Category Archives for Commentary.

5 Reasons The Trump Administration’s Ban On Global Entry For New Yorkers Is Bad Policy

Feb 06 2020

In December New York State law began allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses and stopped sharing applicant information with immigration enforcement agencies.

Wednesday evening the Trump administration announced that because New York passed this law, “New York residents are no longer eligible to enroll in these Trusted Traveler Programs” including Global Entry.

Continue Reading »

Why Do Foreign Carriers Re-check Your Boarding Pass When You Enter the Aircraft?

Jan 22 2020

US airlines check your boarding pass before you enter the jet bridge, and that’s it — while many international airlines have flight attendants standing at the door of the aircraft who will look at your boarding pass again.

Flight attendants on most airlines around the world will see you’re on the right plane, direct you to the correct class of service, and tell you which side of the plane to proceed down in the case of a widebody. Although it’s common on single aisle aircraft as well.

Continue Reading »

Two Award Booking Requests Where I Failed to Deliver and One Where I Refused to Help

Jan 21 2020

We’ve had thousands of successfully booked awards. Things aren’t as easy as when I started. I once helped a family of 7 fly together non-stop roundtrip in Lufthansa first class. Getting started booking awards during the Great Recession with airline premium cabins empty and award space plentiful made it seem like this would always be easy.

Now it’s harder work, and there are more tradeoffs. Sometimes all we can offer are connections and a passenger will only fly non-stop. My job is to explain the tradeoffs and help a client make an informed decision. And my job is also to know when I can’t (or am not comfortable) helping someone and be straight with them about it up front.

Continue Reading »

President Considers New Travel Ban

Jan 10 2020

Three years ago, shortly after President Trump entered office, he issued an executive order that, among other things, banned visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — even for those who have been living in the U.S. in valid employment or student status but who need new visas for re-entry.

Now the Trump administration is considering an expanded travel ban that targets additional countries.

Continue Reading »

Let Me Thank You

horderves on a beach
Nov 28 2019

Similar to last year I thought I’d take the Thanksgiving opportunity to express my thankfulness for each of you that reads my blog and interacts with me throughout the year. I’ve said this many times before but I really do consider myself one of the luckiest people, and certainly much more fortunate than I could have ever imagined.

Continue Reading »

Elite Status: Where I’ll End 2019

american airlines plane
Nov 14 2019

I just booked what I hope will be my last flights of 2019, and my last hotel stays as well. Looking back on the year I realize I traveled less – fewer days than I’ve spent on the road in recent times since the birth of my daughter last fall.

Less time in the air and in chain hotels for me will still seem like a lot of time away to many readers. In 2016 I was gone half the year. That hasn’t been close to true this year. Still, I’m on track to renew several of my status levels.

Continue Reading »