Advice

Trump’s New Travel Ban Could Be Implemented Tuesday

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a draft of a new Executive Order on travel has been circulating through the State Department and other agencies, and notes that a “replacement order is expected to be issued as soon as Tuesday.”

For those that haven’t been following closely, the Trump Administration chose not to appeal a 9th Circuit Court decision to block enforcement of his original travel ban. Instead, the White House is starting from scratch with a new order entirely.

As opposed to the chaos of the original order, which was poorly implemented without any advance notice, stranding passengers in transit, and generally creating a mess, the revised version appears to be going through the proper channels and procedures.

This means that the order will likely be tighter legally, and somewhat less susceptible to legal challenges.

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My New Favorite Trip Planning Tool

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When it comes to trip planning, there are a variety of planning and organization apps out there. In my experience, most of them have some kind of major deal-breaker, so choosing a tool ends up being a very personal decision.

While I’ve tried an assortment of planning tools over the years, none really fit my needs. Most seem to be either too automated, or require too much manual sorting, so I’d sorta given up. I recently came across a new-to-me tool called Travefy which I really like.

I’ve used Travefy for two big trips now — my New Years trip to Jordan (trip report coming next I think), and a big European trip with my mom for her birthday (trip report coming maybe). It’s not perfect, but I’ve found it to be pretty useful, and think some of y’all might enjoy using it as well.

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5 Fantastic Uses Of United Miles

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There are numerous ways to use United miles, and you can do some really fun stuff with stopovers and open-jaws.

For the purposes of this post I’m going to keep it simple and highlight the one-way prices for some of the “sweet spots” in the United award chart, along with a couple of regions where I find United miles to be particularly useful.

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How To Safely Fly With Your Dog

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Over the weekend both View From the Wing and Live and Let’s Fly shared the heartbreaking story of a dog who died after being shipped on a United Airlines flight. The owner’s mom checked the dog in to United in Detroit for what should have been a relatively simple itinerary to Portland, Oregon via Chicago.

For whatever reason, when the dog arrived in Chicago they were told he “didn’t fit,” which resulted in the dog being sent to an airport kennel overnight, and put on a flight the following day. When the dog arrived in Portland (20 hours late), he was lethargic, and non-responsive, and died shortly after reaching the vet’s office.

To be clear, this is horrible, and I can’t imagine how devastated the owner is. United is (of course) assuming no responsibility, which I’m sure is maddening, but is consistent with United’s terms for pet travel.

But there are also some things the owner could have done to better insure against this awful eventuality — she certainly didn’t do anything wrong, but she might have made different choices if she’d had better information. I have some experience with pet travel, so figured I’d share some tips, and some of my thoughts on what might have gone wrong here.

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What’s The Difference Between Elite Qualifying & Redeemable Miles?

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I realize the answer to this is probably obvious to many, though sometimes I think it makes sense to go back to the basics. Reader Lee8810 asked the following question in the Ask Lucky forum:

“As a newbie, I don’t know what EQM are and what are their benefits. Do they expire or do they last a lifetime?”

In general there are two types of miles you earn:

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2,000+ Flights Cancelled Due To Winter Storms

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As the projected severity of the winter storm in the Northeast increases, most domestic airlines in the US have either canceled flights, or issued waivers for travel over the next few days.

A bit of snow (much less a blizzard) can cause systemwide disruptions, so if you’re scheduled to travel this weekend you’ll want to take precautions.

Delays are starting to pile up, and many airlines have preemptively canceled flights for tomorrow. At the time of this writing there are over 2,000 canceled flights, and many delayed flights between today and tomorrow. A few examples:

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Is Everything In Airline Lounges Free?

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Reader Sonu asked the following question in the Ask Lucky forum:

“I was wondering, how expensive are food on first class lounges (assuming I am a first class traveller)? And is there any lounge which offers free food?”

If you’ve flown a lot of first and business class products then by all means skip this post, as I’m sure the answer is obvious to many of you. However, I also suspect there are plenty of people out there who are confused by this, so think it’s worth addressing in a post. After all, it’s not terribly obvious that everything in an airline lounge should be free.

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Does A Bora Bora Hotel Owe This Honeymooning Couple Anything?

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Reader Aleks emailed to ask for advice regarding an issue she faced on her honeymoon in Bora Bora. I feel horribly about this situation, and I’m not sure what to make of it. Here’s her email:

To make a long story short, my husband and I booked a honeymoon to Moorea and Bora Bora. On our way from Moorea to Bora Bora, we made a quick stop in the island of Huahine (this is one of those small shuttle flights that picks up/drops off passengers at various islands). The plane breaks down. We are told to vacate the plane and wait in the airport for further information. After 10 hours in this airport (4 walls, no food, no water), they finally tell us they are sending another plane for us.

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Great Travel Savings & Bonus Gift Cards With Upside

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I’ve written previously about Upside, a new travel tool that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

Now that the public version is live, I figured I’d test a few itineraries and see what kind of deals Upside can offer. My husband has a couple of work trips coming up, and since his trips fit the more “typical” style of business travel than mine, it seemed like a great real-life test.

As a reminder, OMAAT readers will get a guaranteed $200 in gift cards on all purchases until February 28th of this year, which is a pretty fantastic deal. You don’t have to travel by then, but the 28th will be the last day to book with the $200 guarantee. Just use the promo code “OMAAT” when making your booking.

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A Trick For Saving Money On Kids’ Travel

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SAS offered a fantastic deal for families last week where children could fly from the US to Scandinavia for almost free. All you had to do was book one regular adult ticket and then as many as eight kids could fly for just the cost of the taxes and fees, which were about $50. It was an incredible offer and a few of my friends were able to take advantage of it. I even argued that it would be possible to take the kids mileage running on it.

Unfortunately, that deal is now over.

But it turns out that there are other opportunities for kids to fly on revenue fares at a discount. You just have to know where to look.

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Who’s Right In This Airplane Window Shade Dispute?

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There are an increasing number of people who seem to approach flying in a hostile way, which might explain why we see so many stories of people being kicked off planes. While flying is getting better in many ways (there are more ways for people to stay entertained while traveling, it’s more affordable than ever before, etc.), the amount of personal space in the back of the plane is in many cases as limited as it has ever been.

Beyond that it’s also reflective of how divisive our society seems to be. People come on planes saying anything they want, and are shocked when they find out they don’t have “freedom of speech” on a plane.

To chime in on the most popular “issues” we seem to see when it comes to passenger etiquette:

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What Do Onboard Chefs Really Do?

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Reader Davey L asked the following question in the “Ask Lucky” forum:

“I met a chef who works on board an airline. Have you experienced that on board? Do they just heat meals and make it look presentable or do they do the cooking on board? Have you any photos of what a kitchen on board an aircraft looks like? Which airlines have on board chefs?”

Nowadays many airlines market that they have onboard chefs for premium cabin passengers. The first airlines that come to mind for onboard chefs are Austrian, Etihad, Garuda Indonesia, SAS, and Turkish. Typically the onboard chef is a specially trained flight attendant, so you’ll see them in the normal flight attendant uniform for takeoff and landing, and then they’ll put on the chef’s uniform for the meal services.

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Upside Adds Domestic Bookings, Offers $200 In Gift Cards

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In case you’ve missed earlier posts, Upside is a new travel tool that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

OMAAT readers have had selected access to the various beta versions for a few months now, but Upside officially opened to the public last week, and now includes domestic bookings as well. To celebrate, One Mile at a Time readers can get a guaranteed $200 in gift cards on their upcoming bookings.

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What To Do When You Get Your Amex Platinum Card

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The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN are among the most popular premium cards out there. They each have a $450 annual fee, though in my opinion the benefits more than offset that.

The main reason I have these cards is because of the great perks they offer. However, if you’re a new cardmember it can be tough to navigate all these perks.

So in this post I figured I’d talk about what you should do as soon as you get the Amex Platinum Card in the mail. If you already have the card and have taken advantage of all the perks, then by all means skip this post, but it’s something I get a lot of questions about.

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