September 5, 2014

My Instagram and Twitter Accounts Have Turned Into Virtual Contest Entries

Anyone still there? Again, I blame "life" for getting in the way of my blogging :-)

This past month, I have been busy setting up a small business. It is travel-related but it is more on the visual arts side; if that makes any sense. I will be posting about that as soon as it is online as I could surely use this platform to promote that venture.

Anyway, other than setting up my small business, I have also been busy joining airline and hotel contests. Hehe. Yep, I have been using my "precious" time posting photos on Instagram and tweeting hashtags in the hopes of winning something :-)

In the past few weeks, there have been a lot of lucrative promos on these social media sites. There was that Emirates promo on Instagram to promote their new Chicago route, wherein they gave away several pairs of tickets to Dubai. Cathay Pacific had a Facebook promo highlighting their Premium Economy Seats and gave away two tickets to the winner. Hyatt Place also did one to promote their 200 locations and gave away 200 free nights. And so on and so forth.

There are a lot of promotions still currently ongoing like ANA's "Fly Me To Japan" Twitter/Instagram photo contest where they will be giving away two tickets to Tokyo, Autograph Collections' #summerautograph Instagram contest where the winner gets a trip to NY, etc etc.

Note that these are mostly contests for US residents. I am sure that there are a dozen other contests for other markets and you just have to follow the official pages/handles of these airline and hotel companies to find out which one you can join.

So, with all the "time" I've spent entering these contests, you wonder if I've ever won anything yet, right? Well,  I am proud to say that I've actually won two significant prizes already -- in a span of two weeks!

Remember when I said in a recent post that "I will win tickets next"? Well, I did.

I will do a post on those next.

August 9, 2014

What To Do When Your Carry-On Is Over The Weight Limit

Well, according to reddit user "stou" you can do this.....

Image from reddit user "stou"
According to the post, these two men were being charged $130 by Scoot (Singapore) because their carry-on was over the "free" weight limit -- so they just decided to wear the clothes in their bag so they don't have to be over the "limit". 

It was also mentioned in the post how, apparently, an airline agent told them that he/she will be at the boarding gate to make sure  that they are still wearing everything. Hilar! :-)

Kudos to these guys! And love the captain's hat!

Click here for the source reddit post.

August 1, 2014

A New Way Hotels Are Dealing With Bed Bugs.... proposed by Comedy Central :-)

My favorite parts were the dragon dance and the blind man in the end. Hilarious!


July 29, 2014

You May Still Earn FREE Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

At the beginning of this month, I read a blog post regarding a targeted promotion by Southwest/AirTran where they rewarded members with free 750 bonus points for linking their Rapid Rewards and a+ Rewards programs. I didn't have an AirTran account then so it didn't really affect me. And, besides, the blog post mentioned that this happened in May so I thought I missed that window of opportunity.

But given how I am a sucker for anything free and thinking that I am not going to lose anything by trying anyway, I decided to sign-up for an AirTran a+ Rewards account hoping that I'll get offered the bonus points eventually. I didn't know if I needed anything in my AirTran account (like a few points, longer membership tenure, etc) to qualify but that didn't matter.

That was July 7. 

Just two weeks after, I received the email.....

Woot! Although the bonus points offered was now down to 500 points. But still :-)

A few minutes of signing up for 500 FREE points? Anytime :-)

Given how the programs won't be officially combined until November 2, 2014 and how I still managed to earn some free points, I advise those with Southwest Rapid Rewards accounts to create an AirTran a+ Rewards account for the possibility of earning 500 free points to add to their Southwest account.

July 21, 2014

I Won an ANA Facebook Contest....

You can't have a more direct (and lame) post title than that, right?


Last May, ANA ran this Facebook contest where they asked their followers to come up with the "perfect amenity"....

Image from ANA
The winner will  be awarded by ANA with a re-creation of his/her idea. Twenty entries will also be chosen to win ANA Original Cabin Attendant Figurines.

I don't exactly remember the "idea" I submitted but it may be an "Aromatherapy Eye Mask". I didn't go through the lengths of coming up with an image design or what have you, which the rules said you can to support your entry, but if I did -- I think that my idea had a good chance of winning. It may not be a very original idea but I don't think the winner's idea is either -- a "child jet-setter bag". :-)

Anyway, for the twenty figurines, they held a random drawing -- and I was one of the lucky winners! :-)

I didn't open the box because, aside from the fact that I'm not going to display it or (worse) play with it, I think I'll hold on to it until its value increases in ten years' time :-)

I wish it was a ticket to Tokyo from Chicago but I'm not complaining. After winning a two-night stay at the Pullman Shanghai Skyway in an Accor Hotel Twitter Promo back in 2012, I think that I may really be lucky with these things -- the free tickets will come soon :-)

Thanks, ANA!

July 16, 2014

Typhoon Drags and Damages Two Planes at Manila's Airport

It is typhoon season in the Philippines again. Just the other day, a really bad system (named "Glenda", locally) crossed the country's capital and news/photos of the destruction are only now being published.

Being born and raised in the Philippines, this news isn't actually surprising anymore. It is a way of life for us out there, so to speak. But what is not normal is seeing/reading news about how parked airplanes were damaged because they were dragged by the typhoon's strong winds.

This is exactly what happened to a parked Singapore Airlines 777 yesterday at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.....

Photo from ABS-CBN Esperas
According to the source article (click here) the plane was dragged a few meters damaging its left wing when it hit an air bridge.....
Photo from ABS-CBN Esperas

I don't have photos of the Malaysia Airlines 737-800 plane, but it was reportedly spun around and damaged when it hit a mobile equipment close to where it was remotely parked.

Typhoon Glenda - 2; Boeing Planes - 0. 

To read the full story, click the source article's link here.

July 9, 2014

13 Airlines Where You Are Allowed 3 Checked Bags in Business Class

I didn't realize how important free luggage allowance is until my recent move back to Chicago from Manila. Well, let's just say that I had to move most of my bedroom across the Pacific. Hehe. Fortunately, though, I flew First Class on Japan Airlines and was allowed three checked bags with a maximum weight of 70 lbs. each. A quick check on FedEx's website shows a fee of around USD670 for shipping (FedEx International Economy) 70 lbs. from Manila to Chicago; and it doesn't even get there until after five days.

Not all airlines are as generous, though, and it is quite surprising that this is not standard across the board. Maybe they think that if people are able to fly First Class and are crazy enough to check-in a lot (read: more than two) of bags, then they probably have the means to pay for any excess baggage fees -- even if that is not always the case.

With that said, what is even more surprising is that there are airlines that would actually give their Business Class passengers an allowance of three checked bags. Yes, more than what other airlines' First Class passengers would get. 

The list below is composed of airlines from the three major alliances that allow their Business Class passengers three checked bags for flights to/from the USA. The weight limit information provided is restricted to a single-airline trip. This may vary when connecting on two different carriers.

1. Japan Airlines - up to 70 lbs. each
2. American Airlines - up to 50 lbs. each
3. US Airways - up to 50 lbs. each
4. Qantas - up to 70 lbs. each
5. Air New Zealand - up to 50 lbs. each
6. British Airways - up to 70 lbs. each
7. Iberia (Business Plus) - up to 70 lbs. each
8. Finnair - up to 50 lbs. each
9. LOT - up to 70 lbs. each
10. LAN Airlines - up to 50 lbs. each
11. Virgin Atlantic (Upper Class) - up to 70 lbs. each
12. Aerolineas Argentinas - up to 70 lbs. each
13. China Southern - up to 50 lbs. each

This may be very trivial to most passengers, but for those who always find themselves paying for excess baggage fees due to overpacking (read: overshopping. Hehe) the difference in the number of allowed checked bags may be the last deciding factor in choosing an airline.
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