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Recently I wrote positively about routes operated by wide body aircraft when traveling short haul routes but there are also drawbacks at some airlines who operate these flights without in seat entertainment.

Especially in Economy Class it’s absolutely not a given to have your personal in seat entertainment system, even if your flight is operated by a wide body plane. [click to continue…]

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After having visited a few hotels in the UAE (Abu Dhabi to be precise) this week I want to remind our readers to always request a status benefit letter from hotels even if they don’t offer one outright.

While it’s very common to get welcome letters outlining the on-property benefits for status members of the respective hotel program, it doesn’t seem to be this way here in the UAE. [click to continue…]

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As the year is coming to a close once again it’s also the time when status counters will be reset and for most loyalty programs December 31st marks the point of the last qualifying elite transaction for 2016.

last-call-status

While a number of programs such as British Airways Executive Club have a flexible membership year based on your date of signing up most competitors count status qualifying activity Jan 1st to Dec 31st. [click to continue…]

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Accessing the internet at locations in China is difficult as it comes with a lot of red tape that forces users to authenticate themselves when signing in at public networks such as airports.

china-internetThis authentication sometimes goes via registering the passport and receiving a code but sometimes when these are not available you require to register your phone number and receive a SMS code. [click to continue…]

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As the end of the year approaches, we wanted to summarize the rules in most of the major hotel loyalty programs when it comes to purchasing points to use for award stays as well as talk about when it may make sense to buy points for each program.

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Most hotel programs have an annual calendar limit on purchased points, and some currently have limited-time promotions on buying points, so it may be useful to take advantage of some of these before the end of the year or before these promotions expire.  Here is a summary by major hotel program. [click to continue…]

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In the last few years, we’ve seen a significant transformation in the traditional lodging industry. Booking sites for private homes and apartments such as Airbnb and Homeaway have opened up many more options for travelers beyond traditional hotels.

london-apart-1d

But on the other side, traditional hotels and online travel agencies have seen their revenues and profits squeezed quite a bit by these and similar sites.  This has led some of the traditional online travel agency sites to include more “apart-hotel” type properties in their inventory of lodging options, particularly in big cities, properties that have all the amenities (or lack thereof) of apartments but rent like hotels.

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When I landed in London the week before last, before my nap at the Yotel, I was excited to try out the newly redesigned AA arrivals lounge at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 which reopened in August.

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This lounge reopened only days after my last arrival into LHR on American a few months ago, and during the renovations, eligible AA customers were allowed to use the BA arrivals lounge in T5, which in theory is a nice gesture, but T5 is quite a trek from T3.

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A few weeks ago, Sebastian wrote here about a new “micro” type hotel concept at Dubai airport.  I had the chance to try a similar concept that’s been around for a bit longer at London’s Heathrow airport last week , the Yotel.

Yotel-main

The Yotel brand is somewhat unique in itself, as it has 5 locations in total, but 4 of these are similar limited service airport locations in London (LHR and LGW), Amsterdam, and Paris, and the fifth is a full service larger hotel near Times Square in NYC.

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I recently had a fairly long layover at LAX about a week and a half ago on my way to Hong Kong and had the chance to visit several airline lounges there and wanted to write a post to talk about my experiences and what I liked and disliked about each.

lax-0-welcome-1

I flew on American Airlines for this trip, and being an Executive Platinum member of AA’s AAdvantage frequent flyer program (One World Emerald) and having a Priority Pass Select membership through my Citi Prestige credit card, I am able to access to quite a few lounges here.

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Travelers who are visiting Kuala Lumpur and plan to use the convenient KLIA Airport Express Train should be reminded that it’s worth it to purchase the ticket for the train online, using Mastercard.

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The pre-purchase can either be completed via the Mobile Application or website of the KLIA Ekspres which departs from the airport terminal and ends at Sentral Station right next to malls and hotels. [click to continue…]

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The urgently needed improvement projects at airports throughout the U.S. are creating a massive headache for travelers, employees and airport authorities, especially in Los Angeles and New York.

LAX Airport

Passengers who frequent Los Angeles LAX or NY LaGuardia can confirm that the current road and terminal construction works create a hellish situation around the clock. [click to continue…]

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As Air Berlin just announced their new promotional awards, I considered booking a domestic flight from Frankfurt to Berlin, but found that it’s actually cheaper to buy a ticket than to redeem miles.

AB Mileage DiscountsWhile most frequent flyer programs in Europe levy high surcharges on top of the high airport and departure tax, promotional fares sometimes are exempt from fuel surcharges to be more competitive. [click to continue…]

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Sebastian wrote last week here about using local versions of online travel agencies sites to get the best pricing for international air travel.  To go along with that, if you’re booking directly with a carrier for international travel, it’s always good to check the pricing on the various versions of that airline’s website.  Case:  Norwegian Air

norwegian websites rev2

The two websites above may look the same (outside of the language differences), they may let you purchase the same exact flights with the same seats and the same amenities; however, one of them may charge you over $100 or more for the same exact ticket!

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