Featured trip reports of the day:
- DDF posting legend AJK managed to trick his wife into getting on a plane in Cathay Pacific First Class, all without her knowing they were flying anywhere! You can read the amazing story in this 2013 DDF trip report. I once surprised Mimi on an epic 12 flight journey where she didn’t know where we were going. But not knowing that you’re flying at all is a next level surprise.
- DD trip report: Earlier today I shared the story of how I wound up flying in a private jet to Toulouse and customizing an A330neo. Now I just need an invite to Boeing’s Renton factory for a full comparison trip report 😀
Some stories and deals don’t get their own post, but should get some coverage. Here are some quick takes on stories that caught my eye.
Table of Contents
Jersey City, Poway, Pittsburgh, Kansas City; Are Attacks On US Jewish Institutions The New Normal?
This is gut-wrenching. Yet another attack on a Jewish institution in the USA. The media seems to care less and less each time.
Armed with a pipe bomb and 5 firearms, I have no doubt that Detective Seals prevented a far more nefarious plan, with a Synagogue and Yeshiva full of kids next door. The terrorists shot at that door, but did not gain access to it.
Seeing the footage of David Lax running out (0:41) of the store and the gun pointed at him (0:45) and the kid running into the yeshiva (0:24-0:31) and then running away is just amazing. It’s a true miracle that the kid didn’t enter the yeshiva 10 seconds earlier when the terrorists could have slipped in the open door behind him once he entered the lock code. Not seen is Chaim Deutsch, who was shot in the chest but ran out the back door and survived.
The guy eating in the foreground of the video who doesn’t flinch the whole time…just wow.
Disclaimer: The video below shows footage of the terrorists shooting and entering the grocery store.
NEW FOOTAGE – High quality video captures the moment the terrorists run up to the Jersey City grocery. pic.twitter.com/QgrCRf745F
— Boro Park News (@BoroPark24) December 13, 2019
My heart aches for all of the heroic victims, Joe Seals, Leah Mindel Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and Moshe Deutsch. Rest in Peace, Baruch Dayan Ha’emes, Hashem yinkom damum. May their neshamas have an aliya.
The synagogue/yeshiva had a locked door, making the kosher grocery store a soft target. Past attacks were on most traditional Jewish institutions, the Kansas City JCC, Tree of Life in Pittsburgh, and Chabad of Poway. A locked door and/or a security guard may help prevent attacks on such places, but what about soft targets like kosher restaurants and grocery stores that can’t just lock their door? Are we supposed to accept these attacks as the new normal?
I wish there were easy answers. After the horrific 2008 terrorist attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai, security in synagogues worldwide was stepped up, but it was still hard to imagine it happening in the US. And yet, here it is and it seems unstoppable.
As for Ms. Tlaib deleting this Tweet after she learned that the murderers were black and part of the Black Hebrew Israelites, I have no words. Shameful that she didn’t post an update or correction.
“She didn't send any follow-up tweet acknowledging her error, condemning the perpetrators, or expressing condolences for the victims.” https://t.co/v7IV1yRbgk
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 13, 2019
If we're generous, we might look at this as an incredibly embarrassing gaffe that, once again, shows Tlaib has no business being in public office. In reality, though, she's just showing us what's in her heart of hearts. #RaceBaiting #RashidaTlaib https://t.co/W4rhtL1KIA
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) December 12, 2019
This whole story just breaks my heart, I have no words. I pray to G-d that the madness ends. Please share your thoughts on what else can be done.
Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport Will Finally Get An Airport Hotel
El Al hasn’t developed TLV into the connecting hub that airlines like Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and Turkish have done with their hub airports, but there’s still a need for an airport hotel. Staying next to the terminal will surely be convenient when you have an early morning flight to Europe.
Perhaps it will also come in handy the next time El Al lands to close to Shabbos 😉
Korean Air Will Massively Devalue Their Miles
Korean Air will devalue their miles in 2021 when they switch to a per segment based award chart. First class redemption rates will jump between 50%-100%.
Once upon a time I’d care about this as they used to partner with Chase. But with transfers only possible from Marriott now, it’s not the end of the world.
It’s another reason I always say not to buy miles or transfer miles unless you have a short-term use for them. The risk of devaluation is just too high. And that’s the beauty of hybrid points.
American will try to stem losses of elites to United with their own spend only status.
United started off the latest round of status devaluation when they killed mileage based elite status, in favor of significantly higher spending requirements.
Of course it benefits those who spend a lot and don’t fly a lot, so they have other airlines nervous about United poaching those valuable elites.
You can check your AA promotions here to see if you’re targeted to earn AA status without flying next year. The exact spending amount varies, but expect to have to shell out $22K-$24K to earn Executive Platinum status.
Thanks but no thanks from me, but I’ll be happy to take the status for free.
No, Marriott Hasn’t Bonvoyed Their Award Chart. Yet.
Marriott updated their terms to state that “Select properties may have redemption rates in excess of the Category 8 Redemption Rates.”
But don’t panic yet. Marriott added this so that they can offer $7,000/night North Island Seychelles with points. It’s not yet available with points, but I’d be surprised if it’s bookable for less than half a million points per night.
I am worried about the long-term ramifications of this. The main (only?) benefit of Marriott over Starwood is that all hotels had to offer a room type under the standard award chart. SPG allowed unique all-suite hotels to require double, triple, or quadruple the points on the regular award chart.
With this loophole added to the terms, how long will it be for hotels like the S. Regis Bora Bora or Maldives to wriggle their way out of offering rooms under standard award chart pricing?
Recording Devices Were Found At The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Add it to your list of what to do when you checkin to your hotel room. Look for bed bugs and make sure the sheets are clean. Bring your own plastic cups and don’t use the glass ones in the room that likely were not properly cleaned. Make sure there is shampoo/soap in the dispensers and that they weren’t tampered with. Use the deadbolt at all times. And check for hidden cameras.
It’s not just in your hotel room, as I mentioned before, you need to check for them airplane bathrooms as well.
What a world we live in.
Check The Passwords On Your Cameras And Security Devices…Or Expect To Be Hacked
Due to poor security on many websites, lots of our default user IDs, email addresses, and passwords can easily be found on the dark web.
Armed with that, a hacker can gain access to everything about you, from your emails, to financial information. And cameras that are supposed to provide you with security and peace of mind.
Think twice about where you put cameras and if you do use them inside your house, be sure that you use an airtight password for them that isn’t used on other websites. Or this may happen to your own family.
Use this Google tool now to check which of your passwords have been hacked.
Google Chrome’s password manager is an amazing way to store your passwords.
Now you can use Google Password manager tool here to check which of your passwords have been compromised and can be found on the dark web.
Check it now and change your passwords. Consider letting Chrome suggest passwords for each site that you use so that you won’t be hacked on multiple sites if your password is compromised on one site.
Do it now.
Share your thoughts on these stories or post a comment about what other stories that I missed!
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