Quick Photo Share of Holiday Inn Express Norman Oklahoma

20171002_170004

Lobby area20171002_165950_HDR

Fitness room. Not bad. Newer equipment.20171002_165933_HDR

Standard but welcome Keurig and K-cups supplied daily at most HIX which I love. 20171002_162905

Decent work area and TV. I always wish the TV’s could be bigger in most hotels. 20171002_162842

Nice beds at this hotel. Updated decor is pleasant and calming at this hotel I think. 20171002_162835_HDR

Nice clean hotel spotless bathrooms.20171002_162826holiday inn norman ok

Photo Review -Holiday Inn IAH George W Bush Airport

Newer but typical Holiday Inn design. Features airport shuttle, restaurant, bar and outdoor pool. Free parking for hotel guests.

Fitness center

Lobby

Lobby

View to South from room. Shell gas station nearby is handy as not much in this area just East of the airport. Industrial park area mostly. No other restaurants nearby.

Showers and not tubs which is good to me.

Not a bad hotel. Close to rental car center and airport, couple miles East of terminal. Too far to walk but short ride.

Staff was friendly. No free breakfast, even as Spire Ambassador.

Photo review of Holiday Inn Express – Woodward Oklahoma

Fairly typical layout. Small town HIX but well located. Several restaurants and a Wal-Mart next door.

Decent beds and pillows. Clean.

Decent workspace although not all the ovehead lights connected on the furniture like other HIX of this style.

This is an older hotel but with remodeled rooms and door slamming oilfield workers.

Typical HIX breakfast.

Main lobby room.

Indoor pool. Sorry I didny get a photo of the fitness center but it featured a sauna as well.

Overall not bad. Limited choices in this area so I’d stay here again.

Quick review of Residence Inn downtown San Antonio

Not my best photo effort but a few to show this typical Residence Inn.

Outdoor play area.

Nice pool area. This hotel has a great staff. Everyone was very friendly.

Outside grounds. Well located about a half mile SW of the Riverwalk. Close to groceries and some restaurants. Easy to the Interstate as well.

Good work space.

This was an end room on the second floor. Typical older model layout. Everthing was spotless. Not bad. I would stay here again but did find the internet speed a bit lacking for the standard speed offered.

Quick photo review of Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport in Texas GRK

Small airport but easy to get to and simple parking layout. Signage could be improved but you’ll figure it out.

Entrance drive.

Signage

First floor entrance.

Main hall.

Main check-in area on first floor. Spotless and new.

As you can see not a ton of flights but better than you’d expect. The only odd thing about this airport for me is that they don’t allow passengers through security until just before boarding times. So I arrived about 8:30am for a flight boarding at 10:05am but couldn’t go through security until 9am. This would be Ok but I was trying to get some work done on my laptop so I set up in the cafeteria type area and then had to shut down to go through security.

Cafeteria style area outside security. Like a bullpen. Airside gate area was about as big but without tables.

Old style jet bridges altough the longer gate 1 has a newer glass jet bridge.

Major feature for most food choices here in and out of security.

View from tarmac.

American Airlines Playing Games With Award Availability on Non-Stop Flights?

This isn’t an exact science but my theory says that AA plays games with award space to keep it’s loyal customers from booking the best non-stop routes with miles. So say you want to book an award flight from the USA to Europe. We’ll pick DFW to Madrid for an example. So I’m searching 11 months out for my example:

DFW-MAD

I’m thrilled because I found an actual non-BA flight with awards space for 2 passengers!

dfwmad

Now this is not bad but I don’t actually live in DFW so I’m willing to stage from my non-hub to other hubs like say Chicago ORD. Since I’d rather not have an extra leg I just want the ORD-MAD flight. It’s available as part of this booking, right?

Think again here is the ORD-MAD non-BA selections for this same date:

ORDMAD

Gosh that’s weird. Why isn’t that same non-stop Iberia flight available? Oh well it looks like I can just stage to JFK and pick one of the TWO Iberia flights for that date. Not as close for me and I’ll likely need to trek from LGA to JFK but it should work OK. At least I can save that extra leg from ORD, right?

jfkmad

Well think again. I’d have to fly to Boston I guess. Boston is not an easy connection for me but hey at least that one is available. Maybe I managed to corner AA enough into Boston? To me this is silly. It’s either a poor system that doesn’t work well OR….done intentionally to keep you from booking the best flights on awards for some odd reason.

bosmad

$99 flights to Europe from USA Sept 2017 to about August 2018

WOW air

 

You’ll have to watch the nickle and dime but cheap flights from many US cities to Europe from only $99 one-way.
Also works in reverse (from about €124 one-way).

DEPART:
Pittsburgh, Boston,San Francisco,Chicago,Washington DC,Miami,New York,Detroit,St. Louis,Cleveland,Cincinnati,Los Angeles but check schedules as your airport choice could vary. The $99 lowest fare dates are very limited but some are out there.

Fly to (depending on airports used):
Brussels, Belgium
Reykjavik, Iceland
Copenhagen, Denmark
Dublin, Ireland
Milan, Italy
London, UK
Frankfurt/Berlin, Germany
Tel Aviv, Israel

Book at: Wow Air
Availability from September 2017 to August 2018

Save the comments about how bad low cost carriers are, etc. Wow is no free lunch or joyride but it can get you to Europe for $99 plus add on fees. It doesn’t get much cheaper for that. Think Greyhound not Emirates First people.

Delta Wants Elites to “USE” Miles Up

In a weak effort to try and hold onto elites… Delta is encouraging them to use up their Sky Pesos on upgrades. Actually the idea isn’t that bad on the surface. I actually find it weird that airlines don’t offer elites first pick up paying for upgrades. In my experience it seems random.

They don’t want you to “save them forever” although that’s what you need to do with Delta Sky Pesos to earn any decent reward travel. It’s a fun game to see if you can save them faster than Delta can devalue them. They have devalued award ticket redemption’s so much that all they have left are moves like this to try and hold onto elites that are hub captive in places like MSP or SLC.  It might work for some that don’t care about the value of said miles or have so many they’ll never use them all and don’t care about award redemption’s.

Sad

#skypesos

See the USA Today article link below for more about this story if you can stand reading USA Today for a couple minutes. It might even be non-Fakenews which can be hard to find in that free news flyer we often find on hotel hallway floors 🙂

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/07/13/delta-tinkers-frequent-flier-miles-currency-more-seats/475642001/