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United / Airline News / Airlines / Money / → All Tags
Your flight attendants, pilots, and even the guy handing you your boarding pass are going to be a little bit friendlier this season if you’re flying with United. It’s not because they’re getting into the holiday spirit—although that is certainly possibly. We’re thinking that it just has to do with cold hard cash, as it looks like United employees are scoring a nice little Christmas bonus.
Sure it’s not thousands of bucks, but it sounds like United is handing out $100 to each and every eligible employee just in time for the holidays. It’s to recognize all the hard work and effort that they’ve put in during 2012, but especially thanks for achieving a pretty darn decent average arrivals and departures time. The best on-time performance actually came last month, so who knows if a better average in 2013 could bring even more cash.
Airport News / Airports / New York City / Money / MTP / Private Jets / → All Tags
While it's true that traveling around the world is keeping us pretty content for now, at some point we may want to settle down and stay grounded. That’s why we’d probably look into buying an airport, and there just happens to be a pretty decent one up for sale.
You and your friends won’t need the Hampton Jitney as proud new owners of the airport over on Montauk out on Long Island. The airport features a 3,200-feet runway, so you probably won’t be able to land your Boeing Business Jet here. It’s also got a hangar and a small office, and it can all be yours for just $18 million. Now consider that it'll be worth nearly every cent once you the private planes start pouring in during the summer season.
Money / Customs / UK Travel / Luxury Travel / Luggage / → All Tags
Mo money, mo problems. Sounds like a problem we all wish to have, if at least for a minute.
Even millionaires, billionaires, and trillionairs have cash problems and Christo Wiese is no exception. Back in 2009, South Africa's third wealthiest man ran into some issues with border officials in the UK when he tried to fly from the London to Luxemburg with 3 suitcases full of cash. We're talking full of cash to the tune of the equivalent to $1 million US dollars.
Money / Airports / Airport News / HKG / Hong Kong Travel / Awesome Stuff / Cathay Pacific / Dragonair / → All Tags
Countries love to put dead people and big monuments on their currency; it's just a thing, Costa Rica's badass shark bills being an excellent exception. That said, we fully admit to flipping over bills in the hopes that something fresher, newer will be featured. Hong Kong (a "Special Administrative Region," not really a country) currently takes that prize, as we just today noticed that the rear of some of the 500 HKD bills ($64.45 USD) feature Chek Lap Kok/Hong Kong International Airport.
It only makes sense for Hong Kong to place HKIA so prominently; they built a whole island to house the freaking thing and the documentary on it"Extreme Engineering: Building Hong Kong's Airport"is a must-Netflix show. And don't get us started on the infamous aviation heritage of HK. Two words: Kai Tak.
Money / Travel Tips / Canada Travel / Currency / → All Tags
Our friends to the North have decided to scrap the penny. Yes, Canada will no longer have a one cent piece as legal tender. The clock is ticking on the little maple leaf copper coin and its ability to buy anything when traveling in Canada, but we don't think it will majorly change how you travel.
The Canadian government has decided that it is far too costly to continue to produce the fractional monetary unit and will ceased minting this month. If you have a jar filled with 'loonies' and pennies, don't freakout as you have until the end of the year to spend them on Royal Canadian Mounted Police souvenirs and the like. Distribution to financial institutions will end in the fall when the decision makers will begin the end of circulation.
Airplanes / Boeing / Big Bucks / Money / MegaMillions / → All Tags
We didn’t call out sick this morning, and that basically confirms one thing—we didn’t win the MegaMillions lottery over the weekend. It might not have been our lucky day, but it was certainly a wonderful weekend for three lucky winners scattered across the country in spots like Maryland, Illinois, and Kansas. We haven’t looked through the family tree yet to determine if we’ve got any long lost aunts or uncles, but we do have a suggestion for those looking to cash in some of their winnings—a private plane.
Boeing has just released some new information and pictures that show off a new version of the Boeing Business Jet. Our suggestion is to immediately place a down payment on this variation of a Boeing 737-700, and then work out all the financing and other details later. Just imagine cruising around—it has a range of around 5,600 nautical miles—with your family and friends. We’re pretty sure you can customize the thing anyway you want, but after looking through some of the photos and renderings of one option—we’ll just have what they're having.
Big Bucks / Money / MegaMillions / → All Tags
It's a record breaker! The MegaMillions lottery potalready huge at $540 millionwas raised at noon today to total $640 Million Dollars. These are the final few hours to line up at some skanky convenience mart and pick your numbers as the winning digits get announced TONIGHT.
Megamillions is played in twelve states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington, and hopefuls who purchase a ticket stand a 1-in-176 million chance of winning the big payoff.
Now imagine for a moment that the winner is you and you opt for the lump sum payout. After taxes, that leaves you with around $300 million burning a hole in your bank vault. Where would you take your first blow-out trip? Would you hop around to locations of James Bond villain tropical headquarters or opt for a year of private jet sharing? How about both? How about taking us along?
Let your imagination run wild and tell us your super-millionaire travel dreams in the comments!
It's pretty fair to say that the era of the hidden money pouch is over. Sure, there'll always be the grandparents on an 11-night bus tour who faithfully shove the beige pouches down their shirts, and the high schooler on a first trip to Europe whose mom raided the Eagle Creek travel products aisle at Target, butthank godtraveller's cheques are passé and ATMs are all over the place.
To speak of our own travels, the way we carry foreign cash has dramatically evolved. In the early 2000s, while traveling extensively around Europe, we would exchange our money in the US via snail mail with American Express. All of that would then travel with us over the ocean and, for each different city we visited, we'd remove from a main wallet only as much as we wanted to spend there. Most transactions were done in cash, with a credit card back-up for hotel rooms and big dinners. Only once did we have to visit Western Union for a top-up.
Credit Cards / British Airways / Avios / Frequent Flyer Miles / Travel Tech / Money / Europe Travel / Shopping Travel / → All Tags
YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! Finally finally finally US credit card companies are getting wise to the need for cardholders to have EMV-enabled cards, which you may better recognize as the ones with the embedded chip on the left side.
We've been following the progress of this since earlier this year when both Wells Fargo and Chase began issuing limited amounts to their highest spending, heaviest traveling cardmembers. Now the technology has finally trickled down to the level of Chase's British Airways Visa Signature.
This card, thanks to generous past sign-up bonuses and the fact it has no foreign transaction fees, is now carried by many American frequent flyers who will no doubt benefit from being able to shop like the rest of Europewith the chip-and-pin instead of a swipe-and-sign. Like us, who've felt the sting of being turned down because a register was no longer equipped for our archaic VISA (example: Amsterdam Schiphol train station).
Disregarding Scandinavia for a moment, one of the most expensive cities you can visit in Europe is Zurich, Switzerland. This is the land of $8 lattes, pay-to-pee portapotties and four-star hotels asking four digits a night. In other words, it's not exactly for the budget traveler...until we drop the secret that direct flights to ZRH from the US often feature in those crazily discounted airfare sales. Getting a roundtrip for $350 sure defrays the cost of eating pretty little Swiss sweets every day.
Luckily for Zurich (and the rest of Switzerland, really), the scenery and atmosphere is so appealing and so intoxicating that it's easy to be distracted from your fast-emptying wallet. That $8 latte? Get it and walk down the River Limmat, and you'll look up from your caffeine to the scene pictured above. $8 doesn't seem so bad all of a sudden.
What we're saying is: when faced with excellent travel deals to expensive destinations, don't write off the idea immediately. Instead, plan. Your travel budget will be lower, so prepare for a higher daily budget. Andthis is hugedo not complain about the inflated price of McDonald's. TACKY, especially when someplace like this is likely just around the corner.
So this is interesting. Virgin Group head honcho Richard Branson has contributed to a massive $85 million round of funding for microblogging site Tumblr. The New York Times broke the news first thing this morning, and it's already coursing through the interwebs like the hot gossip it is.
The money will go towards scaling up Tumblr and improving features for its 30 million blogs.
The USA is pretty tech-advanced, right? We've got Apple, Silicon Valley, domestic airlines with fleetwide WiFi; it all sounds like America has it great...until you get to Europe and try to pay for anything with a credit card. Rejected! Why? Because Europe has fancier cards embedded with a computer chip, connected to a pin, which then don't get swiped, but inserted into machines to pay for things. These cardsappropriately named "chip-and-pin"are making things very difficult for US travelers.
While it's true that Europe suffers from more credit card fraud than the US, hence the extra security measures of the chip-and-pin, that doesn't mean that we should be left out of the fun and technology. Actually, we're left out of far more than that.
Paris' Velib bike rental kiosks famously don't accept any of the "old swipey" cards; they're chip-and-pin only. Corner stores have taped over the swipe portion of their card machines. We spent 15 minutes teaching a cash register girl at the Isle of Man airport what a swipey card was and how to properly charge us for our stupid postcards and pop. Then, just this past weekend, while attempting to buy a train ticket from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal, we were alarmed to find that neither the machines nor the human-staffed ticket counters accepted swipey cards. Stuck without Euros, we considered bartering with travelers who did have chip-and-pin cards.