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.

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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A Final Thought for Now: Miles, Points, and Change

Where in the world is MJ? Actually, I’m typing this from San Francisco, but have no idea where I’ll be by the time this post goes live. I’m not sure what to say other than this will be my last post on MJ on Travel as we know it. Sometime around October 1, 10 years of content will reposition to BoardingArea’s Travel Update. As you’ve no doubt noticed, my posting activity has trailed off and I want to tell you why. Long story short, I have taken a new job. It’s not a small promotion and it will require my...

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Protecting Your Financial Information on the Road

There are many things that travelers need to be aware of on the road. One of the most important to me is protecting financial information, especially debit and credit card account information from compromise. While nothing is foolproof, I tend to follow a set of personal rules with debit and credit cards that has served me relatively well. First, I use one of my credit cards for nearly all purchases when I’m traveling. Of course, I earn rewards, and that’s really the point of it all, but it also prevents someone with less than honest intentions from having direct access...

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15 Septembers Later

I’ve put this same post up for 7 years in a row, 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 minutes” will do that to a guy who doesn’t know any better. I changed that day. We all did. But little did I know that the change had only just begun. Originally posted on September 11, 2009. Nine 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 in New...

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I Like Kimpton’s Approach on Card Fraud Issue

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. Simply put, they get it. If there’s a Kimpton property in a city I’m traveling to, I’m going to make every effort to stay there. You may have heard that the boutique chain experienced a major card fraud issue earlier this year. I first learned about the Kimpton card fraud issue at Krebs on Security. Kimpton has added a link to details about the issue on its home page. The information appears to have been updated yesterday (August 31, 2016). Here’s an excerpt. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants...

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