Plans for Expanding SeaTac Leave Me Scratching My Head

SeaTac International Arrivals Facility

I'm not an airport manager, architect, or anyone qualified to determine the best way to build an airport. But some of the plans for expanding Seattle's airport strike me as especially odd. The problem is the port authority believes passenger traffic will roughly double in the next two decades, overwhelming the existing 81 gates. That isn't difficult to imagine given all the cranes downtown. … [Read more...]

The Best Use for Citi ThankYou Points Isn’t the Transfer Partners

citi thankyou

From the desk of the Devil's Advocate… Everyone knows I relish being combative, but here's a case where I actually agree with the Conventional Wisdom. At least some of it. Citibank has now added a 10th new transfer partner to their ThankYou Rewards program, extending their recent efforts to catch up to Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards. The Conventional Wisdom is … [Read more...]

The Department of State Warns Against Visiting the United States

Department of State warnings and alerts

I wrote a post on Saturday talking about how political and economic issues can lead to decreased demand and result in cheaper travel. I focused on currency devaluation, but even in the absence of monetary policy issues, anything that discourages tourism might lead to lower demand and therefore lower prices. One reader pointed to Egypt as an example. But another reader called me out for not … [Read more...]

Why Business Class Might Be Better than First Class

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There is a certain segment of the miles-and-points crowd that is always competing to find the most impressive travel experience. It’s all about fancy food, expensive alcohol, and exclusive lounge access. Great. I enjoy it, too. I’m not here to be a hater. But I have an unconventional view to share that I'd appreciate your feedback on. The most important thing to me when I travel long … [Read more...]

I’m a Travel Hacker and You Should Be, Too

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I’ve read a lot of articles on a lot of travel blogs and combed over thousands of posts on flyertalk, but rarely does anyone discuss why they engage in the frequent flyer / points and miles / travel hacker (call it whatever you will) community.  Sure, we make off-the-cuff comments comparing Singapore and Cathay First Class as if they were our favorite orders at Chipotle, but I think there are … [Read more...]

Adding Millions to TSA PreCheck Could Be a Disaster

PreCheck Seattle

MJ on Travel linked to a USA Today article last week discussing plans by the Transportation Security Administration to use private companies to enroll more members in PreCheck. Apparently only 600,000 have signed up to pay $85 for five years of PreCheck access, while there are 2.5 million have paid $100 for five years of Global Entry (which includes PreCheck). Scott McCartney of The Wall Street … [Read more...]

Get out of the Hotel and Meet Some Locals

Most people skip over Hongdae in favor of more expat-centric Itaewon in Seoul, but they're missing out on world class street performances and local youth culture.

Many of the trip reports you read will wax poetic about the airline or hotel service and extend that to the entire culture. Turns out Westin is pretty much the same everywhere, and people are generally nice to you when you foot their paychecks. So I always find it interesting (and have been guilty myself) when someone asks “How was <that place you just visited>?” and the response is … [Read more...]