Applied for Chase Ink Bold Card

Just applied for the Chase Ink Bold Card under my business name. I did not get an immediate decision, so I’ll be contacting chase card services at

Chase Credit Analysts – Business Side – (800) 453-9719

Chase Application Status Department – (888) 609-7805

This is currently a good card to get because it nets 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores (where one can buy vanilla reload cards).

TripIt Pro – No longer included with AMEX Platinum & A review after a year or so of use.

TripIt Pro will no longer be included with AMEX Platinum Cards any longer. This is unfortunate as I really like TripIt Pro and don’t like paying the $49 a year (I think this is a bit steep).

The AMEX Travel App also has great TripIt¬†synchronization¬†and I prefer it over the traditional TripIt App because it condenses previous flights and such, so if your on the 10th flight of a 15 flight trip, you don’t have to scroll past all the others first (which is incredibly annoying in the normal TripIt application, especially if your on a really long trip).

This is actually one of my biggest problems with the normal TripIt application is that it shows all your previous travels on your trip as well, which can be alot more information than is needed or wanted, and takes forever to scroll past. I wish by default it would scroll to where the next flight or whatever is as opposed to just starting at the beginning.

The points tracking feature of TripIt Pro is alright, though I prefer AwardWallet Plus, which lets met track not only my accounts but also all those of my family (and really anyone else if wanted).

TripIt is great software though, it recognizes 99% of the travel plans that I forward to [email protected], the iCal feed works great, putting all my travel plans on my blackberry as well as desktop/laptop and icloud.com.

http://www.tripit.com

Lufthansa first class lounge Frankfurt for star alliance

As im sure many others have notice, the lounge offerings for first class passengers flying star alliance but not on Lufthansa is very limited in Frankfurt. The first class lounge is often near capacity, offers no privacy at all, uses the bathroom in the business lounge next door, offers little food, and very limited drinks.

Here’s a photo of the toast that they were offering during the 3 hours I was there.

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La Brisa Loca in Santa Marta

I recently spent a week at La Brisa Loca in Santa Marta, Colombia. It is a larger hostel with around 80 beds. Some of the rooms have air-conditioning while others don’t. They have a nice sized bar onsite (with multiple daily happy hours), a restaurant that’s open for breakfast and lunch, a swimming pool, and a roof top terrace with hammocks for relaxing and hanging out.

I found the staff to be friendly and helpful, and some of the staff had some very interesting stories from their travels.

While I was there it seemed to be manly an English speaking hostel, with lots of Europeans and americans.

The Internet was usable at times, and slow as could be at others.

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Buses in Argentina

I recently had to get to Iguazu Falls, Argentina in order to get a Brazilian visa to enter Brazil. The last minute flights from Buenos Aires were quite pricy so I decided to take a bus along with a friend I’d met in BA (he’s from Rotterdam).

We decided to go with the “full cama” service on via balloche bus line, which provides a full lie flat seat for the 18 hour bus ride.

The bus itself was quite nice, it was rather new (still had that new bus smell), had fake leather, fully reclining seats, window curtains as well as privacy curtains, access to 2 radio channels, and a computerized entertainment system with on demand maps, music, movies, as well as othe information – similar to what one may find in business class on an airplane.

The entire bus both upstairs and down had this same configuration and probably seated around 30 passengers (1 seat on one side the isle and 2 seats on the other side) – both upstairs and down.

There was one bathroom for the entire bus (on the bottom floor), but it was kept relatively clean.

Upon first boarding a non alcoholic drink was served, then with dinner another soft drink or if wanted a miniature bottle of wine. The meal itself was in 2 courses, first a small salad and appetizer, with some jello, then a main course of chicken and potatoes. The food was not great but it was edible. A couple hours after dinner a drink of whiskey was also offered (though it was horrible whiskey).

For breakfast we had some marmalade and toast with juice and coffee (I passed on this).

The bus itself was very smooth the entire time, never lurching or jerking around much. Each seat had 2 A/C vents that could be adjusted to maintain a comfortable temperature.

The bus did not have Internet nor where there any electrical outlets.

Sleeping was comfortable but had a very business class on the airplane feel too it. The seat had many ridges making it difficult to get comfortable. The pillow was small, and the blanket also very small. Again very similar to an average business class airline seat (though the lack of power, extremely limited drink selection, and poor quality food were more resembling of economy on an airplane).

The ride was beautiful though. The other passengers were very friendly, as was the staff.

All in all, 18 hours in the bus wasn’t too bad, given the same seats and service I would gladly do it again.

Total price – around USD $150.

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Webjet from FOZ to Rio

I ended up in Iguazu Falls, Argentina in order to get my brazillian visa.

The falls were amazing, though it seems that it rained every day I was there (though usually just a quick torrential down pour then it would clear up).

My next stop is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and as the busses take around 24 hours and do not offer lie flat seats, I decided to take a plane instead.

For around USD $200 I booked a one way (direct, nonstop, last minute) flight. There were cheaper flight with connections, or if I had bought it at least a day or two prior to departure, but I hadn’t a choice and didn’t want the connections.

I booked with a travel agency at the bus station and was able to pay with visa.

They were unable to assign seats at the travel agency and said I would have to do that at the airport.

I arrived at the airport approximately one hour before the flight. My hand luggage was weighed and I was told I couldn’t carry on both my case and backpack as both were over the 5kg limit. They did not charge me for checking the 19kg case though.

I requested seat 1A and they had no problem assigning me it.

On the airplane there was no bulkhead or anything in front of 1a just the exit door, so plenty of leg room. The entire row was empty as well (though some very rude French people from a large group squeezed into all the seats in the first row). I guess the normal flyers in webjet don’t know to ask for exit rows or first rows, that amazes me.

The seats were somewhat comfortable but allowed for no recline at all (they were in a fixed position).

The crew on board were friendly and helpful, however they charge for everything including soda (I wanted a sprite). They only accept brazillian reais, and no cards at all, which was a problem as I only had USD, Euro, and Argentinian pesos.

Flight went well. My case was the first off in the baggage claim.

Not a premium experience but I would fly webjet again considering how low the price was.

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Second segment of AA OneWorld RTW Award: HKG-AMS on Cathay Pacific First.

So a few days ago I took one of the longest flights of my life, over 12 hours in the air, from HKG to AMS (not to mention sitting on the ground an extra hour or so).

Cathay’s ground service is acceptable definately not one of my favorites. The staff itself are friendly and responsive, but the lounges seemed very crowded and understaffed. It also seemed that there were way too many pax for it being a First Class Lounge. I can understang all sorts of people to enter the biz lounge, but f lounges should be limited to primarily f pax, and I didn’t feel that to be the case at either “The Pier” nor “The Wing.”

The food offerings at the lounges is also very limited.

My flights was hours delayed, both before and after boarding. This is when the experience started to change.

Unlike on the ground, the quality of beverages offered in the air was much better. Krug was their champagne of Choice, and wasn’t bad. They also offered Johnny Walker Blue label.

The caviar was not too impressive at all, but the rest of the meal was very good.

The bed itself was quite large but not especially comfortable. The IFE included a good sized screen.