Category Archives: Airlines + Miles

Trip Report: ANA 787 Business Class MEX-NRT

I had a work trip to Hong Kong in June, and I asked the people booking my ticket to put me on the new ANA nonstop from Mexico City to Tokyo-Narita. This flight launched earlier this year with ANA’s 787 Dreamliner, and is one of the only options to get to Asia from Mexico City without transiting the US (which requires early departures and long layovers). Luckily, the ticket got booked into a fare class that’s eligible for mileage upgrades, so I was able to use 28,000 ANA miles (transferred from Membership Rewards) to upgrade from Economy to Business.

I flew the reverse in economy in May coming back from Tokyo, so I was excited to see what business class would be like on this flight. The flight departs Mexico City at 2:20AM and arrives in Tokyo around 6:30AM the next day.

At the MEX Airport

I wasn’t able to print a boarding pass online for this flight. I arrived at MEX just before the cutoff time for checked bags, so there was no line at the ticket counter (but even if there had been, there was a separate checkin line for Business Class and Star Alliance Gold customers). Checkin was fast and efficient, and I was on my way to security in just a couple of minutes.

Since both of the Star Alliance lounges at MEX (Avianca and United) were closed at this hour, my boarding pass indicated that I could access the Grand Lounge Elite, a 24-hour Priority Pass lounge. The lounge was so far away from the gate though that by the time I went through security and had my immigration paperwork processed, it wasn’t worth trekking down to the lounge before the flight started boarding. I bought a big bottle of water (since there’s nowhere to fill a reusable bottle with drinkable water) and waited for boarding to start. Continue reading

How to Request Mexico Tourism Tax Refunds for Mexican Citizens, Residents & Transiting Visitors [UPDATED September 2017]

Originally Posted in January 2017 – Updated with new data points in September 2017!

Buenos dias!

If you or someone you know has a Mexican passport or resident card, they might be leaving money on the table when they purchase airline tickets to/from/through Mexico.

When you purchase a plane ticket to Mexico, the fare has a tourism tax built in – similar to US customs and immigration fees.  This fee goes toward the cost of immigration processing and the arrival / departure card required for foreign visitors. The fee is 500 Mexican Pesos, which is roughly $28 USD. (The fee increased from 390 pesos at some point in 2017). On your ticket receipt you may see this referred to as UK (the IATA code for this tax) or DNR (the Spanish abbreviation).

Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax

Screenshot from ITA Matrix showing the Mexico tourism tax – tax and exchange rate as of December 18, 2016.

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OC Travel Meetup Saturday, September 23 @ 12pm at Tustin District In-N-Out

Good afternoon everyone.  I am visiting my parents this weekend in Orange County, so I decided to do a miles and points meetup on Saturday afternoon.  If you are free this Saturday, I would love to meet you and talk travel, miles and points, MS, and blogging.

  • Where: 2895 Park Ave, Tustin, CA 92782 (Google Maps)
  • When: Saturday, September 23 @ 12-2PM

In-N-Out Tustin District Map

There is no need to RSVP to the OC Meetup, just show up at 12pm and be ready to talk talk travel.  I will do a reminder post later this week.  I hope to see some of you there!

Win a Free Trip to Italy from Blick Art Supply Store

Who doesn’t love an EASY opportunity to win a trip to Italy? Everyone who has been to Italy including me, wants to return. And everyone who hasn’t yet been, usually has Italy at the top of their bucket list.

Last week I was in my favorite art supply store, Blick, and saw this sweepstakes. Usually I don’t notice these things, but this one was for ITALY!

You can enter ONLINE or in the store. No purchase necessary. Contest ends October 1, 2017. And here’s the best part! The winner gets not just airfare for themselves and a guest, but also $4,000 to spend on whatever they’d like in the way of hotels and other travel expenses.

Besides DickBlick being an amazing and wonderful art supply store, this is a fantastic contest. So enter the sweepstakes now and promise me if you win, I’ll be your guest and if I win I’ll take you!

Good luck, everyone, and have a great day!

Will My Carry-On Bag Fit? Master Chart of 150+ Airlines Carry-On Luggage Weight & Dimension Restrictions

Airline policies often baffle me. The carry-on luggage restrictions are mind-boggling, to say the least. There are no standards and each airline sets their own rules. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago. I was in a mall and walked by a House of Samsonite store. Inside the store were signs showing luggage dimensions and weights for a few airlines. I found the signs helpful, but also realized they were obviously incomplete for those of us who travel a lot and use a broad variety of airlines.

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