Weekly Review: March 3, 2018

Filed Under: Weekly Review
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The first six weeks of the year were the busiest period of flying I’ve ever had, as I logged a crazy number of miles. Unfortunately that ended with me getting the flu a couple of weeks ago, though I’m finally fully recovered from that. I’ve been on the ground now for about a week and a half, which has been great, as I’m finally well rested. My next adventure starts this coming week, so stay tuned for that.

On the points & travel front, this week we saw a bunch of big new credit card welcome bonuses, American released a good amount of international first class award availability, we saw a new safety video from Air New Zealand, and much more.

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

Featured Stories

Where On Earth Is The Mainstream Media Finding These “Travel Experts?”

I can appreciate that not everyone’s life revolves around airlines. I can also appreciate the value in providing generalized advice and trying to keep things simple. That’s a balance I struggle with daily — on this blog I want to provide enough information so that it’s useful for longtime readers, but not get into such detail with every post that it loses those who may be newer to a topic.

Anyway, that’s only tangentially related to this. This post is about my general frustration with how horrible of a job the mainstream media does with covering everything related to travel tips.

Why The Chase Sapphire Reserve Doesn’t Really Cost You $450 Per Year

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card has been incredibly popular since it was introduced about 18 months ago. The popularity far exceeded Chase’s expectations, and that’s because this is a $450 annual fee card that has become popular with people who don’t typically pay $450 annual fees.

Most longtime readers probably get this, but for the rest of you, I think it’s worth talking specifically about why the Sapphire Reserve won’t really cost you $450 per year.

Award Availability Alert: American First Class To London!

Friday I wrote about how American had plenty of first class award availability on their flights to Hong Kong, out of both Dallas and Los Angeles. Given how stingy American is with award availability nowadays, that was pretty rare. American does have a history of releasing award seats in spurts, where we see them make a bunch of space available at once, and then they don’t release more space for a while.

Well, it looks like American’s plentiful first class award availability isn’t just limited to Hong Kong. As noted by Rufuss in the comments section on the previous post, American also has a good amount of first class award availability to/from London through the end of May. No, this doesn’t cover travel in summer, and it’s not like all eight first class seats are available as awards on each flight, though availability is much better than usual.

One Week at a Time Logo

TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

CRAZY: $600 Roundtrip Business Class Tickets From Cairo To New York
The Amex Blue Business Plus Card Finally Has A welcome Bonus Through Refer-A-Friend
What We Know About The Future Of The SPG Business Amex Card
6 Reasons To Get The Citi Premier℠ Card
The Delta Amex Cards Have Big New welcome Bonuses
Great Deal: 35K welcome Bonus On SPG Business Amex
The Sweet Spot Of Buying 20,000 Starpoints
Check If You’re Eligible For Starwood’s Newest Targeted Promotion
Amex Offer: Save $45 On A $250+ Hilton Or Curio Stay
The Citi Premier℠ Card Has A Big New 50K Welcome Bonus
How Much Does The Average Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardmember Earn & Spend?
Earn 100 American Business Extra Points With Your Next Flight
Save 10% Off The Cost Of Virtually Any Qatar Airways Ticket
Last Chance: Register For A 140% Bonus On Purchased LifeMiles
Last Chance: Receive A $30 Statement Credit For Hyatt Credit Card Spend
Great Deal: $399 Transcon JetBlue Mint Fares
Great Deal: Buy Alaska Miles With Up To A 40% Bonus
Why The Chase Sapphire Reserve Doesn’t Really Cost You $450 Per Year
Flash Sale: Save On Upcoming Frequent Traveler Events In London, New York, & Washington DC

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

British Airways Is Offering A 35% Bonus When You Convert Hotel Points Into Avios
Award Availability Alert: American First Class To London!
Great American First Class Award Availability To & From Hong Kong
Air France-KLM FlyingBlue Promo Awards For March 2018
Terrible: Qatar Airways Moves Their Loyalty Program Entirely Online
Delta SkyMiles Now Requires In-Person Award Ticketing For Some Countries Within 72 Hours

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

Why Do I Have An Airplane Door Fetish?
The Mystery Of American’s Los Angeles To Cabo Route…
Getting Locked In A Gate At Heathrow For 30 Minutes
How To “Reset” American Airlines’ Website After Traveling Abroad
9 Transatlantic Business Class Products I’d Like To Review
The Airlines That Serve The Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Introduction: A Suite Way To Get To Sydney
Review: Qatar Airways Qsuites Business Class 777 Doha To New York
Qatar Airways’ First A350-900 With Qsuites Will Be Flying Shortly

NEWS & Updates

United Eliminates Quarterly Employee Bonuses, Spins It As A Positive
Hyatt Is Cracking Down On “Second Guest” Bookings For Others
Swiss Is Opening A New First Class Lounge In Zurich (And Adding First Class Car Transfers)
Southwest Airlines Is Raising Drink Prices
Saudi Arabia Will Begin Issuing Tourist Visas Next Month
Oy: Delta CEO Issues Statement On “School Safety Debate”
Aeroflot Recovering Costs From Passenger Who Delayed Flight Due To “Petty Hooliganism”
Shanghai Airlines’ New 787 Features First Class & Business Class Suites With Doors!!!
Oasis Joins World Of Hyatt — Earn & Redeem Points For Home Sharing
Japan Airlines Plans To Add New Flights To US West Coast City
British Airways Is Eliminating Middle Seat Table In Intra-Europe Business Class
American & British Airways Are Adding Basic Economy On Transatlantic Flights
WestJet Follows Air Canada’s Lead, Introduces Basic Economy
Why A United Regional Jet Flew To China With Five Stops
Ukraine International Airlines Wants To Add Flights To Chicago, Miami, Toronto, And More
Qatar Airways Will Offer Qsuites To Chicago As Of April 1, 2018
Where On Earth Is The Mainstream Media Finding These “Travel Experts?”
Denver Airport’s Priority Pass Restaurant Is Closing
Drunk & Threatening Guy Jumps Over Railing At Atlanta Airport (Disturbing)
Air New Zealand’s New Safety Video Was Filmed In Antarctica
The W New York (First Ever W Hotel) Is Leaving The Brand
AWESOME: You Can Spend A Night In A Private Bedroom In The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
Trump & Boeing Reach Deal For Two New Air Force Ones
Mandarin Oriental Launches “Fans Of MO” Loyalty Program
Cathay Pacific Opening “The Deck” Lounge At Hong Kong Airport
American Business Extra Certificates Are Now Issued Electronically
Air Namibia Is In Trouble, Hasn’t Filed An Annual Report In Over A Decade
Norwegian Wants To Fly From Buenos Aires To Asia Via Perth (Hello, Antarctica!)
Delta Did Nothing Wrong “Denying” Upgrades To US Olympic Gold Medalists
Delta May Lose Tax Break Over NRA Stance
Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Angry Air Canada Didn’t Upgrade Him
American & Qantas Submit Joint Venture Application (Again)
Alitalia Is Pulling Out Of Abu Dhabi
Video: Bag Catches Fire On China Southern Flight
Trump Wants To Appoint His Personal Pilot As Head Of The FAA
Delta’s Surprising Statement About The NRA & Current Gun Debate
Lufthansa Is Modifying Their New Livery
Will Air Italy Join Oneworld?

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

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  1. Writing up the latest travel hack is one of mainstream media’s favorite click-bait tactics. Spices up the usual Businessweek feed or whatever. Heck, even Cosmo picked up on revenue management—but with Kristen Wiig from Bridesmaids standing in for Bagshawe and looking not much sillier than the Sydney Sheldon ghostwriter cum travel expert in her Bloomberg piece, grinning effusively how she is Ty Cobb at batting for upgrades.

    I think a lot of OMAAT readers, especially longtime ones, look forward to the introduction of whoever will be the blog’s newest contributor, but probably also a little apprehensive. The winning candidate will need extensive points and miles travel experience to make an impact on this site. Relying on second-hand research won’t cut it or we might as well be reading TPG.

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