Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for March 2019.

Why Don’t Airlines Make Award Seats Available on Empty Flights?

first class cabin
Mar 31 2019

Some airlines make awards available when they load their schedules, which varies between roughly ten to twelve months prior to flight. They might add seats right when schedules load, or they might wait a few days or weeks.

Other airlines will wait until travel approaches. Although in general I find the best time to be searching for award space is about 6 months to departure. And one of the toughest times is two months out — seats made available in advance may be gone, and last minute award space hasn’t opened up yet.

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Marriott Lifetime Titanium Still Available, There are Two Ways to Get It

hotel room
Mar 31 2019

Marriott’s new loyalty program doesn’t offer a lifetime status level higher than 50 nights. The old Starwood program didn’t either. However the old Marriott Rewards program offered lifetime 75 night elite status, and those who achieved that status in the legacy Marriott program, got to keep it.

Marriott carved out an exception that let some Starwood members earn it too — but said it could never be earned after 2018. That turns out not to be quite correct.

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How to Score Free Bottled Water at Hotels

3 cases of water
Mar 31 2019

The gym is always a go-to source for me. And when a hotel does provide free bottled water in the room I’ll usually hide any bottles I haven’t consumed in my luggage in case the hotel brings more. I wouldn’t want them to think I was already stocked.

In much of the world you can drink the tap water though whenever I’m uncertain I avoid it. I’d rather drink filtered water (hopefully they change the filters) and I want to use my own or a hotel-gifted bottle, not the hotel’s glasses in the bathroom which may or may not be clean.

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Ethical Dilemmas Running This Blog

gary leff
Mar 31 2019

There are any number of ethical choices we all make on a daily basis. I don’t have a staff to bounce things off of, no editor, I’m just me and I do the best that I can to write content that interests me (the only way I could possibly still be doing this after 17 years) and hopefully engaging content and do it in a way that let’s me sleep well at night.

That doesn’t make me any more ethical than anyone else, and I’m sure readers will find fault with plenty of things I write, but here’s how I generally think about the blog.

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Here’s What ‘Suspicious Behavior’ Can Get You Stopped at the Airport

Mar 30 2019

The city you’re flying from (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York), your clothing (a hoodie), and even eagerness to get your bags at baggage claim are suspicious and can get you stopped. So can looking like someone with those characteristics that the police notice while following someone else. You’d be surprised how often you’re being watched at the airport, and that the government can stop you — and take your stuff.

Last year it was revealed that the TSA was assigning agents to follow ordinary Americans and record their behavior. That behavior was exposed and shamed, both because it was creepy and for no legitimate purpose. But creepy violations of civil liberties don’t just stem from the war on terror, they’re still a feature of the war on drugs as well.

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