Articles by thetravelingmillennial

SPG Transfers to JAL in Record Time!

JAL’s new online award booking interface. Previously, SPG Starpoints took about one week to transfer to JAL.  This delay is significant because award availability can disappear in that amount of time and JAL’s award program can completely overhaul how it imposes fuel surcharges in that amount of time (true story!).  JAL is a useful program because you can book a roundtrip first class flight on Emirates for 105,000 JAL miles or 85,000 SPG Starpoints (Starpoints have a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints that are transferred to JAL). I recently wrote about how JAL–without notice–started imposing significant fuel surcharges…


JAL Mileage Plan Partner Award Fuel Surcharges

Middle East carriers have excellent premium cabin products. UPDATE:  my workaround was updated. As I posted yesterday, JAL recently imposed fuel surcharges on Emirates award flights.  As TTM reader Josh pointed out, JAL published their award surcharges (maximum rates) online.  Here is JAL’s new fuel surcharge policy for partner award flights and my analysis on how to minimize these fuel surcharges. JAL Partner Award Fuel Surcharge Policy TAXES AND FEES: Each award is subject to government-imposed taxes and fees which must be paid by the customer when award travel is ticketed.  These fees are calculated based on the customer’s specific…


JAL Mileage Bank Changes Emirates Award Fees

Etihad A380 First Class (plane with a shower!) UPDATE:  Here’s a link to JAL’s full partner award flight fuel surcharge policy. JAL Mileage Plan, a frequent flier program for a Japan-based airline, is often used by travel aficionados for its lucrative award flights.  Historically, the program has offered excellent partner awards, utilizing a distanced-based chart, but the process for redeeming the awards was difficult and often involved long phone conversations with JAL’s call center.  One of my favorite uses of the JAL Mileage Plan was to book medium- to long-haul Emirates award flights because the miles required were reasonable and…


3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat and Zermatt, Switzerland (Review)

View of 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat from the Matterhorn Viewing Deck I recently traveled to Switzerland and had an incredible trip!  I will separately write about each segment of my trip: American Airlines 767-300 Review – Business Class American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge Switzerland Overview – A Beautiful Country 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat (review) and Zermatt, Switzerland Furkapass, Switzerland Once I landed in Zurich, I picked up my rental car and drove to Zermatt, a small town in the Swiss Alps.  The views along the way were amazing but were nothing compared to those in Zermatt!  Zermatt is a town saddled deep…


Switzerland–A Beautiful Country!

Coffee in Gornergrat, Zermatt, Switzerland.  Mount Matterhorn is pictured in the background. I recently traveled to Switzerland and had an incredible trip!  I will separately write about each segment of my trip: American Airlines 767-300 Review – Business Class American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge Switzerland Overview – A Beautiful Country 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat and Zermatt, Switzerland (Review) Furkapass, Switzerland Once I landed in Zurich, I picked up my rental car and drove to Zermatt, a small town in the Swiss Alps.  The views along the way were amazing!  I booked a “Whatever car is leftover” category from Dollar Rental at…


American Airlines 767-300 Review – Business Class

American Airlines 767-300 at its gate at JFK. I recently traveled to Switzerland and had an incredible trip!  I will separately post about each segment of my trip: American Airlines 767-300 Review – Business Class American Airlines JFK Flagship Lounge Switzerland Overview – A Beautiful Country 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat and Zermatt, Switzerland (Review) Furkapass, Switzerland To start, you may wonder how I flew business class to and from Europe.  Surprisingly, I did not pay one cent for the ticket! Booking – Miles and Points Last year, American Airlines offered excellent economy fares to Zurich, Switzerland on multiple dates, including over…


Etihad A380 Review (First Class) — A Plane With a Shower

Etihad’s first class ‘apartment’ was HUGE. I recently traveled to Abu Dhabi, UAE after redeeming miles (90,000 miles and $46) for first class on Etihad’s A380 (the plane with the shower and onboard bar!).  If I had purchased the one-way ticket with actual money, it would have cost over $8,000.  I separately review each segment of my trip: American Airlines CRJ-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas the Worst of Times American Airlines 757-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas Still the Worst of Times How to Layover in Amsterdam:  4 Hours Etihad A330-300 Review (Economy) Hilton Abu Dhabi Review (Executive Floor) Abu Dhabi:  A Relaxing…


Etihad First Class Lounge – Abu Dhabi (Review)

I recently traveled to Abu Dhabi after redeeming miles (90,000 miles and $46) for first class on Etihad’s A380 (the plane with the shower and onboard bar!).  I’ll review each segment of my trip: American Airlines CRJ-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas the Worst of Times American Airlines 757-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas Still the Worst of Times How to Layover in Amsterdam:  4 Hours Etihad A330-300 Review (Economy) Hilton Abu Dhabi Review (Executive Floor) Abu Dhabi:  A Relaxing Destination (Review) Etihad First Class Lounge (Abu Dhabi) Review Etihad A380 Review (First Class) — A Plane with a Shower I spent four days in Abu…


Abu Dhabi: A Relaxing Destination (Review)

Me visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque I recently traveled to Abu Dhabi after redeeming miles (90,000 miles and $46) for first class on Etihad’s A380 (the plane with the shower and onboard bar!).  I’ll review each segment of my trip: American Airlines CRJ-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas the Worst of Times American Airlines 757-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas Still the Worst of Times How to Layover in Amsterdam:  4 Hours Etihad A330-300 Review (Economy) Hilton Abu Dhabi Review (Executive Floor) Abu Dhabi:  A Relaxing Destination (Review) Etihad First Class Lounge (Abu Dhabi) Review Etihad A380 Review (First Class) — A Plane with…


Hilton Abu Dhabi (Executive Floor – King) Review

Hilton Abu Dhabi I recently traveled to Abu Dhabi after redeeming miles (90,000 miles and $46) for first class on Etihad’s A380 (the plane with the shower and onboard bar!).  I’ll review each segment of my trip: American Airlines CRJ-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas the Worst of Times American Airlines 757-200 Review (Economy):  ‘Twas Still the Worst of Times How to Layover in Amsterdam:  4 Hours Etihad A330-300 Review (Economy) Hilton Abu Dhabi Review (Executive Floor) Abu Dhabi Review Etihad First Class Lounge (Abu Dhabi) Review Etihad A380 Review (First Class) — A Plane with a Shower While in Abu Dhabi, I…