Heading South to… America? South America that is – Part 1

August 2017

A lot of people are surprised when they find out the long list of countries I have visited doesn’t include South America. I just had never really had the opportunity or chance to visit… until recently, that is.

Periodically, American Airlines has really good sale fares to places like PTY (Panama) and SJO (San José, Puerto Rico.) I was debating how I was going to requalify for MVP Gold when I saw the sale pop up again, this time to Bogotá. I have always wanted to go to South America and this would allow me to see what AA transcontinental service from LAX to MIA was like (since it’s designated as a premium service for North America). I managed to find an itinerary I liked and booked my round trip ticket from LAX. Now I just needed to get to LA… Continue reading

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5 Tips for Maximizing Your Points

I get asked often how I travel so much, but really there’s no simple answer to that.  It’s a combination of many things: keeping an eye on flight deals, searching message boards, taking crazy routings, and last but certainly not least, using points.  Points tickets have allowed me to make some spectacular trips, but I do spend a great deal of time trying to optimize them.

For many years I was a loyal Aeroplan customer, part of the Star Alliance network.  However, after continued devaluations of the program, and the fact that United was the partner in the US, I made the jump over to Alaska Airline’s Mileage Program.  Although the program is not part of an alliance, they have many great partners you can redeem on.  I feel that this program is the best for me in terms of point redemption opportunities, but everyone is different. Continue reading

Flashback Friday: A Roman Layover

Off to Rome – November 2015

After a lot of last minute switching, my trip to Europe ended up having a 23 hours in Rome.  So after a stressful day and night, I got up early to head to YVR to catch a quick shuttle flight to SeaTac in a little prop plane (Dash 8). The flight was short and fairly uneventful, although the cloud cover coming in to Seattle was impressive and I felt like we were stuck in a cloud… But we eventually broke free and landed. After a fairly long layover in Seattle, where I visited both the United Club Lounge in Concourse A and The Club at the south terminal, it was time to head off to Frankfurt.

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