Commuting by Car or Plane: Which Is Worse?


As everyone comes home from the holiday weekend, many of you are likely to be getting into a car or plane to get to work. I spent about two and a half years commuting by air to glamorous destinations like Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver, while spending two more commuting more than an hour and twenty minutes each way from San Francisco to various locations around San Jose. How do they stack … [Read more...]

Routehappy Makes It Easier to Enjoy Your Trip

American LAX-JFK Business Routehappy

I've written about Routehappy at least once before. It's one of a few airline search engines that attempts to improve the user experience by adding information on in-flight amenities and user reviews in addition to traditional sorting criteria like price or the number of connections. Because while consumers do tend to be price sensitive, they aren't immune to common sense when told a better flight … [Read more...]

Routehappy Knows What Makes a Good Flight

Routehappy 1

There are many ways to compare flights: the cheapest price, the most direct, or the one that earns the most frequent flyer miles. But sometimes you just want to make sure you experience as little hassle as possible, reducing the inevitable stress of travel. Routehappy solves this problem by evaluating every flight on multiple criteria like seat pitch, on-board WiFi, entertainment options, and … [Read more...]

The Essential Introduction to Using GCMap


I’ve used the Great Circle Mapper website ( for a couple years and found it useful to plot my itineraries and get some basic distance information. However, I’ve never really understood all the cool features that some others like to use. I set out last weekend to teach myself more about it. First, a Cartography Lesson It helps if you already know the definition of a “great circle.” … [Read more...]

My 2013 Dream Map

40K miles with Alaska Airlines. Image from

I always say that earning elite status, especially when you're aiming for the top tier, multiple programs, or paying for it yourself, requires a lot of strategy. In my case, I'm trying to do all three. Strategy helped me earn Premier 1K for the first time in 2011, when 500-mile minimums gave me a 5,000 mile boost over the course of the year (and which I completely forgot about). In 2012, I … [Read more...]

2012: My Year in Review

All my flights in 2012. Image from

This was a pretty successful year for me. I hit almost every one of my travel goals, even if I didn’t make it to South America, Australia, or Africa this year. But I did get to see Asia and the Middle East for the first time. Singapore and Hong Kong were great experiences. My trip reports are way behind, but I can’t wait to return to Hong Kong! I also hit a new mileage record: over 127,000 … [Read more...]

TSA Screeners Know You Hate Them

I was introduced to a new blog yesterday, "Taking Sense Away," ostensibly written by a former employee of the Transportation Security Administration. Also described by my dad as "Thousands Standing Around," this is the government agency we all know an love for being very good at preventing transportation from taking place and securing us against just about everything except the terrorism it was … [Read more...]