Hyatt Place

In completing the Hyatt Diamond challenge, I've spent my share of nights at several different Hyatt Place properties. Hyatt Place, for those that haven't stayed there, is Hyatt's inexpensive franchise that feature the same building layout at each location. Almost all rooms feature a split studio ...
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Hyatt Crystal City (DCA) Review and Photos

In order to complete my Hyatt Diamond Challenge last year, I booked three nights at the Hyatt Crystal City near Washington DCA Airport.

If you are mileage running and trying to keep your costs down there are two cheap options available to get to the hotel. Firstly the hotel runs a ...
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Air Berlin A330 New Business Class Seat

Air Berlin is rolling out lie flat business class seats similar to Etihad. I was invited to a press conference in March to highlight the new seat and get a first hand look.

The seats are comfortable and have plenty of length for tall travelers. While I'm average height I spoke with a few ...
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ITA Matrix Airfare Search Advanced Routing Codes

Back in 2009 I wrote a quick post on using ITA to search for flights for an American Airlines Challenge by specifying some advanced options. ITA has a number of routing rules (or codes) that can be used to tailor your search requirement. Since I constantly have to remind myself of some of the codes ...
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New Bloggers, New Upcoming Site Features but Farewell to the Podcasts

As you may have noticed I haven't produced any of our three podcasts in a while. We had a limited audience for the podcasts and the scheduling, recording, editing and production were very time consuming. As such I've spent more of my time on the blogs, finding new bloggers and preparing some new ...
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PreCheck makes flying a breeze

Flying is fun again.
I flew from JFK to Washington D.C. (DCA) yesterday for the Freddie Awards and wrote some notes on how quick and enjoyable my airport experience was. Then, as I was sorting my files, I noticed another draft post from February entitled "Flying Is Fun". Ironically (or perhaps ...
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Amtrak Acela Business Class New York to Washington

On a recent trip from New York City to Washington, D.C. I opted to take Amtrak's Acela service in business class. I tend to fly this route, as often American Eagle has ~$80 one way fares that are cheaper and faster than Amtrak. But since I had never taken Acela before, and had an expiring $100 ...
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Air Berlin Business Class JFK-DUS

I redeemed a OneWorld Explorer award to go to Berlin for the ITB travel conference. After booking my ticket I contacted Air Berlin to ask about taking photos and they informed me of a press conference I could attend in Berlin, during ITB, for the new lie-flat seats they are ...
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American Airlines OneWorld Explorer Award

American Airlines Business class awards from the United States to Europe start at 100,000 miles. If you're based on the east coast you can save 20,000 miles by booking a OneWorld Explorer award. Many others have detailed using Explorer awards for elaborate round-the-world travel, but I simply needed ...

National Air and Space Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The space shuttle isn't as big as you think.
But you shouldn't believe me. Plan you next flight with a long layover at IAD and see for yourself. As Brad mentioned in his visit to the Udvar Hazy Museum it's just a few minutes from Dulles.

Although admission is free, the mandatory ...

Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class

Turkish Airlines flies their 777 nonstop from Istanbul to New York. I'll probably win the award for slowest trip report written, but this is the conclusion to my earlier report from 13 months ago. I've typed up a few of my notes, but I'll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves.
After my ...
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American Airlines' New Livery and New Look today at 9am Central

Update: 9:07 central: The American Airlines server is unresponsive showing parts of the video or error messages. but they just updated their twitter profile pic. I have no words right now.
 

Update 9:14 central, server sort of responding. Still no words. Facebook comments ...
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Enjoy American's MD-80s While You Can

Hi, my name is Mike and I love flying on the MD80. There I said it.
Many other frequent flyers lament the MD80s lack of in-flight entertainment (IFE), smaller overhead bins, boring non sky-interior, and general age of the aircraft. But I enjoy the fact that 80% of the seats are windows or ...
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Challenge Yourself to a Hyatt Diamond Status Trial

I've never been that excited about hotel status or hotel upgrades. It's just a room, and a suite is just a bigger room - sometimes an apartment. Generally when my travel includes a hotel stay I'm usually working at a client site, visiting friends, or seeing the city. However, sometimes it's nice to ...
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UPGRD.com server status 31 October 2012

Firstly let me apologize for UPGRD.com being offline for so long. The site is hosted in a data center in lower Manhattan. During Hurricane Sandy, storm surges caused much of the power grid in lower Manhattan to shut down - in part due to a transformer explosion nearby on 14th Street. ConEd, the ...
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Using Google Flights to Search for Airfares FAST!

Google's Flights search has generally been panned by the frequent flyer community for being too focused on commodity flights where price and shortest duration trump all else. However, it's blazing fast speed makes it a great tool to start your mileage run planning.
There are some some good ...
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American Airlines New Aircraft Cabin Tour Video

American Airlines released photos and a promotional video of their new A321's (due in 2013) and 777-300 ER aircraft due in service later this year. The photos and videos highlight a long overdue upgrade to the hard product in all three cabins. The A321's promise three class service on all ...
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As American's CEO, with which airline would you merge?

 It's being reported that American Airlines is now evaluating potential mergers with US Airways Group Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp, Alaska Air Group, Republic Airways' Frontier Airlines, and Virgin America. If you were CEO of American which merger would you proceed with? Or not merge at ...
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Intrepid Museum Concorde Tour

If you're visiting New York City, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a great stop for any aviation enthusiast. After an extensive renovation from 2006 to 2008 the museum has always had a wide assortment of aircraft for viewing including:
F-16 Falcon Lockheed A-12 the ...
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