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

Saturday, January 20, 2024

How the Challenge resolved

My last post detailed how I had booked a backup option via United from SFO-PHX - I was very confident this would be a solid option to get me to Phoenix.  However, I was surprised when I received a text notification from United saying the flight had been cancelled due to the Max 9 issues.  The assigned plane wasn't a Max 9 though...maybe other network impacts caused the cancel?  In any event, the rebook was for the evening which wasn't going to work.  

After a check of options, I had no choice but to work through the cancels of these flights and rebook on a direct American option.  It wasn't my first choice but I was able to land later morning which gave me time back.  Lesson learned - always be prepared with other connect options!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Challenges due to 737 Max 9 being Grounded

The news in the past week or so about Alaska 1282 has caused quite a few travel impacts as all 737 Max 9 aircraft are still grounded.  United is a major customer of the Max 9 with nearly 80 aircraft not flying.  Last year I recall a fair percentage of my transcon flights were the Max 9 and I never had any problems in-flight or after.  

My Alaska flight this weekend to Phx is impacted by the grounding - after a quick check I realized it is showing as a Max 9.  While not cancelled yet, I expect it to occur at any time.  Thankfully I had booked a backup staging option and should be able to get to Phoenix a bit later than I had first planned.  

Make sure to check your itineraries in advance to make sure you can still get to your destination!

Friday, January 5, 2024

Cards in My Wallet Right Now (2024)

Happy New Year!  I'm pleased that my overall spending pattern was about even throughout the year and I was also able to gain one new card given my frequent flights - the United Club card gives lounge access and was very helpful for my longer trips last year.  As always, if anyone is interested in referrals please let me know!

Cards in my Wallet:

Chase Sapphire Reserve - one of the best earning cards with 3x points for travel and 3x for dining; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Chase Freedom - Quarterly bonus categories give 5x points and pairs with Sapphire

Chase World of Hyatt - 4x Hyatt points per stay make this one of the best for hotel stays, 2x for restaurant/transit; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Chase IHG Rewards Club Select (no longer available) - Platinum Elite status plus free night every cardmember year

Chase United Mileage Plus Select (no longer available) - 3x miles on United purchases plus EQM, 2x gas/grocery/dining + Star Alliance purchases

Chase United Club Infinite - 4x miles on United, 2x miles on other travel, 2x on dining, United Club membership

Chase Biz Plus (replaced with Business Preferred) - 5x points at office supply and phone, 2x on gas station and hotel; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Chase Biz Cash - 5x points at office supply and phone, 2x points on gas stations and restaurants

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless - 6x points at Marriott properties; 3x Gas/Grocery/Dining up to $6k, 1 Elite Night credit per $5k spent; 2x points on other purchases; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Chase British Airways - 3x Avios on BA purchases; 2x on hotels; No Foreign Transaction Fee

Citibank Premier - 3x points on travel including gas stations and grocery; 2x on dining/entertainment, No Foreign Transaction Fee

Citibank AA Biz Platinum - 2x American Airlines miles on purchases plus free checked bag and priority boarding; 2x on gas stations, No Foreign Transaction Fee

Citibank AA Mileup - 2x American Airlines miles on flights, plus 2x miles for grocery purchases, No Annual Fee

Citibank Double Cash - 2% cash back on all purchases, though the transfer option to Citi ThankYou Points makes this card strong for all non-category spend, No Annual Fee

American Express Hilton card - 7x Hilton points on stays, 5x points dining/gas/grocery, 3x all other purchases, complimentary Silver status, No Annual Fee, No Foreign Transaction Fee

American Express Hilton Surpass - 12x Hilton points on stays, 6x points on dining/grocery/gas, 3x points on all other purchases; complimentary Gold status, No Foreign Transaction Fee

Discover It card - 5x points/cash on quarterly bonus categories, link to Amazon.com purchases, No Annual Fee

Bank of American Alaska Airlines card - 3x miles on Alaska purchases, $99 companion fare

I still value many of these for the no annual fee and other free night perks. There's a good chance I'll consolidate several this year as my flight frequency has been reduced.