Where To Find Award Space

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I’ve realized that my last few posts were starting to sound like an advertisement for award booking services, and that’s truly not the intent. Yes, US Airways is hilariously impossible to deal with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t book your own awards with a bit of practice.

Beyond that, myself and everyone I work with is really passionate about this hobby. Like, crazy-scouring-award-charts-for-fun-on-Sunday-mornings passionate. And as someone who loves miles and points it just makes sense to me that you’d learn how to redeem your miles as you learn how to earn them.

After all, if you don’t know what’s practical with your miles, how do you know if you’re accumulating the right ones?

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Win Airport Lounge Access From LoungeBuddy

LoungeBuddy

*Keep reading to find out how you can win a $100 in airport lounge credit courtesy of LoungeBuddy.*

LoungeBuddy is an innovative app that — as the name suggests — is all about the airport lounge experience. It’s location based so can automatically tell which airport you’re at, and will show you the lounges nearby, along with their amenities, hours, ways to gain access, and user generated reviews.

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Qantas First Class Lounge LAX Now Open

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The new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX is arguably the most gorgeous airport terminal in the United States. It also features some of the nicest shared lounges, like the Star Alliance First & Business Class Lounge.

The business class section of the Qantas/oneworld lounge opened within the past six months. It’s a lovely business class lounge, though as a first class passenger it not exactly exciting.

As a oneworld Emerald I’ve been waiting for the first class lounge to open.

The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX officially opens today, Thursday, December 18, 2014.

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Newly Single Guy Finds New Elizabeth Gallagher To Take On Trip

Tweet

In early November Travis wrote about the crazy story of Jordan Axani, a Canadian guy who booked a round the world trip with his girlfriend, only to break up with her. He went on a search to find a replacement travel companion that had the same name as his ex, since the name of airline tickets can’t be changed.

It’s not surprising the story went viral, given just how crazy it was. You really want to travel with a complete stranger on a month-long round the world trip? Yow!

The craziest part? He actually found someone with the same name to go with him!

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EVA Air To Operate Hello Kitty Flights To Houston

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As I wrote about last week, EVA Air will be expanding their service to North America next summer, as they’ll be launching 4x weekly service between Taipei and Houston as of June 2015. This expansion is a no brainer, not just because Houston is a huge oil city, but also because it’s United’s biggest hub, so there’s lots of potential for connecting traffic, now that EVA Air is in the Star Alliance.

So if you were excited about the new route to begin with, take a deep breath and make sure you’re sitting down. As it turns out, this new EVA Air flight to Houston will be operated by a Hello Kitty 777-300ER. The most exciting part? They’re not even using an existing Hello Kitty 777-300ER (of which there’s only one), but rather they’re taking delivery of an all new Hello Kitty 777-300ER!!!

Via USA Today:

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10 Best Credit Card Offers For December

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Every month I make a post with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month.

While there are several excellent long standing credit card offers, the specifics of the best offers are constantly changing (be it the annual fee, minimum spend requirement, or even amount of the sign-up bonus).

If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but for me it’s a useful, “current” place to refer people that ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get on a daily basis. For reference, here is my list of the best credit card sign up bonuses for November.

With that in mind, below are what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses for this month.

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Marriott MegaBonus 2015 Registration Open

MegaBonus

While Marriott Rewards isn’t my favorite hotel loyalty program, they do have some fairly lucrative promotions. One of their most popular promotions is MegaBonus, whereby historically they offer a free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property after two paid stays.

Well, Marriott Rewards is back with MegaBonus, though there doesn’t seem to be a free night certificate option this time around. Unfortunately this promotion being less generous seems to be the trend, since the 2014 MegaBonus promotion didn’t have a free night option either.

As usual this promo is targeted, with there being several versions of the offer. My offer is as follows:

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Abu Dhabi US Pre-Clearance Facility To Be Discontinued!!!

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I’ve written extensively and passionately about the US Pre-Clearance Facility in Abu Dhabi.

For those of you that haven’t seen my rants on the situation, see here:

— Abu Dhabi Airport United States Immigration Pre-Clearance Facility
— Dubai Airport US Pre-Clearance Facility Coming?
— Etihad’s Abu Dhabi Pre-Clearance Is Still A Disaster

Basically for select US-bound flights, Etihad offers a facility whereby you clear US customs and immigration prior to boarding your flight. This is a model that works quite well in some other countries, like Canada and Ireland, but works horribly in Abu Dhabi. It has literally been consistently delaying US bound flight by hours. Hours.

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Hitchhiking The Skies – Flying With Travis And His Family

Whichever plane is leaving first!

The universal symbol for those looking to hitch a ride is to stand by the side of the road with arm extended away from the body and thumb pointed up, tilted in the direction you are trying to go. The hope then is that a passing driver going in your direction will stop and offer you a ride. Of course, this applies to those hitchhikers who have a specific destination in mind.

My Dad tells of a guy he met once who just wanted to explore the country. Didn’t care where he went, just wanted to go. He would stand by the side of the road with one thumb pointed in each direction and jump in the first car that stopped, regardless of which way they were headed.

This more or less describes my family’s travel philosophy – we don’t really care much where we go, we just want to go. The modern equivalent of standing by the side of the road with a thumb pointed in each direction is to watch various websites such as the FlyerTalk Mileage Run Forum or the The Flight Deal and wait for a fare war, mistake fare, or otherwise really good deal that you can jump on. The general idea of these websites is to post fares which are cheap enough that people can and do fly them just for the miles (or status), so if you actually ascribe some value to visiting the destination, then it’s probably a good deal.

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Amazing Footage: Video Of Severe Turbulence From Inside A Cabin

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Yesterday an American Airlines flight from Seoul to Dallas diverted to Tokyo after hitting severe turbulence. Four passengers and one crewmember were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

We don’t generally put much thought into reports of turbulence, since it’s not something that really kills people. And we’ve all experienced some level of turbulence, so it doesn’t really sound that traumatizing.

However, there’s video of the turbulence from yesterday’s American flight, and it’s sort of chilling:

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Hilton HHonors Lifetime Diamond Status Coming In 2015

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While I personally don’t think lifetime status is worth “chasing” given how much programs change nowadays, there’s no doubt it’s a nice reward for stays you’d make anyway.
Hotels offering lifetime elite status

Among the major hotel chains, Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood all offer lifetime elite status.

The thresholds for achieving lifetime status with those three programs are as follows:

— Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond: $200,000 of spend (one million base points at five points per dollar)
— Marriott Rewards Platinum: 1,000 nights, 2 million points, and 12 years as Marriott Rewards member
— SPG Platinum: 500 nights plus 10 years as Platinum

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Free Wifi For All SPG Members Starting In 2015

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Back in late October, Marriott announced that they would begin offering all Marriott Rewards members booking directly through Marriott free in-room wifi. That came after IHG Rewards Club began offering all members free in-room wifi as of early this year.
Why offering members free wifi is brilliant

Offering loyalty program members free wifi is brilliant on several levels:

— The major hotel chains are kind of behind the trend on charging for internet, especially compared to the ever increasing number of boutique hotels which usually offer free internet
— Providing free internet only to people booking directly through the chain builds loyalty and brand awareness; rather than searching rates through an online travel agency, you might go directly through the chain next time
— This encourages people to sign up for the loyalty program, which further helps build loyalty
— By encouraging people to book directly through the chain, they avoid having to pay travel agency commissions in many cases (which are typically 10%)

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