Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stay Twice at Choice Hotels, Earn $50 Gift Card

Now through August 5th, log two stays at any Choice hotels and earn 8,000 Choice Privileges points - enough for a $50 Chili's gift card. Choice family of hotels include Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and Sleep Inn. Click here for details.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Earn 500 AAdvantage Miles for Downloading eShopping Toolbar

Receive 500 bonus American AAdvantage miles when you download their eShopping toolbar on your computer and perform at least one toolbar search or purchase. Using the tool helps you identify sites where you can earn bonus American Airlines miles for browsing or shopping for merchandise. Or, you can simply download the tool - earn the bonus miles, then uninstall the program.
My initial thoughts testing out the toolbar: It's slow. Seems to eat up a lot of computer memory with delayed search returns.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness" - Ray Bradbury

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trip Report: Asiana Airlines First Class - Los Angeles to Seoul

Summary: As part of a larger Star Alliance itinerary, the Asiana Airlines segment from LAX-ICN was one of the most memorable air travel experiences I've ever had. The highest of standards in customer service began at the airport and continued throughout the flight. Cabin Crew were dedicated to ensuring every aspect of comfort was made available to guests during the journey over the waters to Asia. It's no wonder Asiana Airlines has been voted the best airline in the world for 2010 - even ahead of Singapore and Qatar Airlines.

San Francisco Airport Asiana First Class Lounge
A selection of fresh food, snacks, drinks, newspapers and entertainment

Asiana Airlines First Class: Los Angeles - Seoul - Boeing 747-400. March 20, 2010.
Aircraft configuration: First Class (10 flat bed seats) 83" pitch 20.5" Width
Business Class (45 angled lie-flat seats), Economy Class (304 Seats)

Bubbles: 1999 Taittinger Comtes
Canape: Grilled Scallop with Cheese Sauce
Appetizer: Beef Tenderloin Slice, Grilled Tuna and Mozzarella Cheese
Soup: Carrot Soup
Mixed Greens: With Cesar Dressing
Main Course: 'Mixing and Harmonizing' - Korean Bibimbab
Cheese and Fruit: A variety of choices
Desert: Cheese Cake
Coffee & Tea
Petits Fours

Mid-Flight Snacks
Assorted Fruits

Pre-Landing "Snack"
Appetizer: Marinated Shrimp, Roast Beef and Vegetables
Main Course: Grilled Seabass
Desert: Fruit Tart
Coffee and Tea

Complimentary first class toiletries, travel bag, pajamas and gift.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No-Show Car Rental Fee Being Tested

You book a hotel room then for whatever reason don't show up: Hotel charges you a penalty. You book an airline ticket and don't catch your flight: You still get charged for the flight. But book a car rental and don't pick up your wheels: No big deal; reservation is cancelled with usually no penalty to you. That may be about to change.
According to BTNonline, Avis Budget group is testing, in a few small markets, what they call non-cancellation fees, for customers who book a car rental and never pick it up or call to cancel. It works in the airline and hotel industry - why not car rentals? Certainly other car rental agencies will be closely monitoring how much revenue might be generated and/or pushback from customers by imposing such a fee.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

500 Continental OnePass Miles for Each Flight Booked

Earn 500 bonus Continental OnePass miles for each ticket purchased with a Mastercard credit or debit card at This promotion is ongoing through December 31, 2010. Bonus miles show up about six weeks after the purchase date.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Add Pages to Your Passport

By Mike Grasso
Frequent international traveler? Running out of room in your passport for all those Visa's? Easy fix. Simply mail your passport to the U.S. State Department and request extra pages be added. How much might you expect to pay for such as service? $20? $40?'s a FREE service from our federal government. Even the postage to ship it back to you is FREE. It gets better: The turnaround time to process extra pages may take several weeks according to the application, but my recent experience had the passport back in my hands in under 2 weeks. Now that is our government in action!

So if you are running out of space in your passport, now may be the time to send it in for some extra pages. Click here for more information.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Free Sample of Breathe Right Nasal Strips

Whether for you or the guy snoring next to you on the plane, here's a free sample of Breathe Right nasal strips. Breathe Right nasal strips help reduce snoring by opening up nasal passages ensuring a good nights rest. Here ya go.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HOT! San Francisco to New Zealand for $484 RT "all in"

HOT FARE! Last minute flights between San Francisco (and LAX) and Auckland on Air New Zealand for $399 roundtrip + tax; comes to about $484 with taxes and fees. This is a limited time offer, must purchase by 11:59 PM May 14th. Leave SFO between May 21-30, return May 28-June 10th. You do not earn FF miles with partner airlines, but you do with Air New Zealand's Airpoints program. Click here to book.
Current weather in Auckland here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flash Mobbers Use Lady Gaga to Demand Workers Rights in SF

San Francisco: If you've been around select Union Square hotels as of late, you can't help but see and hear the loud protests of people as they swarm the sidewalks and entrances to hotels demanding a fair contract and affordable health care for employees. One group of people recently stepped up their visibility by infiltrating the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco and performing an adaptation to Lady Gaga's song, "Bad Romance." Great stuff! The Westin St. Francis is among a short list of other hotels the website Hotel Workers Rising recommends a boycott of.

Libyan Plane Crash Kills 103, Dutch Boy Survives

One Dutch child reportedly survived a fiery plane crash at Tripoli airport in Libya early Wednesday morning. Initial reports put the death toll at 103 people, while one lone survivor, a 10-year old boy walking away with only fractures. The Libyan Afriqiyah Airways Airbus 330-200 enroute from Johannesburg, was full of Dutch tourists before crashing near the airport on final approach.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How to Avoid the Middle Seat

By Mike Grasso

Assuming you would prefer not to sit between two strangers on a flight, there are several steps you can take to prevent getting stuck in a middle seat:
  • Immediately choose seats when booking your flight. If tickets are booked through a travel agency or group tour, you may need to call the airline directly to confirm seats.
  • If only middle seats are left on a flight, check back with the airline (online or on the phone) frequently to see if other seats open up.
  • Monitor your flight for possible schedule or aircraft downgrades, either of which could result in your seat assignment being changed by the airline.
  • Inform the airline of your seating preferences in advance. Frequent fliers may be able to update their profile to indicate window or isle seats. Others may need to call the airline directly.
  • Use Online check-in for your flight. This provides you one last look of the seating arrangement, and an opportunity to switch to a better seat.

For more information on picking the best airline seats, consider a visit to SeatGuru.

Monday, May 10, 2010

JetBlue $10 Sale on All Remaining Seats May 11-12

Valid for bookings today only

JetBlue has launched a sale today sure to fill up those birds with passengers. Just $10 gets you a one-way, nonstop flight anywhere (including international destinations) in the JetBlue network. Valid for travel May 11-12th only. You can combine two one-ways for a $20 roundtrip flight + taxes and fees. I also noticed some 1-stop flights, such as Sacramento-Long-Beach-Las Vegas for $20+ each way.

Don't forget JetBlue is one of the few remaining airlines that also lets you check one piece of luggage for free, and does not overbook their flights. Plus they have comfy leather seats, Direct-TV and tasty munchies on board.

10% Off Code for American Airlines Flights

Get 10% off American Airlines domestic flights by clicking here and voting for your favorite college sports moment. Provide your email address, and they will send you a unique discount code to be used at in the promo code box. Valid for up to (4) passengers on an itinerary, and for ticketing and travel through July 19, 2010.
Pretty simple and legit offer here. Hats off to for this deal.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Win a Trip for Two in the Frommer's Roman Holiday Sweeps

Enter to win a trip for two to Italy, in the Frommer's Roman Holiday Sweepstakes. One lucky winner and their guest will receive a roundtrip flight to Rome, and four nights accommodations. ARV of the prize is $3,800. Daily entries permitted now through July 31st.
The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.
-Agnes Repplier

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Earn 25,000 Continental OnePass Miles from Chase Bank

Pretty...pretty...pretty good offer here. Get 10,000 OnePass miles for opening a Chase checking account (minimum $100 opening balance), and either set up direct deposit or make (5) debit card purchases. Earn another 15,000 miles after your first qualified purchase on a Chase Continental Airlines Preferred Debit card ($25 or $65 annual fee applies - depending on dollar-to-point conversion you choose).
What I like about this offer: No long-term commitment: Give Chase a try, and if you are not satisfied, close your accounts and walk away with 25,000 extra miles in your account. Plus, baggage fee-waivers apply to debit card holders flying Continental Airlines. One more plus: 25,000 miles might just convert over to United Airlines miles next year as the merger process continues.

What I don't like: Very little: The annual fee, but it is fairly insignificant considering it is in exchange for 25,000 miles (a free domestic ticket in coach). The bank will probably need to run a credit report (read: inquiry) on you as well. And, must walk into a brick-and-mortar to open the account; no can do online.

Overall, seems like a pretty good deal! One I will be taking advantage of this week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Summary of Current Airline and Hotel Bonus Promotions

Here's a roundup of some current hotel and airline bonus mile/point promotions currently available. Be sure to read the t&c of each offer, as each have a separate cutoff date to earn the bonus.
  • Hilton HHonors Fast Ways to Free Stays: one free night after four stays, or double points on each stays
  • Hyatt Gold Passport: Earn 3,000 American Airlines miles per stay; complete five stays get a 10,000 mile bonus - for a total of 25,000 AAdvantage miles.

Monday, May 3, 2010

San Francisco to Honolulu $351 RT "all in" Through EOM May

Most of the major airlines continue to offer a pretty decent price SFO to Honolulu; just $351 roundtrip, including all taxes and fees. These are 1-day advance purchase fares! Meaning... you can hop on a plane first thing tomorrow, be on Waikiki or Queens Surf beach by afternoon. Travel must be completed by May 27th. Click here to book - using the "my dates are flexible" option.

United and Continental Airlines Agree to Merge

United and Continental Airlines made it official today, announcing the two companies will merge and become the largest airline in the world based on total volume. In a statement to customers, United said the companies are expected to combine later this year, pending governmental approval. Until then, the companies remain independent and will continue to compete with each other. The airlines have set up a new website which discusses the combined airlines and shows off its livery; note the Continental globe with the United brand name is proposed in this illustration.