its 16-seat business class cabin that will contain four mini-suites with sliding doors providing complete privacy.

The new aircraft and addition of business class (and apparently a business class within a business class) will be first introduced on flights between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco next year.

The cabin proposed for the Jet Blue Airlines A321 (U.S. ...

2 Comments Read more

An Important Decision Resolved

Let me give you a bit of advice that probably goes without saying—if you wish to do well on something, you have to put in the effort…unless you happen to be naturally brilliant of course, which few of us are.

I have been notably missing in action the last couple weeks as I crammed for the California Bar Exam. While most of my colleagues dutifully began studying upon the conclusion of law school in early May, I frolicked around the world and directed most of my efforts ...

12 Comments Read more