Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer of Travel 2012: Breezy Point, NY

Breezy Point is a sleepy, little beach town that, while technically part of NYC, feels unlike any other part of the city (in a good way). My wife's family has had a little bungalow for decades, one of many that sit on the cozy little "walks" (too cozy for cars) that are quintessentially Breezy. I've been a number of times over the years, and it's always like taking a trip back in time (again, in a good way).

Quick look at one of the walks in Breezy Point

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer of Travel 2012: Boston

All aboard! 

And just like that, we're off. Down to Penn Station, and onto a Boston-bound Amtrak train. Though the internet was spotty at best, I really do prefer Amtrak over flying for trips to DC, Boston, or anywhere in between. "Downtown to downtown" service, and bigger seats - what's not to love? Oh right, that crappy internet connection...

It was graduation season in Boston, which meant that hotel room availability was really limited. I ended up splitting my trip between the Sheraton Boston and the Westin Copley Place. Things started off on a good foot, with an upgrade to an executive suite at the Sheraton:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lucky Me!

Despite my obsession with points and miles, I pretty much never enter random-draw / sweepstakes-like promotions - the odds are often long, and it just never seem to be worth the effort.

For some reason, I decided to give it a go on the past few promotions that I saw pop up, and much to my surprise, I actually won! Twice!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

United Ends Pre-Boarding For Families

Last month, United did away with their policy that allowed passengers with small children to "pre-board" before other customers (but after elite-level frequent flyers). Instead, these passengers will now need to board along with their designated boarding group. In the past few days, this decision has received a lot of attention in the press, as well as the travel blogs.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Let the Summer of Travel Begin!

After a hot start to 2012 (over 25,000 elite-qualifying miles flown in January alone), things have been pretty quiet on the travel front lately. Yes, there was the amazing trip to Napa to celebrate my 30th birthday - but apart from that, not much else to write home about.

Until now.

Yes friends, Monday kicks off my Summer of Travel, and it should be quite a ride! From now through to Labor Day, I'll be hitting the following destinations:


Oh boy.

It's about to get real ugly in the United forum on FlyerTalk. United's CFO John Rainey just stated that certain groups in the MileagePlus program were "over entitled". While I do think there's actually a grain of truth to that, I can't believe a top-level executive would actually come out and say so in such a public fashion!

I can certainly appreciate the drive toward operational efficiency and business performance, but wow.

You can listen to the comments on the United Investor Relations page here and follow the fall-out on FlyerTalk here.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Are Bloggers Ruining FlyerTalk?

There is some serious vitriol being thrown around on FlyerTalk over the past 24 hours or so, basically debating whether the more prominent travel / points bloggers out there (The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets, View From the Wing, One Mile at a Time, etc.) are "ruining" the discussion board. Check out the action live here.

My take? I see where some of the diehards are coming from, and I can certainly appreciate the frustration that was once a matter of taking candy from a baby has become more akin to taking candy from a toddler. At the end of the day though, I come down on the side of the bloggers (surprise, surprise). There's no way to close Pandora's Box at this point, and as a relative newbie to this game, I'm hugely indebted to those who came before, and were gracious and patient enough to show me the light. I also think it's hard to separate how much of the "problem" is due to bloggers "spoon-feeding" the masses vs. the growth of FlyerTalk (particularly the lurkers) over that same period of time.

What do you think?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

As if the world needs another travel blog...

Why not, right? Well, I've decided I need a place to share my love of good food, good wine, and the frequent flyer miles that allow me to sample them when I can't compress my thoughts enough for twitter, and when I don't want to spam my Facebook friends more than I already do.

Here we go!