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'Planespotters' are a dedicated tribe apart

encrier   Aviation geeks (more punchily known as avgeeks) are of course folks who are obsessed with aircraft – commercial, military, and otherwise – and who can to a greater or lesser extent quote you chapter and verse on many aspects of mechanical flight, especially when it comes to commercial airlines.   read post    

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A question for avgeeks: what are 'winglets'?

 At some point when you're approaching your plane you've surely wondered to yourself why the wings are curved, no? This design feature is called a winglet (also known as a wingtip device), and it's there not just to look cool but for an important purpose: to maximise aerodynamic efficiency. Interested in learning more? Read on! read post  

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6 apps to help vanquish fear of flying

  Apps! In the 2020s it seems like our lives practically run on them, and whatever the issue or problem, as the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”. Fear of flying is no exception, and here are a half dozen which counter aerophobia, approaching it from different angles. So download this! read post   Apps! In the 2020s it seems like our lives practically run on them, and whatever the issue or problem, as the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”. Fear of flying is no exception, and…

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8 tips to ensure maximum airline seat comfort

Myshkovsky Flying long haul (especially overnight) and worried about airplane seat comfort? After all, nobody wants to land at their destination feeling fatigued and uncomfrtable. But if you're traveling coach, low humidity along with narrow seats with minimal reclinability and legroom all add up to what can be a pretty unpleasant six to 18-plus hours. read post

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  • In trying to use miles to book a flight from Miami to New York City just a little while ago, I was short miles in my American Airlines account, so we wanted to transfer some from his to cover the shortfall. Imagine our displeasure to learn that for a simple electronic transfer the fee was $116 - and to add insult to injury, on top of that they add a $15 transfer fee. I tweeted my displeasure to them and their only reply was:

    Replying to 

    We're glad to hear that you were able to get it booked. Thanks for your feedback.

    And so I left them with:

    Replying to 

    What a dumb and disingenous answer. You suck.

    This is another reason airlines and capitalism in general have been richly earning themselves such a bad name in recent years.
  • Nha Trang beach in Vietnam



  • There are LOTS of ways to get free stop overs.

    United allows up to 23 hours and 59 minutes on intl' itineraries and Delta allow 1 free stop over in route.

    I have wrote about the Delta stop over rule and given an example here. Or the United free 24 hour stop over here. United also allows 1 stop over for more than 24 hours on a round trip. You can read about that option here.

    Many more explanations can be found on 

  • My pleasure! And of course if you find yourself in any trouble putting together an award with all of these added goodies, you know where to turn :) In case you forgot though, will likely provide the answers you're looking for. 

    The reason I say people run into trouble is simple: While these routings are allowed, they are often not bookable online and the phone reps are often not very amenable. At the end of the day however, persistence is key!

  • I have opportunities to do that. This is very helpful, Ari. 

  • Most airlines do, but it's how to maximize those stopovers/open jaws that is the trick! For example, you could be on a USAirways award from North America to "North Asia" (Japan, for example) but have a stopover in Rome. Not only that, but the North America-Japan trip (in business class) is 10,000 miles less expensive than North America to Rome. But because that's just a stopover, you not only saved yourself 10k miles, but you saw another great city! And the fact that the routing would then be around-the-world just adds to the "wow" factor. 

    Of course, there's the added ability to have "layovers" in multiple cities as well. The rule there (generally)? So long as it's under 24hrs, you're good :)

  • Agreed. If  I am not mistaken, AF allows a stopover in CDG  on its award travel without penalty of miles. 

  • True, but I was talking specifically about award redemptions. :)

  • Sometimes the farebasis rules allow for a stopover for free (or nominal charge). I have stopped over in Amsterdam, Paris on my way to South Asia on Skyteam metal. A good way to enjoy these two lovely cities and reduce fatigue and jetlag :)

  • Thanks for that, Donna! If at any point (while trying to follow those rules) however, you find yourself running into some trouble.... Fear not! First Class and Beyond is always there to help!!   :-)

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