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Quick review of the Aria Las Vegas


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


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


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



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



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?


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


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


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


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 ...

Oshkosh EAA Airventure 2011 photos: part 1


As I mentioned in my previous post, I have lots of photos from my visit to Oshkosh for EAA Airventure 2011.  This post contains photos of some modern planes for the private market and some custom aircraft in the airshow. Upcoming posts will include military aircraft, primarily WWII era, as well as a lot of photos of the 787 Dreamliner. 


Cirrus Vision SF50.  Personal jet can be yours for a cool $1 Million.


Cirrus ...

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My quick preview photos from Oshkosh-EAA Airventure 2011


I managed to make the trek to Oshkosh on Friday, since I wanted to get up close and personal with the 787 Dreamliner which was there for about 8 hours.  I unfortunately didn't connect with Gabrielle, but with the madness surrounding the 787 and limited time, I didn't get to see nearly everything I wanted to.


Here are a few teaser photos for you, I'll post many more in coming days.

Kind of crowded.  Reports of 4+ hours wait to get inside, ...

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Hyatt private line agent fired for information posted online

As a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member, I have been able to take advantage of a somewhat unique perk of that status, a Private Line Concierge.  A Flyertalk thread that provides some more information on this benefit is here.  This service is offered to Diamond members upon request.  After signing up, I  was provided with an email address and phone numbers to reach my agent.  She has helped me with bookings, getting bonus points posted and securing upgrades using ...

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A review of the St. Regis Punta Mita thanks to the SPG free resorts promotion.


As I have mentioned before, I used nights earned via the Starwood Getaway Free promo for a stay at the SPG category 7 St. Regis Punta Mita.  It was a beautiful property, and certainly not one I would pay for out of pocket, or even necessarily with Starwood points.  Typical rates for a base room are $500 and up, and 30,000 points per night.  This seemed like the perfect sort of aspirational award that Gary talks about, a resort that is out of my price range both with ...

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Flights and Lounges on my Journey to Thailand and Hong Kong. Lufthansa and Turkish First Class


I've blogged a lot about my hotels and other parts of my trip to Thailand and Hong Kong, but I haven't covered how I got there or how I got home.

This was a Star Alliance First Class redemption from North America to Asia via Europe.  It was 145,000 miles per person (now this award is 140,000).  I made several changes after booking, usually trying to get the Manila call center theorizing that they would be more open to the exact changes wanted to make.  I did ...

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A photo review of a Marvellous Suite at the W Hong Kong


This review is from our stay at the W Hong Kong.  It was a stopover on my trip to Thailand in late 2010.  We spent a few days in HK, using free nights from the (now expired) SPG Free Weekends promo, and decided on the W due to its easy access from the Airport Express line and to the other MTR (HK subway system) lines, plus very positive reviews for the property.  The fact that I was able to redeem free nights for a category 5 property (normally 12,000-16,000 points per ...

Trip report: BKK-HKG in Thai Royal First Class, including the BKK ground experience



After a great trip to Phuket and Bangkok, we then headed to Hong Kong for a few days. Part of maximizing the Star Alliance First Class award was to take advantage of a stopover.  I had been to Hong Kong in the past, but only for a short time by myself.  I thought this might be a good way for my wife to see a piece of China as well, without the visa requirements and in a much more approachable way than the madness of Beijing or Shanghai.  I had to be a bit ...

Tales of life on the road: $800 in 2 hours, a cheeseburger, and 200,000 BA miles.


In the past week or so, I encountered some personal travel milestones that I wanted to share. 

Last week I had business in the Bay Area, then from there was heading to Las Vegas for the weekend to meet some friends.  I bought a one way SFO-LAS ticket on United.  Due to the relatively short notice of my ticket purchase it was not a good price for a short one way, but thanks to an electronic voucher, it was only $35 out of pocket.  As I walked to the gate, I noticed ...

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A photo review of Grand Suite King at the Grand Hyatt Erewan Bangkok


After our journey to Phuket, we had a layover in Bangkok.  We were stopping over in Hong Kong later in the trip, so due to ticketing rules, we could only layover in Bangkok.  I booked it so we had a 22 hour or so layover in Bangkok.  I've often visited cities in a mad rush when traveling alone for business, but this trip was leisure with my wife, so it took a bit of selling to get her on board.  Plus, after a leisurely week in Phuket, she wasn't ...

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Tales of life on the road: My trip to Seattle on Delta


When I talk to some friends and my extended family about my job, many of them assume that frequent travel is all about luxury travel.  As many business travelers know, that's far from the truth.  I certainly feel like I know how to be comfortable on the road, travel can lead to lots of headaches as well.  A recent trip was particularly memorable.


I was originally booked on United to Seattle.  My Skywest flight MKE-ORD  was significantly ...

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