...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

End of the Boeing 747

I've flown on quite a number of planes over the years, from the small (Cessna 402/Dash-8/Fokker 70) to the largest (A380).  One of the more memorable experiences, though, is flying on the 747.  It's hard to put into words exactly what the feeling is; during takeoff, it's as though you are being lifted gracefully off the ground with almost no effort.  

With recent announcements that production of the 747 will be ending, it will be the end of an era in aviation history: https://metroairportnews.com/boeing-announces-end-of-747/

I count myself fortunate that I've flown on several 747s, including to Seoul in GlobalFirst on United and to Doha on British Airways.  I even managed to visit in the cockpit on the way back from Doha.

I'm hopeful I can still fly a Lufthansa 747 before they're retired, though it doesn't look promising.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

What to do in lieu of travel?

Fall is here, and looking back on my what my typical travel pattern would be, I likely would have been finishing details for our usual November excursion.  Sadly that is now off the table.  I would have also been planning to head to San Diego this weekend - that also has been postponed.  In fact, I have no trips scheduled in TripIt which is making me a little disappointed!  So what can I do in lieu of travel? 

One thing is to continue to accrue points and miles.  There have been many different promotions across credit cards over the past few months, including some lucrative 6x points on grocery and Amazon.com purchases.  There have also been some significant signup bonuses for the Marriott and IHG cards.  Saving up points now means more options for travel later.   Maximizing those bonuses with regular spend has been very helpful.

I may not be back in the air, though I feel as though I'm setting up for some great travel options in the future. 


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Mid-Year 2020 Travel Check

The coronavirus has changed everything for 2020, and while some activities are beginning to resume, air travel is going to take a while longer to return to the way things were before March 1st.  Working from home along with travel restrictions for international travel/cancellations is certainly having an impact on what my schedule was supposed to be for the year.  It remains to be seen how the rest of the year will look and if I'll even be in the air this fall or winter. 

American

No status presently on American even though I took advantage of a brief status match in late spring.  I was able to leverage some new CC spend and have increased my miles balance ahead to prepare for travel hopefully next fall.

United

United is still primary for me given my close proximity to Newark.  A lack of air travel since March means I normally wouldn't be able to re-qualify, however, United has extended status through 2021 so I will be able to hold 1K into next year.  

Hyatt

I was able to reach Globalist late last year and anticipated travel meant I was hoping for many opportunities to stay and upgrade in 2020.  However, similar to what happened with the airlines, my hotel stays have stopped.  Luckily, Hyatt has also extended status through February of 2022.  Existing awards are also extended until the end of 2021, so I'm glad I'm not losing a number of free stays.


I'm hoping that we can continue to move forward with mitigation and possible treatments for Covid so that safe travel is once again possible.  Thankfully this won't immediately impact status changes for 2020.  Wear a mask!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

American Airlines and JetBlue New Partnership

I'm always intrigued by new relationships in the airline industry, since it usually affords new ways to accrue points, miles, and status.  AA and Jetblue have recently announced an expanded partnership - some details include (from JetBlue):

  • Seamless connectivity — Our partnership will make travel easy between JetBlue's and American's complementary route networks, including integrated website booking capabilities, convenient connections, and an improved on-the-ground experience.
  • Expanded network — JetBlue will grow in New York City, adding flights in LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR), while also increasing our presence at JFK. With improved schedules and competitive fares, you will be able to access 60 new destinations across American's global network.
  • More options — We are working with American to bring TrueBlue members additional opportunities to earn and redeem TrueBlue points.

What I think interests me the most are the miles earning opportunities through codeshares noted by AA:

Through their integrated networks, JetBlue and American will operate reciprocal codeshare flights, giving customers new options with improved schedules, competitive fares and nonstop access to more domestic and international destinations. JetBlue will gain connectivity to more U.S. destinations, a broad global network and an improved frequent flyer proposition, while American will complement JetBlue’s improved and expanded service with new international routes. JetBlue and American loyalty members will also enjoy new benefits while the carriers are exploring additional premium experiences for customers.

It will be interesting to see how this works in the coming months.  With COVID still affecting air travel, I suspect many of us will have to wait to see how the partnership expands.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

United Extends Fee Waiver for Flights Through 8/31/20

2020 will be a year to remember for many reasons - Covid is certainly at the top of the list, reduced travel somewhere after.  This is shaping up to be a year with the fewest flights I've taken in almost 20 years.  Airlines are trying to figure out what to do with so few passengers buying flights - refunds have taken far longer than they should and are usually a hassle.

United has issued varying guidance on existing tickets since May, and the most recent deadline for flight changes was through 7/31 (meaning one reservation I have for fall is still open for issue).  I was pleased to see, though, that United has extended fee waivers now through 8/31.  Link is here:


I continue to pray that the pandemic will subside and travel returns.  For now we must all be safe, do our part, and wear a mask!