Recorded in the Washington, DC Marriott as I wrap up a week of business travel before heading out for a week’s vacation. My recent trip back down to Johannesburg, South Africa provides a good bit of content — on-plane security in Dakar, South Africa Airways’ unique ban on in-flight use of iPhones and Blackberries, and good luck with Skype. Experiences on the flight back home illustrate the benefits of being a “super elite” flier, which might be easier to attain with Delta’s recent changes to their SkyMiles program. We wrap up with a couple of stories about how frequent travelers squeeze in “instant” vacations in the midst of business travel. Here’s a direct link to the podcast file.
Here are the show notes from TravelCommons podcast #76:
- Intro music — Warmth by Makkina
- Recorded in the Washington Marriott in downtown Washington, DC
- Have been doing some easy travel – Tulsa, New York, St Louis, and now DC – but the month since the last podcast was dominated by a 2-week trip back down to Joburg, SA
- Will move from South Africa Airways to Delta for my next flight because of SAA’s ban on in-flight use of iPhones and Blackberries, even when in “flight” or “airplane” mode
- Also not thrilled with being sprayed with insecticides after the stopover in Dakar, Senegal
- Bridge Music — Bubbly by Ruben van Rompaey
- GoGo Inflight WiFi is offering 50% off their service through 8/31/09 using the coupon code 158FLF7365
- Have become a big Skype user with my travels to South Africa. Had good luck with the Skype iPhone app also
- A new hurdle in Joburg airport — had to take off my glasses for an optical body temperature scan before going through passport control
- Link to the picture of the taxi sticker warning of a “$200 clean up fee” for anyone vomiting in the cab.
- Bridge Music — How Do I Work This by The Kokoon
Real Benefits to Being Super Elite
- Delta stirred up the frequent flier world by becoming “the AT&T of the airline industry,” allowing the rollover of elite qualifying miles.
- My IAD-JNB flight put me over 100,000 elite qualifying miles on United, the earliest I’ve ever requalified for United 1K status
- Rolling over elite qualifying miles would give me a reason to keep racking up miles on United rather than flipping to another airline to earn elite status
- Special treatment provided to super elites is worth the qualifying effort. United’s Global Services desk helped me avoid a 4-hour mechanical delay on my way home from Washington, DC
- Bridge Music — Piano Circus by Philipp Weigl
- Flight attendants on my IAD-ORD flight had bid on a trip with a 29-hour layover in Portland to give themselves a bit of an instant vacation — time that you enjoy in the midst of a business trip
- In the winter, I break up transcontinental flights with a ski day in Denver
- Spoke with people from Vail Resorts who said that this was the kind of behavior they hoped to see when they introduced the Epic Pass