Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
- With the beginning of a new year, many of the credits provided with travel cards have reset. Since you have to pick a single airline to use your money from American Express, this is an important choice. Many travelers are reconsidering their pick from 2019 since AMEX has made these credits harder to use. I’ve said the two airlines I think are the best choices but Gary from View From the Wing picked a third airline and gives his plan on how to take advantage of the credit.
- Whenever you travel outside of your home country, it helps to know the language of where you’re going. While knowing a few words may help, what if there’s a problem with your travel plans? Will you be able to get rebooked on another plane if you can’t communicate with the airline representative? American Airlines is going to try to eliminate this problem at their lounges by utilizing Google Assistant with interpreter mode to help foreign language speaking guests in their lounges. I have no doubt that this technology will be incorporated more in the coming years, so I’m interested to see how it works in a practical application. Good for American Airlines for trying to help everyone equally, removing the language barrier from providing customer service.
- This post on Travel Update asks the question, Is jet-lag worse when traveling east or west? I can say that their findings are precisely in line with what I’ve experienced in our travels. Fortunately, we’ve now found some tricks to alleviate jet-lag and other problems related to long flights.
- One group of companies that seem to get as many complaints as hotels and airlines are those from the cell phone industry. Unfair billing practices, inadequate coverage, and incompetent customer service are all common complaints. Because of this, Google was able to enter the market with its Google Fi service (previously called Project Fi) and offer worldwide coverage with a flat pricing model. People, in general, seem to love the service. That is, until something goes wrong and Google shuts down your phone, and possibly your entire Google account, and is either unable or unwilling to resolve the problem. That’s what happened to Gilbert from God Save The Points and after reading his story, I’m happy that we chose to go with T-Mobile instead.
- We all make mistakes. Sometimes they’re little mistakes, like when I lost out on a few thousand bonus miles when booking a ticket. Some are bigger, such as booking flights to the incorrect airport. A post on Rene’s Points tells the story of someone who made a much bigger mistake, missing out on Delta Diamond status by falling $140 short of the $250,000 spending requirement. That’s right; you need to spend 250K on a credit card to get the waiver and falling just short due to a miscalculation must be a terrible feeling.
- There are over 5 million hotel rooms in the U.S. alone. So it’s understandable that some of them will have things inside the rooms that may seem a bit odd. Here are some of the stranger things we’ve seen in hotels in our travels. Those are nothing compared to the bizarre room that’s mentioned in this post on One Mile at a Time. How did the hotel think that this was a good idea?
- There’s often a very good reason to keep a discontinued credit card. One such card that’s no longer available for new applications is the Ritz-Carlton credit card from Chase. It’s been a while since you could get a new Ritz-Carlton card but if you had one, you could keep it and all the benefits it provided. Nick from Frequent Miler wrote about how Chase dropped a major benefit of the card with no advance notice. I know people who were able to save hundreds of dollars per year using this perk, so losing it may mean the card isn’t worthwhile keeping. (Chase will let you product change from a different Chase Marriott Bonvoy card, like the Bonvoy Boundless, to the Ritz-Carlton card if you’re still interested in getting one).
- We’ve spent time on our vacations chasing after various Harry Potter related locations. Whether it’s a shooting location from the movies, seeing the stage show, or an exhibit of props, we’re probably going to check it out if we can. So I was excited when I read about the world’s largest Harry Potter store that’s coming to New York this summer.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary