Traveling ‘Round The World…(But Not Just Yet)

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Posted at 5pm PST some 37,000 feet in the air:
Post 3: Have anything you’d like to talk about? I’ve got 3 hours left to kill on this flight and would be happy to tackle your questions about miles, credit card, or anything else under the sun…just post a comment or make a post at the DansDeals Forums AMEX Platinum Charge Card for sponsoring this free wi-fi session that normally would cost $12.95!

Thanks for the recommendations to check out “The Kitchen Table” restaurant in Mountain View. Unfortunately my flight to SFO was delayed and there won’t be time to rent a car and make it there for dinner, so I guess it will just have to wait until next time!

After dealing with dozens of AA agents throughout the day (including numerous phone agents, ticketing agents, and the 3 gate agents in DFW who kept on insisting that our carry-on bags were too big and had to be checked through to Hong Kong even though they fit just fine in the bag sizer at the exact same time as they let others with the same Costco carry-ons go right on by) I just have to say that flying Continental is a downright pleasure compared to flying on AA (or USeless Airways for that matter)
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Posted at 3pm CST in the DFW AAdmirals Club:
Post 2: Oh the joys of irregular operations…My advice if you’re flight i canceled? Stay calm. Do your research about alternate options and politely give suggestions to the agent. And know when to hang up and start with a different agent.
Here’s a timeline of my day so far:
12AM: I login and find that my British Airways flight in First class to London is canceled which means I’ll also miss the connecting Cathay Pacific flight in First class to Hong Kong. I didn’t receive any notification at all.
1AM: I speak with an agent who tells me my only option is to fly on First class on AA to Tokyo. AA First class is hardly a replacement for BA and Cathay Pacific though! I suggest a routing from Toronto to Hong Kong but there are no AA flights to Toronto that would make the connection and they refused to book me on Continental. They also rebuffed my suggestion that I book the Continental ticket separately to get to Toronto as you can’t switch the country of origin apparently. She offers to book me from Columbus instead of Cleveland but I would need to drive there right away. I tell her I’ll consider it and call back…
1:30AM: I try my luck again, but now the hold times are growing longer. It took 40 minutes to reach an agent who proceeded to book me on a business class flight. I was none too pleased after burning a boatload of miles on a round-the-world First Class ticket…I suggest a routing via San Francisco and after 2 hours it’s finally approved and booked.
3:30AM: The ticket wasn’t properly reissued. I call back and the system says the wait time will be 24 minutes. I stay up on hold for nearly 2 hours before falling asleep to the hold music.
9AM: I wake up and get on the phone again. Hold time to talk to an agent is over an hour. The agent sees what was done wrong (they changed it as if it was a ticket change which the system rejected instead of as a forced schedule change) It takes her 2 hours to finally book me CLE-JFK on AA in Coach, JFK-San Francisco on AA in First, and San Francisco-Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific in First. During this whole process I packed our stuff into the car and drove to the airport. She finished ticketing literally as we pulled up to the airport.
11:15AM: As we’re about to get to the counter they announce that CLE-JFK was being canceled! That exact same second I get an automated call from AA about the cancellation and that I was being rerouted via Chicago in coach.

Not having much luck so far today!

The airport agent refused to change anything but a quick call to the AAdvantage Platinum number and I was rebooked in First class via Dallas. It took the lead ticketing agent in CLE to allow me to check bags with just 25 minutes until flight time. They even held the plane to allow for our bags to make it on!!!

Bright spot about all the rebooking: Many times when you get rebooked you will earn miles even when you’re on a mileage ticket!
The downer? We don’t get to try out British Airways First class and their awesome lounges with great kosher food and even massages.
We also won’t be getting kosher food on any of our flights, and in First class those meals can actually be quite good at times. But we do have plenty of food, so we’ll survive 😉

Anyway we’re just idling away the 5 hour layover in Dallas in the AAdmirals Club and then we’ve got another nearly 5 hour layover in San Francisco. It will take just as long to travel via the Pacific as it did via the Atlantic.

So are there any kosher restaurants in San Francisco that are worth leaving the airport for?
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Posted at 9am EST at home in Cleveland:
Post 1: My wife and I were supposed to be on an AAmerican OneWorld (Round The World) award ticket right now, but of course our first flight was supposed to be via London Heathrow, which is shut down now.

I hope to be able to give you guys an idea of just what you can do with some airline miles and hotel points, but for now I’ve got to find flights that will let us get on with the trip!  Wish me luck, I spent hours and hours on hold last night and this morning without too much luck…I’m going to the airport now to see what can be done.

I’ll keep updating this site as time permits, but posting will be lighter than normal for the near future. Feel free to check out the awesome DansDeals Forums where hundreds of people discuss and help each other out on all kinds of topics every day.

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59 Comments On "Traveling ‘Round The World…(But Not Just Yet)"

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Abe1

Good Luck !!

anon

hey im supposed to be going also as well as tons of friends for a friends wedding tomorrow in england.. please post if you find a way to get there.. thanks dan!!!!

bestwatchman

Best of luck! Safe trip

Eduardo

@anon: Hmm. Good luck. Perhaps you guys will make it to the sheva-brochos!

Marco

Have a safe trip and post lots of pics. Best of luck in the New Year.

Anonymous

safe travels..looking forward to reading your updates and learning how to travel the globe like a pro 🙂

Meir

How does an AA one world ticket work? What does it do for you?

restaurants near SFO

Restaurants near SFO, the only good kosher one is the kitchen table http://www.thekitchentablerestaurant.com and that is in Mountain View – about 35 mins away. However, you can come to our house for dinner – just let me know!

Dan

@restaurants near SFO:
Any public transportation from SFO to Mountain view?
And thanks for the invite, but I think S. Barbara might be a bit too far from SFO 😉

Sandy

You could totally get to the kitchen table in mountain view and back to the airport within five hours. Great food, lovely restaurant. Get a bite to eat there while you have the chance. Its only about 10 minutes from Palo Alto.

SFO Local

The Kitchen Table is about 40 minutes away, easier then going into the city.

It’s a shame, a friend just left to the airport from near mountain view…

Public Transit? Whats that?!? You cant pull off a rental?

Abe

You should be able to get to the Kitchen Table from SFO in less than 30 minutes and well worth the trip!

Dan

@SFO Local:
I can pull off a $20 rental, but can’t get around the $30 SFO daily tax on top of that!

Anyway our DFW-SFO flight is now delayed…today is just one of those days!
Our SFO connection is down to 3 hours, 45 minutes. Probably not enough time anymore to rent a car, drive there, eat, and return.

Jeremy

The only kosher restaurant in the center of San Fran is Sabra’s – hardly worth a detour but works if you need food. There are a couple of other places west of San Fran but it might take you longer to get there.

Loyal Reader

Dan, do u know to call the BA quissential lounge at Heathrow to book a private lounge with private bathroom and shower facilities and a lovely assortment of hermolis kosher food?

question

@Dan: I live 20mins from SFO now 🙂

Dovid

The phone number is: 0044-0203-165-0274

yankal

i agree, sabra only if you’re desperate for reheated frozen pita

sara

thekitchentable is amazimg!

asdf

all that time waiting for AA agent? you don’t have explat number, or was this even on that line?

chaim

how do you find so many flights with mileage seats this time of year?

Dan

@sara:
Flight gets in at about 815pm and the last seating is at 9pm. No time to rent a car for sure.
How much do you think a taxi would be?

@asdf:
I called the Plat line.
They were easy to get through to later today, but in the morning hours it was ridiculous!

@chaim:
It’s just a matter of knowing how to search. There’s always availability, you just need to be creative to find it sometimes.
If you check out the DansDeals Forums you can get some pointers for where to start.

me

Can someone please find the best price on a weekly rental from newark tonight so I could price match to hertz? Not on a computer

Yitz

Just got back from vegas and did the $50 hertz match for $12 a day, from an alamo reservation. Thanks Dan!! Btw i know what it feels like to be on hold with AA for 2 hours. Had that last night too. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

d1234

if i open a starwoods tonite how soon till i can spend the rewards?

Dan

@Yitz:
Nice!

@d1234:
Spend $1 as soon as you get the card and you’ll have the points as soon as the first statement closes which can be anywhere from 1 to 30 days from when you get the card.

Daniel

I’m going to Vegas and Phoenix next week, looking for best way to get cheap show tickets, and also kosher places to eat in Phoenix, any suggestions?

d1234

thanks..any reccomendation fora good hotel in the miami fll area

love your website

can you apply for a 2nd amex platinum to get the 50,000 points again? if so, how long do you have to wait? or do you need to cancel th 1st one?
same question for the citi aa card with the 75,000 miles?
thanks, have fun in sf!

Dan

@Daniel:
Lots of discounted show ticket outlets all over the strip.
Of course the cheapest show tickets were my $170 Cirque ones that Expedia paid for!

@d1234:
Hard to say without knowing a budget.
Starwood’s W South Beach and Westin Diplomat in FLL are both great choices though.

@love your website:
Yes, you can! It may be easier if you cancel the first one, but I’ve had 2 of the same AMEX at the same time, so it can be done either way.

If you get approved for another Citi AA you’ll get the miles, but they’ve been cracking down on churners and don’t approved as easily anymore.
P.S. Those old Citi AA links that I posted still work just fine, don’t mind the exp date on Citi apps 😉

yitz

safe trip dan!!
Can I cancel an aa citi card and merge the credit line with another citicard so it won’t show on my credit report.
How about the same with continental chase card. Thanx

d1234

Thanks..no reall budget just looking for a beautifull experince without being overrun by brooklyn..are these 2 hotels close to kosher resturants? Do you reccomend priceline?

Cholentfresser

Hey Dan!!!! How’s the weather up there???

Hesh

Lots of headwind!!!

MILES

BA First class is very good Dan u must try it

Anonymous

Dan, I want to sign up for the citi AA card and get the 75K miles – should i use this link from you archives? http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/8803 it

Dan

@yitz:
It can’t be done without great headache anymore as far as I know.

@d1234:
Priceline can be very good if you know what you’re doing.

@Cholentfresser:
Slightly chilly. Happy to have blanket they handed out!

@Hesh:
Yup, bumpy ride.

@MILES:
I was supposed to be flying DFW-LHR on BA First right now.
Instead I’m flying to SFO and then across the Pacific.
It’s all about knowing other options and being flexible.
LHR is basically closed so not much choice!

@Anonymous:
Yup.

David

Dan,

Can you give us a basic total of how many miles and how much $ you actually spent on the flights alone?

Dan

@David:
I’ll make a post on that later, but the basic premise is that instead of using the regular award chart, which is zone based:
http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/aadvantageAllPartnerChart.jsp

You use the distance based AA Oneworld Chart:
http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/oneworld_awards.jsp

Dan

Anyone know if that Kitchen Table restaurant has any kind of delivery service?

fanofdan

AA award tkt jfk-tlv via lhr with stopover in lhr for over 24hrs incurs lhr crazy tax. AA allows free date changes on award tkts. If we tkt with 12 hour lhr stopover and make date change AT lhr (assuming award availability 48 hours later) will we avoid the tax?

d1234

Thanks..one more q..where is the best site to book a ticket..(im actually the last person on earth to fianlly stop using a travel agent)

Anonymous

@Dan: dan i can overnight you my leftover chulent, im sure you’ll love it!!! enjoy!

Dan

@fanofdan:
There’s a good chance that would work. Let us know for sure.

@d1234:
There is no one best site, you have to shop around!

Orbitz is pretty good through because of their flexible cancellation policies and their price protection is just gravy.

@Anonymous:
Appreciate the offer, but I highly doubt my wife and fellow First Class passengers will appreciate it 😉

d1234

Thanks for all your help your site is just incredible!! (now if i just knew how to twitter i could follow you:)

levi

hey Dan whens a good time to get an am-ex because im a bucher in yeshiva and i just got two month’s ago a credit card (visa) but i heard that am-ex has great rewards so what type and when do you suggest i get one?

Anonymous

Dan,

Are you sure that iil get the 75k AA points? cuz in the fine print it says this
This Citi® / AAdvantage® card offer is valid only for first-time Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmembers who apply pursuant to this offer for an account by October 31, 2010.

fanofdan

Will let you know if it works. AA will hold an award from 5-30 days. If we cancel the hold will the seats INSTANTLY revert to award inventory? Thanks and safe travels!

Mike

Dan,

Use 511.org to figure out the best way to get from SF to MTV via public transportation. Off of the top of my head I would say the best/easiest way would be to take Caltrain from SF to MTV or, BART SF to SFO stop and then switch to the Caltrain to finish off at MTV.

Cheers!

phx know

Number of options for kosher food in PHX: 1) scottsdale Kosher (chabad hechsher 2) imperial kosher market 3) King Solomon’s Pizza 4) Segal’s Kosher

Dan

@d1234:
Thanks.
And twitter is not too hard. Just sign up and follow dansdeals and sign up for text alerts.
And don’t forget to set it to not send text alerts at night if you don’t want to be woken up.

@levi:
You can try applying for a Starwood, which is my favorite card.

@Anonymous:
As those who know me can attest to, I generally don’t say things I’m not sure of.

@fanofdan:
Usually, but not always.

@Mike:
Thanks. But I won’t be able to make it there by 9.

levi

thanks for the advice, how does the credit for credit cards work like if i sign up for 3 cards a year is that ok? and can i cancel after a year of a credit card after getting the rewards?

ari

dan i can ship u some food if you fly over nj but dont think its in your routing
seems you guys really dont sit still kah always on the move
aa deal is expired
beware continental chase also starting to crack down on multiple cards

sara

I got an e-mail about a $30 statement credit available for my goldcard that I recently cancelled. It is good at many merchants such as costco, target etc. I have 2 other goldcards that I would love this for. Do you know of a way to get registered for my other cards? Have yu seen this deal?

dov

hey dan nice to c someone is enjoying life to its fullest, yeh with a couple bumbs on the way but overall your doing better then the rest of us here.

i had a question for you, can u recommend a credit card for a Canadian without ssn, i dont have any cc, so i dont know about my credit rating or if i even have one. im sort of cluless about it but really wanna join the club with all the perks.
please send me on the right path:)
thanx and have a wonderful trip.

Anonymous

@restaurants near SFO:

Do you know of any place to stay for shabbos near sfo?

G F

80% for restaurant.com code: PRESENT

fayf1

hope your are finally enjoying your trip but if you get a chance to answer this I’d appreciate it
I have 4 credit cards a Amex platnium an amex gold (thanks to your imput-still trying to spend the $10,000)an amex starwoods and a Chase Sapphire I would like to cancel some so i wont have to pay the annual fees what do you recommend to get the most out of them so I can accmulate the most milage Also whats with the chase Sapphire i know I need something else beside amex for the vendors that dont take amex is this one ok or is there something else ? thanks

dan

FYI: Caltrain stops about two blocks from the Kitchen Table.

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