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Showing posts from May, 2016

Finding and collecting Japanese Railway station stamps

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From Pokemon to Neko Atsume to shuinchou temple books, Japanese people love obsessively collecting things. They also love trains. The Eki stamp ("station stamp") is where those two things meet. Most Japan Railways stations (including urban metro ones like the Yamanote line) have a unique stamp reflecting that station's history. Kids and train nerds (a.k.a. "Tecchan") buy cute little books to collect the stamps of all the stations they've been to. The USA has a similar program with the national parks

(UPDATE: on a recent visit to Taipei, I found out that the Taiwanese do this too!) Nerdiness aside, an Eki stamp book makes a great souvenir: it's flat, small, cheap, and light... and shouldn't take but a few moments to do when you're out and about. Special Eki stamp books are usually available at bookstores and stationery stores. Kinokuniya in Shinjuku, for example, has them in their travel section on the basement floor. Because not everyone knows w…

JetBlue will match your Elite status from another airline

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Got an email today from JetBlue announcing that they'll grant you Mosaic status if you're an elite on another airline.

To qualify you need to be:
Virgin America®: Elevate® Silver, Elevate® GoldAlaska Airlines®: Mileage Plan™; MVP® Gold or MVP® Gold 75kAmerican Airlines®: AAdvantage Platinum® or Executive Platinum®Delta®: SkyMiles Medallion® Gold, Platinum or DiamondSouthwest Airlines®: Rapid Rewards® A-List Preferred or Companion PassUnited®: MileagePlus® Premier® Gold, Platinum or Premier1K®Emirates: Emirates™; Skywards‎ Silver, Gold or Platinum Looks like the only Silvers welcome at this party are Virgin and Emirates... But the news for the silvers and those with no status is that they're also offering a status challenge to anyone: earn 3750 base points in 90 days and you qualify for Mosaic through 2017. 
The Facebook reaction has been mixed. While some people are mad that, say, a United 1k can now have Mosaic status when a "loyal" JetBlue flier who only flies 3…