Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Football planes

Those pictures were taken by me, but apparently even the WSJ realizes the importance of sports to airlines and just published this article

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Star Alliance Gold vs US Standby list

I was done with work early so instead of waiting around until 9 pm I tried my chances at an earlier flight. Usually on United this results in a "you have a snowball's chance on the sun", but the agent at the first class/elite desk put me on the list with no commentary. I appreciated that because I already knew I had a snowball's chance! Flight when I got there was oversold and I was added to the list during boarding anyway so I had little hope.

Next flight was asking for volunteers and offering $450 in travel vouchers which is very generous for US.

Next flight was technically oversold (i think they said +2), but they were able to accommodate a few of the people I'd been waiting with, then a party of 2 didn't show so I got on as well as a lady traveling to DTW. She said she had been there since 11 am and needed to get on this flight or she'd miss her flight to DTW. I'm not sure what flight she was originally confirmed on, but I was called before she was and I was not connecting and I was confirmed for a flight in 3 hours.

After they called my name off the standby list the lady next to me in the waiting area asked how I got on an earlier flight so I told her about free standby and the Move Up program, but since no seats were confirmable there was no chance for move up. She was apparently just waiting there for all the Charlotte flights for no real reason! I didn't ask which flight she was confirmed on either, but I bet she was probably also on the last one of the night.

During Holiday rush star alliance gold beats standby again!

My fun recent airplane companions

These past 2 weeks have included some interesting characters on my flights home.

Last week I was on a redeye from Vegas. While waiting for my flight, I saw the gate agents deny boarding to a drunk man and then escort him outside the secured area. Then on my own flight right behind me was a man who kept loudly talking about how drunk he is, how he doesn't brush his teeth, how he's been kicked off flights before for being drunk. I thought about saying something, but I try not to be the one to ruin anyone's trip so I let it go. Luckily he fell asleep right after takeoff and woke up right after landing so the majority of the redeye was quiet. I did get some audio recorded on my phone, but I'm not sure what the recording laws are in situations like this so I'll keep it to myself for now. While exiting the plane I suggested to the FA that she should have kicked the man off the flight, but by then he was at his destination anyway.

Fast forward to today I got on an earlier flight and right in front of me was a little boy probably no more than 3 years old. His mom was in the window seat, he was in the middle, and big sis was in the aisle. Across the aisle was the aunt, father, and brother. Little boy (we'll call him 28B) was very loud. He had a stuffed blue bunny he kept tossing around and it came back into my row 3 times before takeoff. I blame this all on the selfish mother who took the window seat. During the taxi out to the runway the brother (28F) decided he needed to use the bathroom. Aunt and father get up, but the FA quickly tells them they need to sit down. FA phones up to the captain asking him to stall to allow the child to use the restroom. We had to wait for him to finish before reentering the queue. Luckily we were #3 in line. I've waited forever to take off in LGA before so #3 is OK with me. 28B is still yelling, kicking 27B's seat violently, etc. Aunt tried to get 28B to play games like counting the trucks outside. The mom was just telling the kid to calm down while she enjoyed her window seat. Everyone knows kids should always get window seats, not middles! During the flight the kid watched about 15 minutes of the Chipmunk movie, then some Barney, then something else. I don't think he finished anything before something else was started.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Supershuttle causes NYC frustration

I frequently use SuperShuttle in cities when I'm staying downtown and can either use transit or walk to my client. In cities like BWI I don't have any issue with them. They take me where I'm going and pick me up when they are supposed to or call to warn of any delays.

I landed in LGA after an hour delay.
My cell phone died
I found the phones the reservation said to use and I called Supershuttle. i was on hold for about 10 minutes before finally getting someone.
I waited for 20 minutes for a shuttle to arrive.
Shuttle guy calls me so I hop on
Shuttle is filled to capacity
Driver is a maniac and cuts everyone off by making his own lane and just squeezing in
After an hour we finally got from LGA to the intersection of 5th ave and 45th (not sure how NYers say street names). The driver said I needed to get off.
He hands me $10. I'm confused. He says he wasn't supposed to take me. He gave me back 2/3 of what I had prepaid and said I should just take a cab the rest of the way to near the Brooklyn Bridge!!
I knew I was far away and didn't want to bother with a $$$ cab ride so I walked for 10 blocks down 5th ave before I found a Starbucks near the Empire State Building.
I charged my phone for a while and used google maps to get transit directions
found the subway station, bought the fare, hopped on the train, got off at the station
walked around for quite a while before finding my hotel (use google maps on my phone and just hoped it wouldn't die before I figured out where I was going)
I wanted to hail a cab, but didn't see any with their lights on., I left my house at 10 am and got to the hotel at 6 pm. Long day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why I'm loyal to Hilton HHonors

As I max out the Q4 Hilton promotion I reflect on why I continued to stay at Hilton properties after requalifying for Diamond VIP, the top tier.
  • There is a Hampton everywhere I go. I go places such as St. Joseph, MO, New Albany, IN, and others like that. The Hampton Inn is the only hotel among Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, and Hyatt. Many of the places I go have Holiday Inns, but I only stay there if nothing from the other chains is there.
  • I like the Hilton chain bedding. I always bring my own toiletries so those don't win me over, but I care about bedding. I try not to think about how often the duvet gets washed, but I'm a cold person and the 3 tiny sheets that Fairfield Inns and Courtyards (both by Marriott) try to pass as adequate bedding during winter in Iowa just don't cut it for me. I have never had a cold night at any Hilton brand I've stayed at. I'm constantly tempted to buy a Hampton Inn bedding set, but I'm not sure if I could keep it as white as they do.
  • This week I stayed at a Hilton property instead of a Marriott property because I had no shot at Gold with Marriott at this point (25 nights from Gold) and I just needed 1 stay to complete the 12 Q4 stays to get 75,000 points. 75,000 points are nothing since Hilton points are the peso of hotel points, but I just wiped out my balance recently so every point helps.
  • Most importantly though, this game to me is all about using the points. Points are only valuable when cashed in just like I used to tell my brother than a quarter is only a quarter unless you have an offer for more. I have redeemed many Hilton HHonors points over the years. Some places a Hilton is one of many locations to choose from in the city. In places like Charleston, SC the Embassy Suites is much better than any Starwood property in the city. The latest feat is using points to stay at a conference. At first there was no availability during the actual conference, then it opened up and I managed to use a discounted redemption rate for VIPs.
Would I tell someone at the checkin counter that Hilton has great promos? Doubtful, but it does meet my needs. Although everyone on Flyertalk seems to love Starwood and Hyatt, I have chosen Hilton.

Friday, December 18, 2009

US busiest airports

The top 10 busiest US airports

This list could double as the list of airports I avoid. Although I frequently connect in ATL and ORD out of necessity, I try to never connect in NYC airspace. It's just too risky.

Even if the flight is technically "on time" it may still be late. One time I was flying out of JFK on Delta. The flight was already 45 minutes late for boarding. Then when we finally pushed back the pilot announced we were #45 in line for take-off! I was glad I was on a direct flight because there is no way I could have made most connections after that much of a delay.

United does seem to like hubs prone to delays with SFO, ORD, and IAD all making the list, but at least UA is smart enough to avoid NYC airspace.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another year coming to an end

This year I'm in pretty much the same boat I was in last year except on the rental car front.
  • Airlines: still 1P with United and Gold with Delta. Hit 75,000 and 60,000 respectively
  • Hotels: still Diamond with Hilton and Silver with Marriott. Lost status with SPG, but only because that was conferred from a credit card and I shifted my spending to Hilton AMEX.
  • Rental cars: Avis First *ahem* I mean Last. National got up to Executive Aisle and I made 5 star with Hertz, but I haven't rented with Hertz since then.
In a couple weeks it all resets to 0 and the race begins again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New airport application for iPhone

GateGuru has launched a new application for the iPhone to act as a guide through airports.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's in my backpack?

The movie "Up in the Air" came out limited release December 4th and I finally made it to a limited release city so of course I had to go see it. I was in Toronto and just a couple stops from the Varsity Cineplex so I looked up the show times and got there in plenty of time since at the time it was the only theatre in the country showing the movie.

In the movie George Clooney has designed his life to exclude all attachments. He has no mortgage, no friends, and barely talks to his family. He does motivational speeches advocating this lifestyle. When I see this I know I am similar. Although I technically have a relationship and some friends, I have been aggressively cutting people out of my circle if they bring too much baggage. This situation could happen even with non frequent flyers, but hopping from city to city doesn't help the situation. Out of sight, out of mind, ya know!

Do I really want to maintain this lifestyle for years? who knows...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sitting, waiting

I decided to do a check to see if availability opened up in Melbourne for the rest of my trip. As a matter of fact, now Hilton is showing availability at South Wharf for my whole trip! I could have tacked on another 3 nights for 120,000 so then I'd have a 4 night AXON6 @ 145,000 points, 3 more nights at 120,000 points, and a night at Airport for 30,000 points. Now I'm trying to get a GLON for the whole trip which 235,000 points. So: 295,000 or 235,000, which would you prefer? I can't book until the AXON recredits though so I just sit and keep refreshing...

...remember to book anything before pretty much all hotels move up a category in January!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chuck Strikes Again!

One of the things I have learned on Flyertalk that has benefited me the most in real cash is hunting for a bank with no ATM fees and credit card with no Forex (foreign exchange) fees. At the time the best card was the Charles Schwab 2% cash back, no forex visa signature administered by FIA (note, rumors state this offer no longer exists), but FIA wasn't showing me love so I had to settle for a Charles Schwab visa debit card on the High Yield Investor Checking account (free). This card also has no forex fees and they reimburse ATM fees (at the end of the month) charged by other banks.

Today I was booking tickets for a conference in Australia. The tickets cost AUD535.30. The conference uses PayPal to as their payment processor. PayPal wanted me to post the payment in USD and said it would be $501.xx. A quick check over on showed me that the current interbank was closer to US$489.60. PayPal did also have the option to run the charge in local currency which they warn will mean that your credit card will add the forex fee. I did this and Chuck debited $491.39. THIS IS ALWAYS THE OPTION YOU SHOULD TAKE UNLESS YOU ARE FUNDING FROM CASH! Why? Well because many credit cards are savvy to this method and add forex fees to transactions processed from foreign countries regardless of the currency of the transaction! This means that PayPal gets their cut of around 3%, then your credit card gets their cut which can range from 0% (capital one) to I think close to 4% for some cards. I think many of them are around 3%, but always check this wiki. The kicker is that Citi doesn't add these fees until the end of the cycle which always drove me crazy when I used those cards and needed to prove how much I was charged for business expense reimbursement.

Just that 1 purchase saved me $10. Plus my ATM fees are reimbursed, plus the account gets 0.75%APR.

If you do any international travel it is worthwhile to investigate how to minimize forex fees.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

My week of Thanksgiving travel actually wasn't too bad.

Flew out on Monday and the airport was fairly empty. I've flown out on Monday mornings for the past few weeks and had to queue about 15 minutes for security, but this week I had 3 people in front of me. On Tuesday I was booked on an 8 pm flight, but I was able to standby and get confirmed on a 3:30 pm flight.

Business as usual

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where do I want to go and have I been there?

This thread over at Flyertalk got me thinking about where I want to go and have I been there. As a kid I'd watch Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego on PBS. I never had the opportunity to go on the show, but just in case I ever did I determined Montana would be the state I chose. I don't really know why, it just seemed like a good place to go. Now that I have more frequent flyer miles than many people accumulate in their life I have still never been to Montana. I have been to at least 40 states, but never Montana. I just need to bite the bullet and make a trip there to see all the national parks and drive the vast stretches of interstate.

Another goal of mine has been to visit all the Disney parks. I guess being born near a Disney park and having a Disney obsessed family probably shaped some of that goal. I have been to the most Disney parks in my family. I have been to Disney World (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, MGM Studios), Disneyland Paris, Disneyland (main park and California Adventure), so that just leaves Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and eventually the Shanghai Disneyland. I also need to go back to Disney World and visit Animal Kingdom. It was open last time I went to DW, but the group I went with didn't want to waste time at a brand new park :(.

I've always been an avid fan of the Olympics. I'm one of those people who gets overly obsessed and patriotic seeing those 5 rings. I'd love to attend the games at one point in my life, but as a whole I really hate crowds and I'd probably be very uncomfortable attending. It would still be awesome. My Brazilian visa expires before the games there so I'd have to renew it to attend those, but in the grand scheme of attending the Olympics paying for a new visa is chump change.

People wonder why I try to avoid going back to a place I've already been, but it's because there are a many places I've never been to and it would be a shame to not see as many places as I can while I am still able.

Of places I've wanted to visit and actually have: I can't really remember making a list of places to go. I think Australia was probably on any list and I've been there. I may have added London after my parents went, so mark that off too. Paris seems to be a place many romanticize. Another check.

Most fun travel week of the year

Thanksgiving week is the week where people who only travel once a year turn up in droves at an airport near you. Most of us business travelers don't have to travel for business due to the shortened week, but some do. I, unfortunately, fall into that second category.

Thanksgiving can be a good time for collecting bump vouchers, but since I have to go straight from the airplane to work I'd prefer not to take my chances.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Where did it go?

I figured it had to happen to me at one point. They were about to begin boarding my red eye last night and I was looking for my boarding pass in all my pockets but it was no where to be found. I just went up to the podium and gave the gate agent my ID and voila! a new boarding pass. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Airtran to begin seat back advertising

Press release here. US Airways has had ads on tray tables for quite a while, but I almost never see them because I don't always put down my tray table. Now Airtran is placing ads on seat backs.

If this means lower ticket prices I can't really argue with this.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Continental and United to offer reciprocal upgrades

Announced today that upgrades will be reciprocal. This is good news as a whole, but has little impact on me. First off United has smaller First cabins so upgrades will be difficult, second, it's only recent that CO has mainline service to CLT and they don't have mainline service most of the time I fly them so I will probably never get upgraded on CO. I'm not sure how CO elites will affect my ability to upgrade on UA.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Man arrested for failing to show ID at TSA checkpoint

I know to most of you out there won't understand the significance of this. You may be thinking "Just show your ID and get it over with." Since TSA came into existence after 9/11 we have been frogs in boiling water. I didn't travel more than once a year pre-9/11, but just in the almost 4 years I've been a weekly traveler the changes are extensive with no real benefit. They've just been charging us $2.50/flight for the privilege of being harassed.
  • It started with mainly requiring a ticket to enter the secured area. This was OK because that weeded out the families welcoming home people and blocking your ability to deplane. It also got rid of *some* of the pickpockets and other scammers past security. Most of the people who posted on the Flyertalk thread recently seemed to agree with this move.
  • After the shoe bomber we were all required to get shoes x-rayed. This has caused me to get athlete's foot several times even though I always wear socks through the checkpoint. I just realized I have a case again!
  • then in August 2006 (nb this was NOT September 2001!) the liquids plot resulted in a complete ban on in cabin liquids for a couple months followed by the current 3.4 fl oz (100 mL) container in a 1 qt/1L baggie. This limit is arbitrary and a joke. I think it's just a plot to increase concession sales and travel sized items. I flew on that day and due to TSA wait times (over an hour in STL) and the lack of being able to bring a lot of things through security the few places to eat in STL's A concourse were out of food/beverage.
  • One of the newer things is the list of approved IDs and the loupes and blacklights. Before 9/11 ID checking was done at the gate to prevent people transferring nontransferable tickets. It had nothing to do with security and Australia does not check IDs for domestic flights nor to many other countries. They also seem to forget that the 9/11 hijackers all had valid IDs.
  • The State Department began issuing passport cards which are a valid form of ID for anything except international air travel. Many TSA officers will not accept them because they haven't studied the list of acceptable IDs.
  • Last time I was at the DMV there were 4 other people waiting in line with me (3 of them over 65) who were needing to get a new state ID or license just because they were about to fly.
  • There are virtual strip machines. Child pornography is illegal, but it's perfectly legal for TSA to look at your child naked. No parent should ever let their child in one of the virtual strip search macines.
  • Now there is this Secure Flight garbage requiring full name, date of birth, and gender. When does it end? Will I need a chip implanted in me to verify I can fly across my own country? So much for the right to travel freely.

So back to my buddy Phil. While the rest of us are frogs getting boiled he decided to jump out of the hot water and try to do something. Props to you and I wish I had the guts to do the same. I read his story right before I boarded my flight in LAS. Two TSA officers talked to the gate agent and then stood in the jet bridge during boarding. They didn't have gloves so I knew they couldn't be doing bag searches, but I feared they might be doing the random ID checks at the gate. I thought very hard about declining if this is what they were doing, but they just stood there for a reason I did not determine before boarding.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Format

It seemed like a lot of the other blogs I visited had the same template I did so I'll be playing around with the template a bit until I settle on one I like.

This season from Sky Mall

I love flipping through the pages of Sky Mall because it is a good time killer and I don't shop much otherwise. Sky Mall is published seasonally and the Holiday editions came out last month. Here are some of my favorite "What were they thinking" items:
  • The Telekinetic Obstacle Course. First off, this thing requires C sized batteries. I try to stick to things requiring AA and AAA. No C or D for me. I buy AA and AAA in bulk and always have some around. If this thing died on me I'd never replace the C batteries. I also don't get why it can't run off an outlet instead of batteries. They say it's telekinetic, but your brain isn't really moving the object, rather your brain activity controls the speed of fans. I felt duped after reading that. $99.95
  • Instant Feng Shui benefits at home or away. Really? Something that looks like one of the Tiger Electronics toys I had back in the 80s will tell me how to arrange my furniture based on energies? I would constantly make fun of this rip-off to friends at the $399.99 price point. Apparently they heard and dropped it to $199.99. You can buy a shielded carrying case for another $39.99. I think I'll just head to my local library and check out an Feng Shui book for free. Then if my energies don't improve at least I didn't waste over a day of income on this.
  • Bilz Pinball Game. This allows you to give someone money in a pinball game and they have to play the game just right for it to dispense the money. Let's just put it like this: you give me a present like this and you are no longer my friend. $12.99
  • You can now buy a Taser in Sky Mall. Nevermind the fact that they are heavily regulated and require it to be activated after arrival. Really, I'm sure no one will crack that. $349.99
  • Day Clock. I travel a lot and sometimes do get into a day warp, but a clock is mounted to a wall and not travel-friendly so it is of no help to me. If you are in a situation where you can mount this thing and actually see it and don't know what day it is without it, you need to move out of your mother's basement and get a job! $38.98 (!?!?!)
  • SodaStream. There is so much soda already out there I have never thought I could do it better. $129.99
  • Yukata Cover-up. It's in the Delta version on page 180 but I can't find it on the Sky Mall site. Pretty much if you thought $20.00 cover-ups from WalMart didn't cost enough for you, you can spend $139.00 + $3 additional shipping for one from Sky Mall!
  • Zona Plus . Take a squeeze grip thing from the gym, add some military endorsements, Viola! you can charge $379.
  • Last but not least: The Personal Travel Bidet. Wow. It's only $44.95 which doesn't seem like a bad price, but I think I'll stick with TP, thank you!

US Airways announces new redemption tiers

I am technically a US hub captive, but since I have been loyal to United since college they have always been my star alliance choice. I have put up with United and starnet blocking. I actually have fairly good redemption success including 2 coach tickets to SYD, 2 F tickets to SFO on US, and a few random bookings for friends.

I'm also a Delta lover because my family is from ATL and it's blasphemy to not like Coke or Delta (but I pass on Home Depot and UPS). Delta implemented a tiered system last year right before I booked 2 tickets to DUB. I got 2 coach tickets for 90,000 miles each when a low ticket would have been 50,000 and a low BE ticket would have been 100,000. the only F tickets were more than I had in my bank and the 2 coach tickets at 90k wiped me out.

Now US Airways is following Delta. Usually in the race to the bottom it's the other way around. US implemented charging for all beverages in flight and no one followed. Now that Delta and US have tiered programs I wonder if any other airlines will follow suit. The image posted above does remind me of the DL calendar that never shows the same tier for the same day 2 refreshes in a row. It seems like DL and US have the same development team judging by other things they seem to do at the same time (e.g. adding partner mileage numbers) so it wouldn't surprise me if US's calendar is a joke also. Oh well. I'll keep all my *A miles on United especially since they are adding elite upgrades.

I've been flying Airtran more than I'd like recently, but they actually have a fairly interesting program. I now have enough credits for a 1 way trip on FL, but I'm in no hurry to book anything on them if I don't have to.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wow google, thanks!

Well apparently people are easy to buy into Google's goodwill and don't realize that it's not raining, someone is just peeing on their leg.

Google announced
they would provide free WIFI this holiday season (Nov 10, 09-Jan 15, 10) in many airports. Too bad that list includes many airports that already have free wifi like LAS, MCO, CLT, FLL, SMF, SAN, IND, CVG to name a few. The fact that any already free, let alone that many, airports are on the list seems to make it more about publicity than free wifi. LAS and MCO are some of the most touristy airports so of course they are there.

The busiest airports in the world (ATL and ORD) both charge for WiFiand both are omitted from the list. ORD is a Boingo airport. ATL offers service from Boingo as well as TMobile and Sprint. All of them include various roaming partners as well.

What does google get out of this? Even more access to your soul
The network operators collect the information they need to run the network, and Google will have access to some aggregate, non-personally identifiable information.
I know I shouldn't complain. This site is hosted for free by Google.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hilton Garden Inn Toronto City Centre

The HGI Toronto City Centre is located on Dundas just a few blocks from Yonge and Dundas. The area is not the best looking area, but the hotel itself was nice and I felt safe enough walking to the square by myself.

The only problem I has was room service. I picked up the phone and pressed the room service speed dial. I don't think it had been set b/c I believe I just got the front desk. I stated my order only to receive a confused response and I got forwarded. Someone picked up claiming to be from Caseys which is the restaurant in front of the hotel. I asked to place a room service order but was placed on hold and someone came to my room to service my room so I had to hang up. I'm not sure if that was a turn down service or if the front desk sent someone. My room had already been cleaned that day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Continental, thanks but no thanks

I've had a love-hate relationship with Continental. They have some of the least convenient connecting flights out of CLT and are usually more expensive than other options so I rarely fly them.

Last week I thought I'd give them another look now that they are part of star alliance. They did let me enter my United number on the day it was official they were in the alliance. US Airways has been part of *A for a while and only recently allowed that.

Then it's back to CO as usual. The GTAA kiosks at YYZ apparently denote elites differently than the CO tickets would and this new *A notation was not known to the gate agents. Agent announced elites could board so I handed my BP which said EA (for elite access) and *G (for star gold) but the GA did not know what this looked like and questioned me if I was elite. I had my *G card in hand just in case b/c the text size on the BP from the GTAA kiosk was rather small.

Then we get to CO really being CO. For some reason CO has really short minimum connections and most of my flights are exactly the minimum (but most DL flights from CLT to ATL will get at least an hour connection in ATL). There has only been 1 connection on CO at IAH where I didn't have to run. This time I had to wait so long to get to a gate and have the gate agent match up the jetbridge for deplaning and get my valet bag that by the time I was finally in the terminal they were paging me to board immediately (plane was to depart at 9:00 pm and it was only 8:40 when this announcement was made). I had to run from 1 spoke of the C terminal of EWR to another. By the time I got there my bag was open and I dropped my papers. Some lady was in my seat and was quite mad that I'd want my seat.

...then we waited for 15 minutes with the door still open. I ran for nothing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

West Virginia

I haven't really been in this state before. First off, I LOVE the 70 MPH speed limits through dangerous mountain passes. I just hate the fact that I have a fricken ford focus and can barely make it up hill.

West Virginia has more KMarts than I've seen in the past 3 years. Apparently in 20 years the chain will let WV know it sucks and Target is better.

Other than that, everyone here I've seen has been very nice and has a full set of teeth.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back on legacies

After a couple trips on Airtran I'm back on legacy carriers this week. Airtran is good for people watching and does have a nice $49 upgrade, but for those of us in normal economy it is very uncomfortable. My knee was digging into the guy in front of me the whole flight and I'm not that tall. I also made the mistake of booking a seat next to the engine so I had no view either.
Airtran is copying US Airways and now has an Atlanta Falcons plane. I saw the Pittsburgh Steelers plan today, but I did not get a picture.

Monday, October 19, 2009

To bump or not to bump

My flight this afternoon was oversold and they were seeking 3 volunteers to take a flight 4 hours later. Normally I do not take bumps because the exchange is worthless, but this time it was on Airtran and they were offering 2 r/t tickets to anywhere they fly. It was quite tempting and if the flight they were offering wasn't 4 hours later I might have, but sometimes I just want to get to my destination.

I'm not sure how useful their bump vouchers are. On many airlines when they do the free* r/t ticket it's very limited so the odds of using it limit its true value. United will give flight credit if asked. This is usually better b/c then you can book your own flight and even use it internationally. With this option the odds of getting a free trip are lower, but there are more options.

I just never get a good opportunity to bump. Either I want to get to my destination or I just don't feel like waiting around that airport any longer.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There are still smoking rooms?

I was booking a hotel room for this week in a hurry and didn't pay attention to the fact that I booked a smoking room. I didn't really notice it until I got up to the room and didn't see the typical no-smoking symbol. Of course this happens to me when I'm feeling like crap anyway and I just wanted to sleep.

I've been staying at too many Marriotts recently. They have all gone smoke free, but I guess since the Hiltons are partiers and not Mormons they haven't detoxed their hotels.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ode to 11C

Dear 11C:
I am curious as to why you stayed seated next to me even though there are 105 coach seats on an Airtran 717 and maybe 40 people on board. I was hoping you would move over to 10D to give you an open middle. Heck, *I* would have moved to 10D if Airtran didn't pack me into the window seat like a sardine. You just sat there reading your book and ignored all the open seats all around you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

About me

  • I work for a company I will keep nameless b/c I'd like to keep working for them.
  • I travel for work just about every week and I go to some interesting places such as BFE and the Middle of Nowhere.
  • I live in a major hub city but never fly the airline it's a hub for
  • I'm a loser in just about every program except Hilton.
  • I have the Starwood AMEX b/c it's the best credit card, then I just use my Hilton AMEX for everything
  • I like the consistency of the Hampton Inn chain and plan to make my room look just like one.
  • My friends live all over the country and I use my job as an excuse to visit them.
  • I like bullet lists b/c I can't write paragraphs

Welcome to my addiction

Some of you think I'm whitty or maybe you're just trying to appease my cynical side, but I'm going to give this blogging thing a try again and see what happens. I doubt I'll be quite as funny as Getting Drunk in First Class but maybe I'll brighten someone's day.

My hobby is flying. I fly so I can fly more. This will detail the small things that brighten my day when I'm miles from home. No seatmate is safe anymore!