The first of (hopefully) many posts on this subject. I've been a road warrior type for about 6 years and am fairly brand loyal to US: DCA kicks IAD's butt, so I get more nonstops to the places I want to go from my friendly, mellow local airport; and US has consistently been good to me. I don't ignore that they have room for improvement (don't get me started on the Choice Seats nonsense; let's just say that US does sometimes lose my business over those, and I always send them the reciepts) but like any big business, you'll find areas where they wow you and areas where they just leave you scratching your head. All in all, though, US works for me and I'm happy to put the work and budget into maintaining my CP status year-over-year. My sister is (till now) my polar opposite: flies about four times a year, and shops by convenience and price with no eye towards rewards, loyalty or benefits. I almost strangled her a few years back when she went to Germany, Argentina and a few transcons, all on SkyTeam partners, and never banked a single mile. She finds me likewise infuriating when I insist on making a connection on our way to London just so I can get the miles (and visit the Envoy lounge). Her situation has changed a little, and she's traveling more frequently now; she'll probably never hit the hardcore road warrior stage but she's doing more domestic leisure travel, and I thought I'd see if I can convert her over to the "dark side" with the rest of us who collect points and miles as if it were a religion. I honestly don't care whose program she puts her effort into, but since I already know the rules, tricks and tips on US I figured it might as well be theirs. Plus there won't be any bickering when we travel together Step one was gifting her US Silver status for Christmas last year. Since then she's only booked twi trips: a weekend getaway to Las Vegas, and a quick trip to Orlando. But watching her book the flights was pretty interesting; for Vegas, airfares on all carrier were already high, and US came in around the middle of the pack, but as soon as I mentioned free checked bags for her and her companion, she was sold. DCA-LAS on US for the both of them, I helped them pick the best seats on the plane (and I have never seen anyone take quite so much baggage for a 3-day weekend.... I guess they planned to get their money's worth from the free checked bags). For Orlando, i told her that was a pretty easy upgrade, even as a Silver, so she picked the US flight even though it was a few dollars more than AirTran (but she'd not factored in the bag fees and advance seat selection fees to the AirTran ticket and, in the long run, the US itinerary was cheaper). She ended up getting upgraded with her companion. I think she's starting to "get it" now. She likes getting upgraded. Step two: I'd promised her a trip to England as a Christmas present, Business Class if I could work it out. She's never been in a premium International cabin. Long story short, we're going on VS in a few weeks, in Upper Class made possible by Amex points, and I think that's going to spoil her. To the point where she's going out of her way to get miles. Will post an update once we travel But safe to say, I've already taught her that we can credit this flight to US and start chipping away at maintaining her US Silver for 2012. The kicker, though, came in an email yesterday from her: while scoping out hotels in London and Bristol for our trip, she came across a US promo for triple miles on Marriott stays. I know the airline mileage accrual sucks when compared to the Marriott points accrual but at the risk of "too much information all at one time" I figured it's better to let her feel proud of finding the deal and thinking about the miles. I know I'm proud of her for that! Anyway... sorry for the long post-- I think the backstory is important-- will check in throughout the year and update you as I work to turn a casual, non-miles-collecting traveler into a US elite. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out!