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United Airline offers International WiFi (from HKG to EWR)

by on Oct.15, 2014, under Airlines

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.

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Check your airline miles every 18 months to prevent it from expiring

by on May.28, 2014, under Airlines

No airline miles are useless. Airline miles, next to SPG points, are a very valuable currency even though they are being devalued daily. You should set a notification in your calendar to alert you to check your frequent flyer miles every year. If you have not done so, check your old frequent flyer programs and look for a great deal. I just found one on American Airlines which also allows you to book one way trips unlike other airlines.

Alternatively, here are just a few easy ways to keep your miles from expiring:

1.  Use your miles to redeem for a magazine subscription – which I’ve been doing for the past several years.
2.  Tie your frequent flyer account to the Rewards Network mileage dining program. Here’s the link.
3.  Or you could do what I did below:

My friends and I decided to sign up for the Paris Marathon occurring in April 2015.  And more recently, I got the expiring American Airlines miles e-mail notice.  I only had 20,000 so odd miles from 5 or 6 years ago that I never touched and almost forgot about.  Little did I expect I could purchase a San Francisco (SFO) to Paris (either airport) flight for 20K miles one-way.  With all the devaluation going on at airlines, this was a pleasant surprise.  I booked an USAirways flight (AA partner)  for 20k with one stop in Charlotte and minimal fees.  Note that British Airways (another OneWorld partner) requires you to pay an excessive stopover in London for $300+.

If your USAir miles somehow expired, refer to our previous post to get re-activated.

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Who can be your United Million Miler companion?

by on Jan.27, 2013, under Airlines, Business Travel

For those of you who’ve made it to the lifetime million miles on United know you can designate a companion annually to receive the same status as you.  I’ve recently hit the million miles on United and everyone has asked does your million miler companion have to be your spouse/significant other?

The answer is no.  Although you probably want to give your husband/wife or boy/girlfriend status, most likely they will be travelling with you anyways so they get your United perks without needing the actual status.  I chose a close colleague of mine who doesn’t travel as much so he and his wife could get the economy plus seats, board early benefits, etc.. This is a much better use than someone who does travel since they most likely have status already.

The only thing that needs to match up is your mailing address so have your friend change his mailing address on United to your address.  The downside of this is you will be getting tons more of junk mail to recycle.

For those of you interested to know what miles are counted toward your United Million Miler program, please check out our previous post.

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