What Next for Airlines, and For Us?

air fares, airline industry

You are not going to read a lot from me on the latest revelation that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the airlines for possible collusion on pricing. While I do have a strong opinion on that, suffice it to say that I think the DOJ has a difficult case to prove, the issue itself flies just close enough to my day job orbit that I’m going to refrain from a great deal of pontification. I will say that it makes for an interesting headline, but it is likely to be years before anything comes of it, if ever. There’s no real need dwell on it at the moment. I’ll also repeat a quote from a piece I wrote…

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AA First Class Lunch: ORD-PDX

aa first class lunch, arugula salad

I know I’ve been writing about American a lot lately, but I’ve experienced an increase in flying on American through a confluence of events. Based on the stats, readers like seeing what’s on the menu, and since I’m on a lunch flight, I thought I’d post. MrsMJ and I are making our way to PDX for the weekend. We had a late start out of Atlanta, but were able to run for our connection and make it with minutes to spare. I haven’t boarded a flight when everyone else was on in a long time, so I guess I needed the practice! But on to the show. I pre-ordered today’s lunch which was a lemon thyme chicken served with a quinoa arugula…

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75,000 AAdvantage Miles – Citi Executive Card

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After way too much dithering, I jumped on the 100,000 mile Citi AAdvantage Executive offer last year. I’m so glad I did, and it’s not just about the miles – more on that in a minute. The top of the line Citi AAdvantage card is now offering a 75,000 mile bonus when you spend $7,500 in the first 3 months. Not quite 100,000, but respectable nonetheless. The annual fee remains at $450. There’s another difference in this offer and some that have existed previously as Miles to Memories pointed out earlier. The bonus miles are not available if you’ve had a Citi AAdvantage Executive card opened or closed in the past 18 months. This knocks out those of us who played…

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Where Have All the Cruise Deals Gone?

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I have endeavored to write a post known as “The Weekly Cruise Deal” for some time now. While I’m still committed to posting about deals from all the cruise lines when I see them, I’m certain you’ve noticed that I’m posting a good bit less than weekly. That’s not from a lack of desire, it’s from a lack of what I consider to be good cruise deals. What happened? There are a few forces at work here, and they aren’t all that different than those in the airline industry. The economy is expanding, unemployment is slowly going down, and people are feeling confident enough to take a vacation leading to increased demand for cruises. Combine that with a bit of…

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Up to 50 Percent More Rapid Rewards Points

southwest airlines, atlanta, rapid rewards, companion pass

As I’ve been flying Southwest a bit more, I’ve found myself paying more attention to the various marketing emails I receive from them. While I’m sure this isn’t the first offer to buy points I’ve received from them, it is the first one I really noticed. I haven’t purchased points since back in the Dividend Miles heyday, and I don’t have any plans to purchase any now. My advice is always the same, only buy points if you just need a few to top off for an award. Now, if only they counted towards Companion Pass status. However, if you need a few points, might as well pick up some bonus points too. Click here for more details. This offer…

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The Weekly Recap – June 28, 2015

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Hard to believe that the last weekend of June is here and 2015 is nearly half over! It was a busy week on the road for me, and it’s good to be home. MrsMJ and I will be back in the air very soon though. This time – American Airlines to Portland. I nabbed some saver award availability and we are off to see some family for the holiday weekend. In the meantime, here’s a look at last week’s posts here at MJ on Travel. Reminder – 5,000 Bonus Points from Hilton My AAmazing Upgrade Percentage Continues AAdvantage Upgrade Success – A Reader Comments AA First Class Lunch: DFW – DCA First PreCheck Fail in Years Actually Wasn’t Nine Lives…

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Hotel Review – Lorien Hotel and Spa Alexandria VA

Lorien Hotel & Spa, Reviews, Kimpton

My Kimpton experiment continued this week with stays in Dallas and Alexandria. Indeed, I have a queue of hotel reviews to post, but the Lorien Hotel & Spa, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is first up. This was a 1-night business stay, booked on short notice after a change in travel plans. While I typically prefer to stay “in the district” on business trips to DC, I jumped at the chance to book the Lorien when it was available for a few reasons. First, it’s a Kimpton. Second, it’s a very short walk to Metro for easy access to the city. Finally, I have always been fond of Old Town Alexandria. Case closed – The Lorien it was. Check In…

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Nine Lives Lost in Cruise Excursion Plane Crash

Sad news this morning from Alaska. Eight passengers and a pilot on an airborne shore excursion near Ketchikan, Alaska lost their lives Thursday. The passengers were from Holland America’s Westerdam, which was on a 7-day Alaskan cruise from Seattle. Details are sketchy at the moment, the NTSB has launched a go team to investigate. A remarkably sad and tragic event. NBC News has a few more details in this video.

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First PreCheck Fail in Years Actually Wasn’t

tsa precheck, precheck fail, southwest airlines

Last night, I dutifully checked in for today’s Southwest Airlines flight home. Of course, I checked in at 23 hours and 53 minutes before my flight so I was assigned boarding group number B20, but that’s OK with me. What wasn’t OK? My electronic boarding pass was missing something that looks like this. Yes, I know one can be “randomized” out. Yes, I know it’s not guaranteed, even if you are a “known traveler.” But the truth is that I have missed one time in all the flights I’ve taken since signing up for Global Entry, and I’m convinced that had more to do with United’s creaky IT than any real “random” out. The Story When traveling on company business, our…

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AA First Class Lunch: DFW – DCA

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American Airlines is taking real steps to undo some of the catering damage done when it “merged” meal policies with US Airways last September. I understand that a lot of good things are in store for July 1 and later, but what about now? I’ve posted about some of the catering tweaks I’ve sampled during my AAdvantage in Atlanta experiment. Recently, I sampled dinner on the LAX-ATL run, which was mostly like other meals I’ve had. Today, was my first opportunity to try the recently resurrected lunch salads, and I have to say, I was happy. I pre-ordered the “grilled beef served over chilled salad” several days before the flight.   I’d heard positive comments from fellow travelers, so I…

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