The Real Reason LAX is Still a United Hub


A spirited discussion commenced last week on the hub status of United Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport. I argued that LAX remained both a de facto and de jure United hub while Cranky argued that United had abandoned LAX as a hub.
We parsed stats including service reductions, ...
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Approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve!

I see now many of the bloggers are on their post-approval victory laps, but I figured I'd throw in my approval story for the Chase Sapphire Reserve as well.
Turns out I could have applied online, but I took the more conservative route and applied at my bank yesterday morning. The object was to ...
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New IMAX Trailer for Captain Sully Movie


It has all the makings of a good film -- directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks -- and a new IMAX preview for Sully, which portrays the crash landing and subsequent investigation over US Airways 1549, is out.

For reference, the first trailer is here--

The film ...
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Lost Cat Turns Up on Air Canada Flight

Have you ever heard a flight attendant come down the aisle asking, "Has anyone seen a cat?”
I haven't either, but I wasn't on Air Canada Flight 189 from Ottawa to Vancouver earlier this week, where about 20 minutes prior to landing a FA did utter those very words.
But that unusual ...
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Priority Pass Guest Access with Chase Sapphire Reserve


Chase has been as clear as mud when it comes to whether the Priority Pass Select membership included with the Chase Sapphire Reserve allows only complimentary cardmember access (like Priority Pass Select via American Express) or complimentary access for two guests (like Priority Pass ...
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How Would You Handle a Harassing Seatmate?


There is a story trending about a woman who was traumatized on a British Airways flight by a man behind who "refused" to let her recline. After physical and verbal assault, she finally spoke to the crew and was upgraded from premium economy to business class. Tiffany covers it nicely here and ...
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Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worthwhile?

The blogosphere has exploded with posts about the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card and I would not begrudge you for wondering whether the card is worth securing or just a marketing ploy from bloggers either trying to generate affiliate revenue or hoping to one day secure affiliate links. Believe me, ...
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British Airways' Curious Strategy for Growth

You're shopping for a ticket from London to New York and opt to pay an extra $500 for a Premium Economy seat on British Airways, which promises among other things "delicious meals" (with an "s"). Your flight time is about seven hours and after takeoff you receive a decent breakfast and it is ...
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Should United De-Hub Los Angeles? No, And It Won't.

Cranky Flier argues that United has abandoned its Los Angeles hub in a piece entitled Should United De-Hub Los Angeles? It Already Has. The article is worth a read and presents some fascinating stats, but Cranky ultimately gets his analysis wrong: a more strategic and profitable flight ...
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Odd New Commercial from United Airlines

United Airlines has released a commercial highlighting its new Polaris Business Class product, which will begin to roll out later this year. The commercial is well-done with great music and visuals but the strangely exotic, British narration strikes me as odd.
Instead of Matt Damon, United's ...
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I am Spending the Night in an Abandoned Russian Mine!

Tonight should be interesting -- I'll be staying at the Tulpan Hotel in Pyramiden, an abandoned Russian mining community in Svalbard, Norway. I've ordered the "Soviet accommodation" and will be cut off from the outside world until tomorrow, for I have been warned there is no internet on the island.


Currently I am in a guesthouse in Longyearben and the owner could not believe I would want to spend the night there, a ringing endorsement from a local! It is about 38F with drizzle right now in a land in which the sun does not set for three months each year and a watermelon costs about $20 (I just returned from the grocery store!).

So here goes nothing...

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An Incredible Flight on SAS

If I could describe my SAS flight from Los Angeles to Stockholm in one picture, it would be this--

My flight simply could not have been better.
To be honest, I had some trepedation stepping onboard. Last time I flew SAS longhaul I had a nasty seatmate and Lucky flew SAS on the same ...
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Hey SAS, I Chose My Seat for a Reason!


Hello from 37,000 feet above the ground enroute from Los Angeles to Stockholm! The SAS flight has been incredible (more on that tomorrow) but a friendly warning if you are flying SAS and concerned about your seat assignment: check it and check it often.
I booked this trip last fall and ...
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New Pet Relief Area at LAX or Secret Smoking Patio?

LAX has opened a new pet relief area on the site of a former smoking patio in Terminal 6. The "Pet Park" is LAX's third: there is also one beyond security in the Tom Bradley International Terminal and another outside baggage claim between Terminal 7/8. Does this mean the smoking area is ...
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First Look: Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington Dulles

Back in April, Pizza in Motion reported that Turkish Airlines would be opening a lounge at Washington Dulles. I am on my way home to Los Angeles this morning and was pleased to see lounge construction is progressing nicely.
The lounge will be in the former home of the Virgin/Emirates ...
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United Surprise and Delight Program Surprises and Delights Me

United Airlines began a "Surprise and Delight" program last year as an effort to surprise "High Value Flyers" (HVFs -- essentially those who spend a lot of money on tickets) with complimentary upgrades, sometimes cleared weeks in advance. The program has expanded beyond upgrades to other ...
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Qatar Amiri Flight 747-8 at LAX

I am on my way to FTU in Washington this weekend and upon driving into LAX this morning I noticed a 747-8 with Qatar Airways livery parked in one of the VIP slots on the SE side of the airport. 


I figured this had to be a special jet for the royal family though the ...
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On Turning 30

Yesterday I turned 30 at 38,000 feet somewhere over Nevada. I was flying JetBlue Mint Class with Lucky and just past the stroke of midnight he came over from his Mint Suite to mine and rubbed in that I was now an old man wished me a happy birthday. I feel no different today than I did yesterday, but ...
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Sneak Preview of United Polaris Dining Menu

"240 new entrees. 96 new appetizers. 48 new salads."
United describes its new Polaris Business Class menu as a "complete redesign of the culinary experience". Earlier today, a group of FAs in Chicago had a chance to sample the food and I am hearing that everyone was impressed.
Sample ...
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Unpacking the Latest United MileagePlus Changes



United has announced "enhancements" to its United MileagePlus program starting this fall and as usual, the enhancements are anything but enhancements. Here's what I do not understand -- why can't United just call a devaluation a devaluation? Claiming stopovers are "too confusing" United ...