It’s almost February and we still have no travel plans for 2016! *gasp* The year started pretty slow for us – we have a few ideas of where we want to go, but haven’t booked anything. This is a little bit shocking to our friends and family who keep asking where we’re off to this year. By this time last year we had already snatched a great deal to Rio. With gas prices continuing to plummet, I expected that there would be a lot of cheap flights, especially to Asia. So, this morning when I found out that American Airlines was having a great sale on flights from major cities in the US to Asia with flexible dates, I tried to jump on it. Continue reading
If you’ve been following our blog for awhile, you may have noticed a trend. There is a running joke amongst our friends that we are a travel jinx. Basically, whereever we go, things tend to go sideways. For our flight to Rio, we were all packed and ready to go; we got to the airport, checked in our bags, and were ready to hit the beaches of Brazil. While we were in the lounge having a drink, Fausto’s phone started buzzing wildly. It was from American Airlines… which is never a good thing. Turns out our flight was cancelled and rescheduled for the next day. Even though there are other empty flights going to Brazil tonight, we are stuck here because they can not pull our luggage once it’s checked in. Apparently that’s the new policy. Continue reading
Flying is not glamorous. You usually have to get up at an ungodly hour, drag a week’s worth of belongings with you in a tiny box to a giant airport where you will have (at a minimum) one of your civil rights violated; you’ll then be forced to find your way around a byzantine terminal, before you are finally herded into lines only to be unceremoniously squeezed into a giant metal tube, strapped to a chair, and hurdled through the sky at 500 mph. It is, however, the price we all must pay in order to travel and go on vacation. There are few ways to make the experience better, the main one being an upgrade. When you’ve been upgraded, you’ll at least spend the last part of the ordeal strapped to a bigger chair, that in some cases even turns into a bed. You’ll certainly be fed, and provided a steady stream of [alcoholic] beverages. You’ll find room for your stuff, and the flight attendants will usually be more pleasant – reminding you that you are, after all, a human being. For the sake of being thorough, an upgrade entitles you to be seated in the next best cabin of service from the one in which you booked your ticket. If you booked coach, you’ll be seated in business; if you book business, you’ll be seated in first; and if you booked first, they will let you fly the plane! (not really) On international and transcontinental flights, upgrades also give you access to lounges, priority boarding, and additional baggage allowances. The goal of this post will be to discuss the main strategies for getting upgraded on flights booked with American Airlines (AA). This will require some level of status, since without it, there should be no expectation of an upgrade barring any extraordinary circumstances.
Just saw another deal to Asia, this time going from Toronto to Singapore. This one won’t last long and availability is pretty limited. Some flights can be booked as American Airlines codeshares (meaning: you can earn full AA elite qualifying miles as long as you book them with AA flight numbers). These flights go from Toronto through ORD (Chicago) or JFK (New York). Then you transfer onto Cathay Pacific all the way to Singapore. If you’ve never flown on Cathay Pacific, you don’t know what you’re missing! Other airlines like United and Delta are also matching these reduced rates. These fare war are great for us travelers. Continue reading
It’s that time of year again when people are looking to do their mileage run to build up their status for the following year. We did this last year by flying to Japan and South Korea on the Thanksgiving weekend. When you are doing something like this, you want to look for long flights, preferably to Asia or Africa with low airfares. Basically getting the most miles for your money. Continue reading