MJ on Travel

Marshall Jackson is an aviation enthusiast and avid cruiser. After 10 years in the airline business, Marshall moved on to a new career that includes plenty of travel and plenty of cruises, and that’s just the way he likes it.

American Airlines and its Terrible New Seats

American Airlines is in the midst of a seat “densification” project known internally as Project Oasis. Eventually, the entire narrow body mainline fleet will be modified to add more seats, remove inflight entertainment (IFE) screens, and (at long last) add power outlets at all seats. American received some bad press over the interior selected for its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet. Unfortunately, Project Oasis will update the interiors of American’s existing 737-800 fleet to match the MAX 8. Recently, I had occasion to experience the new “Oasis” interior aboard a 737-800 in first class traveling from Washington, DC...

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17 Years: Remembering 9/11

Originally posted on September 11, 2009. Eight years ago today, my morning began much like any other early fall day.  I was roaming the airport in search of coffee and a bagel, mentally celebrating a successful morning launch of kick-off flights at Washington National Airport (DCA) on September 11, 2001.  I was one of the Customer Service Managers at DCA on duty for American Airlines that day. During a visit with our operations agent, I heard a radio call from our first inbound flight of the day.  The crew had a question, “had we heard anything about an incident...

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The Kimpton Social Password is Back!

Just yesterday, I posted about my experiences with Kimpton Hotels since the loyalty merger with IHG Rewards. I noted that so far, my experiences have been as great as ever and Kimpton continues to earn my loyalty. Today, Kimpton reminded us once again that many of the same things that make them great continue. The Kimpton Social Password has returned for summer! The Kimpton Social Password is “Out of Office” Now through September 3rd just mention the password, “Out of Office” at check in for fun surprises. I’ve been offered a variety of gifts ranging from parking and personal notebooks...

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On Kimpton: The #KimptonLove is Still There

I’ll admit it….I’m a Kimpton fan. I’ve also called myself a Kimpton snob. That’s probably not the best phraseology, but suffice it to say, I LOVE Kimpton hotels. Admittedly, I did not like the idea of IHG buying Kimpton…..AT ALL. I was afraid that the little things that made Kimpton special would go away and Kimpton would become something akin to a fancy Holiday Inn. While I suppose the jury is still out, I’m going to offer a few thoughts several months into the emergence of IHG Rewards in our Kimpton Karma business……… The #KimptonLove Remains Overall, I think...

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Airline Credit Cards: An Evolving View

I cannot begin to guess how many airline credit cards I’ve held over the years. Perhaps 30ish? And that makes me a junior wingman in the airline credit card game. The glory days of opening an endless string of cards to collect big mileage bonuses have come and gone, but there’s still value to be had. Recently, a New York Times article about airline credit cards caught my eye. According to the article: “But consider the numbers that Delta Air Lines has been throwing around recently in investor presentations. It generated $3 billion from its relationship with American Express in 2017...

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MJ on Travel is Back: On the Road and Blogging

This post has been too long coming, but here we are. In truth, I never left “the road”, but the 19 months (WOW!) or so that have passed since I wrote “A Final Thought for Now” were much more of a journey than I’d could have imagined when I penned those words from the lobby of the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco. Since that post, the following things have happened: Started a new job in Washington, DC. Sold house in Atlanta. House falls out of contract and gets pulled from market. New job evolved into slightly different job. Sold...

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Will the #KimptonLove Remain?

I just completed my last business trip of 2017, and sadly, my last as a Kimpton Karma Inner Circle member. While I dedicated most of my hotel stays to Kimpton this year, the reality is that my business travel patterns changed when I took a new job and relocated to Washington, D.C. This year, I took fewer, but longer trips and in the end my number of stays and total hotel nights were down vs 2016. While I value elite status, especially Kimpton Inner Circle, I am not willing to “hotel hop” just to drive up stay counts. Or...

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Remembering 9/11: Could it Really Be 16 Years?

I’ve posted this same blog for a number of years in a row now, and I don’t feel any need to change that habit. These few paragraphs represent the best short summary of my recollections of my day as a Customer Service Manager for American Airlines at DCA on September 11, 2001. This is by no means a complete synopsis. Truth told, there was a moment when I thought an airplane might fly through the expansive glass terminal at DCA at any minute. A broadcast on a policeman’s radio that says “there’s another airplane inbound to DCA, ETA 15...

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Summer Travel Tips From an Ex-Airline Guy

Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and the unofficial start of the summer travel season is upon us. Early indications are that the number of air travelers could break records this summer. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It’s the best because it’s summer, and it’s time to play. It’s the worst because that means the cherubs are all heading for the airport at the same time the rest of us are there, and it can challenge your patience…big time! Throw a thunderstorm or hurricane into the mix, and you’ve got an instant cauldron of...

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Finding Affordable Airfares for a Weekly Commute

Taking a job in a new city is both challenging and exciting, an opportunity to relish. Then a new reality sets in, your spouse’s job search in your new location hits a wall. Sure, they could quit their job (or you could quit your brand-new job) but that’s not really ideal. What’s the old saying? It’s much easier to find a job when you still have one. Hey, if you can make it on one income, that’s great, but if you are relocating to an expensive city, that might not be an option. You may find yourself commuting, and...

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