The Short Final

Dominic is a full-time consultant who aims to bring you news and inspiration about the best travel experiences, destinations, and industry insights without all the unnecessary fluff. Focus is on American AAdvantage and Starwood / Marriott loyalty programs.

An Honest Review of the American Express Platinum Credit Card

Now that I’m nearly six months into ownership of the AMEX Platinum card I’d like to share a few thoughts on what I do and don’t like about this card. When reading this review, the number one thing to keep in mind is “your mileage may vary.” I’ll talk about what works for me and what doesn’t and whether or not you should get this card based on the type of traveler you are. Annual Fee This is the low hanging fruit. Nobody wants to spend a ton of money on annual fees, but it’s the name of the...

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Career Change, Anyone? American Opens New Pilot Training Program

In a move practically mimicking JetBlue, American Airlines announced today the opening of a new pilot training program for off-the-street pilot dreamers. The official name is the American Airlines Cadet Academy and provides an avenue for anyone hoping to become a commercial airline pilot. American realizes a huge barrier to entry for pilots is cost and they’ve partnered with a lender to provide financing options up to $100,000: Get a great variable or fixed rate with no fees required 0.25% Auto Debit Reward when you are enrolled in automatic payments during repayment No cosigner required No payments are required,...

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How to Use Shopping Portals to Meet Your Travel Goals

The most lucrative way to earn points and miles is through credit card sign-up bonuses. This is no secret. I tend to open only 1-2 cards per year and only for specific airline/hotel programs. Couple this with the fact that I’m nearly 100% committed to American Airlines and you’ll see why I need to look for alternative ways to earn AAdvantage points — I’ve just run out of AA cards to apply for! AMEX SPG ✓ Citi AAdvantage ✓ Barclays Aviator ✓ Fortunately, you can earn a decent number of points and miles annually just by being smart about your...

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A Few Good Ways to Save Money on European Car Rentals

I recently booked a trip to Italy for a couple of weeks this summer and I was shocked at how pricey car rentals are. This got me thinking. I almost feel like when my back is against the wall I perform my best. This is exactly the feeling I had when I realized oh s*** I better figure out how to not spend that much on a rental car. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not particularly adept at redeeming miles and points for rental cars. So I set out on a mission to figure out some...

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Three Ways to Use Your SPG Starpoints to Maximize Efficiency

I’m going to admit that I’m not great at accumulating points and miles. In fact, I’m such a creature of habit that I pretty much only stick to the programs I know best in American Airlines and SPG. I only just stepped out of my comfort zone and picked up the IHG credit card before the annual night devaluation on April 5th. Lame, I know, but it’s who I am. With that said, I’m much better at maximizing how I spend points and miles and making sure it’s a good deal. I’m a blue-collar guy even though I wear...

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Analysis: A Comprehensive Guide to Airfare Taxes and Fees in Europe

Have you ever flown out of the UK and paid an exorbitant amount in random taxes and fees? Annoying, right? Each country in Europe handles taxes and fees differently. Some countries like Italy seemingly add BS taxes onto airfare just for the sake of making money, without any other purpose, but don’t get me wrong — a country has every right to charge what they want. I always find myself checking what each country charges when it comes to taxes and fees. I decided to do some research and put together a bit of analysis on select major cities in...

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5 Places You Can Go With the AMEX Hilton Ascend Card Welcome Bonus

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This week I wrote a post titled “Here’s How to Stay at Any* Hilton Property for Under $100” and took it down shortly after posting. The response was overwhelmingly negative and rightly so. The headline was misleading and sleazy and that’s not the brand I want to promote. In addition, my attitude toward commenters who left constructive criticism was immature at best. I apologize and it won’t happen again. As always, I am lucky to have you as readers and thank you for keeping me honest. Below is the post I should have written. The new Hilton...

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ENDING SOON: 30% Bonus on Diner’s Club Avios Transfers

Most of you won’t take any value from this post since Diner’s Club cardholders are few and far between. My company uses DC for our corporate cards so if any of you out there are in the same boat, this is a nice deal. Until the end of March, you will receive a 30% bonus on Diner’s Club rewards transfers to British Airways Avios. Avios are extremely useful for any of you OneWorld travelers looking to make a short flight in the US or abroad. For example, this deal comes in handy as I will be traveling to Orlando...

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This Delta Plane That Had An Emergency in February Has a Troubling Past

On February 27, 2018, Delta flight 72 performed by an Airbus A330-300 with the tail number N807NW, performed an emergency landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia due to an engine failure. More of the details can be found at N807NW is a 14-year-old aircraft originally delivered to Northwest Airlines in 2004. Since that time, N807NW has had six incidents — three engine incidents, one hydraulic problem, one cabin pressure loss, and one loss of separation. Maintenance on US airlines is top notch so no worries there, but this certainly seems to be a recurring issue and may get to the point where...

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My Two Cents on How American Can Go For Great

Before I begin, this post is obviously my opinion and I thought I’d have a little fun. I have zero insider information and am in no way qualified to make strategic decisions at a global airline. With that said, I’m a loyal American flier and thought I’d offer up some advice on how the airline can really “go for great.” Now with a nice glass of Irish whiskey poured, I begin… Chill with D0 D0 is the term American uses when referring to pushing back at or before the scheduled time of departure. You can see why leadership would...

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