Showing posts from September, 2016

500 Free Virgin Elevate points just for signing up for their newsletter

If you sign up for Virgin's hotel email newsletter, you get 500 free Elevate points. While it's not a lot, I did it mainly to "refresh" my account and reset the point expiration date for the rest of my points in there. (I'm not flying them much these days since JetBlue Mint launched). Alaska (their new owner) needs to refresh the cabins in their transcontinental planes and bring them up to speed with their competition.

Offer expires September 30th.

Australian airlines ban Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The big news today is that Jetstar, Qantas, and Virgin Australia have all banned the Note 7 on their flights due it's exploding batteries. Samsung's hokey way of handling the recall itself can't be helping matters. Hopefully none of them have trips to Australia planned anytime soon.

Sadly, a child in Brooklyn was hospitalized this weekend by his exploding Note 7.

UPDATE 4 (19 Oct):It's now a federal crime in the USA to bring one on a plane. 

UPDATE 3 (14 Oct): Now the airlines are stocking fireproof bags to contain them, and Samsung has discontinued the phone altogether.

UPDATE 2 (5 Oct): Looks like even the replacement versions of the Note 7 are blowing up. Southwest airlines had one catch fire today before takeoff.

UPDATE 1: The Consumer Product Safety Commission has urged all owners to power them down, stop charging them, and await a proper recall.

JetBlue Mint "Secret Menu"

I'm a big fan of JetBlue Mint. I've posted about it quite a few times. To quote myself:
I love how JetBlue absolutely hit the correct note with their Saxon + Parole menu in Mint. People flying in Business Class on the JFK/LAX/SFO aren't likely to get excited about the standard "Beef, Chicken, or Pasta" offering, yet the big 3 legacy carriers keep serving midwestern cafeteria food on fine china to people who have much more sophisticated palettes. Well I suppose it's no surprise that not everyone likes interesting food, but I only just learned that JetBlue has a "secret menu" (called "Plane Eats") for the picky eaters among us.

From everything I've read you need to pre-arrange this at least 48 hours before your flight. (Click here and scroll down to Special Meal Menus). A direct link to the menu is here. There are other options there as well: Low cal, Vegan, Kosher, and Gluten-Free.

British Airways is reducing service on their JFK - LCY London City route

We're big fans of British Airways' all-Business Class A318 flight between JFK and London City Airport. Sad news last week that they're cutting the frequency of this flight in half. People are speculating that it's because of Brexit-related concerns, but no one has shown any proof of that. I'm guessing this is going to make finding a reward seat even harder. Our trip report is here.

Instagram removed the map feature!

😥 sigh. Instagram is cutting the feature I've been using for the past couple years to build my food map. What a waste of my time and energy.

My new Chase Reserve card came!

The Sapphire Reserve is the big sister to the Sapphire Preferred (which I already have). I think it might be the most hyped/blogged-about card of all time. Like it's so hyped that they've run out of metal cards and are issuing temporary plastic ones.

 I don't need to go over the details, but a couple of things made me decide it was worth the $450 annual fee:

The $300 annual travel reimbursement is actually easy to use – none of this ridiculous "pick one airline on January first where you could earn this credit, and no changes until next year" stuff that Amex does. So it's effectively $150 a year vs. $95 for my Sapphire Preferred3 points per dollar on dining and travel. Since those are two of my biggest categories of spending, it's a no-brainer. Chase's Ultimate Rewards points have had a short-but-useful list of transfer partners but they recently added Flying Blue too – so now KLM and AirFrance are onboard.If I'm stuck on a long layover on an Econ…

Trip Report: British Airways Business Class New York Kennedy to London Heathrow (JFK-LHR)

This trip was JFK – LHR in business and then LHR – JFK in First. This itinerary cost us 65,000 Avios + $1150 per person, round trip. I used our last Travel Together certificate to halve the number of miles from 130,000. (How I did it)
This is such a busy and well-documented flight that I'm only going to post a couple of quick notes. 
On the 747, BA's "Club World" Business Class cabin is split between the upper and lower decks. Most of the New York - London flights are overnight so we opted to sit upstairs because the small cabin (only 20 seats!) up there is much quieter and less trafficked than the downstairs which makes it easier to sleep. BA makes you pay to choose your seat in advance, even in full-fare Business Class so we decided to spend the money to make sure we were sitting up top. Seat selection is free once check-in opens up (24 hours before departure), so you could risk it and try to snag a seat upstairs by checking in right at the 24 hour mark...
These o…