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Showing posts from May, 2015

Delta is having a gay pride fare sale

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I guess I'm old enough that it's still a bit exciting when a big company like Delta acknowledges we exist :) Details about Delta's gay pride fare sale are here.




Alaska's new Premium Economy

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Looks like Alaska Airlines is rolling out a Premium Economy experience similar to Virgin America – basically they're selling the exit/bulkhead row seats with a free alcoholic beverage for a $15 - $50 (each way) surcharge. I've flown Virgin's Main Cabin Extra and it's always comedic watching the crew try to keep people from "self upgrading" into those rows after takeoff. At one point on one of my flights, the FA found a crewmember who was deadheading and asked him to sleep lengthwise across the 3 unoccupied exit row seats.



I had my own inter-passenger seat drama when two large Russian ladies from New Jersey decided they were going to self-upgrade into my Main Cabin Select exit row from a regular Economy seat. I looked at them and said, "No. I'm in the Aisle seat and ONE of you can sit by the window, but you're not both cramming into this row with me." Of course they argued but it's amazing how cooperative they became when I reached for th…

Canceling my British Airways Visa card...

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As I alluded to in my post about Japan, I've been pretty frustrated with my British Airways Visa card.

My husband and I have both done the $30k annual spend on our BA cards to earn a Travel Together certificate and have found it basically impossible to redeem them due to lack of reward seats. Further, when we have seen availability, the fees are astronomical. Coupled with their recent point devaluation, a trip from New York to Barcelona I just priced out now costs 157,000 points + $2100 + the Travel Together coupon for the two of us. (UPDATE: as I predicted, annual summer business class fare sales are on right now, and you can actually purchase Business Class tickets from NYC to Paris for less than the cost of just the fees associated with this award!)

On top of that, they recently announced changes to cut the earning rate on this card from 1.25 points per dollar to 1 point per dollar while simultaneously devaluing Avios by approximately 30%. Ouch.

To make matters worse, In Januar…

A few Japan tips

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(last update Dec 2017)
📆 Before You Go Check to see what festivals and holidays are happening on the days you're considering. There might be some awesome things you don't want to miss, or giant crowds (e.g., Golden Week) that could complicate your plans.

If the trip is far enough out, start planning how to get there with points. My planning for our big 3 month adventure is here. Our points planning for the trip before that is here. Try to get on a Japanese airline if you can... ANA is in Star Alliance and is an Amex transfer partner, and they have great off-season deals. JAL is in OneWorld and recently added a partnership with Alaska Airlines.
To quote my best friend who's originally from Tokyo, "I'd rather fly ANA in Economy than United in Business".Consider getting a Japan Rail Pass before you go. (My detailed thoughts on which, if any, pass to buy are here)It gets you on any JR train in the country, including the urban JR trains like Yamanote and Chuo line…

Google Street View for planes

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Cool post over on Lucky's blog about a new Google Street View for the inside of planes. It's sponsored by the airlines so everything is fresh and clean and new and well-lit, so I think there's still plenty of value in people posting trip report photos :)


Check it out!

NEWS: Amazon Prime Video coming to JetBlue's Wi-Fi

In-flight Wifi is an amazing thing. My first time experiencing it (on Virgin America) was one of those rare moments of "holy cow! we live in the fuuuutuuuuuuure!" moments. Despite being a bit pokey, it still completely changed flying for me.

Onboard the plane, there's more than enough bandwidth to stream video from the plane's Wifi router to passengers' phones or iPads, but unfortunately, even with the new, faster Ka-band satellite connections there's still not enough bandwidth between the plane and the ground for everyone to do that. One solution is to bring a large selection of video content onboard the plane and let people stream from a server aboard the plane to their devices.

Lufthansa and Delta have both launched these systems and JetBlue has just announced that they're partnering with Amazon to bring AmazonPrime content to the skies. I feel like this technology will eventually replace seatback entertainment systems and I'm actually happy about t…