Weekly Review: January 13, 2018

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I’m just wrapping up a couple of crazy trips that had me flying 40,000 miles in 10 days. I’m exhausted, as this has been an insane couple of weeks of travel even by my own usual crazy standards. On the plus side, I was able to spend a few days in Yerevan, Armenia, which I really enjoyed. It’s a cool, lively city, with (mostly) friendly people and great food. I’m also happy that I had the chance to experience Emirates’ new first class and Qatar’s new Qsuites.

On the points & travel front, this week we saw Alaska and Virgin America adopt a single operating certificate, Hilton Honors announced some major changes to their program, AAdvantage sent out some targeted status offers, and more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

Qatar Airways Qsuites Business Class: Impressions From My First Flight

Hello from Doha! I just got off the 12 hour flight from New York in Qatar Airways’ new Qsuites business class, which the airline introduced last year. This is Qatar Airways’ new business class suites with doors, for which they have the slogan “First in Business.” They’re essentially making the claim that this is a first class product at business class prices. Yaroslav shared a review of his experience with Qsuites between London and Doha last June, and in this post I wanted to share my initial impressions.

So, how was Qsuites? Is this actually a revolutionary business class experience, or just a mediocre seat that they slapped a door on? Keep in mind how efficient this configuration is, as they managed to install these seats in the same space as the old business class cabin without reducing the seat count.

Well, I’ve gotta say, Qsuites is an astoundingly good business class product. This has to be the most innovative and well thought out business class seat I’ve ever sat in.


Is Alaska Airlines Losing Their Mojo?

Alaska Airlines has long been special as far as US airlines go.

They’ve been viewed as Seattle’s “hometown airline,” and while other airlines have been devaluing their frequent flyer programs, cutting back on their inflight product, and introducing basic economy, Alaska has kept doing their own thing, which I respect.

But Alaska also faces some real challenges.


What To Do When You Receive Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

I’ve written extensively about why the  Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card is a fantastic card that’s worth getting. In this post I wanted to look at what you should do once you’ve applied for the card, received it, and activated it.

The good news is that there’s not a huge learning curve in terms of maximizing the benefits of the card, so there’s not that much to know. So in no particular order, here’s what you should do once you’ve activated your  Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card:


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Good American & British Airways First Class Fares From Europe To The US
Cheap Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Fares From Dublin Are Back
Starwood Luxury Privileges Best Free Night Offers For 2018
Incredible SkyTeam Business Class Fares From Warsaw To China
How To Check Your 5/24 Status
Hilton Ascend Card Won’t Be Considered A New Product
American AAdvantage Is Sending Out Targeted Status Offers
What To Do When You Receive Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
Qatar Airways Hotel Stopover Program Extended Into 2018
LATAM Status Matched Me To Oneworld Emerald
Chase Freedom 5x Points Progress Now Easier To Track
American Flight Attendants Will Soon Be Able To Issue Compensation
The Five Credit Card Benefits That I Consider To Almost Be Too Good To Be True
Amazing Business Class Fares From Pakistan To The US
SPG 2018 Status Challenge: Get Marriott & Starwood Platinum Status For 2 Years
SPG Amex 2018 Annual Elite Credits Have Posted
Amex Platinum Card & Chase Sapphire Reserve — Complements Or Substitutes?
Hilton Honors Announces Radical 2018 Program Changes
American’s First 2018 Bonus On Purchased Miles
How To Activate Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass Membership

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Why You Should Use Ultimate Rewards Points To Pay For Flights But Not Hotels
How To Redeem The IHG Card Free Night Certificate
You Can Now Redeem IHG Points At Kimpton Hotels
Comparing The Hyatt & IHG Annual Free Night Certificates
IHG Award Chart Changes Kick In On January 16, 2018

TRAVEL With Lucky

My First Time Having A Business Class Cabin All To Myself
My Worst Flight Delay In Years — “Come Back In 10 Hours”
A Deserted Marriott Club Lounge That’s In The Back Of A Deserted Italian Restaurant
3 Reasons I Love Rear Facing Business Class Seats
Hello, Live From Emirates’ New First Class!
Frequent Traveler University Goes International: Australia & UK Events Now On Sale
Do Hotels Ever Ask To See AAA Cards?
So Close To Earning Lifetime SPG Platinum Status… Yet So Far Away!

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

What’s The Best Seat In Emirates’ New 777 First Class?
Qatar Airways Qsuites Business Class: Impressions From My First Flight
Qatar Airways’ Astoundingly Good Shorthaul Business Class
What I Don’t Love About Emirates’ New First Class
TAP Portugal’s New A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures
Why Emirates’ New First Class Suite Is A Game Changer
7 Reasons Emirates’ New First Class Is The Most Extra Thing Ever
Emirates 777 First Class In 10 Pictures

NEWS & Updates

Visa Is Eliminating Signature Requirements In North America
The Search For MH370 Is Being Resumed In A Surprising Way
Video: Jet Airways Flight Attendant Tries To Smuggle $500K On Flight
Delta Is The Latest Company In Hot Water Over Taiwan & Tibet
Azores Airlines Is In Financial Trouble
China Shuts Down Marriott Website For Disrespecting Chinese Sovereignty
Icelandair Is Adding Flights To San Francisco As Of June 2018
As Far As The FAA Is Concerned, Virgin America Doesn’t Exist Anymore
The FAA Is Investigating Yet Another SFO Runway Incident
St. Regis Hong Kong Scheduled To Open January 1, 2019
Kenya Airways Will Begin Flying To New York As Of October 2018
IHG Makes Major Changes To Their Best Rate Guarantee
Icelandair Is Adding Flights To Baltimore As Of May 2018
The Best Kept Secret Of American’s Flagship Lounge JFK
Jet Airways Fires Both Pilots Involved In Cockpit Slapping Incident
Icelandair Is Adding Flights To Kansas City As Of May 2018
Delta Adds A Spend Requirement To Their Status Challenge
Tianjin Airlines Wants To Launch Flights To Los Angeles This Year
Silvercar Is Now Renting Audi Q5 SUVs
Is Alaska Airlines Losing Their Mojo?
Surprising: British Airways Is Improving Their Economy Catering
American Is Introducing Special Meals On Domestic Flights
A Sneak Peek At Salt Lake’s New Airport
You Can Now Buy Access To A Former Etihad Residence Lounge For ~$30
American Platinum Pro Members Will Receive Free Same Day Flight Changes
Emirates Resumes Flights To Tunis Following Dispute


I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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