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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Business Class Airline Amenity Kit Showdown

On my last frequent flyer award trip I flew Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines and Continental (now United Airlines) in business class. On each long haul flight I received an amenity kit which was given to all business class passengers. Most flights were two cabin flights: BusinessFirst on Continental, ...
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Turkish Airlines Free Tour of Istanbul

Turkish Airlines offers a free tour of Istanbul to business class passengers laying over for more than seven hours and for economy class passengers with at least a nine hour layover. I had spent an hour in the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge at Istanbul Airport and had to make my way back out ...
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American Airlines CEO updates employees about US Airways

Six months ago, in the Q3 earnings call for American Airlines, CEO Tom Horton responded to a question by TheStreet.com's Tom Reed about the possibility of "further consolidation" in the industry:
"Does that include you?" asked Reed.
"Yeah, it could," Horton replied.
Horton has ...

Ask UPGRD: Chase Credit Card Offer Changing?

Update: April 3rd: This offer is actually now retired. 
The flying blogosphere seems abuzz with "sky is falling" posts about the current Chase Sapphire Credit card promotion. I received an email asking if the 50,000 mile promotion is still current due to these other posts.
The ...

American Airlines Extends Targeted Double Elite Qualifying DEQ11 Promo

The American Airlines Double Elite Qualifying Miles promotion between Los Angeles or San Francisco and Chicago O'Hare or Dallas/Fort Worth (for residents of California, Illinois or Texas) has been extended through June 30, 2012. If you registered for DEQ11 you should be registered already.

In addition, flights booked and flown between Chicago and Orange Country starting March 9, 2012 through June 30, 2012 will be eligible for this promotion. If you haven't registered simply visit the DEQ11 promotion page at aa.com to register.

IATA suspends Kingfisher sales

IATA, which administers the sales and reporting of travel agents, today suspended sales of tickets on Kingfisher airlines. This saga began when the local Tax Department seized several Kingfisher accounts due to non payment, tying up cash and preventing regular payments to workers and ...

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul

I finally had my chance to experience the business class lounge in Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines. You can access the Istanbul lounge as a Star Gold which makes connecting very comfortable. And I know we've had several posts on this subject, but the lounge is so nice it deserves one ...
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Turkish Airlines Short Haul Business Class on the A320

After my week in Cairo I took advantage of the free Istanbul tour from Turkish Airlines by laying over for more than 7 hours. Unfortunately that meant my flight left Cairo at 3:30am. After being dropped off at the airport at midnight, I made my way to one of the four small EgyptAir ...
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Giza Pyramids, Cairo Museum and Views Along the Nile

While visiting friends in Cairo a few weeks ago we took a "relatively" short drive, depending on the often horrible traffic, through Cairo to the Giza Pyramids. As soon as we arrived and parked on the street outside we were met by the first of many sellers of tours, horse and camel rides.
...
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Paris Catacombs Museum Tour

During my short trip to Paris I had one day by myself. Having already seen the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum in past trips I asked around for another suggested destination. Brian suggested the Catacombs of Paris Museum. The Museum is open 10am to 5pm every day except Monday with the last entry at ...

Business Class on EgyptAir's new A330-300 from Paris to Cairo

After flying to Paris in Continental's BusinessFirst I spent a few days with friends and visited the Catacombs. The next leg of my Aeroplan award was one segment on EgyptAir (MS) in business class from Paris (CDG) to Cairo. Many of my friends that lived in Europe and Cairo shook their head saying I ...
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Star Alliance Lounge in Paris CDG Terminal 1

After flying to Paris in Continental's BusinessFirst I spent a few days in Paris with friends and visited the Catacombs.  The next leg of my Aeroplan award was an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo. After arriving at CDG I walked through Terminal 1 past the checkin for Swiss, Lufthansa and ...
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Continental BusinessFirst from Newark to Paris

Since Aeroplan had their recent unannounced "award sale" I transferred some American Express miles to book an Aeroplan award to visit friends in Paris and Cairo. For the first leg I booked a BusinessFirst seat on Continental's United's 757-200 service from Newark (EWR) to Paris (CDG). After visiting ...
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