Welcome to the Miles, Points and Travel Hacks Weekly Round-Up
for the week of November 7th
Each week we sift through all of the posts, blogs, PR, hyperbole and rumors, boil it down and share the best stuff with you. A very busy week in the world of Miles, Points and Travel Hacks. So, let’s get going.
Now I’ve Seen Everything?
The travel community loves to share pictures of people behaving badly when they travel. You don’t have to search very hard to find hundreds of pictures featuring feet on bulkheads, newspapers on the floor, diapers being changed on tray tables and a whole lot more. Well, all of those stunts will have to take a back seat to what a group of Chinese tourists recently did at the Jeju airport in Korea.
It wasn’t a totally random act of trashing. They didn’t just reach into their luggage and start throwing trash around the boarding area. All of the paper and plastic you see strewn about in the picture above was the result (fault?) of Duty-Free Shopping. I’m used to getting my Duty-Free purchases handed to me after I’ve had my boarding pass scanned and I’m entering the jetway, headed for the plane. At Jeju airport, they hand out the Duty-Free purchases while the passengers are still in the boarding area. And that’s when bad things start to happen.
To save space and some weight, the passengers simply rip off all of the packaging and throw it on the floor. To most folks, that’s just crazy behavior. I’ve seen stuff like this before. There’s a famous video of a group of Chinese tourists decimating a buffet in a way that has to be seen to be believed. I asked a colleague from Asia about why this happens and he gave me an interesting explanation. When China became Communist China 50+ years ago, there were tragic purges of the higher and intellectual classes. The general population was encouraged to be worker in support of the Communist ideals. Now that China has opened up to the rest of the world and become a part of the global markets, the people have benefited from Capitalism and have money to spend on travel and purchases. In general, that mobility and freedom hasn’t been accompanied by an equal amount of education, and, well, etiquette and manners. And that’s why we see what is pictured above.
Officials at Jeju haven’t responded not by being stricter in their policies. Their response? “The Korea Airports Corporation in Jeju has also taken action by increasing the number of cleaners at the gate from two to three.” Yeah, that’ll work.
The Fine Print
After you get through the very short list of 100K signup bonus credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum, there’s still some very good cards out there if you do a little digging. The most recent one to pop up courtesy of Reddit and nice analyzed by Doctor of Credit is the Merrill+ Visa Signature Credit Card. There’s a host of benefits that come with the card but I’d like to focus on one big one that comes with the signup bonus.
Receive a one-time bonus of 50,000 Merrill Points® after making at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. Redeem your bonus points for: two airline tickets up to $500 each (inclusive of taxes and fees), $500 cash back or hotel stays, car rentals or gift cards.
$500 cash back after making $3,000 in purchases is a great deal in itself. But the two airline ticket offer is even better if you’re planning a trip in the near future. The $500 per ticket limit is very specific, but you can pay for any difference out of your points balance or pay the difference in cash. You cannot stack this benefit and redeem it for one $1000 ticket.
Delta announced that they will be introducing a Premium Economy product that will debut on the A350 aircraft being delivered in 2017. 777 will get retrofitted starting in 2018. Delta Elites are still trying to get used to Comfort+ and getting “upgraded” from an exit row aisle to a Comfort+ middle seat, so this new offering has some folks scratching their heads.
Delta Premium will feature:
- More space with up to 38 inches of pitch, up to 19 inches of width and up to seven inches of recline. Delta Premium seats will also offer adjustable leg rests and head rests;
- Westin Heavenly® In-Flight Blanket with pillow and a TUMI amenity kit featuring Malin+Goetz Travel Essentials, allowing customers to settle in and arrive well-rested;
- Pre-departure beverage service followed by fresh, seasonal menu selections presented with Alessi serviceware designed exclusively for Delta;
- A 13.3-inch, high-resolution in-flight entertainment screen that is among the largest in its class, allowing customers to stay entertained with Delta Studio’s industry-leading library of complimentary movies, shows and games, and noise-cancelling headphones;
- In-seat power ports for large and small devices and convenient storage to keep them within reach;
- Sky Priority service, which includes faster check-in, accelerated security, priority boarding and expedited baggage service.
Time For A Quickie?
The US Elections are (finally) over. Now we can go back to watching silly videos and posting pictures of our food again. David Walton has done an excellent series of articles on how to bet the election. In his final installment, published over the weekend, David described the situation like this:
Odds on Trump were +560 just prior to that announcement (the FBI inquiry related to the Abedin/Weiner emails). This is equal to an implied probability of 15%. Three hours later Trump was +290 which is a likelihood of 26%. This was the change in only a three-hour span on that Friday.
But things changed rapidly as the tallies started rolling in Tuesday night. At midnight things had flipped dramatically to Trump -2000 / Clinton +1000. And now we know that Donald Trump will be the next US president. Surprised? Well, let’s just say that I though Hell had frozen over when Guns N’ Roses reunited.
That’s all for this week. If you have any news, rumors, points to make or soapboxes to stand on, please email me at email@example.com or comment below.