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Topics - AJK

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Up In The Air / ORD-PEK for $2400 RT
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:35:56 AM »
Non-stop to PEK from ORD for $2400 RT in AA J 787.

Up In The Air / Great Fare: ORD-HKG-MLE $<$2600
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:25:48 AM »
Fantastic CX fare to MLE from ORD, completely in lie-flat business. Added kicker: great opportunity for stopover in HKG on the way there.


Up In The Air / Great BA F Fares LHR-JFK
« on: December 25, 2017, 12:33:23 PM »
LHR-JFK-LHR $2630 RT or 131.5K RT MR with 50% MR rebate.

Lots of dates under $3K from 2/2018 on.

Rare stuff.

Up In The Air / Incredible EK F Fares: YYZ-JNB/MLE/HKG/MAA
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:27:55 PM »
JNB/CPT for $3800 or 190K MR RT
MLE for $4100 or 105K MR RT
SEZ for $4800 or 240K MR RT


On The Road / Honored: Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos Price Mistake
« on: December 19, 2017, 02:32:35 PM »

*Being Honored.*

Anyone booked?

They say they won't allow "name changes" but I can't imagine 6 months down the road they won't allow Additional Guests...

HT: Dan


J class nailed.

Upgrades also went up, NYC-TLV.

ETA: Looks like some devals (but not all) may only be for "high availability" tickets.

Up In The Air / CX Ending In-Town Baggage Checkin
« on: October 24, 2017, 10:42:58 PM »
Wow... CX no longer allows check-in at the in-town facility at Airport Express stations at Hong Kong Central and Kowloon due to the latest clamp-down imposed by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Huge blow.

Up In The Air / New Unlimited Wifi In Sky Plan for $13.50/mo or less?
« on: September 28, 2017, 02:56:43 PM »

Tried signing up, but am getting this error:

Subscription failed.Bank card transaction failed. Reason: 'An error has occurred. Please try again.'

Anyone have success?

We all find ourselves in the position.  You narrow down the possible award options and you have trouble deciding between them.

Enter the What Would You Book ("WWYB") Master Thread, allowing you to crowdsource your way to the best itin!

First up for your consumption is below.

Need to get from USA-TLV for Sukkos. Traveling with infant.

Option 1:

Pros:  Cost (75K SQ all-in).  One-stop.  FCT. Car to plane.
Cons:  Arrives less than three hours before zman.

Option 2:

Pros: Cost (75K SQ all-in). FCT. Car to plane. Day in VIE + night in PH VIE.  Arrives well in advance of zman.
Cons:  Two extra flights.  Additional taxes.  Cost of PH VIE.

Option 3:

Pros:  Arrives well in advance of zman. One less day of travel.
Cons: Cost (80K SQ + 20K QF). One extra flight. No car to plane. No FCT (won't go because of timing and no car to plane)

So, WWYB?  Option 1, 2, or 3? Why?

Credit Cards / Fraud Story... what would you do?
« on: September 01, 2017, 03:25:33 PM »
Got an email that my card was used for $150.00 at a restaurant in Lombard, IL.  Googled it and immediately called the restaurant hoping to make someone's holiday weekend take a very bad turn for the worse.

The manager was able to track down that the card (which I have in my possession) was used to buy a gift card and had since left the store.  She said she has video of the register that processed the transaction and also has video outside the store that my have caught the car.

Thinking I could still make it a bad weekend for the thief, I asked if they would be able to track use of the card and bust him/her on redemption, but she pointed out that the company operates several restaurants in the IL area, and they'd be unlikely to track on redemption. More importantly, it's likely the GC will be sold to an unsuspecting third party who will unfortunately find out on redemption that the GC is voided.

So, the manager was able to void the transaction, which refunded my card (which I already see) and made the GC value-less.

I've already informed Chase who is overnighting me a new JPM Reserve.

Question is do I bother calling Police Dept in Lombard, IL? 

Even if it would have gone through, and it wont, I wouldn't have been responsible for it, so I'm not out any money.  But is it worth it? Esp with video?  What if he was wearing sunglasses/cap? If video is otherwise not useful? 

What would you do?

Trip Reports / 10K And A Prayer: An International Lunch
« on: July 30, 2017, 10:58:14 PM »
So what to do if you have a slow week at work? Probably just come in a little late to work, maybe leave a little early.

...what do with if you have a slow week and a JetSmarter subscription?

Anyway, recently YUL (Montreal) - TEB (Teterboro) popped up on JetSmarter at 2:00 PM on a Hawker 800XP (which, by the way, is the exact same plane as the 850XP, except the 850XP has winglets, extending its range by about 100 nmi, and some upgraded avionics).  So with the ability (the JetSmarter subscription), the opportunity (the YUL-TEB leg), all I needed was motive (as if flying internationally on a $3-4 MM private jet is not enough of a motivation on its own)...

Anyway, I've heard much about Yakimono, which is, some would say, the most delicious kosher sushi in North America, so given the timing of the flight, I thought it was a perfect idea to go to Montreal for lunch, you know, as people do.  I asked a fellow DDF'er if he wanted to join ("TR"), who said yes, and all that was left to do was book the outbound.

Now, you may rightfully be noting that the JS leg was the inbound, and given JS' propensity to cancel repo legs, I might get stuck in a foreign country, all alone, with no way to get back.

Except, no.

First, I would not be alone (see above).  Second, Canada is not Iran.  Third, I have more miles than sense, the BP MR Promo until 2018, and a fire in my belly.  Fourth, this was being operated by TMC, and not an outfit like XO Jets which is notorious for cancellations.  Finally, even if it all went sideways--as in cancelled after I departed on the outbound (and not, say, cancelled before I left my for the airport in the morning, which would not be a big deal)--I'd still get to try Yakimono and a story to tell the ol' grandkids when the time comes.  Win-win-win.

As far the outbound, I found two XN seats for 10K each for the 7:45 AM UA departure to YUL arriving 9:15 AM. So, I booked X class >21 days out, did the magic, and 4 mins later, was the proud owner of next day XN tickets sans expedite fee.

Then we waited for the cancellation.

...and waited.

At 5:30 AM the next morning, still no cancellation, so I got up and checked us both in.  Well, I tried checking us in, but because it was an international flight, and TR's passport info was not saved in my UA account, it only allowed me to check in, requiring TR to see a gate agent for presentation of docs.

Well, we didn't leave as early as we wanted to, and EWR was jammed, so we arrived at EWR at 6:58 AM. Shame on us.

We head to premium check-in, were told by the gate agent, sorry, but no dice, need to be here 60 mins before. We say we have no bags, she says, I'll speak to supervisor.  During the interim, I tell TR, well, it was a good try, eh? I'll bring you back some sushi :)

Long story short, she phoned the gate who apparently gave her a restricted OK and she gave TR a boarding pass and told us "security is a nightmare, and if you don't make it, you'll have to be rebooked."  Well, being rebooked at 2:45 PM to catch a flight back to TEB at 2:00 PM would be... inconvenient, so we were out of the gate to TSA like... we had a plane to catch.

We made it to the gate 7 mins later.

(FYI, while I was in Uber, I screenshotted my boarding pass. Not sure why, but it's a good practice, e.g. if your phone dies, or if TSA is out of service, or whatever.  Anyway, I most definitely was able to pull up my BP in the car.  However, when I got to TSA, I was *only* able to pull up TR's BP, and not mine. Whatever the supervisor did seemingly *un*checked me in, and no matter what I did, I could not pull up my BP on my phone.  I began to get a bit freaked out out because though we had enough time to make it through one time, I don't think I had enough time to run back to the supervisor at premium check-in, ask her to reprint my BP (if she even would), then run back through TSA, and then to the gate all before the boarding door was closed.  Just when I was about to make this likely futile attempt, I remembered the screenshot!  It scanned successfully, and off I went.  From now on, I'll definitely be making this a practice.)

The flight to YUL was uneventful, and... still no cancellation.

Because Yakimono did not open until 11 AM, instead of going through customs and out the door, we attempted to go through the transfers, so we could sit in the air side lounge until it did.  Well, this is how the conversation went:

Agent:  Where are you connecting to?
Us:  Teterboro.
Agent:  Teter what?   
Us:  It's close to EWR, in NJ.
Agent:  OK, where are you coming from?
Us: EWR.
Agent: I know where connecting, you just said that, but where are you coming from?
Us:  EWR.
Agent:  OK, where are you going?
Us: Teterboro, in NJ.
Agent: Wait, what? You're coming from NJ and going back to NJ four and a half hours later?
Us: Yes; we're here for some good sushi.
Agent: [speaks in French to colleague; each eyes us suspiciously]  So where's your boarding pass?
Us: Well, uhm, we don't have one.
Agent: You don't have boarding pass? Then you have to clear customs and get one, and then get re-screened.
Us: Hmm, well, that won't work because we're flying private.
Agents: [look at us like we're space aliens]  So you're flying private to YUL for some sushi? Are you sure you're flying from YUL? What gate?
Us: Well, it's not a gate per se...
Agent: Well, you need to speak to information, after customs, and they'll help you.

Seeing as this was going nowhere, we cut our losses, and as we were headed out of customs, one of the agents shouted to us, "I'm really sorry, guys, but without a valid boarding pass, we can't let you through; hopefully someone at information will be able to help. Sorry again!"  Yeah, only in Canada.  In the US, we would have been sent to Guantanamo for trying to access air side with only a repo-invoice from JS.

At about this time, Dan asked me to put some Cheskies in an Uber and send it to him in CLE.  "Dude, Cheskie's is a better bakery than Yakimono is a sushi joint." Wait, seriously?

Considering we had about an hour before Yakimono even opened, we jumped in an Uber and went to Cheskie's, to try Eden in carb form.

Wow, he wasn't lying.  Best cheese pastries ever. Unlike other bakery's attempts at cheese pastries, where you have to eat the garbage to get the the goods, each and every bite of these were the goods.  Delicious.

Cheese muffins were good; cheese cakes were incredible; cheese crowns were nirvana.

After dropping about $100 CAD, we jumped in another Uber to Yakimono.  We arrived at 10:50 AM, ten minutes before they opened, but they seated us right away, which was nice. 

I ordered mixed fries (potato/sweet potato) which were fantastic, especially the sweet potato fries. 

Also ordered a boat of sushi with all of the sauces, knowing I wouldn't be able to finish even half, but that I'd take home to Mrs. AJK.

The food took. a. long. time. to come.  But come it did, and the sushi was excellent, though I'd still give the nod to Shallot's sushi...

After paying, we hopped in another Uber to the FBO, SkyService Aviation, and made it there at 1:35 for the 2:00 PM departure. 

We were joined by two other pax, both Canadian, and the Captain checked each of our passports to make sure we were who we claimed to be.  The other two pax had luggage, which was whisked onto the plane, and about five minutes later, we were escorted 30 feet from the door, to our multi-million dollar private chariot for the 70-minute trip down to TEB. No lines, no security, no rude TSA or customs, just a relaxing, non-stressful experience.  This wasn't my first time flying private (or my last ;) ), but goodness, each time I do, I realize why people pay what they do for this.

During the trip, the Canadians, who were Italian and super nice guys, popped a bottle of champagne, and over the course of drinks, divulged they were in internet affiliate marketing, and were headed to a conference in NYC.  It also came out that one of the guys, the owner, spent $3-4 MM a month on advertising, but put it on...



...the Plum card.

Suffice it to say, after chatting a bit, he gave me his number and asked me to call him to help him "right his wayward ship."

We landed a short while later, taxied to our spot in front of TEB customs, and were met at the plane by two customs officers, who escorted us inside to process our paperwork.

No GE here, just an old-fashioned scan of the passport, a welcome home, and then we were ferried to Atlantic Aviation, where we were met by an Uber.

10K XN saver award w/o expedite fee? Check.

Cheskie's bakery? Check.

Yakimono? Check.

Hawker 800XP? Check, check, check.

All in all, a highly recommended way to travel to an international lunch. 

So recommended, in fact, that I may or may not have done it again two days later. They're starting to recognize me at Atlantic Aviation...

Up In The Air / YUL-TLV $1350 in Business Non-Stop!!
« on: May 17, 2017, 06:37:49 PM »
On Air Transat, non-lie flat. But super cheap.

Sample fare, in heart of summer:

That's less than 70K MR RT!

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