The Le Meridien resolution

Posted by: Jason

Alas, there was no over the water bungalow awaiting me at check in, even as a Delta Platinum member. But I am known as Mr Emergency Air France according to the TV and the room is lovely.

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As a consolation prize, this was our comped lunch at the restaurant.

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Will Delta Platinum status equate to an over the water bungalow?

Posted by: Jason

I posted how my flight back from Tahiti has been delayed due to a fuel issue. After waiting for two hours, they announced that our flight had been cancelled and instructed us to go see a representative in order to get
overnight accommodations.

There were a lot of people in front of me and they were all being told that they would be put up at the Radisson.

My initial thought was that we were all going to be put up in a local hotel so the Radisson seemed like a fine choice.

as I handed the representative my boarding pass, she mentioned “platinum” to her co worker along with some words in French and pulled out a separate sheet.

“Mr. Milesquest, you will be staying at Le Meridien”

I nodded my head in agreement, hiding my joy and headed to the luggage carousel to pick up my bags.

I’m sitting on the bus right now waiting for all passengers to get on. Each person getting on this bus has huge grins on their faces.

So the question is – when we arrive to Le Meridien, will Platinum status get me an over the water bungalow???

Trapped in Tahiti?

Posted by: Jason

I was supposed to be flying back from Tahiti on Air France this morning. Everyone had boarded the plane and we were awaiting our takeoff when the pilot announced over the intercom that we needed to get off the plane due to a fuel problem. They asked us to take all of our belongings with us.

Underneath the plane is a large pool of fuel. There are also fire trucks on the runway.

The interesting thing is – what happens now? Is it something that can be easily fixed? Do they risk flying us over the Pacific with a possible fuel issue? It’s not like they have a spare plane anywhere nearby either.

Perhaps I’ll be trapped in Tahiti for a couple of additional days which possibly could be the most awesome delay ever.

25,000 Skymiles retention offer

Posted by: Jason

I applied for the Delta Skymiles Business Card last year due to the 25,000 Skymiles with 5,000 counting as MQMs after the first purchase as well as an additional 30,000 Skymiles with 15,000 counting as MQMs after $5,000 in purchases in 3 months. The annual fee was not waived.

The year mark is up and I received a statement with the now $195 annual fee charge. I called American Express to cancel the card and was offered 25,000 Skymiles to keep the card. I had intended to just cancel the card and was caught off guard with such a large offer.

I gladly took it as I’m stockpiling miles to take my family to Australia and figure I can get $195 worth of value this year by taking advantage of the Complimentary Companion Ticket along with the numerous American Express special offers (for example $15 off $75 at Home Depot).

I’m providing this information as a data point as you juggle the value of continually paying an annual fee and picking up some extra Skymiles as a retention offer.

Review of Moscow Marriott Tverskaya

Posted by: Jason

The Moscow Marriott Tverskaya is in the mid range of expensive hotels in Moscow averaging about $300 a night. The location of this hotel is the biggest plus with it being on the main Tverskaya boulevard close to the Belarusskaya subway station for easy transport to Red Square and other sites. Also, the Aeroexpress airport train runs from Sheremetyevo airport and is a 40 minute journey costing only 400 rubles (around $11) and most importantly bookable online in advance to avoid the awkwardness of trying to by a ticket at the window by gesticulating. It’s quite the improvement from the last time I visited Moscow where your only option was a $50 cab ride.

Aeroexpress, a time and cost saver

Aeroexpress, a time and cost saver

I booked a standard room and was very pleased with the comfortable, roomy accommodations. The bed was soft and comfortable and as I mentioned earlier, a very quiet stay.

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The workout room is open early in the morning and I was the only one there the entire time. I do always find it difficult to exercise while traveling as I’m battling jet lag and an inert desire to be lazy. I did try to exercise on this trip.

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There is a good mix of treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, and weight lifting machines. There were plenty of TVs there as well though the feed was solely Russian television shows.

Breakfast was on the expensive side at $30 per person but had a nice variety of things to choose from.
It failed my orange juice test where they served some off brand concentrate mixture rather than fresh squeezed. For a buffet at this cost, it really is a must.

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There were lots of choices for ingredients for freshly made omelets.

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This was the sitting area outside the rooms. There was complete quiet the entire time I stayed which was a bonus.

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Other benefits of this location are the numerous amount of eateries within walking distance.

We're lovin' it

We’re lovin’ it

I would recommend Goodman’s steakhouse which is a very delicious steakhouse with a lot of variety within a 5 minute walk of the hotel down Tverskaya street.

Priority boarding on Alaska Airlines for wearing a tshirt

Posted by: Jason

I’ve posted prior about Alaska Airlines offering $50 off flights for Utah residents and 20% off for flying to Salt Lake City during BYU Cougar home football games.

The University of Utah Utes, BYU’s arch rival, have taken it even further. Alaska Airlines is offering 20% off to the Utah Utes home and away football games and in addition, anyone wearing a Utah Utes jersey or shirt will get priority boarding from August 23 – December 1, 2014 on flights originating from Salt Lake City.

Photo courtesy of fanzz.com

Photo courtesy of fanzz.com

This should be some consolation for Ute fans who have struggled in football since joining the Pac-12.

Free $10 in Fandango credit

Posted by: Jason

Receive $5 off a Fandango movie credit simply by going to this link.

Enter in your birth date, name and email address, and then enter code CS8436 in all five slots. You will receive an email shortly with your promotional $5 code in Fandango credit.

Click the button “enter more codes”, enter in CS8436 in all five slots again and receive another email for $5 in Fandango credit.

There is a limit of 2 per person, per email. The promotion ends December 31, 2014 and the credit must be used by January 31, 2015.

Review of London Holiday Inn Camden Lock

Posted by: Jason

1. Trip Over
2. Sightseeing in Rome Day 1
3. Sightseeing in Rome Day 2
4. Sightseeing in Rome Day 3
5. Review of Boscolo Palace Roma in Rome
6. Review of Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center
7. Review of Rome Marriott Park Hotel
8. Sightseeing in Rome Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St Peters Basilica
9. Review of Holiday Inn London Camden Lock
10. Food in London
11. Activities in London

I specifically picked out the Holiday Inn Camden Lock as a hotel to stay at in London based on my experience internationally with Holiday Inn, the price, as well as the convenient location.

Arriving at London Heathrow, I took the Heathrow Express train to Paddington station. I switched to the Hammersmith and City tube to Kings Cross and finally changed to the Northern Line to Camden Town station. The hotel was a 5 minute walk from the tube. Heading out of the tube, you cross over at Jamestown Road and the Holiday Inn is on the right.

As you’re walking from the subway to the Holiday Inn, you’ll pass an alternative shopping area called Camden Market where there are plenty of clothing boutiques and specialty shops.

I stayed in an Executive Room which was huge, clean, with a perfect working area.

Entering the room

Entering the room

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The large comfortable bed

The large comfortable bed

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The sink area

The sink area

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There was even a Foursquare special when I checked in, offering a free 24 hours worth of Internet.

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There are plenty of great restaurants around the Holiday Inn including Hache Burgers Camden and Wagamama.

My favorite part of my staff at the Holiday Inn was the breakfast.

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Amazing bacon

Amazing bacon

Eggs to order

Eggs to order

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruits

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I was very excited to see they had Alpen cereal. When I was at the Conrad Rangali Island in the Maldives, they had this same cereal there. It was the perfect breakfast with yoghurt.

The hash brown potatoes were perfectly cooked and crispy. The bacon was the perfect explosion of flavor as well while the cooked to order eggs made their breakfast a prefect start to the morning.

The hotel is perfect situated close to a subway station for heading into town and seeing the sites. It only took a little bit of time to reach any destination from the Camden Town station.

Overall I would recommend the London Holiday Inn Camden Lock for it’s convenient location, great rooms, local eateries, and great breakfast.

World Cup memories

Posted by: Jason

I must admit that I got swept up in the 2014 World Cup. I was cheering for the United States even though I knew they had no realistic chance of advancing very far.

When the United States advanced out of the so called “Group of Death” by defeating Ghana, I thought there was a slight change they might be able to defeat Belgium. It was interesting to see all of the Americans rallying and watching soccer though it’s often considered the fifth most popular sport behind football, basketball, baseball, and golf.

Watching Tim Howard save goal attempt after goal attempt against Belgium brought me back to my first World Cup experience in 1994 when I was living in Sweden.

I was at a McDonald’s near the central train station late at night watching Brazil and Sweden in the semifinals. Thomas Raveli was the keeper for Sweden at the time and was making similar save after save before finally conceding a goal. The match ended at around 1 am Stockholm time. I remember walking outside pretty bummed that Sweden didn’t win only to see a group of about 12 Brazilian fans marching down the road beating a drum celebrating Brazil’s victory. Pretty brave if you ask me.

Sweden ended up taking 3rd place and the Swedes went bezerk. They had a heroes welcome for the team at Rålambshovs Park in Stockholm where 23,000 people came to celebrate their 3rd place victory that I attended. It truly sunk in how much soccer means to other countries. Henke Larsson and Martin Brolin were national heroes.

My second memory was when I was in Budapest, Hungary for a business trip and heard that Hungary and Bulgaria were playing that night in a World Cup qualifying match. I decided to go with a friend to the match. As we approached the stadium, it was apparent that it was going to be unlike any other event I had ever been to. We were greeted by 20-25 police officers with German shepherds. As we found our seats there was a tremendous amount of yelling between the Hungarian supporters and Bulgarian supporters which I found a bit amusing since neither speaks the same language so all of the verbal taunts probably fell on deaf ears.

The two opposing sections were encased in a chain link fence and barbwire to keep the two fan bases separated. At one point a particularly enraged Hungarian fan tried to scale the fence to yell some things at the Bulgarian supporters but stopped short of the barbwire. The Bulgarians won the match 2-0 and as I was walking back to the subway station, we realized that the subway wasn’t running that night. So you had thousands of soccer fans with no way to leave the stadium. We ended up taking a taxi after a long wait.

Do you have a memorable World Cup memory?

Free items at 7-Eleven: Big Gulp today and Slurpee tomorrow

Posted by: Jason

7-Eleven has had an app for quite a while and they’ve had a decent amount of free coupons from time to time.

Recently, they’ve been offering a free item every single day through their app.

Free liquid refreshment

Free liquid refreshment

Today you can get a free Big Gulp by showing your app and since it’s not tied to an account, if you’re so inclined you can visit multiple locations and redeem the same offer. Tomorrow’s free item will be a small Slurpee.

$50 off Alaska Airlines flights for Utah residents

Posted by: Jason

Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines have been sparring with each other for the last while as Delta increases their services via Seattle and cut benefits for Alaska MVP benefits.

Alaska has responded by directly targeting the Salt Lake market. Last night I saw a commercial touting a $50 off flight credit for Utah residents who join Mileage Plan.

$50 off your next flight

$50 off your next flight

The offer is valid for new sign ups through July 31, 2014. Travel must happen before November 19, 2014 and is valid for travel from Salt Lake City to any Alaska Airlines city excluding Prudhoe Bay.

I also noticed that Alaska Airlines is also offering 20% discounts for flights to Salt Lake City in conjunction with Brigham Young University football home games.

Simply click below, add your origin, dates, and book. The discount is automatically applied. Or enter EC9981 in the discount code box at alaskaair.com.

Discount valid from Alaska Airlines cities in the United States (excluding Hawaii and Prudhoe Bay) to Salt Lake City:

HOUSTON – September 9-13 – BOOK NOW
VIRGINIA – September 18-22 – BOOK NOW
UTAH STATE – October 1-5 – BOOK NOW
NEVADA – October 16-20 – BOOK NOW
UNLV – November 13-17 – BOOK NOW
SAVANNAH STATE – November 20-24 – BOOK NOW

Book by November 17, 2014. Restrictions apply. Click here for details.

I’m glad to see some increased competition in the Salt Lake City market that hopefully will benefits consumers.

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