Kyle the trip sherpa

Great Drone Tour of Hong Kong outskirts

I came across this today courtesy of Gizmodo.  The context is unnecessary (transferring chocolate across the territory by drone) and a little corny.  The views however, are outstanding! For those that have not yet been to HK, here is a little view as to why you should leave work right now and go. I describe it to the uninitiated as Manhattan on a series of tropical islands that are both British and Chinese and at the same time neither of those things.  Does that seem complex?  Hopefully you will go see what I mean for yourself.  

Here's the video: 


Gett - An Uber Alternative


While in New York for the New York Times Travel Show we thought we would try some Uber alternatives. We had some Uber referral credits (I'm not pumping their service but if you want to sign up via my link I won't be mad) and used the service from the airport to our first hotel. for short trips within Manhattan I saw an ad for Gett and I thought we should give it a try. Here re are our results. ...

Is the Grand Hyatt DFW the Best Airport Hotel?


Our exceedingly excellent stay...  


When we arrived at the front desk we were met by Victoria, a front desk expert.  She was exactly what I, as a Hyatt Diamond member, and Hyatt as a hotel chain want in that first initial contact with the hotel.  She offered a diamond amenity (there was a flipbook that showed all of the choices) or the points.  ...

A tour of Hyatt Hotels

After many years of wallowing around in the mire of other programs, I have become a fully-fledged Hyatt enthusiast.  I tried SPG, Hilton, IHG and even Club Carlson.  They all have their place and time.  I don't always have a choice of where I stay, but when a Hyatt is available, I am mostly there.  Here are a few reasons why:

1) Service - The "soft product" ...

Cuba is more or less open... tomorrow!


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Either as a fault of tricky wording, or of tricky policies, it appears as though Treasury bans on travel, purchases and visits to Cuba are more or less lifted from Friday, January 16th, 2015. ...

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Park Hyatt Milan - Above and Beyond


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There are good hotels experiences, there are great hotel experiences, then there is the Park Hyatt Milan.  I will include a ton of photos and descriptions but so that it does not get lost in the ...

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Mileage Earning Debit Cards Revisited

After lots and lots of emails and comments from a post written over 10 months ago, it seems like it is time for an update.   But before we get into that you should sign up for our email list here.  

So let's start fresh on this debit card mess.


There are dwindling options for those with a desire to earn points and ...

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Exclusive: SPG Opens an Opulent New Milanese Property


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Here is the recipe for an amazing property. ...

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US Airways 7 Day Upgrade Window - What's the Point?


As a recent US Airways Chairman, I am adjusting to their system.  My general rule of thumb is that I add my frequent flyer account to whichever airline I am flying.  For example, this week I am flights to Tulsa (on American) and to Omaha (on US Airways) and have put my respective numbers on each.  The reason for this is the upgrade window.  When flying as a Chairman on ...

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Gambling with Status - Predicting the Future with AA and Nailing it (you can too)


Background about last year's EXP challenge and the value of Executive Platinum status with American

Last year I was able to take advantage of a limited time status challenge all the way up to Executive Platinum (top tier) for flying 30,000 miles in 90 days.  At that time I was just starting a new job and time off was not an option, so it meant lots of weekend mileage runs and time ...

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BREAKING - No more Hyatt Diamond Challenges

I have been able to confirm with Hyatt that as of 10/31/14 they no longer offer Diamond Status challenges or status matches. That's not to say that they absolutely won't match again in the future or re-introduce a challenge, but in it's current format, the Diamond Challenge is no more.   Hyatt's Gold Passport Diamond status is one of the most lucrative in the hotel industry giving members ...

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Points for Apple Payments?

I am certainly an interested Apple consumer, maybe a fanboy is a better description. As I await the all-but-certain two iPhone 6 models announced tomorrow and an iWatch (if we believe the 3.4 million rumors) I am just as excited about their payment system.  

Purportedly integrated into the phone through NFC (near field communication), Apple is said to be enabling the ability to ...

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URGENT! PSA - Burn Your Short Haul Avios

A discovery was made by Gary Leff of Boarding Area's View From the Wing Blog that Iberia (owned by British Airways parent company IAG) have changed their short haul redemption rates and created a new American Airlines only award chart.  

As Gary points out this is a devaluation of 333% which is truly unprecedented in our mileage and points game.  Unannounced changes from the Avios program, however is not without precedent.  Therefore, I recommend you to burn them for short haul awards if you have any in mind.  The long hauls do not seem to show much change. While this is not confirmed yet, it seems likely.  

You have been warned.


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Credit Card Prom Date Issue

As I mentioned yesterday, I would be applying for a couple of cards and I wasn't entirely sure about which ones I would do. Doctor of Credit had mentioned on one of my last posts that I should submit the appropriate documents to have a couple of bureaus frozen before applying for any US Bank credit card.  There's more on that here.  To be fair, I followed his advice, wrote the ...

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Credit Card Apps - Jeans and T-Shirt edition

I am easily a newcomer to the credit card side of the world of miles.  Though we have held cards for many years, April was my first true go at it.  There are only a few cards I will be going for and only a couple offered by  Full disclosure, some of the links I post will earn a commission for me, but I will note which do with an asterik.  It does not influence my ...

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UPDATE: It's Been A Very Bad Year - Air Algiere Plane Goes Missing, 116 on board

UPDATE:  The plane has been found crashed.  All are presumed dead, though that has not yet been confirmed.


The details are limited as of now, but an Air Algiere MD-83 carrying 116 passengers has gone missing in bad weather en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers.  There is not yet a crash site nor any indication that the plane has crashed, ...

A New Role for Malaysia Airlines

First of all, MH17 is a terrible tragedy that has hit at least one family twice in five months.  The families of those concerned have the compounding emotion of not only their loved ones perishing, but also of outrage that the death of their loved ones were preventable on multiple fronts.  

But this post isn't about that. 

There were several aircraft in the area ...

Delta Debit Card Not Going Away After All - UPDATED gone, but there are other options

The following post is available for archival purposes only.  There is an updated debit card post that will show you the current options.  Please read there and continue to earn miles for paying your bills and non-credit purhcases.


There was speculation about the Delta Debit Card from SunTrust possibly going away.  I covered the card extensively here if you ...

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Credit Card Application - UPDATE

A couple of days ago I applied for a few cards and shared which they would be.  I mentioned that becuase of being out of the country off and on over a recent four-year span, my credit history looks like swiss cheese with holes all over the place.  I wasn't terribly confident in how many of the cards for which I was applying, I would be approved.  I have some preliminary results, ...

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It's Credit Card Application Day - Which Ones and Why I Value Them

I am not quite like other bloggers in that I have only as of late really started to apply for reward earning credit cards with any consistency, though I have carried a few accumulated over time.  My situation was unique, as my wife and I were in and out of the country for four years (mostly out) and this made our credit report look like Swiss cheese, full of holes (or in this case expanses ...