American Airlines 737-800 in First Class

This plane is new and awesome and is my new favorite domestic aircraft!  I had to use two 500-mile upgrade vouchers ($30 each) to score this upgrade, but my upgrade was confirmed 72 hours prior to check in.  I overheard people talking as they boarded the aircraft and they were also impressed with the interior.  The 737-800 was definitely more impressive than the American Airlines E-170 that I would fly next. Seat The seat was comfortable but it was hard to recline–you had to slide the bottom of the seat toward your feat as opposed to sliding the back of your seat backward….


Cheap round-trip fares from the east coast to Hawaii – $499 on AlaskaAir!

[Deals like this tend to expire quickly so this article may be out of date after January 5, 2016] Kudos to theflightdeal.com for finding this deal! Alaska Airlines is offering this deal so you can credit your miles to an excellent frequent flier program.  For those who are wondering, the average high temperature in Hawaii hovers around 80 degrees during this time of year. Fare: $499  (Google Flights says $500 but Alaska’s website reflects the $499 price) Dates: End of January.  Slightly higher fares are available through the beginning of March. Destination cities: Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) Departure cities: New York, NY (JFK) and Newark, NJ…


Amtrak Northeast Regional (WAS-NYC) — on New Year’s Eve

Several folks have asked me how I like riding on trains compared to flying on airplanes.  I booked a round-trip ticket on Amtrak from DC to NY over New Year’s weekend so I could offer a comparison.  The train ticket was half the price of an airline ticket and the train station in New York is conveniently located near Madison Square Garden.  I’ll write a comparison later, but here’s my review of the Amtrak ride. Experience: train stations do not have the same lounge options as airports so I had less of an incentive to arrive early.  My Citi Prestige credit…


American Airlines E170 – First Class

I booked this flight about two months prior to flying and the first class cabin was completely empty when I booked, so the likelihood of receiving a complimentary upgrade was high as a result of my Platinum elite status.  The E170 has 12 first class seats.  Sure enough, my upgrade cleared 72 hours prior to departure.  If only I knew the fun was just beginning….I previously wrote how I was stuck in ORD until 3 am on Christmas waiting for this flight and that American compensated me with 8,000 redeemable miles as a result.  Needless to say, when it arrived, this was…


Cheap round-trip fares to Iceland – $397 on Icelandair!!!

[Deals like this tend to expire quickly so this article may be out of date after December 31, 2015] The nice part of this deal is that Icelandair, not WOW, is offering the discounted fare to Iceland.  I flew on WOW in September and was satisfied with my $450 round-trip ticket to Europe; however, given the chance to travel again, I would pay the extra money to fly on another airline.  Icelandair allows you to earn miles with Alaska Airlines (a great frequent flier program) and you get 2 free checked bags and a carry on (although I have no idea…


Stranded in ORD (Chicago) Until 3am on Christmas: Part 2

I previously wrote about the unfortunate start to my Christmas vacation when my flight from Chicago to Detroit was delayed until 3 a.m. on Christmas.  That was a bummer but I certainly did not have it as bad as the folks who wanted to fly to Little Rock-their flight was canceled around 1 a.m. ORD’s holiday decorations were pretty awesome. In the last post, I mentioned that the Exec. Plat. member who sat next to me at the gate received 4,000 redeemable miles from American Airlines as compensation for the delayed flight.  This morning I called American Airlines with the goal of also…


Want a Starbucks Gold Card and Airline Miles? Yes.

Groupon’s discounted Starbucks gift card and CardCash’s additional 5% discount got me thinking, can a person game the Starbucks rewards program similar to how we game the airline frequent flier programs?  Not quite, but we can get close. Starbucks Gold card requirements You need 30 stars. You get one star for each purchase made with a registered Starbucks gift card. You get additional stars for making purchases on the Starbucks website or by buying certain Starbucks merchandise.  If you buy stuff on the website, don’t forget to use a shopping portal first. You can only earn two stars per day. Get a…


Cheap round trip fares to China – $560 economy, $1,360 business!

[Deals like this tend to expire quickly so this article may be out of date after December 30, 2015] Thanks to One Mile at a Time and Brian Sumers for the heads up. Hainan Airlines is selling round-trip business class tickets to China for a great deal!  If I wasn’t so busy this spring I’d definitely take advantage of it.  You should purchase the ticket with the Citi Prestige or the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit cards to maximize your points.  In addition, Hainan Airlines partners with Alaska Airlines so you can credit your flight to the Alaska frequent flier program (which…


DCA Admirals Club – on Christmas Eve.

The DCA Admirals Club is located right above the C terminal security line so I was able to assess how lucky I was to have TSA PreCheck.  Before I go any further, I have to mention that this Admirals Club has the best complimentary beer of any of the Admirals Clubs that I’ve attended so far–a local lager.  Wahoooo, that was pretty exciting.  It sure beats Bud, Bud Light, and Miller Light.  The complimentary internet was also surprisingly quick with an average download speed of 8.85 Mbps and an average upload speed of 6.34 Mbps, but it’s important to note…


Stranded in ORD until 3a on Christmas

Since I didn’t know my work schedule over the holidays, I booked a fairly late flight from Washington DC to Detroit.  To American Airlines’s credit, they notified me fairly early in the day that there would be a delay.  The plane flew a round-trip flight between Chicago and San Antonio before it arrived in Detroit.  The flight to San Antonio got a late start so that delayed all subsequent flights.  Unfortunately for me, American drastically underestimated the delay.  I considered Home Alone-ing it by road tripping to Detroit, but I couldn’t find a rental car in Chicago around 10p.  Also my credit card wouldn’t…