Happy Sunday from (Delayed) SMF…..Thanks to Mass DFW Cancellations!

Happy Sunday, folks!

I’m writing with a glass of wine in hand as I take in a long wait at the Sacramento (SMF) Airport. My Dad and I were supposed to travel together SMF to DFW after spending the weekend with my grandmother in Northern California. Unfortunately, due to the tumultuous weather in Texas, American Airlines decided to cancel hundreds of flights in and out of DFW. I ultimately re-booked my Dad onto Southwest when I learned there was no way he was going to get home today. His ultimate destination was Lubbock which doesn’t have many flight options

I’m quite disappointed that we aren’t flying together since I really enjoy spending time with my Dad. I couldn’t get myself onto a Southwest flight without shelling out $600 which wasn’t worth it to me. So I’m re-booked on a quirky overnight itinerary on US Airways. American had auto re-booked me on a itineary that required an extra night stay in Sacramento and didn’t get me home until 2 PM tomorrow. Not desirable at all. I worked with the AA agent to find my quirky SMF-PHX-DEN-DFW itinerary so that I can arrive home by 8 AM tomorrow. Normally working remote is feasible but I really need to be in the office tomorrow!

Fingers crossed that none of my 3 segments are delayed or cancelled!

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One Day Adventures: Philadelphia & Eastern State Penitentiary

Like many of you fellow travel geeks, I enjoy traveling as much as I can squeeze into my wild schedule. Some of my friends call me crazy but I enjoy little one day trips. They aren’t quite mileage runs because I do actually have plans when I arrive rather than just hopping around airports. I’m starting a new post series called “One Day Adventures” documenting these little one-day getaways. My latest One Day Adventure was a Saturday visit to Philadelphia.

Getting around Philadelphia is pretty easy; it’s a very walkable city. For my One Day Adventure, the Independence Pass is the best option at $12. It includes unlimited rides on the SEPTA rail, subway, trolley, and bus system. This includes the regional rail to/from the airport and the PHLASH tourist attraction bus.  The weather was quite cool but pleasant as the day warmed up. Living in Dallas, I’m used to the weather being quite warm already by April.

Eastern State Penitentiary was the primary destination during our short visit. We had lunch at Marathon in Rittenhouse Square and then hopped on the Phlash bus. I’d seen all the cool photos online and you might remember the seeing the dilapidated prison in the film 12 Monkeys. The eerinees of Eastern State is not exaggerated. It’s a fascinating look at prison technology for days past. I was intriguqed to learn that the prison operated from 1829 all the way to 1971. At $14 per adult, it’s a visit well spent. You can easily spend hours here wandering the eerie hallways, listening to the audio tour and chatting with the floating guide staff.

 

 

 

As required by all tourists in Philadelphia, we had to stop by the LOVE parking across from City Hall near Suburban Station. As the weather had warmed up, it was quite a popular place to be.

   Philadelphia City Hall is a a massive building at the heart of the city center. It’s a magnificent beauty! This was my first time in Philly and I was incredibly impressed with the architectural beauty of the city.

Before we knew it, our short day was over. We hopped on the SEPTA rail back the airport and hung around the terminals at PHL for a bit of planespotting. I love early evening departures as there are so many international departures. Planespotting in Terminal A is great this time of day.

I constantly tell people I hate the term “staycation”. Staying home is boring. I can do that when I come home from a long day at work! All in all, we earned a decent chunk of AAdvantage miles and got to spend a whole day in a new city. Our roundtrip tickets on US Airways were only $100 from DFW to PHL. All in, we spent about $275 for the whole trip. Not bad in my book at all!

Do these type of adventures sound fun to you? Or just crazy? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Or on Twitter @BenjaminJ84 and @AvionAddiction.

Lounge Review: Alaska Airlines Board Room at LAX

This past weekend, I had a quite extended layover at LAX, made even longer thanks to a delay on American Airlines. I always find myself on the receiving end of flight delays when flying from either SFO or LAX to DFW!

While I was overwhelmingly impressed with their Seattle Board Room lounge, I really enjoy their LAX location. My main dislike with the Seattle Board Room is how crowded it gets. Located in Terminal 6 near Alaska Airlines, Delta, US Airways gates, you can reach the lounge without leaving security from Terminals 4, 5, and 6. You can either use the hidden tunnel network or ride the AA shuttle.

You enter the lounge via private elevator and access is permitted by purchasing a day pass, or for Board Room members, Priority Pass members, and The Club members. The lounge is warm and inviting with cozy leather chairs, spacious work desks, clean restrooms, and expansive views of the incoming planes. There are TONS of electrical outlets and the WiFi is blazing fast.

You can receive 3 house drinks like beer, wine, or well cocktails at no charge. There are basic snacks, coffee, tea, and soda available. Food is fairly standard for domestic lounges with just drinks and snacks. They do have their famous pancake machine here. For breakfast, they have bagels, toast, and yogurt. In the evening, they have soup and salad. For a charge, you can order a full meal like salmon or pizza but nothing seemed worth ordering to me.

Fancy some robot pancakes?
Fancy some robot pancakes?

This lounge is definitely a place of peace and relaxation amid the chaos of LAX. I have to say connecting at LAX is not my favorite thing but the Board Room makes it much less stressful. Stop by and have a craft beer while you watch the planes go by!

Good Morning from LAX: DFW-Las Vegas $96 on AA, June/July Flying Blue Promo Awards Ending Soon

Good morning, readers!

I’m writing you this morning from the Alaska Board Room lounge at LAX. I have to say I quite like this lounge. It’s nothing fancy but it’s quiet, nicely furnished, and comfortable. Plus you can’t go wrong with coffee options at the Alaska lounges.

For those of you who are D/FW based like me, be sure to take a peek at this cheap last minute deal on American to Las Vegas, courtesy of the folks at The Flight Deal. Only $96 R/T all in!

I’ve been quite busy this week finalizing my summer travel plans including spending some time in France and Germany. I’m looking forward to visiting a few regions that I haven’t visited quite yet. I made some final adjustments to my return journey by booking a Air France/KLM Promo Award on Air France in Business Class at 50% off! Now is the time to book promo awards for June and July travel to/from Europe. I snagged a one-way in Business from Frankfurt to Minneapolis for only 31,250 Flying Blue miles!

Promotion is available in either direction to/from Europe. As the Promo Award space sells out, some of the routes have disappeared. But here’s what still bookable through 4/30/2015 for North America:

  • Europe to/from Atlanta, Air France Business Class, 25% off
  • Europe to/from Edmonton, KLM World Business Class, 50% off
  • Europe to/from Miami, Air France Premium Economy, 25% off
  • Europe to/from Minneapolis, Air France Business Class, 50% off

Come May 1st, destinations for August/September travel will become available with new promotions.

As always, keep up to date by following me on Twitter and Facebook: @AvionAddiciton/Avion Addiction or on Twitter @BenjaminJ84

 

25% Discount on Aeromexico Award Bookings to Medellin, Panama and Managua

aeromexico kmp discount

 

There may not be many of you out there but if you’re an Aeromexico Visa holder (issued by U.S. Bank), there is current promotion for a 25% discount on Club Premier Kmp award redemptions to some of their new destinations in Central and South America. Eligible destinations include Medellin, Panama and Managua.

 

It appears both Economy and Business Class redemptions are eligible. Must redeem and fly by April 30, 2015 so time is extremely limited. More details can be found here.

FYI: Current Technical Issue with AA Gift Cards

dfw-bwi-ticket-pending

 

If you’re looking to purchase and/or use an American Airlines gift card in the immediate future, please be aware that AA is currently experiencing some technical issues processing gift cards. I purchased a ticket 2 days ago and have patiently waited for it to ticket. After nearly 48 hours, I finally decided to reach out to AA customer service on Twitter.

AA got back to me pretty quickly and noticed that I had used an AA gift card for a portion of my purchase. Apparently I will need to wait for their technically team to manually push the ticket through as we get closer to departure which is less than a month away. Am I a tad nervous? Maybe just a bit because I just want to know that it’s confirmed.

Last Chance! 2,000 Mile Bonus with Dividend Miles Dining

dividend miles dining 2000 bonus

 

With the impending consolidation of AAdvantage and Dividend Miles, this is your last chance to snag up all the Dividend Miles that you can. Dividend Miles is still running a promotion of 2,000 bonus miles when you sign up and dine within 30 days and spend $30 at least 4 times. Just for dining once, it appears you can earn 1,000 miles. You can sign up here.

These miles will convert to AAdvantage Miles very soon!

Here’s the fine print:

To earn rewards through this bonus, you must first register for the bonus. Within 30 days of creating a dining profile, you must dine at any participating restaurants, bars, or clubs and spend at least $30 (including tax and tip) on each check. Within 30 days of any visit, you must also complete a post–dine survey of the restaurant, bar, or club. Please note that all checks must be paid for with a credit or debit card registered with Dividend Miles Dining at the time of the visit.
You may earn this bonus for a maximum amount of 2,000 bonus miles, as such: 1,000 bonus miles on the first participating restaurant visit, 500 bonus miles on the second participating restaurant visit, and 500 bonus miles on the third participating restaurant visit, within the qualifying period. Limit one bonus-qualifying visit per restaurant per day.