Dallas-Venice on US Airways Coach: Eurabia, Part II

I’ll be honest: this probably won’t be the most exciting flight report ever.  It was mainly US Airways international coach service on their A330.  There were no suites, no sliding doors, no showers, no caviar.  It’s a wonder how I survived, huh?  I know I know, I’m a bit spoiled, but at the end of the day whether I’m in the front of the plane or the back of it I’m still traveling!  I’ve always said I’d never let Coach stand in the way of a good trip, and plus I’d get to check out a new airline’s international service.  All of this is what I told myself to get me psyched up for what I was sure to be a big ol’ bucket of meh.

Easter Island, Part I: Coach, Coach, Coach, Coach, Coach, Coach, and Coach

Easter Island.  Rapa Nui.  The very name invites intrigue and mystery.  The island is under Chilean sovereignty, where they call it Isla de Pascua (literally: Place Where People Look For Stone Faces). Before we get into the details, let’s cover some logistics. Where the heck is Easter Island? It’s one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth.  Quick, think of Santiago, Chile.  Ok, now, think of Tahiti.  Easter Island is about halfway between the two.  Still confused?  Let’s try this. Not helpful?  Ugh, fine, here it is a bit more zoomed out:

To Middle Earth, Part I: Part One

Welcome back, to another trip report from Andy’s Travel Blog. This one is sure to be the absolutely best trip report I’ve ever written since the one about my round the world trip in April. If you read my post about my next trip, then you’re missing out on a bit of the surprise, but I went to: New Zealand! Home of Middle Earth, and…ummm…well, that’s what I was going to find out. So, how would I get there? Let’s start out with some philosophical banter on how I like to use miles. You need some objective way of determining how good of a deal you get when redeeming miles. A frequently used metric is cents per mile. This is found, unsurprisingly, by taking the number of cents a trip would cost and dividing it by the number of miles it would take for an award ticket. Lots of credit cards will let you use their points to purchase airline tickets at 1 cent per mile (cpm), so that’s the absolute minimum I’d want to use for an award ticket. In other words, if it’s less than 1cpm, it makes more sense (to me) to just buy the ticket. Now, I live in Dallas, and American never really has any reason to discount fares out of DFW, so there are times I’ve had to spend a bunch of miles on an award ticket when I didn’t want to drop a ton of money on a ticket, so it happens. It’s… read more

Israel, Part I: Introduction

Israel, Part I: Introduction

Part I: Introduction Part II: Rockets, Jerusalem, and the Kelev Part III: The Incomparable Boaz Shalgi Part IV: Sacrifice and Courage at Masada, Qumran, and the Dead Sea Part V: Between Two Caesareas They say the first step is admitting it.  So, here goes: my name is Andy, and I love mistake airfares. Phew.  Man, they were right, I do feel better. What are mistake airfares?  Pretty simple actually.  Sometimes, when airlines input airfares into their systems, they make mistakes.  Could be a fat-finger mistake: last year, United accidentally entered the base airfare from SEA-PEK (Beijing) as $25.00 each way instead of $250.00 each way, which led to roundtrips from Seattle to Beijing for $470 after taxes were included. I’ve been able to take advantage of these on quite a few occasions over the past few years: DFW-Frankfurt for $340, Houston-London for $294, and DFW-Lima for $320.  There are numerous others I’ve passed up, but then I saw a really big opportunity a few months ago.  I was perusing some blogs and flyertalk.com and saw someone post what looked like a mistake fare on El Al Israel Airlines: Boston-Tel Aviv for $360 roundtrip!  That’s about $800 cheaper than it should be.  So I went into Deal Hunting mode.  I looked at the fares people were finding, and most of the tickets were routed through London, Paris, or Madrid on American, then onto Tel Aviv on El Al.  Since I know American also flies to those routes out of DFW, I went ahead and looked, and… read more

 

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