The Best of the Rest is my effort to summarize all the travel/miles & points stories that interested me on a daily basis but didn’t have time to write about in length. On a daily basis, I try to keep track of roughly 100 different blogs that have interesting things for you and I to learn from. Some are passed along without comment, while I add my analysis to others. This is your shortcut to find out what’s going on in the travel world without having to read dozens of travel blogs to get all the best info. Here’s what I’m reading about today:
Here’s a good review of the Shinkasen bullet train in Japan by Magic of Miles. I’m generally a fan of trains as a public transportation method when I travel, and I do marvel at the technology Japan and China have come up with for high-speed trains. The newest generation of technology, MagLev trains (called that because they use magnets to actually levitate, reducing friction) are in their infancy but promise speeds of well over 300 mph.
How the IATA screwed up standardizing carry-on bag sizing. I’m generally thankful this died on the vine, so to speak. There are a decent number of airlines installing bigger bins, nullifying some of these efforts. And, my go-to bag from Briggs & Riley doesn’t meet the new dimensions.
Avis is offering very cheap one-way short-term rentals in certain markets right now. As Points, Miles & Martinis notes, this may be a stab at Uber. One-way rentals in an urban market are usually not surcharged, but true one-way rentals where you start out in one city and end up in another are an area where rental car companies charge with impunity. For those circumstances, here’s the best way to leverage points to make big fees disappear.
Awesome dive-in movie idea courtesy of Heels First Travel.
United Airlines has a pretty decent network in Japan, and they’re discounting award travel there.
While it’s not a perfect system, the American Airlines path of charging some elites for upgrades on some routes (using 500-mile upgrade certificates) continues to yield higher upgrade percentages for many. MJ on Travel may be getting more than is fair share at the moment, but I’d challenge you to show me any appreciable percentage of United Airlines bottom-tier elites getting upgraded at half his rate.
Maybe upgrades aren’t the only way to convert people over to the dAArk side. Apparently, in some cases it only takes just the right amount of cream.
Loyalty Traveler reports on a very interesting fast track offer for elite status with American Airlines. 6,000 EQMs (or points) for Gold, 12,000 for Platinum and 30,000 for Executive Platinum. Considering that challenges/fast track offers from American usually requires points not miles (making them harder to achieve) this is a really great way to earn elite status with the best domestic US program right now.
A Complete Guide to the Hello Kitty Airplane Experience from Gary at View From The Wing. My daughter is almost to the point that she would consider cutting off a finger to fly on this plane. She’s a bit squeamish about long flights but would jump at the chance to fly on this plane.