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Montreal Master Thread Looks like I may do a mileage run north of the border-Any Montrealers in the house have info to share on the best kosher restaurants/things to do in montreal?
June 01, 2008, 02:04:02 PM
Credit Card Retention Bonuses Bonuses that I got today for keeping cards open after an annual fee:
Starwood AMEX consumer: 3,000 points.
Diners Club: Waived $95 annual fee, 10,000 points.

Post your own experiences!

January 12, 2010, 04:15:23 PM
Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread Trip report coming soon...
January 25, 2010, 07:50:54 PM
Star Alliance Award Search Tips Update: ANA has partially blocked their Star Alliance search function. See either of these 2 posts for info on how to work around it:

-The Star Alliance is the largest airline alliance which gives great options for using miles on partners.

These are the 27 current member airlines:
-Air Canada
-Air China
-Air New Zealand
-Asiana Airlines
-Brussels Airlines
-Continental Airlines
-Croatia Airlines
-LOT Polish Airlines
-Scandinavian Airlines
-Shanghai Airlines
-Singapore Airlines
-South African Airways
-TAP Portugal
-Turkish Airlines
-US Airways

-A great search engine is ANA.
-You need to first signup for an ANA account:

-You can then use this link to search for Star Alliance award flights:

-Click "Use Star Alliance Member Airlines"
Perform the search, for example type in JFK to TLV.

-By default only nonstop flights are shown, for this route the Continental flights from EWR to TLV are shown.
Click "connecting flights" to display more flights.
Each leg will have:
- Which means that the class selected doesn't exist
x Which means awards are not available
OK Which means awards are available

-Click on the arrows above the flights to go back or more forward a day.
-Click "search again" to change the dates.

-ANA search is far from exhaustive, it does not search all possibilities.  To really search all options do a regular fare search on Orbitz and find all of the Star Alliance options.  Then enter in each leg separately into ANA.
For example search for JFK-IST and then IST-TLV to go on Turkish via Istanbul, or JFK-MUC and then MUC-TLV to go on Lufthansa via Munich, etc.

-If a flight is found on ANA it can be booked with the miles from any Star Alliance carrier.  The only exception is United which intentionally blocks availability when they feel like it, this is called Starnet blocking.  The mileage rate will be whatever the carrier you are redeeming with charges, not what the airline you are flying on charges.

-ANA is the best Star Alliance search engine, but it is worth also using  There are definitely times that finds an option that ANA doesn't You do not need to be logged in, just enter the cities and click "reward search." 

-Once you find flights that work you need to call up the carrier on which you have the miles to book the ticket.  Tell them that you called in earlier and already found flights that worked for you, and ask if you can give them the flight numbers.  Sometimes they will let you do this other times they'll want to find the flights themselves. 

-Many agents are unfortunately incompetent and don't know how to properly look for partner availability.  When you get an agent like this just politely hang up and call again (repeat as necessary)

-Every ticketing airline has their own stopover, connection, and routing rules.  They are not always enforced.  Air Canada and USAirways are both pretty lenient and allow for multiple connections/stopovers.  United is pretty strict.

There's lots more, but that's all I have time for your own tips here!

May 26, 2010, 09:32:09 PM
Master Thread Of Master Threads: Links To 125+ Destination Threads! See Wiki.
June 08, 2010, 05:31:02 PM
Re: Golan/Galil, Israel, Master thread
The first four places that you mentioned, are they all doable with a 13 month old? (and with a stroller or without, in your opinion.)
Also which should be combined on the same day, and which would you recommend splitting? I would also assume that the rafting and kayaking are out, right? (The winery I did already)
-Banias has 2 entrances.  One entrance is a long but supposedly beautiful hike which I never did.  The other entrance is just a short easy 5 minute walk down stairs to the waterfall.  The waterfall appears out of nowhere and is one of the most serene and beautiful sights in Israel.  Great photo ops there. Allot 1 hour max for the short hike.
-Nimrod's fortress is just a 10 minute drive from Banias and is a huge fortress in ruins.  There are a lot of stairs but it's very neat to explore. Allot 1-2 hours.
-I think that you can take the Ski lift up Charmon with an infant, but you probably can't bring a stroller up to walk around once you get to the top. Allot 1-2 hours.
-Har Bental has awesome views of Israel, Syria, and Lebanon and can easily be driven right up to.  Allot 45 minutes.

Theoretically all can be done on the same day if you want!

June 10, 2010, 12:19:02 AM
Master Thread Of Trip Reports I figured I'd gather together some of the random trip reports and other useful threads on this board.
If anyone has any suggestions for how to better organize them I'm all ears!
Also if I missed any other useful threads from this board please post those as well.

Here is a link to the Trip Notes Tab where you can read numerous Trip Reports with helpful tips and pictures.

Trip Tips:

Free Offbeat Travel Guides from SPG by aussiebochur

Helpful websites for basic info when traveling by steve2

Packing tips & tricks by SuperFlyer

Trip Guides & Tour Books Recommendations by Avid Reader

What Do You Do For Kosher Food While Traveling by Dan

Trip Reports:

Ashkelon $30 Holiday Inn Report by Chaikel

Amsterdam, Zurich, And Paris on United and Hyatt's tab by eliteflyer

Around the world by moish

Around the world using aa miles tlv-bkk-hkg-pek-nrt-hnl-lax-jfk Trip Report by momo

Europe May 2010 Trip Planning Thread by Dan

Help planning trip to europe by steve cohen

Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing, Tokyo, Honolulu and Maui Trip Report by Eli

Paris, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome and London Trip Report by Eli
Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel and Towers Reports by Deal Guy

TLV-IST-HKG on the new Turkish Airlines 77W in First Trip Report by damaxer91

Trip Planning And Trip Report: Shanghai, Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Istanbul by chuchem

Trip with Train Through Southern Europe will be continued whenever...) by SuperFlyer

UMAN ROSH HASHANA Trip Report by Eli

July 13, 2010, 10:25:04 PM
Comments That Leave Me Speechless... Anyone want to tackle this one?

March 10, 2011, 11:36:20 PM
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March 22, 2011, 01:58:27 PM
AMEX Return Protection: Did They Make You Return The Item? I've used AMEX return protection in the past mostly for items over $100 but I just used it to return a $40 skirt my wife bought from a store that went out of business.

In the past I've always had to fax in the receipt and then send in the item to get the refund.
This time though they just credited my account within a few days without even getting the receipt or asking for the skirt back!

This was on an SPG Consumer card

What have you used return protection for in the past, how much did it cost, what card was it on, and did they make you return the item?

May 27, 2011, 12:40:19 PM