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Re: [Final Round] DDMS Redesign Branding - Help us choose.
Can always sleep when you're dead :)
Depends where. In some places they're always disturbing the dead to go out & vote.

February 01, 2017, 09:01:40 AM
1
Re: Airline Compensation Master Thread
Turkish JFK to TLV, missed connecting flight because first flight landed to late. extra five hour stopover. 600 euro comp. :)
My brother:
Airline: TURKISH
Flight: TLV-Turkey-NYC
Class: Economy
Incident: No Kslm
Compensation: Free upgrade to business on the next round trip flight!
And there is a plan to book a new ticket for the next zman, so this is perfect.


Now everyone here is gonna book Turkish.
your family does very well with Turkish !

June 18, 2017, 04:25:35 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE https://www.wsj.com/articles/return-of-the-razrwith-a-foldable-screen-and-1-500-price-11547643601?mod=e2twd

Not at all what I would like to see, but I guess there's a market for this.

There are a few elements to the flip phone that are desirable, not all are important to everyone

1. The clamshell form factor.
2. Physical keys.
3. Long life, durability and simplicity.

That being said, there are certain elements of today's smartphones that are hard to give up:

a. Contact synchronization.
b. Whatsapp communications.
c. Banking and financial transactions.
d. Multilingual support.
e. Maps and navigation.

Where do we strike a good balance?

KaiOS?

January 18, 2019, 09:38:49 AM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
https://www.thekosheros.com/kosher-os

Wrong thread!  >:( >:( >:(

None of the phones there are flip phones, or have any physical keypads!

March 04, 2019, 03:05:54 PM
1
Re: kosher food in airport lounges I didn't try preordering, but when I asked there they looked at me like I'm nuts.
March 17, 2019, 03:54:02 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/03/28/billionaire-warren-buffett-a-major-apple-investor-uses-a-20-flip-phone.html

Why doesn’t Apple get it. Make a flip iPhone with physical keys!

March 28, 2019, 09:23:27 PM
1
Re: wesson canola oil 128 oz free on target.com Holy Guacamole.

Alright here we go:

(Remember: pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.)

Stuff available for shipping (or sometimes pickup):

https://www.target.com/p/jolly-rancher-and-twizzlers-party-mix-assortment---48oz/-/A-50534245 WARNING: ONLY SOME OF THE CANDY IN THIS MIX IS KOSHER. OTHERS ARE NOT KOSHER

https://www.target.com/p/mango-fruit-strips---5oz---simply-balanced--153-/-/A-51901388

https://www.target.com/p/wild-berry-twisted-fruit-ropes---5oz---simply-balanced--153-/-/A-51901453

Stuff seemingly only available for delivery or pickup, but depends on your area:


https://www.target.com/p/tootsie-fruit-chew-assorted-fruit-rolls---37oz/-/A-50326313 (This is OU-D)

https://www.target.com/p/mediterranean-sea-salt---6-6oz---simply-balanced--153-/-/A-52439868

https://www.target.com/p/entertaining-crackers-8-8oz---archer-farms--153-/-/A-14770294 (This is OU-D and presumably not Pas Yisroel)


Items that can only be delivered using the Shipt delivery option, these do not show a hechsher on the image, so I don't know if they are certified kosher or not. If someone is in a target, you can check if this item has a hechsher:

https://www.target.com/p/organic-frozen-cauliflower---10oz---simply-balanced--153-/-/A-52342051

https://www.target.com/p/organic-frozen-stir-fry-blend---10oz---simply-balanced--153-/-/A-52342052
 
https://www.target.com/p/mango-fruit-frozen-chunks---12oz---market-pantry--153-/-/A-13335757

June 20, 2019, 03:17:10 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
Kyocera vs LG Exalt

Kyocera pros:
T9 is kind of better, you get a full layout, vs switching by pressing the 0
You can open PDF files
Email attachment (Office Suite)
Hotspot without plan
Verizon cloud (sync contacts)
Texting while on phone call
Outside screen
Kyocera con:
No video recording/player

LG Exalt Pro:
Video recording/player
LG Exalt Con:
Switch words on T9 by pressing the 0 only
No PDF viewer
No Hotspot without plan
No Verizon cloud (sync contacts)
No Texting while on phone call (although there's workaround)
No Outside screen
Exalt syncs contacts IIRC.

August 05, 2019, 08:42:31 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
Correct.
Though, can said contact syncing (or transfer) be done without a Verizon account (trying to use on MVNO)?

August 06, 2019, 08:38:30 AM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
This plan requires restarting after every 2000 minutes used - in middle of the month, no?

No. My son just got it. That's their price for unlimited talk and text monthly.

August 18, 2019, 01:25:02 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
This plan requires restarting after every 2000 minutes used - in middle of the month, no?

You are correct. A quick online chat fixes that issue.

Where do you see that?

This is what I see:


August 18, 2019, 05:27:55 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
Did U.S. Mobile just change all their plans?

Looks like it. Does it change for existing customers, or are they grandfathered?

August 23, 2019, 12:06:31 AM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
Looks like it. Does it change for existing customers, or are they grandfathered?

Here's the answer:

Quote
First of all, thank you for being a part of the US Mobile family. We’re writing to let you know that the cost of the unlimited talk and text plan will be increasing by $10/month. This will apply to all monthly plans beginning August 22, 2019.

96% of our customers use less than 1,000 minutes of talk per month. Your bill can remain the same if you switch to our new "1,000 minutes and unlimited text" plan. So take a look at our plans to decide what you need before your next cycle.

August 23, 2019, 01:32:46 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
https://www.zdnet.com/article/nokia-flip-phone-returns-plus-nokia-7-2-is-out-with-whopping-48mp-triple-camera/

https://www.clove.co.uk/products/nokia-2720-flip-4g?variant=21381624758331
Though base on https://nokiapoweruser.com/nokia-800-tough-specifications-release-date-photos-price-more/ I would be afraid that it might not include US bands.

September 09, 2019, 12:04:51 PM
1
Baby jogger strollers up to 35 percent off Www.babyjogger.com use code
SHOPNEWELL19

Ex: babyjogger summit x3 regular 649.99 is 422.49 withcode
City mini 2 reg $279 is $181 with code

September 09, 2019, 02:39:01 PM
1
Re: Baby jogger strollers up to 35 percent off It does! It works for calphalon too! But haven’t had any success on any other brands.
September 09, 2019, 07:57:25 PM
1
Re: Baby jogger strollers up to 35 percent off Scratch my previous post. So far I’ve found that ALL Newell brands that have online sales have some form of discount with this code: Calphalon (50%), Baby Jogger (35%), Crockpot, Marmot (50% off original price not sale price), Yankee Candle, Dymo, Coleman, Oster appliances, FoodSaver...
September 10, 2019, 02:01:19 AM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
https://www.zdnet.com/article/nokia-flip-phone-returns-plus-nokia-7-2-is-out-with-whopping-48mp-triple-camera/

I am so sick of smartphones. This can't come soon enough. Just make sure it is a global phone and supports Hebrew/Yiddish input (and browser/Facebook/Instagram apps can be removed or blocked), and it's a winner.

September 12, 2019, 07:04:04 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
You got the wrong link. Here is the link for the Nokia 2720.
https://nokiapoweruser.com/nokia-2720-flip-4g-specifications-release-date-photos-price-more/

How would I know if it supports VoLTE in the US?
I was aware that the link is for a different phone. The 2720 and the 800 tough are being released concurrently with similar software.

What makes you think there's a US version being released. From what I see there isn't one yet, so I doubt whether it will support VoLTE (or all US LTE bands for that matter) at this point, which is rather sad. I really can't understand why they don't release truly global phones like the iPhone, Google phones, and several Motorola phones.

September 24, 2019, 02:58:37 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
Ordered the smart flip. Will report back when I get it how it is. Sounds like it has everything i was waiting got the past few years. If only it will work well....

Let us know how it works. Also need to know if it can be unlocked and used in Israel.

October 02, 2019, 04:48:53 PM
1
Re: Interesting Articles...
Is there a cure for stupidity?
Seems to be more elusive than alchemy.

October 02, 2019, 05:46:55 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE
Ye att

That's the only place it seems to be available now. Not showing up con Cricket website.

October 02, 2019, 05:54:52 PM
1
Re: REVIVE THE FLIP PHONE https://www.marketwatch.com/story/meet-the-millennial-whos-sworn-off-her-smartphone-for-12-months-for-100000-and-why-she-wont-go-back-to-one-2019-10-03?mod=mw_theo_homepage
October 03, 2019, 06:28:50 PM
1
Re: LAX to End Rideshare Curbside Pickups
Airport not that big and boy is there a boat load of shuttles.

It's been quite a while since I've been to the left coast, but LGB was a pleasure. Given the option I would probably choose it in a heartbeat over LAX.

October 04, 2019, 09:08:32 AM
1
Re: Best Sukkah?
Wait, so a tarp is or isn't kosher?

Fwiw I do want to make a kosher sukkah...

The lattice idea is great for FL, but it might be a little more involved and more costly. You have to build out a frame either way, likely out of dimensional lumber.

If you do the lattice, they sell 4x8 sheets, so you basically need to make a frame where the vertical studs are 4' apart, and then put in however much additional framing/backing (possibly out of smaller dimensional lumber) within each 4x8 space to make it as sturdy as you'd like - but you don't need to build for lavud as the lattice helps form the wall.

If you do tarps (or any other fabric), you should plan for the frame you build to be the kosher wall. You might be able to place your studs farther apart (say 60" or 80" apart instead of 48"). You can then run 3 strips of 1x2 material horizontally from stud to stud, starting from the bottom of the frame, each just under 3 tefachim above the last. This will give you less than 3 tefachim between each strip for lavud, and a total of more than 10 tefachim from ground to the last strip (including the dimensions of the 3 strips of 1x2 material placed flat so that the 3 2x's add to an additional 4.5") for a kosher wall. At that point whatever you hang on the walls is for privacy/wind/shade etc, not for the kashrus of the sukkah.

October 04, 2019, 11:58:46 AM
1
Re: Best Sukkah?
But is it kosher?

If it is for just one yesr then buy some 1/2s or 2x3s from HD to make a frame including lavud up to 10 tfachim and then get some cheap fabric.

Even if it's for many years. My sukkah walls all seem to be tarp, but none of that is relied upon for the Kashrus of the sukkah, those are there only לצניעותא and for some protection from the elements. It is actually the steel fencing surrounding my deck that makes it Kosher.

October 04, 2019, 01:15:58 PM
1
Re: New Like feature
Congrats @ExGingi & @Yehuda57 on reaching 1000 likes.
Well deserved

Thank you @TimT for granting Like #1000



I can now feed my kids and guests on Shabbos.

October 04, 2019, 01:18:14 PM
1
Re: Interesting Articles...
https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-home-smart-system-that-helps-with-religious-observances-11570026331

It's cool, but at $250K I think I'm happier with my $10 shunt switches.

Back in the early 90s, way before Wifi or any smart switches were ubiquitous, my boss (at that time) built a home in Boro Park and installed a smart home controller (IIRC was designed by someone from Baltimore) that did a lot of fancy things relating to Shabbos and YT. A few minutes before Candle lighting time it would flash all the lights in the house to alert everyone, it would put Sub Zero refrigerator on Shabbos mode (back then I think it was one of the only ones that had a Shabbos mode), etc. etc. It was a DOS based system and once set-up, didn't need to be adjusted. I remember getting somewhat of a sticker shock back then when I heard how much it cost, but it was definitely nowhere close to $250,000 (probably a tenth of that or less).

October 04, 2019, 01:26:21 PM
1
Re: Interesting Articles...
Most likely X10 based. There were some people in my neighborhood growing up that had systems like that.

Correct.

October 04, 2019, 02:26:40 PM
1
Re: Best Sukkah?
Steel fencing sounds like overkill for one year.

Definitely.

I was referring to something like this:
Mine is the same (wood though, not steel). Deck was built by a previous owner with high, tightly packed wood slat walls, and then the frum people we bought it from slapped on a permanent frame for the schach/hanging the tarps.

Though mine might not be that tightly packed, but definitely qualifies as a kosher wall from a Halachic standpoint.

October 04, 2019, 02:29:08 PM
1
Re: Interesting Articles...
we had an x10 based system in my house back then. I can't imagine my father spent anywhere close to 25k on it.

I really can't recall the price paid back then, but a big part of the cost was for the software/developer/controller rather than the actual switches.

Also don't forget that the purchasing power of the dollar has declined significantly since then (back then I had $500k in life insurance and thought I was set for life...).

October 04, 2019, 02:37:32 PM
1
Re: New Like feature
I was hoping you'd save some for the chol hamoed frabrengen

There are probably enough posts of mine that you can like, so we'll have an abundance to munch on at my Sukkah and wash down with some Smirnoff.

ETA: I see that you heeded my suggestion. I'm sure the participants will be thankful.

October 04, 2019, 03:31:29 PM
1
Re: Lyft rides from hell
Correct. Most drivers (I think there are exceptions for elite tiers) can’t tell if you are going from Coney Island Ave to Ocean parkway, or heading to Hartford Connecticut. That info is hidden from them until they show up at your pickup location. Uber and Lyft do this to stop drivers from cherry picking the profitable long hauls and declining the short trips which don’t really make decent money, or refusing requests that end up in the ghetto.

 They recently started introducing options to filter rides to accept only those in the general direction the driver is heading, and I think they are rolling out an option to set up a time that the driver has to end up back in his location ( previously a driver could get stuck with a 2 hour drive in the wrong direction right when he was about to end his day) but the bottom line is that the driver showing up by your door has no clue as to what to expect.
the way it works with Uber is , until you take X amount of rides, your at one status. When you reach a certain status you can see how long the ride is. The feature your talking about is you can set a destination and accept rides going to that area. This is limited to an amount per day. Also , until you’ve actually hit the  picked up passenger button, you can still cancel without risking backlash.  Source: I’ve been an Uber driver bein hazmanim :)

November 14, 2019, 08:35:07 AM
1
Re: New Coin Deal
Dan is becoming a bit too commercial with all the sponsored posts, constant "Hurry!!" Amazon junk for referrals, rules like these that can be "bought", etc.

Mostly moving to Dr of Credit, feel like they are much more community focused.
Have a nice life! Bye.

November 14, 2019, 01:01:22 PM
1
Re: New Coin Deal
Dan is becoming a bit too commercial with all the sponsored posts, constant "Hurry!!" Amazon junk for referrals, rules like these that can be "bought", etc.

Mostly moving to Dr of Credit, feel like they are much more community focused.
why isn't there a 'dislike' button??

November 14, 2019, 01:01:32 PM
1
Re: 95% off ripleys in Times Square Hi everyone!!

I was actually the one who found this deal,
I was in times square yesterday and my hotel gave me 1 free ticket as part of tier destination fee, so I was looking for discounts so that I could buy another ticket for cheap (groupon cant be used the same day)

I stumbled upon this by mistake when i was scrolling thru pages
I left my computer for a few min, and then there was a popup with a $2 off code
i checked out without issue

I didnt believe it will work and probably wouldnt even have tried if i would of had to enter my CC info,
but since i didnt have to enter my cc info and riplys was 1 block away from my hotel, I didnt have anything to loose

I went there, they scanned my ticket and nicely opened the gate for me without any issue

Only after I got back to the hotel I sent it around to a few friends of mine and to statuses that I enjoy (like naftali status) and to Dans Deals thru Instagram
so that other yiden could enjoy it as well

I used it yesterday around 7PM, I dont know if they have a way to cancel or not, but by me they didnt ask me or look at anything, they just scanned and let me in.

I hope some of you were able to get it!

Attached is proof that it was me, as you can see that I got it 7:26 PM way before there was any mention anywhere

January 09, 2020, 06:51:43 PM
1
PANAMA Trip Notes:

Electricity:
Same as US. Voltage & plug.

Rental car:
National: charges additional $28 mandatory insurance per day even with Chase Letter of coverage.
Avis: With $10k deposit, $12 per day.

Sim Card:
$30 at airport. In town I got at the convenience store next to the Hilton $7 unlimited data for 7 days. Digicel worked well for us. Phone calls with Google voice free.

From PTY to Hilton:
connect to Airport Wifi, order UBER and exit the airport, meet driver at parking isle row 15/17 in front of the terminal (1 min walk). UBER XL cost about $15-$20

Getting Around: UBER! Average ride is $2 super convenient, fast and secure.

Hotel:
Stayed at Hilton. Master Suite. $240 per night. With 5th night free.
Diamond status did not yield upgrade to presidential suite.
Master suite comes with breakfast, we had it at Executive Lounge. Kosher milk, cereals, Espresso/ Coffee and fruits.
Pool is not heated, too cold to go most days. Jacuzzi is fine.

Shabbos: stairs possible accessible behind the Valet desk, 11 floors to lobby, and 7 more to our room signs are in English, Spanish and Hebrew.. Otherwise staff are aware and will take you to Lobby and then to the room.
I put a sticker in the closet light censor to disable it for shabbos.
The Hilton is within the Eiruv. Crossing Balboa Blvd on shabbos will be next to the bike store. Special police officer will stop traffic for the yidden to cross.


Shuls:
Walked to Ahavat Zion, about 8 min walk, same by uber.
Bring passport/DL for first time verification.  Will not let you in with shorts.
Davening time during January (summer break):
Shachris: 6,7,8,9
Mincha/Maariv: 6:10p

Food:
THE KOSHER PTY APP was fast & Convenient, delivery to hotel within 20 min $4 charge. Apeatito24 will do the same for cheaper delivery service.

Trips:

San Blass.
Recommend to leave early at about 6am. We left 10am arrived 12pm.
Rented from Avis Ford explorer 4×4 and drove ourselves:
Waze: Carti Parking and boat terminal.
Driving is not for the average driver. Poor road conditions, extreme uphill and downhill. Must have 4×4 and high road clearance to avoid the endless potholes. Make sure that spare tire is accessible and works.
Bring passport. At the Guna Yala-check point need to show passports of all passengers and pay $20 per adult. 
Arrived at port, bargain for a boat driver to take you around. We got it for $120. Bring lots of water as you wont get it there.
One island sold cans of Soda for $8.25. Many islands will charge $3 pp to enter.
Must leave the parking lot before 4pm as they wont let you drive back or it's a suicide drive.

Monkey Islands.
Waze: Gamboa Public Dock. 30min drive. Drove ourselves. 
At the dock bargain with many drivers, ended up with a guy name Frank for all of us we paid $80, possible to get cheaper.
2:30hr tour.

Casco Viejo:
Uber about 15min away. $6-$8.
Walked for about 2 hrs.
The Kosher Ice cream "forever yogurt" is permanently closed.

Amador Causeway:
Uber About 20min away $6-7.
Rented a family bike for $10-$15

Miraflores- Panama Canal.
Uber about 25min $8-$10
IMAX was interesting for us all.
Coffee bean fully kosher with Sandwiches/Empanadas/ Coffee.
About $30 per adult for IMAX/Locks/Museum.

January 26, 2020, 09:35:08 PM
1
Re: Visible cell phone service ($40 unlimited)
Anyone with recent experience on this carrier?

I have 4 lines with Visible since early December. Porting was an adventure - 2 lines went smoothly, 2 didn't. One line took about 36hrs of no service until it was resolved. Another was not working for about 6hrs. The other 2 ported without issue in about 5 minutes. Once ported however the service is fine. Just hope that you never have to use support because it's chat/Facebook/Twitter support only. No phone number to call.  I had Verizon Wireless for ~15 years and never called support unless it was to find ways to lower my monthly bill so I'm not missing anything.

Coverage in and around Manhattan, Queens, LI, Northern NJ, Orlando, Miami and Boca is the same as Verizon. I've never noticed any throttling and average about 30-35Mbps down/5-12Mbps up. When I signed up they offered "no throttling for life" as long as I remain a customer. Note that Visible doesn't support 3G so if you find yourself in areas where you drop to 3G often, don't switch. Verizon is shutting down their 3G network at the end of 2020 for all customers anyway so this isn't a great loss for me.

I haven't had an issue with dropped calls except for known Verizon "dead zones" that were an issue before I switched. Haven't spent enough time outside the areas I listed above since switching so can't comment on extended coverage yet.

Party Pay which discounts you from $40/month to $25/month is annoying if you are coming from a family plan because it requires that each line has a unique account with a dedicated email address and it's own billing info. If you change your CC for example you have to do it for all 4 accounts. Luckily they don't block the Gmail "+" trick like some other sites do. If you have fewer than 4 lines you can find some randos on Reddit and join their party to get the discount. They don't see any of your info except first name and last 4 digits of your phone #.

If your not grandfathered into an older unlimited plan, $25/mo (with Party Pay) for unlimited on Verizon towers with unlimited hotspot (no throttle but only 1 device at a time) and wifi calling support is as good a deal as you'll find.

February 07, 2020, 12:17:04 AM
1
Re: Tweets, Pictures, And Videos That Are Coronavirus Related New currency's
March 12, 2020, 04:06:17 PM
1
Re: Good Shabbos! Hard to put it in words... and I'm not a fluent writer.

All in all, it was very hard, especially when your locked in...

But, and that's a big but, the peace of mind I had, was simply out of this world...
Hard to explain, but DW can definitely attest that I was a different person. Calmer and more conscious than ever.

We are used to living off news, not necessarily the NEWS, but new emails, posts, likes, etc. I had none of that, and had to find an alternative, and the alternative was way more fulfilling.

I won't say I learned more, but I learned differently. Same is to Davening. My mind was able to concentrate, and wasn't rushing to check my inbox the second after each Tefilla.

Shabos is also something like this, but after all it's not 8 days.
I also felt much stronger abt myself after yom tov.

The fact that I knew that I can't use the computer, made it easier, especially that it was in chometz.

I wish I would have the incentive to such breaks more often.

oh and this was not the case. I didn't feel after y"t that I missed alot.
give him a couple more days. he's got a lot of posts to catch up on first

And this is my TR. Hooray.

April 20, 2020, 11:44:41 PM
1
Re: Coronavirus Victims Charity Pages Just saying the DDF community is unbelieveable! Kol hakavod!!!
April 28, 2020, 06:10:04 PM
1
Re: Delta to tlv opening May 8 Travel Agent vs. OTA

Travel Agent:
 
Pros:

- The travel agent arranges everything for the passenger, from seats to meals to bassinets etc. This might not be such a big deal when booking an airline that has a functioning website (for example United), but when booking an airline without a functioning website (like Elal, Alitalia), it can be a tremendous pain to do a simple thing such as confirming a kosher meal.

- You can ask a travel agent his recommendations on which airline to fly and which ones to avoid. An agent can advise on minimum connection times, as sometimes even when a minimum connection time is valid and will be sold online, it can still be a risky connection to make (for example, 60 minutes in LHR). Some agents can also help with vacation planning and ideas. A travel agent will let you know if the country you’re visiting requires visas or other documents. I have a friend that booked Turkish Airlines online for his trip to South Africa, when he got to the airport he was not able to check in because he didn’t have his child’s birth certificate with him, which South Africa requires. Had he booked with an agent, the agent most likely would have advised him on that (as that law is very clearly written in the GDS)

- If flying with an infant and you want a bassinet, in most cases (varies by airline) a travel agent can confirm a bassinet before you pay for the ticket. If booking online, you’d have to deal with paying for the tickets, calling the airline, and if it’s not available, you’d have to cancel and start the process again. A travel agent can tell you exactly which flights have a bassinet available, confirm the bassinet, and then you can go ahead and pay for it.

- Many people (especially people flying for business) have location changes and meeting cancellations last minute or sometimes even mid-trip. A travel agent can easily change the segments and reissue the tickets. If booking online, you’d have to wait on hold and hope that a rep knows how to reissue partially used tickets.

- The GDS accurately states the baggage allowance, change fee, and cancellation fee for every ticket. You can be aware of all this information before you book and before you have to make a change and have a shock of your life when you’re told the change fee is $500 or more.

- In most cases, a travel agent is the most helpful thing you can have in case of a cancellation. For example, if there's bad weather in the winter, rather than waiting hours on hold to speak to your airline or Priceline to refund or rebook you and then when you finally get through, the rep doesn’t know if the flight was cancelled (more on that soon), you can just make a call/text to your travel agent and be done in 5 minutes. Even in the current Covid-19 situation, early in March before the non-stop flights between TLV and the US were canceled, travel agents were able to re-accommodate all their passengers from LH/LX/OS/SN to UA non-stop. Every travel agent can tell you how many calls they got in those couple of weeks from people who booked online begging for help because wait times were tremendous and the reps were beyond incompetent. I personally had someone who booked LX on United.com and when LX cancelled his flight, he called UA (the issuing airline) to rebook him, the United rep was adamant that the LX flight was still on schedule. When he finally convinced the rep that the flight was cancelled, United wanted to charge him $300 per person for the “difference in fare” from Swiss to United direct.

- Most people are not aware that having a “confirmation” alone is useless until it is “ticketed”. A travel agent will make sure that everyone on the reservation and every segment is ticket properly. It is not uncommon for OTA’s to show phantom availability and even “confirm” the space, but for it to never get ticketed. Showing up to the airport with a reservation like that is just as good as showing up with no reservation at all. I recently had a client that asked me to book him a Royal Jordanian flight. The flight was clearly sold out in the GDS. The client said it shows on an OTA and he’ll just book it there. 3 days go by and he tells me he hasn’t received an email yet and the confirmation number isn’t pulling anything up. I explained to him again what I had explained to him 3 days earlier, that it was phantom space and will never be ticketed.

- Travel agents often have special one way net fares. If you can go online and see that a one way Delta flight JFK-TLV can cost $1500, a travel agent can have nets starting at $500.

- Sometimes you need to be booked into a certain fare class for upgradeable purposes (for example, W class on United). A travel agent can book you into that fare class specifically as opposed to OTAs which will automatically book you into the lowest fare class available.

Cons:

- If you want to have the airline do a change, some airlines (such as United) will charge a small fee to “take control of the ticket” and some airlines (such as Elal) will not even touch or change an agency booking.

- In case of emergencies, not all travel agencies are available 24/7. Most airlines/OTAs have 24/7 customer service.

- Travel agents will usually add a service fee on top of the cost of the ticket, especially if it is a ticket that has no commissions.

- Disputes: As a general rule (there are exceptions which will be discussed), travel agents process your card directly with the airline through their GDS (thus earning 5x when booked with Amex Plat), not through their own merchant processor. When a passenger disputes an agency ticket, the passenger always wins and the agent has to pay for the cost of the ticket plus a small fee, thus causing the agent a loss. If he had booked online and disputed, he would only be causing the OTA/Airline a loss.
Let’s say you booked online and missed your flight. You want to dispute the charge, the chances are you will lose the dispute as it was your negligence you missed your flight. Now that you booked with an agent, would it be fair to dispute, win, get your money back and cause the agent a loss?
Let’s take a different scenario, one that is more relevant today during Covid-19. Airlines have practically cancelled every international flight and most domestic flights. Almost all airlines that fly to/from the USA are allowing refunds for cancelled flights, Elal is not. This situation, where an airline is refusing refunds for a cancelled flight is something that is unprecedented. As per the DOT, the passenger is rightfully owed a refund for his cancelled flight. If he would have booked online, he’d win the dispute and get his money back. Now that he’s booked with an agent, he is any less rightfully and legally owed a refund, should he not dispute the charge because it might cause the agent a loss? I would think he has all the right to dispute and I am even telling my clients who want their money back today to go ahead and dispute. I personally am not terribly afraid of clients disputing tickets now (where the flight is cancelled). They are owed a refund and we can’t provide it for them. Why should they lose out when they are legally owed a refund? If an airline will dare penalize agents for a flight that was cancelled, they will face a massive lawsuit. Besides, I highly doubt the DOT wouldn't protect the agents for something like that.

In summary, if he would have booked online and won, I think he has the right to dispute even when it might come at a loss to the agent. But if he would have booked online and lost, I don’t think it’s fair to dispute and make the agent eat the loss. So the next time your kosher meal tastes like cat food instead of the pre-ordered dog flavored one, please don’t dispute the charge.

There are some, but not many, travel agents who will pay for the ticket either on their own credit card or by “check payment” or with points, and then process the passenger’s credit card on their own processor. Since the charge is through a regular merchant processor, the dispute process is more legitimate. The agent will be allowed to provide documents proving the charge is legit and win the dispute. However, unless the agent has each passenger sign an authorization form, it will be very difficult for the agent to win the dispute and the passenger will come out ahead, just as I described earlier when the passenger’s credit card is charged directly with the airline via the agency.
One big difference with this scenario than the above is, in a case where the dispute is for a “legitimate” cause, for example the flight was cancelled and the airline is refusing to refund, if the agent paid for the ticket through a “check payment” or points, he will not be able to dispute his credit card charge in return and the loss will come out of his pocket. But is the passenger wrong for disputing when he is legally owed a refund? Is the passenger up the creek without a paddle because the agent decided to book him in this way thus causing him a loss with no one to turn to? I think not, but you can decide…


OTAs

Pros:

- No extra service fees

- No extra fees (besides standard change fess) if you need to make changes with the airline directly.

- 24/7 customer service

- A dispute, if you win, will not cause direct harm to another person’s pocket.

- It’s easy to quickly book with an OTA during a price glitch.

Cons:

- You might not get the seat(s) you want, the meal you want or a bassinet for your infant.

- Last minute changes, especially mid-trip can be extremely difficult.

- Many OTAs don’t offer child discounts.

- Many OTAs, especially the ones selling tickets lower than the published fare, will say “baggage allowance zero”, when in reality it is not true. They do this in order to make money on selling you a bag. Or “2nd bag fee $150” when in reality it really cost less. They do this in order to make money off selling you extras to equal out the loss they took to sell you the ticket. Sometimes they will charge you change fees that are way above the actual change fee. This is how many “fly by night OTAs” make their profits.

- You might show up to the airport with a “confirmation” only to be told it’s useless because it was not ticketed.

- I do not believe any OTAs or even airlines directly have one way nets.




P.S. Please do not turn this thread into a "Welcome back D93" thread. This thread has already underwent a drastic topic change, no need for another one :)

April 29, 2020, 03:56:23 PM
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Re: What is your favorite Biden gaffe?
I know the media call them gaffes.  But can we be real here? Many of them are signs of dementia, are they not?
+968sjvjkrff

May 20, 2020, 02:20:50 PM
1
Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites! I'd imagine everyone has life hacks they use everyday, that many people are not even aware of.

Post yours below, and give out lots of likes to members who post theirs.

It can literally be anything, for example checking out at the pharmacy in the grocery store when the regular lines are long, microwave rice from TJ's (blew my mind first time having it, how easy it was), open a can of corn,put salt pepper and cheese on top, microwave or oven it (super easy lunch), etc...

You can also include items you can't live without.

June 10, 2020, 02:43:58 PM
1
Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites! GoodRX.com, even for meds that are covered. My insurance can have a $15 copay, but coupon from GoodRX gets me the medication for $7.
June 10, 2020, 03:01:42 PM
1
Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites! Here's one: If you get a piece of eggshell in with the eggs while cracking them, use the other half of the eggshell to fish it out instead of trying to use your fingers or anything else.
June 10, 2020, 04:02:28 PM
1
Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites!
Here's one: If you get a piece of eggshell in with the eggs while cracking them, use the other half of the eggshell to fish it out instead of trying to use your fingers or anything else.
Can confirm!

On the topic of eggs, if you want to separate the yolk from the white, take an empty clean water bottle, squeeze the bottle, place the mouth over the yolk and slowly release the bottle. The yolk will get sucked up into the bottle with minimal/no white.

June 10, 2020, 05:36:34 PM
1
Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites!
When boiling eggs, add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the water. Makes them really easy to peel and doesn't affect the taste.

June 10, 2020, 05:43:34 PM
1
Re: Life Hacks, Post Your Favorites! To easily melt a small amount of chocolate / butter, put it in a ziploc bag and put that into a mug of hot water for a few minutes. No mess! You can cut a hole in the corner to pipe chocolate too.
June 10, 2020, 06:54:35 PM
1
Re: Master Thread Of Jack6941's Awesome Amazon/Walmart Deals I hope this picture helps explain my absence a bit.
It was too good of a BOGO deal to pass up.
Everyone is doing great B"H! and should be home soon!



November 22, 2020, 09:37:33 PM
1