I Thought Airlines Were Bad – Then I Called Comcast

mj_on_travel

As the Managing Director of Airline Apologencia here at Boardingarea, most people think I believe airlines are perfect and if we were better customers, things would be improved. That is, of course, wrong. I have a long list of things I think airlines could do better, and assuming I ever have fully functional internet here at world HQ again, I’ll share that list with you. The background – I have been moderately satisfied with AT&T U-verse since relocating to Atlanta in September 2012. I went in knowing that it was just souped up DSL, but the thought of breaking away from “cable” along with some attractive pricing hooked me. Frankly, it’s been fine. U-verse isn’t exactly speedy, but it is…

Continue Reading »

Delta Private Jets – Not Your Ordinary Medallion Upgrade

Image courtesy of Delta

Delta is about to introduce something different, the opportunity for Medallion members on select Delta flights to upgrade to a private jet. Many may not be aware that Delta owns a company called Delta Private Jets that provides biz-jet services for the well-heeled. According to Bloomberg, the service “will cost $300 to $800, depending on destination. Beginning as soon as this week, passengers who have achieved elite or “medallion” status in Delta’s SkyMiles frequent-flyer program will be eligible for the upgrade offers. But officials stress that the initial number of private jet flights will be small and focused mainly at Delta’s East Coast hubs.” According to Delta, “the private upgrade opportunities will be limited to select passengers in specific markets where…

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Recap – July 25, 2015

mj_on_travel

Another week in the books. It was history making because I cleared an upgrade roundtrip on Delta as a Platinum Medallion to/from Washington, DC! The return even cleared at the window. Let’s take a look at the last week’s posts here at MJ on Travel. Top Posts Delta Fliers – Status Match to Alaska Air? Status Matching Sets Sail with MSC Cruises The Best of the Rest Delta’s Fall Fare Sale – Miles and Money China Rising – 6th Carnival Ship to China The Other Side of Miles are Like Money Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!! -MJ, July 25, 2015  

Continue Reading »

Status Matching Sets Sail with MSC Cruises

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 6.50.04 AM

HT: FlyerTalk MSC Cruises has introduced a status match option for its loyalty program. I’ve called elite status reciprocity, which is practiced among Azamara, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean the closest thing to status matching in cruising. Now, MSC has for the first time introduced the first true “status match” by a cruise line and is offering equivalent status in their MSC Voyager’s Club to members of other cruise line loyalty programs (hotels too). (Image courtesy of MSC Cruises) Here are the terms and conditions of the offer as listed. MSC Cruises will only consider benefit cards from other Cruising companies, Hotels and/or Tour Operators. Airline Company benefit cards are excluded. Matching is carried out by comparing as much as reasonably possible the level of…

Continue Reading »

Delta’s Fall Fare Sale – Money and Miles

IMG_0017-1.jpg

Delta Air Lines launched a fare sale for fall travel late last night. Fares are starting at $74 and in a unique twist, just 5,000 miles, plus taxes and fees each way based on roundtrip purchase. You must book by August 6, and travel between August 6 and December 16, 2015. Fall fare sales are a pretty traditional thing, but this time around Delta is touting its low mileage “fares” and even offering some as low as 5,000 miles each way. Historically, I would have a hard time using miles for a flight that only costs $200 roundtrip, but recent changes at SkyMiles change that math a bit. A few examples: I have never been one to care strictly about cents per mile valuations, but these aren’t…

Continue Reading »

China Rising – 6th Carnival Ship to China

Carnival Corporation announced today that it will add two ships to its China fleet in 2016, making it the first global cruise company with six total ships based in China. The move will increase Carnival Corporation’s total capacity in China by an additional 58 percent in 2016, further accelerating the company’s leadership position in the growing Chinese market. Clearly, the Chinese market is well on its way to being the largest global cruise market. Carnival Corporation’s China based ships will include expanded offerings from its two leading brands in the market – Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises. Across the two brands, Carnival Corporation will have three year-round ships and three seasonal ships in the market, representing the largest cruise presence in China in 2016. According to Carnival Corporation, Golden…

Continue Reading »

The Other Side of Miles are Like Money

Delta ripped the bandage off…finally, and we are where we are. You know my take on revenue-based. Overall, I actually earn more miles, but one could be forgiven for asking just what those miles are worth? One thing my AAdvantage in Atlanta experiment along with a dabble of Southwest have taught me is that there are alternatives to Delta in Atlanta. That said, flying isn’t a leisure occupation for me, it’s a job requirement. The likelihood that a business traveler who lives 20 minutes from the busiest airport in the world and Delta’s biggest hub just walks from Delta based on the mileage program just isn’t that high. At the same time, jumping off the “status” hamster wheel has freed me…

Continue Reading »

Delta Fliers – Status Match to Alaska Air?

alaska airlines, delta air lines, partnership

I’m often called a Delta apologist when commenters are extra kind. I’m called other words too. And to answer one question from comments last week, no, I am not on Delta’s payroll. If you have really read what I have said, the gist of it comes down to this – Delta Air Lines is an enterprise that is free to make business decisions it sees fit to make. Likewise, travelers are free to make their own business decisions which very well may include flying another airline or at least crediting the Delta flights you do take to a partner program. I once asked if Alaska’s Mileage Plan was the silver widget everyone always wanted? Of course, that was before the…

Continue Reading »

The Weekly Recap – July 19, 2015

mj_on_travel

July is beyond half over, and summer is flying by. I have a short, one-night business trip this week where I will begin a grand experiment in trying to live and eat more healthily on the road. We’ll see how that goes. At least it’s a short trip to get me started. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, let’s look at last week’s posts. Top Views SkyMiles Dynamic Award Pricing Delta Ripped the Bandage Off SkyMiles and It Was Hiding Some Fugly Stuff Three Things I’ve Enjoyed Most When Flying American The Best of the Rest Celebrity Cruises Appoints First Female Captain A Word on the Latest SkyMiles News Delta Ripped the Bandage Off Arrival Plus Back in Action Redeem Rapid Rewards…

Continue Reading »

US Airways – The End of an ErAA

The #AvGeek in me could not help but look at ExpertFlyer this morning. My mission – to see if the schedule change that converted former US Airways flights to American Airlines flights went through. That’s just one US Airways market, but it looks like US Airways will be officially over on the morning of October 17, 2015 as planned. For what it’s worth, I attempted to book some of these flights on aa.com, but at the moment the website is defaulting to connections via DFW so things are still settling down with the schedule change. I once called US Airways the country’s most underrated airline, something that drew a dare from fellow BA blogger Points, Miles, and Martinis to actually…

Continue Reading »