Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong To San Francisco

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I boarded through door L2, where I was greeted by several flight attendants and pointed towards my seat. I tend to think you can tell within the first minute how good of a crew you’ll have, and this one was stellar. Singapore has a few different longhaul 777-300ER configurations — they have one featuring their “old” product, one featuring their refreshed product and eight first class seats with no premium economy (which I was on), and their newest configuration, which has four first class seats and premium economy.

In this case I was on a plane with eight first class seats and no premium economy, though it was a plane with Singapore’s newest business class product, which I hadn’t yet flown. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write a real review of Singapore’s business class product.

Singapore has a total of 42 business class seats on this version of their 777-300ER. Business class seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are eight business class seats in the forward cabin (right behind first class), and then the main business class cabin has a total of 34 business class seats. The rear business class cabin had a total of nine rows, though in the center section there are two fewer seats than by the windows.

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Plastiq Says We’ll Love The Changes To Their Referral Program — Are They Right?

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Plastiq is the service that lets you pay bills with a credit card that you otherwise couldn’t. I’ve been using it on and off almost since they launched and have become quite a fan. I’ve used them to pay our mortgage, insurance, electric bill, and property taxes, at one point or another.

There are fees involved, so you really need to crunch your own numbers and decide if it’s a good deal for you. But if you need to meet the minimum spend on a credit card to earn a mega bonus, or can take advantage of one of their various promotions, it really can make sense.

Plastiq also has a nice referral program, which they recently made changes to. But don’t worry, they assured us we’d love the changes. Because we’ve never heard that before.

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Royal Jordanian Addresses A Different “Fear Of Flying”

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Over the past year I don’t think there’s an airline that has taken a more political stance than Royal Jordanian. So far their approach has been mostly humorous. For example, leading up to the US election last year, Royal Jordanian put out an ad encouraging people to travel to the US while they’re still allowed to.

They didn’t stop there. This February they published an ad with the tagline “Ban Voyage.”

Apparently this has proven to be a great marketing technique for Royal Jordanian, as they claim bookings to the US increased by about 50% following these ads, as more people became aware of the airline.

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United’s Latest Customer Email

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United took great strides yesterday towards wrapping up the unfortunate incident that occurred when Dr. Dao was forcibly separated from his seat and dragged off his Chicago to Louisville flight.

First, they announced ten policy changes that are designed to insure this type of thing never happens again. Then they reached an undisclosed settlement with Dr. Dao, allowing them to avoid dragging the case out in court. And finally they sent another email to customers in which they again apologize for what happened, acknowledge some shortcomings that led to the situation, and promise to do better.

Here is the letter from Oscar Munuz in its entirety:

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Bad News: The Amex Business Platinum Card 50% “Pay With Points” Rebate Is Being Cut

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Wow, this is disappointing. Last October, American Express announced some major changes to both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express. Specifically:

— The Amex Personal Platinum Card offers 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines or through Amex Travel.
— The Amex Business Platinum Card offers a 50% refund on Pay With Points redemptions, when redeeming on your designated airline in economy, or on any airline in first or business class. Pay With Points ordinarily gets you one cent of value per point, meaning that you’re getting two cents of value after the refund.

On top of that, even more changes were recently made to the personal Amex Platinum Card.

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Convert Hotel Points Into American Miles And Earn A 25% Bonus

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Between April 28 and June 15, 2017, American is offering a 25% bonus when you convert hotel points into AAdvantage miles.

The bonus can be used for multiple hotel partners, and bonus miles should post to your AAdvantage account within seven business days of when the initial conversion posted to your account. There’s no registration required, so you should be eligible for the bonus as long as you convert points during the promotion period.

The following hotel partners are eligible for this bonus:

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American’s Lack Of Award Availability Is Inexcusable

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This is unfortunately nothing new, though I think it’s worth highlighting every once in a while, just to point out how bad things have gotten.

American used to be by far the best of the big US airlines when it came to the number of saver level award seats they made available on their own flights. It was something that really set them apart. Over the years that has changed in a way that’s completely unacceptable.

I understand that airlines want to avoid giving away “free” seats as much as possible, given the opportunity cost of doing so, when they could sell them for cash otherwise. However, airlines have to balance that with the massive profits they’re earning from their loyalty programs, and realize that there’s a correlation between how they treat their members and how much they earn from the programs. In the case of American, they’ve gotten downright punitive when it comes to award availability. There’s simply no excuse for it.

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How To Get Value Out Of Today’s Sale On Choice Privileges Points

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Daily Getaways is back this year, which is a five week promotion intended to promote US tourism. It offers opportunities to purchase discounted hotel points and travel packages.

Daily Getaways packages go on sale at 1PM ET every weekday, and the more popular packages sell out very quickly, so you’ll want to be fast, if interested.

Today at 1PM ET you’ll have the opportunity to purchase Choice Privileges points at a discount. Like many of the Daily Getaways offers this is pretty niche, but some will find it worthwhile.

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British Airways Flight Diverts To The Azores After Someone Tries To Self Upgrade

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Here’s a crazy story. Wednesday’s British Airways flight from London Gatwick to Kingston, Jamaica, BA2263, had to divert to an airport in the Azores in order to offload a disruptive passenger who refused to return to his economy seat. The Boeing 777 landed at Lajes Air Base in the Azores, which is both a military base as well as a commercial airport.

Here’s what transpired, per 9News:

“The airline said the man refused to return to his economy seat after sitting in business class without permission.

Cabin crew and one of the pilots spoke to him but were unable to convince him to move, British Airways said.”

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Virgin America Has Stopped Accepting Applications For Their Credit Card

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When airline mergers happen, it’s almost inevitable that changes will also happen with their partnerships. Many airlines have exclusivity agreements with some of their partners, so that’s a detail that has to be hashed out when two airlines join forces.

Typically this comes in the form of the company taking over keeping their agreement, and the company being taken over discontinuing their agreement. However, that’s not always the case. For example, when American took over US Airways, they maintained relationships with both Barclaycard and Citi.

With Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America having closed late last year, and with Alaska recently sharing their vision for the combined airline, it’s clear that not much of the Virgin America brand will survive. I think a lot of us assumed this would be the fate of their co-branded credit card as well, and it looks like that happened sooner rather than later.

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Don’t Get Dao-ed: How To Tell If Your United Flight Might Be Overbooked

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Overbooked flights happen all the time on all three of the legacy carriers. Most of the time these issues resolve themselves naturally and passengers are never the wiser. Some folks will cancel their ticket, no-show, or switch to a different flight. Sadly, others will misconnect. In all of these cases, nothing needs to be done as the problem will solve itself.

Sometimes, however, the oversold situation persists and there are literally more passengers in the gate area than the flight can accommodate. When this happens, the agent solicits volunteers willing to take a later flight in exchange for compensation. In rare cases where they get no takers, they may have to involuntarily deny boarding (IDB) to someone.

Once in a blue moon, all of this will break down and they’ll try to deny someone boarding who has already boarded. As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s exactly what happened to Dr. Dao on his United flight from Chicago to Louisville. We all know how how that ended.

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That Was Quick: United Reaches Undisclosed Settlement With Dr. Dao

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Wow, United sure is trying to get the entire “dragging” incident behind them, that’s for sure. Earlier today we learned about the 10 policy changes that United is instituting following the incident they had with Dr. Dao, which they seem pretty serious about. It looks like we won’t see this incident drag out in court either, as it’s being reported that United and Dr. Dao have reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount. Per a statement from United:

“We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do.”

Meanwhile here’s what Dr. Dao’s lawyer had to say:

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Etihad Guest Has Started Selling Miles

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Buying miles when they’re on sale can be one of the best ways to get a deal on premium cabin travel. Programs like Alaska Mileage Plan, Avianca LifeMiles, etc., are known for the excellent value they provide when buying miles, and have allowed me to have lots of great first & business class travel experiences.

Now Etihad Guest has started selling miles as well, and they use points.com for processing the transactions.

Etihad Guest now lets you buy at most 60,000 miles per transaction (in increments of 1,000), and up to 100,000 miles per account per calendar year. The cost to purchase miles is two cents each, regardless of how many you buy.

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