Additions and Subtractions to Virgin Atlantic Route Network

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 ...
3 Comments

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

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 ...
7 Comments

How I Learned That I Could Never Be A Farmer

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," ...
4 Comments

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

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 ...
2 Comments

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 ...
6 Comments

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

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 ...
3 Comments

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 ...
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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 ...
2 Comments

Giving up Lufthansa First Class for Love

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 ...
11 Comments

Review: Park Hyatt Vienna


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 ...
9 Comments

Passengers Steal Baby Strollers at London Gatwick

One of the things I love about Frankfurt Airport is that Lufthansa has coffee stations set up around many of its gates -- areas which offer complimentary self-serve coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Not to denigrate other cultures, but it just shocks me to see these stations orderly, clean, and still ...

U.S. Secretary of State Rescued by United Airlines


It is not just us hoi polloi that run into mechanical delays that foul up our schedules and cause us to shift travel plans…it even happens to the Secretary of State of the USA.
Sec. John Kerry has been on a whirlwind tour on his Air Force Boeing 757 in the last several days. ...

A New Problem for Malaysia Airlines

In light of two deadly crashes and the questionable handling of each incident, beleaguered Malaysia Airlines faces an uncertain road ahead. The state-run carrier is 70% government owned and the privately-held 30% will soon be acquired by the government. MH will be de-listed and a restructuring ...
2 Comments

The US Airways Dividend Miles Tax Game

While charging fraudulent "government" taxes on Dividend Miles transfers appears to be a nefarious policy choice by US Airways, another equally distressing issue is just as concerning -- agent incompetence may mean you pay a lot more taxes on your US Airways award trip than you should.
The ...
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Air India: Rats on a Plane

Despite my love of German autos, I do not own one and instead use public transportation daily in Frankfurt. While the system is great for getting just about anywhere in town (and indeed, in the country), the underground stations have a serious rodent problem - it is not uncommon to be waiting for ...
5 Comments

United Loosens Award Routing Rules Between North America and Africa

Fearing that United Airlines had further tightened up award routing rules to Asia based on a new and restrictive revision of the fine print, I warned in May that if enforced, United's draconian new routing rules would mark a stealth devaluation of the MileagePlus program. Though the new rules ...
8 Comments

A Comprehensive Worldwide Guide to Tipping

In celebration of my recent birthday, Heidi and I spent the weekend in Vienna, Austria. More on that in future posts including a great stay at the brand new Park Hyatt Vienna, but I once again encountered a problem that I have faced often in the 100+ countries I have visited - to tip or not to tip, ...
22 Comments

Onboard Photos: The Hidden Hypocrisy in United's New Safety Video

Another passenger was thrown off a United Airlines flight yesterday for taking pictures. 
Full details here, but here's my summary: Passenger is on a flight from Austin to Denver. He has top-tier status with United and is a million-miler flyer, so he has witnessed the politics between ...
6 Comments

Air France/KLM FlyingBlue Promo Awards for October & November 2014

I have highlighted the value of Air France/KLM Flying Blue Promo Awards on many occasions, though the latest promotion illustrates the deal is not what it once was. With no discounted business class redemption this time around, the value proposition is less, but there are a few economy ...