Archive for January, 2014

“Did you know…Man buys first class ticket and eats for free in VIP lounge for a year?”

first class meal(NY Post)
Just when you thought you heard it all, the New York Post published an account of a man from China who takes the term “meal ticket” to the extreme.  The man purchased a first­ class plane ticket just so he could freeload meals at the VIP lounge at Xi’an International Airport – for an entire year.  Read more here:

One-on-One with MikelParis, professional artist, keyboardist with the rock band, O.A.R. and creator of “TuneTrek”

MikelParis, "TuneTrek"


In this month’s One-on-One blog, ExpertFlyer talks with MikelParis, best known as a keyboardist for the popular rock band O.A.R., about some things you may not know. Aside from performing in the long-running off Broadway production, “Stomp,” MikelParis is the creator of a unique travel series called “TuneTrek.” We asked Paris to tell us about that project, as well as what’s on the horizon.


I love that feeling of discovering a place for the first time.  The project also motivates me to get out of the hotel or off the tour bus to see and experience the places that I’m visiting.

— MikelParis, Musician, Artist & Creator of the Travel Series, “TuneTrek”

Our readers may be wondering why ExpertFlyer is featuring a Q&A with a rockstar from O.A.R., so let’s kick things off with your “TuneTrek” project.  Tell us about this unusual travel video series and how you got started with it.

TuneTrek is a travel and music show where I find interesting historic landmarks or scenic vistas and tell the story of each site through pictures, video and music.  I’ve got a guitar on my back and camera bag on my front and I’ve filmed 25 episodes, so far, and released eight.  The idea came out of my love of traveling, exploring, nature, architecture, and of course music.   I love that feeling of discovering a place for the first time.  The project also motivates me to get out of the hotel or off the tour bus to see and experience the places that I’m visiting, while traveling the world playing music.  Each 5-7 minute episode gives a little history and shows the journey of my discovery of the site.  I find a good acoustic and visual spot to perform some songs and feature one of the songs at the end of the episode.  The rest of the music I use to underscore each episode.   I do everything on my own in this project:  Researching and advancing each location; setting up camera angles; interviewing the local Docent or historian; creating the story board; editing the video; and mastering the music. I’ve been forced to learn a lot about editing.  I use Protools 10 to master the music, Adobe Premier to edit the Video, Pentax cameras for visual content, and the Zoom H4N for live audio. You can watch the episodes at!tunetrek/czaf. Continue reading →

“Did you know…The Guy in the Window Seat Wants to Talk to You?”

talking on a placeWhy don’t airline passengers, sitting inches apart for hours on end, utter a single word to one another?  Most likely, because we assume that the other person doesn’t want to talk and we rather not risk annoying anyone.

Since the ups and downs of air travel always pique our interest, we were drawn in by a recent New York Times article written by Jeff Kaye, a co-C.E.O. of the executive search firm Kaye/Bassman-Sanford Rose Associates and C.E.O. of the recruiting training company, Next Level Exchange.  Since the 1990s, Jeff has been contradicting the assumption that our seat mates don’t want to engage.  In fact, he says, about 90% of people DO like to chat and share.  Since Jeff travels all the time and all around the world for business, he makes a regular habit of greeting fellow passengers and asking a few polite questions.  In addition to interesting company, he’s been rewarded with advice, recommendations and anecdotes that made the trip fly and in many cases left him a little bit smarter.

Next time you’re on a plane, say hello to your seat mate.  You never know where the conversation will take you.  Read the entire story here:

“Did you know…As AA and US Airways merge, price glitches surface?”


american airlines logoThankfully, as travelers, we don’t have to get beneath the layers of complexity associated with the merger process of American Airlines and US Airways into one mega air carrier.  As the airlines take initial steps toward integrating their flights, pricing structure and human resources, there’s bound to be fallout.  This week, reported, “American and US Airways began offering codeshare flights last week, but savvy agents and fare watchers quickly noticed wide disparities in ticket prices, depending on where they searched or which code they used.”

“In some instances, seats on US Airways flights booked as American flights were more than twice the price displayed for the same seats on the US Airways site…” Read the full story here:

“Did you know…travel industry praises decision to scrap fee hike?”

(USA Today)

international airline ticketVoices of pilots and consumer groups gave sway against taxing airlines on international arrivals as additional fees have been dropped from a recently approved spending bill.  USA Today reports, “Immigration inspection user fees had been poised to rise from $7 to $9 on each ticket under the Senate version of the legislation. But the final compromise dropped the fee, which would have raised $185 million per year.”

Read the full story here: