Buyer Beware: Do your homework before booking a flight with a “basic” fare

I was doing some serious travel planning over the last two weeks. We are focusing on taking several shorter trips this year and that means I need to book more flights than usual for us. Since I’ve been booking our domestic flights with my Southwest miles or on JetBlue, I haven’t paid much attention to changes the major airlines like American, Delta
and United have been making. I did know they started to offer bare bone, or basic Continue reading “Buyer Beware: Do your homework before booking a flight with a “basic” fare”

The pleasure of changing or cancelling a flight with Southwest Airlines

I’ve written before about how much we’ve traveled on Southwest recently and even how we haven’t paid for a flight on Southwest Airlines since 2015.  Well, the time eventually came when I had to book a ticket on Southwest with cash instead of miles. I just didn’t have enough Southwest miles left to cover the cost of the flight for both of us on this trip.

Southwest_Canyon_Blue
Photo By Brian from Toronto, Canada – Southwest 737, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2271529

17761038_1121957987914685_4477871181367452954_oWe are flying to Chicago for a weekend to see Hamilton  (Again. Don’t hate us.) and I know I cleared these dates with Sharon before I booked the airline tickets. But sometimes life happens and plans change. This time we needed to change our travel dates because Sharon was cast in the choir of Encore!  for their upcoming production of Hairspray at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando (shameless plug – tickets are on sale here).  This did cause a bit of a dilemma as Sharon now has a rehearsal scheduled for the day we were going to be flying to Chicago, and that just wasn’t going to work.

When we realized this, I immediately was relieved because I knew I had booked the Continue reading “The pleasure of changing or cancelling a flight with Southwest Airlines”

This is why you need to sign up for hotel programs before booking your room.

l’ve already posted about how you can sign up for hotel programs. Not surprisingly, I’ve certainly signed up for quite a few. When I look at AwardWallet, I see that I have accounts with these hotel programs:

  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Hilton Honors
  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Le Club Accorhotels
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Choice Privileges
  • La Quinta Rewards
  • M Life (MGM Resorts)
  • Kimpton Karma Rewards

I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t enrolled in the last two programs on this list until this week. I signed up for them because I was staying, or thinking about staying, in hotels belonging Continue reading “This is why you need to sign up for hotel programs before booking your room.”

For Newbies: When An Airline Breaks Something In Your Luggage

I went to New York with a friend not long ago, just for a couple of days, to see a bunch of Broadway shows. We were only going to be out of town from Tuesday to Friday morning, for about 70 hours total, so we were able to get away with just using carry-on luggage, thereby saving us the time of having to pick up our luggage from baggage claim, as well as the worry of them losing our bags or breaking something in them.

Since I grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, whenever I’m in Manhattan, the times when we’re not in shows are generally dedicated to food – either the yummy things, like Continue reading “For Newbies: When An Airline Breaks Something In Your Luggage”

Five reasons why I was going to book a flight on Allegiant…and five reasons why I didn’t.

I’ve flown on a bunch of different domestic airlines in my lifetime. Off the top of my head, I’ve flown on Delta, United, American, JetBlue, Virgin America, Southwest, Alaska, Hawaiian, Silver, Continental, US Airways, Eastern, America West, TWA, Northwest, People’s Express, TED, Song and Midwest Express (am I showing my age?). So why, when it came to booking a flight on Allegiant, did I have second thoughts? Continue reading “Five reasons why I was going to book a flight on Allegiant…and five reasons why I didn’t.”

Why you need to take advantage of AMEX Offers

If you have an American Express card and do not take advantage of AMEX offers, you may be leaving hundreds of dollars a year on the table. AMEX Offers are targeted promotions on your American Express account. If you register for the offer, AMEX will give you money back, or extra points, when you use your card at that merchant. Common examples are to get $10 back when you spend $50 or double Membership Rewards points for purchases for the next 3 months. Since many AMEX cards come with an annual fee, taking advantage of these offers is a wonderful way to offset the cost of the card.

If you have multiple accounts with AMEX, you need to check your account for each one of your cards because there may be different offers on each one. If you are lucky enough Continue reading “Why you need to take advantage of AMEX Offers”

Resort fees and parking fees and taxes, oh, my! Choosing a hotel in Las Vegas

I’m well into planning mode for our big trip to the Southwest, which means I have to start researching hotels. I love the planning of trips almost as much as I do going on them; it is part of the fun for me. There are times where the planning starts to drive me, and Sharon, a little crazy (edit by Sharon: a LITTLE?!?!?! hahahaha!!!).

Part of our trip will be a stay in Las Vegas. Due to the number of activities suggested to us when we asked for help with planning, we extended our stay there to 3 nights. It’s been a
while since I’ve been to Vegas so I needed to brush up on my hotels. Many of the places I Continue reading “Resort fees and parking fees and taxes, oh, my! Choosing a hotel in Las Vegas”