Cathay Pacific’s First A350 Delayed When Passenger Pulls Off Ceiling Panel

Jul 23 2016

I really enjoy flying Hong Kong-based oneworld airline Cathay Pacific on short haul flights, because while they do have a ‘short haul’ business class (which is better than US airline first class) often short flights like the 1049 mile Hong Kong – Bangkok route will be operated by long haul aircraft with fully flat seats (and in either case you get a multi-course meal up front).

Wednesday’s Cathay Pacific flight CX705 was operated by an Airbus A350. And it suffered a 3 hour delay for a rather unusual reason.

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American Airlines Will Refund Overcharged Award Taxes

Jul 22 2016

The UK has a departure tax (‘Airline Passenger Duty’) that’s high in coach and higher still in premium cabins, and is often referred to as a ‘premium cabin departure tax’ or ‘luxury tax’.

One improvement, implemented a little over a year and a half ago, is that children under 12 flying economy no longer pay this tax. On a London – New York ticket that’s a savings of $96 per child, which really adds up for a family traveling with several kids. However American Airlines is still collecting the tax on award tickets.

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What to Do When a Hotel Refuses to Honor Elite Benefits

Jul 22 2016

Each hotel chain takes a different approach towards pushing members of their loyalty programs to book directly with the chain. They withhold points, and in some cases elite recognition, from members who make their bookings via third party sites like Expedia or with a vacation package (air and hotel, air and car) provider like United Vacations.

One reader booked a fantastic three cabin first class fare with AA Vacations combined with hotel stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York, choosing the hotel because he’s a Hyatt Diamond member. Only he didn’t get the Diamond recognition he expected.

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Hilton’s New Challenge Program to Give You Elite Status

Jul 22 2016

I maintain Platinum status with Starwood and Diamond status with Hyatt. Those chains, I believe, provide the best top tier elite benefits.

But they aren’t everywhere — their footprint doesn’t solve all of my travel needs. I’ve gone outside those chains this year already several times. United elites get Marriott status. For everyone else I like Hilton.

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What Hath Brexit Wrought? British Airways Business Class Cutbacks

Jul 22 2016

It will be years before Britain leaves the EU, if it leaves at all, and if it does there’s any number of scenarios for what that could look like. But the mere possibility, post non-binding referendum to do so, is having significant effects on the UK economy.

While fuel prices are low and world airline profits are high, British Airways appears to be preparing for the apocalypse with reported changes to business class service:

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Earn 10% Back When Booking Non-Major Chain Hotels

Jul 21 2016

Independent hotels though are especially at the mercy of online travel agency sites. They also pay higher commissions than the “high teens” that we often see for the chains.

Enter The Guestbook, a program which gives you 5% cash back or 10% in credit for future hotel stays, for booking direct with any of their current network of about 500 properties.

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