Check out the mistake that cost me 20k AA miles

Apparently it’s common knowledge to many people, but I had no idea:

Canceling an award flight, even within 24 hours, is expensive.

I used 20k miles recently to surprise a friend with a flight to join us in Hawaii.

When we called her to tell her, she was psyched but told us she’d be moving from South Carolina to Florida before the trip would happen.

No big deal, I thought, I’ll just cancel that return flight and re-book it returning to Tampa instead.

American Airlines will refund your ticket as long as you cancel within 24 hours, right?

Wrong. Continue reading

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Review: Long Beach Airport, a JetBlue hub

I got a lot of puzzled looks when I told people I was visiting Long Beach.

Thanks to JetBlue I got a weekend flight and a hotel for $80, so why not?

About 20 miles south of LA, it’s not exactly a great option when visiting there, but I enjoyed visiting Long Beach.

The airport is small, with about 80% of its flights operated by JetBlue.

Quick review:

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My Citi Prestige Trip Delay benefit claim was painless & actually worked

California has gotten hit by several heavy storms this year, meaning lots of delayed flights in and out of SFO.

One of my recent flights from Denver to SFO got pushed hour by hour from 4p until past midnight, so instead of spending hours hoping the flight would happen I decided to re-book on Frontier’s earliest flight the next morning.

Even though the delay wasn’t their fault, Frontier gave everyone who wanted it a $15 food voucher to use at the airport.

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Here’s the math on my month of Uber Flat Rate rides

Uber brought back its flat rate rides promo last month in some cities, where users could pay a one-time fee for a subscription to a set number of flat rate rides.

I paid $10 for a 20-ride subscription for $2.49 UberPool rides or $4.99 UberX rides within the SF Bay Area.

I only used 15 of my 20 rides and wanted figure out whether this would be worth purchasing again in the future, so I made a quick spreadsheet.

Here’s the math: Continue reading

Review: Air France-KLM lounge, SFO’s only Priority Pass option

Some airports don’t have any lounges (Denver, Philly, San Diego, & more) that participate in the Priority Pass membership that several credit cards offer for free.

San Francisco International Airport has one, and it’s hidden from the majority of travelers, tucked away in the international terminal.

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Virgin America Loft at LAX is closing soon. Here are some photos inside

Virgin America’s lounge at LAX will be closing soon, according to a visitor who posted about it on Reddit.

The Virgin America Loft, as it’s called, is Virgin America’s only airport lounge, but it appears to be an endangered species about to go extinct.

It’s said to be closing in May, so I was grateful to get a chance to check it out recently.

Pros:

  • Delicious local LA beer from Golden Road Brewery, free on tap.
  • Not very crowded at all when I was there.
  • Plenty of seating with great views of planes taking off and landing.
  • In true Virgin America fashion, the lounge has blue lights and a cool, quirky design.

Cons:

  • Not much complimentary food to choose from, though the cookies were good.
  • Shirts and shoes required.

The lounge is part of the Priority Pass network of lounges, so entrance is free if you have that membership, which comes free with the Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum credit cards.

Here are some iPhone photos:

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Here’s why that video of a driver confronting Uber’s CEO is blown way out of proportion

I don’t doubt that Uber’s CEO is a bit of a bro.

He faced international scorn this week after this video surfaced of him arguing with a driver (skip to 3:55 for the nittygritty):

The CEO, Travis Kalanick, apologized on Tuesday and admitted to needing leadership help.

But here’s why the video is blown way out of proportion: Continue reading