Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Flying, away and back

  1. #1
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Philly - León
    Posts
    1,655
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Flying, away and back

    I'd always thought of buying airline miles like 'green stamps' that food shoppers would collect in books for prizes back in the day before stamps were self-stick. A marketing concept developed to train American consumers to become predictable dolts. On the other hand, incidentally collecting frequent flyer miles while working/living as a traveling grunt was OK - like, yes, there is a Santa, a happy 'freebie'. Recently I traveled RT on AA with accumulated miles, paying only taxes & fees (including check-in luggage). (Fees, like taxes & death, grow to consume our lives, creeping upon us like a biblical Egyptian plague.) But I felt like a winner. I saved money, well, I spent less.

    So, needing to travel, and flying being the only sane option out & back into this Central American fiefdom with wife & kid, despite the kingly prices, or I should say, because of them, I decided to buy AA miles, thinking I might save over paying straight cash for tickets. Their ads for buying miles were spam in my email, not unlike their notices I wanted to read. I fell for one that promised a 10% discount plus bonus miles, but had to act before the end of the month. I bought what AA suggested I needed for my next freebie. A 'processing fee' and taxes more than swallowed the discount. When I went online to book a RT flight for the 3 of us, "redeeming miles", I learned I needed to buy another 66,750 miles first. I'd thought I could use miles and pay cash for the shortfall - no. But what sunk the whole con game for me was that AA offered no direct flights Miami-Philly - none - when redeeming miles. We'd have to connect thru Charlotte or Louisville or Norfolk, with 5-7 hour layovers - with wife and 4 yr old kid, fuggetaboutit. Booking, paying cash, we'll fly direct, no layovers, just Miami customs, which has greatly streamlined recently.

    As it turns out - I did the calculations - it cost me 14% more than buying & redeeming miles. But the aggrevation, delay and suffering we avoid (only a trial jury could calculate that cost) makes it worth it. Flying like human beings, business class, would have cost 300% more than with the herd. That's what the word 'economy' means to us grunts. It would't be so bad if they didn't rub our noses in it, like boarding last when sitting in the tail section, when logically, efficiently those should be the first to board filling the plane with the least disruption. I suspect it's so the first class lot can gloat as we shuffle by. And a fucking bag of peanuts or pretzels - fine for kiddies too young to have known better. But some of us adults were part of the industrial complex that engineered and built those planes, who remember in flight meals with plates and silverwear. Then we got downsized. 'Nuff. That's progress. Why complain?

    Our 4 yr old Nica dividend is a dual citizen USA/Nica born in Leon. For his Nica passport we have to spend a day in Managua at Migracion, working with the lawyers under plastic sheet covered 'offices' across the street, to get the stamp of approval that allows him to leave the country. Does anyone know if he can exit directly at the airport using only his US passport?

    (I still don't know how to paste his foto here in TRN, or,if I knew, I've forgotten.)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    If your son Enters Nica on US Passport, he can exit on US Passport without exit visa from Nica.

    If he leaves Nica on Nica passport he has to enter on Same.

  3. #3
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sweatshops R-US Nicaragua again
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    Quote Originally Posted by dubereyes View Post
    If your son Enters Nica on US Passport, he can exit on US Passport without exit visa from Nica.

    If he leaves Nica on Nica passport he has to enter on Same.
    That is what I have always understood too. But I think Nicaragua observes place of birth first in the case it was Nicaragua, even on a US passport. I know dual Mexican Citizens with Mexican passports, kids mind you, that have tried to enter Nicaragua on them and they wouldn't let them do it because place of birth was listed as Nicaragua.

  4. #4
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Esteli
    Posts
    1,190
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    And they call us "racist"!

    Anyway, I am a Buy American type when it works, but believe me I sight a sight of relief anytime I get to fly on a foreign carrier. Anybody is better than United. Even American, unless you try to change a flight with them.

    Free miles are really great when you get them FREE, like from business or employer travel. If you have to buy them they are not so free. And United changed its qualifications a while back to cost of ticket, not number of miles.

    About taxes. I just did a rt to cr. Total, $228--100 for flight and 128 for taxes and fees. Can't even blame Uncle Sam for this, these were Nice and CR fees.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  5. #5
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sweatshops R-US Nicaragua again
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    You prefer AA over UAL? I am surprised, I would rather walk than take AA in most cases. I have found that United is pretty darn good when dealing with the former Continental employees, which I usually do because of being in Texas and flying mostly to the south from there. Their crews and people are about to mix. I have had some real crappy United crews and staff out of Newark, and they are now mostly old original United staff. Along the east coast that seems to be the norm, most old United staff got retained but in the South East, Texas, and Midwest it is old Continental staff. The culture of the old United airlines was horrible, I would agree that they were piss poor, much worse than AA.

  6. #6
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Esteli
    Posts
    1,190
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    In a rut on the mga-iah-las route. United -- no personality, won't do anything extra, after they beat up pops and chucked him off the plane they stopped sending questionnaires after each flight. Better than Continental, they went out sad, but that is not saying much. I hear American is now charging for caryyons, there is a heavy race to the bottom with US carriers.
    On Copa the other day the pilot introduced himself and chatted a little, staff good and did beverages on a flight of less than 1 hour. Didn't charge for first suitcase so the cabin wasn't full of excess carryons like United.
    And a joy not being in US airports with their endless Squeaky Woman TSA announcements.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  7. #7
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sweatshops R-US Nicaragua again
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    Looks like UAL has cut down to either 3 or 4 flights per week into MGA starting in September sometime. Even in 2004 they had more flights than that, I want to say there were 5 a week regularly scheduled and then it went to 7 a week during busy times. At one point they had 15 or 16 flights a day from Houston during peak times. That is a really deal for me about the demand for butts in seats.

  8. #8
    Our Everlasting Love ! doming00's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Downey, California
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    Unfortunate situation in Nicaragua. I was fortunate enough to leave Nicaragua in 2011 with my family and relocate to southern California. We might have traffic and smog here but it is absolutely safe in comparison to what is occurring in Nicaragua. We sold the small hotel in the town of Chinandega for a good price. I have heard that property values have sunk miserably in Nicaragua. All do in part to the current violence and the Sandinistas going back to their old ways of taking away private property. Nicaragua was at one time the safest country in Central America now it is in last place when it comes to security. Sad !!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    I remember your posts from way back then.

    Congratulations on your success,, I seem to vaguely remember some pics of your wedding.

    I'm sure everyone would be interested in an update. The current solution seems to be a foot in both countries.

  10. #10
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sweatshops R-US Nicaragua again
    Posts
    811

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    Good for you Domingo, I do remember you heading to the States.

    In terms of flights, it was announced today that UAL is stopping direct flights from Houston to MGA for 3 weeks outright. Then they are going to 3 flights a week. I think Delta cut back to either 2 or 3 flights a week as well. AA only has the early MIA flight now. What a bad turn of events. And Iberia cancelled their Madrid-MGA route that was supposed to start this fall. Good times.......

  11. #11
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Esteli
    Posts
    1,190
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    Under the category of Beware of What you Wish for, those of us who thought we wanted to live at the end of the earth may have made it!

    Incidently, Nic is a disaster in progress, but still safer than most of C.A.
    and Socal is no paradise. After a visit there to my childhood home a few months later immigrant gangbangers had a shoot out 3 houses away. 3 dead, many injured.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  12. #12
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Esteli
    Posts
    1,190
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Flying, away and back

    And what I am seeing with the airlines, book at least 3 weeks in advance. Prices double and triple as you get closer to the day of flight. That's a huge markup for those who want to fly on short notice.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


Similar Threads

  1. They are flying to Waspam again....
    By bill_bly_ca in forum Transportation and Lodging
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-22-2015, 07:02 PM
  2. DSB and his flying pitchfork
    By Just Plain John Wayne in forum Blog: Just Plain John Wayne
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-09-2008, 10:30 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Also visit the False Bluff Blog!