In a Paragraph, Share How You Got Into Travel/Miles/etc.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by James K., Aug 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    I used to travel a fair amount, but I looked down on my older brother (who's a Flyertalk evangelist) for what I thought was his obsession. So what happened? I think for most of us there's a moment where something clicked and this became a big part of our lives. So I decided that it would be fun to share. If this has been done to death in another thread please pardon me, since I'm fairly new here. And hopefully my "in a paragraph" restriction doesn't seem too restrictive, but everyone (myself included) has a tendency to blather on when talking about himself, so I think a nice tidy paragraph will keep them being fun to read rather than a chore.

    In any event, in 2008 I hadn't left the country in seven years. But then I went on a cruise to the Bahamas, I went on a Birthright trip to Israel, and finally my Dad took me on a sweet graduation trip to Argentina (DTW-ORD-MIA-EZE-ORD-DTW) in business class. I bought a guidebook, took us on a daytrip to Colonia in Uruguay, and realized how much fun travel was. The business class sure helped too, even if I have now learned that AA's J product only exists to be mocked :) After that it was just up and up. I started flying a lot more, got status on Delta, convinced my wife--who put up very little resistance, bless her heart--that travel was the best thing to do with our time and money, and it's been a blast ever since.

    So what about you guys?
     
  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    My mother's brother had lived in Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and US before I entered primary school. I was born enroute from MEX to ONT so the combination of those events gave me wanderlust at birth. The word of frequent flyer benefits hit me when I was made a member of the Swiss Travel Club (an unpublicized invitation only program of Swissair that had lots of VIP benefits). I joined the AAdvantage program in 1981 when I first heard of it (I have one of those seven numeric numbers) and thereafter was hooked and joined new programs as they were offered. I sold awards several times a year until that became a nono. Since then I have just redeemed lots of awards.
     
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I had just returned from Sydney, AU, in 2002 when I visited my older brother for Thanksgiving. After I got through telling those gathered for dinner about my wonderful trip Down Under, my brother, a globetrotter for years, said something like: "That's a long trip. You must have raked in lots of miles." I had no idea what he was talking about and the blank expression on my face must have told him that he needed to elaborate, which he did, concluding: "You go to so many international conferences every year that I was sure you knew! Gosh, how many miles have you left behind over the past 2-3 years that you have been doing long-haul intl travel?!!" That was my intro to FF. My selection of MileagePlus was serendipitous. After that Thanksgiving Dinner Edification, I had a flight on UA during which I filled out a membership application handed out by a FA. As for joining a frequent guest program, I decided to join Hilton Honors, ca. 2006, after I received an offer through AMEX to join at the HH Gold level for two years. Did nothing with it for a couple of years and lost the Gold status. But then I was fast-tracked back to Gold status with an offer to do 3 stays in 9 days, after I had already booked 3 qualifying stays! I then started staying exclusively with Hilton after I learned the tricks of the trade on reaching and maintaining elite status...
     
  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    In 2005, I started traveling ATL-LON for work on DL...they paid for M+ fares, so I quickly began learning the upgrade in's and out's. Since then, the various things I've learned (upgrades, status, bumping, etc.) applied to work and personal travel. Of course, moving to the UK certainly impacted my efforts to earn and maintain top status.

    :)
     
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  5. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    These are fun to read, even if NYCUA1K can't keep his to a paragraph...;)

    JB- I'm damn impressed with you. I thought my 1992 memberships in Aadvantage/Dividend Miles was impressive. Clearly I am but a mere mortal next to your godliness

    NYC- I know exactly how you feel about regretting leaving all those miles on the table. What we could do with them now!

    Rwoman- Atlanta to London in M on someone else's money! *Sigh* That we were all so lucky...
     
  6. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    That was THEN...now my travels are mostly on cheapest fares... ;) But that's ok!
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Is there a danger for the "printer" to run out of paper?:p

    Reductio ad absurdum:

    Technically, this is 4 paragraphs:

    So, you just broke your own "law".

    And if you look at my post that "broke the law", it is now one "paragraph"... there is a point in there somewhere..;)
     
  8. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    How about a sentence.

    I bought a map store.
     
  9. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Sorry NYC I was just messing with you: it's not like you rambled on too much or something
     
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  10. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Caught the travel bug since 1999 [ flying / hotels / Destinations ] and never looked back, nor can I live without flying.:) [ Did I mention that it's drives me mad not to fly? ] :D
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Hmmm....

    For a board on free exchange of views, to limit the size of posts is to encroach a bit on the "free" part of the exchange. People should feel free to post as much as they like because the readers have the freedom to skip anything that they find to be unacceptably long.

    So, I found the sophomoric "in a paragraph" unnecessary and, yes, annoying -- like a request to write a piece for a high-school essay class!
     
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  12. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    My parents signed us all up for FF accounts when we made a trip to India ... in fact, I think I may have been one of the first members of Miles & More as a preschooler. Before I was a teenager, I had accounts with UA, AA, and DL as well, and had figured out partnerships (i.e., used AA miles for Cathay Pacific and British Airways, used DL miles for SQ back when that was possible). I even had AA Gold before age 10, though not really sure if I ever used it (to put my AA earnings into perspective, before I got my first AA credit card at age 21, my MM balance was already above 100K. According to AA.com, that account was opened when I was 7 :)).

    It wasn't until my parents' account reached Lifetime Gold status (due to some miles and 8+ years of hitting the $100K limit on an AA Citi Business Mastercard) that I looked into what miles & status could really do. I sort of hung around Flyertalk, but not really. When the Lifetime Plat status rolled in a few years later (due to elites not having mileage caps on credit cards), that's when I was really sucked into it, and also got into better maximizing promotions and credit cards to redeem better and faster.
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    It may have been a runon paragraph but it was a paragraph.:cool:
    I admire anyone who has respect for advanced age. Thanks and welcome to MilePoint. We aged members appreciate you.:p
     
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  14. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Let's see ....
    The year, November 1981. The airline, TWA. The location, New York City.
    I was working in merchandise presentation for a men's clothing company. Started to fly to various malls around the U.S. where our stores were located. TWA was convenient from the NYC market and on my very first flight on business I noticed a colorful brochure with a picture of Hawaii on the front with a caption, "Fly For Free." Making few pennies and living in the NYC area made Hawaii and "Fly Free" a very inviting idea. I took them up on it, knowing that I was never going to be able to afford to fly to Hawaii on my salary. I did make it to Hawaii for free within 6 months (I was really good at figuring this stuff out) and after that ... well, that's another story. So thank you TWA and thank you Holiday Inn Priority Club which both contributed to my now historic delinquency.
     
  15. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    *Rolls eyes*. I obviously tried to make a conciliatory post, explaining how I was just kidding, and making clear you didn't ramble on or anything. So why would you respond to me in such a way?
     
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  16. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Daemon -- Love your photo. Also, judging but that list of airports in your signature, you've put your miles/status to good use indeed!

    Randy -- Wow you go far back. I hope you gave yourself a frequent flier anniversary present for your 30th last year. Heck I didn't know TWA had a program that early. Was it called Aviators or something else back then?
     
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  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Just thought it was a good opportunity to make the larger philosophical point...

    ...but I am ready to move on.
     
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  18. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Spent boyhood in Greater Los Angeles not long after World War II. Parents clearly believed that with America victorious in the war, prosperity at hand, and air travel the safe and modern mode of transportation developing rapidly, flying and seeing the world were a definition of success, and to be sought after. As a family we did our share of flying -- mainly stateside though, and relatively modest. Then my grandparents moved from Boston to Southern California and located in Manhattan Beach, which is very close to LAX. My parents would make sure to drive us near the airport, and usually via the Sepulveda underpass to the main LAX runways, en route to their house, plus -- when time -- even pull into LAX and bum around the terminals. I became so fascinated with it, I had my dad bring home expired copies of the Official Airline Guide from his office, and used those at age 10 or so to plan his business trips. And the glamor of air travel at the time -- nice people, pretty stewardesses, good food, etc. -- made the fascination greater. Then -- fast forward to airline degregulation and frequent-flyer programs a couple decades later, I took that fascination and said I was going to use these new programs to travel as much as I could, and see the world to an extent my parents had never done. Not to be immodest, but I've done some of that. <end paragraph - though a very long paragraph>
     
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  19. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    My wife and I and another couple went to a Marriott resort and got roped into going to a timeshare presentation. My business partner had purchased one in Aruba and loved it. We were easy marks but negotiated well. In the end, I walked away with over 500,000 Marriott points and the race was on! About 18 months later I discovered Starwood and the SPG AMEX and haven't looked back. I could go on and on but you asked that we limit it so there you go!
     
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  20. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I blame Continental in the mid-80s.

    First class was triple miles, 1000 mile minimum.
    They charged the same rate in First as they did in coach, for my route, which was SNA-SJC and back.
    Each way fare? $39.

    Yes, 6000 miles for $78, which is incredibly good for short haul. My recollection was that a transcon roundtrip in first was something like 30,000 miles back then.

    Thus, I went to Hawaii (in coach) and the FAs went on strike, so I "had" to stay over two more days.

    After that, I was hooked.
     
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  21. Fishing4Deals

    Fishing4Deals Silver Member

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    We were changing planes in Denver and got roped in by someone hawking Southwest credit cards. It's worked out great with many free flights in the last 1.5 years.
     
  22. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    Great stories everyone!

    Me, before I left home and off to grad school, dad said "make sure to stick with 2 airlines & sign up for the FF programs to collect miles" (Chose UA and WN cause it was the cheapest). Traveled back and forth and all around during grad school but knew squat about the game. About a year ago, still didn't know anything. Saw I had a gazallion points just sitting there. Decided to burn some of them. Then during a trip, GF's friend said I redeemed for a horrible rate (I even bought a bunch of Best Buy gift cards with my miles, LOL). Decided to seek help (to maximize) from the lovely internet (MP & FT), and here I am!
     

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