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What the end of Windows XP support means for travelers using it on their computers

Microsoft is ending support of Windows XP on April 8th ending security update availability for newly discovered vulnerabilities. As a result, as time moves forward, travelers' computers and data on Windows XP computers will become more and more susceptible to hackers, viruses and spyware. Ned Levi discusses these issues and offers possible methods to mitigate Windows XP vulnerability temporarily.
By |March 24th, 2014|Columns|0 Comments|

5 reasons you may no longer be getting that upgrade

For many travelers, the most prized benefit of frequent flier programs is not free tickets, but the chance to escape the cattle-car that the back of the plane has become and sit in first or business. When an upgrade is available at time of booking, that's wonderful. Here are 5 reasons why upgrades disappear.
By |September 25th, 2013|Today|4 Comments|

Weekend what we’re reading: If airlines ran the world, paid upgrades, cellphone lots

This weekend we take a fanciful look at what the world would look like if it were run by the airlines. We read about paid upgrades that us to get (often at a discount) last minute upgrades to bigger rooms or better seats. And, we examine the roll of cellphone lots on airport pickups.

United’s new flat-bed transcontinental service — why it’s not all good news

United is betting that both improving and reducing the number of premium seats will increase the number of people who will actually pay for those seats.
By |March 26th, 2013|Today|15 Comments|

3 tips for handling upgrade guilt

I’m gripped by guilt when I get upgraded or somehow score a premium seat, which happens almost never, because I refuse to participate in those addictive airline loyalty programs. But when it does, I always cast a hesitant glance back to the economy class section, where the seats are stacked so close together that you almost can’t move, and I feel a little ambivalent – and ashamed.

If at first you don’t succeed, call, call again

Airline rules are complicated enough that even most frequent flyers have a hard time keeping track of them. However, even many airline employees can’t keep track of them.

As travel issues go, this one didn’t sound too difficult, in theory. A 1K client discovered he had a United Airlines upgrade expiring soon, and his son had a flight that night, so he was thinking of using it.

By |October 26th, 2012|Today|5 Comments|

PIN-sanity? Stories from the MileagePlus front lines

As the United-Continental fun continues, one of the more interesting (for want of a less family-friendly word), has to do with the new PIN system. United MileagePlus members may have already had a password and Continental OnePass had a four digit PIN. Now, everyone has a PIN. They just don't all know it.

United-Continental FF-program merger reminds us of two tips about PINs and security questions

This post focuses on one particular merger issue, with lessons that go beyond dealing with airlines — dealing with the human element of memory, personal identification numbers (PINs) and passwords.
By |March 22nd, 2012|Today|5 Comments|

United quietly rolls out mileage program changes for June — too quietly?

Airlines love big splashy advertisements when they roll out new service and when they are offering fare sales. But when they raise fares, add fees or change mileage programs (usually to the detriment of consumers), somehow that's not a priority communication. The latest mileage-program changes from the United-Continental merger are no different.
By |March 31st, 2011|Today|8 Comments|

An email upgrade offer from United – who benefits?

Would you rather United, or your preferred carrier, offer you as many chances as possible to pay (with miles or money) into the front cabin, or would you feel more loyal if they left more seats available on a free semi-standby basis?
By |February 7th, 2011|Today|4 Comments|