Weekly Review: December 9, 2017

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Hello from Mexico City! After spending a few days on Easter Island, we’re now spending some time in Mexico City, which is my first time actually visiting the city in over a decade. We’re having a great time, and the food has been outstanding. This really must be the best food city in the world. Nom nom nom.

On the points & travel front, this week we learned that Alaska and Air France-KLM are cutting ties, Lufthansa won a Skytrax 5-star award, Delta eliminated free checked bags on some transatlantic trips, we learned about the future of Marriott’s credit cards, and more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

Featured Stories

10 Travel Gifts We’d Love To Receive

Shopping is hard, particularly for those of us who like to maximize deals and earn as many points as possible during the gifting season.

For our Holiday Gift Guide this year, we’ve tried to curate a range of practical items at compelling price points, including some of our favorite presents to give and receive. And, since OMAAT is all about maximizing value, we’ve hunted for the best prices, and included some notes on how to stack offers.

From road warriors to aviation geeks to luxury-aficionados there’s something for everyone on your list!


Skytrax Has Lost All Credibility With Their Lufthansa 5-Star Ranking

This week we learned that Lufthansa received a Skytrax 5-star rating, making them the first non-Asian airline to receive that ranking.

Ultimately I don’t put too much weight into Skytrax rankings and at times I question their methodology and conflict of interest, though usually I find their rankings are at least within the realm of possibility, even if I personally disagree.

However, the more I read about Skytrax’s self-proclaimed methodology and about Lufthansa’s ranking, the more questions I have.


9 Good Credit Cards With Little Or No Minimum Spend

Andrew is currently working on meeting the minimum spend on The Platinum Card®, and is still about a month away from hitting the $5,000 mark. As he notes:

The Amex Platinum has the highest minimum spend of any card I’ve applied for all year, and I specifically planned to apply toward the end of the year so holiday expenses could help me reach $5,000 in spend relatively quickly.

Meanwhile, I’ve been considering what other cards I might want to apply for while I’m trying to meet the Amex’s minimum. It’d have to be a card that doesn’t have a large minimum spend requirement of its own.

I’m sure others sometimes find themselves wondering how to juggle budgets with minimum spends, so here are a few decent options that might fit the bill (pun intended).


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TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

Why The Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Still The Ideal First Credit Card To Get
The Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Not Subjected To 5/24
Amex Offer: Save $60 On A $300+ Hilton Or Curio Stay
Aegean Is Offering A 40% Bonus On Purchased Miles
Details Of IHG’s 2018 Accelerate Promotion
Why This Might Be A Great Time To Apply For The SPG Amex
9 Good Credit Cards With Little Or No Minimum Spend
United Is Offering Up To A 100% Bonus On Purchased Miles Through The End Of The Year
It’s Back: Earn Starbucks Gold Status After One Purchase
American Is Selling Miles For 1.77 Cents Each Through The End Of The Year
How The AAdvantage Credit Card 10% Mileage Rebate Works
How Much Is A 100K Amex Platinum Card Offer Worth?
How To Score Free Premium SkyClub Drinks This Holiday Season
Earn 1,000 Free Marriott Rewards Points

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

The DOT’s Initial Response To My Complaint
You Can Now Redeem Aegean Miles For Star Alliance Awards Online
Korean Air SkyPass Eliminates China Southern First Class Awards
Is It Safe To Buy Miles From Brokers?
Swiss Cancels Aeroplan First Class Tickets
Dear Aeroplan: If You Cancel My First Class Swiss Ticket, I Won’t Sue You

TRAVEL With Lucky

How To File An Air Travel Complaint With The DOT
End Of Year Status Pushes: Do They Make Sense?
Mandatory Holiday Dinners: Have Hotels Lost Their Fool Minds?!?
How To Get Between Terminals At LAX
My First Time Staying At A Hotel That “Forces” You To Disconnect
Is T-Mobile ONE Plus Worth It For International Travel?
10 Travel Gifts We’d Love To Receive

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Premier Inn Abu Dhabi Airport
Review: Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Review: EL AL Business Class 787 Newark To Tel Aviv
Flying LATAM’s 787-9 To The World’s Most Remote Inhabited Island
Review: Porter Airlines Economy Toronto To Newark
Review: Marriott Newark Airport
LATAM 787 Business Class In 10 Pictures
Review: Art & Lounge Newark Airport
Review: Porter Airlines Lounge At Toronto Billy Bishop Airport

NEWS & Updates

Crazy: 5 US Airlines Want To Add More Flights To Cuba
Ouch: Qatar Airways A321 Badly Damaged In Fire At Doha Airport
Goldstar Air Wins Prestigious “Most Promising Airline Of The Year” Award
Discover Is Eliminating Purchase Signature Requirements In 2018
Delta Eliminates Free Checked Bags On Some Transatlantic Itineraries
American’s A321s Are Getting Bigger Overhead Bins
Wear An Ugly Sweater And Get Priority Boarding On Alaska & Virgin America
TSA Agent “Accidentally” Brings Gun To Work
What We Don’t Know About The Future Of Marriott & SPG Credit Cards
JetBlue Eliminates Free Standby, Increases Price For Same Day Flight Changes
Egypt Is Now Issuing eVisas For Visitors From 46 Countries
Delta & WestJet Are Forming A Joint Venture
Canada Retaliates Against The US & Boeing, Cancels Fighter Jet Order
Alaska & Air France-KLM Are Cutting Ties As Of April 30, 2018
Skytrax Has Lost All Credibility With Their Lufthansa 5-Star Ranking
Amex & Chase Will Both Issue Marriott Credit Cards Going Forward
JetBlue Devalues Their Price Drop Policy
Finnair Is Refreshing Their Business Class And Introducing Dine On Demand
Aeromexico May Get Some Of Delta’s CSeries Planes Due To Trade Dispute
Melbourne Airport Gets Two Priority Pass Restaurants
Lufthansa Becomes The First European Skytrax 5-Star Airline
A Look At Alaska’s Spacious “New” First Class Seats


I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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Comments

  1. While I agree the food in Mexico City is outstanding, saying that it “really must be the best food city in the world” is going too far. What about Tokyo? Paris? San Sebastian? Lima? New Orleans?

    I would stick to your area of expertise 😉

  2. Looking at that photo in Mexico City I would say you are at the St Regis on La Reforma. Very nice hotel

  3. @Andrew: and Bangkok.

    Lucky: It would be nice if you could share some restaurant recommendations. I’m heading there in February on a first-time visit.

  4. “This really must be the best food city in the world”

    Uh…you really have to come back to Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has large colonies of Lebanese/Persian, Japanese, and Italian immigrants, who added to the already outstanding Brazilian food options, the blend in new creations and tastes is out of this world. You’ll find the best of the best and a little bit of everything in SP.

    Come back and explore more than just the same old churrascaria steakhouse.

  5. @Andrew
    Its his blog, so its his opinion. I happen to think Mexico City is one of the best places to eat its certainly in my top three, and I cooked professionally (in my lane) and worked in some of the best restaurants in SF,LA, and NYC. My husband and I would fly to Mexico City for the weekend just to eat. I just got back from Tokyo where I went to 4 three star Michelin restaurants, and to me of the four only one was worthy of two Michelin stars. I enjoyed much of the food but was not blown away. Tokyo actually really disappointed me taste wise (presentation was superb). Lucky visit Quintonil if you can, I prefer it over Pujol and Contramar.

  6. @Sasha

    You have fair points. This is Lucky’s blog, and he is absolutely entitled to his opinion. I also agree 100% that everyone’s tastes are different, and the cities that I think are “the best” food cities are not going to be the ones you think are the best. I would even agree that Mexico City is a wonderful food city. However, Lucky’s statement that Mexico City “really must be the best food city in the world” made me go: Really? It must be? I don’t think so—which is what I was trying to convey with my comment.

    Finally, if ever want recommendations for Tokyo, let me know. As I’m sure you know, the “best” food in a city is not necessarily what Michelin says is the best. 😉

  7. @Andrew

    Thank you for offering recommendations. I do my due diligence before I go to any food city and received recommendations from residents, chefs, friends, concierges, and various internet sources. I would like to go back next year so please tell me where I should go? Thanks!

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