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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Disappointed United P.S. Premium Service Flight - JFK to SFO 3/29/08 Flight 893

I was especially disappointed with United Airlines' "Premium Service" return flight from JFK New York to San Francisco (flight 893 on 3/29/08). My flight to New York was great (flight 6 on 3/22/08) because it had all the bells and whistles that I expected, but my return flight was a total nightmare.

I paid 45,000 frequent flier miles to do this vacation in business class, and here's what you get on a flight on United Airlines on their "Premium Service" flights to/from New York JFK and SFO/LAX:
  • Leather reclining seats with foot rest
  • Premium quality food with champagne, includes at least three entree items and a snack.
  • Personal entertainment player that works like an iPod with on demand games, movies, tv shows, and more.
  • Adapter-free electrical plug to power-up your computer, iPod, etc.
  • Basically, it's like riding international business, but you get the extra perks.
Here's some photos I took of my flight from SFO to JFK on the Premium Service plane:

How do you like the fact that the special United P.S. plane (Boeing 757) was changed to a Boeing 767 international configuration?

We get this announcement about ten minutes prior to boarding flight 893 on 3/29/08. Then the lady on the PA system says that you don't get all the perks. Damn.

Here's a list of what I lost due to this plane change:
  • I got a reclining seat with footrest, but it was not leather.
  • I requested for a seat in the front row of business, which gives extra leg room. I lost it and had to sit in the second row.
  • The electrical outlet required an "EM Power" plug. I nearly drained my iPod dead because of this. I could not watch videos on my iPod since it eats my battery quickly,
  • No personal multimedia player. I got that stupid pop-out video player that showed videos on a loop. In two hours, you see the same TV episode. Also looked like it was VHS quality with the static lines.

I'd have to say, First Class passengers would be really pissed off. The Premium Service planes comes with those flat sleeper seats, but all they got was a reclining seat instead. What kind of bullshit is that?

Oh yeah, even worse: The plane took-off 30 minutes late. Two lightbulbs were burned out and the tap water system in the rear of the plane was not working. Whoopie.

Here's some interesting news, while my experience was bad, reading the summary of flights from JFK to SFO on 3/29/08, flight 17 was supposed to leave at 5:35PM but left at 7:04PM due to "ramp service."

Come on United. I expected better. 45,000 air miles is a lot to pay for a nice seat and top notch premium service. How about some compensation for this expensive flight?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Costco ALERT: GPS Magellan 4250 only $249.99

If you love Costco and need a GPS, this week is the time to go shopping at your local location or go on their website: Costco.com.

They are selling two Magellan brand GPS products on sale. Their smaller one is only $149.99 and their original price is usually $199.99.

But the mega bargain this week is their Magellan 4250 (see picture below), which is getting some great marks from professional product reviewers like CNET.

I was checking on Google Product Search and the average price for the 4250 is about $300 to $500, but Costco right now is offering it for ONLY $249.99.

I got one today at my local Costco, and let me tell you, they were selling these things like hot cakes. I had to get into the wherehouse right at 11AM and purchase it quickly. Don't forget to bring your $100 off coupon. Some locations even have the coupons at the register for people who forget.

This is one hell of a treasure! I guess the Costco G.M. is right, you'll always find a treasure.

Get it NOW! Click here for the direct link to purchase it online.

Lastly, notice the photo on the top of this blog post? I was chomping down on a chicken bake and noticed that they removed the gold star membership price from their wall. Maybe they are trying to get people to just join as an Executive Member, but it might backfire if people unfamiliar with Costco get a membership and realize that $100 is way too expensive. But they still offer gold star for only $50.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tons of Free Stuff on your Birthday - A Guide

I find when my birthday comes around, a lot of places do some great things to attract you to their business to give you free things.

Here's a list of places I know about that gives you free things.
  • Hard Rock Cafe - You need to get membership through the "All Access" program for about $25. When you first buy your membership, you get $20 in food/gift credit on your card, you also get free gifts, and you get "front of the line" seating when the restaurant is busy (in some popular places, it means saving almost 30 minutes). The membership card pays for itself during the week of your birthday when they deposit $10 on your account and the funds last up to three weeks past your birthday. Since the membership fee is a one time fee of $25, using the card for one year pays dividends. To get membership, just go to your local Hard Rock and purchase it at the store. BIG TIP: THEY DON'T E-MAIL YOU ABOUT THIS BIRTHDAY OFFER ANYMORE. BUT NOW THAT I TOLD YOU, WHY NOT GET MEMBERSHIP?
    • Eat there on your birthday and also get a free dessert!
    • Go to the one in SAN FRANCISCO. Show your AAA card at the California Welcome Center at Pier 39 and get two hours of free parking too! The Cafe also offers 1 hour before 6PM and 2 hours free after 6.
  • Red Robin restaurants - By joining Red Robin's e-club, you get monthly e-mails about their new burgers and other stuff. However, a week before your birthday, they give you a printable coupon to visit their restaurant and get yourself ANY gourmet burger of your choice for FREE. They don't really care what burger you get, so go for the most expensive one. I asked them to add bacon on it and told them I would pay the extra charge, but instead, they comped me.
    • Also, if you visit them on your birthday, they give you a free dessert.
  • Baskin Robbins ice cream - Their birthday club used to be for kids, but is now expanded to any person. You can register on their website and you get a coupon the week of your birthday for a free scoop of ice cream of your choice. The coupon is good from the week of your birthday until one week after your birthday.
  • Todai Japanese Seafood Buffet - (NOTE: Not a nationwide chain restaurant. Mostly found on west coast, Las Vegas, Hawaii, and in some Asian countries) I really enjoy Todai's variety of Japanese food, including all the sushi you can chomp on. If it's your birthday, bring a couple of paying guests with you and your meal is FREE. Lunch or dinner, they don't care, but rumor has it that they give out lobster tails for dinner to all guests.
  • Moonstar Upscale Seafood Buffet - (NOTE: There are only two locations - San Francisco and Daly City) this buffet is king in the San Francisco Bay Area with tons of Asian food goodies to go around. Their requirements for a free meal is kinda stiff, but if you can bring along with you six or more paying customers, your meal is free. You also receive a birthday cake and a photo of you (maybe eating crab?).
Well folks, that's the list of things you can surely fill your stomach with. If you have any tips, feel free to drop a line in the comments section!