Amtrak is finally adding wifi

It's hard to believe that so many of us blog from 34,000 feet in the air, but have to rely on PDAs and cell phones for internet access at zero feet on Amtrak.  That looks to be changing as a recent Wired magazine article states that wifi will be starting soon.
During the recent Amtrak ...

Happy Christmas from all of us at Upgrd!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the airport
Not a flyer was stirring, not even a rat around D36.
The airplanes were parked by the jetbridge with care,
In hopes that the economy rebound would soon be there.

The Captain and FO were nestled in the ...

Craig Ferguson takes a bump

Following on from Josh's post about old school airlines failing at new media customer service, Continental really dropped the ball. TV's Craig Ferguson had a funny monologue this week regarding "volunteering" for a bump. Let's just say he doesn't get as excited about bumps as Matthew ...

"Up In The Air" review from up in the air

As I am flying to DFW I've got a few minutes to write a review of "Up In The Air" the recent Jason Reitman and George Clooney movie about a very frequent traveler.
Ummmm, what can I say? The movie was so hyped in upgrd-land that I had exceptionally high hopes for ... well I don't know ...

I've heard of airline bumps, but this is ridiculous

Jason Reitman, director of the "Up In The Air" movie, got bumped back to coach by some turkey. Errr...I a turkey.
Today, on "Turkey 1" a United Airlines flight from IAD to LAX, first class was occupied by the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his alternate who had ...

"Up In The Air" Movie Screening Next Week

It's no secret that every frequent flyer now thinks they are George Clooney due to the impending release of "Up In The Air" this Christmas. This movie chronicles the fictitious Ryan Bingham (Clooney) as he chases millions of frequent flyer miles - a theme that pulls all our upgrd heart ...

Transit the TSA security line like an expert

Ah...the joys of traveling. Traffic, check in agents making up their own rules, and our tax dollars hard at work at the TSA security check point. I am not sure what is more frustrating, the incompetent TSA staff standing around talking while passengers are waiting or the infrequent traveler that ...

Airline Club Membership Survey Results

After sending a distressed tweet on Twitter that I thought the Admirals Club was crazy for only serving cookies until 3pm on Sundays, I exchanged a few messages with @AdmiralsClub about the club offerings.  I replied something to the effect that the recent improvements in inflight service were ...

Google offering free wifi at select airports starting today

Google, in partnership with Boingo Wireless, Advanced Wireless Group and others is providing free internet access at 47 airports now through January 15, 2010.  This is in addition to the free wifi that Google is offering on Virgin America flights.

From their FAQ:

Q. How do I sign up for complimentary WiFi?

No login or email is required, simply select the option for the complimentary WiFi and accept the terms of service.

Find out more, including which airports this service is available from at:


Connecting to the JFK Airtrain from Manhattan

If you are looking for a simple cost effective way to get from Manhattan to JFK airport, I'd suggest taking the subway or Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to the JFK Airtrain. Since a taxi will generally cost you $55 ($45 fare, $5 tolls, $5 tip) and a variable amount of time, depending upon traffic, the ...

Live Blogging from the New York City Megabus

After spending time in New York with clients my plans called for a quick trip to Syracuse to see family and clients in upstate New York. Normally I take Amtrak as business class upgrades are cheap, and the ability to walk around, buy food, and power at your seat makes the trip very productive. ...

What's in your garage?

This article about a United Airlines executive building a replica of a Pan Am 747 in his garage got me thinking. We must have some equally dedicated and creative listeners and readers that have something to show.

What is in your garage?

What airline memorabilia do you own?

What nostalgic photos do you have to share?




Baggage Handlers

While attending the United Fleet Week event last week, I noticed a crack in the fence and snuck airside to take some snaps of the hard working employees loading your bags. For some reason most of the photos were lost on my camera, but I still have this one:


How did we not win?!

Last week I attended United Airlines' fleet week at SFO which included a plane pulling competition. An Airbus A320, recently saved from TED hell, was on the apron with a long rope attached to the pull bar.

Along with 19 (26?) other FlyerTalk readers we lined up for a quick photo:


Somehow we finished second.

Special thanks to Joe Jusai ( for taking the photos.



Northwest Airlines NWA bag tag - collectors item?

I ordered a Northwest luggage tag after reading Gary's post as a memento before the airline disappears. As I have no particular affiliation to NW and I foolishly printed my own name (instead of something generic I could sell on ebay!) what should I do with it? Should I keep it pristine in the drawer or use it today on my flight since my (also defunct) Ansett bag tag is wearing thin?


Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) vs Redeemable Miles (RDM)

When you are new to the frequent flyer game there is always some confusion regarding earned miles for redeeming awards (RDM) versus the miles used to qualify for elite status (EQM). From a listener:
"I was planning on going for Executive Platinum (EXP) this year.  Question: I have just ...

Aadvantage 500 Mile Upgrade "Stickers"

A reader wrote in to ask:
"Do you have to use 500 mile coupons for every upgrade?"
As an American Airlines Aadvantage Gold (GLD) or Platinum (PLT) member you need 500 mile upgrade coupons (more affectionately known as "stickers" from the days when they were actually stickers applied to ...

Dear [email protected] - Where's the beef?

On the occasion that my upgrade does not clear (gasp!) I have the treat of purchasing some in flight deliciousness including the current Boston Market (BM) sandwiches and salads. A few months ago I bought the pre-BM turkey sandwiches for $6 which were dry and bready, but I didn't realize how good it ...