Point of No Return?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by chaz4449, Jan 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You forgot the most important part:

    By Christopher Elliott
     
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  3. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    I googled him, and he has his own website "dedicated to helping us as travelers". Interesting... BTW, I really like the raccoon avatar, is there a story behind it?
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It's a raccoon that came to our front door stealing cat food. I took that photo shortly before MP started up, so when I had to pick an avatar, that little bandit came to my mind :) I have always liked raccoons, for some reason.

    Back on topic -- I am perfectly okay with Chris Elliott advocating his "ignore miles" approach. He's certainly right that people can get carried away with the pursuit of miles and points. But with that in mind, I'll waive to him from my F seat as he passes through on the way to coach. Then again, National Geo probably pays for him to fly F.
     
  5. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Seems a continuing message over the years by a few repetitive journalist' — all who claim or allude to cutting up their loyalty cards. If they cut up their cards, why the heck are they still claiming to play the game? Seems falsified acclaim to me. The fortunate thing is that Milepoint was not named as part of the "collective delusion". Which I'm glad of because the positive is that we are all here making the best of our pooled knowledge to make sure we're all on a level ground of participation and as such not really interested in being part of "a breeding ground for entitled elites and wannabes." Feeling "Entitled"? The article has clearly provided a service by pointing those members elsewhere.

    I'v known Chris for many. many years and while I may disagree on occasion with some of his assumptions or conclusions — he does provide a good role as a journalist in the other topics he is more comfortable in.
     
  6. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Miles are good, very very good. There are good and bad ways to get them.
    If you acquire miles in a smart way and use them wisely, no problem. ;)
     
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  7. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    100% Agree. I always go with the most affordable option. This is common sense and I like to think there is a new breed of mile collectors who see past the offers and go for the best deal.

    I agree with him here. But I think he is not making the point he thinks he is. This analogy is more apt for people who want Elite Airline Status and who should not be wasting their time getting it. Something I stress to readers of my blog.

    He fails to differentiate between people pursuing elite status and people like me who just want to earn free flights on the cheap. George Clooney's character is not a skilled mileage collector but a Super-Frequent Flyer.

    And Finally...

    Wow. That is a harsh assessment BUT it is also fair.

    Some people do get carried away with "the hunt" but that is making a generalization of our community based on the actions of the minority.

    Sure there are some solid blogs on BA but I like to think us indie bloggers are the real torch bearers for the community!

    Also Flyertalk is unmatched in quantity and quality of information on frequent flyer programs. It is the launching pad for many good things about this community. Every now and then there will be some shady dealings and/or characters pop-up but that's not a reflection on flyertalk but people who misrepresent it's principles. It really is an invaluable resource for me.

    I thought it was a interesting article but his message was confusing elite status with free award travel. The two are not equal and are completely unrelated.
     
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  8. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    I have a picture of a raccoon raiding our bird feeder. Not as clear as yours though. My wife yelled at it, and it hissed at her and returned to eating!


    He probably typed the article on his MacBook PRO while sitting in an F seat.
     
  9. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Too true. :)

    And yes, I do feel having access to priority boarding, leg room, upgrades, and a special customer service line is important. :D
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Do you just look at the $ price? Eg

    Hyatt $100
    Sheraton $90

    so go with Sheraton? Except since I am elite with Hyatt, I get free internet ($15) and free breakfast ($20). Etc. etc.

    Of course, if you're not elite and don't travel enough or your travel pattern doesn't make it easy to become elite with one program, then the situation may be different. But the bottom line, IMO, is that the $$ price isn't the only factor.
     
  11. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    Well, if you don't travel enough to be elite, and I don't, then "Name Your Own Price" on priceline and get one of the two $50. Plus cash back from ebates.com and the points and miles from your credit card.
     
  12. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    No, Like yourself I prefer to take a broad base cost-benefit analysis on my options before making a decision.

    Like I said, I believe this new breed is more about the "best deal" and not blindly following the points/miles.

    Everybody has a different Loyalty Program Portfolio. If you are an elite and the value of your free perks makes one hotel base room price a better deal than a hotel with a cheaper price but no perks, that is your "best deal".
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Very true.
     
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  14. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Or maybe you can accumulate enough miles and points with both airlines and hotels so that virtually all of your travel is free. :D (haven't figured out yet how to get free car rentals, just cheaper ones)
     
  15. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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  16. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    I'm not poor, but I'm far from rich. All I know is that there are dozens of places I never could have afforded to visit (let alone fly to in business or first) without miles. Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, England, Scotland, to name a few of my favorites. The possibilities that Randy raised my consciousness about so many years ago has made my life much more rich and enjoyable.

    My girlfriend compares my mileage hobby to coupon clipping. As far as I know, no one criticizes people who save money at the grocery store by using cents-off coupons. Why should we be criticized for enjoying the immense benefits of traveling in style at reduced rates (or free), when this is our passion. IMO, our country and the world would be a far better place if people traveled MORE!
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Just used Hertz points for the first time this week for a near-free ($8) one-day rental in Waikiki that would have cost me $120 (incl. one-way fee for airport drop off).
     
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  18. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Thanks for the reminder. I do have 500 Hertz points. Won't work for my ten day rental starting next week, though........
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Another time I used some 15k orphan AA miles from my wife's account to get a rental in Florida for a week when the regular price was around $400.
     
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  20. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Yes, but my ten day rental is down to $162 with a coupon I have. :)
     
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  21. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    I rent many cars @ weekend rates, so I am always looking for airline miles deals. The bane of my existence are those occassional Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays when I need a car for a day.
    In 2011 National started it's One, Two, Free promotion in August. Those "free" cars are never really free for me. I didn't even do my first qualifying rental till sometime in October; but I surprised myself by earning 4 "free days".
    I'll use those "free" days to knock off over 50% on the cost of a midweek single day rental.:)
    And I picked up 4000 additional airline miles along the way.:)
     
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  22. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Interesting article but I can't say that I agree with it. Mileage collecting is a very good and profitable hobbie. The experiences that I've had over the years thanks to flights provided by miles are priceless!
     
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  23. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    I would agree that for the general public, who care about other things, the points game can cost them... But once you educate yourself to have similar knowledge as the provider you can have huge benefits...

    It's like any hobby, for the masses their hobbies generate huge income for corporations, and then the person moves onto something else, and sticks the hobby eaquipment in the atic. Yet some hobbiest find a way to either have a life long passion, or maybe even make a successful side job out of it.

    Flying a mileage run for perks that you will not use is like buying golf clubs before you figure out that you don't like the game.
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well said. Another thing to consider is the potential for over-valuing the benefits one receives. When I read somewhere (here or a blog) that 100k miles where used to buy an F ticket worth $13,000, I cringe. Those people who would spend $13k for that ticket probably don't clip coupons or bother with mileage runs. So be realistic -- if you couldn't earn and use miles, how many of those talking about $13k tickets would sit somewhere in the back sipping diet coke from a plastic cup? Similarly with suite upgrades etc.
     
  25. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I echo those on here who said they couldn't have seen the country and the world as they have without careful management of frequent flyer accounts. Aside from personal and family relationships, travel -- largely first-class travel -- probably has been the next largest highlight of my adult life, and is the biggest hobby.

    As for Mr. Elliott's annoyance at forums and their members who engage in shady ways to get around the system, that's the users' personal choice. I don't use every tip I read about -- my churning rate of banks and credit cards, for example, is slim to none.

    There are people who try to milk every system that's ever been invented, certainly not just loyalty programs.

    The abuse of home mortgages in this century's first decade, by the lenders but also by the borrowers, was system-milking-to-the-n'th-degree, and in the end the shadiest lenders, and probably borrowers, may have gotten what was coming to them. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a place in the system for the American Dream of home ownership and conservative mortgages.

    So by that same logic, abuse and shady practices by some (and no, folks, I don't consider an occasional shift in credit cards to be "shady" per se) doesn't mean there is no place for loyalty travel programs. There is. I have taken advantage (one 'A' or two at the start of that word, ha ha) of the opportunities they provide , and would like to continue. . .
     
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