Wiping The Slate Clean. My Personal Business Case For Abandoning The Pursuit Of United Airlines 1K Status

I’ve given United a try for a few years now, with 1K status the last two years. United has disappointed in upgrade percentage, availability of Wi-Fi, drastic cuts to the schedule that impact my ability to get to where I need quickly and arbitrary changes to policies like award redemption and carry-on bags that just plain make flying not fun.

The Travel Game Is A Journey. The Destinations Along The Way Are Just Part Of The Fun, Part 1

I’ve been playing the travel game, collecting miles and points, for well over a decade now.  While it’s gotten harder to find all the perfect flights, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.  I’ve been planning a family trip this summer to Italy and it came together to include some pretty special elements for my family and I.  As the final pieces came into place this weekend I thought I would share the story.  Parts of this are special just for our family or for an airline geek like […]

It’s 2014. Are You Tracking Your United Premier Qualifying Dollars?

2014 is a less than brave new world in the airline industry.  If you haven’t been paying attention, Delta and United have instituted spending requirements to achieve elite status on an annual basis along with the existing mile/segment requirements.  Since my first United Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQD) posted this week, I figured I would spend a few minutes discussing it to make sure readers were keeping an eye on things. Since the original announcement by United, they’ve dedicated a page on their website to the new updates.  There are a […]

Black Friday Is Truly Dark. United Decides Their “Friend”ship Costs More, Raises Many Award Prices

I woke up this morning to an announcement on Milepoint by United Airlines about award chart increases.  At first, I didn’t really think it was that bad.  But, the more I dug into it, more I realized this was a bit of a “Black Friday” event for mileage folks and not in a good way.  These changes don’t go into effect until February, so you have a bit of time to plan your next trips, but it’s pretty bad.  I don’t have a ton of time to summarize this morning, […]

Breaking Down The Text of the American Airlines/US Airways Merger Complaint

I posted quickly yesterday some initial thoughts on the lawsuit that the US Department of Justice filed to block the American Airlines/US Airways merger.  I spent some more time yesterday and this morning and have a few more things to offer up.  I went through the full text of the complaint last night (just over 50 pages) and carved out some items I think represent DOJ’s main thoughts here as well as some items I disagree with.  Keep in mind I was never strongly in favor of the merger so […]

United Follows Delta On Some Recent Changes

Looks like United previewed some upcoming changes to their program this morning on Milepoint.  Following Delta’s move earlier this year, United is adding a spending requirement to achieve elite status.  Quoting from their post: Starting in January 2014, Premier qualification for members living in the United States will include a minimum annual spending level. We will track this new requirement with Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) – dollars spent on most United tickets, including partner flights, and Economy Plus purchases. The changes will not affect Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or Premier […]

Tools And Tricks: Seat Guru’s New iPhone App

It seems to be my theme this week to review useful travel apps.  I stumbled across ExpertFlyer’s iPhone app a couple of days ago and posted my thoughts. Then, this morning, I saw an article on Seat Guru’s new iPhone app.  A bit of background on SeatGuru.  It was started by someone I consider a good friend, Matt Daimler, who has gone on to found other successful companies.  He sold SeatGuru to TripAdvisor back in 2007.  For quite some time (IMO) things were status quo.  There was integration with TripAdvisor […]

Another Good Piece On Why Status Matters

Scott McCartney has a good piece in today’s Wall Street Journal about people spending money to achieve status, either by taking flights they don’t need to take or “buying up”. No question, I’m a status snob.  But, status is more then just a seat near the front of the plane.  Over the past few years as airlines have cut benefits, the difference between the “haves” and the “have nots” on board has grown considerably.  Remember the days when everyone got a meal onboard?  It might not have been great food […]

I Just Used Passbook For The First Time

Okay, so it’s early.  But, I definitely like what I’m seeing.  I just checked in for my flight tomorrow on United using my iPhone 6 and successfully moved my boarding pass to Passbook. I wrote about Passbook recently and was pretty pumped about the possibilities.  There aren’t a ton of apps supporting it, but enough for me to start traveling with it using the United and American Airlines apps. I opened up the United app and checked in for my flight like I would normally. Once I clicked “Agree-Finish Check-in”, […]

A Couple Of Nuggets Courtesy Of View From The Wing

View From The Wing has two juicy tidbits today, one that was more affirmation of something I suspected, the other a bit of a surprise about an airline I spend a fair time flying and criticizing. First, Gary notes that Hyatt has pretty much officially put Faster Free Nights to bed.  I’ve written about this in the past.  While I enjoyed participating in FFN, my feelings are the same as Gary’s.  I prefer to stockpile points to use when I have time.  FFN did represent an incredible amount of value […]