KLM changes St. Maarten Aircraft !! No more 747’s

airport beach insel air

 

Big fans of Maho Beach (Airport Beach in St. Maarten) are going to be disappointed that KLM is splitting the service to St. Maarten and Curacao and more shocking (but not surprising) is that they are replacing the 747-400 with an A330-200.  This is still a large jet but not as special as the 747 in my opinion.

This was reported by www.routesonline.com which is a great source for this sort of news. HT to Jim Liu for finding this.

KLM Splits Curacao   St. Maarten Service in W16    Routesonline

airport beach waiting for planes

Maho Beach patrons waiting for the 747. The highlight of trips to this beach for sure.

Hacking Citibank EMV chip card in France videos

So I’m online today confirming my new Citi Costco card and decided that I have no life and clicked on the EMV chip card videos.  The first one on train travel in France cracked me up. I was expecting (or maybe not expecting) them to show me some work around for the train kiosks since Citi fails to let you use Chip & Pin. Check it out. Pay close attention to how they give you the Hack to be able to buy train tickets, it’s awesome.

Citi Credit Card with EMV Chip Technology Citi.com

There are also 3 other videos that will teach you some other good travel hacks using your Citi card in France.

How to shop in France and confuse the shop keeper

Have a man show you how it’s done

How to impress two women with your “French” skills

Oh and my review of the new Costco Citi card that kicks in on 6-20-16. It’s awesome except it charges foreign service fees of 3% 😦

Of course the smart folks in the videos won’t fall for the Dynamic Currency Conversion I’m sure….

 

 

 

New American Airlines Elite Level

Welcome to Platinum Pro the new AA elite level. Funny how they mask this with the $$$ EQD requirements.

 

Platinum Pro

Elite status in 2017

New status level

In 2017 you can start earning toward a new level, Platinum Pro, with benefits like:

I’m sure the many other bloggers will beat this to death. Here is the link to see more.

Most likely the ability to use 500 mile coupons by Ex Plats for Award ticket upgrades may be the most interesting.

AAdvantage program updates   AAdvantage   American Airlines

Delta Status Match, Maybe…

If you hold status on another airline you can “try” this Delta Corporate status match link to get status with Delta for 3 months plus the challenge to keep it beyond. On top of that if you complete the challenge you get 10,000 miles or Skypesos.  Beware your miles may vary. The biggest hurtle is that you have to enter your corporate email address. If you work for a large corporation this “may” work for you but no promises. Don’t come kill the messenger.

delta capture

Good luck.

My attempt to get the other 10k SPG points from AMEX

I recently got the SPG Amex card with the 25,000 bonus points. They are now offering 35,000 SPG points. I used the Amex live chat feature to see if they would pony up the other 10,000 points or would call my bluff on canceling my card. Here is what happened

amex chat 1

Amex chat 2

amex chat 3

Amex chat 5Amex chat 4

Oh well. I’ve never had good luck with American Express. I guess I need to keep my business with Citi, Chase and BofA who treat me way better.

It’s been a fun ride so far, Hang in there.

I think we may be on the downhill side of the golden age of mile hacking or whatever you like to call it. The credit cards are getting tougher on sign up bonuses. The airlines and hotels are devaluing the awards and making them more restrictive. There seem to be less and less free miles out there. You know those “follow us on twitter” and get 500 miles, etc. #repeatandchurn.

My favorite deal in the past was the US Airways Grand Slam events. It’s how I got started in “the game”. I miss it soooooo much. Sure earning the miles was the goal but it was like a worldwide scavenger hunt to figure out how to rent a car for 5 minutes for like $15 to get a hit or how to buy that $2 cat collar on skymall when you don’t own a cat. It was just fun. I really thanks Mommypoints for turning me on to that fun time.

I think the miles and points world is changing. It had to. Technology is catching up to the error fare deals, OTA’s and app-o-rama’s. The bright spot left is maybe just doing old fashion mileage runs. Not because they are a good deal for the miles you earn but because they help you earn status and miles and go places you want to go. We’ve become addicted to the travel in nice seats. Now it’s about how to keep traveling. Sure we’ll get a few drive-by deals and I pity the poorly organized promo’s that we will be sure to exploit. But it’s like a rolling or flying party. We have our own rock stars (Gary, Seth, Summer and many others) and we all seem to want to fly to exotic locations in big front seats.

I’ve earned and burned over 1,000,000 AA miles in the past few years but only 100k or so are EQM’s and sitting on a lowly Gold status. Maybe I’m going about it the wrong way…Stay tuned.

(Flying in First on AA 77W DFW-HKG (for free)).

20150623_123446

Check Your Passport Expiration

Many folks applied for USA passports in 2006 due to new requirements. There is also a surge in new applications ahead of the 2018 Real ID Act requirements so fast forward to 2016 and guess what? That flood of new passports in 2006 are expiring and a bunch of new applications is making it a busy time at the U.S. Passport office.  They are urging individuals with passports expiring to renew them now. Renewals will likely take 6 weeks or more.  Also if you are planning travel out of the country remember that you typically need at least 6 months of validity on your passport before you are allowed to travel to most places.

Here is link for more information: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/information/where-to-apply/agencies.html

 

The $20 Million First Class (AKA: Real Travel)

So it’s common to see websites or news articles that talk about how cool it is to fly in some Middle Eastern Airline First Class cabin or how to get upgraded to lay flat seats.

777-gallery15

How about the blog posts about some “celebrity” that gets into a fight on a plane. Well “REAL” celebrities don’t travel like that. They fork up millions to own and operate their own private jet.

Just check out this link Jackie Chan’s new ride: Embraer  Legacy 500. It is sweet. Sure it’s $20mil but it’s worth it if you can afford it.

Jackie Chan s Embraer Legacy 500 jet   Business Insider