Weekly Review: January 16, 2016

Filed Under: Weekly Review

Happy Saturday!

I started off the week in Sydney, where the weather was much improved from when I was there the week prior.


I have a few days in the US to catch up on laundry before leaving for my Air India adventure, which should be quite interesting!

Featured Stories

American Airlines Just Served Me Caviar. No, Really!

American-First-Class-Sydney - 3

A few weeks back, American launched daily Boeing 777-300ER flights between Los Angeles and Sydney. These flights are being operated as part of a joint venture with Qantas, and as a result, American also spruced up the service on these flights, to match many aspects of the Qantas experience. For example, American has added pajamas in business class on this route, among other things.

I took this flight earlier in the week, and was so impressed by the product. So, soso impressed. It’s amazing to see what a US airline could be with a little bit of effort.

How Is The Citi Prestige Card Free Night Benefit Calculated?

St-Regis-Bali-Resort - 89I’ve written extensively about the Citi Prestige Card, which I view as the all around most lucrative card out there, between the sign-up bonus, perks, and return on everyday spend. The single benefit on this card I’ve gotten the most value out of has been the fourth night free hotel benefit.

One interesting aspect of this benefit which I think is worth talking about is how the free night benefit is calculated. For the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit, do they actually refund the average cost of one night over your four night stay, or is the fourth night free?

Dear Hotels: Stop With Your Currency Conversion Scams

Currency-Conversion-Scam-2When you’re using your credit card abroad, you should always pay in the local currency. Always. I don’t even know why hotels offer the option of paying in another currency, since there’s zero upside to paying in USD.

I had an interesting experience when checking out of a hotel last week, whereby I was overcharged due to the currency conversion. To make matters worse, the response from the hotel manager suggests this goes beyond poor training of front-line employees.



TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

$1,500 Business Class Fares From Asia To The US
Awesome New Starwood Platinum 50 Night Perks As Of 2016
3rd Night Free At Starwood Hotels In Asia & Australia
Buy ~$42 Worth Of JetBlue Points For ~$15
Limited Time: Buy A Discounted Amazon Prime Membership
Loyalty Programs Work: I’m Overpaying For A Holiday Inn
The Best Garuda Indonesia First Class Fare I’ve Seen
How Is The Citi Prestige Card Free Night Benefit Calculated?
Great Deal: Roundtrip Transatlantic Business Class For Under $1,000
JetBlue Adds Discounted Upgrades For Elite Members
I’m Going To Shanghai For $715 In Business Class!

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Qantas Denied American Award Seats — Any Recourse?
Using Miles For A Family Over Peak Dates
How Do AAdvantage Changes Impact Value Of Citi ThankYou Points?
Redeem Points To Maintain Your Marriott Status
Act Fast: Qantas Business Class Awards To/From The US Available
My Bad Luck Booking Awards On Saudia, Avianca, And Aeromexico!
Great Deal: American Business Class Awards & Upgrades To Asia Wide Open!

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

British Airways Responds To My Account Hack
Currency Conversion Scam: Hotel Manager Responds
American Airlines Just Served Me Caviar. No, Really!
Is Queenstown, New Zealand As Beautiful As I Remember?
Dear Hotels: Stop With Your Currency Conversion Scams
Help Me Solve A Worldwide Hotel Mystery!
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Travel Edition
Minimum Drinking Age On Planes?

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Le Parker Meridien New York
Introduction: Off The Beaten Track In Thailand
Review: Etihad First Class A380 Abu Dhabi To New York
Review: Etihad US Pre-Clearance Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport
Interlude: 30 Hours In Abu Dhabi

NEWS & Updates

Guy Who Violently Attacked Uber Driver Is Suing For $5 Million
Air India Has *So* Much Potential…
Does This Picture Make You Want To Visit Air India’s Lounge?
Rumor: New American Los Angeles To Hong Kong Route
What Are The Implications Of An American & LATAM Joint Venture?
Now Bookable: WOW Air From LAX & SFO To Iceland
Hyatt Eliminating AARP Discounts
Will Emirates Cancel The World’s Longest Flight?
Which Lounge Does Qatar Airways Use At LAX?
I Flew Jetstar Economy — How Bad Was It?
Thoughts On Hilton Diamond Status After 2 Stays
What Are Your Rights If Downgraded On A Flight?
Emirates A380 Flying To Washington Dulles As Of February 1, 2016

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

  1. Thank you so much Lucky! I booked DUB-LHR-LAX-SMF in American business class on the 777-300ER and return in British Airways First Class on the A380 for only €2068 out of pocket. What a steal! This will be my first time flying any premium cabin (besides economy comfort) and I’m super duper excited! 2 years of reading trip reports here got my appetite for luxury travel instigated 😉 Your article: “Great Deal: Roundtrip Transatlantic Business Class For Under $1,000” is what set me off!

  2. Hi Lucky! Talking about your upcoming trips… I know that you’re heading to Colombia soon and knowing that you’re an aviation geek and also sometimes visit things not because they are in ‘Top 10 things to do in …’ list, here is my tip: do a shot hop to Cali from Cartagena! Yes, that means taking a flight on very crappy airline and Cali itself is the most boring town on Earth, but hear me out. Right next to the airport in Cali there is a Museo Aereo Fenix, which is a small museum of transportation. There are some planes in exhibition and model planes, but the coolest thing of them all was a huge collection of forks and knifes and spoons from various airlines, from various times. I think that might interest you, as most of your pictures include cutlery from planes 😉 Also, people who run the museum all speak perfect english and are not only very knowledgeable but also aviation geeks to the core bone themselves. We visited this museum by chance and it was hard to leave it! We talked with the owner for hours. All of the planes on show in the museum ar still working and he piloted most of them.
    If you have a day to spare, do a hop to Cali and visit this museum, you don’t even need to sleep in Cali for that. Check their opening hours before, so you don’t build your flights around when they’re closed or on break. Taxi drivers know how to get there from the airport, it’s a 5-10 minute drive.

  3. You’re going to the US to do your laundry?

    I normally head to South East Asia to do mine… in most non-Starwood places they do it my the kilo.

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