Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Experience with Southwest Airlines

We always fly Southwest Airlines. It’s convenient, they have flights almost to every state, and they are frequently cheaper than other airlines specially if you count the free two bags with each ticket.

Southwest Airlines Feedback Card

However, this time we had a terrible experience with them. We flew from Oakland to BWI a single non-stop flight. When we checked in at the gate in Oakland they missed scanning my daughter’s boarding pass at the gate door and therefore the crew at the plane was announcing her name and checking if she has boarded or not. We walked down the isle and told them that here she is with us and they said OK will check her in.

When we arrived to BWI, I received an email that my daughter’s ticket was cancelled because she did not fly! I immediately called them and the person on the line said OK we will fix it.

When we were checking in for our return flight from BWI back to Oakland, the Southwest Airline agent said that my daughter does not have a ticket and we did not pay for her! It took us about 30 minutes explaining and they finally apologized and let my daughter fly with us.

Reflecting on this experience I think that Southwest Airlines has some deep problems need to be fixed. The error has passed unchecked three times, at the gate when we first flew from Oakland, then my telephone call with them, and finally the ridiculous experience during checking in for the return flight.

Roth IRA versus Roth 401K

I recently had trouble understanding the difference between the regular Roth IRA and the company-sponsored Roth 401(k). So thought I share the knowledge with  you;

Similarities:

  • Both of them are after-tax investment. You pay tax upfront and then the money will grow tax-free. When you withdraw at retirement you don’t pay taxes.

Differences:

  • Roth IRA has income limit of $183,000 (house-hold) or $116,000 (if single). If you make that much you cannot invest in Roth IRA. While in Roth 401K you can invest no matter how high is your income, there is no income limit which is obviously a great choice for high earners.
  • Contribution limit is also different. For Roth IRA, the maximum you can put is $5,500 per year. While in Roth 401K, you can put a maximum of $17,500 (or $23,000 if over 50 years old), just like the traditional tax-deferred 401K limits.

Clearly Roth 401K is the best option for employed individuals with high income.

Thanksgiving Celebration for Non-Christians

Non-Christian immigrants to the United States and Canada often find themselves facing this question, Is it OK to celebrate Thanksgiving?

happy-thanksgiving

No matter what is your religion (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Atheism, or any other belief) It’s OK to celebrate Thanksgiving. This is because Thanksgiving does not belong to Christianity, it’s a secular celebration of the harvest and a way of family gathering and thanking God for all the good deeds we have. Perhaps it’s the only big holiday for believers and non-believers.

The Thanksgiving holiday is not observed in all the Christian majority countries. It’s mainly in the US, and Canada. Which is a proof that it’s not meant for Christians alone.

Back Pocket Wallet Sciatica

I used to carry a huge wallet in my back pocket and always leave it there even when driving long distances. Then suddenly I developed sciatica, with hip pain that shoots down the buttock area and the back of thighs.

back-pocket-wallet

When I stopped doing this. My sciatica resolved completely.

So guys; never leave your wallet in your back pocket when you drive.

This is also called Piriformis Syndrome.

Ridiculous Bill from Comcast

I recently transferred Comcast services from one address to another at the same state. I did the transfer request online and carried the quipments with me including the Gateway modem and the TV box and even the cable cords. Everything went OK at the new address until I got this bill here

Comcast-Bill

A bill for $630 from Comcast!

After absorbing the shock for few minutes I immediately grabbed the phone (AT&T phone) and called them right away.

It turns out that this is a standard bill that everybody will get when transferring service.! It’s the cost of the equipment that were not returned! Then once they confirm you are continuing with them and using the same equipment they will then wipe off the charges. Seriously, isn’t that weird, why do you send a bill for a customer who just transferred the address across the street.

Dear Comcast, see if you can avoid sending such weird $600+ bills in the future.