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United Club Visa Card free for a year (more codes)


note 6/28/12: all codes have been distributed

In my travels of late, I've noticed these brochures continue to be in United Clubs.  According to a sticker on them, the offer for a fee-waived card is extended through June 30, 2012.  This is the same as the offer Fozz made recently.  This offer allows for the first year waived on the Chase Visa which includes United Club membership (a $395 value).

I have a handful of these, and may have the opportunity to get a few more in my trips this week and next.  

I will randomly select winners for the codes I have from anyone interested who comments on this post by midnight Central time June 26, 2012.  

Note: winners have been notified, and all codes distributed.  Thanks for your interest.

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British Airways tells UK residents "Don't Fly"

British Airways continues to have innovative advertising campaigns in the run up to the Olympic games in London later this summer.

Once again British Airways has a created a great commercial, from the music of The Clash, to some of the sights of London as the 777 taxis around the city and stops at the Olympic Stadium.

This may be the only airline advertisement that tells viewers "Don't Fly", but they want UK residents to stay home during the games to support their ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Executive Suite at the Laguna Resort, Nusa Dua


We spent a few nights at the end of our trip to Bali at the Laguna in Nusa Dua. We split our time between the Laguna in Nusa Dua and the Bali Hyatt in Sanur.  We wanted to explore a few places during our stay, and we decided to try the Nusa Dua resort area for part of our stay.  Nusa Dua contains a bunch of high end hotels, including an Aman, Melia, Nikko, Grand Hyatt and Conrad. 

After our time at the Hyatt, I wanted to get some stay credit for ...

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United is finally moving forward with TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck

As a frequent traveler, one of my biggest frustrations is the security screening process.  Even with the benefits of elite status typically allowing a shorter line, the process is at best, an annoyance.  I have been following the news about the PreCheck roll out closely, since I would welcome anything to make this process less of a hassle.  

Just as a reminder, the TSA describes PreCheck program as:

TSA Pre✓™ is a pre-screening initiative that ...

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Frontier offers free mileage conversion to Delta Skymiles for Wisconsin Residents


A few years ago, Midwest was the leading carrier in my home airport, General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee.  I never flew with them regularly, but it was a nice backup option if I was dealing with limited time flexibility, since I could catch one of their non stops to east coast business destinations.  I was also rerouted on Midwest several times when irregular operations caused me to misconnect, usually due to issues at O’Hare. 

More recently, Republic Airways ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Club King at the Bali Hyatt

Bali Hyatt

After our Cathay Pacific flight to Bali, our first stop was the Bali Hyatt.  Its located in Sanur, on the Timor Sea, just east of Denpasar. 

 Image from VFM Leonardo, Inc.

We wanted to split our time in Bali between a few locations to get a more varied experience on the island.  There were several options that we considered, looking at both Hyatt and Starwood properties.  There is the ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Business Class Service from Hong Kong to Denpasar Bali

Cathay Pacific 747-412 B-HKF

After our brief stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and our visit to The Pier Business Class Lounge, we were off to our flight to Bali.

Cathay Pacific 747 photo via Flickr


Cathay runs daily 747 service from Hong Kong to Denpasar.  They only sell Business Class and Economy, but after asking at The Pier, we were seated in the First Class cabin.  The service and meals were Business ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Lounge visits at Hong Kong International Airport


This post discusses the lounges we visited at Hong Kong International Airport on our outbound trip to Bali.

Hong Kong International Airport

Following our extra long First Class flight from O'Hare to Hong Kong, we opted to head to The Arrival lounge to get cleaned up.  The fact that the MTR was not yet running also influenced this decision. That and 24 hours on the plane.

The Arrival

The ...

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United rebooked me on an American flight with no seats available.


I was recently flying home after some work in the Dallas Fort Worth area.  My original routing was DFW to IAH to MKE.  Flying south to fly north, but it was the only way to get any mainline flights with a decent fare. 

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency DFW the night before my departure, which was a good choice, since the 6:40am departure was painfully early.  The line for security screening in the E terminal was quite long, stretching past the check in desks, but ...

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Trip Report: The W Atlanta Downtown


The hotels I typically frequent for business travel aren't high end properties, but sometimes I am fortunate to have a meeting or something else that brings these hotels into my travel budget.  I recently attended a conference in downtown Atlanta, and stayed at the W Atlanta Downtown.


There were 4 W hotels in Atlanta.  I have stayed at the W Midtown in the past, and there is also a W in Buckhead.  The former W in Perimeter Center is now simply ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong



Tea with a view in the Grand Club


Since our Cathay Pacific flight from Chicago to Hong Kong was delayed about 9 hours, we would only have one night at the Grand Hyatt, rather than our planned 2 night stay.  When I realized our flight would likely be delayed at least one night, I called Hyatt Gold Passport to alert them, and they were happy to note my reservation, and ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: meals between Chicago and Hong Kong


Thanks to my extra long flight(s) between Chicago and Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific First Class, I have split out this separate post featuring the meal service I experienced onboard.

About to enjoy the first course.

The dining experience onboard was the best I have experienced in the air.  It certainly helped that my wife and I were the only 2 passengers in the first class cabin.  The flight attendants ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: CX807 Chicago to Hong Kong, via ANC and HND


After confirming that we were the only passengers for the long flight to Hong Kong, just before leaving the Swiss First Class lounge, the agents insisted on giving us new boarding passes, since apparently one of the seats we were originally assigned to was inoperable. 

One of the Cathay Pacific agents escorted us to the nearby boarding gate.  My wife boarded first, then the flight attendants welcomed me by name, and brought me to my seat.   My wife was ...

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Bali trip in Cathay Pacific First Class: Before departure at O'Hare


I have just returned from a (too) brief trip to Bali.  My wife and I flew in Cathay Pacific First Class, which I booked with 150,000 British Airways miles (each) before the Avios devaluation. 

The journey began in Chicago, where we checked in at Terminal 5, the international terminal.  I've arrived there many times, but I've never taken an outbound flight from there.  There was no line for first class check in so we walked right up and had our boarding ...

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A long transit from Bali via Hong Kong: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and more


I have just returned from a great holiday in Bali.  I'll have lots more photos and info soon.

First I wanted to share a quick review of my long transit getting home from Bali.

The Laguna, Nusa Dua, Bali

It started with a taxi from The Laguna to the Denpasar airport.  Then a flight to HKG. 

From HKG, we then took the Airport Express to Kowloon station, then a shuttle bus to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha ...

I made it to Hong Kong, after a 24 hour "direct" flight


Hello from Hong Kong!


Some quick notes after my extra long trip from ORD to HKG

Upon entering the Swiss Lounge at ORD, I was told that my wife and I were the only passengers booked in First Class for our flight.  I was quite excited for this, having a 6 seat cabin to ourselves would be great.  There were still 2 Flight Attendants serving us.  I saw in a window seat for take off, then moved to my assigned seat, 2D for the flight.  My wife and ...

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Off to Hong Kong and Bali on Cathay Pacific


First CX 777-300ER landing at ORD

My wife and I are heading to Bali in Cathay Pacific First Class.  It is my first time on Cathay Pacific, and my first time in International First Class since my Thailand trip in late 2010.  I'm definitely ready to experience Cathay's renowned service. This trip will be my first time to Indonesia, and the HKG-YYZ trip will be the longest flight I've ever taken. 

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24 hour holds now available on of

United image

There has been lots of talk of the issues in the first month since the system changeover between United and Continental.  Some of the discussions here on Upgrd include:  Problems with United Clubs, mileage posting, missing segments.  United provided their own summary, and finally Matthew posted some humor. 

In my own experience, it has not been smooth, I've had lots of annoyances, but thats not the focus of my post. 

I was working on a booking ...

Seeking advice for a possible upcoming transcon on United

Being based in the middle of the country, I don't have the opportunity to fly many transcons.  Typically my longest domestic flights are from Chicago to the west coast.  I occasionally have the need to fly between the coasts, and I have an opportunity to do so coming up

I'm going to be in DC for a weekend, and need to be in SFO the following Monday, ideally by noon or so.  I can obviously fly IAD-SFO, but most flights look like they are on Airbus, which will be very ...

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