Category Archive: Advice

May 17

American Airlines Changes Upgrade Prioritization (Again)

american airlines

One of the better moments in travel is when you get that email (or the hand-off from a gate agent) that you’ve been upgraded. Each airline has its own method for determining who gets upgraded when, and those criteria change every few years, which is too bad, because it usually takes me that long to …

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May 11

Citi Double Cash Card: The Best Credit Card for Most People

citibank double cash

A few days ago, I was asked for a credit card recommendation by a friend. I went into my diatribe about the various cards, benefits, etc. She listened patiently for a minute and then said, “I just want a card to use for everything. I don’t have the time to sort through my wallet and …

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Apr 12

Delta Says That They Are Past Storm Effects


Delta takes a lot of pride in its on-time record and completion factor, but weather happens, even in Atlanta. In a conference call today, though, management said that they were over the effects of the storm and operations were back to normal. The Imperfect Storm Delta runs an excellent airline operation, but even it can’t …

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Jan 26

Everything We Know about Valuing Points Is Wrong

value of points

One of my favorite topics is discussing how much individual points are worth. I have X points in program Y and an award costs Z points. Find enough instances of Z and you can come up with a pretty good idea of how much points are worth in a system. If I find 10 hotel …

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Sep 02

When Weather Happens

Airline operations, on a good day, are a difficult business. Weather adds an extra complication. Holidays add extra complications. Combining holidays and weather are a recipe for delays, cancellations and frustration. Labor Day weekend could prove to be ugly. With Hurricane Hermine threatening Florida and both Lester & Madeline going after Hawaii, both ends of …

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Aug 16

Helpful Websites for The Next Level

Everybody gets by with a little help from their friends. When I’m looking to do something a little more advanced, such as determine if award seats are available on a flight or find a bank account that takes a credit card for its opening deposit, I go to an internet resource. Here are a few …

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Aug 10

The Olympics of Hotel Elite Status: Part One

Travelers, including myself, often put a lot of emphasis on airline elite status. Let’s face it: The gap between bottom tier and top tier can make a huge difference in how comfortably you fly and the fees you pay. Not as many people spend time thinking about hotel elite status. The reason, I suspect, is that …

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Aug 08

What to do when the power goes out

That title is only half-joking, as two airlines have seen their systems crash in the past month, including Delta today and Southwest previously. Here’s what to do if you are affected: You May Get Lucky Look online. You may have already been rebooked or have the ability to do so. If you get a message …

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Jul 13

A Rental Car Bonus (And Discussion)

A United Deal So we’ll get the deal out of the way first. “Up to 40% off” a rental with Hertz, 500 United miles per rental and 1,500 bonus miles when you book a mid-size or larger. Ho-hum. It’s not a bad one if you want United miles; otherwise, there’s not much to get excited …

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Jul 08

Buying Miles: One Okay, One Not Okay

I’m not a fan of buying miles when the airlines are offering to sell them to you directly. The rule of thumb with airlines, for anything other than seats, is that, if they’re selling it, you don’t want to be buying it. There are times, however, that I will agree that a purchase makes sense. …

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