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What are frequent flyer miles worth? — June 2019

The title of this article is arguably the most important question in higher flying and yet there’s no clear answer to it.  Unlike real currencies (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.), there’s no authority to objectively assess and define how much a mile is worth.  This task instead falls to the users of them — higher flyers mostly — all of whom have different perspectives on how award points should function and how they’re best redeemed.  No one’s valuation is any more right or wrong than another one’s, but nevertheless, here are The Higher Flyer‘s own for your consideration.

Continue reading “What are frequent flyer miles worth? — June 2019”

New Years’ Resolutions for 2019 for Higher Flyers

There’s a direct correlation between how happy passengers are and how pleasant air travel is.  For that reason alone, it’s in everybody’s best interest to behave kindly and thoughtfully, and in turn prevent negative energy from spreading about.  But no matter how far or how frequently you fly, you’re still bound to bear witness to some pretty horrendous stuff in both airports and in the skies.  After more than 100,000 butt-in-seat miles in 2018, I experienced my fair share of moments that were uncomfortable at best, downright atrocious at worst.  With every unfortunate event, the same thought lingered in the back of my mind:  “This sure would be more pleasant if people weren’t like this.”  Inspired by those “encounters” from 2018, here are my 10 resolutions for the new year, shared for your consideration going in to 2019…

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Air Asia Hot Seats mini-Review

“Should I pay for that?”

This shouldn’t be a surprise given the headline, but this post won’t be a full-blown review. It primarily seeks to answer some frequently asked questions: are a few extra inches of space/baggage/food worth the extra cost? If you’re flying on a low cost carrier like AirAsia, there’s a good chance you’re budget conscious and you want to balance your comfort with your expenses. Perhaps this post will give you a better sense of what to expect. Continue reading “Air Asia Hot Seats mini-Review”

On Hyatt’s Globalist “Fast Track” promotion: is it fair?

If you own Hyatt’s cobranded credit card, you may have heard about an exciting, albeit controversial, promotion valid from September through to the end of 2017: you now only need 20 nights to qualify for the program’s highest elite status, Globalist level. You previously needed 60! Continue reading “On Hyatt’s Globalist “Fast Track” promotion: is it fair?”

On the inclusion of photo tours

While The Higher Flyer would be considered by many to be a travel blog, it focuses primarily on the journey instead of the destination. There are many talented writers who’ll prominently feature their experiences on the ground, closely documenting the sights they see and the foods they taste, while largely ignoring how they actually got there. I prefer to write about airlines and hotels and the like — and that’s fine, everyone has different interests and styles — but I also like to fancy myself as an “iPhone photographer.” I think one of the best ways to experience a place is to explore it and take pictures of what you find; it forces you to not only seek out interesting spots… Continue reading “On the inclusion of photo tours”

Analyzing the 737 MAX in the contemporary aviation industry

The future of air travel?

Even though the first iteration of the 737 MAX has already taken to the skies this year, the 2017 Paris Air Show was the equivalent of a break-out party for this next generation of planes. The producer of them, Boeing, inked deals for 571 new orders over the course of the four day event, which inspired speculation regarding the development and progression of commercial air travel. Continue reading “Analyzing the 737 MAX in the contemporary aviation industry”

Airbus unveils updated A380 at Paris Air Show

To renew interest in its otherwise fledgling A380 program, Airbus announced an updated version of its double-deckered plane at the Paris Air Show today: the A380plus. Toting winglets that improve fuel burn by 4% and a redesigned cabin capable of holding 80 additional passengers (for a total of 960 in an all-economy configuration with 3-5-3 abreast), Airbus says that this new iteration of the superjumbo will reduce the cost per seat ratio by 13%. In an industry characterized by razor-thin profit margins, these refinements could make the difference of being in the black or in the red.

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