The Real Reason United Fired Jeff Smisek

In an unexpected move, United Airlines announced today that CEO Jeff Smisek, along with two top lieutenants were "stepping down" (translation: fired). With record profit on the books and relative harmony between labor and management, what happened? Apparently, New Jersey politics, but as I argue ...
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Day Two in Cuba: Accused of Being An American Spy!


The alarm sounded at 5am and my taxi was already waiting downstairs. Not a vintage American auto, unfortunately, but a comfortable Toyota Corolla to take me to the airport. We had negotiated a cost of $12 for the ride.
The driver dropped me off at the domestic terminal and I proceeded in, ...
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Here’s How to Smartly Use Your Lufthansa Miles

So, here’s the story of how I saved my family trip and even scored a business class seat using my Lufthansa Miles & More points. If you don’t want to read the background, skip down to the Use Lufthansa Miles to Book Last-Minute United Flights.
I’m on a special father-sons ...
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Day One in Cuba: An Evening Surprise

Back on the street, my first stop was the American Embassy, currently surrounded by a staging ground for routine protests against the American government. Still the “American interests section” during my visit, it has recently been upgraded to full embassy status. Adjacent to the staging ...
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United Airlines Closing Honolulu and Detroit Call Centers

Mention "Honolulu Call Center" to any frequent United Airlines flyer and you will see a smile and hear a story about how Team HNL has worked magic or gone the extra mile to save a trip. For United's valuable Global Services members (a small group of top-spenders), mention Detroit and you'll hear ...
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Pictures: Budapest Keleti Railway Station

One of my favorite things about traveling is to be in places that later become focal points for international headlines. I was in Tahrir Square in Cairo months before the Egyptian Revolution, drinking coffee in the Argana Cafe in Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech, Morocco that was the ...
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Day One in Cuba: A Tour of Havana

I was only traveling with hand baggage and proceeded out beyond baggage claim to a very balmy haze outside – it was over 90ºF and it felt even warmer. We walked past the terminal to a small parking lot, where Marco’s wife Calisto sat waiting in a white Toyota Corolla – as ...
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Flight Attendants and Religious Freedom

As a lawyer who studied free speech extensively in law school, controversies pitting religious liberty and accommodation against employer demands are of particular interest. Two simmering issues surrounding the actions of flight attendants bring this legal tension to our attention once ...
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Visa Requirements for Visiting Cuba

When I reached Costa Rica, I had to check in for my flight to Havana because it was on a different reservation than the U.S. flights. A TACA agent asked to see my Cuban visa…I was not even aware that one was needed.
Turned out I could purchase one directly from her. Digging through a ...

Los Angeles to Havana in TACA Economy Class


This was not my first time flying TACA…last time the Lead FA thought I was a terrorist (for taking pictures…). No drama this time and that is exactly the way flying in economy class should be. TACA, or Transportes Aereos del Continente Americano, is now called Avianca ...

Planning a Trip to Cuba


Cuba is romantically characterized as a land of intrigue and glamour for good reason. Just 90 miles off the coast of Florida sits a nation that served as a Cold War chess piece in the 40-year match against the USSR and USA, a nation that remains one of the few communist experiments still under ...
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5 Tips for Using Uber at LAX


After months of political maneuvering, Uber and Lyft have prevailed in their bid to pick up passengers at Los Angeles International Airport, with service set to begin in the next few weeks. Here's five tips for using Uber like a pro at LAX.
1. Pick up Uber-X on Departures Level ...
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The Lufthansa Heist


Catching up on newspapers today, I noticed a WSJ review of a new book by Henry Hill and Daniel Simone entitled The Lufthansa Heist. Intrigued, I read up on it and apparently I need to watch the film Goodfellas...
Here's how it briefly went down -- an airport worker trying to settle ...

Preview of New United Airlines Safety Video

We've seen airline safety videos evolve from tedious reminders of onboard safety to comedic works of art and full-scale productions. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that United has released a trailer for its upcoming new safety video, entitled Safety is Global II--

With airlines ...
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New California British Airways Route Has Lots of Award Space

British Airways will commence service between the Silicon Valley and London on May 4, 2016, offering daily non-stop service between San Jose, CA and London Heathrow on its new 787-9 Dreamliner. If you are looking for non-stop business class award space from the West Coast to Europe, now is the time ...
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How to Make the Most of an Airline Schedule Change

Airline schedule changes are inevitable, and the earlier you book your trip, the more likely you are to encounter one. Schedule changes can be devastating when your perfect non-stop flight is canceled, but schedule changes can also be a tremendous blessing, whether you are using miles or just buying ...
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Singapore Airlines, Airbus Working to Bring Back World's Longest Flight


Singapore Airlines and Airbus are working to restore non-stop service to New York by 2018 with  the development of a more fuel efficient A350-900 that would make the route economically viable.
Non-stop service from Singapore to Newark halted in 2013, as Singapore failed to turn ...
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United FAs Get iPhone 6s Filled with Info About YOU!


Although I have not seen them in use yet, United Airlines has recently equipped all flight attendants with an iPhone 6 Plus to "deliver an even higher level of flyer-friendly service and will offer our flight attendants simple, one-touch access to valuable work information, enabling them ...
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