SS United States Will Not Return to Sea

ss united states, crystal cruises, #ssusfullahead

In February, Crystal Cruises disclosed that it was exploring the possibility of restoring the iconic oceanliner, SS United States, to seagoing service. Crystal undertook an extensive technical feasibility study to ascertain whether or not the ship could be brought into compliance with current regulatory requirements and start sailing regular cruises again. After a 6-month study, the company determined that the investments needed to modernize the ship were not commercially viable. According to a press release from the SS United States Conservancy “Following an intensive, six-month evaluation, Crystal Cruises today determined that while the SS United States is structurally sound, the technical and commercial challenges associated with returning the historic liner to service as a modern cruise ship have unfortunately proven insurmountable. As a…

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American Commits to Charlotte

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I was always entertained at all the predictions about American’s Charlotte hub “going away” once AA and US were fully integrated. I mean….the original AA couldn’t make it in Raleigh, so Charlotte had to go, right? Not really. Many armchair CEOs liked to hang their hat on a little nugget of information – Raleigh produces more “local” traffic than Charlotte….or at least it has, even though Charlotte’s metro area is larger. There are a few reasons for that little anomaly, in my opinion, that I won’t get into here. For sure, the nature of the CLT hub has changed within a larger AA network, but I never thought the hub was going away. So, did American make some proclamation about…

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10 Years, 2735 Posts, Immeasurable Memories

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Ten years ago Wednesday, I wrote my first blog post. Some 2,734 posts would follow that one. Daily page views have ranged from 1 to over 6,000. Not surprisingly, I suppose, my most read topics have been cruise reviews, cruise line drink packages (what does that say about me? 🙂 ), Delta Air Lines, SkyMiles, and my overall thoughts on the new loyalty paradigm….not necessarily in that order, and not always popular. I’ve been posting less lately, and that’s no one’s fault but my own. Blogging is not a career for me, and my actual job is taking increasing amounts of my time. Unfortunately, that’s probably not going to change in the next month or so. I have a few thoughts to…

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Two FREE Uber Rides for Hotel Stays

Image courtesy of Uber

Uber and Booking.com are out with an interesting promotion. According to the email I received, book a hotel stay with Booking.com and you’ll receive two promotion codes good for free rides up to $15 in value. Not a bad deal if you plan on booking a hotel anyway. The offer is valid once per customer and the hotel stay must be completed by October 31, 2016. After your stay, Booking.com will send the promotion codes to you via email, with their exact value to be detailed in the email. Rides need to be completed by December 31, 2016. It is not clear to me whether this offer is targeted or not so YMMV. Review the full terms and conditions of the deal here. Follow this link to…

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Royal Caribbean Discounting Beverage Packages

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I’ve blogged on the virtues of cruise line drink packages before. While they are very much a YMMV situation depending on your habits, they are worth a few minutes of consideration in your cruise vacation planning. At best, they really can save you money. At worst, you know most of the cost of your cruise in advance and don’t have to worry about blowing your budget. Royal Caribbean is running a promotion right now the offers 20 percent off the cost of your beverage package. I can’t guarantee it is available on every sailing, but reports are widespread that if you log into royalcaribbean.com and enter your “Cruise Planner” to shop for the packages, you’ll see the promotion. I did…

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My First CLEAR Experience in Years

clear reviews

As I wrote a while ago, Delta has partnered with CLEAR to enhance the security experience for its customers. I was a member of the original CLEAR a few years ago. With their recent appearance at one of my most frequented airports, DCA, I decided to re-up my membership, especially with discounts for Delta’s frequent flyer members. As it turns out, I had 3 months remaining on my previous membership, and CLEAR gave me 3 months free. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to give the new CLEAR a try since they recently opened at DCA. The verdict: I liked it a lot. I was departing DCA and the CLEAR kiosks are conveniently located adjacent to the TSA PreCheck lane on…

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JetBlue to Europe? Yes Please

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First, we learned JetBlue was seeking to return to Atlanta in 2017. That’s great news for Atlanta travelers. But now, there some really big news from JetBlue’s Q2 earnings call today. First, JetBlue is expanding its popular Mint product by taking delivery of more A321s equipped with Mint cabins. According to JetBlue, “JetBlue will take delivery of incremental aircraft over seven years. Specifically, Airbus is scheduled to deliver 15 incremental A321ceos (current engine option) starting in 2017, with five Mint deliveries expected in 2017 and the intention for most incremental deliveries in the following years to come in Mint. Further, JetBlue expects to take delivery of 15 incremental A321neos (new engine option) starting in 2020. The amendment provides flexibility to…

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Delta Partnering with PANYNJ on LGA Redevelopment

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More news from Delta Air Lines today on significant investments in terminal facilities to improve the passenger experience. Delta is partnering with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to replace its LaGuardia terminals with a brand new state of the art facility. The project is part of a 50-year lease agreement that Delta is negotiating with PANYNJ. The new terminal will feature a brand new Sky Club, with Sky Deck, with more spacious concourses, larger gate areas with more seating, and increased concessions. The terminal will include 37 gates across 4 concourses with a centralized check-in area and security checkpoint. According to Delta, the majority of gates will have access to dual taxi lanes, which will greatly improve…

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A Tale of Two Airlines: AA and DL

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I recently completed a roundtrip flight to Dallas/Fort Worth from Atlanta. I thought it would be fun to fly American since I was going to visit a buddy I worked with there. Not to mention, another friend was flying in on American and it would be convenient to link up for transportation to the hotel. As it turns out, my best shot at upgraded travel was flying American to DFW and Delta home. I also thought it would make for a fun blog post – comparing the two experiences. American: ATL to DFW I arrived at the airport way early, and as luck would have it, PreCheck was in great shape and I cleared in exactly 4 minutes. Off to…

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Breaking: Delta Global Upgrade Certs Now Valid on Virgin

Delta SkyMiles Medallion global upgrade certificates are now valid on Virgin Atlantic flights marketed by Delta. Per Delta.com,  global upgrades are now valid on all Delta marketed Virgin Atlantic flights worldwide. “Valid on Delta-marketed, Virgin Atlantic-operated flights for use globally on published Economy Cabin fares booked in W, Y, B, M, S, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X or V class to Upper Class.” I will update this post with links as soon as I’m near a computer, but check out the terms and conditions for GPUs on Delta.com. Good move by Delta!  

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