Happy Sunday to all 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, so we’re passing them along.
- When you’re playing the points and miles game as a couple, there are some advantages and some challenges. You can earn points from credit cards for both of you but it’s often easier or even necessary to have all of those points in a single account to make a redemption. One of the advantages of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is pooling points with a family member. While this option was previously available online, it disappeared from the Chase website this week. While you’re still able to add a family member by calling Chase, I’m glad I’m an authorized user on Sharon’s Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Many hotel mergers cause the brand being acquired to lose the charm that made it special (and worth buying in the first place.) I’m glad to report that Kimpton hotels have managed to keep much of what made the brand special before IHG acquired it. One of the quirky things about Kimpton hotels was the occasional secret passwords. On its social media channels, Kimpton put out a “secret password” that if you told it to the front desk, you’d get an extra gift. For example, we got a drink at the bar/hotel restaurant at the Kimpton Allegro in Chicago. But what if the password is expired? As it turns out, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may end up with a free bottle of wine. FWIW, we had the same experience when we used an expired password at the Kimpton Arras in Asheville, NC.
- Airlines are always trying to figure out the fastest way to board an airplane. That’s because the longer a plane is on the ground, the less time it’s in the air with paying passengers. We’ve observed in the US and on flights in other countries that planes board faster if people have fewer carry-on bags. The fastest boarding planes in the US we’ve seen are Southwest where passengers can check two bags for free (and therefore do not need to bring everything on the plane to avoid baggage fees) and Frontier (where you need to pay for both checked and carry-on bags which fit in the overhead). American Airlines is testing letting passengers check their carry-on bags for free, which isn’t quite the same as letting you know ahead of time that you can check bags for free. Of course, it’s better than their previous policy of telling you that your bag won’t fit in the overhead and forcing you the check it at the gate.
- During the pandemic, many airlines chose to park their out-of-service planes in the Mojave Desert. The weather, or lack of it, reduces the stress on the planes. While many planes are parked there at the end of their lifetimes, this unique situation led planes to be parked in the desert waiting for international travel to return. That’s why Qantas has been sending engineers every week to check on the planes they have parked there. In news that’s no surprise to me; the engineers have sticks assigned to each plane which they use to hit the tires and brakes to awaken any rattlesnakes or scorpions which may have sought relief from the heat. Leave it to the Aussies, the people from the continent full of creatures who want to kill you, to come up with such a simple solution.
- Chase made a big announcement that they are getting into the airport lounge game with a set of Chase Sapphire Lounges. While there weren’t many details in the press release, people who follow the space closely have already found the location of the first lounge. It’s a big step for Chase to try and compete with American Express who offers entry into its own Centurion Lounges and others worldwide for holders of the Platinum Card. Currently, the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve card only offers a Priority Pass Select membership (which is also an AMEX Platinum perk.)
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary