The Weekly Cruise Deal – May 26, 2015

I know I should probably title this post “The Not So Weekly Cruise Deal” given the dearth of appearances of late. The primary reason for that is pretty simple – I haven’t seen that much in the way of “deals” in my opinion. Further, I know I’ve mentioned to a few readers that I have a little something brewing with my cruise content, and that remains the case. It’s just taking a little longer than I’d expected. But on to the post. Poking around the interweb yesterday, I came across something I thought was worth sharing if you happen to be in the market for a quick weekend warm-up between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays this year. If you are a…

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On Delta, Southwest, and Defining Value in Atlanta

Living in Atlanta, I’m going to fly Delta. The End…sort of. I’ve called Delta an airline that does the right things well, and they are. The overwhelming majority of my Delta service experiences are top notch. But just saying that does not mean that I don’t occasionally look around. Recently, I experimented successfully (IMHO) with American in Atlanta. Then there are other little nuggets of opportunity….. like returning from Orlando after a quick summer getaway cruise. I spent this morning shopping for return flights as the flights down are already done and here’s what I found. Delta (MCO-ATL) Southwest (MCO-ATL) At some point, the miles and elite benefits matter a lot less than money in the bank. The lowest available Southwest…

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The Weekly Recap – May 24, 2015

Wishing you the best this Memorial Day weekend!!! Be sure to take some time to remember why we have a Memorial Day. Now, let’s take a look at the posts from last week at MJ on Travel. Silvercar – A Rental Experience that Doesn’t Suck A View I Did Not Love – Marriott Burbank My AAdvantage in Atlanta Experiment – The Conclusion Will AA Blow It’s AAdvantage? Back on Delta – Just to Lose My Comfort+ Seat Summer Travel Tips from MJ on Travel Stop Cruising? Not Blood Damn Likely! American Airlines First Class Dinner: LAX-ATL Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!! -MJ, May 24, 2015

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American Airlines First Class Dinner: LAX – ATL

I’m not sure any US airline gets as much attention on its catering as American. There are reasons for that, not the least of which is that American’s catering was historically a tiny bit better than the others. I caught a little heat for not finding as much fault with the famous beef dish last year as some others, aside from having too much gravy (goop? sauce?) and a slightly less than premium cut of meat. Knowing that American was implementing some improvements (undoing some of what it did) to catering beginning in May, I was excited to have a first class dinner flight booked recently on AA’s new nonstops from LAX to ATL. I had previously gotten to try some…

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Stop Cruising? Not Bloody Damn Likely!

Rene forwarded an interesting piece from Gizmodo on cruising. It’s catchy title? “Stop Going on Cruises.” Let’s start things off with a few choice quotes from the article. “Cruise ships are even worse than you think. ProPublica recently published a very alarming and downright dark interactive feature about health and safety on cruises. I’ll come right out and say it: Stop going on cruises. Don’t cruise. Don’t do it. As ProPublica’s Lena Groeger reports, “Almost every year, a child drowns in a cruise ship pool, most of which have no lifeguards.” Then there’s the 21-year-old college student who fell overboard at night and was never found. There’s always the chance of a deadly norovirus outbreak. One doctor, an infectious disease specialist, last year called for cruise ships…

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Summer Travel Tips from MJ on Travel

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer travel season….and also the time when I post my annual summer travel tips column. Enjoy your long weekend, but be sure to take a moment to reflect on why we have a Memorial Day! It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. What can I possibly be talking about? Summer travel season, of course! It’s the best because it’s summer, and it’s time to play. It’s the worst because that means the cherubs are all heading for the airport at the same time the rest of us are there, and it can challenge your patience…big time! Throw a thunderstorm or hurricane into the mix, and you’ve…

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Back on Delta – Just to Lose My Comfort+ Seat

I’m airborne as I type having just boarded my Delta flight. When I arrived at the gate, the agent was soliciting volunteers. I haven’t had the opportunity to volunteer in years, and I had plenty of time, so I figured, what the heck? The offer was $300 Delta Dollars in exchange for my seat and transportation to my destination a mere 2 hours later. I went for it. Boarding begins, and things are progressing. Very late in the boarding process the agent asks on the PA “Is MJ still in the boarding area?” I wave at him, and he says we’re probably gonna use your seat, just have a seat and we’ll call you up.” Of course, by this time,…

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Will AA Blow Its AAdvantage?

Gary’s post,  “American’s President Can’t Wait to Make Changes to the AAdvantage Program and to Copy Some Competitors,” set my mental wheels in motion. Let’s look at a key quote from the investor presentation. “…doing things like making changes to the frequent flyer program (emphasis mine) just aren’t feasible….” until they get the systems integration done. Later in the Q&A he reiterated the benefits of getting through systems integration as Gary quoted in his article. “…we would have loved to make some modifications to the frequent flyer program…” It might be informative to listen to the presentation yourself, and then think about it. I did not come away thinking that we were looking at an immediate cc of Delta’s program the minute…

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My AAdvantage in Atlanta Experiment – The Conclusion

I just completed my 10th segment on American Airlines in 4 weeks. Two of those segments were a reward redemption, ATL-LAX-ATL in first class, and the rest were random domestic flights to DFW, LAX, MIA and RDU to/from MIA. The Details My experiment with American was not some effort to leave Delta, it was a mix of circumstances that found me booking American for several segments in a short period of time, that is all. My travels were a mix of personal and business travel, and I requested upgrades on 7 of the 8 paid segments I took and processed a mileage upgrade for 1 segment. For the segment upgraded with miles, I stood by for an earlier flight putting my…

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A View I Did Not Love

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Surely, this would have been a good candidate for one of former BA blogger and hotel expert Barb Delollis’ “Worst View Ever” posts. I could not help but tweet that. To their credit, Marriott reached out, and I thanked them for the follow up, but given I was only sleeping there, I didn’t need any assistance….I just thought it was funny. For the record, that’s not sand, it’s just the color of the roof. Though the palm trees add a desert-like feel, I think. Perhaps that was the intent because the room never quite cooled down either. Along with the view I’ve never quite had before, I got something else I’d never had from a hotel upon checking in, admittedly…

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