Richard Kerr: If it's meant to be, it's up to me. Just say that to yourself every day in the airport.
Ed Pizza: Did your wife spit oatmeal at you this morning?
Richard Kerr: inaudible now about getting upgraded guys, we're old. Senile Ed's showing up early this episode today.
Ed Pizza: There it is folks, senile Ed showed up early, but bougie Richard showed up 35 minutes in. I will not fly that business class seat.
Speaker 4: Climb aboard. This is the Miles to Go Podcast, your source for the latest in travel news, reviews and strategies you can't afford to miss. And now, here's your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.
Ed Pizza: Hey guys, welcome back to the Miles To Go podcast. Richard and I are both home this week, which I think is the first time we've both been at home to record in probably four or five weeks. How are you doing Mr. Kerr?
Richard Kerr: Good man, you got to stay home for more than 12 hours so we can say that. You're the ones on the go lately, I'm chilling.
Ed Pizza: Hey, I am home for 28 hours this time, so I don't want to hear it.
Richard Kerr: I'm going tomorrow as well too.
Ed Pizza: I'm only home for 28 hours because I took the red eye yesterday, which just is always a horrible idea.
Richard Kerr: I keep telling you, at your age, man, we got to be more careful and make better decisions, I'm not doing red eye. We'll talk about it later, but looking at a routing that will put the whole family on a red eye and we're just not going to do it.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. You're also visiting a place that's a little bit harder to get home from without fiddling around with the times. But yes, we are going to talk more about that. And for what it's worth, my motivation for taking red eye was to get home to pick my daughter up from camp. Couldn't get the chance to drop her off at a camp, so wanted to be there. It was her first inaudible camp and wanted to be there to surprise her to come home. But it was rough, man. You and I, we know more about planes than the standard human being does because we're nerds and a guy I was traveling with, I've known for a real long time. We're good friends.
And he's like, "Hey, take the red eye with me." And I went and pulled the plane up and it was one of the 737, 900 ERs that United flies around.
Richard Kerr: Nope.
Ed Pizza: And it was first class, the only row that was left available. And then I'm going to sound incredibly bougie for saying this, the only available row was the last row. And I'm like, "No, I just don't want to do this." Because A, the last row doesn't fully recline and B, those seats have no padding left." These are seats from the continental days. And I'm like, "This is going to be horrible, I know it's going to be horrible." And sure enough, get on the plane and there's no padding left on the seats, I feel like I'm laying on a sheet of cardboard for four hours short flight over.
Richard Kerr: At least you haven't had severe back problems recently or anything like that. Oh wait.
Ed Pizza: Right.
Richard Kerr: And what kind of friend calls up and says, "Hey man, let's have some fun. Let's get on a 737 red eye." As your friend did, I will never do that to you.
Ed Pizza: We have it in recording. Richard just said he will never do something that horrible to me.
Richard Kerr: Well, might do other things horrible.
Ed Pizza: Exactly. Right. But Jeff, if you're listening, I appreciate the lower back pain that I have this morning inaudible. And the fact that I got an hour and 45 minutes of sleep, and you know what? I should've known better because he asked me if I would switch and give him the aisle eat and I said no. And a very nice young fellow woke me up an hour into the flight to go to the bathroom climbing over me and I never got back to sleep.
Richard Kerr: Telling you man, they got to fix that domestic first class. I want the window seat, but I don't want to be that guy waking somebody up. Anyways, yeah, definitely an aisle seat guy for red eye.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Yep. So we've got a couple of listener questions that we're going to dig into as well. We're going to talk a little bit about the trip that Richards planning. I'm going to recap my family trip to Canada.
Richard Kerr: Oh, Canada.
Ed Pizza: And we'll talk about why... We'll go through our scorecard of my summer travel because we're working on now, our second delay. That was why Richard and I got a little bit of a late start recording this morning. United just decided to... This was annoying thing that you can't take yourself off the upgrade list reliably. I don't know if you've ever dealt with this, but I asked them not to put me on the upgrade list because travel as a family, we're not going to get four seats, so I don't want one. And sure enough, they upgraded me this morning. So I called and it took the agent almost 30 minutes to downgrade me back into a coach cabin with plenty of seats. And she's like, "I'm sorry, I'll put notes in so the system doesn't auto upgrade you again." And I'm like, "Yeah right.
Richard Kerr: I;m laughing for a few reasons here. Recap, Ed still flies United, which, don't do that.
Ed Pizza: I am.
Richard Kerr: That whole Dulles captive audience thing. But you're complaining about getting upgraded, right?
Ed Pizza: Well, I mean...
Richard Kerr: Just playing with you Ed, just wanted that recorded complaining now about getting upgraded guys, we're old. Senile Ed's showing up early this episode today.
Ed Pizza: It's true. I am showing up early today, but not showing up early is our plane. And we're working on a special guest for an episode coming up to talk about a new product that I'm really keen on, but got an alert this morning well before United told me, that our flight is almost two hours late into Dulles, which is obviously going to impact our departure. It's possible because we're a hub, that they could swap an aircraft out. But watching the flights as they go, it seems to be trending towards they're not going to swap it out. And then finally, almost 90 minutes after I learned about the delay, United has actually told me that our flight is delayed. So we are an hour and 20 minutes delayed as of right now. As usual, I don't think that'll hold, I think it'll slip a little bit more.
Richard Kerr: So in that situation, here's a good question for the readers to learn something. You live 20, 30 minutes from Dulles.
Ed Pizza: Yep.
Richard Kerr: You know your flight's a couple hours delayed. Do you still get there at your original departure time in case they do swap the equipment? Or are you staying home and saving the time from sitting in the United club or sitting at the gate?
Ed Pizza: This is a tough one. Because it's a hub, I'm going to go to the airport because they do have the ability to swap that aircraft. If it was...
Richard Kerr: That is the correct answer ladies and gentlemen, yes.
Ed Pizza: If I lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I would not go to the airport early because I could see that there weren't any spare planes at that airport to fly me wherever I need to go. And I'd probably see where my inbound aircraft's coming from, all that stuff. So in this instance, yeah. I don't think... I'm normally a get to the airport disgustingly early type of person, I will probably...
Richard Kerr: That's because you're a dad.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. There you go. I'll probably shift into, get to the airport when normal humans get to the airport mode. So I was going to leave the house... This one's a little... We're only 20 minutes from the airport. I was going to leave three and a half hours prior to departure, but we had to stop at my dad's house and drop off our dog. And so that's going to probably chew up an hour.
So that would put me at the airport between two and two and a half hours before departure. Which, summer travel, things are crazy. For folks who don't know Dulles, there's a couple economy lots that they use for things like plane poles and festivals and stuff like that. And the weeds come up through the cracks and I haven't seen cars in those lots in easily a decade. And they were both full as I was leaving the airport yesterday. So it's still slamming busy out there and I'm expecting, on a Saturday in the summer, that there are going to be a metric ton of people in the airport this afternoon. So I think we'll probably... Hour, 20 minute delay, I think we'll probably leave the house 30 minutes later, that's my guess.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. I've seen so many stories of people sitting in the lounge and it says their flight's an hour and a half delayed and they get to the gate and they've missed their flight because they switched the time back and they didn't recheck and the airline's like, "Sorry, your job is to be at the gate at the original time of departure in case stuff like that happens."
Ed Pizza: Yeah.
Richard Kerr: That's made me so paranoid that even if I know my flight in Atlanta's late on a Delta flight, I will leave the sky club and go down to the gate to see what's going on to make sure that doesn't happen to me. And a few times, they've been like...
Ed Pizza: Whoa, hold on a second, you got into a sky club?
Richard Kerr: Well, years have passed. Not any time in the last four or five months. When did I last flight Delta? Oh, we flew Delta home. I have not found Delta out of Atlanta... No, we did for California, that was the first time in a while. But yeah, craziness. Anyways people, it's your responsibility to be at your departure gates at the original departure time in case they do equipment swap or crew magically shows up, I've seen it before and you're going to be responsible for that next flight, if you're not there when you're supposed to be.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. It's 100% accurate and you should not rely on the airlines to be reliable. You should protect yourself at all costs when traveling, that's just the bottom line.
Richard Kerr: If it's meant to be, it's up to me, just say that to yourself every day in the inaudible.
Ed Pizza: Oh, look at that, that's so sweet. You come up with just the cutest phrases.
Richard Kerr: What are we talking about?
Ed Pizza: Oh man. All right. So let's answer a couple listener questions and then we'll talk a little bit about the travel that I took and the travel that you are planning, both of which I think will be helpful for folks who are listening.
Richard Kerr: Today's the big trip man. Today is day zero for the big one, for the mama jama.
Ed Pizza: Star Cruiser man.
Richard Kerr: Halcyon weights.
Ed Pizza: Capital one, Venture X to the rescue. The one thing I said I would never pay for, for my son, was go do Star Wars Halcyon Star Cruiser because it is so ridiculously priced it isn't funny.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. The place is not on the budget travel list anywhere.
Ed Pizza: No, but thank thankfully half a million venture miles made it passable, but I'm sure I'm still going to spend a fortune and stuff on that voyage.
Richard Kerr: I'm sure we will give the full recap next week and looking forward to it to make sure that I will never pay for it. What would you do if you learned that I paid for me and Thomas to go to Halcyon, I paid cash out of pocket. What would your reaction be?
Ed Pizza: There is no way I would ever believe that so I think I would probably just wonder who kidnapped my podcast co-host, that's what I think I would wonder.
Richard Kerr: All right, reader questions, what are they asking today?
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Before we get into that, just a quick note on how folks can find us. You can leave us a voicemail or text us at 5, 7, 1, 2, 9, 3, 6, 6, 5, 9. You can shoot us an email at edpizzainmotion.com. On social media he is @kerrpoints, K, E, R, R. I am @pizzainmotion. Those are all the ways to track us down and shoot us a note so we can answer your question on a future episode. And also too, if you're listening in, we would love it if you would leave us a five star review and a rating on whatever platform you're listening, including Spotify who rolled out reviews a few weeks ago. So first up is a Disney sort of question. Megan asks, she said her family is trying to plan a cruise on the Disney Wish in 2024 and side note, we are trying to get our buddy Summer from TPG to come on and talk about her Disney Wish experience.
The ship looks incredible, I'm still not sure I want to pay for another Disney cruise because they are a fortune. She asks if we have any advice or strategies for using miles or points to help pay for her Disney Wish trip. And she also mentions she has a Capital One venture card. She also notes that Disney doesn't code as travel and I hate saying that, because it opens up this window for Richard to keep repeating himself this morning, as you were in our pre-show. So some stuff from Disney does code as travel. Tickets, if you purchase them directly from Disney, as Richard wanted to point out 632 times this morning, do not code his travel. You would need to buy those from undercover tourists, but thankfully, a cruise does code as travel, which means you should be able to use venture points to burn down venture miles... Sorry, to burn down the expense, right Richard?
Richard Kerr: Yeah, and let me just get a shout out to Megan here for having her life together that she can plan vacations in 2024, round of applause.
Ed Pizza: I think this is actually Summer in disguise writing this because she's the only human I know who could book inaudible.
Richard Kerr: It's a massive trip in three weeks and I'm like, "I'm going to get home." People are like, "I got my 2024 plans." And I'm always just like, "Wow, oh my God, I can't." But yes, you can redeem as long as you pay for that trip with your inaudible card, you go in the travel eraser and you can go ahead and erase as little or as much of that cruise as you want with your points, but you're going to need more than 75,000 points per person to pay for that cruise on the Disney Wish. Side note, my wife who constantly makes fun of me for going down to Orlando with Ed and folks and having a good time at Disney, is obsessed with the Disney Wish after looking at all the coverage, and really wants to go on that cruise. So you don't laugh when I actually do have to fork cash over here next year to go on the Disney Wish but I'll probably be using a lot of Venture One points or Venture Miles as well.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And we've cruised on Disney a couple times, I think they do an exceptional job and I also think that...
Richard Kerr: They are the best.
Ed Pizza: Just specifically with Disney, for kids, especially kids that are your kids' age, the rooms are also more well attuned for families. Typically if we were going to cruise on a normal ship, I'd really be leaning towards trying to find connecting rooms. But Disney does a great job of having excellent bunk beds for the kids. And then they also do something that I haven't seen on any other cruise ship, which is, they split the bathroom. And so you can have a kid taking a bath or a shower while somebody else is using the bathroom or getting ready, or whatever...
Richard Kerr: Cabins are clutch.
Ed Pizza: Oh my gosh, so clutch.
Richard Kerr: We did the Disney Dream last November and kids just out of their minds, loved everything about it. And Eds 100% right, those cabins are the best and the cruise business for families, we went on a Royal Caribbean right before the pandemic and I ended up getting connecting cabins so that we could not deal with the usual hubbub of what a regular cruise cabin is, for a young family.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, the actual space of a regular room on a Disney ship where... We haven't done Wish. But to your point, we've done a couple of other ships. So I don't know if the wish cabins are bigger, I haven't looked at the sizing, I doubt they are. But the standardized of the cabin isn't really that much bigger than a Royal Caribbean room. They're just so smartly designed, they really take advantage of the space.
Richard Kerr: Go for it Megan, redeem those miles on the Disney wish in 2024.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. So a couple little times squeeze in one more question before Kerr and I talk some more about summer travel. Steve writes in, he says first and foremost, he is a big fan of the pod. Thank you, Steve, we like to hear that. The pod.
Richard Kerr: Leave that five star view, man.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, hit it. He says he travels often and puts all his purchases now, on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. I'm going to stop for just a second for Richard to groan.
Richard Kerr: Downgrade.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. We're not huge fans of Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Richard Kerr: Neither is Chase by the way.
Ed Pizza: Right?
Although they did increase the signup bonus recently, did you see that?
Richard Kerr: If they want to lose 100s millions more on customer acquisition bonus, have at it boys and ladies.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, I think they realized that when they lowered the signup bonus to below the Chase Sapphire prefer that people sign up for that card, not the reserve, shocking. Anyway, he's thinking about a new card and he had a couple of questions for us. First question, he lives in Phoenix, so he is thinking about American Airlines, which makes some sense, they've got a huge hub there in Phoenix. His question is, with the signup bonus at 75,000 points or 75,000 miles for the card, he's wondering if the bonus counts towards his 2023 loyalty points status tracker. Mr. Kerr, what say you?
Richard Kerr: Set bonuses do not count towards loyalty points unfortunately.
Ed Pizza: This is where Jeremiah would insert a sad noise.
Richard Kerr: Do it man, sound effects rules, more sound effects. Yeah, there's a lot of things that do count for loyalty points that you wouldn't expect. Like rocket miles, bookings, shopping portal stuff, all kinds of goodness on top of flying, but sign up bonus is where the cards are not one. Not like the days of old, remember whatever that card was in the 80s and 90s where signup bonuses counted for lifetime status and everybody got lifetime American status off signup bonuses, remember that?
Ed Pizza: I may or may not have done that once or twice.
Richard Kerr: Not like the good old days even before my time. I was not old enough then, to get a credit card. How old does that make you feel? You feel old yet?
Ed Pizza: I just keep forgetting that you're like a young pup, still wet behind the ears. You're wise beyond your years. Mr. Kerr, maybe the nicest thing I ever say to you.
Richard Kerr: Don't tell my wife that, she won't believe it.
Ed Pizza: Did your wife spit oatmeal at you this morning?
Richard Kerr: It was awesome. Me and the kids played basketball, told them that we would go to Waffle House when podcast was over and they're all excited, we walk in and unbeknownst to me, Emily's already made oatmeal on the stove. So I've ruined the kids' life now by... Well, mom already made breakfast and that just created the hub of the Kerr household this morning. And then I ended up getting something out of the fridge and did a juggle thing where you're about to drop it, but you catch yourself four times and you actually end up dropping it. Apparently this was the funniest Emily had ever seen as a mouthful of oatmeal went across the kitchen table because she started laughing so hard. Its good moms the one spitting oatmeal.
Ed Pizza: Now we got to speed up because now I don't want to keep your kids away from waffle house on a weekend morning.
Richard Kerr: Well, we're not going, Emily made oatmeal.
Ed Pizza: The full downgrade from waffle house to oatmeal?
Richard Kerr: Yeah, they should pull in and call and complain about getting downgraded or upgraded, whatever.
Ed Pizza: So Steve also asks about the Hyatt credit card. They have a 60,000 point offer right now and he asked what our thoughts were. I guess this is partially in comparison to whether he should get an American Airlines card or the Hyatt card. And I think... Well, I'm going to let you answer first because I'm a nice guy every once in a while. So would you go Hyatt credit card here? Or would you go American Airlines card?
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Every time people ask us this, it's a situational question. Overall, the Hyatt card is a much more powerful credit card than the American Airline inaudible card inaudible award miles inaudible then get the Hyatt card. He is already globalist, but it looks like he needs to requalify for next year. And the Hyatt card can do that, five elite nights per year and then two nights for every five K you spend on it for night certificate. The card inaudible for every year after year after year for the inaudible. So if you're in the opportunity and you're below 524, I would definitely not take up a spot with the American card and I would go Hyatt all the way.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So I would say a couple things. First off, just because I love hearing Jeremiah put in sound effects, I would say in this specific instance, if you needed advantage miles to bulk up your balance, I would get the built rewards MasterCard. Just because I don't think the earning is very generous on any of the American airlines cards. So if you're getting it just for the signup bonus, sure. But if you're going to spend on a card to earn advantage miles, for me, it would be built. If I was choosing between American...
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Don't put daily spend on American inaudible card.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, no. If I was choosing between...
Richard Kerr: inaudible over there, don't do it.
Ed Pizza: If I was choosing between this American Airlines card and the Hyatt card, I would clearly choose the Hyatt card, especially because it looks like it can help him requalify for globalist, which you and I both get tremendous value out of on a yearly basis. So that would be my answer here. I'd also say, just on a clean slate, I would actually think about potentially just getting some sort of a flexible rewards card. So if he's going to keep the Chase Sapphire Reserve in his wallet, maybe I'd pick up the Venture X card here instead of either one of these. But if the goal was to use the Hyatt card to get status, then that would clearly be the direction that I would go here. Yeah. Oh and by the way, big news Richard, I don't know if you heard the news?
Richard Kerr: What news?
Ed Pizza: The big news man, the big news, I am now gold in the built rewards program. Gold status, man. I've moved up from silver to gold.
Richard Kerr: Gold status. Yeah, congratulations, we love our elite members, now transferred to 1000 point increments instead of minimum of 2000. You get some interest on your points and we got a whole lot more coming up to make the elite status really worth pursuing inaudible got some work to do right now.
Ed Pizza: You're still not going to spill the tea, come on, don't get tricked into that one.
Richard Kerr: inaudible my general counselor will be very upset with me.
Ed Pizza: I've never met your general counselor, that wouldn't concern me.
Richard Kerr: He just started two weeks ago. We finally got an in-house one and I've kept him more than busy.
Ed Pizza: All right. So let's talk a little bit about summer travel so far. For us, we had a total of 10 flights scheduled, that's connecting flights and all that stuff. And I just really wasn't sure where we'd be on delays. We did okay on our Iceland trip, we just recently went to Canada and I would just say to folks listening in, if you haven't been to the east coast of Canada, what they call Maritime Canada, Nova Scotia, you're really missing out on a beautiful destination. We're not going to spend a ton of time on this, I'm super happy to answer questions, our families gone there every year for the past 15 years and I used to go there as a kid cause we have family there. It's unbelievably beautiful, you feel like you step back in time, it's a little bit more rural.
There are just some incredible things there, Peggy's Cove, Halls Harbor, which is the biggest tide change in the world. So you can sit there, you can hop over there at low tide for lunch and the boats are literally sitting on the gravel, the bottom of the ocean. And by the time you're done eating lunch, the boats are floating and can pull out of the port, the tide change is just massive and it's pretty cool to watch. So there's a bunch of stuff there, tons of camping, caves, all that stuff. But anyway, if you remember Richard, last year Air Canada had a status match program?
Richard Kerr: I remember. Yes.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So we connected... We had a mixture of United and Air Canada flights on cash tickets from that $2,000 voucher that United was nice enough to give me for taking a later flight out of New Orleans last year. So we used that to buy tickets up there, we had to connect through Toronto just because there were no non-stop flights, they got pulled off the schedule during COVID. And we hit our first delay of the trip, but it was while we were in Toronto and the Toronto Air Canada lounge is... It's the best domestic lounge I can ever remember being in. Century inaudible clubs aside. But they have full buffet, so we ate Gnocchi and meatballs and sandwiches and there are a bunch of desserts for the kids and really great wines, a couple of massive coffee machines to make whatever coffee you wanted, your full selection of bottle beverages.
And the club was huge, so we could actually... We walked in, they didn't hassle made at all about bringing the kids in. We could find seating and so we just sweated out the delay there. It turned out to be 90 minutes. So, first delay of the summer so far, we're stuck in the second one right now, obviously, based on what we talked about earlier. But so far knock on wood, if we end up with a couple of two hour delays for all of our 10 summer flights, I'm going to call that a win with how crazy things are right now.
Richard Kerr: Solid win, especially international connections, summer thunderstorms in Dallas. You guys have had some wopping storms up there in the DC area lately.
Ed Pizza: Oh my God. Yeah.
Richard Kerr: Been going nuts. So this is a solid win if those are the only delays you're taking.
Ed Pizza: Yeah and just a note for folks that, when you think about what a domestic lounge is like, Delta's probably the best of the three in the US and still, I wouldn't call it a great food experience and obviously there's tons of overcrowding. So the Air Canada lounge situation, I thought, was super awesome. I was super happy to be able to use the Air Canada status that I picked up last year, to get into the lounges, get the whole family in and just have a really enjoyable experience sitting there for a couple hours, waiting for flight delays to clear. So I wish we could connect more Air Canada because Toronto's actually not a terribly out of the way airport for us, for some of our trips. But unfortunately you can't use a Canadian airline to connect on a US segment, something called cabotage that prevents it. Centuries old law that...
Richard Kerr: Cabotage.
Ed Pizza: So we can use them to go to Europe and in Asia and I absolutely think that we will, especially with how great the new program is. I am under 524 as of August 1st and I think that the Air Canada airplane credit card is the next one that's going to be in my wallet my friend.
Richard Kerr: inaudible under 524 means you're not trying hard enough, man.
Ed Pizza: I'd have been under 524 a year ago if Chase didn't consider me buying a bed, a revolving line of credit.
Richard Kerr: I forgot about that. No, I think I'm actually close, I think I'm right at 524 and have another one drop off in September. And it's literally because over the pandemic, I was just like, "I don't need any more points in a while." But the next trip coming up is wiping a sizable chunk of that out, so might have to jump back in there soon.
Ed Pizza: Wait, that was what they call in podcasting a segue, you did a great job on that man.
Richard Kerr: Seamless.
Ed Pizza: So tee it up. There are two states left that I have not been to and you are going to one of them.
Richard Kerr: Still blows my mind you have not been to the 50th state, Hawaii where we're taking off. So this started the day before the Hyatt devaluation, I went searching for some high quality resorts, found inaudible Maui and the Hyatt Regency Maui. Places that have been tough for years to find award availability with award nights on back to back consecutive connecting dates in September for six nights. And I was like, "Sweet, going to Maui and saving the points before they devalue this." And booked it up. It was just going to be Emily and I going to Hawaii and then I have a cousin that's stationed in Pearl Harbor, he's a submariner. Their kids are Thomas and Mary, my kids' age and they're cousins. So we're like, "We're going to go see them, should we take the kids all the way to Hawaii? Don't know, they're old enough now." Anyways, it delved into, yep, we're going to take the kids and if we're going all the way to Hawaii, we're not staying for six nights, we're going to make it a deal. So we're going for three weeks, man, in September.
Ed Pizza: Three weeks?
Richard Kerr: Three weeks, we're going to Hawaii.
Ed Pizza: Are you going to have any points left after you book all those hotels?
Richard Kerr: No.
Ed Pizza: More importantly, are they submariners or are they submariners? I mean, you should know about this stuff.
Richard Kerr: I'd say submariner. That's how you can tell that you're a real submariner. You call it a boat, boats are things that go underneath the water, targets are those things that float on top and it is a submariner, is what it is.
Ed Pizza: All right. You taught me something today.
Richard Kerr: Target inaudible.
Ed Pizza: Three weeks man.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Not taking it all off, will definitely be doing some remote work, but we'll be taking some days off. But it's not fun, it's been a couple years now, since I've really planned an intensive award trip and had things piecing together. Now doing it for four people, the kids are finally old enough, we feel like, to go on such a long trek. And actually, it's been pretty painless except for getting home from Hawaii to Atlanta, is proving the most challenging award booking I've done in a long time for four folks. Found lie flat seats, one stop, great connection, Atlanta to Dallas, Dallas to Honolulu, triple seven, 200 ER, four business class seats. It was some reasonable 67,500 American miles per person. And I was like, "Done." Book that up. $39 inter-island flights on Southwest, where we get the free check bags and all that stuff. Awesome.
Ed Pizza: Nice.
Richard Kerr: But it's just coming home, man, there's just nothing. We actually waffled back and forth about putting the kids in business class, is this something we want to do? We don't want this expectation, but they've also flown plenty in their lives already. Thomas is over 100 flights, we've always sat in the back of the bus. So this is going to melt their faces, but also, dude, I'm not flying to Hawaii in the back of the bus.
Ed Pizza: No. Abort.
Richard Kerr: I'm just not doing that, we do all this work for years and that's what points miles are for. However, coming home, man, its yucky. It's basically a red eye from Hawaii back to Atlanta. There's a few daytime flights and the decision was, number one, all the flights leave late at night for Hawaii, back to California or other destinations.
There is a nonstop from Honolulu to Atlanta, non shocking. It's a gajillion dollars or sky miles for the back of the bus. Delta One is not even within the realm of possibility, but also it doesn't leave till 9:00 PM, you got a five and a seven year old, what are you going to do all day? And then what are you going to do for five hours after you get a 4:00 PM checkout? Since it's a resort, I think they're technically exempt from Hyatt. Anyways, the decision we made was, look, let's break this up. We're going to do a daytime flight back to California or Arizona and then we're going to spend the night and then we'll take the next flight the next morning back to Atlanta. So it's going to be a two travel day deal but looking at what's out there, that's the best shot.
And I'm probably going to pay cash for Southwest flights. And I'll tell you man, remember when Southwest entered the whole market, it was the best next greatest thing, it was awesome, everybody's excited, some really good prices you can find out there. What I had forgotten until I really started looking into this, is, I had forgotten how many destinations that Southwest serves from all of the basically Hawaiian hub sub column. They fly everywhere and it's yielding some awesome results. And not only do they fly everywhere, when I first saw the route map, from Maui, I was like, "Wow, they fly to all these places back on the west coast?" I was like, "I'm sure they all leave at like 10:00 PM and they're red eyes in the back of a 737." No, most of them are daytime flights because those were the slots that were open because nobody else flies them.
Ed Pizza: No, Southwest doesn't do red eyes.
Richard Kerr: They don't?
Ed Pizza: It's been a weird thing. So I think... And if Seth's listening, he'll correct us, but I think it used to be a byproduct of the way they managed the fleet with the spreadsheet and the system couldn't handle it. But no, Southwest does not do red eyes.
Richard Kerr: Well it's score for us man. But from Maui, here's everywhere that they fly nonstop back to the US. Vegas, Long Beach, LAX, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, and San Jose, daytime flights from Maui nonstop.
Ed Pizza: Nice.
Richard Kerr: That's nice. And I can find a flight back to Atlanta from any of those, but it's 149 bucks from Maui to LAX leaving Maui noon and landing at like 8:00 PM. And you just hop to the hotel. That's perfect, that's like what we're going to do because trying to find one stop business class is like 300,000 pick your currency for everybody. And it's just been fun to get back in the weeds and really piece together something like this. But Southwest for the win man, it's going to be...
Excited, but that's been challenging, probably going to book those flights today and we'll divide it up into two days so we're not spending a red eye with the kids in the economy going back to Atlanta. Because then you land at six in the morning, everybody's exhausted and you have the entire day to get through the day. If you have your own kids or if your kids are now grown and you have erased that part of your memory, having a really tired cranky five and seven year old for 12 hours before you can go to bed again, is a long day. Want to avoid that.
Ed Pizza: For sure.
Richard Kerr: Thousand bucks for three weeks, man.
Ed Pizza: That's awesome. How much of your hotels have you booked so far?
Richard Kerr: I've got everything except for... I've got a four night window in Oahu, we're doing Kauai, Oahu and Maui. We hit each and I'm debating on whether to drop the cash on Aulani, the Disney resort in Oahu. So I've got four nights held, but I might book at Hyatt Regency or the Hilton Waikiki or Aulani. I just can't decide whether I'm going to spend the cash because it's like 650 a night for a base room, that's...
Ed Pizza: Is that even renting DVC points? Its that expensive?
Richard Kerr: There's no availability for whatever.
Ed Pizza: That's a bummer. Because I've gotten folks... That's a pretty popular destination that people ask me to rent points for and typically I can get the rooms under 500 bucks a night with the price for DVC points at Aulani. So you're like 400 change, which is it still isn't great. But given everything, how much your kids enjoy it.
Richard Kerr: inaudible.
Yeah man. So since we're spending so little on the rest of the trip and the kids are just the perfect magic age, five and seven, then we're not going back to Hawaii after this trip for who knows how long. I think it's going to be worth it, but it's going to hurt to spend twice as much on three nights as you have for three weeks in Hawaii. I don't know if I can do it.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And you bring up a good point about getting back from Hawaii. It's a big part of why we haven't been, is that if you don't want to fly coach and you want to fly some sort of a seat that doesn't just recline, like a domestic first class product. It's tough. American is probably the best option and still, I frequently see very little award inventory when people ask me for help with stuff. United does have a nonstop, it used to run... I think it used to run daily and now I think it's Saturday only, I just looked at it while you and I were talking. And the cheapest cash price I saw for a date when it wasn't sold out for a one way, first class seat, Honolulu to Dulles, was $2,500.
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: And the cheapest mileage I saw for that seat one way was 190. Numbers are off track. Yeah, I think it was 190 or maybe it was 180.
Richard Kerr: It's the same for the Delta nonstop, it's insane. It would be lovely going there, it's a daytime flight. It leaves at 9:00 AM Atlanta time and lands at like 3:00 PM Honolulu time. But it's like 300,000 Sky Miles one way per person.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. It's just obscene.
Richard Kerr: And it's on their old crappy 767 that is not a comfortable seat at all. And if I'm spending that many miles, that is the last lie flat product I'd want to apply.
Ed Pizza: There it is folks, senile Ed showed up early, but bougie Richard showed up 35 minutes in. I will not find that business class seat.
Richard Kerr: Not for 300,000 miles a person, no way, we're on the nice American triple seven. Also, I forgot how many narrow bodies do the Hawaii lifts now. There are not many lie flat wide bodies going to Hawaii these days folks. You're going to be on an A321neo or 737.
Ed Pizza: The 737 MAX was built for Hawaii. That's a quote, unquote long thin route for narrow bodies. It's perfect.
Richard Kerr: +It will be in the very back in what we used to call Kerr class when the kids were babies, the last row of Southwest flight on the 737 MAX from Maui to... It looks like either LAX or actually Oakland, which I've never been to Oakland before.
Ed Pizza: Oaktown.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, spend the night at the Oakland airport.
Ed Pizza: Not a bad airport at all, but we've flown in and out there a few times on Southwest. And yeah, when you think about seats in the market, I know American drew down some service to Hawaii. So there's probably some loss of seats in the market there in terms of premium seats. That United flight isn't super premium heavy, but I mean it's probably every bit of 40 or 50 business class seats. And so going from seven days a week to Saturday only, you're taking probably 200 plus premium seats out of the market.
Richard Kerr: And besides us, I think every other flight is narrow body. Maybe they do to Chicago still.
Ed Pizza: No, I don't think so. I don't think they do Chicago because I was just trying to help somebody with this trip a few months ago and I was using POINT.ME, a product we talked about in the show a bunch of times and everything I was coming up with, was Dallas was the only place I could find wide flights.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. And it looks like United does a 787 out of Chicago to Honolulu and that's...
Ed Pizza: Yeah, they were doing Denver a couple days a week and I think it was a triangle route where the plane would end up in Hawaii and then go back to Denver and then it would go to Tokyo or something like that. And so it was a loop and stuff inaudible fashion that way.
Richard Kerr: inaudible Denver on triple seven, looks like. But I tell you, man, what else has been amazing is those premium seats, whether it's narrow body or wide body, they are they're booked man. People are like, "I am taking this COVID gas and spending it on first class to Hawaii." And it's astronomical prices. For a 737 first class flight, paying that much money or miles? Get out of here, there's no way. But they are booked, man.
Ed Pizza: This goes back to something you and I were saying a few episodes ago about that Alaska sale or maybe it was Southwest sale. And we and I were hypothesizing on whether travel demand was going to drop off a cliff after labor day. And I'm still not sure because I'm trying to book a trip to London right now for October, for work. I'm seeing coach fairs over $1000 round trip. The cheapest premium economy routing I can find is two grand and I'm talking not nonstops, I'm talking connecting flights. It's just crazy out there right now.
Richard Kerr: I think London's admittedly a special circumstance right now, given everything that was going on at Heathrow. And a unique routing, but man, I've already seen it. I made a tweet about this a couple days ago, that got way more interaction than I expected for a passing thought. I have to go to New York this week and the prices for flights and hotels than I'm seeing last minute, essentially booking four days before I travel for New York, are nothing like they were a couple weeks ago. I'm getting the Hyatt Centric Wall Street for 212 a night. And that's one of two Hyatts I haven't stayed at in the city and finally getting it done. But the place is never $212 a night. And then looking around the other inaudible
Ed Pizza: inaudible.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, they reopened as a centric.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. I'm still not seeing it everywhere. I'm glad you're getting that for New York. My Las Vegas flights I'm booking for August are still sky high and when I couldn't find anything great in London, I looked at Paris and I looked at Brussels because they're easy train rides back into London. And even prices in Paris and Brussels are... Look at it this way, there's no premium seats at all, like business class seats, for anything less than three grand. Four grand for almost everything and then even premium economy routings are two grand around trip. So I'm still seeing really heavy pricing internationally, to a couple of key cities. And I'm still seeing higher prices on my Vegas stuff.
Richard Kerr: I have to ask our buddy Seth of what the capacity is now compared to before COVID, if there's still... I have no idea what percentage of capacity we're at now versus 2019. I would like to know that, actually might ask him on Twitter. But even Hawaii man, since I've been looking at it for months now, every day, I was able to switch a few rooms and nights around at hotels that didn't have any ward availability. Now it's there, I confirmed a suite upgrade that magically, all their suites were sold out, now every single category suites listed on the higher Regency Maui. I feel it softening already, but maybe not for premium travel to Europe, I don't know. I don't know.
Ed Pizza: We'll have to take a look and see.
Richard Kerr: Typical night at Wall Street, I'll take it.
Ed Pizza: I'd love to see the Vegas prices come down. I've been paying a fortune for those tickets. I requalified for one K in June because of what I've been paying for flights. I had 15,000 PQPs by June 30th. It's just insane.
Richard Kerr: That's not a good thing ladies and general.
Ed Pizza: No, that's celebrating the fact that it only took six months to qualify for one K status. Two more quick hits and then we are going to run out of here. So daily getaways and I know Richard's going to laugh because they've gotten significantly worse, but there are still a couple of deals hunting around. And based on when this episode will drop, you'll likely already have missed the deals on universal Orlando packages that were earlier this week. And my guess would be that you're going to have to be quick if you want to take advantage of the Marriott deal, which I still think is probably... Even though you and I aren't huge Marriott fans, still one of the best daily getaway deals that comes up every time they do this, which is essentially 20% off of a Marriott gift card.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. It's the Hyatt packages that absolutely... Why are we listening to this? Trying to pull it up now, see what's... Universal is on the 20...
Ed Pizza: Oh I have the numbers for you, there are a grand total of 14 Hyatt packages.
Richard Kerr: One of them has like two.
Ed Pizza: 16 available for sale. Sorry. 16 not 14.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. So on July 27th, which... What is that? Is that before or after this comes out?
Ed Pizza: That should be our drop date. So one o'clock on the day this episode drops.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. That's 20% off inaudible gift cards and it looks like there's sufficient-ish. But bots have been trolling this site and scoop these up within a matter of seconds. I don't know what protections they have in place now, but I stopped messing with it years ago because the bots would pick up all the packages at 1:00 PM and zero, zero and zero one milliseconds. They would be gone. But yeah, the number packages this year is just like, "Okay, what are we even doing here?" And they're not particularly great prices. Here it is, on the last day of July, 29th, 50,000 world of high points for $660, 30,000 points.
Ed Pizza: I think that's a good price though.
Richard Kerr: 396. I mean, it's decent, but I don't just need to go... You don't need to go spend that much money. And 80,000 points is $960, but this is all regardless because 80,000 point packages that are eight, 50,000 point packages are six, 3000 point packages, there are two.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I am curious, what do you value a Hyatt point at right now roughly?
Richard Kerr: Two cents a point is what I go for.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And that's why I think this is a great deal because the 80,000 point package is 1.20 cents a piece, the 50,000 package is 1.30 cents a piece. So I think it's a great value. It's just, it is a complete lottery whether you're going to get this, this is Powerball for points and miles.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. But there's like other ways to go get Hyatt points not paying near that much. I don't know, but yeah, the quantities were just a little silly. Two packages, like, "Come on, guys. What are we doing here?"
Ed Pizza: But I do think, if you're listening to this episode on the day it drops, I do think you should spend over to daily getaways and see if you can grab a Marriott gift card. And personally, I would say the $100 gift card might be the sweet spot. What ends up happening with these, is that they sell it really quickly and everybody tries to go for the $500 card and there's only 200 of them. So whether it's the 250 or the 100, you're only going to get one of these, you're not going to have time to get two of them in your cart. You might get a better shot at just taking the plunge on the 100 and not trying for the 500. Again, your mileage inaudible.
Richard Kerr: Why do I want to buy Marriott gift cards? I will tell you why. Normally I tend to have no interest, but I have to pay resort fees and parking on my quote, unquote free nights at this one reserve this fall. So I will be getting 20% off my second room rate, which is what a resort fee is.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. Well, you had to cancel some travel last week because of COVID from the family. Everybody doing okay now?
Richard Kerr: Yeah. Emily's still hacking away. She feels fine, but she's got this lingering cough that just won't go away. But yeah, Mary rebounded super quick, Emily was not feeling well for a solid week. She was completely out of it, but yeah, everybody back and Thomas still Mr. Immunity. Still has never had it to our knowledge and knocking wood, hope that keeps going.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, I sure hope so. Well, I got to figure out when to record on our Disney trip so we can drop in next week's episode. But by the time we get back after this episode is recorded, for the following episode, we'll have done Halcyon Star Cruiser for a disgustingly large amount of Capital One venture miles and put another Disney trip in the books. And then shockingly enough, I'll be back on the road for business travel. For folks who don't know, I've used a program for a long time, called Swarm, that tracks airport check-ins. Actually, I think you use it too, right, Richard?
Richard Kerr: Yes. Swarm inaudible delivers every single time.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I got an alert, I think it was last week when we got to the airport and it said, "Great news." Or congratulations or something like that, "You've been in an airport for the last 10 weeks, visit an airport the next three weeks to break your record of 13 straight weeks in airports." And I'm like, "I don't want to break that record. I really don't want to break that record."
Richard Kerr: I've had a few of those streaks and its brutal but yeah, I think I was at a streak like that when I first started at inaudible as it would say. But it's actually, it's been like a month since I've flown, man. It's been really nice. So don't quite quite have the same worn feeling as I head to the airport tomorrow after... As of recording to fly up to New York city for a week, solid week of business up there in the office.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I got to say, I was a very early adopter of something called the Oura Ring. This is not a commercial O, U, R, A and it tracks your sleep, but it also checks heart rate and readiness and all this stuff. It's gotten a lot more sophisticated. And I got to tell you, if you look at my numbers, my quote, unquote readiness score, this past week with, with work travel, you can see how it just steadily dropping. We go Iceland, home for a few days, Canada, home for a couple days, Vegas for work for a week, home for a couple days. And I fully expect after a week at Disney, my quote, unquote, readiness scores are going to be in the tank. I am worn out.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, man, I might need to invest in one of those actually, that would be kind of cool.
Ed Pizza: All right, inaudible.
Richard Kerr: Awesome.
Ed Pizza: So I think we paid 300 this time around, which is actually less than I paid for the first version of the Ring. The one I bought it as a beta test Ring. It was a number of years ago and it was more than that, but they do run specials pretty frequently. The only downside for me, at least, because I bought the Ring before they had this, when I bought my first one, is they do have a monthly fee now, which I think is kind of crappy. So it's six bucks a month to get the data off of the ring that you bought. And as I said, the insights are great I just wish they didn't charge the six bucks a month. It's annoying.
Richard Kerr: It's mandatory subscription things, man. We actually sat down this weekend, whittled through the household expenses. And it's like, how many streaming things, what MX offered out there, what Chase offers out there, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. All right. Well, yeah, when we talk again, I'll have been through my Disney lap, you'll have been through your next New York city trip. And we'll see if either one of us has notched a couple more delays.
Richard Kerr: I hope not man. Knock on wood, smooth week of travel.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So, all right. We're still track trying to track down Summer and we actually might be able to grab Julian too. So maybe when things settle back down, August, we'll have all four of us on for an episode again. And I got a couple of ideas coming up because if Richard's going to be gone for three weeks in Hawaii, I don't know if we're going to be able to record.
Richard Kerr: I will.
Ed Pizza: Might have a couple guest appearances if you're going to be eating too much inaudible and stuff like that.
Richard Kerr: Don't be trying to kick me off podcast already, man. Geez.
Ed Pizza: Ouch.
Richard Kerr: Adios amigo.
Ed Pizza: Adios amigo? What? Kind of inaudible.
My Espanol is perfecto.
Richard Kerr: Yeah it really is, but that's not the way we close the show. We talk about what's happening next and then we close with the tagline. Is this your first time on the show?
It is, yes. It's my first time.
Ed Pizza: All right. So as I was saying, Summer and Julian will be on the show. We're going to kick Richard off while he is in Hawaii. I think this is working out perfectly. I think everything's going to be great.
Richard Kerr: You've got everything you ever want. Now we go to Halcyon, what a rough life we live.
Ed Pizza: Until we upload again, we've got miles to go.
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