After touring the Amtrak Coast Starlight I had worked up an appetite. Around 2pm I was called for lunch, although the reservation was for 1:30. I didn't mind, but I assume they generally run a little late with a full train like today. I was seated with two teenagers whose family was at the table across from us. Although both boys were very well mannered, it was a little hard striking up conversation. However, they were good sports and took photos of their meals for me. The menu ...
Once onboard the train at Los Angeles Union Station, I took a quick tour of the train to explore the different types of cars on the train. This Coast Starlight train had three Superliner Sleeper Cars. The sleeping arrangements in these cars consisted of:
1 Family Bedroom
1 Accessible Room
Aft of the sleeping cars was the Parlour Car that only first class (sleeper) passengers are ...
After booking my Coast Starlight train ticket I flew to Los Angeles for my event. At the end of my trip I made my way from the LAX car rental counter to the train via the FlyAway bus service from LAX to Union Station. When taking the FlyAway you enter Union Station in the back then proceed past all the train tracks back into the main hall.
Coach passengers check in and queue at the boarding areas in the middle of the terminal. While first class passengers (those traveling in ...
Last year I had to travel from the bay area to Los Angeles. Although my airfare from SFO-LAX was relatively cheap ($85 one way) the return airfare options were a little high ($200 plus). I kept waiting in the hopes of a VX last minute discounted price.
I also checked out Amtrak's prices on the Coast Starlight (train 14) which travels from Los Angeles to San Jose (then continues all the way to Seattle). The fare was $103 for a coach seat and there was a $131 upcharge to a private ...
Last Friday, I arrived at the airport dragging my suitcase, golf clubs, and backpack for a two week trip to see family and clients on the other coast. I tried to use the United Airlines checkin kiosk but it simply stated 'See Agent'. After handing my ID to the checkin agent, she tapped on the computer, looked up at me, and said "I don't see your reservation" smiling broadly. Due to her grin, I think she's joking, I smiled back.
We both continued to smile at each other.
In the past two months we've expanded our team of bloggers and I am very excited to introduce:Gabrielle - whom many of you know from the Hangar Flying podcast here on upgrd.com. As a private pilot and flight attendant Gabrielle has lots of stories from both sides of the cockpit door. Her first post A Day in the Life of a Flight Attendant is a great start for anyone wondering about the "glamour" of the job. Saul, from the Hangar Flying Podcast Flying in the ...
I spent the weekend digging through old photos and found some from a trip to Kuala Lumpur in 1986. The routing was SYR-JFK (on Piedmont shortly after their acquisition of Empire Airlines) then JFK-NRT-KUL on Northwest Orient. That's right. Orient. Seeing as this trip was 25 years ago - I don't remember much. We flew in coach on the way over, but paid for an upgrade on the way back. Here are some (low quality) photos from different parts of the trip:
The gate area ...
On Thursday night, the Frequent Traveler Education Foundation awarded the best hotel and airline loyalty programs for their 2010 promotions. In attendance were a number of airline, hotel and other travel industry employees. The event was held at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Below are some photos of the event:
The event was MC'd by Robert Wuhl
Fozz delivering an award
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At the Travel Executive Summit luncheon during the Frequent Traveler Education Foundation series, a number of loyalty program managers spoke including:Maya Leibman, President of AAdvantage Program, at American Airlines Jeff Foland, President of United Mileage Plus Jeff Zidell, Vice President of Hyatt Gold Passport Jeff Robertson, Vice President of Loyalty Programs, Delta Air Lines Joshua Berwitz, Vice President Membership Rewards, American Express
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Attention all pilots and Star Trek aficionados. Today is your big day to reach for the stars and apply at Virgin Galactic to test and develop the WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo spaceflight system then move onto regular spaceline operations.
Virgin Galactic is only looking for team players. And there are some other job requirements, most of which I forget now, but I can't imagine it matters much as long as you are a team player. The requirements and more details on the position can be found here.
The grand opening of SFO T2 today gave the public a chance to see the new terminal. The first flights from this terminal are not schedule for another week.
Since this is a renovation - and not a new terminal - the reveal today was a little underwhelming. The ceilings are low due to the old design and like most of SFO is jam packed with overpriced eateries and retail stores. Thankfully the seating is upgraded and power plugs are easier to find.
The checkin ...
US Airways and America West merged in late 2005. It was just on the heels of America West coming out of a four year bankruptcy and US Airways, at the time, was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. It sounded like a match made in heaven – two bankrupt airlines merging to make one big bankrupt airline.
All joking aside, it's been over five years now and the flight attendants from the two pre-merger airlines still work under separate contracts. In fact, the National Mediation ...
In remarks last Friday at the CERA Conference on energy, United CEO Jeff Smisek reiterated the high costs of fuel and government mandated taxes and fees that are a burden on the airline industry. Although the airlines have lost money for several years, which means their corporate tax obligations are negligible, the amount of government fees, taxes and surcharges on airline tickets can average 20% per ticket. Which brought Smisek to speak the title of this ...
You can now RSVP for the upcoming grand opening of the new Terminal 2 (T2) at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on April 9th, 2011. A $383 million dollar renovation that will be the new home for American Airlines and Virgin America.
The new sustainable facility boasts cleaner air, better seating, water bottle filling stations, and a unique "recomposure" area right after you pass through the TSA.
American Airlines flyers will finally get a new lounge instead of the dark micro lounge that currently occupies T3. The open house is open to the public but does require registration, so follow the link above and reserve your tickets today.
Although I had plenty of time to catch my flight, there is something about making "good time" getting to the airport. As I pulled into the San Jose Airport (SJC) long term parking lot, I spied the shuttle bus making its way into the lot. I had to act fast - get to a stop in front of the bus, park, grab my bags and go.
I rapidly scanned the unfamiliar surroundings - the lot expanded far to the left and right. I quickly turned right and parked in the ...
Marketplace from American Public Media are looking for sources for possible upcoming news stories on the decline of short haul flying. I know a lot of you still make your status through elite qualifying segments, so perhaps you want to add your voice to their story.
Through American Public Media, you may have opportunities to inform reporting for Marketplace, Marketplace Money, Being, American RadioWorks, and other news outlets. To be considered head over to their source information form here.
I'd like to welcome Elyse Pasquale to upgrd.com where she will be tackling the world of airline meals in her Inflight Dish column. Elyse is a frequent flyer who seeks out great local meals across the globe, writing about the experience at Foodie International.com She will be posting here to highlight some of the best (and worst!) airline meals along the way.
An introduction in her own words:
Flying more than 100,000 miles a year for delicious meals around the world ...
Right now - aa.com, united.com, delta.com and other travel sites are unavailable for many and slow for others. This week has been difficult for many online properties with the denial of service attacks on Visa and Mastercard and the Gawker password compromise that Mark mentioned. When the sites do come back up, please follow Mark's advice and monitor your account balances and make sure you have strong passwords on all your accounts.
Update 1: United is always on top of things: "We are investigating reports of united.com issues" I guess it's better than American and others that have said nothing yet.
It's been a busy few months at upgrd.com HQ. Gabrielle and Steve have joined the podcast network with their new pilot podcast Hangar Flying. Bobby and Sara have extended their reach to the big little screen with the Tips From Above webisodes.
In the mean time, thanks to the outstanding design ability of Davina, we have a fancy new look to the site. (If anything is broken - that is my fault not hers!) In addition the penis logo has now departed and we now have a logo that ...