Tag Archives: Marriott

Trip Report: Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM) is My Favorite Eastern European Capital

Good afternoon everyone.  Last week, I published 2 trip report posts about my recent EuroTrip (Visit Chisinau, Moldova & Transnistria (Breakaway State / Frozen Conflict Zone) and 6 Hour Layover in Bucharest, Romania? Visit Palace of the Parliament (Second Largest Building in the World)).  Today is the third and final trip report post about my experience visiting Skopje, the capital of Macedonia (FYROM = Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). My friend and I had a rental car and made the 3-4 hour drive from Sofia, Bulgaria to Skopje, Macedonia.  We stayed 2 nights at the beautiful Skopje Marriott Hotel, using 10,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.  Thanks to Marriott elite status, we were upgraded to a suite with complimentary access to the lounge (snacks, drinks, desserts, etc) and complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  Here is a photo from inside the spacious lounge and the view outside the lounge.

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How Right (or Wrong) Were My 2018 Travel Predictions?

Good afternoon everyone.  In mid January 2018, I wrote My Unlikely, But Entertaining 2018 Travel Predictions.  I did not look at that post until yesterday, so it was fun to look at the predictions I had made.  I will go through my 2018 predictions and see how well I did.  Since my memory is not that great, please correct me if I am wrong on any of these.  In a few days, I will share my probably equally as unlikely but equally as entertaining 2019 travel predictions, so check back for that post.  Without further ado, here were my 2018 predictions and the results:

Airlines

  • After the Virgin America merger, Alaska Airlines will add new routes to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean (Correct! According to Alaska Airlines’ website, they did add several new routes of Mexico City from SFO, LAX, and SAN.  Unfortunately, there were no new routes to Canada or the Caribbean.)
  • Delta Airlines will introduce cash and miles award tickets, then American Airlines and United Airlines will follow suit (Wrong!  Looks like none of the big 3 airlines added “cash + miles” award tickets.)
  • Southwest Airlines will increase their Transfarency by automatically keeping track of travel funds in each account (Wrong!  You still need to manually track your travel funds.)
  • JetBlue will add new routes along the West Coast and maybe to Hawaii (Wrong! JetBlue did add new routes along the East Coast, but nothing new on the West Coast.)
  • Singapore Airlines will allow you to book United Airlines awards online (Correct!  Singapore Airlines added the ability to book award flights on United Airlines in February.)
  • British Airways will bring back the 4,500 Avios award price in the United States (Wrong!  Sadly, the 4,500 British Airways Avios pricing band is still not available in the US.)

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Maybe You Can’t Avoid Resort Fees, But You Can Pay Less For Your Hotel Room

Resort fees, destination fees; call them what you want, they all stink. Hotels have a menu (except we don’t get to pick and choose) of junk fees that are attached to our bills for all kinds of “services and amenities” that used to be complimentary or something we could choose to pay extra for. I don’t think any of us really believe hotel claims about why they’re now adding on these fees. From what I’ve read, it seems like these fees enable hotels to still claim their rates are lower and also pay less to travel agents since commissions are paid based on the base rate, not the total rate.

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Keep, Cancel or Convert? American Express Business Platinum Charge Card ($450 Annual Fee)

Good afternoon everyone.  As part of my “Keep, Cancel or Convert?” series, I like to evaluate and reevaluate credit (and charge) cards to make sure they still deserve a spot in my wallet.  2 weeks ago, my $450 annual fee posted on my American Express Business Platinum Charge CardI shared my outrage on the upcoming changes to the card and Shelli added her thoughts too.  I am not going to go into all the nitty gritty details of the current card benefits and the upcoming card benefits, but I have decided to keep my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card until next December when the *gasp!* $595 annual fee posts to my account.  Here is why this card is still worth the $450 annual fee I just paid…

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Is Amex’s Platinum Business Card Worth $12 Extra A Month?

No denying this has been a big year for change in the credit card landscape. Hyatt changed its policy on how cash and points nights are determined, the Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit is fading into the sunset, and Amex updated the Gold card benefits. Just when you’re catching your breath, ouch, American Express strikes yet again with an annual fee increase on the Business Platinum credit card.

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