During one of our trips, we needed to get from Las Vegas to Orange County, California. I found a pair of award seats on Delta for 5,500 miles each, so we decided to fly instead of drive there. I put very little thought into our time at the airport. as we were flying out in the morning and were planning to get to the airport just ahead of our flight time. I forgot that we were checking bags and would need to get the airport early. When I checked us in for our flights using Delta’s app, it automatically checked us in for our flight, I had no idea how to add our luggage fee so I’d have to pay at the airport. Fearing a long line, we left extra early for our flight.
This meant that after checking in (a quick process thanks to the helpful Delta agents at LAS) we were through TSA Pre✓® and at the D Concourse of Terminal 1 with 45 minutes before our flight would board. Plenty of time to stop in a lounge and relax.
Continue reading “How We Ended Up Going To The Wrong Airport Lounge in Las Vegas”
“… and when everyone’s super, no one will be.” – Syndrome from “The Incredibles”
Not the quote you’d think would inspire me to write a travel blog, is it? However, it popped into my head when reading Nick’s post on Frequent Miler about how having Diamond Hilton status may or may not have helped him out on a recent stay. He has top-level Hilton status because he holds the Amex Hilton Aspire credit card, with an annual fee of $450. He mentioned a comment from a reader introducing the idea that when everyone has access to something, be it status or superpowers, that thing no longer becomes important because anyone can have it.
There was a time, not too long ago, that to achieve top-level status with any travel company, like an airline or hotel chain, you actually needed to use their services and use them a lot. This meant you either had to be a true road warrior, spending much of your work time staying in hotels and flying from worksite to worksite, or a dedicated travel hacker who spent days or more likely weeks making mileage and mattress runs trying to rack up credits for the least amount of money possible.
Those days are gone.
Continue reading “What Happens When Everyone Is Elite?”
One of the big perks of being a frequent flyer with one of the “big three” U.S. airlines (American, Delta and United) is access to their airport lounges. These spaces are a
quite less crowded place to wait for your flight compared to the loud chaos that usually is the norm near the gates. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to charge your electronics, snack on some cookies or veggies and even treat yourself to something from the bar. Even if the airlines have started to charge for the better snacks and drinks, it’s still better than nothing.
You’d think if you’re on your way to a vacation at Disney World or Universal Studios in Orlando from the New York/New Jersey area and decide to take JetBlue that you’d be out of luck for getting into an airport lounge before your flight, right? Wrong!
Continue reading “Here’s How You Can Get Into Airport Lounges When Flying JetBlue from New York to Orlando”
I’m finally willing to admit I’ve had an irrational attachment to certain travel credit cards. You know, the cards that I’ve had for a while and kept paying the annual fee even though the benefits aren’t worth what the card cost me every year. I tried to rationalize why paying for the card made sense. My arguments were convincing but eventually I took a step back and gave a long and hard look at the money I was spending. I realized that I was giving way too much value to the “possible uses” for the card instead of looking at the actual value I was getting.
I give the credit card companies credit; they were able to make me think I was winning at this game. I had all these perks, got statement credits for expenses and my out of pocket cost whittled down to almost nothing. It’s like they were paying me to keep the card. Wait, I know that’s not true. No bank is going to pay you to keep a card for the long term. They’d eventually go out of business.
So how’d the person who is so proud of not being loyal to any airline, hotel or rental car company end up in a unhealthy relationship with some credit cards? Here are just a few of the traps that I fell into that lead to making irrational decisions.
Continue reading “Stop Falling In Love With Travel Credit Cards!!”
There are so many reasons to keep the American Express Platinum card. The $200 yearly airline fee credit. The $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Pre-Check credit. The $200 yearly UBER credits ($15 per month and an additional $20 in December). Centurion Lounge access. Saks Fifth Avenue credit. Priority Pass.
There’s just one reason the cancel the card. Five Hundred and Fifty Dollars.
Continue reading “Why I Cancelled My American Express Platinum Card”