Woot! Alaska Air status match attained.

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 1.15.49 PM.png

If you have Gold or higher-level equivalent status at most major US airlines, you can status match to Alaska Air. The tier perks can include no change fees, same-day changes, and complimentary upgrades (space available).

A simple email to their Mileage Plan department with the below information should be sufficient.

  1. PDF/photo of Driver’s License
  2. PDF/photo of elite status card from matching airline.
  3. PDF/photo of most recent mileage statement from matching airline.

What is your experience with Alaska Air?



Not all ‘utilities’ count towards Ink 5x

I recently reviewed one of my Chase Ink Plus statements where I charge my monthly water/garbage bill to.

For some reason I thought I could get lucky with the coding and have it qualify as one of the telecom/misc utilities that earns 5x points.

Well… no luck. =)

Does anyone have an experience where their utility earned 5x

Passport Requirements for US-MX Travel

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 4.13.55 PM.png

We’re planning a trip to PVR in March and the wife’s passport expires in May.

Originally I planned to wait until after we returned to renew the passport, but according to the State Department, passports require 6 months of validity left, for entry into MX.

Thus, we had to mail in the current passport, plus expedite fee, to get our new passport back in time for travel.

There is also a ~$20 tourist “visa”/fee, but it appears that it may have already been charged when I purchased the airfare.

The State Department has this wonderful phone resource. I called and was surprised to talk with a live (and helpful) person within 2 phone prompts and 40 seconds. Pretty impressive!

What has been your experience with the immigration authorities when traveling to Mexico for leisure?

The Case of the Missing Pack’n Play

I went skiing with a group of friends in Denver last week. One of them brought her baby and the pack’n play. Somewhere between the luggage claim and the cabin, the pack’n play went missing, but we decided to make do with extra pillows and a sectioned off area of their bedroom. Wasn’t going to let that ruin a good weekend and it wasn’t worth our time to call the airport, given that if found, we would just pick it up on the way home.

On the way back, we stopped by the rental car counter to see if it was left on the rental car shuttle. No luck. Time was looking ok, so we went to the missing luggage counter at the airport. 30 minutes later, we emerged with the pack’n play! Apparently, we picked it up off the conveyor belt, but left it on the arrivals floor when the group was using the restroom before mobilizing to the shuttle stop.

By then, we were cutting it short with 40 minutes to scheduled departure time. I used the restroom, then Pre-check’d my way to the gate. I thought my friends would pull the baby card, but they ended up in the general line. Despite my attempts to hold their space, the plane took off without them. Thankfully, the gate agent was kind enough to accommodate them on a later flight, albeit 8 hours later.

Lesson learned:

  1. Get TSA Pre-check (or Global Entry).
  2. Leverage the baby card for as long as you can.
  3. Re-evaluate your available time after every un-expected turn.

My friends are now scheduled for their Global Entry interview.

And they lived happily ever after…

Travel Planning Lessons

This site is about all the nitty gritty that goes on behind the scenes of traveling and travel planning.

It has a more realistic/neutral view than most travel blogs.

The joys comes with the pains, and I want to reveal that here. In doing so, I hope to reduce your pains and increase the joys. However, both are necessary to a good adventure, so be warned!

Are you ready to experience true travel? If so, read on…