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November 20, 2014

American Airlines (+ US Airways) Flights: Using British Airways Avios out of New York-NYC

Ever since US Airways and American Airlines announced their merger, I’ve been excited about the prospect of having many more options of using British Airways Avios for award flights within the US. This thought became reality on March 31, 2014 when US Airways offically joined the Oneworld Alliance and thus, overnight, travelers in the US had many more options to maximize Avios redemptions.

This opens up lots of opportunities for maximizing short, non-stop flights out of or to American Airlines’ and US Airways’ hub cities:

US Airways hubs: Charlotte-CLT, Philadelphia-PHL, Washington-Reagan-DCA and Phoenix-PHX. American Airlines hubs: New York-JFK, [...]
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November 11, 2014

Park Hyatt New York Review – New York, NY

As I’ve written about before, the Park Hyatt brand is my very favorite hotel group. In addition to celebrating several milestones at Park Hyatts, there’s nothing that makes you feel like a princess if not a stay at the Park Hyatt. Our recent stay at the brand new Park Hyatt New York was nothing short of luxurious and was the perfect home away from home while we celebrated our first anniversary. Just a block from Central Park and overlooking Carnegie Hall, the location – in the center of Midtown – is top notch.

This brand new building houses the Park Hyatt in the first 25 [...]

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June 16, 2014

Lufthansa First Class Lounge – New York-JFK Airport

Lufthansa First Class Lounge JFK After our heads were left spinning as we realized we a) had narrowly missed getting stuck in the winter storm taking over New York and b) now were leaving a day early for our honeymoon AND flying Lufthansa AND somehow had gotten Lufthansa First Class Award seats (Jeffrey tells me this almost never happens--Check out: Finagling our way into Lufthansa First Class with VERY last minute changes), we found ourselves walking towards the Lufthansa Lounge at JFK.
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April 29, 2014

W Hoboken Hotel Review – Hoboken, New Jersey

W Hoboken Hotel – Starwood Category 5 225 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030 Award Redemption: 12,000 pts or 6,000 pts +$110 (very limited Cash & Points availability) Normal rate: Around $269-350 avg, ranging from $224 – $414 Starpoints return: 1.88 – 3.45 cents/point – Average to REALLY GOOD


I had a last minute-ish stay required in New York and it happened to be on opening day of the United Nation General Assembly in Manhattan. As a result, all hotels were fully booked in New York, so the best I could do was Hoboken, New Jersey. I booked a “Cozy Room: King Bed,” and, despite the busy week, I was able to get a pretty good rate. On my [...]

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March 24, 2014

Amtrak Acela Express First Class: Washington, D.C.-WAS to New York-NYP

Amtrak Acela Express 2168 – First Class Car Review

I needed to get from Washington-WAS to New York-NYP and had already decided I was taking the train. But, instead of a Northeast Regional train (which has appx 1 departure every hour), I wanted to try America’s one and only “high speed” train.

Value and Booking

The Acela Express train isn’t cheap, especially when considering that it’s not so much of a “high-speed train” than an “Express Train”. The Acela will typically save you about 35 minutes when compared to the slower Northeast Regional train, but tickets can cost as much as 80% more (cheapest rates on the [...]

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January 24, 2014

Weekend Pick: The Best Way to Escape the Winter Storm

First installment of Jeffrey’s Weekend Pick (because McCown is lazy): Has the Polar Vortex version 2.0 got you down?

While the snow has stopped, it sounds like the damage has been done and the frigid temperatures are here to stay. Our suggestion for the weekend? A weekend trip to hit the ski slopes now that they’ve all been coated with feet and feet of fresh powder! Here are the ski slopes that were best affected by the winter weather:

West Virginia fared exceptionally well in this lineup (that’s the first–and last– time I’ll ever say that WV fared well at something). Take a look at the map, at least 3 resorts are less than a [...]

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December 11, 2013

Amtrak Acela First Class: ClubAcela Lounge at Union Station Washington, D.C.

I took my first train trip on Amtrak’s Acela a few weeks ago from Washington, DC Union Station (WAS) to New York Penn Station (NYP). Because I had a First class ticket (Acela only has either Business Class & First Class), I was able to check out the ClubAcela lounge in Washington while I was waiting for my train.

You’ll need to present some credentials to make it past the doors to the luxury that lies beyond. Here are the ways to get into the Lounge:

Access included with First Class tickets on the “high-speed” Acela train or those traveling in sleeper cars Those with Select Plus/Executive status (top level Amtrak Guest Rewards [...]
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December 9, 2013

Honeymoon Countdown: 4 Days to Go!

Just a few short days until our honeymoon! Here’s a brief overview of where we’re headed and how we’re getting there:

Our 24,606 mile trip will take us to 10 countries (including connections) over 16 days:

Part 1 -New York

We’ll fly from Charleston-JFK to New York-JFK  on Delta…

…and spend 1 night in the city to get our fill of the Christmas spirit.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Part 2 – Bali, Indonesia

Our award ticket starts in New York as we fly out of New York-LGA and, appx 33 hours later, land in Denpasar, [...]

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August 11, 2013

Blitz Deal: Sao Paulo-GRU to New York for $898 in Business Class

Ok, this one is a bit of a stretch but an awesome deal. Delta has dropped Business Class fares from Sao Paulo-GRU to New York-JFK from around $3,500 to $898. This is great for people living in Brazil looking for a cheap flight to the New York area, less impressive though for US based flyers (unless you’re trying to do a mileage run).
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August 9, 2013

Top 10: Longest Domestic Flights in the World

You’d think that this was a cut and dry topic, but it’s far from it. What flights should count? Non-stop only? Contiguous countries? Territories and dependencies (they do often have the same currency and government as their mother country)?? As a result we’ve had to categorize the list a bit. We’ll start with a little background:  the IATA (International Air Transport Association) defines “domestic” as two places with the same ISO country code. Contrary to the IATA definition, however, the regular passenger considers domestic flights as those where they do not need to pass immigration on departure and arrival.

Longest non-stop domestic [...]
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