Weekly Review: September 13, 2014

Hello from Hong Kong! I am here for a quick trip courtesy of some great fares American was offering earlier in the year on their new Dallas > Hong Kong route, and it’s been a whirlwind (but awesome) few days.

As a side note, thanks to all of you for sharing in all this. While it’s been an exhausting ten days for me, I feel like this has been an exceptionally fun week on the blog, and it’s really because of you guys. Every single crappy travel moment I’ve had has been brightened by the thought of “well, at least it will make a good story.”

So thanks for that, and for reading in general. Really can’t express how much I appreciate it.

And with that:


Featured Stories

Etihad’s Abu Dhabi Pre-Clearance Is Still A Disaster

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I don’t even know where to start. This is the most ridiculously inefficient airport process I have ever come across. Flights are leaving 2+ hours late, the experience is miserable, and crews and passengers are irritated.

The worst part, in my opinion? Etihad leadership thinks things “couldn’t be better.”


 Collecting Miles As A Beginner?

Singapore-Airlines-A380-Business-Class-6

I receive constant questions asking how to accrue miles for a given trip, or which credit cards are best in a given situation.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but I tried to go use the example of a question from a couple wanting to go to Thailand next year as an example of how I like to look at mileage balances and come up with a plan.

What would you recommend, and how do you generally decide on your mileage strategy?


My Most Embarrassing Travel Day Ever

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-Las-Vegas-23

I’ve never claimed to be an “expert” traveler. I am beyond terrible at directions, go along with tourist scams (intentionally, usually), and am not the most adventurous eater. We won’t even talk about what happened last time I was in Bangkok.

Airports themselves though — those I am great at. There is nowhere I feel more comfortable or more in control of my experience than in an airport. So I love all the quirks of travel, and the challenges that come up when things don’t go as planned are generally really fun for me. It’s almost a game in ways — what’s the best way to reroute, which planes have wifi, will my upgrade clear, etc. And I really do enjoy it.

Somehow, on Monday I made every rookie mistake in the book. It was, hands down, the most amateur, embarrassing, travel day I’ve ever had. And that’s coming from someone who once transited Singapore’s Changi airport in pajamas.


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Bonus Starpoints For Weekday Dining
Up To 20% Off Virgin America Flights

Collecting Miles As A Beginner?

$1350 Business Class Fares To Europe!

Up To 25% Off Virgin Atlantic Awards

Which Credit Card To Use For Major Purchases?

Triple Club Carlson Points For Weekday Stays

Bonus Avios For Subscription To The Economist

Register For Starwood “More For You” Promotion

Last Call for 50,000 Delta Amex Offers

Bonus Club Carlson Points For Booking Through Mobile App

Targeted US Airways Triple Elite Miles Promotion

Free First Class Upgrade On British Airways

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Don’t Transfer Your Points!
Reduce British Airways Fuel Surcharges

International Baggage Fees

Redeem American Miles For Virgin Australia

Japan Airlines Osaka To Los Angeles Flight Bookable With Miles

Conrad London Points & Money Awards

TRAVEL With Lucky

Why I Don’t Like Suites (Sort Of)
My Travel Philosophy And Why I Love Hong Kong

My Most Embarrassing Travel Day Ever
The Happiness Of Pursuit
My Beef With American’s New Catering

My Flight Made The News… Sorta!

Flight Delay Reasons That Make You Shake Your Head

Booked On Inaugural Etihad A380 Flight!

There’s No Such Thing As A Free Flight

Flying To Las Vegas On A Friday…

Reviews & Trip Reports

Introduction: One Stroopwafel At A Time
To Lap Child, Or Not To Lap Child — That Is The Question
Review: The Club At LAS Airport

Review: AmEx Centurion Lounge Las Vegas Airport

Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi

Etihad’s Abu Dhabi Pre-Clearance Is Still A Disaster

News & Updates

EVA Air Hello Kitty Flights To Paris Starting October 29, 2014
T-Mobile Adds Free Gogo Inflight Texting

The Pan Am Experience At Air Hollywood

Qatar Airways To Take Delivery Of A380s!

Upgrade To AwardWallet Plus

Aeroplan Blocking All Air China Award Space

Amazon Payments Free $1,000 Transfer Ending

Your Flight Is Operated By What?!

British Airways A380 Flight To San Francisco Starting March 29, 2015

Southwest’s New Livery Is Official

New Japan Airlines Osaka To Los Angeles Flight

New American Airlines First Class Meal Service


This week I’ll be flying back from Hong Kong, and then to Seattle before heading to Las Vegas (again). And I’ll be crossing my fingers for fewer “interesting” travel experiences. 😉

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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