Showing posts from March, 2014

NEWS: the Alaska Airlines / Delta war continues...

Delta and Alaska Airlines have been partners for years. Alaska's huge west coast route network fed into Delta's huge international and transcontinental network out of Seattle. They each honor the other's elite status and you could earn miles on one for flying on the other.

Earlier this year, though, things started to go sour, and it's pretty clear Delta is bullying Alaska into allowing themselves to be bought up by their former partner. While this drama unfolds, it's probably a great time to find cheap fares and lots of bonus point opportunities on routes where they're competing (pretty much Seattle to anywhere in the western US and DC/NYC).


NEWS: Virgin America announces it's profitable!

Virgin is probably my favorite low-cost carrier. When they launched, they brought seat-back entertainment to every seat in coach, offered seat-to-seat chat, video games, mood lighting, hip design, and the ability to order drinks and food from your seat with the swipe of a credit card. They also brought a fun and hip attitude to travel that's been long gone from the perpetually-beleaguered legacy carriers for decades.

There were a lot of roadblocks to their success: their small route network, lack of partner airlines (even the other Virgin brands use a different point scheme and they don't coordinate their flights), the US legacy carriers challenging their legal status, and the fact that they launched right at the beginning of a huge economic downturn. Many of the naysayers cited their massive quarterly losses as proof that they wouldn't survive and that they wouldn't fly them because their points and status would vanish when the inevitable bankruptcy h…

20 Things I learned being an AirBnB host

If you travel a lot, you might end up wanting to rent out your apartment on AirBnB or a similar service. I listed my old apartment because I'm stuck in a lease the landlord won't let me out of. I thought I'd share a few things I've learned hosting in a big, American, tourist-heavy town.

COVER YOUR ASS! Let's get this out of the way right at the start -- AirBnB very carefully dances around the legality of their service and puts the onus on YOU to be in compliance with the law. In their quest to "disrupt" the hotel industry, you're the front line infantry. Renting out your room could get you evicted, prosecuted by local authorities, and it might also make your neighbors hate you. And AirBnB isn't going to come to your aid when any of this happens. If anything, they might even rat you out to the authorities in a plea bargain-style deal. Read up on the law and your lease and make sure you don't end up screwing yourself over.