Chase Hyatt Visa adding chip for US cardholders

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

TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH SMART CHIP TECHNOLOGY
  You are one of the first Cardmembers who will receive a new Hyatt Credit Card with Smart Chip technology. This new ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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United Mileage Plus stickers for extended status

The United/Continental merger is a hot topic for those that are frequent travelers on either of those airlines.  It has recently been announced that the 2012 Mileage Plus program will officially begin on March 3, 2012, once all systems are merged. Below is some of the United has ...

Hilton Queenstown in a Deluxe Lake View King room

After our journey through much of the South Island, we had arrived in Queenstown.  I had heard many positive things about Queenstown, so I was excited to explore it for myself.  There is incredible natural beauty here and our stay at the Hilton Queenstown was great. 

After ...
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South Island of New Zealand: Vineyards, beaches, glaciers and more

After our journey through the North Island to Wellington and the trip across the Cook Strait, we had lots of new territory to explore.  We spent a few days based in Blenheim, exploring the Marlborough region.  We had one day touring vineyards by bicycle.  This was a great way to get ...
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Deluxe King room in Heritage Wing at the Hilton Lake Taupo

After our stay at the Hilton Auckland, we drove south towards the central part of the north island of New Zealand.  We had another opportunity to use points for a stay, at another crisp new Hilton property.  We stayed 2 nights at the Hilton Lake Taupo. This is a category 5 property, so it ...

A review of my 2011 travel and status qualification

We are nearing the end of 2011, so I wanted to summarize my travel year primarily with regard to miles and points. I'm still working on sections of my trip report from Australia and New Zealand, but I wanted to get this out first since new years is coming soon.
 
Airlines
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Deluxe Harbour View King room at the Hilton Auckland

 
waterfront view of Hilton Auckland from the hotel's website
After our Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne, we only had one night in Auckland, and wanted to take advantage of some hotel points redemptions, since for many of our stays in New Zealand, we wouldn't be able to do so. ...
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