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Sheraton New Orleans Executive Suite review

NOLA_Sheraton_view

I recently had a conference in New Orleans which was held at the Sheraton.  The hotel is conveniently located across Canal Street  from the French Quarter and near downtown and the Riverwalk. 

I received a nice upgrade to an Executive suite, but other than that, the hotel was nothing special.  More on that soon.  While on the subject of upgrades...While waiting in Houston for my connecting flight to New Orleans, I noticed the seat map for the flight ...

Off to New Zealand! (via Australia during a Qantas strike....)

NZ_final_routing

My long awaited vacation trip to Australia and New Zealand is finally here.  I've talked a lot about the planning and booking process for this trip using Delta miles.

My trans-pacific flights are on V Australia, which I anticipate being quite packed due to the Qantas strike.  Its a bit concerning taking off for many hours of flying, not exactly knowing what I will find when I land early Tuesday morning in Sydney.  Once there I have a Virgin Australia flight up to ...

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A new option for ExPlus First Class Snackboxes

United_Express_Snackbox

Flights on United Express are typically not anything special.  Nearly all of my trips begin with a CRJ-200 hop to O'Hare.  Occasionally I am able to mix that up, but there still aren't great options.  I recently had a trip routing via Houston (IAH), which I got on the Skywest CRJ-700 that have done some longer flying from IAH.  While these planes contain 6 first class seats and Economy plus, they are far from luxurious.  First class catering consists of plastic cups ...

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The O'Hare Urban Garden: Growing fresh produce at ORD.

ORD_Garden_Sign

Given that food is prominent in the name of this blog, and good quality food is something I strive to find while traveling, when I had a little time on an O'Hare layover, I wanted to explore the Garden and feature here so maybe others can explore it.  

The O'Hare Urban Garden is a unique concept in that its truly local food in a place that primarily features large quantities of fast food and junk food which is the norm at airports.  Items grown in the garden are currently ...

Delta adds a cash bar for premium drinks

SkyClub_Luxury_Bar

Delta is now joining United, American, US Airways and Alaska in charging for some alcoholic drinks in their club lounges. (Are there any other domestic US lounges I'm missing?)

I received the below in an email from Delta:

 

This seems similar to the offerings at United Clubs (formerly Red Carpet Club and/or Continental President's Club).  Basic cocktails are free, with higher end pours available for purchase. 

Interesting ...

Tour of Starwood brands, part 2.

SPG_Le_Meridien

 

 

This is a continuation of my discussion of the 9 Starwood hotel brands.  Below are comments on Le Meridien, Westin, W, St. Regis and the Luxury Collection.

 

Le Meridien

Pool and beach view at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort

Le Meridien was originally established by Air France in its key destinations throughout the world.  I have only stayed at one of these, but looking at other reviews as well as my ...

A tour of Starwood brands, part 1

SPG_Four_Points_Darling_Harbour

Four Points Sheraton Darling Harbour, Sydney

I have considered Starwood as my preferred chain for several years now.  I used to stay at Marriott, then Hilton.  For the last 2 years or so I have focused on Starwood and and I  also enjoy Hyatt Diamond status.  SPG has enough properties for where I travel for business, and some great properties where to redeem my points for leisure travel. 

The Starwood group has 9 different brands.  I've ...

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Update on the progress of my Nexus application

Nexus kiosk

As I discussed in a past post, I was going through the application process for the Nexus program for my somewhat frequent business travel between the US and Canada.  

photo courtesy Calgary Sun

 

About a month after I submitted my application, I received conditional approval for Nexus and Global Entry, pending my interview.  I made an appointment at the Nexus center in Detroit since I had a trip there already.  The final part of the ...

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More details from the Hyatt Regency Montreal

Montreal_Hyatt_Regency_Club

As Matthew has discussed before, the Hyatt Regency Montreal is a nice option for those visiting Montreal.  The hotel is downtown, with easy walking distance to the restaurants and nightlife of St. Catherine street and to Vieux Montreal (the old City).  When I was there, there were preparations for an outdoor concert featuring hometown band Arcade Fire at the adjacent Place des Arts.

I recently had a short one night stay at the Hyatt Regency Montreal, and I just want to add a ...

Element: a member of the Starwood group, aka Westin-Lite

Element logo

I recently had a business trip to Omaha, which used to be a hotel ghost town for me, at least based on my preferred chains.   There used to be a Sheraton downtown, but it left Starwood several years ago.  There is a Hilton near the sports complexes, and a Doubletree right downtown.  There is a new-ish Sheraton on the west part of town, but its not at all convenient for me.  SPG recently opened a new property between downtown and the ...

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Quick review of the Aria Las Vegas

Aria_Map

I recently spent a long weekend with my wife and some friends in Las Vegas. Although I don't usually stay at properties that aren't in one of my preferred chains due to my ongoing points addiction, Vegas is an exception, since the various chains aren't well represented there.  I do however collect MGM's MLife points, although that program is more for gambling spend than to reward hotel loyalty, and I'm very much a low roller in their system.  I do still occasionaly get decent room ...

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NEXUS and Global Entry Application process

GE

For US residents traveling frequently from international destinations, Global Entry can be a big help upon returning to the US, as it allows for expedited entry for pre-approved travelers.  For US citizens and Canadians that travel between Canada and the US, NEXUS works in a similar manner, for arrival via airplane into Canada, and in pre-clearance for flights from Canada to the US.  In addition, NEXUS card holders can get expedited clearance at the border when crossing via ...

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Venice in January

Venice_Campanile

I haven't had a lot of noteworthy travel of late, so I figured I'd share some more photos from a past trip. 

Venice was always a place that intrigued me.  My wife and I made a trip there in January 2010.  It was cold and damp, but there is so much to see, we were always on the move and rarely cold. 

Trans-Atlantic flights were in Delta Business Elite.  Branded as such, but it was early in the Delta Northwest merger, so service was mostly ...

To New Zealand using Delta SkyMiles

Sydney_Harbour

 

I've already posted about my redemption of Delta SkyMiles for business on V Australia, and I have improved it significantly more by adding flights to our what was ultimate destination on this trip, New Zealand.  I also simplified the US domestic routing to get to/from LAX from what I originally had booked.

Sydney Harbour from a previous trip

 


While I was calling to inquire about some routing changes on the US domestic portion of ...

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My United Airlines history: Mileage Plus Purge Data Print

United_747_C

 

I recently requested a complete printout of all my flights credited to Mileage Plus.  It has been 20 years since my first credited flight on United, and with the uncertainity of the merger, I figured I should do this before its too late or this feature gets 'enhanced' away through the merger. 

I've had people tell me about this feature, and I finally decided to do it for myself.  The process is summarized in this Flyertalk ...

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What's next, Delta?

Delta_DTW

As Fozz recently outlined, Delta just made their much maligned SkyMiles program even less valuable by making all awards non-changable and non-refundable within 72 hours of flight.

 

Well, at least DTW is a nice airport to have a layover in...

 

This is a terrible change, except maybe for the bean counters in Atlanta.  I'm especially concerned about this, as I have a Delta award ticket on V Australia booked for later this year, and I've already ...

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Oshkosh EAA Airventure 2011 photos: part 4 - the 787 departs

Oshkosh_787_push3

As I mentioned in before, I have lots of photos from my visit to Oshkosh for EAA Airventure 2011.  This final post contains photos of the 787 Dreamliner which was on site just for a few hours on Friday.  Previous posts include photos of military aircraft Airventure. My first post contained photos of modern commercial aircraft and acrobatic planes from my visit to EAA.  My last post contained photos of the 787 while I explored it close up. 

There ...

Oshkosh EAA Airventure 2011 photos: part 3 - the 787

Oshkosh_787_tail

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have lots of photos from my visit to Oshkosh for EAA Airventure 2011.  This post contains photos of the 787 Dreamliner which was on site just for the day.  My last post had photos of  military aircraft mostly from the afternoon Airventure airshow. My first post contained photos of modern commercial aircraft and acrobatic planes from my visit to EAA in Oshkosh.  

Regrettably, I did not arrive in Oshkosh early enough to ...

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Oshkosh EAA Airventure 2011 photos: part 2

Oshkosh_biplane_trainers

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have lots of photos from my visit to Oshkosh for EAA Airventure 2011.  This post contains photos of some military aircraft mostly from the afternoon airshow. My previous post contained photos of modern commercial aircraft and acrobatic planes from my visit to EAA in Oshkosh.   My next post will include lots of photos of the 787 Dreamliner.

Onto the airshow:

Model 75 trainers

The theme of EAA Airventure ...

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Free Gogo wifi on Delta in August

It appears there are a few options for free onboard wifi this month.  Matthew previously reported about free wifi on Alaska.  According to a thread on Milepoint and a post by TPG, Diet Coke is sponsoring free Gogo for the month of August. 

 

Simply enter the code DIETCOKEGOGO on Delta flights, and Gogo charges will be waived, up to $12.95. 

 

Delta now offers Gogo wifi on 100% of their mainline domestic fleet, and are rolling it ...