JetBlue finally refreshing their old A320s: the good news and the bad news.

Everyone loves JetBlue's new Mint planes, but, as I've complained about in the past, their old A320s are looking a little long in the tooth. Well, they just announced the details of their coming refreshed interiors.

The good news
the seatback in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen is getting a lot bigger and HDthey're installing their Fly-Fi free high-speed Wi-Fi  the IFE now supports multiple languages for audio tracksthe IFE also has support for streaming video contentall seats will have power and USB ports
The bad news
Regular economy seats are losing 2 full inches of seat pitch (though the slimmer seat materials might mitigate that a bit)Those slimmer seats will likely be less comfortable than the previous onesGalleys and lavatories are being moved so they can add 12 more seats to each plane
My thoughts
The new 32" seat pitch will still let them claim "most legroom in coach" but their big differentiator of "our Economy seats have as much pitch as United/D…

Mother's Day triple-dip

I'm trying to stay ahead of schedule on things right now given how busy May is going to be. To that end, I just ordered a nice bouquet of flowers in a silver vase for my mom for Mother's Day. She and my dad live in an RV so ephemeral gifts are essential given their limited living space.

I did some checking for Amex Offers and found one:
I also looked at to see if there were some additional points I could earn from a shopping portal bonus. Lo and behold, United's portal is offering 25 points per dollar. Furthermore, United's spring promotion has point bonuses that will stack on top of this if you meet the cumulative spending thresholds.

After going through the checkout process I realized that you have to use a promo code to get the points, and the promo code is mutually exclusive with Shoprunner free shipping. Hmm. Math time. Do I want 1500 points ($60 x 25 per dollar) or do I want to pay $14.99 for shipping? Since I know exactly which reward I'm goin…

Upgrading to JetBlue Even More Space for ≈$14

I was looking over our JetBlue statement the other day and was surprised to see that my husband's points upgrade from Economy to Even More Space (EMS) qualified for the JetBlue Mastercard's 10% rebate. (FYI, his work only pays for Business Class on transcontinental flights when it's a red-eye into a workday). This means he's upgrading for 990 points or just under $14 at a 1.4¢ valuation.

More importantly, when I was discussing this with other Mosaic members online, many of them pointed out that gate agents will often give Mosaic members a complimentary upgrade to Even More Space if there are seats available. I know some folks have complained that free EMS upgrades should be an official benefit of Mosaic, but honestly I prefer it this way. JetBlue's seats already have decent legroom, so few people pay to upgrade. This means I get a much more valuable perk – an empty middle seat next to me.

Not April Fools: Airbus creating cargo hold sleeping berths

I'd seen this on a few sites and honestly just assumed it was lingering re-shares of an April Fool's joke. Apparently Airbus is looking at replacing some of the cargo hold modules with sleeping berths. The A330 will be the first to get them, since it already has a staircase going down to the crew rest area. The one big downer here is that the ceiling height in the proposed module is 5'4" (162 cm). Hopefully the ceiling will be padded!
.@Airbus and @ZodiacAerospace enter into a partnership for new lower-deck sleeping facilities 🛌 — Safran (@SAFRAN) April 10, 2018 There's lots more info and pictures over at TPG, but if they can manage to get this past all of the various safety agencies, it might make for some interesting new options. I wouldn't mind an Economy seat on a long flight if, for example, I had a 6 hour nap downstairs in the middle of it. But it does raise a few questions:
What's the story with …

Heads-up: report of SPG program changes coming April 16th

(Last update 9 April 2018)

According to a couple of sources, the coming details of the merged Starwood + Marriot points plan are being announced on April 16th. Lucky is reporting that some phone reps are saying the current Starwood-to-airline mile transfers will end that day.

In recent years, airlines and credit cards have been providing ever less notice for big changes like this, so it wouldn't surprise me if this were true. One way or the other I'm going to make a plan for where to transfer my Starwood points and move 'em quick if I get word that the changes are negative (and I'd guess there's a 99% chance that they will be). I'm not much of a hotel person, so I wouldn't consider keeping the points to use for hotel rooms.

They have a long list of transfer partners, but it's a tough call… Here's my current thinking (I'll update this page as I learn more):
YesInitially, Alaska was my top pick. They've got some great, unique partnerships an…

JetBlue's Lion King on Broadway party for Mosaic members

As I mentioned earlier, JetBlue has a new-to-us perk for it's Mosaic elites with their co-branded Mastercard – VIP tickets to the Lion King on Broadway. As a properly jaded New Yorker I'll admit I was a bit dubious about what "VIP" meant, but we had Saturday afternoon open and figured we'd check it out. Given my age and the fact that I don't have children, I'd actually never seen the Lion King before. A friend who works on Broadway told me that the amazing puppetry and costumes  made it definitely worth checking out.

We booked our date online and paid the $50 deposit (which is refunded to you as a Mastercard gift card at the show). When we arrived at the theater, there was a separate entrance for JetBlue ticket-holders which let us bypass all of the lines. The welcome envelope included a generous stack of drink tickets.

Our seats were on the main floor, maybe a dozen rows from the stage. The VIP tickets included a Q&A with some of the cast members af…

Getting home from Jordan

We aren't normally the type of travelers who do whirlwind trips, but given that my husband is basically getting one week off between January and Thanksgiving 😡 we're going to, uh, "whirl" a bit with this upcoming trip. We scored those sub-$2000 tickets from NYC to Frankfurt, we're taking a cheap Lufthansa flight from there to Poland for our friend's 50th, then we're taking Wizzair direct to Tel-Aviv. Once we started looking into the top sights in the area, I realized how close we'd be to Petra so we decided this is the time to cross that off the bucket list.

Petra is happening at the tail end of our trip, so we have to find a way back to Frankfurt to connect to our flight home. There are only three border crossing points between Israel and Jordan, and crossing the border is not a trivial matter. The bus ride to Amman from Petra is 4-ish hours long. So I started poking around looking for other options and lo and behold there's a well-timed Royal J…