Like last year, I just left Mexico City for a long international trip over the holidays – this time to Asia instead of Europe. This time the trip wasn’t built around a mistake fare, but rather a desire to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha and the Chengdu Panda Base, both in western China.
I started planning the trip in mid-September, and found that Asiana Airlines had pretty good business class availability across the Pacific for the dates we were looking at. I tacked on United economy flights between Mexico City and LAX (though this resulted in an overnight layover in each direction, since United only has one flight per day between those two cities), and added a domestic Air China economy flight from Shanghai to Chengdu after a one-week stopover.
Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend. I was in freezing Chicago over the weekend for the FTU Travel Expo / Signature travel conference. I arrived late Saturday afternoon because I took a $500 bump from United Airlines, stayed the night at an SFO airport hotel and got on a Saturday morning flight to Chicago. When I finally arrived, I picked up a few travel tips from the sessions and one on one conversations. I will try to cover some of the public travel tips I learned this week. Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with me.
Question… wouldn’t it be cool if you could see legroom for different flights on different airlines in Google Flights? Yes, it is possible. All you need to do is install the Legrooms extension to your Google Chrome browser. I will walk you through all the steps the 1 step. Also, while researching this post, I realized this was covered months ago by several travel blogs, but somehow I missed all those blog posts, so maybe this helps a few people like me. Here is the basic Google Flights view:
Do you have all the time in the world to keep track of all the airlines, the alliances, which airlines are adding flights and routes, and which routes are being canceled? I certainly don’t. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when United announced its new non-stops to Europe for Summer 2018. Sure, these are seasonal routes, but still, for those of us who work hard accumulating miles and points, this is exactly the kind of knowledge we need to book those award tickets, and book them early. Knowing when award charts open, and seasonal route award seats are bookable, is just not something I’m good about keeping track of. In addition to United’s new Summer routes, United also started daily service between LAX and Singapore and between New York and Buenos Aires. See what I mean? That’s a lot of news to follow. And that’s just United.
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.
Do you remember the first time you used British Airways Avios? I do! And for me, that was also when they took their special place in my heart. And a special place in my award booking world as well! I use British Airways Avios for short haul domestic flights, getting me from the states to Europe or within Europe. I realized that not a year goes by without me using British Airways Avios. When I found out about being able to pool Avios among family members, I became an even bigger Avios fan girl because this really simplified award bookings for me. It created more value to my stash of Avios as well. Did you know that British Airways allows pooling points among family members? It’s called a Household Account!
Creating a Household Account allows you to redeem Avios from any member of the household to create an award booking. So if you don’t have enough Avios for an award, but a member of your household does, you can pool points. Of course this works both ways. If you find a Household Account too restricting, you don’t have to have one to move miles between accounts. For a fee, British Airways does let you do this. And you can book one-way award redemptions, so if you don’t have enough Avios in your account for a roundtrip award, someone else can book one leg for you. But maybe a Household Account WOULD work well for you! Let’s take a closer look at how Household Accounts work. Continue reading →