Upgrd 38: Airline Nostalgia

A 50 minute flight with a full catered meal and dessert? Are we talking about some far off international carrier? No of course not, unfortunately though you will need a time machine.
Listen in to our semi-historical talk about our earliest flight memories as we are joined by veteran traveler ...

Upgrd 37: First Class Mail Bag

In this week's frequent flyer discussion we answer some viewer mail and cover some recent news. Unfortunately when we recorded last week, Continental's new redemption award chart had not yet been released, so some of our commentary is stale already. Outside of this we discussed:
San Diego ...

Upgrd 36: First Class Can of Coke

The big news of the week is another double elite qualifying mile (DEQM) promotion started by American and, thus far, only matched by United. In this week's frequent traveler podcast we discuss the promotion and:
Delta's JFK T3 experience ... again Delta's SkyClub American and ...

Upgrd 35: Everything Everywhere

This week we are joined by Gary Arndt from the Everything Everywhere blog and This Week in Travel podcast. Gary has spent over two and half years traveling the world and has some great insight and stories from the Pacific. Together we discuss flying in the Pacific, travel news, and:
The ...

Upgrd 34: First Class Amenities

In this week's episode we discuss first class amenities, pajamas, and all sorts of good stuff up-front. However, without Ben our conversation lacked some details. So please help us out and post your favorite amenities and photos. In addition to the main topic we discussed:
Continental's ...

Upgrd 33: Stay Classy San Diego

This week's episode is a quick one. We didn't have much on the agenda and the heat was sweltering so we kept it short. Join us as we discuss some news including:
Southwest's offer for Republic (at the time of recording) Jetblue's $599 flight pass Continental's regional flight ...

Upgrd 32: Match Game

This week we revisit elite status matching on the different airlines. Generally status matching is a one time event, so if you are going to match proceed carefully. In addition to airline status matches we discuss some recent airline news including:
New pet relief area at American's JFK ...

Upgrd 31: Friends Don't Let Friends Fly Coach

I should rename this episode: "the one that made my computer crash". But I think I already did that. Please join us for this (late) edition of Upgrd where we discuss the news and playing travel agent for friends, work, and family. In addition we discuss:

  • Pet Airways
  • Matthew's Trip Back
  • and more...

Upgrd 30: El Airline

This week we are joined by David a frequent traveler on El Al to discuss the inflight service and amenities as well as their frequent flyer program. We hope that this will be the first of many podcasts covering international airlines to broaden our coverage of airline programs worldwide. This week we discuss:

  • Matthew's trip to Israel - including the Airbus scare that caused some passengers to deboard
  • El Al's onboard food and catering
  • King David lounges
  • Upgrades, not dogs and more ...

Upgrd 29: Alaska...Mystery

In this week's frequent flyer discussion we discuss the details of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. In addition we discuss:

  • The Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge
  • Status and earning levels on AS
  • Upgrades and their first class product
  • And news including Delta's loads on LAX-SYD, the red dress kerfuffle at Delta for flight attendants of size, and US Airways continued reduction in services - this time the closure of the LAS lounge

Please leave comments or questions below!


Upgrd 28: Lounging Around

In this week's discussion we cover airline news, Star Alliance and Red Carpet Club domestic lounge access, and Ben's tour of beautiful LAX airport. Also we discuss:

  • Delta's recent fine for the way it handled denied boarding and compensation
  • Viewer mail on credit card earning for hotel stays, an EWR flyer's question about where to credit miles after reaching Platinum on CO, and questions about the United Mileage Plus Dining program
  • A review of RCC member access to other star alliance clubs while traveling domestically on UA
  • and more...

Please leave feedback below or through the Contact Us link at the top of the page.


Upgrd 27: Primarily Here For Your Safety

In this week's show we talk with Sara, a flight attendant who regularly blogs at theflyingpinto.com. We asked many questions including listener submitted questions such as:
How does scheduling work? How has the job changed since you started? What are your best airline jokes? ...

Upgrd 26: Pedal To The Metal

Vroom vroom! Once you've enjoyed your hots nuts at 30,000 feet and are at your destination, which car rental company should you use? This week's show discusses car rental companies and their elite programs. Including:
The differences in the elite programs between Hertz, Avis, National, ...

Upgrd 25: Dot Bomb

This week, we discuss the state of airline websites for booking round trip tickets and frequent flyer awards.  As many have complained before, the airline websites are still a mixed bag of old and new technology searching for a unified user experience and accuracy of pricing and ...

Upgrd 24: Fifty 50

In this week's frequent flyer discussion, we talk about the mid-tier (50,000 mile) elite level of the major carriers in the U.S. We know many of our listeners maintain this status and want to know some of the differences of the programs including:
Free upgrades vs coupon or sticker paid ...

Upgrd 23: You've got questions, we've got even more

This week we discussed a number of listener questions about frequent flyer and hotel programs. In addition to written questions received via email and on the upgrd.com site, we recorded a few questions in person at a recent SFO dinner.  Some questions include:
Is the standby option ...

Upgrd 22: Box of Chocolates

Join us in this week's frequent flyer discussion about the Priority Club hotel loyalty program. We try to answer the "how much is a point worth" question specifically in relation to a much cheaper stay on priceline. Also we discuss:

  • United twares and other twitter nonsense
  • Irate United 1Ks
  • SkyAmerica - destined to failure before it launches?
  • Priority Club promotions
  • Value of PC points
  • Intercontinental Ambassador and Royal Ambassador program

Please email questions or  leave a comment below.


Upgrd 21: Continental's Rising Star...Alliance

This week we are fortunate enough to be joined on our frequent flyer discussion by Scott O'Leary, Managing Director, Customer Experience, for Continental Airlines. Some of you may know him as CO Insider from Flyer Talk.
Our contributors had a number of questions for Scott, but to keep things to ...

Upgrd 20: Please Stand By

Welcome to this week's frequent flyer show discussing stand by options when flying. We discuss options when you want to take an earlier or later flight on your day of travel. In addition we discuss:
The disturbing Continental 3407 NTSB recreation video The poor American Airlines ...

Upgrd Podcast 19: Genius

This week we are joined by Gary Leff, Flytalk Talkboard President, and View From The Wing blog writer. During this week's frequent flyer podcast we discuss Gary's just completed five carrier Star Alliance first class award. In addition, we banter about:
FlyerTalk TalkBoard and why Gary ...