Nice Holiday Parking Deal at Washington Dulles International Airport

Garage Parking for $12/day in December 2016
Park in Garage 1 at IAD for $12/day during December

Flying out of Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) this coming month?

The airport is offering close-in garage parking for only $12 per day, a $5 discount off the regular rate.

Return home to covered parking now through December 31, 2016 via a special coupon offer!

The regular rate for parking in Garage 1 — near the terminal — is $17 a day.

Economy parking in the remote lots is $10 per day, so this a a nice deal!

Use this link to print a personalized coupon which you must present to the cashier when exiting the garage.

The coupon is valid for a single transaction and may not be combined with other offers.

Which Credit Card Gets You A Free Limo Ride to the Airport in Tokyo?

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.45.44 PM
Get a free ride to Narita airport!

One of the biggest ancillary expenses of air travel is ground transportation to and from the airport.

In Tokyo, if you are a foreign JCB credit cardholder, you can get a free ride on the airport limousine bus from downtown hotels to Tokyo’s Narita (NRT) airport.

To qualify for the free ride, you must demonstrate that you spent 50,000 yen on a JCB credit card during your visit to Japan.  (At the current exchange rate, 50,000 yen is equivalent to about $412.)  It would be pretty easy to meet that threshold after spending a few days in Japan.

The regular one-way fare on the airport limo bus is about 3000 yen (about $26).

How to Get a Free Ride To Narita Airport

The airport limo service picks up at major hotels in Tokyo.

You can get two free airport limo tickets per JCB card!  To get your free tickets to Narita International Airport (NRT), bring your JCB credit card receipts totaling at least 50,000 yen of purchases in Japan (including tax) to JCB PLAZA in Tokyo.

The fine print:

  • Offer applies for all JCB brand card issuing companies.
  • JCB cards issued in Japan are not eligible.
  • Cash advances are excluded.
  • The offer runs through June 30, 2016.

Get 20 Percent Discount on Airport Limo From Narita (NRT) or Kansai (KIX)

JCB cardholders can also get a discount on the airport limousine bus from Tokyo’s Narita airport (NRT) to downtown hotels.

Passengers arriving at Osaka’s Kansai (KIX) airport can get a 20 percent discount on select bus lines from the airport.

JCB Discounts on Airport Limo in Japan
JCB Discounts on Airport Limo in Japan

Just show your JCB credit card when you purchase your bus tickets at the airport.

You can get four tickets at the discount price!

JCB issues several different credit cards in the United States, but they are only available to residents of certain states:

  1. JCB Standard or Mitsuwa JCB Card
    California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon or Washington
  2. Marukai Premium and Marukai JCB Card (California)
    California, Nevada, Oregon or Washington
  3. Marukai Premium and Marukai JCB Card (Hawaii)
    Hawaii

Earn up to 3% Cash Back Points with the JCB Card!

The JCB Marukai credit card is an all around great deal because it pays cash back on all purchases, with no limit on how much you can earn.  It pays:

  • 1% cash back points on first $1,000 spent yearly
  • 2% cash back points on next $2,000 spent yearly
  • 3% cash back points on over $3,000 spent yearly

That is an outstanding payout for a rewards credit card but it is only available to residents of Hawaii, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

But, what if you don’t have a JCB credit card?

Discover Card Offers 20% Discount on the Airport Limo in Japan!

Discover card airport limo discount in Japan
Look for these signs at the airport ticket counters.

Discover card members save 20 percent off one-way airport limousine bus tickets when using their Discover card at the Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) and Kansai International Airport (KIX) limousine ticket counters.

You can get up to three discount tickets at a time!

The Discover card offer runs through March 31, 2016.

Dulles Plane Pull, Fun Run, & Family Festival

Dulles Day Plane Pull
Dulles Day Plane Pull

On Saturday, September 19, 2015Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) will sponsor an “open house” for visitors.

This is an all day affair, including:

  • 5k/10k runway run
  • plane pulling competition truck pulling contest for kids
  • moon bounces
  • antique car show
  • vintage airplane display

Admission and parking are free!  Free Silver Line Express buses will operate from Metrorail’s Wiehle-Reston East station beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Proceeds from fund-raising activities such as the plane pull will benefit Special Olympics Virginia.

Run the Runway at Dulles International Airport

5/10K Run at Dulles International Airport
5/10K Runway Run at IAD

Dulles Day kicks off at 7:30 a.m. with a 5k or 10k runway run for registered participants.

The Dulles airport runway will be closed off to provide runners with a flat, fast course alongside the landing strip.

The 10k will run the entire length of the runway!

Runners must be able to complete the course by 9:00 am, when the runway will be reopened for aircraft traffic.  Advance registration is required.  Up to 2,500 runners can be accommodated.

Plane Pull for Charity at IAD

Dulles Plane Pull
Dulles Plane Pull for charity

The signature event is the Plane Pull, an event in which teams compete to pull a full-size jet aircraft in the shortest time.

More than 70 teams are competing this year.

Two aircraft will be pulled —  a FedEx plane and an United Airlines plane.  You can join a team here.

Kids Truck Pull at Dulles International Airport September 19, 2015

Kids' Truck Pull at IAD
Kids’ Truck Pull at IAD

This year, kids can get in on the fun with a truck pull.

Teams of eight will compete to see who can pull a  big red junk truck 12 feet the fastest.

You can register at the festival starting at 11:30 am. There is a $10 donation to participate.  Participants will receive a Truck Pull tee shirt.

Dulles Day Family Fun Festival 2015

At 10:30 a.m., the gates to the airfield open for the free family festival.

Additional family fun activities at Dulles Day include:

Free Bounce House at the Airport
Free Bounce House at the Airport
  • Airfield tours aboard the mobile lounges for $1 per person
  • Kids’ play area with bounce houses, truck pull and dunk-a-cop tank
  • Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance
  • Ride in an Airports Authority fire truck for a $5 donation to Special Olympics
  • Police K-9 demonstrations on the half hour
  • Food and beverages available for purchase
  • Aircraft on display
  • Classic car show

Aircraft on Display at Dulles Day

Look for more than 40 aircraft on display, including:

  • U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo jet
  • U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt (close air-support aircraft)
  • U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey (tiltrotor helicopter-plane)
  • U.S. Navy HT-28 (Bell Jet Ranger helicopter trainer)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Rescue “Dolphin” Helicopter
  • DC-3 “Miss Virginia”
  • DC-3 “Tabitha May”
  • Nakajima Japanese bomber “Kate”
  • PBY Catalina (WWII Patrol Bomber)
  • Bell 429 Helicopter
  • Hughes 500D Helicopter
  • TBM Avenger (WWII torpedo bomber)
  • DHC-1 Chipmunk (WWII primary trainer)
  • L-5 Sentinel (WWII “Flying Jeep”)
  • L-39 Albatross (Czech built high-performance jet trainer)
  • T-6 Texan (WWII advanced trainer)
  • T-28 Trojan (WWII advanced trainer)
  • Yak-3 (WWII Soviet fighter aircraft)
  • Stearman PT-17 Biplane
  • Kodiak, high wing float & cargo aircraft
  • Piper J-3 Cub (WWII utility aircraft)

17th Annual Dulles Day Classic Car and Motorcycle Show

Check out the cars, trucks and motorcycles on display at the Dulles Day car show.  You can help vote on the winners in the following catagories:

CAR SHOW CLASSES

  • “Best of the Brass and Antique” (through 1925, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the Classic Era” (1926-1948, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the Chrome and Fins” (1949-1963, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the Muscle Era” (1964-1971, Car or Truck)
  • “Best of the OPEC Era” (1972-1983, Car or Truck)
  • “Best Import” (Tuner)
  • “Best Custom” (Hot Rod Car or Truck)
  • “Best American Sports Car”
  • “Best Imported Sports Car”
  • “Best In Show” (Car or Truck)
  • “People’s Choice” (Car or Truck)

MOTOCYCLE CLASSES

  • “Top American Motorcycle”
  • “Top Import Motorcycle”
  • “Best Custom Motorcycle”
  • “Best in Show” (Motorcycle)
  • “People’s Choice” (Motorcycle)

Want to enter your vehicle?  Here’s the registration form.

Exclusive: First Look at Paris Orly OpenSkies Lounge

Pets are welcome in the new lounge at ORL
Pets are welcome in the new OpenSkies/British Airways lounge at Paris Orly

On our way home from Paris, we stopped in the spanking new British Airways/OpenSkies lounge at Orly Airport (ORL).

The new lounge, known as 212 Orly West, opened on July 4, 2015.

It is located airside in Hall 3 in the Orly West terminal.

After clearing security, the lounge is on the lower level.

The lounge is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with catering adapted to flight times.

The following passengers are eligible to visit the lounge:

  • OpenSkies Biz Bed customers traveling to New York
  • British Airways Club Europe customers traveling to London Heathrow
  • British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver Members
  • oneworld Emerald and Sapphire card holders

Lounge Rats Will Enjoy the British Airways/OpenSkies Lounge at Orly West

The menu of food and drink offerings at the OpenSkies/British Airways Lounge at Orly Airport in Paris
The menu of food and drink offerings at the OpenSkies/British Airways Lounge at Orly Airport in Paris

I am not much of a lounge afficiaonado so I don’t have much basis for comparison.

But I can share some pictures of the food and beverage offerings and the accommodations.

There were a variety of snack items available including raw veggies, fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, and potato chips, as well as a number of uniquely French foods.

There were freshly baked rolls, and three types of croissants to choose from, and small sandwiches.

Beverage choices included French wine and champagne, the usual juices and sodas, and espresso.

All in all, one could make a nice lunch from the spread at the lounge, but the food was nothing to write home about.

Fresh rolls and Viennoiserie
Fresh rolls and Viennoiserie

There was a nice selection of pastries available for dessert.

French pastries at the new OpenSkies lounge at Orly airport
French pastries at the new OpenSkies lounge at Orly airport

I would bet that the lounge caterer also provides the in-flight meals on OpenSkies, as several of the food offerings were the same.

Fruit tartare at 212 British Airways Lounge
Fruit tartare at 212 Orly West lounge

The pasta salad with salmon was delicious!

212 Orly West British Airways Lounge
French wine, cheese and salmon pasta salad

You can pour yourself a drink or a glass of champagne at the self-service bar.

You can pour yourself a drink at the self-service bar
The liquor selection at the new lounge at ORY

212 Orly West Lounge Has Modern Furnishings

The seating at the 212 Orly West lounge is comfortable.

Casual seating at 212 Orly West
Casual seating at 212 Orly West

There are electric outlets at each seat to charge your phone and laptop.

The windows are reminiscent of airplane windows
The windows are reminiscent of airplane windows

212 Orly West is a quiet lounge, so there are no announcements of flight boardings.

A Crested Chinese Powder Puff enjoying the amenities
A Crested Chinese Powder Puff enjoying the lounge amenities

As you would expect, there are free newspapers and magazines.

Modern furniture at the new lounge at Orly West
Modern furniture at the new lounge at Orly West

There’s a television in the reception area.

212 Orly West OpenSkies Lounge
Is that a money belt she’s wearing, or . . .

After relaxing for a while, it is time to board the plane.

We could see our airplane from the lounge
View of our airplane from the lounge

Destination DCA: Behind the Scenes Tour

 

Happy 74th Birthday, DCA!Happy 74th Birthday, DCA!
Happy 74th Birthday, DCA!

To celebrate the 74th anniversary of Reagan National Airport (DCA), the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is holding a behind the scenes tour of operations at the airport.

Destination DCA will give 25 lucky participants insight into the past, present and future of Reagan National Airport.

MWAA will randomly select 25 guests for lunch and a guided tour of the airfield at DCA.

The event will take place on June 23, 2015 from  1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

To enter for a chance to attend, go to http://www.mwaa.com/reagan/8025.htm.

Entries open open Tuesday, June 16, 2015 and close on Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 12:00 noon (Eastern Time).

This event sounds like great fun!

Aviation Fans: View Aer Lingus Airbus Inaugural Flight into Dulles

Aer Lingus Inaugural Airbus Flight into IAD
Discover Dulles: Watch this A330 land on May 1, 2015

The Aer Lingus Airbus A330  is making its inaugural flight from flight from Dublin, Ireland into Dulles International Airport (IAD) on May 1, 2015.  

45 lucky people will be invited to view the landing and get a behind the scenes tour of the Ramp Control Towers and Operations at IAD.

I attended one of these “Discover Dulles” events last summer and it was a blast!

Click here to enter the contest for a chance to be a part of this historical event.

Continue reading —>

How to Secure a Parking Spot at DCA

Check Parking Availability for DCA Online
Check Parking Availability for DCA Online

Don’t leave things to chance.  If you are flying out of Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) you can check the live parking status online before you leave your home or office.

Parking at DCA can be tight, especially on holidays.

There are only about 2,800 spaces in the economy lot, and limited offsite parking.

Even better, you can reserve a parking space in advance via ePark.  You can make your reservation online at FlyReagan.com from 24 hours to six months in advance of your trip.

Better yet, leave your car at home at take the Metro!

Guarantee Your Parking Space Advance at DCA

Reserve A Parking Space in Advance at DCA
Reserve A Parking Space in Advance at DCA

ePark customers are guaranteed a spot in their chosen parking lot, even if the signs say the lot is full.  You can open the entry and exit gate with the credit card linked to your online reservation.

There is no fee to make a reservation online!

Reservations can be changed or canceled online up to 24 hours before arrival time, free of charge.

How To Make a Parking Reservation at DCA

There are six simple steps to making a successful online parking reservation:

  • Select your date and time
  • Choose the parking garage or lot
  • Complete your personal information
  • Provide your credit card payment details
  • Print out your confirmation email
  • Bring the credit card you used in order to enter and exit the parking facility!

A 24/7 customer service center at 703-417-PARK (7275) handles all inquiries for parking customers, including ePark.

Easy, peasy, and good to know if you are traveling at a peak time!

Discount Parking @BWI is Back!

BWI Parking $4.50 per day
BWI Parking $4.50 per day

Groupon is offering quite the deal on offsite parking near Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport:  just $4.50 per day if you buy a Groupon for three consecutive days.  The vendor is Econopark.

Just search for “airport parking” from the Groupon home page.

Econopark is open 24 hours a day and offer continuous shuttle service to the airport.

I have used them and can attest to their good service.  It is just as convenient as the on-site parking if not more so.

Three Options for Discount Parking at BWI

You can choose from one of three options offered on Groupon:

  • $14 for three consecutive days of airport parking at BWI with free shuttle service ($20.55 value)
  • $22 for five consecutive days of airport parking at BWI with free shuttle service ($34.25 value)
  • $30 for seven consecutive days of airport parking at BWI with free shuttle service ($47.95 value)
Choose your Groupon!
Choose your Groupon!

Econopark shuttles pick customers up at their vehicle and transport them to and from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

They will help you with your  luggage and they offer free bottles of  water — a nice touch.

The parking area is fully fenced and secure.  You can reserve online at Econopark Express.com.

The Fine Print for Groupon BWI Parking Deal

Be sure to read the fine print to make sure this Groupon deal will work for you. There are blackout dates and other restrictions.

Groupon expires May 15th, 2015.  Limit 1 per person. Valid only for option purchased.  Limit 1 per vehicle. Must use entire promotional value in 1 visit.  No credit for unused days.  Must pay current non-coupon Internet-advertised rate for extra days.  Cannot be combined with any other offers, promotions, coupons, or Frequent Parker cards.  Not valid for valet service or cruise terminal parking.  Reservation required. Must be presented at exit. Subjected to availability. Not valid Easter weekend (April 3-6), Memorial Day week (May 21-26), or Labor Day week (Sept 3-8).  One day is considered to be 24 hours.

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks if you choose to use them!

Keep Your Frequent Flyer Miles Active with Thanks Again

Thanks Again Loyalty Program QR CodeThanks Again is a loyalty program that awards airline frequent flyer miles for parking and other purchases at 170 airports throughout the U.S.

If you sign up via BWI’s link, you can earn 100 airline miles or 200 hotel points for enrolling!  This enrollment bonus is valid through December 31, 2015.

Thanks Again allows you to automatically earn frequent flyer miles or hotel points when you park, shop and dine at BWI or any of the other participating airports, such as RDU, DCA, BOS, PIT, FWA, AUS, and dozens of others.

This is a great way to extend the expiration date on an inactive frequent flyer account, or to maintain steady activity on the account.

Thanks Again Bonus Rewards

Simply register one or more American Express, Visa, or MasterCard credit card and pair it with the rewards program of your choice.  You will automatically earn one  extra mile, or two extra hotel points, when you shop at any of 24,000 participating locations.  This is on top of any other points you are earning with the card.

Real big spenders earn 5x miles or 10x points if they spend $1,000 in a calendar quarter.  

 Thanks Again Participating Loyalty Programs

 Airlines
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • American AAdvantage
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Frontier EarlyReturns
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • US Airways Dividend Miles

 Hotel Programs

  • Hilton HHonors
  • VOILÀ Hotel Rewards
  • Wyndham Rewards

Have you tried Thanks Again?

Stuck at BWI? Go Take a Bike!

Rent a Bike at BWI
Time to kill at BWI? Take a bike ride.

Did you know that you can rent a bike at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport for just $5 a day?

If you find yourself at the airport with time on your hands, you can take a bike ride on the BWI Bike Trail.  

The 12.5 mile bike trail encircles the airport passing through pine forests and Andover Park, where the Thomas A. Dixon Observation Area offers a great vantage point for plane spotters.

Rent a Bike at BWI for $5 a Day

Zagster rents bikes outside the airport’s International Terminal, near the BWI Marshall Airport Light Rail stop.

You can reserve one of ten self service bikes for a daily rate of $5 for up to 12 hours.  This has got to be the deal of the century!

Bikes come with seven gears, front and rear lights, a bell, and a front basket.  Riders can make reservations with Zagster via an app available from the App Store or on Google Play.

The BWI Bike Trail

BWI Trail
Thomas A. Dixon Observation Area.
Photo from accounty.org

The BWI Bike Trail begins at the Linthicum light rail station, runs past a historic property on the grounds of the airport, the Benson-Hammond House.

The trail continues along Aviation Boulevard to the Stewart Avenue Bridge.

At the bridge, continue traveling west to the Thomas A. Dixon, Jr. aircraft observation area where there is a playground, bike racks, and restrooms.

Most of the trail is paved, with some boardwalk areas over wetlands.

This trail seems to be a favorite for bikers and plane spotters alike.  Now you can enjoy it even if you don’t have a bike.  BWI, which was originally named Friendship International Airport, is indeed the friendliest airport around!