Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I hate American Airlines

I've never really been partial to one particular airline. My dad, for one, LOVES Southwest. He won't fly anything else. If I HAD to choose one...I'd say that Virgin is the best. It's by FAR the nicest and most accommodating of the domestic airlines. If I had my choice of loyalty...that's where my loyalty would lay (lie? I always mess this one up).  

That said, a few years ago...I flew to India for work. India is VERY far away. I didn't get to choose my airline and we flew American. Because of this trip, I was upgraded to American Gold Status. 

I must say, it's pretty nice. Gold Status comes with two free checked bags for you and any travel partners, you get to pick any seat you want on the plane with no extra charge, you can skip the lines at security by going through with First Class passengers, to name a few perks. I mean, most these things should be standard, but let's face it...they are not. 

I don't even really like American Airlines. Like almost all the domestic airlines...they are a terribly run business. The customer service at American Airlines certainly leaves something to be desired. I kind of hate American Airlines. But, here's the thing...that Gold Status keeps me coming back. They hook you with it!! Being loyal to one particular airline certainly does pay off. I even got the credit card to earn miles. 

Sadly,  I couldn't cut it. As much as I fly...it just wasn't enough. Like any company out to get its customer's...American Airlines has lots of little rules and caveats that cheapen the miles you fly. Gold Status is hard to keep. I lost it :( 

It was a sad sad day for me the first time I flew back in steerage with the rest of the paupers ;) Looonnng lines at check in and security. I still get free bags because of my credit card, but I had to sit in a middle seat in the back of the plane. Wompa wa.

American Airlines emailed me to ask if I wanted to BUY Gold Status for SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!! Um, no. I'll take my middle poor person seat thank you very much :P

So, I thought...welp, I guess I'm free of these losers. Horray. I'll cancel this credit card...and just start flying Virgin as much as possible. But then, I got this in the mail:


They are ever so graciously giving me my Gold Status back...but only until November 15th. I can keep it if I can manage to fly 6000 miles before then. Oh man, I'm SUCH a sucker!! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Busy Bee

I have been bizzzzy!! Much of my busy-ness involves travel, which really doesn't bode well for the future of this sort of travel blog ;) Traveling=no blog writing!! 

Most of my recent travel has taken me back across the country. On these long flights, I always try to pack a snack or a lunch. One reason is because food in airports is both generally gross and outrageous in price. Another reason is that food in airports is just NOT healthy. I've really been making a conscious effort to eat better food. I think I do ok about 80% of the time. My best friend still teases me about the time I met her on a layover with a salad and all its fixins in tow :D

Pasta Primavera

I forgot to take a picture of my last plane meal, but it was soooooo good. I made a summer grain bowl with quinoa, avocado, corn, olives, and arugula. I do my best not to take anything that is too pungent--no one wants you to be eating curry or garlic bread on a plane ;)

Another thing I habitually do when I travel is to bring an empty plastic water bottle. This stems from the days when I first moved to LA and was REALLY poor. Like, 'I cannot afford to spend $5 on water', poor. I prefer the sort of squirt bottle kind without the screw cap. You don't want to lose the cap and be forced to chug a bottle of water whilst sitting in the window seat. Inevitably, there will be people next to you asleep or repeated stern warnings to obey the seatbelt sign. 

This water bottle basically serves as an emergency option if I sleep through the drink service (which, lets face it...almost ALWAYS happens). I fill this bottle with water from the airport water fountain. It's gross. The water at LAX actually smells like bleach. 

Well you can imagine my delight and surprise when I found THIS:


at Chicago Midway...which Preston refers to as 'the ghetto airport'. Oh, no Sir!! This contraption was AMAZING!! And the water was DELICIOUS!! I love it!! Well done Chicago!!

Other things I don't travel without?

-headphones that fit in your ear (blocks out noise)
-a hat to pull down over my eyes (my New Zealand All Blacks hat is my preferred plane hat)
-an amazing travel pillow my mom got me from Costco (it's not the weird neck kind)
-WARM clothing
-toe socks
-a good book

I love love the window seat...it's perfect for curling up, pulling your hat down, and turning towards the warm sun to 'sleep' for 5 hours. Sleeping on a plane was a near impossibility for me until I moved to California and now I'm a pro at it. The trick is to exhuast yourself by getting up at 2am to go to work on 2 hours of sleep the morning of your flight. Works like a charm ;) 

That's all for now...more on my travels soon!!