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 ...

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. ...

24 hour holds now available on united.com...sort of

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 ...

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 ...

A review of Fairmont Le Chateau Frotenac, Quebec City

I recently visited Quebec City for a conference.  I will often go out of my way to stay with a preferred hotel chain, but this was one case where I didn't mind booking elsewhere.  The meeting was at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.  

The Chateau Frontenac is ...
1 Comment

Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef with the Spirit of Freedom

I had a few people ask me about my experiences while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, so I'm finally writing up some thoughts.  This trip was part of my mega trip to Australia and New Zealand on Virgin Australia, which I booked with Delta Skymiles.  

Final approach to ...

Moving credit limits on Chase cards

I have several Chase credit cards, and I recently experienced something that I want to share.  It was a very easy process, and I think it can be useful for others in a similar situation.
Chase logo thanks to Flickr
In my case, I had the British Airways Visa ...

Trip Report: The Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

I've been to Indianapolis fairly frequently for business trips, and stayed in various hotels.  My trip in late 2011 was my first stay at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.  Like many Hyatts located in a city center, the building is somewhat dated, but this property was nearly completed with ...
1 Comment

Chase Hyatt Visa adding chip for US cardholders

Today I received an email from Chase about my Hyatt Visa with some interesting news:

  You are one of the first Cardmembers who will receive a new Hyatt Credit Card with Smart Chip technology. This new ...

A review of the Westin Nova Scotian

I had a business trip to Halifax earlier this winter.  Its a city I've looked forward to visiting for some time, but I was hoping for a trip in the warmer months.  Fortunately, when I visited, it was unseasonably warm, so I was able to explore the city during my limited free ...

Are cute women more likely to be selected for TSA body scanners?

There have been some recent news reports discussing TSA forcing women through body scanners (nude-o-scopes) due to their looks.  One woman claimed she was asked to submit to scanning 3 times before the TSA agent let her go.  
According to CBS 11 in Dallas: 
The female ...

Air Canada's Customer service: an easy solution

I had a domestic flight on Air Canada flight where I experienced simple but effective compensation in response to a delay.
I arrived at the gate just before boarding was scheduled to begin.  Boarding time came and went, and finally the agent announced that we were waiting for a disabled ...

Skymiles to New Zealand with Virgin Australia

I had many wonderful experiences on my trip to New Zealand and Australia in late 2011.  I got to experience V Australia's service and really maximized the value out of a Delta Skymiles redemption. 

Split apple rock, Abel-Tasman National Park
Since have a lot of ...
1 Comment

Starwood Preferred Guest program updates

Starwood has recently announced some positive changes to their program.  These will take effect on March 1, 2012.  Kevin noted that Hilton also has recently improved the offerings of the Hilton Honors program.  Despite the economy improving and business travel increasing, I'm all for ...
1 Comment

Virgin Australia business class from Sydney to Los Angeles

From the Air New Zealand Koru Club in Sydney, we boarded our V Australia flight to Los Angeles. 

The 777-300ER taking us to LAX
We flew this service on the outbound from LAX to SYD in VA Business, so we were familiar with what to expect, although this time my wife ...

Virgin Australia lounge in Melbourne and flight to Sydney

We had an early departure from the Park Hyatt Melbourne, which began a very long day of travel.  It started with a taxi in Melbourne, then 2 bus rides, flights from MEL-SYD-LAX-MSP-MKE and eventually ended with a taxi ride back to our house.  The odd thing about flying from Australia to ...

Park King Suite at the Park Hyatt and touring Melbourne

After our journey with Air New Zealand from Christchurch to Melbourne, we headed to the Park Hyatt for the last stay of the trip.  We arrived in the morning, well before the scheduled check in time, and unfortunately, I got a got a somewhat curt response from the front desk since "it is ...

An unexpected flight on Air New Zealand: Christchurch to Melbourne

After a nice brief stay in Christchurch and a wonderful trip in New Zealand, the return portion of our journey was about to begin.  Our Virgin Australia award ticket had us flying back from CHC to MEL. 
As I have discussed before, actually getting to Melbourne proved to be a bit of a ...