We hopped in the Chevy HHR to a greeting from the driver, a man in his 60s or 70s.
“Would you like some music?” he asked as he pulled away from our place.
“Sure, we like everything,” I offered.
He pulled over to the side, turned on some music, then headed down the road again.
Pulling over to use his phone, very responsible, I thought to myself.
Next he hit the button to start GPSing the route, which turned off the music. Oh well.
He was a heavy talker, which I’m not bothered by. I’ve been a driver, I know how it goes.
As he chatted away, he casually missed our highway exit toward the airport.
“Oops, that was our exit,” I said, too late. Continue reading
Last night I booked a flight that’ll be two firsts for me:
- An error fare
- A business class flight
The flight appears to be about half the price of a normal coach fare for the route.
I got the deal from Secret Flying, who I love for their fare alerts, even though they often steal info from other sites without crediting the source.
So I book the flight, right?
But here we are, next day, and the fare is still available.
There was a gold rush of people signing up for Chase’s Fairmont credit card early this year for a few reasons:
- This was one of the few Chase cards that was still available to people who had five or more new credit cards in the past 24 months.
- Chase confirmed that they would be ending the card soon and would stop accepting applications for the card.
- Many people are hoping that Chase will eventually convert all Fairmont card accounts to a Chase-branded card that many aren’t eligible for, due to the aforementioned 5/24 rule.
Well, I was one of the gold rushers.
One of the nice things about this credit card is it comes with $50 in dining certificates each year that can be used at any Fairmont.
I’m lucky to have one very close to where I live, so I decided to try using my dining certificate before it expires and renews on Feb. 28.
The Fairmont San Francisco
I knew the Fairmont San Francisco was swanky and historic, and that Barack Obama stayed here recently, but I didn’t know it was this swanky and historic:
Figuratively and literally, this may be the closest I ever get to flying in first class:
There are a bunch of things that make Alaska Airlines a uniquely awesome airline.
One of those is the discount codes that you can earn with the Alaska Airlines credit cards from Bank of America.
Each of their credit cards that you have will provide you a single-use companion pass every year, which allows you to bring an additional person with you on a flight for only $99, no matter how much your ticket costs.
If your roundtrip flight is $400, you can bring your travel partner for about $100 more, meaning you’d have two roundtrip tickets for around $500.
Bank of America also sent me an offer a few months ago for a $50 discount code after I spent $250 using my card at specific categories of stores.
In case you missed it, Alaska Airlines acquired another of my favorite airlines last year, Virgin America.
Even though you could book Virgin America flights on Alaska Air’s website, you couldn’t initially use your Alaska Air discount codes on those flights.
Well I was browsing some flights today, and I realized…
Now you can.
Before I jump in, please don’t think I’m trying to brag.
There are travel hackers out there who I’m sure could get way better value out of their points by using them to somehow get 1st-class tickets, along with a free stopover in Sydney, for the same price.
We’re flying coach, and we’re psyched.
Get on with it, so how?
Alcatraz is rocky and squawky and is ruled by birds.
During the summer it may be another box on a tourism checklist, but the rest of the year it’s one of many natural escapes in the arsenal of Golden Gate National Parks.
The South By Southwest conference and festival floods the city of Austin with visitors for 10 days every spring, causing hotel prices to skyrocket.
For those not on the company tab, that could mean paying hundreds of dollars per night if you want to stay anywhere near the action downtown.
But, if you have a stockpile of hotel points, you could stay for free.
Keep in mind, under normal circumstances most hotel points are valued at only about a half a cent, though Hyatt and SPG points are more valuable.
During SXSW you could get amazing value out of your points.
Here are some options:
Night 1: Hyatt Regency Austin
A Hyatt point is worth: ~6.6 cents. Woah!
I was super excited a to post about Lyft’s Express Drive program a few months ago, which is supposed to allow drivers who complete a certain number of rides to get a free car rental.
They even had brand new electric cars available at some point.
But I recently attempted to try the program, and learned that it’s sort of scamming some drivers by making them wait multiple unpaid hours for a Hertz rental deal that may also result in lost earnings.
Lyft has two options for drivers to get a free rental in SF: Continue reading