DLD 58: Adventures in IROPS

This post was scheduled to go live on Thursday, July 17, 2014 right around the time that news of the tragedy surrounding MH17 was firming up and becoming more clear. We chose to hold off for a day as it didn’t make much sense to us to push it out at that time. And, while our thoughts and prayers are still with the families of those lost on board, we’re also starting to move on. And so here is Episode 58.


Things don’t always go as planned. We usually recover better than others, even if there is a bit of chaos involved. Still, it is not too common that a simple round-trip requires 10-ish different bookings to make it happen. Oopsie.

Enjoy the show.

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Gotta keep the planes clean!

DLD 57: Frogger is more fun in real life

What happens when a guy nicknamed Black Cloud for his travel, erm, challenges goes for a run in Ahmedabad at 5am? Many things, including that we managed to get him as a guest on the show to talk about all sorts of fun, including the “real life, high stakes version of Frogger” which ensued. Among the other topics discussed in this week’s show:

  • Doha has a new airport and Seth passed through a few weeks ago. Definitely an upgrade from the old one but so many things still done badly.
  • Delta hosted a bunch of bloggers in Atlanta for a behind-the-scenes look at their operations. That sort of thing is always fun. (Read more; video, too)
  • JetBlue‘s Mint product is live and Seth was on the first flight. Stephan and special guest Brian talked about how it isn’t too convenient for their non-LAX/SFO west coast needs, but we mostly agreed that it is a great product.
  • Air India is joining Star Alliance next week; earning rates are starting to show up and United’s version is strangely generous.
  • United also is updating some of their catering, adding better beer to most flights and taking away garlic bread on a few others. We’ve got a calm, reasoned discussion on the topic.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.

And a special thanks to Brian for joining us on the show. Read more about his latest project (and the reason he was in India) at MyFamGram.com.


DLD 56: Goooooooaaaaaaaalllllll!

So, yeah, we’ve got an in-person account of World Cup excitement in Brazil on this week’s episode. Rolo was on the scene and has some great stories to share about his experiences there.



Watch the games live on the screen this guy was walking around Rio with.

Also discussed this time around:

  • United adopts the revenue-based earning plan, same as Delta. Turns out that not all our crew loses, and what of the credit cards??
  • United is launching service between Houston and Santiago, Chile on December 7. The DLD crew (most of us; the Argentinian might be boycotting) is booked on the inaugural, assuming we wake up from the party the night before in time to catch the flight.
  • American is cutting the number of business class seats on their 777s. Just how green is that grass??
  • Seth got stuck in Chicago waiting out a thunder storm so he missed the show. That’s too bad given recent visits to the IATA meeting in Qatar, JetBlue Mint inaugural flight, #InsideDelta and Gogo. Apparently that’s going to make for quite the monologue on the next episode.

And the audio quality is a little lower than normal on this one; sorry about that. We had some technical issues with the recording.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.

DLD 55: Inmates running the asylum

I wasn’t on the recording this week so I don’t entirely know what happened during the session, other than the bits I listened to during the editing. On the plus side, quite a few rants included in this episode, which is always fun.

From what I can tell these are some of the topics:

  • Why is Rolo looking for Brazilian Reals in NYC before heading south for the World Cup? And would you believe that Fozz has a second checking account just for travel? Turns out that the two answers are related.
  • Can Emirates make a go of it flying out of Dubai?
  • What airline would you choose based in New York City if you were starting from scratch?
  • Why is AA having such trouble with managing SWUs on reservations for both Fozz & Rolo?

Also, both Rolo and Fozz got the name of the podcast wrong. Multiple times. So there’s that.


You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.


May 22, 2014

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DLD 54: Come sail away with us

This week we’re taking a slightly different tack to the show: We’ve got Cynthia Drescher, Jaunted’s Managing Editor, on the show and she’s going to convince us that crossing the Atlantic might be better on a seven night sailing of the Queen Mary 2 rather than a 7 hour flight. And, strangely enough, she might actually succeed.

Also up for discussion this week:

All that and more in this week’s episode!

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.


May 8, 2014

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DLD 53: Derby Day

If we had tried a bit harder we probably could have come up with an awesome way to run the show this week in honor of the Kentucky Derby. Instead all I did was manage to include the bugler’s call to post at one point in the middle of the show. We’re certainly not the fastest 2 minutes in points & travel podcasting but I think we’re some of the more entertaining 40ish minutes every other week. And so, without further ado, this week’s episode. Amongst the topics covered:

Who wants these awesome lines??
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

All that and more this time around. Enjoy the show.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.


April 29, 2014

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DLD 52: A steamy conversation in the sauna

All four of us agreed that episode 51 was a bit slow. Not bad, really, but it was lacking a bit of excitement or intrigue. Last weekend I was in Seattle for the latest edition of Frequent Traveler University and I ran in to a few interesting characters who I thought would be fun to have on the show. And I also had a few drinks before we started recording. And said recording happened in the sauna by the pool area because I thought that would be a more quiet place to sit. It mostly was.

I’m pretty sure the episode is funny (in a good way), at least the bits I’ve listened to in the edit. Hopefully you agree. Or maybe I went a bit overboard trying to make up for last time. Oops.


The two guests are:

  • FirstClassQueen.com: He’s focused on “First Class Life Without The First Class Price”, and he’s got some spectacular stories to share. Oh, and he’s very much a queen. Tremendously funny and a great guy. Also on Twitter at @TheFCQ
  • Josh Weiner from People with Points: This is a B2B start-up company looking to help hotels which are not in the major chains establish a Cash & Points redemption scheme via the major banks. They’ve got technology and a sales/distribution model which they believe will allow them to sell distressed hotel rooms without compromising the brand (i.e. they won’t appear discounted like Groupon or other discounts) and also benefit the banks by removing points liabilities at a very favorable rate. Still very much start-up but they were part of the Launchpoint pitch at FTU and this was something of a continuation of that discussion.

And the three of us had a ton of fun. Hopefully you’ll have a similar experience listening to this episode.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.

DLD51: I really just don’t know

Dear listeners:

I’m sorry. I was supposed to write the show notes up a couple days ago when the recording was fresh in my head and my thoughts were clear. Instead you get a vaguely drunk, vaguely informed version of show notes which are probably not too coherent. Maybe that’s penance for the part where the actual show was very sober and a bit “off” thanks to the mid-day Monday recording time.

Dinner on a Delta transcon. Delicious!

Dinner on a Delta transcon. Delicious!

These are the things I think we talked about:

There is probably more but I really don’t remember. Will try to do better next time.


You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.

DLD 50: AIX + special guests in Hamburg

Forget bonus points…the true awesomeness comes with bonus Dots, Lines & Destinations episodes! And we’ve got a bonus episode for you this week recorded on location in Hamburg, Germany. The Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 ran from Tuesday to Thursday, offering up insight into the coming year(s) of what our travel experience will be like. Lots of the stuff is “pie in the sky” concept options which likely will never actually see the inside of a flying plane, but there were also a number of developments which will be flying soon enough. And we’re talking about all of it.


This episode is also special because we’ve got a completely different crew talking. In addition to Seth who plays the role of host this time around we’ve also got four of the best #AvGeek-loving, #PaxEx-focused minds in the world. Our guests are:

As the show wraps up on the final day many of the vendors are more than happy to unload all their goodies to avoid packing them for the return trip. In the catering hall that means lots and lots of free food and drink. We liberated a number of bottles of champagne and prosecco from the show and put them to use. Then we tried to talk about serious issues. See if you can identify the sound of the champagne cork popping mid-show as we refilled once again.

Lots of fun and some cool topics in play. Hopefully we’ll get the crew back together again at some point down the line and see if any of our predictions/expectations come true.

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.


April 10, 2014

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DLD 49: Happenings in Hamburg

Greetings from Hamburg, home of Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014. This week’s episode includes a couple special guests from RouteHappy.com, John Walton and Jason Rabinowitz. We’re talking all sorts of fun things with them related to airplanes, seats, IFE and more. Oh, and we’re recording in advance of the actual conference so it will be interesting to follow up later and see what actually happened compared to what we were thinking might.

Also, I know I promised a photo from Istanbul as part of the recording. Unfortunately I don’t have that specific shot with me on this laptop so I cannot include it. I’ll get it in a later episode at some point. So I’m sharing this other shot from Istanbul instead. Enjoy.


You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or to the podcast feed.