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Hotel for Wedding Night? Hey Guys --

Need suggestions for a hotel on my wedding night.

Getting married in NJ, so need hotel in either NJ or NYC.

Random thoughts:

I'd love to have a jacuzzi in the room.
I'd love not to spend a boat load.
I am a Hyatt Diamond member until 8/31.
I have ~100,000 Chase UR points.
I have ~12,000 Starwood points.


August 17, 2011, 03:23:31 PM
Acronyms Thread for the Uninitiated Wiki list of abbreviations:

As suggested by another DDF poster, I wanted to start this thread to translate some of the acronyms used here on DDF and elsewhere.

To make this as useful as possible, I'd suggest the tangential comments be limited to a minimum. I'll start with a few:

AFAIK - As far as I know
IIRC - If I recall correctly
CL - Credit line
CB - Credit bureau
PL - Priceline
IANAL - I am not a lawyer
IME - In my experience
AFAICR - As far as I can remember
IMHO - In my humble opinion

and my personal favorite, TWTCSIN - The worse they could say is no.

October 06, 2011, 11:07:58 AM
One World Award Search Tips Well, there's a master thread for star alliance search tips, here's the one for One World.
November 10, 2012, 10:12:53 PM
SkyTeam Award Search Tips Well, there's a master thread for star alliance search tips (and now for One World),  so here's the one for SkyTeam.
November 10, 2012, 10:15:17 PM
Re: BBQ Grill recommendation Weber. Period.
December 28, 2012, 10:10:24 AM
I've Had It! The Grammar/Punctuation Hall of Shame Master Thread
“The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“The rule is: don’t use commas like a stupid person. I mean it.”
― Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

“A man's grammar, like Caesar's wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

“People who cannot distinguish between good and bad language, or who regard the distinction as unimportant, are unlikely to think carefully about anything else.”
― Brian Reynolds Myers

“Ill-fitting grammar are like ill-fitting shoes. You can get used to it for a bit, but then one day your toes fall off and you can't walk to the bathroom.”
― Jasper Fforde, One of Our Thursdays Is Missing

Ladies and Gentleman,

This thread is, unfortunately, long overdue.

As such:

Fail to use appropriate capitals? You'll earn a place on this list.

Fall asleep on your keyboard so your posting style LOOKS LIKE THIS THE ENTIRE TIME? You'll earn a place on this list.

Fail to use proper commas? You'll earn a place on this list.

Fail to use punctuation? Yup, you'll get a spot here.

Use more "!!" than are completely necessary? Absolutely on this list.

Use run-on sentences such that it makes "TLDR" seem wholly and utterly inadequate in the message it's intended to convey? Come here to find yourself in infamy.

Keep in mind, the above list is descriptive, not exhaustive. I will let the DDF community judge the fates of you, the individuals who have no regard for the English language, your fellow deal-seekers, and indeed life itself.

May 30, 2013, 02:23:10 PM
Re: Re: Banff Master Thread W.o.w.

You took all these?


July 17, 2013, 12:56:28 AM
Re: Business and First Class Products Master Thread They have F, but like other airlines sometimes do, they don't sell it on that route.

Sometimes it's given to J pax FCFS, or full-fare pax, or elite members.

November 05, 2014, 07:11:06 PM
Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
A Waterfall on the way back from Milford Sound


The catalyst of this trip to New Zealand was that during a brief stint earlier this year, upon US Airways’ (US) entry into the OneWorld alliance, US neglected to impose and collect fuel surcharges on British Airways (BA) redemptions, which normally amount to hundreds of dollars per passenger per way.  Knowing full well that I’d likely never fork over this “ransom for loyalty” (at least not as long as I am able redeem miles on other airlines and avoid these pesky evil charges), the odds of my experiencing BA First Class were slim.

Armed with the knowledge of this “glitch” I set out planning. And down the rabbit hole I went.  Considering US’ lax routing rules and their quite attractive pricing from USA to North Asia (where business class is 110,000 miles/person round trip, and for a nominal 10,000 miles more—120,000 p/p—I could do the whole thing in First Class), I booked the following beauty:


With two segments in BA F, two segments in very-hard-to-snag Qantas’ (QF) First Class (the only 5th Freedom QF F flight), and two segments in Cathay Pacific’s business class, a sure contender for the best business class in the market, I was quite content.

At the time, however, I didn’t know where our ultimate destination would be. I figured I could work that out later.

[Skip the following if easily bored when regaled with passionate tales of the birth pangs of a masterpiece award booking]

Two months after booking (but several months before departure), I got notified of a schedule change (from Award Wallet actually, and not US or BA), that not only one of my BA flights had been cancelled, but both had been.  While we wouldn’t lose our opportunity to fly BA F, we were automatically moved onto the BA flights that immediately followed our originally scheduled flights.  Ordinarily this would not have presented a problem, but the fact that we were moved onto a later departing flight meant that our already short connection in LHR would become “an illegal connection,” and we wouldn’t be able to make our flight to DXB in QF F. That part I was less content with.

Upon trying to fix this issue, I learned that unlike other airlines, US will almost never accommodate a schedule change on an award by booking you into a revenue fare class, especially so in a case where, as here, the schedule change was not the fault of US, but of another airline, BA. You’re restricted to award availability only, and there was none, so I waited.

A couple days later, I noticed that BA had apparently fixed the illegal connection issue on their own: I was now booked JFK-LHR-DXB all in BA F, with everything else remaining the same. As above, however, I didn’t want to replace the superior QF F segment for an inferior BA F segment, even sans YQ, but I knew I’d have an excuse to call back when/if something opened up that suited me better. If worst had come to worst, I’d simply cancel the award, and go back to the rabbit hole (which I’ve become quite fond of).

Sure enough, in August, while in Singapore, I got notified that the two seats on the non-stop flight from JFK-HKG in Cathay Pacific First Class had opened, something that very rarely happens three months before departure, considering two seats account for 1/3rd of their first class cabin.  Because I had only flown CX F on a “short-haul” of five hours JFK-YVR, and this afforded us with an additional 36 hours of vacation time, I popped out of bed and rang US.

Initially, I was given some push back. “Oh, we see you’ve already been accommodated, and there is no longer an illegal connection, sir.” When I firmly explained that I had no part in choosing that particular fix, and then explained once and twice again, the US rep made the change after speaking to a supervisor, stating “this is an absolute exception, sir, and we will not make any more changes to this booking without imposing a change fee of $150 per/person.”


Now I was booked: JFK-HKG (CX F) // HKG-DXB (CX J)-LHR (QF F)-JFK (BA F)

So I had us booked to Hong Kong, but knew that I didn’t want that to be our final destination, so when Singapore Airlines (SQ) upgraded one of their daily flights from Singapore (SIN) to New Zealand (AKL) to an A380 with Suites Class, and correspondingly made available two seats on nearly all of those flights (something that is akin to a miracle), I jumped on it.

Despite the miracle, however, someone seemingly beat me to the punch and the flight I needed from SIN-AKL was unavailable, so I booked the first part of our return, AKL-SIN, in SQ Suites instead.

We were going to New Zealand!

We had wanted to visit for a while, but especially since our return from Cape Town, South Africa, when we told the Lufthansa crew how jaw-droppingly beautiful Cape Town was and their unanimous response was “wait till you see New Zealand, my friend!”

Now, for all you paying attention at home, you’ll realize I still needed flights from HKG to AKL, as well as a flight from SIN to HKG to hook up to my original award. On the to-do list it went.

Sometime later, I was smiled upon when SIN-AKL opened up in Suites Class, which I booked.  The award was beginning to take shape.

Unfortunately, the HKG-SIN segment, which SQ also operates with an A380, was not available, and I had to waitlist the segment, but doing so I made a rookie mistake (which I’ll explain later). To be safe, thought, I booked the HKG-SIN segment with CX in economy as a placeholder. So I was fully booked on my outbound:


Now to finish the return:

For reasons that aren’t worth explaining (having to do with the scheduling of the SIN-HKG on the return), I realized I needed to substitute the AKL-SIN segment in SQ Suites with something else.  After some research I decided to take advantage of what is perhaps the best redemption on the United Airlines award chart: Oceania <> North Asia in First Class for 40K per person and $25.00.

I found availability for AKL-SYD-BKK-HKG in Air New Zealand (NZ) Economy, Thai (TG) First, and TG First and put it on hold.

The only problem was that the BKK-HKG leg arrived after my HKG-DXB was scheduled to depart, so I had try and move the HKG-DXB flight from the first of the day, at 1:30AM, to the second and final flight of the day, at 4:50 PM. So back on the phone with US I went, expecting that I’d definitely need to pay the change fee this time.   

Of course, the US rep saw the note that the previous rep put on my reservation: “Absolutely no further changes to award without collection of change fee” and would only change it for $150/pax. I light bulb went off in my head and I pushed back and said “Well, if you’ll notice, I had two flight cancellations, one on the outbound, and one on the inbound. The note you’re seeing refers only to the outbound, which I had a say in fixing, but the flight I want to change is on the inbound which I have not yet had a say in fixing.” Nothing doing.

Escalate to supervisor.

Back and forth.

Back and forth some more.

Finally, with the call nearing 60 mins, the supervisor relents and changes me to the later flight without a fee!

I login to check the changes (as you should always do), and am horrified to discover that she did in fact change us, but put us in coach! If the flight was only a couple hours, I wouldn’t have cared, but this HKG-DXB leg was nearly 9 hours and a lie flat bed on a flight of that length definitely makes a difference, so even though I dreaded the thought of having to call US again, I decided to pick up the phone.

I explained the situation and the first US rep I got said “Oh, I see this clearly was a mistake, let me fix that right up for you.” And with that, it was complete. <sigh of relief>

Booked this way, I saved myself about 100,000 miles + $600 in taxes and fees. 

A week or two before departure, I got an email informing me that my SQ waitlist on the HKG-SIN had cleared.  I had gone from a 12.2 to a 9.36!

Except I hadn’t. 

As I alluded to above, I made a rookie mistake: I had waitlisted the HKG-SIN segment on a separate PNR. Even though I suspected the
answer, I called to see if SQ could merge the PNRs, or, at the very least, add the waitlist to my main PNR and insta-confirm me since I had already gone through the process. No dice.

A couple days later, I noticed that SQ R was available outright in Saver for the HKG-SIN segment, so I called and asked them to confirm me because it was clearly available. Though it wasn’t explained well by the SQ agents, it was clear I was rebuffed again for reasons of “married segments.” The only thing I could do at the time, they said, was to book it separately outright. Ha, no thanks, considering it’d cost me an additional 75K SQ, whereas if I added it onto my original booking, it’d cost me 0 additional miles. So I waited.

Alas, all is well that ends well, and about 24 hours later, my HKG-SIN leg was confirmed in Suites! Now I was officially at a 9.36 :)

[Those bored folks can continue here]

After much tinkering, then, my main award(s) getting me to New Zealand and back were set:

Red = US Award of 120,000 per passenger + $150 taxes/fees
Green = SQ Award of 63,750 per passenger + $200 taxes/fees
Orange = UA Award 40,000 per passenger + $25 taxes/fees

Outbound: JFK-HKG in CX F; HKG-SIN-AKL in SQ R; AKL-SYD in NZ Y.

Inbound: SYD-BKK-HKG in TG F; HKG-DXB in CX J; DXB-LHR in QF F; LHR-JFK in BA F.

Next up:

Intra-New Zealand Flights & Hotels

December 14, 2014, 05:55:54 PM
Re: MP and Co's Trip Around the World in Thirteen Days Great TR! Empty F cabins are a joy.

But, dude, you really should focus on *enjoying* the vacation you're writing about instead of writing it  to satisfy the insatiable DDF masses.

It may not be the popular choice, but enjoy first, write second.

And, for the love of God, the halacha police need to vacate the premises. If you have a concern about someone's religiosity, the proper form of communication is PM, not calling him out in public.

August 02, 2015, 09:28:43 AM