Tag Archives: American Airlines

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Airport Guide & Airline Lounge Locations

Buenos dias everyone! A friend recently asked some questions about an upcoming connection through LAX, and since there have been so many changes at that airport this year, I decided to write up a quick guide in case anyone else has an upcoming trip.

The Basics

LAX has 9 terminals – numbered 1-8 and TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal). TBIT and terminals 4-8 are connected by tunnels and bridges post-security; terminals 1-3 are not connected to anything. Note that if you’re going to TBIT and you have TSA PreCheck, there is no PreCheck at TBIT – you can go through the PreCheck lane in T4 and then walk to TBIT via the terminal connector (which conveniently drops you off right next to most of the lounges).

LAX Airport map from lawa.org

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Keep, Convert or Close the Barclays American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard?

I’ve made a resolution! From now on, when a credit card I currently have comes up for renewal, I really want to consider more deeply than I have in the past, whether or not to keep the credit card. I’m determined to look more closely at the annual fees I pay to keep the credit card and the benefits I receive. And whether I’m actually using those benefits… maybe that’s the most important question of all.

Since I made this resolution, the first credit card to come up for renewal is my Barclays American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard. Like many of you, I got this credit card because I had the Barclays US Airways World MasterCard, which became the Aviator credit card when American Airlines bought US Airways. The yearly fee for the Aviator credit card is $89. My first action was to actually read the Reward Summary on my statement and really understand the potential of this credit card, whether or not I actually put much spend on this card. Continue reading

My Lunch Conversation with a 30+ Year Airline Veteran (She Started with PSA in 1968)

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have had a 30+ year career with the airlines? I know people who are currently working in the airline industry, but I’ve never had the chance to really sit down and talk to an airline veteran of so many years… until the other day. I was on one of my walks in Coronado making notes for my Coronado / San Diego series when I struck up a conversation with a woman who was also taking a walk. I figured she was a Coronado local, which she was, but I came to find out she was also retired from a 30+ year career with the airlines. So later that week, over coffee and scones at Tartines, I talked with Janet. I figured if I was intrigued by the changes she’d seen in all those years, and her other impressions of the airline industry, as well as any places she’d been and enjoyed, you might want to eavesdrop on our conversation and hear what I learned from Janet.

I’ve always wondered how people got started when they work for the airlines for so many years. Janet had one of those I-guess-it-was-meant-to-be stories. In her early 20s, she and a girlfriend came out to San Diego from the east coast. No job. No plans. They stayed with a friend and, one day, a neighbor came by. Naturally, he asked Janet what she would do for work, and when she said she had no idea, he said he worked for the airlines, they were hiring, and she should come by and see about getting a job.

That was the summer of 1968 and the airline was PSA! Pacific Southwest Airlines was the first large discount airline and billed itself as the “World’s Friendliest Airline”. Maybe you remember PSA, I sure do! At first, they only flew intra-state in California. So imagine a lot of up and down and up and down in one day kind of flights. Janet mentioned that this was great for the women crew because they could be home with their kids every night.

Another interesting fact she mentioned was that one of the reasons the PSA crews were so young was because they could hire 18 year olds. PSA didn’t cross state lines. They did, however, serve small bottles of alcohol, but didn’t open them for you. The bigger airline carriers did serve alcohol, so they couldn’t hire anyone younger than 21! The crews were young and fun, and Janet told me they still have PSA get togethers and parties :)

PSA Pacific Southwest Airlines flight attendants. Image source: http://www.psa-history.org/sights_and_sounds/stewardesses

Continue reading