Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SOCCER excitement starts at JNB airport

South Africa came up with a great idea to welcome visitors and get them to feel the excitement of the World Cup by putting stadium seats for people to sit in while waiting for arriving passengers. This is a brilliant idea to keep the exit clear so that the arrivals don’t have to push through the crowd at Johannesburg International airport. It’s so overwhelmingly disagreeable at some airports when the masses don’t allow one to get through.

If you are traveling to South Africa for the soccer World Cup, pack carefully. Its winter in S.A. now but you can still enjoy the sun. I bought an adaptor plug at Fry’s in the US, but it turned out to be the wrong size for S.A. even though the box stated that it was specifically for S.A.’s 3 prong wall outlets that use 220 electrical voltage. If you have a device that does not use 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. Most hotels can lend you one but I eventually bought one at a hardware store.
I stayed at the Radisson Port Elizabeth. It’s one of the new hotels, built for the World Cup. Though none of the soccer teams are staying here, there are lots of FIFA officials. It is the best hotel in P.E. Other top beach hotels are The Paxton, The Beach Hotel, Garden Court, Protea Marine Hotel and the Courtyard Hotel (no relation to the Marriott Ct. Yards) are situated at the Boardwalk Beach near the Casino and Resort complex. The best views of Algoa Bay ,are from the Southern Sun, Garden Court on Kings Beach. I enjoyed the view of the Indian ocean while at the pool of the The Radisson Blu SAS Hotel P.E. but the pool is not heated so swimming is best in summer. The flotation pool at the Spa can be indulged in year round and has unique salts like I experienced in the Dead Sea, Jordan. It is truly amazing how easy it is to float in the thick salt! I forgot to rinse my bikini swim suit and found it was as hard as rock the next day. If the warm salt does not tempt you, you can enjoy a massage or the steam room. I loved the Super Breakfast buffet at The Radisson Blu and the free Internet access. Nearby attractions consists of a Casino complex with restaurants and a few blocks away on the beachfront is the Oceanarium, a museum, and a snake park.

You can earn a free night after two stays at over 1,000 Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza® hotels worldwide, before August 31, 2010
There are two Radisson hotels in Sandton, Johannesburg. The new Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel isa 7 floor hi-rise, situated in the heart of Sandton. They also serve a Super big Breakfast Buffet, much appreciated when you arrive from the USA and are hungry early due to the time change. The city is easily accessible, as are all major tourist attractions. It is 1 km from the premier Sandton City Shopping mall where I bought a gold Kruger Rand coin. The other Sandton Radisson is a stylish new 5* Hotel, situated close to the business and financial districts of the city.

The 32 nation World Cup tournament consists of 64 matches in stadiums around the country. I'm standing in front of the new stadium in Port Elizabeth. The "Mundial" excitement is contagious. The only downside is the 21 hour flight to get here. Click here to see my tips on surviving the long flight. Also The Telegraph.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Delta Airlines is ending award fees. Last minute trips here we come!

Delta Airlines is eliminating the last-minute booking fee for frequent-flier award tickets, which was as high as $150 per ticket. This break applies to SkyMile members who redeem award tickets within 20 days of travel.
Delta has charged members this $150 fee to book an award ticket within three days of travel, $100 within seven days of travel and the lowest is $50 within 20 days of travel.
A new study showed Southwest and Alaska Airlines were the most generous with frequent-flier award seats, while US Airways and Delta were the most miserly. The top airline offering award availability was Southwest Airlines. They have a very simple program. If you fly eight roundtrips with SW Rapid Rewards, in 24 consecutive months, you get one free.
I redeemed a RewardOne ER81 Certificate, valid for travel in the 48 US states, Mexico, Alaska, Canada and I had to pay $271 per person in taxes to use the “FREE” flight. I could have waited to find a flight for that price! RewardOne is a business program designed to reward companies for business travel on Continental Airlines, whereas OnePass is the program for individuals to earn travel on Continental.

If you've reached Medallion elite status with Delta SkyMiles, you get benefits like:
Priority seats & priority waitlist, unlimited Complimentary Companion Upgrades and 50% First/Business Class Mileage & MQM extra Bonus miles.
You need 125,000 miles in a year, to qualify for the highest elite status, as seen in the chart below: