I had booked my flight far in advance from SFO to Paris for the Paris Marathon. There was only one option for a 30K nonstop saver award which was on a Tuesday. Recently, I received an email from United about a schedule change due to the removal of the nonstop flight on Tuesday. I was booked for SFO to EWR, than EWR to CDG with a 1 hour connection.
Not wanting to have a connection, I called up United’s customer service to see what they could do. I also looked up award tickets, and saw the nonstop flight on Tuesday was indeed gone on but they had one on Wednesday and Thursday for 60K miles. No more saver awards. The agent quickly saw this flight on Wednesday and asked if I wanted to do that instead. I agreed, but she had to get permission to change a revenue seat into an award seat.
A schedule change on your award ticket might look like bad luck but in reality in can be a blessing in disguise. This was easy as pie, it took longer to give the representative my confirmation number than changing the flight with no fees and no fuss.
Recently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, one of our highly recommend travel cards for Visa/Mastercard (see Terminal D’s post) made a change to their introductory bonus point policy. Chase increased the spend amount from US$3,000 to US$4,000 in order for you to obtain your 40,000 bonus points.
This means you’ll now need to spend $4,000 in the first three months to get the 40,000 bonus points.
Luckily, all other Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits remained the same:
- $95 annual fees (first year waived)
- 40,000 bonus points
- 5,000 additional points for authorized user
- 2x points on travel and restaurants
- No foreign transaction fees
This card must be getting popular with all the commercials you see online and TV. I recommend you get one now before it goes up again!
On my recent United flight from Hong Kong to Newark, I was caught off guard by the availability of WiFi being offered for an international route. And of all the airlines in the world, it was United offering this service. I was skeptical as we were flying over China and all I got was “Internet is unavailable.”
However, once I left China airspace I was successfully able to connect to the Internet using my Mileage Plus credentials. After I logged in, I see the cost to buy Internet services for the entire flight ($17) or by the hour which I believe was $4.99 per hour. The HKG to EWR flight was about 16 hours. I was able to get service 4 hours after takeoff which leaves me 12 hours of flight time for around $20. I didn’t have to urge to check email and opted to sleep.
I believe United’s international WiFi is an awesome offering for those who need to stay connected with work while on a long haul flight. The $20 for 12 hours seems to be a fair price as well. However don’t expect to have broadband service as dial-up or 2G speed is probably more likely the norm.