Terrorist Attacks and Travel Plans

A few thoughts on the events that took place in Paris last week.
As a lawyer whose favorite Constitutional law topic is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I take a very strong position in favor of freedom of expression.  Though each day brings news of more violence and ...

Flying Blue Promo Awards for January 2015

Each month Air France / KLM Flying Blue offer Promo Awards and I have highlighted the value of these awards on many occasions. While the January 2015 promotion is modest, Canadian travelers have a great opportunity to save on business class travel to ...

No Tourist Visas After All for Saudi Arabia

Well, when something seems too good be true, even if we are just talking about a visa to Saudi Arabia, it probably is...

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has now denied that it will issue tourist visas starting in June 2015. Instead, it will continue to focus on building infrastructure to better serve the needs of local tourists; the citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia.

Tourist visas for foreigners may still come one day -- the SCTA called it a "postponement" rather than a permanent policy -- but don't expect anything soon, especially when transit visas are no longer available.

Oh well...so much for that!


Saudi Arabia to Offer Tourist Visas Starting in June 2015

06 JAN 15 UPDATE: No Tourist Visas After All for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is not quite the hermit kingdom of North Korea, but it remains an elusive destination, difficult to enter and currently impossible to be an official tourist in outside of a narrow exception for Hajj or Umrah ...

Comprehensive Redemption Guide for 2015 Delta SkyMiles Program

2015 has brought new and exciting changes to the way your redeem your Delta SkyMiles including a new five-tiered award chart and one-way awards at half the price of a round-trip tickets. Read on for more about these changes and details on how to maximize your Delta miles:
Straightforward ...

A Roadmap for 2015

Happy New Year from Live and Let's Fly and I want to use this brief post to discuss my roadmap for this blog in 2015.
As I discussed yesterday, 2014 was not exactly a year of progress for this blog. Trip reports and hotel reviews were few and far between and for the first time in five years, ...

2014 in Perspective: Travel and Life

As Father Time prepares to hand over the reigns to Baby New Year, allow me to offer a few reflections on 2014.This was not the year I imagined it to be, with the beauty of married life and unplanned travel to exotic lands consternating sincere plans to make it a year of trip reports.
On the ...

Breaking: AirAsia Flight from Surabaya to Singapore Missing

In a year in which two Malaysian Airlines aircraft have tragically been lost, another airliner has sadly lost contact with air traffic control this evening. The AirAsia Indonesia A320 was (hopefully is) carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members.
An AirAsia flight travelling from the ...

I'll Be Home For Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all and may I just say that it is great to be home in Los Angeles! After a marathon visa process, including an unexpected month in South Africa, the visa finally arrived and Heidi and I are home for Christmas.
> Read More: Moving to South Africa
> Read More: ...

Woman Spends Weekend in Jail for Changing Seats on United

When I was thrown off a United Airlines flight for taking a picture of my seat, many were quick to attack -- blaming me for being over-entitled and concluding that I was wrong to even question the FA's confusion over in-flight photography. Such attacks were unfounded, but at the same time I could ...

United Airlines Fantasy Flights 2014 (Video)

I first wrote about United's Fantasy Flights five years ago and I am thankful that this wonderful Christmas tradition has not been one of the cutbacks of the post-merger United. In fact, the program has expanded to 12 airports across the country.
This year United put together a video ...
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Personal Thoughts on Travel and a New Era of US-Cuban Relations

It was seven years ago that President George W. Bush announced his Administration was doubling down on its bid to isolate the communist Cuban regime. More travel restrictions and more money restrictions, all with the end goal of bringing about leadership change and democratic reform. The President ...

Air New Zealand to Start Auckland to Buenos Aires Route

For Star Alliance flyers trying to connect between Australia or New Zealand and South America, options are not just limited -- there are no flights at all. Connecting via North America or Africa is required, adding hours to an already-long journey. With new aircraft comes new opportunity and ...

New Greeting for AA Phone Reps

This is totally an airline nerd thing, but I spend a chunk of my day each day (sometimes a huge chunk) on the phone with various airlines booking awards. The bulk of my clients are based in North America and lately, perhaps because of the 100,000 AA mile CITI sign-up bonus earlier this year, we have ...

Hyatt Updates 2015 Gold Passport Award Chart

Hyatt has announced its annual update to the Gold Passport award chart and thankfully changes are limited for 2015--here is what you need to know:
70 Hyatt properties are changing categories 22 hotels are moving up a category 48 hotels are moving down a category The new rates ...

FTU Dallas Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets to FTU and FTU Advanced in Dallas, from 17-19 April 2015, are now on sale at FTUniversity.com.
I will be doing my usual talks on United Airlines, but will also be talking miles and exotic travel at this event.
Sessions at FTU include:
Gary Leff – View from the ...

United Airlines Now Processing Lufthansa GPU Upgrades Electronically

United Airlines and Lufthansa were both founding members of the Star Alliance and have maintained a close relationship as both codeshare and joint venture partners over years. United's top-status 1K flyers receive six GPUs (Global Premier Upgrades) each year and as part of that partnership, can use ...
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FTU Dallas Tickets Go On Sale Thursday!

Tickets to the next Frequent Traveler University go on sale Thursday at 11:00AM ET / 8:00AM PT at FTUniversity.com. Tickets for the Advanced seminars at the last three events sold out very quickly, so be warned if you want to attend.
I enjoyed so much meeting many of you in Washington ...