Mikeonbehind the curtain

Watch Sara and Bobby's televised travel tips on Sonoran Living

Check out Sara and Bobby's appearance on today's episode of Sonoran Living on the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona. They discussed how a little planning on what to bring to the airport can make your flight more enjoyable. In addition they discuss some kid friendly things to bring along.

 

 

 

Jetblue unlimited All You Can Jet flight pass is back

Jetblue is once again offering their all you can jet pass valid for flights from September 7th to October 6th. This time there are two pricing options, a pass valid every day of the week for $699, and if you are flexible in your travel plans and can skip traveling on Friday's and Sunday's, the 5 day pass is only $499.

  • Each Pass flight must be booked and ticketed at least 3 days prior to departure
  • There are additional taxes and fees for certain destinations such as Puerto Rico.
  • 7 day passes will earn 4,200 TrueBlue points while the 5 day passes will earn 3,000 TrueBlue points
  • See the rest of the restrictions on Jetblue's website

Although this is no chance to upgrd on this flight, if you have a lot of domestic travel during this period it could be a good way to save some money.

Welcome to our newest travel blogger!

I'm excited to announce a new blogger on upgrd.com - Kevin Hanson. Although Kevin is new to upgrd.com, he is not new to blogging. Previously authoring his own blog at CrazyHawt.com, he's decided to post all of his travel tips, experiences, and horror stories (!) here instead. You can read his old posts in his new section on upgrd.com called Cloud Commuting.

Kevin is a Sales Engineer for a Silicon Valley startup company, and spends a lot of time on the road. With his passion ...

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Google Buys ITA Software

I imagine some were shaking in their boots at online travel booking sites today when Google announced their $700 million acquisition of ITA Software. As previously mentioned the search giant has been working on a deal with the travel search engine for some time now.

Airfare search is a huge business. If Google becomes the defacto airfare search engine, as it is now for web searches, it will play a game changing role in the online airline ticketing business. Even if Google continues to ...

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Battle heats up in ITA acquisition war

In a previous post I mentioned that ITA Software, which many of us use for searching mileage runs, was in acquisition talks with Google. It looks like those talks are heating up as other companies including Expedia, Kayak, and Travelport are reportedly in discussions with the travel search juggernaut.

After attending the travel blog exchange (TBEX) this weekend, it's no surprise that online travel is a hot space right now with many hotels, airlines, and other companies ...

What do you listen to when you are on the road?

Ha! It's really a rhetorical question as we know you are busy listening to the Uprgd Podcast and The Crew Lounge. (And I promise more Upgrd Podcasts are coming late next week). But in the meantime our friends at Marketplace, from American Public Media, want to know what else you listen to. A brief description:

Here at Marketplace we're starting a new series looking at what business travelers are listening to when they're out on the road. Maybe there's a song that keeps you going when you're stuck in the airport, or a song that keeps you sane in that generic hotel. When you're away from home, pounding the pavement for work, what song is playing in your ear phones?

If you're interested in giving them your song click here to share the soundtrack to your business trip.

If United Airlines and Continental Airlines merge, where will they call home?

It has been widely speculated that United Airlines and Continental Airlines are in merger talks. Many of us on the Upgrd Podcast have speculated for years that the merger is inevitable, although some recent news would leave you to believe that the airline merger could be placed on hold.

Although no official announcement has even been made about merger talks, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Houston officials are interested in offering incentives to keep the newly merged carrier ...

Awwwww...US Air doesn't want to play anymore, leaves United in the sandbox

US Airways has a new press release stating that their talks with United Airlines are off the table. CEO Doug Parker issued a statement:

"We have recently held discussions with United Airlines regarding a possible combination between our two airlines. After an extensive review and careful consideration, our Board of Directors has decided to discontinue those discussions"

Well there is a shocker - US doesn't want UA. Hmmm...I wonder if its the other way around? Does United Airlines lose some of its leverage with Continental Airlines now? Will Glenn's golden merger parachute collapse?

 

 

Google to buy ITA Software?

It's being reported today that Google is in talks to buy ITA Software, the engine that powers many travel sites and so many of our mileage runs.

Google Inc. is in talks to acquire ITA Software Inc., a maker of travel programs used by companies including Orbitz Worldwide Inc. and Microsoft Corp., three people familiar with the matter said.

It will be interesting to see how Google responds to Microsoft's Bing search engine that heavily promotes travel options when ...

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Surprise Surprise - Continental and United "Talking" again

The New York times is reporting that Continental Airlines is reopening merger talks with United. As we know, United has also allegedly been speaking with US Airways. But as we have all commented on our podcast, Continental has long been the favored partner.

Continental Airlines has reopened merger talks with the UAL Corporation, the parent company of United Airlines, people briefed on the matter told DealBook on Thursday.

The talks are in early stages and may ...

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Long Awaited Improvement to Admirals Club Finally Here - Wasabi Peas!

Life is like a box of chocolates...or is it "Life is like a plastic cup of snack mix". We all know how pathetic the food offerings in the Admirals Club are and even the pay-for choices are meager at best. While other airline clubs continue to add amenities including free alcohol and decent snacks, the Admirals Club remains stagnant.

Well not anymore! 

As I walked up to the one-twisted-arm-bandit (as I like to call it), I was in for a big surprise. Wasabi Peas! When did they slip these little gems in there? I didn't receive an AAirmail about them, nor remember any tweets from @AdmiralsClub. When did you first find them? Did I miss them the last time? Write in below...

 

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New American Airlines Feature - Unrequested Flight Change Only $49

I had missed a call from American Airlines this morning.  As I was driving later today my mind started to wander as I thought of the possibilities. Perhaps my SFO-LAX-JFK flight next week is already canceled and I could sweet talk them into routing me through SEA and MIA for the most miles. I almost ran a red light as my mind was in "upgrade heaven" counting the additional miles.

As the light turned green, and I headed down the boulevard to the next set of ...

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My Pics of two "Amazing Race" teams at LAX

Warning: Possible spoilers! (???)

This Sunday CBS is airing the 16th edition of The Amazing Race. As you may know contestants race around the world performing tasks and trying to reach the finish line, in each stage, before everyone else. The last team at each stop is eliminated until only one team remains.

Back in November there were several film crews and some brightly dressed contestants for this show transiting LAX. When the JFK flight was delayed about 90 ...

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Oneworld lives! JAL to stay with American

I can't keep up - but as of right now rueters is reporting that JAL is sticking with OneWorld and not joining Delta in Skyteam.

JAL's new chief executive officer, Kazuo Inamori, and officials of the ETIC have decided that switching alliances is too risky and could hinder their ability to turn around the airline quickly, the Asahi said on its website.

As expected there are too many hurdles for cash strapped JAL to overcome including anti trust challenges that were sure to arise. Long term I think this makes the most sense for JAL's growth as they have much bigger issues to deal with immediately. Obviously this is good news for OneWorld and American.

The only downside is what to do with the JAL content from this week's podcast that will go up later today? It seems outdated already ;)

 

What is your first class hot towelette strategy?

Are you a bather or a wiper? Individual fingers or the whole hand at once? Steaming hot or wait till it cools?

On many airlines hot towelettes are provided for passengers in premium cabins, presumably to act as a way to wash your hands before eating. However, many airlines provide the towelettes after the highly acclaimed hot-nut service, thereby missing the obvious opportunity to clean your hands before handling your, ah-hem, nuts.

[yes, yes, I know. get your mind out of the ...

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United Airlines CEO: More mergers on the way - clever analysts agree

The Chicago Tribune reports that United Airlines CEO Glenn Tilton predicted that there will be more airline mergers in the next two years. Shocking I know. Even more shocking is this statement from the article:

Analysts think that is likely.

Those crazy analysts. This must be why they get the big bucks. If there has ever been a merger in the making, unlike US Airways bizarre takeover attempt of Delta a few years ago, it is the United Airlines and Continental Airlines ...