The Chase PCR Visa Select 90 second video awarding 1,000 points for views seems to be working again.  Previously, a unique sign-up code was required, although a few in the forums seem to be hinting that promo code MSPAOQR6F2 will work for unique users this time around.  I tend to think it’s likely that the promo sill requires a unique code, but why not give it a try for 1,000 points and 90 seconds, points post in 4-6 weeks.

There is also a survey awarding 1,000 points, though it too is targeted.  The T&Cs specifically state that you must have received the email in order to qualify for the points, but again worth a shot for under 60 seconds of your time.

Posted by Adam | 5 Comments

Yes, this post isn’t exactly points or travel related (though i do highly recommend the MacBook Air for frequent travelers), but I happened to be at the Grand Central Apple Store last night receiving a “jump-start” for my MacBook Air (it would not power back on and they literally jumped it with cables) and came across an interesting program. While I was waiting, one of the employees asked if I was aware of Apple’s recycling program.  The program offers an Apple gift card for the value of your old devices and recently upped the rates for iPhones in anticipation of the September 12th iPhone 5 announcement. You can now get up to $345 back for an iPhone 4s 64GB device with lower amounts based on model, storage, and condition, all the way down to $55 for the 2009 iPhone 3G. If your thinking about getting the new model this is a great way to potentially cover the cost of the new phone or supplement an early termination fee. Full details and gift card estimates available here.

Be sure to check the comments section for some great reader suggestions for higher priced offers!

Posted by Adam | 10 Comments

Want a chance to check out United new 787s but not planning a trip overseas? You can sample the 787 on domestic hub routes beginning in November. From United’s press release:

United Airlines today announced plans to fly its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on domestic routes starting in November as it prepares to begin previously-announced international service in December and January.

United will phase in scheduled 787 service between Houston and each of its other domestic hubs beginning Nov, 4, 2012 as shown below. This schedule allows United’s 787s to operate more than 470 flight segments in the U.S. in the last two months of 2012 in addition to international flights beginning in early December:

Note: Timing may vary slightly depending on day of the week.  Schedules are subject to change.

The 787 aircraft will display for sale for these domestic routes on united.com and other distribution channels beginning Sept. 1. In October, United will announce plans for the official first commercial 787 flights, which are expected to occur prior to Nov. 4 but only after proving/validation flights and training are complete.

Interested in flying the 787 on the first international routes?  Check out this post for complete details.

Posted by Adam | One Comment

For some reason I have two Alaska Mileage Plan accounts, one where I send  all activity and one that I signed up for years ago without ever using.  Today, I received two different offers for each of the accounts – a 40,000 mile Bank of America sign-up bonus offer and a 20,000 mile sign up bonus offer. The T&Cs seem to be identical besides the spending requirements, 25k with NO spend and 40k with $7500 in spend:

Earn up to 40,000 Bonus Miles. Upon approval of the Visa Signature card you will receive 25,000 Bonus Miles, plus an additional 15,000 Bonus Miles after purchases totaling at least $7500 within the first 6 months of the account open date. Use these Bonus Miles, plus taxes and fees from $2.50 depending on your Alaska Airlines flight itinerary, towards a round-trip award ticket to Hawaii, California, or any other Alaska Airlines destination.

Earn 25,000 Bonus Miles upon approval. That’s enough miles for a round-trip Coach Super Saver award flight anywhere Alaska Airlines flies in the continental U.S., Alaska or Canada

You may not have any plans to fly Alaska Airlines, but did you know that they partner with tons of US and international carriers? American, Delta, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Korean Air, LAN, Qantas as well as Emirates and Icelandair.  Award pricing is pretty good as well – using Europe as an example, Economy tickets are generally 60-65k from North America while Business tickets are 100-120k (Icelandair is only 55k to Europe for Economy and 80k to Europe for Business).  Check out the full charts for Hawaii, Caribbean, Africa/ME/India, Asia, Australia/NZ, and South America here.  One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot mix awards amongst the various partners.  If you are using Delta one way, you can’t fly American the other way. Award travel on Emirates is scheduled to go live late 2012.

Better yet, many have reported success in churning this card every 90-120 days and re-qualifying for the bonus miles! Do note that the annual fee is NOT waived for either sign-up offer, though a companion ticket is offered for coach travel on Alaska Airlines. Even if you cannot make the spend on the 40k offer, you could potentially earn 60-80k per year by churning this card.

 

Posted by Adam | 4 Comments

Did you know that several of the countries that compete in the Olympics open up hospitality houses?  The houses try to create an environment that feels like home for the athletes and their families, with everything from large screen TVs tuned to the Games, bars, local food, free phone calls back home, and nightly celebrations for the day’s winners. Typically, parts of the houses are open to the public for free or a nominal fee, while others are only available for athletes and their friends and family.  The houses themselves have become a sort of competition amongst the countries as to who can top the others (yes, sort of crazy with today’s economy). Last week I blogged about my visit to Club France and this week I cover my visit to the USA House.

The USA House was located at the Royal College of Art opposite Hyde Park. Unlike the majority of the other houses, the USA House was closed to all non citizens.  US citizens were allowed to present ID for entry into the Team USA Olympic Store, though access to all other areas was restricted to the athletes and their family and friends, as well as the corporate sponsors. I was eventually able to talk a few USOC members into granting me media access into the USA House (using my Boarding Area credentials) and was even offered a private guided tour!

Welcome to the USA House

Team USA Olympic StoreThe USOC Team USA Olympic Store Manager mentioned an impressive 130% increase over sales at the Beijing Olympics. This might be due to the Nike USA Olympic Team jacket found in pictures 3 and 4,  priced at $450 USD and completely sold out in all sizes but XXL. “The ultra-reflective shell makes you visible even under subtle lights”, we tested this by turning off the lights and snapping a picture in the XXL, it really did glow in white light but at $450 it was a pass for me…

United Lounge

Coca-Cola Courtyard – An outdoor “tropical themed coca-cola thirst quenching chill area”

Bud Deck - My favorite part of the USA House, a top floor Bud Deck with great views, ample seats, and an open bar of Budweiser, Bud Light, and wine.

Main Hospitality Area – 

HHonors Concierge to check bags, get directions, make reservations, etc.

 

AT&T Charging Station

 

Athlete, Family, and Friend Dining Area

 

Team USA - Signed by each Olympian and sent back to USOC HQ after the Olympics

 

Open Bar of Beer (Budweiser & Wine)

 

What's more American than Coke Floats?

 

So, was it Club France, not really. What house could live up to french catering each night, a private wine sommelier, live music, a nightly DJ set, VIP lounge bottle service, and an amazing view of Tower Bridge? However, besides the restrictive access policy, I really liked the USA House.  The food was very good, everyone was extremely friendly, and I guess I might have been a little partial to the team!  The Bud Deck was fantastic for enjoying the view and weather, while still cheering for Team USA on several flat screens that were set up. Up next, a quick review of houses from Belgium, Brazil, and Denmark.

Flight to London

Hotel in London

Tickets to the events

Chase VIP Lounge & Morimoto Dinner

Olympic Hospitality Houses – My VIP Visit to Club France – A Picture Tour

Posted by Adam | One Comment

Gilt City is offering 40-60% off upgrades to main cabin select for travel between September 5 – November 14, 2012.  Travel must be booked by 11:59pm CST on November 7, 2012 and requires a 7-day advance purchase prior to outbound travel.

The deal includes:

  • 60%($239), 50% ($169), or 40%($99) off any Instant Upgrade to Main Cabin Select base fare (domestic and to Mexico). All it takes is a quick search for Instant Upgrade to MCS seats on domestic and Mexico flights to find out how much you’ll save. As of 8/27, the savings are greatest on the JFK-LAX/SFO and LAS routes.
  • Promo codes are valid for one-way or round-trip travel at the time of booking
  • Value of discount will be calculated based on base fares available at VirginAmerica.com
  • Seats in Main Cabin Select include the following amenities:
    – Custom black leather seats with 38″ seat pitch (6″ of legroom more than Main Cabin)
    – Free premium television and movies through the Virgin America Red™ in-flight entertainment system
    – Complimentary food and beverages (including alcoholic beverages)*
    – Outlets to charge personal electronics
    – Dedicated overhead luggage space
    – Priority check-in
    – Priority boarding
    – Priority access through security
    – One free checked bag

Full details on this offer available here. If you decide to take advantage of the offer you’ll need to register for Gilt, which is free.  Thanks to reader Brooke F in NY, NY for the tip!

Posted by Adam | One Comment

Icelandair on Friday announced their new Reykjavik to Anchorage route, commencing May 15, 2013. The flight will operate twice per week through September 2013.

This year Icelandair celebrates 75 years of aviation and operates the strongest network in its history. By using Keflavik International Airport as our hub, Icelandair is able to afford passengers convenient and economical flights between North America and Europe. Flights from Alaska to Iceland are approximately 7 hours and offer three cabins of service, leather seats and personal in-flight entertainment centers for all passengers. In addition to opening up a new market for Icelandic tourism, travelers will now have a refreshing new option when flying from Alaska to Europe. Our new destinations of Zurich and St. Petersburg will further strengthen our network and continue to give our passengers the best options to Europe,”said Birkir Holm Gudnason, CEO of Icelandair. To further strengthen the collaboration with the state of Alaska, Icelandair’s partner, Alaska Airlines, will provide connections to Icelandair flights through Anchorage. This partnership will give travelers from the surrounding areas more choices to Europe while increasing jobs and revenue for the state.

Remember, Alaska Mileage Plan members can redeem points for awards on Icelandair at the following levels:

Posted by Adam | 7 Comments

Yep, that title says it all.  See the full article, Sexual Predators at 20,000 Feet as Feds Charge Another In-Flight Groper, at Forbes, here’s some of the more interesting details from two separate UA/CO incidents…

Bawer Aksal boarded a United Airlines flight from Phoenix to Newark on August 20th, whereupon he took a seat next to a stranger: a woman passenger, who was sitting in the window seat.  Following takeoff, the woman fell asleep and had her jacket draped across her legs. READ the full-text Complaint (Note: the allegations go into graphic detail).

When the woman passenger awoke, she found Aksal’s hands insider her shirt and shorts.  As if that circumstance wasn’t horrific enough, Aksal allegedly asked his victim to kiss him!  The woman’s immediate reaction was to slam down the armrest between her and Aksal and to demand that he get off her; thereafter, she walked to the rear of the plane where she told a crew member of the attack.

 

At some point during the flight, Sawyerr raised his tray table, and the woman observed his erect genitals protruding out of his pants. As she tried to move, he got up and turned towards her with his genitals exposed, at which time he asked if she wanted to climb over him. At that point, she was able to change seats, and he then put his genitals back in his pants.

Also sometime during the flight, a Continental Airlines flight attendant was in the rear galley with co-workers preparing a serving cart when she observed Sawyerr walking towards the rear of the aircraft and enter the bathroom. Per information offered to the court today, the flight attendant noted he was staring at her strangely which made her feel uncomfortable. Sawyerr exited the bathroom and began to return to his seat but suddenly looked back, turned around, and walked back towards her. He entered the bathroom again and, upon his exit, opened his jacket, revealing his erect genitals sticking out of his pants. When the flight attendant told him he was being inappropriate, Sawyerr stated, “Can’t a guy have his fly undone?” and returned to his seat. A Continental employee who took a report regarding the incident overheard Sawyerr mentioning the impact the matter could have on his legal career. . .

Full article @ Forbes

Posted by Adam | 6 Comments

  • It’s in the US
  • Just opened in July of this year after 8 months of renovations
  • Was previously a Radisson

We are currently on day 3 of our stay at the hotel and we are really impressed with the hotel and the renovation.  Full trip report next week.

Answer will be provided later this evening in the comments section

Posted by Adam | 3 Comments

Michelle Young took some amazing photos of the TWA Flight Center @ JFK during last year’s openhousenewyork event. You can explore the terminal yourself during this year’s OHNY weekend. I’ll be there on October 7th!

Posted by Adam | No Comments

From UA’s United Hub website:

During our 787 Dreamliner First Look event at Boeing’s Paine Field in early August, we held a TweetChat that generated a number of great questions from our customers. The topic that came up the most was destinations. People wanted to know what cities our new Boeing 787 Dreamliner would service. We’re excited to give you answers about the first international routes for our new aircraft.

We’ll kick off our 787 international routes on December 4, with service between our Houston hub and Amsterdam. This route will be offered through March 29, 2013.

Next up is service between Los Angeles and Tokyo, with daily flights beginning on January 3, 2013, followed by nonstop service five days a week between Houston and Lagos, Nigeria, starting on January 7. 

From February 4 to March 29, our 787 will fly between Houston and London Heathrow.
On March 30, we will operate flights between Los Angeles and Shanghai, and on March 31 we launch our Denver-to-Tokyo route, which we announced previously.

Our flights between Denver and Narita are available for sale on united.com, and you can book our newly announced flights beginning on August 25.

Closer to home, we’ll be announcing our 787 U.S. domestic routes, which will launch before our Dreamliner takes off to international destinations.

Posted by Adam | One Comment

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