Weekly Review: September 28, 2019

Filed Under: Weekly Review

A year ago I was at Fogo Island Inn getting married (today is my one year wedding anniversary with Ford, actually), and today I’m in the hospital for the fourth day, with many more to go. On the plus side, both have been great opportunities to spend time with family — in this case I’m with my mom, after her major surgery on Wednesday (thanks to all of you who have been keeping her in your thoughts). On the plus side, it’s really easy to be productive here. While my mom’s surgery went well, it’s going to be a long road to recovery, and we’re here for her.

This has been a huge week for news in the industry — Amex announced they’d add travel protection to some of their premium cards, Delta announced they’d buy a 20% stake in LATAM, the Citi Double Cash Card started earning rewards that can be converted into airline miles, Thomas Cook ceased operations, Adria was/is on the brink of liquidation, and more.

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

Featured Stories

Singita Boulders Lodge Sabi Sands

Spoiler alert: Singita Boulders is my favorite hotel experience ever, and I’m not sure how I’m ever expected to go back to Amans. 😉

None of us had ever been on safari before, so suffice to say that we were super excited. When we were trying to decide with what company/lodge to do our first safari with, Singita came by far the most highly recommended.

Singita is known as being the Aman of safaris (though that’s underselling it, in my opinion), and they have lodges in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda. We wanted to keep things relatively simple since we were traveling with my dad, so we stayed at two their most popular lodges in South Africa — we spent three nights at Singita Boulders in the Sabi Sands Reserve, and three nights at Singita Lebombo in Kruger National Park.

We knew several people who had tried this combination of properties, and each person raved about the properties.

Air Canada Altitude Status: Introduction

Canadians LOVE to hate Air Canada.

But at the same time, for business travelers, they’ve also been the only game in town with a frequent flyer program for most of the period since the demise of Canadian Airlines in the nineties (don’t worry, WestJet lovers, I’ll be getting to you, I promise).

Air Canada’s status program is called Altitude, and over the course of a couple of posts, I’ll be taking you through its ups and downs.

There are even some elements that may be interesting to US readers looking for an alternative elite program.

One Week at a Time

TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

AMAZING: Citi Double Cash Now Earns ThankYou Points
When Should You Buy Hilton Points?
8 Reasons To Get The IHG Premier Card
Best Southwest Credit Card: Not What You Think
IHG’s New Mr. & Mrs. Smith Partnership: Earn & Redeem Points At More Luxury Hotels
Citi Double Cash Card Review: Earn 2x Points Everywhere
Buy IHG Rewards Club Points For 0.5 Cents Each (Last Chance)
The Best Cards For Everyday Spending (2019)
Brex For Startups: New 75k Bonus
Avianca LifeMiles Credit Card Review (60K Bonus Extended)
Amex Adds Travel Coverage To Premium Cards
Save At Best Western With Amex Offers
Now Live: Hyatt & Lindblad Expeditions Partnership
Limited Time: 100K Marriott Boundless Card Bonus
Air Canada Altitude Status: Introduction
Capital One Walmart Rewards Credit Card: Apply Now

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Transfer Citi Points To JetBlue With 25% Bonus
Transfer Amex Points To Hawaiian With 25% Bonus
Hyatt 40 Night Milestone Reward: Which Is Best?
American Adds Seaborne Airlines Awards To AA.com
Redeem Delta Global Upgrades For International First Class

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

Planning A Fall Trip To An Awesome Points Hotel
Thank You & 10K Race Update
Don’t Forget: 2019 Chicago Seminars

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Singita Boulders Lodge Sabi Sands

NEWS & Updates

Citi Drops Car Rental Coverage, Travel Protection, And More, As Of Today
Emirates Delays Introduction Of Premium Economy
Denver Airport Priority Pass Restaurant Closing
Airlines Ask Hong Kong To Waive Airport Fees
Thomas Cook Ceases Operations, UK Launches Huge Rescue Effort
Delta Adds Boston To Rome Flight (And More)
A Crew’s Emotional Goodbye To Thomas Cook
Caption By Hyatt: New Select Service Lifestyle Brand
Condor’s Future Secured With New Bridge Loan
Qantas First Class Lounge Singapore Opening Soon
Puzzling: Garuda Indonesia Amsterdam Changes
Fly Norwegian From The Arctic To (Almost) Antarctica
Alaska MVP Gold 75K Lounge Pass Devaluation Reversed
British Airways Reveals Cost Of Pilot Strike
Singapore Airlines To Trial Business Class Dine On Demand
Bernie Sanders Calls American Airlines Management Disgraceful
American Airlines Details New Tokyo Haneda Flights
India Cutting Outrageously High Hotel Taxes
American Airlines’ Shocking (But Unsurprising) Delay
MAJOR COUP: Delta Taking Massive Stake In LATAM
Delta’s LATAM Investment: The 6 Losers
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Coming To Manchester
Air France Takes Delivery Of First A350
Saudi Arabia Finally Starting To Issue Tourist E-Visas
Adria Airways Is In Very Big Trouble
Celebrity Claims American Airlines Forced Her To Undress In Front Of Cabin
American Airlines Is Acting Like A Bitter Ex
Emirates’ Disappointing New 777X Business Class
United Airlines Selling Premium Economy On Domestic Flights
Emirates Wants To Recruit “Local” Cabin Crew
How To Fill Out Saudi Arabia E-Visa Application
American Clarifies Status Of LATAM Partnership
Amex Platinum Uber Credit Now Easier To Use

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!

  1. Who was the genius that decided to interrupt your posts with mind-numbing ads? I know you need to generate ad dollars, but yours has now become the least attractive blog (at least on mobile devices). Are the ads less intrusive on a desktop ?

  2. Somehow I missed the health problems of your Mom. Best whishes to her and a quick recovery, And congratulations to you and Ford.

  3. @ Ted — Appreciate the feedback on the ads! We are in the process of testing a new mobile ad system, so you may see different sizes and density of placements while we test and configure everything.

    To share a bit of background, for the past 3-4 years we’ve made essentially nothing on the mobile site, with mobile ad revenue being less than 20¢ (yes, cents) per thousand pageviews. Earning less than a dollar for every five thousand times the blog is read obviously isn’t sustainable, and as more and more of our traffic shifts to mobile, we’re having to make adjustments.

    We’re committed to finding a balance that doesn’t negatively impact the overall experience. Previously there were basically no ads on mobile (the majority of ads on the desktop site are in the sidebar, which on mobile doesn’t display until after all the content and all the comments, so was almost never viewed), so we know it’s going to be an adjustment regardless. But you won’t see pop-up ads, auto-play videos, things that float and are hard to close, etc. — those types of ads are much more lucrative, but they’re also annoying.

    So we’ll get this dialed-in, in a way that is hopefully not too obnoxious, and very much appreciate your patience and feedback in the meantime. Nothing has changed on the desktop site, if that helps.

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