Buenos dias everyone! For a few months now, we’ve been talking about going to Tokyo in May, but we weren’t sure exactly when or for how long. When we were in Barcelona earlier this year, we picked up tickets to the Ghibli Museum for May 13 at the local JTB office, but that was all the planning we had done. This was largely because my partner just enrolled at Universidad Autonóma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico City, and classes started this week – but he didn’t get his class schedule until last Thursday! And it turned out he has an early morning lecture five days a week.
We knew that this Wednesday and next Monday were school holidays, so we had a general sense of how it could work, but we weren’t 100% certain how much class he would be comfortable missing until he actually went to class. Ultimately, we decided we could leave Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning and return on Monday, which would mean he’d miss two days of school for a five day trip.
It’s not a very long time to go all the way to Tokyo, but we really wanted to visit the museum and catch the end of wisteria season, so we decided to make it happen. As a result, I ended up booking some of the shortest-notice award tickets of my life – I made reservations on Monday afternoon for a flight on Tuesday evening.
Buenos días everyone. Before I arrived at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City on Saturday evening, I was a bit irritated when the flight crew announced that they did not have customs forms on board. After I cleared immigration and proceeded to baggage claim in the customs hall, I was confused because I couldn’t find any blank forms anywhere. That confusion turned into surprise when I approached an American Airlines baggage agent and was told “We don’t use those anymore.” Sure enough, when I went up to the customs agent, she just asked me if I had anything to declare and told me to push the red button – thankfully the light turned green. Continue reading →
Buenos dias everyone. A few months ago, I wrote about VirtualPostMail, the service I use to receive, scan, and forward my physical mail. I typically have them collect items for me over the course of a few weeks, and then I select the items I want to keep and have them shipped to wherever I’m going next. Since I was heading to Washington, DC for work last week, I asked VPM to mail a package to my post office box in Washington, DC a few days before I was going to arrive. This package included several important items:
Buenos días everyone. On my last trip to the US, I tried to use the free hour of Gogo in-flight wifi access offered to T-Mobile customers, but couldn’t get the T-Mobile access banner to show up. When I reached out to their chat support team, I was told that the T-Mobile deal is not available on international flights on American Airlines. This was surprising to me, since I’ve taken advantage of it in the past on flights between the US and Mexico City – I thought perhaps this was standard language to keep passengers from expecting to find free wifi on transatlantic and transpacific flights, which mostly use Panasonic Avionics wifi instead of Gogo wifi. However, when I looked at Gogo’s FAQ page, there’s a section that explicitly defines the offer as being available for Gogo-equipped domestic flights:
Here’s all the news that caught my eye this week – let me know if you learn something new!
Airlines + Miles
The TSA is reportedly piloting a new requirement in Kansas City (MCI): forcing passengers to remove any paper products from their luggage. Yet another reason to get Global Entry if you don’t have it already. [Schneier on Security]
American Airlines has a new promotion where you can earn up to 10,000 points for transactions with their shopping partners. [Mommy Points]
American Airlines also announced that they plan to cram so many seats into their new 737 MAX planes that some rows will lose two additional inches of legroom. [CNN Money]
Hawaiian Airlines unveiled a brand and livery refresh. It looks pretty slick! [The Design Air]