So what's your story? Be honest!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by marathon man, Feb 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. marathon man
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    marathon man Silver Member

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    Do you work in an office and while you could get a raise or an advancement in your company position, you kinda like the routine you are in because of how you earn miles, burn them on travel, and stuff like that?

    Do you work for yourself and like me, you let some things slide a bit and maybe that had to do with the fact you were bored with part of it and you really want to do something different so miles and points offer that rush or buzz that you think you need (whether or not working in some entity having to do with miles and points is the answer but it could be!)?

    What is your story?

    Here is mine:

    I have been doing consulting--marketing in the ski industry and also some marketing work with promotions and graphics and whatnot... and other than the ski industry part, many of my things got slow. My wife has a new gig and they need her out of town for work related blah blah for a LONG time (yes, SHE will earn miles & status on her travels!) and as a result you are looking at MM--now short for MR MOM!

    Yup, now I am home and I take care of the 2 and 4 year old except when me mother can help out and I'm basically doing 2 things for the while...

    1) coins and other mile gigs

    2) taking care of the kids (the post office is near their day care school so I can get my coins lol)

    To be honest, my wife sometimes thinks that if I had gone full bore with work and was more high power with my consulting, she would not have to do what she's doing now. She may just be saying that because I know she wanted to do it, but you know... She sometimes jests that it is because of miles that I spent my time the way I did. Or that miles is why I am out of work. She's probably right. After all look at all the time we spend on this stuff!

    The fact remains that many here depend on these gigs to get us the miles we need to travel with friends or family and my story is interwoven with work and life in a way that on the one hand makes it easier to get miles (spending time on coins while not in an office all day) but on the other hand, I'm still not working right now so one income is gone for a while in my household.

    So I know what it's like to be out of work--it's what drove me to BE a consultant, and now I am in it again with just me, the kids and a lot of cardboard.

    But sometimes I have to rethink the entire miles issue. I mean, look at some of the problems people have run into trying to buy coins on credit cards that are now under financial review, or depositing into banks that have problems with receiving mass quantity of coin and thus give you problems or even shut down your accounts... Or in the case of the SunTrust Bank/Delta deal, a few bank employees lost their jobs because they facilitated the means for hundreds of us to earn miles and one was a teller who is a single mom. Imagine that the idea of earning miles could put a mother out of work! WOW it doesn't end.

    All this, and then, can you actually USE the miles when it's time to book your intended flight?
    lol (well, yes, I do--I take the whole family for 2 weeks to some island and we realize what we saved for a great trip)
     
  2. Sam Axe
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    Sam Axe Silver Member

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    As I posted on another thread, I have enough miles that given the vacation time I get from work and the fact that I have aging parents (for whom me disappearing for four weeks overseas is beyond problematic), I can be bemused for the next two years. Work travel and some domestic leisure travel not worth redemptions over those two years will yield me enough for a third year. I see no need to think further ahead right now.

    Meanwhile, as I posted on a different thread, my bucket list of international travel locations has dwindled. So the value of an international J/F award ticket has dwindled as well - I can't justify spending more than about $1400 to fly in business to London for a 5-day weekend getaway as I've been to London nearly a dozen times. Maybe $800 in premium economy if I was starting at JFK or BOS where it's a relatively short trip.

    So I've taken 2009, 2010, and at least the first half of 2011 off from most status chasing (except for National car, where I need my 25 rentals to fund my one-way driving habits). My interests have turned back more towards US and Canadian travel, especially smaller city and rural travel. I much prefer being behind the wheel than on an airplane, and I'm spending a lot more time exploring the areas that were not good earning opportunities when I was chasing mid-tier airline status. In some ways, I'm reverting back to childhood, as we used to take a three week driving trip every summer from the time I was 4 through my junior year of high school.

    But if the game picks back up in the second half of 2011, or more likely 2012, I'll be ready and well-rested. All it takes is one poorly-run airline or hotel chain that has to throw points at people (the United summer from hell promos fueled my first big earning binge from American's response), and the industry will be back off to the races.
     
  3. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    I'm looking for work, and until I find a job that allows me to travel I will not stop looking.
     
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  4. Westsox
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    Westsox Gold Member

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    I am currently employed in a job that has practically no travel, making 25% of what I was making a year ago. I am currently looking for a new job. Travel, location and perks are not important at this time. I am looking for cash. The pay decrease has been brutal but I am thankful to be employed.

    Current travel is limited to rewards travel and a few limited drives to see my son at college or attend children's sporting events.
     
  5. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    For those of you with families/kids, is it difficult to maintain this hobby of ours? I wonder if my desire would decrease when I start a family.
     
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  6. sagefemme52
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    sagefemme52 Silver Member

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    Like most hobbies, it can consume you, or just be something to amuse you when you have some free time. Parenting young children is very demanding. It was the time in my life when I put myself behind the needs of my children for quite a number of years. Finding balance is not always easy, especially because my desire to travel did not really change once we started a family.
     
  7. No. That would be stupid.
     
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  8. nomflyer
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    nomflyer Silver Member

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    That's a good point. Looks like from your avatar you still have a little one. I can see why it would be difficult to be away when they are that age! [​IMG]
     
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  9. ahow628
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    ahow628 Silver Member

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    My wife and I used to travel a ton before our girls were born. When we found out we were pregnant, we changed our miles cards over to cash back and basically resigned ourselves to not traveling for awhile.

    We got the invite for a wedding in San Francisco when they were 5 months old and thought, what the hell? The girls were little gems on the flights, not to mention they were free. We then made a couple other trips before the were 2 including a trip back in November to Singapore.

    We've switched back to mileage cards and opened up a Bank Direct account to start banking some miles again. We aren't doing anything we would normally do (credit cards and BD, yes; MRs and coins, no).

    In the end, we are hoping our girls will go to boarding school abroad so we can travel around wherever they are and hopefully travel in style when we do.
     
  10. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    Haha. I'm old.:p I have a job, that if I don't lose it, will only recover when/if the economy ever truly does. I have a bucket list, and it's slowly getting shorter. I live on a budget and travel on a budget; but I'm hoping to complete my bucket list before I stop working. At the moment, it's slow going.:D
     
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  11. bubb1
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    bubb1 Silver Member

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    I'm near completion towards a doctorate in the sciences. I have some travel for conferences and meetings but mostly enjoy leisure travel. More often than not I don't have any teaching obligations so I can travel somewhat freely. My fiance works full time for a consultancy.

    I started taking this whole thing seriously about a year ago when I realized what was possible for our honeymoon if airfare was effectively free. Of course after earning (and burning) ~300k miles on that (Asia and back in CX F) I am still going strong and looking forward to future travel with the wife before we have to decide on children. We also live pretty much across the country from our families and are quite relieved to use miles from CC/bank signups to visit instead of the thousands we used to pay annually for that.
     
  12. ahow628
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    ahow628 Silver Member

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    It'll get even more important once you have kids and they hit 2 years old (no more free lap ride).
     
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  13. kirkpd
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    kirkpd Silver Member

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    My job is tied to a desk/phone in the paper industry. I am also a " Weekday Widow" as my hubby travels alot during the week. He is also in the paper industry. Although I confess I dont "love love" my job. It is close to home and allows me 5 weeks vacation time.
    Generally we travel to a warm tropical destination to get away from home. It seems that the only way not to work around the house, is to get away. It also seems that this is the only way to get away from the darn cell phone.
     
  14. mrx900
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    mrx900 Silver Member

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    I work as a computer support person in a major company ; during my downtime, I am surfing and enjoying my time at work.....I thank Allah everyday for the job I have for it lets me find the greatest mileage deals online and participate in forums like this. Of course, if I had a job in which I was constantly busy, I would think my mileage bank would'nt be so high! ....
     
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  15. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I guess I'm older than most of you! I've been playing this game for about 8 years. I'm a dentist and was lucky enough to stumble on to FlyerTalk and realize that when possible (which is almost always!), we should NEVER pay bills in the office by check. So we generate a load of miles and points each year. We've had at least one spectacular overseas trip (Europe) each year.

    Two big changes. First of all, my wife just retired as a teacher. Second, credit card companies seem to like giving miles away! Between those two, we have a large number of trips planned for the next two years and all include either Business or First Class travel. In May, we take advantage of the BA free 100,000 miles and the two-for-one redemption offer and will be flying First Class to Israel. September in Scottsdale and December in Paris. A couple of timeshare vacations next winter and June, 2012, a Baltic cruise with airfare courtesy of BA.

    My sources are MilePoint (of course), FlyerTalk, a number of Boarding Area blogs and The Points Guy and a newsletter known as FirstClassFlyer. Somehow my friends have come to consider me an expert but I know that compared to most of you, I'm a novice.

    Suffice to say that while my wife has retired, she has informed me that I will never be allowed to since it would stop the flow of points!
     
  16. infoworks
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    infoworks Silver Member

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    travelling and working for 20+ years now!
     
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  17. TennisPro
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    TennisPro Silver Member

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    All I can say is, if I spent the same amount of time on actual work, as I do on mileage knowledge and offers, I would earn much more, in actual dollars, than the value I get from my time spent earning mileage and points. I hate to admit that, because it means I am not maximizing my time from an economic perspective. I am trying to cut back on time spent on this hobby, and increase my time spent on my job, but free travel is like an addiction. Even if I could have spent the day earning more than enough to fund a trip by working at my job, it's not the same as the unique satisfaction I get from doing a similar trip on free awards, even when it required more time spent researching and doing the deal. I might need counseling. :)
    On the other hand, I am not sure I would spend my mileage hobby time on work, anyway, so maybe it's ok.
     
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  18. Original Member
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    Original Member Silver Member

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    I'm into "it" simply to make my life better... whatever that means. So, I was Hilton Gold/Diamond until I felt that I wasn't getting much value anymore. I'm currently AA PLT and US GLD, but expect them to go away this year. I'm expecting to be WN A-list/preferred/CP this year in anticipation of the Airtran merger (I live in ATL).

    I don't like doing MRs... but will if I "have" to. Generally work and my personal life gets me 40-60k miles/year.
     
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  19. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I'm young and have a flexible enough work schedule that I can take long weekends and a few days off here and there to enjoy all these incredible experiences that I wouldn't have been otherwise able to. I get the majority of my miles from coins, cc bonuses, and other promos, but have only redeemed them for 1 LH F trip on the A380 (not yet taken).
     
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  20. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Currently in college so don't have the money to do MR's like everyone else does.. I just stay on MP and FT to stay somewhat knowledgeable on what is going on in the airline industry. It's also nice to be in an online community that talks about airlines and stuff since none of my friends share the same interests as me.
     
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  21. torbster
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    torbster Silver Member

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    I work as a engineer on heavy constructions, and although I'm constantly encouraged to (and an increasing part of me wants to) take on higher leadership-positions and climb the old ladder, I'm holding back cause I cherish my free-time way too much (of which I have about 28 whole weeks /year now). So yeah, I might fit your "profile" - but miles is more a bonus, although I don't want to spend them - cause then I wouldn't earn any miles on that flight! (there's the disease talking). I spend most of my time and money travelling, surfing, snowboarding, climbing, experiencing the world with new and old friends. And I've never regretted it, although I feel adulthood is slowly catching up to me, and I'll eventually have to face it and settle down...some day :D
     
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  22. Im 18 years into work+flying for work, I realised earlier this year Im over it. Started looking for a new job with less travel, but found out today, one job I have been to 4 interviews for (national engineering manager) I didn't get :(

    So, with that let down, I will enjoy the weekend at the Melbourne Grand Prix, then Monday get on a plane and take 2 x 2 hour flights, then Thursday a 2 hour flight, then Friday, a 3 hour flight and hopefully Tuesday the following week, a 3 hour flight home with a 4 hour flight the following Thursday and away for another 4 days.

    Thank God work has a Qantas policy, and at least one of the customers has a J policy!

    My spare time is spent with my wife, hopefully in 1A & 1C off to somewhere exotic like China or Malaysia..!
     
  23. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    I was collecting miles long before I stumbled into FT in l998, and continue to do so. The plan has always been to build up a stash of miles and points to cover our needs when we retire. When? Like everyone else, the economy tossed us a curve ball, so we are working longer than we had initially planned, although truth be told, we really do like our work and, as long as we have the freedom to travel frequently, really see no need to quit.

    We do get to travel a fair amount. We went to Rome in December, on a cruise to Aruba in December/January, to Phoenix for a wedding, to Des Moines for a wedding (we have no control over where our relatives choose to live), and recently flew to Switzerland to ski. We now have planned, Vegas, Puerto Rico, a Pacific Coastal Cruise, New York City, Croatia, Buenos Aires and another little coastal cruise in September. Guess I had better start planning stuff for the rest of the year.

    We always go to Whistler for Thanksgiving and the kids have told us that they want to go someplace warm for Chrhistmas. We'll see.
     
  24. jwsky
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    jwsky Silver Member

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    I am not a frequent flier. My miles are earned through shopping, credit cards and all those other means. But, I am a traveller and have always been.

    My work as a skilled laborer (carpenter) allows me flexability at the expense of few benifits. I can quit and travel for months at a time. My employers almost always hire me back because of my skills and depenability.

    I often travel for months at a time. FF miles get me to southeat asia, south america , Europe or anywhere. One free flight to ,say, Bangkok, sets me up with a base for months of travel in the region.

    And I really do this! Between the year 2000 and 2008, I spent about two years on the road in maybe 25 countries.

    Searching for miles and deals is not a chore for me, but more like a treasure hunt, which I enjoy.

    So, thats my story. Thanks for asking.

    I wish you all a safe journey.

    jerry
     
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  25. rtraveler

    rtraveler Active Member

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    I'm married with two kids and I guess I'm addicted to collecting miles/points although I don't do the coins or apply for every single cedit card since I don't want my credit scores to take a big hit. We take one international trip a year with miles and we like to take a few local trips using hotel points. Even though our kids are babies and it can be stressful traveling with them, we wouldn't change it for the world. We both work fulltime so it's nice to get away and explore the world.
     
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