Review: American Airlines business class, New York JFK to Madrid aboard the Boeing 767-300

American Airlines flight 94 from New York to Madrid was one of the very first flight reviews I wrote for WTF, flying economy class back in 2016, so I was excited to return to this flight in business class up front. American is planning to retire these aging airplanes over the next several years, but I feel that enough travelers between the U.S. and Spain read this blog to justify a review of a product that won't necessarily be around forever. Overall impression is that of an enjoyable enough experience aboard an aircraft that is rapidly feeling more and more out of date.

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Our five favorite credit cards to save big and have a great experience while traveling

The question is always packaged a bit differently depending on who asks, but suffice it to say that I'm often asked some variation of the same question question: I am miserable when I travel because [it's so expensive, it's so uncomfortable, it's so inconvenient], so what are the core credit cards I should sign up for to make it all a bit better?

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Reader question: How do you use your AMEX Platinum card? What's the best use of points?


The American Express Platinum is a great card that makes a lot of sense for frequent travelers who spend enough time in the airports featuring Centurion Lounges (more on that in a moment) such that they get outsized value from the excellent complimentary bar and buffet on offer there. The additional travel benefits, including point earning, can be profoundly useful depending on how you organize your travel, and what you value personally.

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Visiting a new city? Seek out the wine.

Something wonderful is happening. As a new generation of oenophiles makes wine and cities -- two of the world's oldest institutions -- their own, the two are blending in both ways and places most unexpected.Wineries, wine bars, and restaurants with excellent glass and bottle lists are often reflective of the local culture surrounding them, and -- when such regions exist -- of the wine made in the countryside beyond the next mountain. I can think of few other ways to connect more deeply and learn more thoroughly about a place than to do so in the company one keeps with a glass of wine in hand.

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Review: Air France's Boeing 777, IAD to CDG, is a solid trans-Atlantic option for economy travelers

Meghan and I recently flew aboard Air France in economy class from Washington to Paris. This is essentially the reverse of the flight Kathleen reviewed last year, though we have some elaboration and additional recommendations to offer a year on. Air France is one of the last traditional airlines that at least still seems to convey a sense of actually caring about the passenger experience, so we found this to be overall a pretty good way to cross the ocean. Read our review, insights, and tips here.

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How I beat jet lag on big timezone changes to hit the ground running at my destination

With Wine:Thirty Flight's next oversees trip just two weeks away, today I found myself preparing to beat seven timezone's worth of jet lag by scheduling sleeping hours on my calendar over several days leading to our departure. Such is my particular technique for getting the most out of my travel time from the moment I land: Adjust your sleep schedule incrementally, an hour each day, until you get as close as possible to syncing with your new timezone the day you depart. Here's how it works.

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Advice for frequent business and pleasure travelers that I wish I'd been given years ago

I'm looking towards next week, the eleventh (and final) straight week during which I will have flown somewhere for either business or pleasure. It's actually been a great run, at the end of which I find myself reflecting on the lessons I've learned since a new job served as my first foray into the world of frequent travel about ten years ago. I've traveled often since I was a kid, but in recent years I've picked up five notions that help me to still keep travel fun. This is the advice I'd give to adventure seekers and business travelers taking to the skies on a more regular basis.

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A vacation ruined before it began: Lessons on getting too creative with your travel itinerary

The popular travel blog One Mile at a Time published this piece last month, I’m Not Sure What To Make Of This Travel Horror Story, that recounted a sad incident in which a couple was turned back to check-in, missing their entire vacation due to "travel document" issues. Let's seize this moment to highlight the perils of getting too creative with your travel itinerary. This is particularly relevant to those of us who frequent off the beaten path places such as (ahem) wine country...

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Earn Delta SkyMiles for your upcoming journey via Airbnb stays and Lyft rides

Creative point and mile-earning partnerships have been a neat development in travel the last several years. Delta Airlines has quietly given new ways to earn to those of us looking for that next flight to our favorite city or wine region. I've been really happy to pick up some extra miles with Delta via their newish partnerships with Lyft and Airbnb. Spend a dollar, earn a mile. Here's how to do it.

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Winner (American Airlines) and loser (American Express) from Monday's DC travel calamity

It was starting to look as if 2017 would finally be the year that I skipped my annual calamitous experience traveling from Boston to Washington, DC. Not to be. This past Monday night, a hazardous material incident shut down the FAA control center handling traffic into all three DC-area airports. I was rebooked on seven different flights in a fifteen hour period -- though really appreciated every last friendly American Airlines employee who helped me on my way -- spent the night in Boston, and was utterly failed by my American Express Platinum card.

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How to get and use Priority Pass lounges to find peace, quiet, (free) wine, and food at the airport

I smiled as I set my coffee upon the table. Morning sunshine from cloudless blue sky streamed through the floor to ceiling windows to light this open, modern, and quiet space. I bit into my sandwich. At 10:15, I though it too early to be drinking wine. A Boeing 737 in SAS airlines colors taxied past Göteborg Landvetter Airport's (GOT) Menzies Business Lounge in which I was sitting thanks to my Priority Pass membership, granted to me as a benefit of credit cards issued by Chase, Citi, and American Express. Here's how it works…

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How to fly for free using Chase credit cards

Next week my wife, Meghan, and I fly to Sweden on our third trip to Europe in seven months. We've paid exactly $0 for trans-Atlantic airfare thanks to to the way we our Chase Bank credit cards for most of our every day purchasing. I've written in the past about how to Travel further for less (or no) money by smartly earning and using credit card points, but here I'll specifically address why I find the Chase ecosystem to be so good at maximizing travel value, and I'll offer some simple tips so that you can realize this value yourself.

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Review: Three great duffel bags to elevate your weekend travel

We're living in a golden age of travel paraphernalia, where the miracle of crowd funding has made it such that almost any obscure need can be met with niche product. Sometimes the wheeled carry-on just feels like overkill, too much overhead (I assure you that pun was unintentional) for a quick weekend trip. So I went searching for the perfect duffel bag, and offer quick reviews of my three favorites here.

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Navigating the big, beautiful, bright, and always efficient Madrid Barajas Airport

We've been putting together a brief guide to Madrid, one of our very favorite cities, over the last several months. Here we continue the "getting there" theme with specific advice for navigating the sprawling Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD), not just the gateway to the Spanish capital and the European Unions's third largest city, but an architecturally stunning feat that we think is one of the best airports through which to travel.

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The jetBlue Plus credit card is tremendously valuable for smart travelers in the United States

I've had the jetBlue Plus Card in my wallet for about a year now, and just this week received a letter reminding me of the 5,000 TrueBlue bonus points it awards every year on your account anniversary. This is one of the best airline branded travel cards available, an essential for anyone who loves to travel because it more than pays for itself each year, and gives you a lot of value (including an effective 16.8% back on jetBlue tickets).

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How to improve your odds of being less cramped aboard newer planes when on a short flight

It's the worst. You're on one of those old and rather beat up small regional jets that hop passengers on shorter distance flights between medium sized cities, or between larger cities connected by more frequent flights on smaller planes. Wine:Thirty Flight recently took off in a sparkling new Bombardier CRJ 900 model aboard American Eagle, so today we're sharing tips for brightening your journey by selecting tickets on a plane you actually want to fly aboard.

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Madrid, Spain: Getting there, getting around, and where to stay

I've made the case that "Madrid is the most spectacular western city that most readers of this blog have never been to". At over three million people, though, we're talking about a big city here: largest in Spain, third largest in the European Union, and larger than every city in the United States other than New York and Los Angeles. So here in our Part 2 on this great city, we're going talk the logistics of how to get there, how to get around, and where to stay.

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The Bellroy Travel Wallet is best on market, keeps me very organized at the airport and beyond

I've recently fallen in love with the Bellroy Leather Travel Wallet: Hands down the best wallet and passport cover combination on the market because it almost magically combines both into a single elegant leather object, and manages to fit everything I need into one folio smaller than any similar product I've ever put my hands on. It has helped me become infinitely more organized keeping my business together at the airport and everywhere I roam on either side of my flight, and has become truly indispensable to my travel routine.

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Review: British Airways 747 Boston to London is mixed bag with lots to love, lots to be annoyed by

Though arguably the most recognizable airplane ever built, it turns out that I had not traveled on a Boeing 747 (the original "jumbo jet") in years. This combined with the storied history and legendary quality of British Airways (BA), which I had never flown, to make for a highly anticipated journey. Good for travelers who can find the right price, who value reasonably decent airplane food, a comfortable physical seat, full tea service, and who can overlook a surly crew and some of the most cramped leg room I've ever experienced on an international flight.

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