Norwegian Is Shaking Up The Transatlantic Market With The 737-MAX


Norwegian has been growing their transatlantic presence significantly over the past several years, and up until now all their transatlantic flights have been operated by 787s. However, soon Norwegian will be taking their transatlantic expansion to the next level, as they start taking delivery of their first Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, of which they have 108 on order.

This is a plane that has the potential to shake up the transatlantic market, especially for low cost carriers.

Norwegian has announced their intentions to set up transatlantic bases at Stewart Airport (SWF), Hartford (BDL), and Providence (PVD). From there they plan on launching all kinds of transatlantic flights. Their immediate plans are to operate the following flights between the U.S. and U.K./Ireland:

Continue Reading »

10% Cashback At Restaurants With New Amex Sign-Up Bonuses


Amex has just announced increased sign-up bonuses on the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which are two of their best personal cashback credit cards. These increased bonuses are valid through May 3, 2017, with the following details:

Blue Cash Everyday Card — no annual fee
— $100 cashback after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months
— Up to $200 cashback when you apply by May 3, 2017, by getting 10% back at U.S. restaurants within the first six months

Continue Reading »

US Immigration Officers Are Now Checking IDs On Domestic Flights?!


Well this is truly bizarre. Pictures are circulating from one of yesterday’s Delta flights between San Francisco and New York. Upon arrival in New York, passengers on DL1583 were met by (at least) two US Customs & Border Protection Agency officers, who allegedly demanded to see each passenger’s “documents.”

I’ve never seen CBP officers be engaged with a domestic flight in such a way, and can’t come up with any logical explanation for it either.

I’ve certainly seen police officers meet a domestic flight because they were looking for a specific passenger, and I’ve also seen CBP officers meet international flights to do passport checks (presumably because they were looking for someone)… but to have Customs & Border Protection agents meet a domestic flight is a completely different story.

Continue Reading »

Review: Emirates First Class 777-300ER Dubai To Amman


Surprisingly, this was my first time actually transiting in Dubai. Like this one, my previous trips on Emirates had been booked through Alaska Mileage Plan, which allows free stopovers at partner hubs on award tickets.

A stopover wasn’t really a compelling option on this trip, given we’d already delayed our original departure, but we still considered an overnight. And then I looked at the flight schedules.

Emirates has two different aircraft types serving the Dubai > Amman route. They’re both Boeing 777s, but the configurations are different depending on the day and time.

It’s only a ~1,200 mile flight, so it doesn’t matter tremendously, but if your schedule allows you want to choose the 77W plane with this seat map:

Continue Reading »

The One Reason I Love The Vibe Of Dubai


We all have our favorite places. In some cases it’s easy to explain why a place is our favorite, while in other cases it’s not quite so easy.

For example, Queenstown, New Zealand, is one of my favorite places… do I really need to explain why?

But Dubai is also a city I really like, and that’s a bit tougher to explain (I’m going to use Dubai for the purpose of this example, though I feel similarly about Abu Dhabi). I’ve written in the past about what first timers should do in Dubai, and also about how safe it is to travel to the UAE.

Continue Reading »

The “World Of Hyatt” Philosophy Goes Beyond The Loyalty Program


As most of you probably know by now, Hyatt is introducing the new World of Hyatt loyalty program as March 1, 2017, which will replace the Gold Passport program. While the program stays the same on the points earning and redemption side, there are a lot of changes being made to elite benefits, etc. Whether or not you’re happy about these changes probably depends on your stay patterns.

Here’s how Hyatt describes World of Hyatt as their new global platform for accomplishing their purpose:

“World of Hyatt is our new global platform, driven by our purpose to care for people so they can be their best. It’s about engaging more deeply with our community and understanding that community better. It’s an expression of who we are and what we stand for, as well as an opportunity to extend what we do with our guests, colleagues and partners beyond just hotel stays.”

Continue Reading »

Yay: Garuda Indonesia Formally Requests LAX Flights


Last June we first learned that Garuda Indonesia wanted to begin flying to the U.S., which I’ve been super excited about. However, they had a couple of hurdles to overcome before they could do so.

The biggest hurdle was that Indonesia didn’t comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards, meaning they didn’t have the Category 1 rating required in order to operate flights to the U.S. Fortunately they managed to get a Category 1 rating last August, so now Indonesian airlines are allowed to start flying to the U.S.

We’ve known that Garuda Indonesia has been hoping to launch flights to the U.S. in mid-2017, which was further hinted at a couple of weeks back when Garuda Indonesia substituted the plane on their London Heathrow route as of this summer.

Continue Reading »

Whoa: Emirates Is Introducing A New Onboard Bar


I didn’t see this one coming! Emirates is known for their awesome onboard bar, at the very back of the A380 upper deck. It’s a great place to socialize and pass time on a flight.

It’s a lovely space, though I’d argue that Qatar Airways’ A380 onboard bar is a bit nicer, as it’s more spacious and has a more elegant design.

However, it looks like Emirates will soon be changing up their A380 bars for the better, and I love the new design.

Continue Reading »

Qantas Reveals Their New 787 Premium Economy


I can’t think of a single airline that has hyped a new plane more than Qantas and their 787. At this point the 787 has been around for over five years, though Qantas is taking delivery of their first one in October of this year.

Last October Qantas revealed the details of the business class and economy products that will be found on the 787. The plane will feature Vantage XL seats in business class, much like they have on their A330s. This is significantly better than what they offer on their A380s and 747s.

Then in December Qantas announced that they’d use the 787 to launch flights between Perth and London, which will be one of the longest flights in the world. However, before they launch that new route, Qantas will first operate the 787 between Melbourne and Los Angeles as of December 2017.

Continue Reading »

Earn Miles (Or Make Money) For Rent & Mortgage Payments


Plastiq is a good way to pay bills with a credit card that you otherwise couldn’t. This lets you earn miles and points while paying your rent, mortgage, insurance, electric bill, property taxes, or a variety of other bills for which the provider doesn’t accept credit cards.

I’ve been using the Plastiq service on and off for the past year or so and have had a really good experience overall. There are fees involved, of course, so you need to make a conscious decision as to whether to use Plastiq based on your own personal value of the miles and points you’ll be earning.

That said, Plastiq has an offer out now that could make the decision to pay your rent or mortgage a little easier depending on your situation.

Continue Reading »

Why Marriott Loyalists Should Apply For The SPG Amex


Through April 5, 2017, there’s an increased sign-up bonus on both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Both cards are offering a sign-up bonus of up to 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

Over the years we’ve seen quite a few increased sign-up bonuses on the SPG Amex, though the bonus doesn’t get bigger than what’s being offered through this promotion. Furthermore, this year is a bit different than in the past, given that Marriott and Starwood have merged. Combined, the programs are estimated to have roughly 90 million members.

So there are a few reasons I think this offer may interest more people than ever before — especially Marriott Rewards loyalists:

Continue Reading »

Review: Emirates First Class A380 San Francisco To Dubai


While I’ve flown Emirates first class on the A380 a half-dozen times (oof that’s an obnoxious sentence, sorry), my husband hadn’t. He had flown Emirates first on the 777 a few years back, and even had the cabin to himself, so he had a general idea of what to expect, but we were still excited to fly together.

Ben has reviewed Emirates first class on the A380 at least a dozen times, and I’ve reviewed it myself as well, so check those out if you’re looking for a comparison in terms of the service and soft product, but I’m going to primarily focus on the updates and changes to the service.

In the year or so since I’ve flown them, Emirates has been engaging in cost-cutting measures, which while they haven’t been advertised as necessarily impacting long-haul premium cabin flights (other than birthday cakes), were noticeable in the catering.

Continue Reading »

One Week Left: Up To 100K American Miles With 2 Credit Cards

Etihad-Apartment-First-Class - 5

Since early December, Citi has officially increased the sign-up bonuses on the American AAdvantage co-brand credit cards. I’m told that the increased offers will be pulled around March 1, so if you’re interested you’ll want to apply within the next week or so.

Between these two cards you can earn up to 100,000 AAdvantage bonus miles, which is pretty great. The details are as follows:

Continue Reading »

Hilton Points & Money Awards Are Being Rolled Out March 1, 2017


At the beginning of the month we learned about the changes that Hilton is making to their loyalty program.

We’re seeing five major changes coming:

— The name of the program is being changed from Hilton HHonors to Hilton Honors
— The introduction of points pooling, where you can pool points with up to 10 Hilton Honors members at no cost
— The ability to redeem points for Amazon purchases; this isn’t something any of us will likely ever use, but I can see value in this for the “average” person

Continue Reading »