New Year’s Eve Post – Trip Reports Take A Long Time

Susan, the girls and myself are spending New Year’s Eve in Boston this year. It’s not same as visiting Scott in New York last year, but we’re having a great time no less.

I’m not much of a New Year’s resolution kind of guy. If something is a good idea to do, why wait until the end of the year or January 1st to start doing it. Start when you’re ready regardless if it’s January, February, September – it’s all the same with no time better than the present. Having stated this, the end of the year is a good time to reflect on the past year and what’s going on ahead in the next year.

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Surf Air Introduces New Weekender Membership Plan

Surf Air is the California regional airline that sells an all you can fly memberships for $1950 per month. They started up over three years ago and in this short time span have had an interesting history. Until now the model has been a “member’s only” airline with an all you can fly approach for a single monthly fee.  Their fleet is a single type aircraft that uses the Pilatus PC-12, which seats a total of 8 passengers.

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Thoughts On Yellowstone National Park

When my family decided to visit Yellowstone we all knew it was going to be incredible, but again, we didn’t really understand how incredible it is. The landscape and features are very unusual and breathtaking. The National Park Service makes much of the park accessible, and that is fortunate because there is so much to see.

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Delta Regional Short-haul Coach West Yellow Stone to Salt Lake City

After a wonderful stay at Old Faithful Inn we packed our bags and drove to West Yellowstone Airport. Our returning flight again was on Delta as Sky West operates this flight as a Delta Connection flight. The weather was clear when we first arrived at the airport, but shortly after arriving the sky turned dark and it began to rain.

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Surprise Integration Benefits for Virgin America Elevate Members

The dust has settled on the first day of the Alaska Airlines and Virgin America integration, and the speed of that integration is even faster than it first appeared. On December 14th we learned that the deal had closed and that on December 19th several nice program benefits would be shared between Alaska’s Mileage Plan and Virgin America’s Elevate program, which I covered in this post. On top of this news we also learned that miles flown on Virgin America counted as Alaska Elite Miles, and would be accrued toward Alaska Elite status as of December 19th. That again, is very fast in the airline merger universe.

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Fast Integration Of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Frequent Flyer Benifits

Last April Alaska Airlines announced it was going to acquire Virgin America for $2.6 billion.  All through the fall we waited for the final announce of the merger to be completed. First it was end of September, then October and then November.  Alaska wanted to close the deal in the fourth quarter, and the U.S. DOJ wanted (what it sounded like what it was going to be) a pound of flesh from Alaska. In the end Alaska promised not to code share on certain American Airline routes and on December 6th the DOJ approved the acquisition. Alaska then had to settle out a nuisance lawsuit filed by a group of travelers and travel agents, which it did handily on the very next day – December 7th. Then one week later (December 14th) the acquisition closed and Alaska Airlines owns Virgin America.

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Old Faithful Inn Suite


After landing at West Yellow Stone airport, and picking up our rental car, we proceeded to drive to the Old Faithful Inn to check into our room. After leaving the airport you make a right and drive five minutes to the small town of West Yellowstone. This small town directly boarders the national park, and after grabbing some bottled waters and light supplies we turned left onto Hwy 191 and drove half a block to the park’s check-in entrance.

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Delta Regional Short-haul Coach Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone


The preceding flight from Sacramento to Salt Lake City went without indecent. Our arrival was at 8:50am from Sacramento and we had a little over than a 2-hour layover. Normally we would find an airport lounge somewhere and enjoy some quiet tie until our next flight. In Salt Lake City the only lounge is the habitually crowded Delta Sky Club, and so we decided to split our time and also have a leisurely breakfast at Cat Cora’s Kitchen restaurant.

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Yellowstone for Labor Day


Years ago Susan and I took a trip with family and friends to Glacier National Park and stayed a couple nights in the Many Glacier Hotel which sits on Swiftcurrent Lake within the park. The Hotel was built in 1915 and is rich in history and the natural beauty of the location. While we were visiting we purchased a coffee book in the hotel gift shop; “Great Lodges Of The National Parks”.

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Virgin America Still Has Some Lounge Access With Virgin Atlantic



Recently Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic “sunsetted” their frequent flyer relationship. It is no longer possible to earn or redeem frequent flyer miles in each other’s program. This change took place despite the fact Alaska Airlines hasn’t purchased Virgin America yet. The most likely reason for the premature ending of the two Virgin branded airlines relationship is that Virgin America’s new owner and Virgin Atlantic’s other owner don’t like each other any longer – Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines. They’ve been feuding ever since Delta chose to build a new hub in Seattle to service the Asia market. Virgin Atlantic recently overhauled there Flying Club frequent flyer program, and both Virgin airlines decided November 12th, 2016 would be the last day of the partnership.

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