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Topics - Woofwoof

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There is a super 48-hour wine sale marathon with free shipping going on at !!

Here is a self-description of LBW, which is a local business based in Napa:
"Last Bottle is a daily purveyor of fine wines. We literally offer you one hand-picked wine per day until it sells out (often in hours) and ship it out to you right away. New day, new wine. Always at incredible prices (30%-70% off retail). Weíre not a wine club, there is no subscription ó what you see is what you get."

Now, they are having a 2-day marathon sale and the wines change every couple of minutes, with prices ranging from $9 to $99. If you purchase a low-cost wine, then it's really is as good as free. You will still have to pay taxes, of course.

The good ones go really fast. I suggest that you set up an account immediately and enter your credit card/shipping info. Then, once you see what you want, put it in your cart and check-out. In other words, don't wait till after filling the cart with your desired wine to enter your info. Some wines literally disappear in 2-3 minutes.

Please support a business which has been affected by Covid-19 and the wildfires! Here is a referral link that you can use to get $10 off:

Note: most wines are not kosher.

On The Road / All Tripadvisor accounts to reset passwords???
« on: June 26, 2019, 09:57:59 PM »
I just saw this and wonder if I should reset my password too. I just received a TA notification, but other than this email and the following article, I have not seen any mention of this in travel websites/blogs.

On The Road / Gift Card Promised but Not Sent to Me
« on: June 10, 2019, 01:01:58 AM »
I booked a hotel stay using a gift card and then cancelled it. sent me an email immediately upon cancellation saying that the refund couldn't be processed at that moment and told me to call.

I did call them 10x for a month to follow-up. They gave me the merry-go-round treatment: forwarding my call to more idiots, answering my email saying that this was in process...The Silver Rewards CS agents told me to contact gift card dept, which in turn said that they only process purchased GCs...

At this point, what should I do? How can I sue them, if necessary?  I have no more tolerance for this. The amount is substantial and I would like to make more hotel bookings using this credit. After that, I would kiss this stupid company goodbye. Thanks for your help in advance.

Credit Cards / Housewife applying for credit cards--any experience?
« on: April 01, 2019, 06:37:49 PM »
I am a homemaker hoping to apply for the Alaska MP card. I rely on my husband's income and we have joint checking and savings account. His income is very decent and our credit scores are high.

Has anybody had experience with this scenario? What shall I enter in the "income" field?

Credit Cards / Bank of America--service and IT for its credit cards
« on: March 06, 2019, 01:15:52 PM »
I am considering applying for the Alaska Airlines cc. Sadly, it's issued by BoA. I used to have a safety deposit box with my old checking account there. I closed the box because the bank "accidentally" removed my contents and took them to an off-site storage place, without my knowledge. They first lied by claiming that I was not paying my fees (which was later revealed to be false) and then they said they couldn't contact me (and thought I was dead). Anyway, I closed the box and only retain the bank account because BoA has a monopoly in ATMs at California airports.   

How is your experience with their cc's, in terms of service and IT? The cc department may (hopefully) be different from their retail banking department. Any comments are welcome.

Up In The Air / Any recommendations for consolidators?
« on: March 05, 2019, 06:33:43 PM »
I would like to have access to some "consolidator-only" airfares. These are getting rare, but they still exist.  By "consolidator-only", this usually means that the fares are not searchable online from an OTA or the airline's website.

Any recommendations?

Up In The Air / Fareboom or Best Travel Store--has anybody used them?
« on: March 04, 2019, 11:09:37 PM »

I heard about a fantastic deal that was only available via consolidators (not online travel agencies). I have not used a consolidator for ages and learned from a member from another forum that he just used Fareboom (also known as Best Travel Store) for the first time.

Has anybody used them? What was your experience?


Hi everybody: I will be stopping over in Toronto and taking an Air Canada flight to Tel Aviv. I know that entry immigration at TLV will be very thorough.

At the Toronto airport, is there also extra security for TLV-bound flights? If so, how much more time do I need to budget? Will be flying J class and have Global Entry, if these make a difference. Thanks a million.

I took Dan's recommendation to buy a biz class ticket for my spouse's upcoming transatlantic flight. Wondering if I should still have him fly AC after reading the details of the following scary incident at SFO last year:

The seats are indeed great. However, if there are issues with pilot fatigue due to shorter rest periods and that ILS during landing is not mandated by AC, then what are the SAFER airlines to choose?



Three weeks ago, I booked a car with National (Emerald Exec) to be driven out of their Zurich downtown location. However, at 4pm before the rental start date, I got an email from the local manager saying that they had to close the entire downtown location. She told me to get the car from Zurich airport and offered a miserly 30CHF rebate as compensation (my actual taxi ride cost almost 60CHF). I knew that driving the car off the airport entails a 20% premium over the entire rental cost and hence called National in the US to reconfirm that I wouldnít be charged this airport-pickup fee.

On the next day, I went to the airport. The counter staff was very rude  >:( (yet not unexpected in this city). She said she didnít know about the 20% fee waive and offered an undesirable car (of course she said itís the last automatic car left). We didnít have a choice and therefore took this car, hoping that the dust had settled. Yet, on the third day of our road trip, the carís engine oil needed to be topped off. We called Nationalís roadside service hotline and were told that it needed to taken to the dealership for service (reimbursement to be made later) on the next day. We complied, spending a precious half day traveling to + having service done at the nearest Citroen dealership. (We were staying in the mountains at that time.)

Upon returning the car at Zurich airport, yet another issue arose. The staff inspected our car (we made no damage) but couldnít print out a receipt to acknowledge the condition. We heard from internet travel websites about car rental agencies scamming foreign tourists for damage that the latter werenít responsible for. We feared that the local staff at National Zurich airport was playing this trick on us. He said the printer wasnít working. I wasnít sure if I wanted to believe this but I had to check-in for my flight. After I checked-in, I returned to National and demanded the receipt. Voila...the printer suddenly was working. Yet, the return timestamp was not correct.

In short, I heard of all of these bait-and-switch tactics before, but was still appalled that National tried to mess with me multiple times in one roadtrip. The part I was most upset about was driving all the way to a major city for the oil top-off. I guess National wanted to use customersí time to service their cars.

In this case, how should I proceed with demanding National to compensate me for the time loss and inconvenience? In fact, not only was my precious vacation time taken up, I had to pay for this time loss from my wallet. Servicing the car is their responsibility. The reason why I chose National was their good customer service in the US. However, once outside the US, anything can happen.

Would appreciate your wisdom and guidance. Thanks.

Up In The Air / SkyTeam mileage program advice
« on: July 13, 2018, 04:01:44 AM »
I have not flown Skyteam airlines for more than a decade. A few days ago, I bought the super crazy deal from Zurich to SFO for less than $2000 on biz class. I am based in San Jose, CA and SFO. My travel patterns are:

-domestic: mostly within CA (SW, Jetblue, or Alaska). Very rarely do I travel to NYC, BOS, or ORD. 6-10x per year

-Canada: only for flight positioning, if I find an excellent deal to Europe or Asia from Canada. 0-2x per year

-Europe: sometimes I travel within the continent, using whichever airline (mainstream or low-cost) that offers a good fare and convenient timing, 2-6x per year

-Asia: sometimes I travel within the main business hubs (Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok...), using mainstream airlines, 2-4x per year

So, since I don't loyally fly SkyTeam airlines and that Delta seems to offer an awful mileage program, I would appreciate advice on the program (with generous expiration policy) that I should join.  Thanks!

Hello all:

I was approved by Amex to get their SPG BUsiness card and was told that I could get employee cards at no cost. I immediately emailed them to request one card for my spouse, but I kept receiving letters asking me for more information. The letters were computer generated and the additional info requested was left blank. Clearly, it was an error.

I talked to multiple phone agents (off biz hours) and they said it would be taken care of. Of course, for months, no progress was made. They did further request me to get a bank letter certifying my identity and address. I accomplished this and faxed it to them. Again, no reply from Amex. It just happened again.

I cannot believe this incompetence. This is a business card.

Did anybody have this experience? If so, how was it resolved (if at all)? What are your suggestions?

Thanks very much! Have a great weekend! 

Up In The Air / 12-month Transatlantic business fare
« on: May 20, 2018, 05:38:50 PM »
Hello all:

First time posting here. I travel from the west coast to continental Europe (EU, plus Switzerland and Norway, excluding Bulgaria and Romania) usually once per year for leisure. My aching body cannot stand econ seats, and thus I buy business class tickets.  However, I don't have an unlimited budget.

Deals on biz class to Europe from the west coast are very rare. I would like to avoid quasi-business seats such as those offered by Icelandic Air, Wow, Condor, or Norwegian. I watch air fares like a hawk and haven't found much of any real deal since Nov 2017. I still haven't bought a tix for my Aug 2018 trip. I cannot use the hotel+air trick because my trip lasts longer than 26 days, which is the limit for package deals.

1. Need advice--The best fares I have seen are around $2700-ish from SFO to BUD or MXP.  Given that we are approaching the end of May, should I press the button to purchase soon as the chance of further deals is almost zero (correct me, if I am wrong)? From BUD or MXP, I can easily position to other cities.

2. Fares from Europe to the US are always much cheaper than the reverse direction. So, one way to save $ is to fly outbound to Europe on an award ticket, buy a roundtrip from Europe to the US, and use the inbound flight of this roundtrip for next year. But this inbound trip won't take place till summer 2019. In other words, this ticket has to be valid for 12 months. Are these very expensive? How do I buy these?

Thanks very much, everybody!

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