How We Almost Got to Use British Airways Avios on United

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

British Airways parent IAG acquired Aer Lingus and the Irish carrier is expected to ultimately join oneworld and the transatlantic joint venture with BA, Iberia, Finnair and American.

Aer Lingus is a former member of oneworld — they left nine years ago to pursue a strategy as a low cost carrier. Since then they’ve built back their premium offerings. They have a good transatlantic business class, considering the short flights between Dublin, Shannon and the East Coast of the U.S. which are their bread and butter (though not exclusive) destinations.

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Are Rogue American Airlines Gate Agents Just Not Processing Upgrades?

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

An American Executive Platinum who is reconsidering keeping that status, shared his experience flying Los Angeles – London on American on Friday.

He checked in for his flight and was told there were 8 seats open in business class and he was second on the list. At the time the flight closed he was third on the list and no upgrades appeared to be processed at the gate.

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Traveller Talk: November 2016

Source: Lonely Planet

road trip

There’s nothing quite like cruising along America’s highways © Zack Frank / Shutterstock

From road trips to blood soup and must-see Polish museums, this month’s Thorn Tree community chat has certainly been a mixed bag. Here are the moderator’s top picks for November.

Not your average Xmas dinner

Fieldgate starts a thread on a less well-known winter celebration, Saint Martin’s Day (also known as the Feast of Saint Martin, Martinstag or Martinmas) which falls on 11 November. Fieldgate asks if the traditional Swedish dinner of goose-blood soup starter and goose-meat main are also eaten elsewhere, or whether alternatives exist. Lucapal says in ...

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New 60,000 Mile Credit Card Signup Bonus from Star Alliance Program LifeMiles Now Live

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

Over the summer word went out about a new Avianca LifeMiles credit card that would be coming, with a 60,000 mile signup bonus.

LifeMiles is a fantastic Star Alliance program and a 60,000 mile signup bonus will absolutely be worthwhile.

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5.5 Best Day Trips From Budapest

Source: Context Travel

Although we spend most of our time inside the city limits where we run most of our Budapest walking tours, we also frequently get requests for day trips and excursions outside of the city. We’ve rounded up our best ideas here, drawn from the historians, architects, journalists, and other smart people who run our tours, and come up with five (and a half) best day trips from Budapest.

Note, we happily organize custom private tours to any of the following.

Szentendre

Best day trips from Budapest #1: Szentendre
Photo by Ungarn Tourist.

Reachable in half an hour by train, the riverside town of Szentendre is a good ...

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JetBlue Sale: ’12 Days of Deals’ Starts Now With $20 Flights

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

Just when you thought the deep travel deals were over with the end of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, JetBlue Airways comes along with a surprise sale on travel and airfare that's set to last the next 12 days—it's the airline's own version of the "12 Days of Christmas." Starting today and lasting through December 16, JetBlue will announce limited-time offers daily at 1 p.m. EST, right around when you're heading to lunch—how thoughtful. Kicking off the airline's "December to Adventure" days are one-way flights for only $20. The deal is only valid on select routes for last-minute trips on ...

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France’s SNCF Wants to Build a Train Line Through Chanel’s Perfume Fields

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

Most women, at some point in their life, have spritzed themselves with Chanel No 5, but what they probably don’t realize is that every 30-milliliter bottle of the world’s most famous perfume contains no fewer than a dozen May roses and precisely 1,000 jasmine flowers. However, the storied scent (known for being Marilyn Monroe’s favorite) might not be around for much longer: The French fashion house issued a strongly worded letter to national high-speed rail company SNCF last week, stating it will have to close its legendary Grasse perfumery in the French Riviera if the company goes through with a ...

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Paris to Sell Pont des Arts Love Locks to Raise Money for Refugees

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

In 2015, Paris ended a longtime tradition of "love locks," where couples would write their names on locks and affix them to the Pont des Arts bridge near the Louvre as a symbol of their romance, often throwing the key into the Seine below. The act was popular with honeymooners, but locals weren't as fond of the locks, which weighed down the bridge to the point of endangering its structure. Altogether, city workers removed an estimated one million locks—65 tons' worth, including 20 tons from the nearby Pont de l'Archevêché alone.

Since then, the locks have been stashed ...

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There’s Snow in Hawaii, and We Have Photos to Prove It

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

December is normally a popular time for people in colder parts of the country to plan sun-soaked getaways in Hawaii. But not so much this year: Hilo, aka the Big Island, has been hit by a huge amount of snow—that's right, snow in Hawaii. More specifically? The volcanic peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa (each about 13,000 feet above sea level) have both gotten an unprecedented two feet of snow since Thursday, with more (potentially up to one foot) expected to come today. And it's not just snow that's causing the unusual weather conditions—along with massive rainfall ...

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SFO Airport Introduces LiLou, a Therapy Pig for Stressed Fliers

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

Traveling can be stressful—one needn't look further than lengthy TSA lines, meltdown-inducing delays, and overpriced tuna sandwiches to know just what we're talking about. In an attempt to help travelers quell some of that anxiety, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has today introduced their latest team member: a small, spotted Juliana pig named LiLou who is famous enough to already have her own Instagram account, thankyouverymuch.

LiLou is adorable, sure, but she's also making history. She's the first pig to be certified in the Animal Assisted Therapy Program of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of ...

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Quality Over Quantity: How India’s Lakshadweep Islands Overpromise

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

Not every travel destination lives up to the brochures. The Great Pyramid of Giza, for example, is an astounding human achievement and was the tallest structure on Earth for almost 4,000 years. But today, travelers with romantic dreams of Egypt might be disappointed to find that the Cairo suburbs now sprawl all the way out to the pyramids. There's literally a KFC and a Pizza Hut across the street from the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But no place lives up to its reputation less than the Lakshadweep Islands of India.

First things first: Lakshadweep ...

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What You Should Know Before Christmas Shopping on NYC’s Fifth Avenue

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

In the days following the November 8 U.S. presidential election, the already-thick crowds on Fifth Avenue—particularly between E. 56th and E. 57th streets, the site of Trump Tower—multiplied. Throngs of protesters, numbering in the thousands, marched from Columbus Circle and Union Square, converging on the skyscraper with loud chants and cardboard signs; several demonstrators scaled the light poles by the building, only to be warned off by the police.

It's hard to reconcile this gritty scene with the ritzy shops and hotels nearby—Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany's, the Plaza Hotel—that all about five blocks north of the ...

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Vacationing Americans Will Spend More Money on Facebook Than Checked Bags

Source: Conde Nast Traveler - The Daily Traveler

Today in sad Monday news: The idea of unplugging on vacation is starting to feel more and more like a pipedream every day. A new study by Travelex says that Americans keep using their cell phones while on holiday (surprise surprise), and they're prepared to spend the extra money to stay connected to the virtual world, regardless of the cost.

The research, which was carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Travelex, surveyed the vacation budgeting habits of 1,000 adults from the United States who have been on a trip abroad in the last five years. Turns out nearly half ...

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Big Bonus Transferring Hotel Points to Cathay Pacific

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

Cathay Pacific’s AsiaMiles is an American Express and Citi transfer partner. They’ll also be introducing a US credit card in a few months from a bank that doesn’t issue (and therefore conflict with) other frequent flyer cards and that will have a few really interesting features.

They’re also offering a 30% bonus converting hotel points to miles through December 31. You don’t get the bonus instantly, instead the extra 30% will post by March 31 (or sooner).

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Qatar Flight from DC Was Like Riding a Roller Coaster, Diverted to the Azores

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

Last night’s Qatar Airways flight from Washington Dulles to Doha hit massive turbulence. The flight diverted to the Azores, and another aircraft was dispatched from Doha to pick up passengers.

Many of the passengers onboard with unhappy with how things were handled on the ground, but it’s a difficult situation. Residents of India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia don’t have the flexibility that US citizens do.

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Drunk Passenger Swings and Misses at Flight Attendant After Being Accused of Smoking in the Lav

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

On Thursday a Belgian flying from Istanbul to Manchester stepped out of the lavatory on the flight. He had already had four gin and tonics. A flight attendant came over to him, and he asked for a fifth one. I can’t imagine the gin was that good.

She asked the man if he had been smoking in the lavatory. He said he hadn’t.

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Drunk Passenger Swings and Misses at Flight Attendant After Being Accused of Smoking in the Lav

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

On Thursday a Belgian flying from Istanbul to Manchester stepped out of the lavatory on the flight. He had already had four gin and tonics. A flight attendant came over to him, and he asked for a fifth one. I can’t imagine the gin was that good.

She asked the man if he had been smoking in the lavatory. He said he hadn’t.

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How Uber Tracks You and Mexican Airline Loses Dog and Doesn’t Tell Owners

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

A roundup of the most important stories of the day. I keep you up to date on the most interesting writings I find on other sites – the latest news and tips.

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American’s “Best Offer of the Year” on Purchased Miles

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

For Black Friday American offered to sell miles for as low as 1.77 cents, improving on the bonus they were already offering.

Of course, since December is the New Black Friday they’re running the same offer now through January 3.

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Earn 2.3 Amex Points Per Dollar Everywhere and 20,000 Bonus Points

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express is out with a new limited-time offer and I had to read over it a couple of times before realizing how good it is.

It’s a no annual fee card that lets you earn 10 points per dollar on restaurant spend during your first 6 months, and 2.3 points per dollar on all of your purchases the first year.

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Barclays Bank Has Opened Its First First Luxury Card Lounge

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

The ‘Luxury Card’ products are pretty good credit cards when considering only the benefits but with annual fees that are too high for their overall value proposition — at least in the U.S. and with current offerings. That could change.

They’re opening their own lounges. The first one is in Manhattan and more may follow.

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FARE Alert Europe From $366 Roundtrip

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

There’s a oneworld sale from Chicago that lets you book Stockholm, Sweden or Copenhagen, Denmark at crazy low prices. Travel on British Airways or Finnair.

Flash sales have become the new airline discount strategy in order to pick up incremental business from people that wouldn’t otherwise be flying — without leaving the fares around long enough to displace most of the trips airlines would otherwise sell. That’s great for flexible leisure travelers especially.

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FARE Alert Europe From $366 Roundtrip

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

There’s a oneworld sale from Chicago that lets you book Stockholm, Sweden or Copenhagen, Denmark at crazy low prices. Travel on British Airways or Finnair.

Flash sales have become the new airline discount strategy in order to pick up incremental business from people that wouldn’t otherwise be flying — without leaving the fares around long enough to displace most of the trips airlines would otherwise sell. That’s great for flexible leisure travelers especially.

Continue reading FARE Alert Europe From $366 Roundtrip

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Should Expiring Miles Be Illegal?

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

In Italy programs themselves are required to expire. But you can imagine laws going the opposite direction. However I don’t think expiring miles are all that unreasonable.

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Greatest Mistake Fare in History and is American Taking on SpaceX?

Source: Gary Leff - View from the Wing

A roundup of the most important stories of the day. I keep you up to date on the most interesting writings I find on other sites – the latest news and tips.

Continue reading Greatest Mistake Fare in History and is American Taking on SpaceX?

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