At Frequent Traveler University I presented on credit cards and on hotels, see my hotel slides here.
Then I was off to Africa for mixed business and pleasure swing through Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa (Cape Town), and Namibia. Corporate belt tightening meant I was in the back of the plane.
4 segments in on South African, 6 to go. I have Star Alliance Gold status through my United Platinum status. So far am impressed with their in flight experience. Transiting JNB is not fast or smooth, not the LHR horror show, but enough to make me want more padded flight schedules. I’ll do a separate post on South African.
Slow times continue in the miles and points world, even so, there are always interesting angles and new bits.
- American Airlines is resuming 5x weekly JFK-Caracas flights, I wonder how they resolved all the issues the airlines were having with Venezuela?
- The Aeroplan awards you should book by December 15th (MileCards).
- Delta SkyMiles cheat sheet for using your miles (MileCards).
- What Is First Class These Days? It’s Complicated (WSJ).
- Inside Cathay Pacific’s New Frequent Flyer Program (The Points Guy). One of the Citi ThankYou transfer partners. Doesn’t seem good.
- Valuable Amex OPEN Savings Benefit Ending at End of the Year (Frugal Travel Guy). It would make sense for SPG to step up to replace Hyatt. Imagine the blog posts if Chase added Hyatt 5% rebate to its Ink cards.
- Best Western Announces Major Changes (Frugal Travel Guy). Reminder that Amex Membership Rewards transfers end Dec 31. Since details on the new award charts are not out, I would not speculatively transfer for anything beyond stays I book this year.
Cruises – Plane2Port series:
- Cheap Cruise Clinic-Part 1
- Cheap Cruise Clinic-Part 2-Booking Award Tickets to Meet Your Cruise
- Case Study-Cruising for $39/night! Finding it and getting there
- Should I Get a Royal Caribbean Credit Card? (No)
- Eric of Travel Codex has made an Award Calculator for Manufactured Spenders.
- Freakin Flyers recommends the FlyerMiler by the Economical Excursionists.
- Reddit churning offers spreadsheet.
- Joe Brancatelli writes that the free version of CyberGhost VPN works well. Everyone should use a VPN when on public connections and a free, usable tool is a good start.
- I recently got my first tablet and have been using Pocket to save blog post for offline reading. As Free-quent Flyer argues, the gems are in the comments and Pocket does not save them. Any better tools I can try?
- Travel Insider reviews the new lineup of Kindle Fire Tablets and is impressed with the $50 7″ model. The site is running its annual fundraiser, to which I contribute.
- A new feature in Apple’s iOS 9 could be causing a surprising spike in data use (The Washington Post).
- Lazy Traveler’s Handbook argues the value of the new Amtrak cards from Bank of America, while Travel is Free finds hotel transfers to Choice will now require $20,000 annual spend on the $79 annual card.
- Amex neuters Small Business Saturday. No statement credits this year. (The Frequent Miler). Now you’ll have to spend Thanksgiving with family, not with authorized user cards with their names.
- Why Is Everything Called a “Hack” Now? and These Are Our Editorial and Gear Policies (both Map Happy).
- Why I’m Concerned About Travel Blogging (Wandering Earl).
- Conflicts of Interest (Points For Later).
- So you want to be a blogger? (Miles per Day).
- Delta Points rebrands as René’s Points, breaks the story on the 100,000 point Crystal Visa Infinite offer, and says that Delta Sky Clubs will no longer hassle passengers for ID at entry.