In an effort to create the shortest post ever, I want to remind everyone that the Alaska Airlines Cyber Monday Sale starts tonight at 7 EST is currently ongoing.  I didn’t catch this last night when I wrote the post, but using discount code SHOPNOW will save you an additional 5%.  You can’t stack discount codes, meaning companion passes won’t stack with the percent off deal, but it’s a little extra if you’re booking an odd number of tickets.  We’re a family of 3, so a companion pass plus one of us on a separate reservation is generally how it works out. Its touted as their biggest sale of the year. I’m hoping for some good fares from Boston to Seattle, Portland or San Diego. Come back to the comments [...]

The Travel Grinch

Thanks for a tip from TravelStar at FlyerTalk! As of this morning, when I log into my Membership Rewards portal, Aeroplan no longer appears on the partner list.  Whether this is a glitch or a true loss of partnership remains to be seen. As of about Noon EST, the Amex twitter team still sees Aeroplan as a transfer partner.  This might be a glitch, but I’ll wait for confirmation of that. As of 5PM EST, Aeroplan is back on the Membership Rewards site as a transfer partner.  Sorry for the non-story, folks.If the partnership between American Express and Aeroplan has ended, it is a big loss to the value of the Membership Rewards program.  While Amex still has other Star Alliance partners such as ANA and Singapore, Aeroplan offered some unique [...]

I just wanted to wish my readers a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you’re on the east coast, travel may be a bit difficult – my original flight out to Philly this evening has already been canceled.  Thankfully, I was able to rebook to tomorrow morning prior to the weather hitting, but with the snow forecast to end at 7am tomorrow up here, there’s no guarantee we’re going anywhere! Just a couple of reminders if you’re running into weather that impacts your air travel: 1.  Allow yourself plenty of extra time!  Get to the airport early and be ready to deal with longer lines, since not everyone in front of you is just checking a bag or printing a  boarding pass.  Many will spend some quality time with an agent [...]

Status Lightbulb Shattering

JetBlue took an unusual path today in announcing some significant changes to its product.  Investors and analysts were presented with a fairly comprehensive plan to drive shareholder returns through “differentiation” during today’s Investor Day event.  This plan involves what amounts to a downgrade in its basic product across the board in order to project revenue growth over the next five years.  The impact will be very visible to customers, so naturally, JetBlue managed to get an email out to its TrueBlue members at around 7:30pm.  If I can sum up the changes in a sentence or two, it would be this:  Do you know how people on the internet try to sound smarter than they are (mostly dumb guys, bloggers, like me) by referring to airlines by their airline code [...]

The Travel Grinch

A while back I wrote about the impending devaluation of Amazon Mom.  On November 11, the discount on baby wipes was reduced to 5%, and the cumulative discount when you have 5 or more Subscribe and Save items in a shipment dropped from 20% to 15%.  Some Amazon Mom members were notified that they would be receiving a credit in some amount as a one time consolation prize (my words, not Amazon’s).  Today, I received my code for a $30 credit.  Check your inbox if you haven’t already. Overall, the devaluation is disappointing.  I particularly enjoyed the 20% discount on 5 S&S items, as it was easy, convenient, and very price-competitive to keep the home stocked with paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish detergent, diapers, wipes, you name it.  [...]

I’ve gone off and disappeared again, as the day job moves furiously to close the 4th quarter.  I should be able to get back to this regularly soon, especially now that the holidays are upon us.  For us, the holidays mean the opposite of relaxation – it’s a hectic shuffle to visit family in Philly and on the West Coast.  The upside is that we have some practical travel to write about. Let’s start with the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee. We plan to spend a week visiting my wife’s side of the family out in the Phoenix area this year, and while I don’t yet have the flights booked – the subject of my next post when I book them this Sunday – I do have our hotel.  I think [...]

I apologize for the break that this blog has taken over the past few weeks.  It’s been an eventful run, and not related to travel or parenting at all.  Work took over my free time for a while and I managed to score a case of “walking” pneumonia around the same time.  I’ll get back to doing this more regularly over the next week as things hopefully quiet down at the office and I polish off my giant bottle of cough syrup. I’ll pick back up tomorrow with our Florence trip report, which is now long, long overdue.  But for now, let’s talk holidays – specifically some unique flying opportunities.  As airline schedules transition to “off peak” from the US to some international destinations, they will often fly those aircraft [...]

Firenze (Florence) Skyline

Going into this trip, we’d heard some horror stories about connecting through Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport.  While it’s not the world’s most convenient airport to have a connection, it’s really not as bad as people make it out to be.  If you have some idea going in of where your arriving flight is going to land and your outbound flight will take off, you can get a pretty clear understanding of what to do and where to go before you even get there.  Plus, lack of working French is not a barrier, as the airport employs a great deal of multilingual staff whose job is to point people in the right direction. Introduction Why Florence? Getting to Florence on Points and Miles Air France Flight 333 to Paris [...]

With our luggage swapped for boarding passes, we were ready for departure.  I consider us seasoned travelers, my daughter included, but there’s still something exciting for us about being in the international terminal of a major airport.  It’s probably a combination of the departures board reading like a list of places I want to visit and the tail logos of carriers I rarely see on planes larger than I normally fly, but there was that subtle excitement as we waited to board Air France flight 333 to Paris. Introduction Why Florence? Getting to Florence on Points and Miles Air France Flight 333 to Paris Check In:  Air France at Boston Logan Airport Our flight was scheduled for a 7:50PM departure. Boston Terminal E is where most international flights depart from, [...]

Staples $50 off $200

It’s not 1998, but $50 off $200 at Staples is alive and well until October 31 (2014).  From now until then, use Visa Checkout to get $50 off $200 at Staples.  If you happen to have a Chase Ink Visa card, take another 1% with the Visa Savings Edge enrollment, plus 5x Ultimate Rewards.  Enjoy!   Exclusions do apply: Valid through 10/31, while supplies last. Valid online at staples.com® when you pay with Visa Checkout. Not valid in store. Excludes Daily Deals. Limit one coupon per customer, nontransferable. Minimum purchase requirement of $200 must be met with purchases to which no other coupon or instant savings offer applies. May not be combined with any other coupon. No cash/credit back. Not valid on eReaders including Amazon Kindle®, Apple® products, Bose® products, [...]