American Airlines Business Class Chicago to London 777-300


Intro to London 2016: To See a GOAT on Grass
American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR)
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Leicester Square
The May Fair Hotel
Buckingham Palace and Changing of the Guard
St. Pauls Cathedral
Westminster Abbey
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
London Eye
Dining in London
Brexit, London Street Scenes and Red bus tour
British Airways Business Class London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD)

American Airlines Business Class Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR) 777-300

My wife and I arrived at terminal 3 via Coach USA bus and went to checkin for our flight. There was only a short wait to checkin at the American Airlines Business Class counter.  Once at the counter we were greeted kindly and after handing over our passports, we were issued our boarding passes.  The checkin agent asked if we wanted seats next to each other instead of behind each other but I personally selected our seats to have window seats so I declined.  She gave us detailed instructions on how to find the Admirals Club and we were on our way.

I was shocked when we walked over to the PreCheck security line and there was NO line. We walked straight up put our bags thru the belt and walked thru!! AMAZING! No line. It took about 1-2 minutes from start to end. Continue reading

Trip Report: Thailand (part 22) American Airlines First Class Hong Kong (HKG) to Dallas (DFW)

United Airlines 747 First Class Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
Thai Airways A380 First Class Frankfurt (FRA) to Bangkok (BKK)
Thai Airways 737 Business Class Bangkok (BKK) to Koh Samui (USM)
Conrad Koh Samui
Mae Koh National Park Boat trip and Chaweng Beach
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Koh Samui (USM) to Phuket (HKT)
Naka Island a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa
James Bond Island and Little Island Boat trip
Phi Phi Island Boat trip
Patong Beach and Bangla Road
Air Asia Economy Class Phuket (HKT) to Chiang Mai (CNX)
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
ELE (Elephant Life Experience) Elephant Camp
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai (CNX) to Bangkok (BKK)
St. Regis Bangkok
Dinner at Vertigo at Banyan Tree Rooftop
Chatuchak Weekend Market and Wat Pho Temple
Cathay Pacific Business Class Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG)
American Airlines First Class Hong Kong (HKG) to Dallas (DFW)

American Airlines First Class Hong Kong (HKG) to Dallas (DFW)

Well I will start off saying this wasn’t our original intended flight.  Our original routing was BKK-NRT-ORD all on JAL F!!!  About 3 weeks before our trip I got an email from AA with an itinerary change!! I looked at it said “WTF!”  It was now BKK-NRT-DFW-ORD! One extra connection, 12 hour later arrival and on AA vs JAL!!!!  Grrrrr….. I called AA the day I got the email with alternate routings but the number one thing is that I wanted to maintain my JAL trans Pacific F flight no matter what.  Well guess what?!??!!?  They were GONE and there wasn’t shit I could do about it!  OUR FIRST CLASS FLIGHTS ON JAL WERE GONE. Now the reason for the itinerary change wasn’t AA’s fault as JAL had changed our connecting BKK-NRT flight times in so that we would miss our connection.  The problem I have with this is that they just take it upon themselves to do what they please.  They should instead propose a routing hold the itinerary for 5 days and if you don’t like it you can call in to suggest alternatives but to just change your entire itinerary is crazy!!! I was on the phone for over an hour with AA while we were on vacation in Toronto dealing with this shit. In the end the best they could do was route through Hong Kong ensuring I get on AA’s new first class but I would still be arriving 12 hours later in ORD and having to make an extra stop in Dallas.  Not happy to say the least!

After deplaning from our BKK-HKG Cathay Pacific flight we saw a AA agent holding a sign with our names on it. I never realized how tight of a connection we had!  We met the AA agent and we waited for the 4 other coach passengers to deplane.  She advised they are boarding our AA flight to DFW and we needed to hurry!  I have never seen a lady walk so fast in high heels!!  If it was this tight she should’ve had a buggy or cart to transport us down the LONG terminal.  We then had to clear our carryon luggage through security again before another long walk to our gate!!!

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AA agent holding a sign with our names

Our gate

Long line to check our bags AGAIN before getting on the plane. Why again?

AA 777 waiting for us

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My first class boarding pass

We were the last people in first class to  Continue reading

AAdvantage World Elite Master card 100,000 miles offer!


Late January an offer from Citi and American Airlines crept out on the interwebs.  The first MAJOR bonus offer of the year-100,000 American Airlines miles!!!

I looked over the offer and actually needed to think about it because the card charges a $450 annual fee-YIKES!!!    However the card also offers a $200 statement credit thus bringing the fee down to $250 in reality. The card also grants free admission to American Airlines Admirals Clubs (lounges where you can get free food and drinks).  I personally don’t fly enough to value this much but for many they do value it. What is nice is that even if you are not flying American you can use the lounge! The card also offers one free checked bag which we already have due to our other Citi American card.

After debating for a bit I decided to pull the trigger and applied here.

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The landing page showing the details and benefits

The day I applied I did not get an instant decision and was asked to call Citi.  When I called they mentioned their systems were down and to call back in 24 hours.  I imagine the systems were slammed because the of the amount of application volume coming in due to this offer.

I called in the next day and they mentioned the file is under review and nothing additional was needed.  A day later they actual called me and told me I was at a maximum credit allotment  and they needed to move some credit around to get this new card approved.  I moved $15,000 credit line from one of my Citi cards to this new one and I was approved!  The next day I received a letter from Citi going over the terms and conditions of the card and the following day I received the actual card in the mail in a snazzy package!

Pretty nice packaging

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I activated the card that night and over the course of the next 3 nights I stopped at CVS to hit the huge spending hurdle of $10,000!!

$10k worth of Vanilla Reloads

So within three days I hit my $10,000 spending hurdle.  The Vanilla Reloads cost $3.95 per card so $10,000 costs $79 in fees.  So for $79 plus the $250 annual fee totals $329.  Essentially I am paying $329 for 110,000 American Airlines miles (remember you get 1 mile per every dollar spent so $10,000 spent=10,000 miles).  With 110,000 American Airlines miles you can go anywhere in the world!!  When we went from Hong Kong to Chicago in Cathay Pacific business class it cost 55,000 miles per person so two business class tickets one way or one business class ticket roundtrip!!!!

Lets say you wanted to take a vacation to see the Great Wall of China.  It costs 55,000 miles one way or 110,000 miles roundtrip in business class.  If you don’t care about business class you can go roundtrip in economy for 70,000 and still have 40,000 miles left over!  Or if you want to go big you can fly first class to Beijing for 67,500 miles one way or 135,000 miles roundtrip so you would need to earn another 25,000 AA miles for that.

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AA award chart to China from North America

Another option is you can say “nah, I just want to pay for my ticket in cash.”  Take a look below to see some of your options.

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American Airlines business class (random date in 2014) is $8,506.30 roundtrip for one

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The cheapest fare on Kayak for random dates in economy $1284 roundtrip for one

I would much rather fly Cathay Pacific Business class to Beijing for $329 using my miles!

Cathay Pacific business class

Choice is yours 🙂




Trip Report: Puerto Vallarta (Part 8) American Airlines economy PVR-DFW-ORD



Puerto Vallarta (part 1)  American Airlines & American Eagle MKE-DFW-PVR
Puerto Vallarta (part 2) The Centurion Lounge Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
Puerto Vallarta (part 3) Sheraton Bunganvillas Resort and Conference Center
Puerto Vallarta (part 4) St. Regis Punta Mita
Puerto Vallarta (part 5) Marine Safari
Puerto Vallarta (part 6) Street scenes of Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita
Puerto Vallarta (part 7) The food scene
Puerto Vallarta (part 8) American Airlines economy PVR-DFW-ORD

American Airlines flight 1074 Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Dallas (DFW)

We had a fairly early departure time of 8:20am leaving Puerto Vallarta.  We were sad to leave but eight nights was just enough time for this trip.  We got up early and got a cab to the airport.  The airport was very empty at around 7am when we arrived to checkin.  It appeared like we were the only flight!  While checking in there was a hound in a cage being checked in for the flight as well and it was wailing and whining so hard in the cage, I felt bad for it.

Thats our bird to Dallas

My boarding pass

Continue reading

Trip Report: Puerto Vallarta 2014! (part 1) American Airlines & American Eagle MKE-DFW-PVR



Puerto Vallarta (part 1)  American Airlines & American Eagle MKE-DFW-PVR
Puerto Vallarta (part 2) The Centurion Lounge Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
Puerto Vallarta (part 3) Sheraton Bunganvillas Resort and Conference Center
Puerto Vallarta (part 4) St. Regis Punta Mita
Puerto Vallarta (part 5) Marine Safari
Puerto Vallarta (part 6) Street scenes of Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita
Puerto Vallarta (part 7) The food scene
Puerto Vallarta (part 8) American Airlines economy PVR-DFW-ORD


American Airlines flight AA3178  Milwaukee (MKE) to Dallas (DFW)

We arrived at our hometown airport, General Mitchell International, at around 11am for our 12:45pm flight to Dallas.  We brought along two bags and a backpack and my wife wanted to check both the bags and keep the backpack and so for this trip we checked two bags one of which could have been a carry on. Normally I will always take the carry on bag with us however I knew in advance we were flying a small regional jet and overhead space can be tight so I was ok with checking the bags.

For the first time, we finally received TSA Precheck on our boarding passes! It has been kind of a pain because for about a year we have had Global Entry and Precheck clearance however our boarding passes were always without the Precheck and it was getting annoying. I realized on our previous trip to Maui that our British Airways frequent flyer number was showing up on our boarding passes as we were redeeming and booking with British Airways. I finally realized I will need to call BA each time now after booking and have them manually remove their frequent flyer number and add our AA frequent flyer numbers (if anyone knows an easier way let me know)!

Finally got TSA PRECHK on our boarding passes. PRIORITY AACESS is due to our AA Citi credit cards that give you priority boarding.

Anyhow checkin was a breeze and due to the Precheck getting through security was amazing. Just dropped the backpack on the conveyor belt and walked over to pick it up. We both felt kind of weird/shocked when we went through because we were used to stripping down to go thru the nude-o-scopes and with me often times needing to get my hands wiped for explosives due to metal buttons on some of my jeans!

We arrived at the gate with just a few people seated in the boarding area.

Our gate C10 at MKE

Continue reading