Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Entering enemy territory, or that one time I flew AA...

Picture it: Me. I’ve just flown on three different flights in as many days, I’m ready to end a 2.5 week trip and go home. One quick connection at EWR, then a long haul, and then I'll be home.

Yeah. Smoke in the control tower at EWR. 

And the delays begin. 

We all know the signs. And we all know when we’re about to get fucked over. I know I need to act fast and change my flights.

A wise and handsome man once told me, “never wait in line,” when you need airline customer service. “Always get on the phone.” And so I do just that.

Mrs. Whatever answers the 1k line and offers to back me up on a flight leaving EWR later than my ticketed flight. I’m certain I’ll miss it. "Can’t I be rerouted?" She says that IAD is overbooked, and there are no other options for that evening. I’m not satisfied with that. I thank her and hang up.

I go to the rep at the Club. I explain. She listens. 

She says, “My advice? Let me rebook you direct on American.”

As you might imagine, this fills me with fear. No miles! No status! No club! No early boarding privileges!! But I trust her judgement. After some hand wringing and a mini panic attack, I agree. She hands me a coupon. I am to take said coupon to AA to check in and get a boarding pass.

Walking out of the United terminal, past the security checkpoint, down the road and in to the American Airlines terminal is surreal. Everything is similar, but different. I am an outsider. I didn’t speak the One World language. And my Star Alliance Gold card doesn’t mean shit.

I get my boarding pass from the AA counter and join the mortals’ line for security. It took a while with more people in line, particularly people who are not frequent travelers (pillows? lace up boots? really?). Once I get through, I felt aimless. Where to go? No club would have me. So I find a quiet gate and made a few phone calls.

Then comes the humiliation of Boarding Group 4 and waiting for everyone else to board before me, hoping there is space for my carry on. The crush of humanity as we all try to dive in front of one another, putting on airs of politeness but secretly scheming ways of cutting off the people adjacent. 

But you know what? It is all fine! Once I get on board, I settle in without issue. I have an aisle seat, and an empty next to me. The plane is far from full. Plenty of space for my bag, and it went right above my seat! I steer clear of the food, as there was no way I could have requested a special meal in time. In the middle of the flight, I realize that there was no noticeable difference between sitting in coach on AA and sitting in coach on UA. For me, the benefit of Economy Plus is minimal at best.

I make it home safe and sane.

So being a stranger in a strange land isn't so bad. But I’m not giving up my Star Alliance status anytime soon.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kid's Toy Delays Trans-Pacific Flight 90 Minutes

I was comfortably seated in business class on a Singapore Airlines 777-300ER recently, ready for an on-time departure from Hong Kong to San Francisco. Boarding was quick and efficient, and all was well...or so it seemed.

We sat waiting for pushback, and the Singapore Girls silently glided through the cabin, serving drinks, offering magazines and newspapers, and readying the aircraft....And we waited....

And we waited....

After 30 minutes, people switched on their electronic devices, and got up to use the lavs. After 60 minutes, I asked the FA serving me my second glass of champagne what was causing the delay.

Her reply:

"A child dropped a toy into part of the aircraft's ventilation system. The engineers are working on it right now."


Reason #284 not to bring young kids on the plane. Crosscheck and I have gone on record as being generally against kids on planes, especially long-haul routes. And I personally have taken flack about that on FlyerTalk, MilePoint, and on other blogs. Regardless of your position, you have to admit, there's something silly (and avoidable) about a little kid's toy delaying a trans-Pacific journey by 90 minutes. That was the eventual magnitude of the delay, when we finally landed at SFO.

But...we arrived safely, and (otherwise) uneventfully, and for that I am certainly grateful. Thank you SQ.

Disclaimer: For all I know, it was the parent who dropped the toy down the vent. I'm just telling you what the FA told the pax. Also, the model plane shown here almost definitely isn't the one that clogged up the vents on my flight...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

US Airways' Fair, Efficient, Consistent Boarding Process

Just kidding!

There's no such thing. 
After taking about ten flights this year on US Airways, in various markets, on different equipment from a number of airports (LGA, CLT, SFO, among others), we've come to the conclusion that when it comes to equitable, consistent boarding processes...US Airways has its head up its aviation ass. 
Here's how it goes when it's time to board a US Airways flight:
  • The gate agent announces that "We will begin boarding in 3 or 4 minutes."
  • 20 to 25 minutes later, we begin boarding.
  • The gate agent announces "We will board by zone numbers, which are printed on your boarding pass."
  • We board according to descriptive categories, and the zone numbers are never mentioned again.
    • Exception: Zone numbers are mentioned when people in zones 3 or higher are told to kiss their carry on luggage goodbye, because the overhead bins are going to fill up faster than an Aeroflot lavatory.
  • There is a mad cluster f*** as everyone rushes to the PreferredAccess lane and boards whenever the hell they want to.
  • The gate agents don't bother looking at anyone's boarding pass to see whether they are even remotely associated with the group supposedly authorized to board at that point.
    • Exception: The FAA mandates that there be one RALGA – Random Angry Lady Gate Agent – at each US Airways boarding zone. This agent will randomly stop a passenger from boarding, saying "We're not boarding your zone number yet! Listen for the zone numbers!"

      The passenger will point out that they haven't even called any zone numbers, just random agglomerations of status categories, like "Silver Gold Platinum Star Preferred Elite Access Premium VISA Card holders," and the passive-aggressive RALGA will say, "Fine, if it's that important, just go ahead and board," circumventing the lone attempt to enforce some rule at boarding time.
Maybe your experience is better than ours – but this is what we've seen every time.

At SFO, in fact, the boarding announcements are made by the disembodied voice of an invisible agent who is not even in viewing range of the gate that's boarding. This results in that awkward moment when the BP scanner stops working and nobody can board, but the agent keeps encouraging new groups to board every 20 seconds or so.

Way to go, US Airways.

Way to go.


Bonus: For a laugh, read SeatGuru's description of US's boarding procedure. Key word: RANDOM.

Double-Bonus: Humorous treatment of same topic from 2010, as seen on Airliners.net.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Post-Flight Questionnaire: Who Was Your Seatmate?

Co-blogger Crosscheck and I fly pretty often (both over 100,000 flight miles last year) but rarely are we traveling together (we live in different countries). So whenever one of us flies, the other always asks:

Who was your seatmate?

Every once in a while there are stories of the Person of Size, the guy with a sleeveless t-shirt (shudder), the teen with oversize laptop computer (more about that in a future post), the Global Services member who sells pistachios for a living, the off-duty pilot, or the hot chick (yeah!).

With that in mind, it occurred to me that there ought to just be a form we can fill out and e-mail to the other person...like the one I created below...

What would you ask about your friend's seatmate?

Airline (and aircraft type):

From (airport code):
To (airport code):

My seatmate was:

_ Empty next to!
_ Male
_ Female
_ Honestly? Not sure

_ Small
_ Medium
_ Large

_ Clean
_ Dirty

_ Totally Quiet
_ Quiet except for "hello" or "may I get up please?"
_ Chatty in a harmless way
_ Flirting
_ Would not fucking shut up

_ Scary looking
_ Average
_ Hot!

_ Dressed casually but OK
_ In goddamn sweats
_ In business attire
_ Functionally? Practically naked.

_ Crying baby
_ Kid (<18)
_ Youngish (18 to 29)
_ Medium age (30s or 40s)
_ Freakin' old! (>40)
_ Old Timer

Probably works as a:   ______



Feel free to use it, and if you get anyone good - drop us a line at exitrowaisle@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

CO: Gone But Not Forgotten at the Gate

We know that the Continental Airlines name is gone, but even post-merger, the "new" United is stuck with a lot of CO swag and material. 

One example is the BP stock which the GAs are using to print boarding passes at the gate. 
Post-merger, I received an upgrade right before boarding at ORD, and here's the boarding pass I was handed:

How long before the CO stock is gone completely?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

That Would Be a "Bed" Where We Come From

We loved Lufthansa's press release about its new Business Class seating, especially this part:
The new Lufthansa Business Class seat boasts a horizontal sleeping surface measuring 1.98 metres in length.
OK, cool.

But, how is this different from any other long haul seat in C? We're sure it's fine, but...what's the hook? Lie flat? That's old news, dude (unless you're one on of those ancient-config UA 777s).

We did, upon closer reading, discover one detail that will make co-blogger Crosscheck pretty happy:
Two neighbouring seats are angled towards one another along a central axis. This solution enabled Lufthansa to fulfil [sic] one of the main wishes expressed by customers – to sit or lie facing the direction of travel.
Have to say...the seats look nice.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Survived Too: Merger Day at ORD

When I booked this weekend's travel, a few months back, United had announced that it planned to merge all its systems with Continental's at end of business on Saturday, March 3. So I was pretty certain that by flying on Saturday afternoon I'd be in the clear.

Later, they switched up and announced that everything would merge overnight/early Saturday morning. So I prepped for disaster, leaving home on Thursday for ORD, ticket numbers documented offline, mileage balances recorded as proof, and reservations printed in hard copy. Saturday morning I tried to check in online, having totally forgotten to do so the previous night (rookie mistake!).

But online check in via iPhone app was broken. I tried on my laptop using the Continental-fied pss.united.com website. No dice. I'd have to go try a kiosk at the airport.

When I got the ticket lobby, I hit the nearest kiosk. It couldn't find my reservation. Not good. So I found the Premier Access 1K line, which only had about 10 people in it. The Economy & international check in lines were longer, but not horrible. And UA staff were out in force: greeting people, answering questions, and most of all, manning the ticket desks, with supervisors looking over their shoulders. The problems of the non-GUI HP SHARES system are documented elsewhere, but based on what I was seeing today at ORD, it didn't seem like there were major problems they couldn't handle on day 1.

Best of all, though, were the t-shirts UA ticket personnel sported, as seen in my photo above. The front said, "Merger Day One," and the back said: "I Survived."

I chatted with a service rep who said that while the scene wasn't too bad now (mid-day), the morning had apparently been horrendous. Lots of angry pax, confusion and broken systems. She also said that it was just as well that I had forgotten to check in online the previous day: all the people who had done so arrived at the airport to learn that their check ins were not in the system and they had to hit the ticket counters anyway.

One way or the other, when I made it to the counter, the agent found my res, gave me my boarding pass, and sent me on my way. By the time I got online here in the United Club, my current year and lifetime mileage balances had shown up in my MileagePlus account, along with my upgrade balance.

I logged in to the Club wifi network (the "T" in T-Mobile is for "tortoise") using my old MileagePlus number, not my new alphanumeric OnePass-ish number. Not everything has been updated yet, I guess.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Class Legroom. Or Something.

Stumbled across this Southwest Airlines tv commercial from the early 1970s.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

All the Single Ladies...

To the other female priority passengers out there:

You're not alone. But it might seem like it.

Next time you're in business class, waiting to board with the other priority customers, or hanging out in the lounge, take note of how many women there are in the vicinity. Don't count the ladies who are obviously there with their 1k husbands/lovers and are reaping the benefits of being on the same itinerary. I'm talking about the lone female road warriors. Not very many, are there?

I'm in the club right now, and I count four women (including me) out of 40+.

I have many theories about this (glass ceiling, family priorities, etc). Your thoughts?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Is Your Child on This Airplane?

I recently read a column that purported to advise parents how to deal with "child haters" who mistreat them just for bringing their kids on an airplane trip.

Excuse me? In a conversation a few years ago, my co-blogger Crosscheck said something that was like a revelation to me:

There is no reason for young children to travel on an airplane.

I have thought about this almost every time I've flown for the last several years. And after all that thinking about it, I have come to the following conclusion:
In the vast majority of cases, there is actually no reason for young children to travel on an aircraft (i.e., kids too young to understand the expectation of civil behavior). The exceptions would be the following:
  • an ill child traveling to see a specialist for a severe disease; 
  • a family paying its respects to a dying grandparent; or 
  • a family relocating permanently across the country.
Otherwise? Why subject yourself to the agony of lugging all that crap around with you (strollers, diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, toys, books, video games)? 
Why subject other passengers to the avoidable interference in what is already a stressful pursuit (being cooped up in the tube in the sky)?
Why make the kids go through often-painful sinus compression and decompression (that they don't understand how to remedy), dehydration, and other deleterious effects of air travel? 
Just stay home, or take a driving trip, a train trip, or a boat trip.

Photo via Creative Commons 

The Territorialist

...that's what I'm calling the breed of jerk I encountered in the an international business seat next to me on a recent trip. This particular animal likes to mark his territory; don't be surprised if you catch him peeing in on the floor near his seat. Observed Territorialist behavior:

  • Strategic overhead bin hogging
  • Crowding the shared armrest/console area with drinks, menus, warm nuts etc
  • Flailing limbs while "sleeping"
  • Constant annoying requests from the FAs for special treatment

Ok dude, we get it. You're Global Services and you think you're the shiz. But if you're really so great, why weren't you in First?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roll Aboard. Not Roller Board. Roll Aboard.

I just need to rant for a moment. 

FAs, GAs, pilots, first officers, and even million miler FFs all say something that really bothers me.

They say "rollerboard."

But think about it. You roll the bag aboard. You don't roller it. So use your brain power, exercise common sense, and say it right.


Roll. Aboard.


Thank you.

Now read this:

Reinventing the suitcase by adding the wheel (NY Times)

And this: Rollerboard or Rollaboard?

Rollerboard or rollaboard

Photo of people in Rome sporting rollaboard (and awkwardly-dangling fanny pack of all things) by Ed Yourdon via Creative Commons.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Now Boarding.....

Two forces have combined to overwhelm the boarding process on UA/CO for the last few weeks:
  1. The pending merger has the GAs announcing every known combination of frequent flier achievement level possible across CO, UA, and the rest of Star Alliance; and
  2. The ability to earn boarding priority by serving in the military (or by having the United Explorer Visa card) means a couple more groups at the gate.
So to save you the trouble of listening for your own group, just remember that this is the current order in which people may board:
  • Uniformed military personnel and Global Services customers as well as Presidential Platinum Elite
  • People traveling with squalling children, or people who need extra time to board, because they have four carry-ons
  • 1K and Star Alliance Gold
  • Premier Executive, Premier, Star Silver, Silver Platinum (Elite), 2K, Star Bronze, Copa Me Mucho, Star Platinum, Silver Elite Gold, and Premier Associates. Oh, and uninformed military personnel
  • United Explorer Visa Card holders with checked bags or outstanding monthly balances
  • Then, seating area 5

Image via Creative Commons

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Something to Drink, Sir? Also, You're a Pig.

Yeah, OK. We've been over this whole feet-on-the-bulkhead thing already. But we're going to keep beating this drum until airline flight attendants get up the nerve to tell passengers who do this that it's not OK, and make them stop.

I took this photo in the first row of a United A320 today on a four hour jaunt out of ORD. The guy with his nasty feet on the wall wasn't some wayward slob on his way back to campus after a snowboarding weekend. He was a 40-something business man in a nice suit and tie.

And he was a disgusting pig for doing this.

There's your rant for this week.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Simulate This! Boeing's Customer Experience Center

Did some flying today – just a short one hour hop on a US EMB145 out of LGA. There was a little girl behind me, in 5F, and whenever she started to mess with my seat back or make annoying squealy noises, her dad shushed her as best he could. I appreciated that.

I also appreciated that he wasn't seated in 4D, next to me, because he was obese and barely fit in his own seat. If the person next to him weren't a child, he could not have sat there. At least I didn't have to stand up for a seven hour flight (did you see that story?!). I chatted with a United FA last year who told me about her biggest fear – that she will have a "POS" who causes a safety problem or other "incident" because of his or her size.

"What's a POS?" I asked.

"Person of size..." she said. So now you know the terminology to use when you complain to the airline about the giant in 4D.

But that's not what I wanted to write about. I wanted to talk about the Boeing Customer Experience Center in Renton, Washington. I had a chance to go there recently, and tour mock ups of several aircraft, including the 787 Dreamliner, the 747-8 Intercontinental, and the 737 with Sky Interior.

It was fun; especially the next day, when I flew out on UACO metal to ORD and watched SMI/J smirk his way through the latest pre-flight video – I recognized the interior of the 787 mock up I had been in the day before.

Here are just a couple of pics from the visit. I took many more, but they aren't that interesting. They just look like the inside of a plane, which you've all seen. It's a cool facility though – ordinarily, it is only accessible to buyers who are shopping for aircraft for major airlines. That's not my day job, so I felt privileged to get a little behind the scenes access. But it was too bad they wouldn't fire up the full-scale simulator for me.

Almost as cool as the Dreamliner mockup was this scale model of the Sonic Cruiser concept plane. Unveiled in March, 2001, it was supposed to be developed as a delta-wing passenger aircraft that could jet you at 98% mach, up to 10,000 nautical miles, above 40,000 feet FL. But obviously the timing wasn't great. I guess you could say the whole plan was just a canard.

Get it? Canard?

Anyway...some of the tech that was being developed for this ill-fated project ended up being incorporated into the 787. The most important feature brought over may have been the carbon-fiber reinforced plastic for the fuselage. Why is that so great? Because unlike a metal vessel, a composite cylinder can be humidified to a higher level without corroding from the moisture. That may help keep your skin from getting all dry and flaky when you finally fly long-haul on the latest Boeing aircraft.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The World's Longest Flight with a Y Cabin

The Wall Street Journal this week profiled pax making the haul from SYD to DFW via QF flight 7, a 15-hour slog with three classes of service. There are longer flights (EWR-SIN and LAX-SIN for example), but they don't have economy seating configuration.

Some airlines are reporting that pax will pay up to a 20% premium to spend more time in the air, while avoiding a layover. Personally, I'm happy to get a break and stretch my legs – and hit the beer machine in the ANA (pictured) or the United Club at NRT. A couple of extra hours doesn't make a 20 hour trip that much worse than an 18 hour flight.

Plus, you get more miles!

What's the longest commercial flight you've taken? 

And what class of service did you survive?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Your Feet Still Smell: Etiquette Update

Back in June, we shared our views on airplane etiquette, with a huge tip of the baseball cap to baseball groundskeeper and blogger Murray Cook. And speaking of etiquette, the attached photo of someone's nasty hooves on the F cabin bulkhead was taken by my colleague and co-blogger, Crosscheck, on a flight last year from SFO to LAX.

On that note, this week I made a swing that included SFO-SEA-ORD, and witnessed the following:

Violation #1
Stopping by the SFO United Club in T3, I headed back to the so-called Contemplation Room (no cell phones). There's signage that clearly says that lying down, reclining, and sleeping on the furniture are not allowed.

Not only did I have to kick out one guy who was on the phone with his tree surgeon (really), I encountered a guy lying flat out on a couch, asleep: barefoot.

Gross. Blurry photo here (I was afraid if I used the flash it would wake him up, and he'd kick my ass – he looked like an extra from Eastbound & Down). Eventually he stopped drooling and put on his shoes and shuffled off to a flight (probably to Boston).

Violation #2
A couple of days later, I boarded a UA flight from SEA to ORD, seated in F. The guy in 5A was a cross between Hulk Hogan and that dude from the custom motorcycle show, wearing a sleeveless t-shirt, filthy cargo shorts, and flip-flops. Keep in mind there was an inch of snow on the ground in Seattle and the outside temp was 29 degrees Fahrenheit. And it was 19 degrees in Chicago. And the guy had no coat.

As soon as he sat down, he kicked off his sandals, and wiggled his gnarled, filthy, disgusting toes in glee. Before pushback, he got up to retrieve something from the overhead and the FA told him that "bare feet aren't allowed on board the aircraft." But she didn't make him put his flip-flops back on. And when he asked "Why aren't bare feet allowed?" her answer was:
"Because there are sharp objects on the floor."
WTF!? Wrong answer. How about,
"Because, Mr. Hillbilly, you are filthy, grimy, dirt-encrusted pig whose repulsive, exposed feet are a fungus-bearing disease vector, and you sicken us."
Folks, please keep your shoes on?


P. S.: As an aside, the woman in front of me on the same flight had a squalling 5 month old monster infant. In F cabin. That's a topic for another post.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shanghai Surprise: The Ballad of CO87

What follows is a shortened version of the official flight info for an ill-fated flight from Newark to Shanghai this week.

Our question: How come the FAs didn't lock the lavs when they filled up?

Our favorite phrases used below include:
Due to dispatch technology issues...
...flight release and paperwork were not able to be generated.
...poor customer disposition
In other words: Mistakes were made, but not by us....

OK, here we go:
Flight 87/EWR-PVG experienced an air return to EWR due to all lavatories on the aircraft being full. The aircraft was approximately 5+ hours out of EWR when the decision was made to return to EWR. While in route back to EWR, an investigation...revealed that the lavs were not serviced in EWR prior to scheduled departure as required. ....According to Flight Attendant statements, they observed [before departure] that Tank 1 was 5/8th full, Tank 2 was 3/8th full and tank 3 was 5/8th full....The FA’s assumed that the lav’s would be serviced during the boarding process. Allegedly, no calls were made to SOC to request lavatory service....
Approximately 5 hours into the flight, the on board chimes sounded indicating #3 Tank was full. Shortly after that, Tank 1 was full and one of the lavatories began to overflow. The decision was made to air return....While in route back to EWR, the Lavatories overflow situation became severe enough to warrant a diversion into YYR (Goose Bay, NF)....Lavatories were serviced in YYR, the aircraft fueled and was airborne back to EWR at 22:52 local.
The aircraft was rescheduled to depart at 03:15 with a new crew. Due to dispatch technology issues the flight release and paperwork were not able to be generated....After, retrieving the paperwork and delivering to the crew, the door was closed at 05:35. While attempting to remove the jetway from the aircraft, the CS agent had difficulty. The auto leveler on the gate, Gate 121 had failed and required Facility Maintenance technicians to safely remove the jetway from the aircraft. FX MX was able to remove the jetway at 05:54. At approximately 06:00 the crew requested the jetway be reattached for an ill Flight attendant. The flight attendant was experiencing a severe asthma attack and was transported to the hospital via ambulance at 06:20. The crew duty time expired and the crew made the decision to not waive duty time. 
252 Customers (50 BF) were then deplaned. Customer disposition was poor but managed well by the CS team at EWR....Customers were given meal vouchers and hotels this morning....
There you have it. We hope the asthma-stricken FA recovered OK...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why Your United Lifetime Flight Mileage Suddenly Increased

Happy new year folks. Crosscheck and I were talking about this blog, and the fact that we have tons of great ideas for things to write here while we're flying, but when we get back on the ground our brains are blank again. I'm going to try a different approach this year, which will be to write shorter posts more often, generally around the time I'm flying.

Like today, when I completed my first two segments of 2012. But today I'm not writing about my fight experience. I'm going to explain why my lifetime mileage on United suddenly jumped on New Year's Day from 552,000 to about 675,000. It has to do with coming up with a single system for tracking mileage, that handles CO and UA accounts fairly and equitably.

Up til now, MP accounts tracked "BIS" miles: Butt In Seat while on board UA and United Express aircraft. CO's OnePass counted these EQMs (elite qualifying miles) as well as "bonus EQM" - like miles from partner airlines, or airline credit cards or other promotions.

As a way to get people back on the same page, United recalculated lifetime MP balances to include not only the BIS mileage on UA aircraft, but the bonus EQM on UA as well (previously excluded). This is a one time bump. As United pointed out, "the lifetime miles balance will either increase or remain the same."

If you have a MP account as well as a OnePass account, UA will be combining their lifetime miles to come up with a single, new MP lifetime balance. This is the number with which you'll start your 2012 frequent flyering. And sometime late in Q1 of calendar 2012 the balances will no longer be shown as CO and UA separately, but instead will be combined.

What does this mean in practical terms? Well if you're a UA Premier Gold member, you will have more competition now, and may have a harder time getting upgraded on UDUs (or whatever they are calling them now). Best way to ensure the upgrade? Pick a higher-ranking fare class when you book your ticket.

Last thing to note is that as of January 1, 2012, the bonus party is over. If you want Million Miler status, you're going to have to earn the rest of the miles the new fashioned way: by actually flying. This from UA:
Starting January 1, 2012, flight miles on the new United (including Continental), Copa Airlines, or Copa Airlines Colombia will accrue toward Million Miler status.
So don't give up on promotions, MP Dining, transferring your Marriott Rewards, and so on. Those will still be credited toward award mileage balances. But the EQMs will come from flying, and (maybe) from the United MP Explorer Visa card (but probably just from dollars spent on EQM...I'm not even sure, and I have the damn card). 

Confused? Don't worry about it. The mileage wonks will track this stuff for us. Our job, as always, is to fly fly fly.


Image: Old and new MP logos via Plane Picky.