How a bump on American Airlines got me $800, plus Business Class across the Pacific

I was dreading a long trans-Pacific flight in economy.  I've done it many times before, (and Hong Kong to Chicago is quite a bit longer), but this one was particularly bad since was was  in the old 777 configuration that American flies.  Thanks to several mechanical and other issues ...
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United's New Safety Video: Team USA

Election years in the US are often miserable given the incessant mud slinging which some refer to as "campaigning".  In better news, US  presidential election years are also the same year as the Summer Olympic Games are held.  Airlines often use this national pride in their ad ...

ANA First Class from Chicago to Tokyo Narita

International First Class on an Asian carrier; definitely one of the more exciting parts of this hobby.  I've flown ANA before, but never in First Class, so as we got on board, I had pretty high expectations.  I think for the most part these expectations were met, my main complaint was ...
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Amenity Kit Review: ANA First Class

I was fortunate to fly ANA First Class from Chicago to Tokyo in late 2015.  I'm nearly finished with my trip report, but first I wanted to add a review of the amenity kit I received. For our introductory post and description of the categories, and the 5 point rating scale, please ...

Exotic airlines I've flown

Arik Air, Maldivian, Spanair, Virgin Blue, Jetstar, and many more.  Some of these are still flying, and some are long gone, but none of them fly anywhere close to the US, so they seem at least somewhat exotic.  While talking travel with fellow Upgrd blogger, Sriram, we were discussing a ...
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The United Global First Lounge at Chicago O'Hare before ANA flight

Our trip to began in Chicago on a cold, windy winter day.  The cold isn't usually a problem for O'Hare operations, but as the day wore on, the snow became a problem, ultimately leading to a pretty significant departure delay.  
I'm generally not someone who arrives to airports really ...
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Getaway to Japan for a week

I traveled a lot in 2015; most of it was work travel, but I had some fun personal travel as well.  One of the best trips was to Japan with my wife.  We have wanted to go there for some time, and we finally were able to make it work.  We had some good experiences both while getting to ...
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Diamonds Are a Traveler's Best Friend? Trying out Hilton again.

Even though Hilton gave away Diamond status a few months ago (link), I didn't really have any plans to take advantage of it.  I only decided to take the match at the last minute before the offer expired.  I recently had a trip where I couldn't find any availability without breaking the ...
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Have you had the Westin Experience?

Westin hotels seem to employ an "Experience Specialist" at most of their properties.  I've had a few stays at Westin hotels the last few months, and wanted to share some of these experiences.  It has mostly been positive, but not always.

Westin Los Angeles Airport.  Photo ...
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My 50th State, and other travel milestones

Maybe you have seen various surveys on Facebook tracking now many states people have visited.  At some point, I did some accounting, and realized that I was close to reaching all of the states.  I had been to 48 states, all but New Mexico and Idaho.  I had been meaning to make a trip ...
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Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

7 nights in an amazing suite on a business trip is a pretty excellent way to spend a trip far from home, especially considering I booked a standard room.  I haven't always had great luck using my Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades, but I was pretty pleased in this case with being able to use it for a ...

Having some fun with CBP: the Global Entry Selfie

I'm not one to take a lot of selfies.  That's not to say never, but it seems I have more cranky old man traits than that of a millennial.  There may exist some photos of me in First Class pajamas or in a airplane lavatory, but good luck finding those...One exception to my no selfie 'rule' ...
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New Travel Philosophies in the New Year

2015 was my first full year as a father. As mentioned in my recent post reviewing 2015 travel, I spent a lot more time on the road for work and therefore away from my family than I wanted.  Sure, I love to travel, but moderation is best in most things.

Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa, ...
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2015 in Travel: New Friends and Some Old Ones, and a Lot of Flying

As seems to happen a lot, I ended up flying more than I originally planned this year.  I easily requalified for my new preferred status; American Airlines Executive Platinum midway through the year.  After some long haul trips on United, I stretched a little bit, focusing my bookings on ...
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A Few More Flights to Go After a Year on the Road.

As 2015 is winding down, in this post I'm revisiting my year and what is to come.  I'll have a more complete summary of my 2015 travels later.  

Jacksonville may not be an exciting destination, but the sunrises along the beach were great. 
 
I wrote this a ...
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Review: The Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Center

Among many luxurious hotels in Dubai, for my first extended visit to Dubai, I stayed at the Le Meridien Dubai and enjoyed my experience a lot.  This hotel has been under the Le Meridien flag for some time, but only in the last 18 months or so have they been a participant in the SPG ...
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A Road Warrior's Tour of Inepitude, and Why I am Still Mostly Happy

Everyone hates flight delays.  How about a delay that was about 4 times the planned flight length?  To make it worse, the flight ultimately got cancelled.  
 
Sorry for the poor photo editing skills...but it fit my mood, and it's better to laugh than cry
While I ...

Finally Some Vacation and a Meetup in NYC

I've been traveling seemingly almost nonstop for much of this year, but finally had the chance for a short vacation with family.  We visited the Andaz Penninsula Papagayo last year as somewhat of a 'babymoon', and this year we returned with our daughter.  

We only made this trip ...

Postcards from Daddy: Souvenirs from the road

I'm not much of a souvenir collector in my travels.  I've always wanted to find something to collect, but I also usually try to to avoid clutter at home.  Having said that, apparently I do keep a collection of airline amenity kits...(sigh).  
I've flown close to 2 million miles ...
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Back to Flying the Friendly Skies, For Now.

Why would anyone willingly subject themselves to United Airlines in its current state?  That's a fair question, and one I ask myself on occasion. (Including on this site almost 2 years ago).  I've discussed my thought process about United before, and we even discussed this on a recent ...
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