Home for the Holidays: A Tough Flight with a Toddler

Never take a 23 month year old as a lap infant. That's what we learned on our flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, quite possibly the worst flight we've ever taken with M! In the light of day, it wasn't that bad but at the time it was a lot of stress. First, a note. I've read on many baby-oriented travel websites some version of the argument: "You should always book your child a seat it's safer etc. etc. etc." Now I definitely agree that it is safer and it is always better to have an extra seat for your child. On the other hand, I am cheap, and I have a lot of...um...frugal friends who never bought a seat for their child until they had to, and all of them [...]

Creating a British Airways Household Account – Why and How

Creating a British Airways household account is a simple, relatively painless process that I personally thinks makes a lot of sense for many families. I was recommending a friend do this for himself and his wife the other day so thought I'd do a quick refresher on why you might want to create a household account and how to do it. Pros and Cons of a Household Account For the unfamiliar, a BA Household account gives you the ability to pool miles with another member of your household living at the same address. This is particularly useful when you have miles split up between spouse/family accounts, since you can minimize "orphaned" miles. Example: my wife wants to take a flight from Boston to Charlotte that will cost her 7500 Avios. [...]

Concerned about a British Airways Devaluation? Book these

Update: Since I typed this up, via PFD, BA has denied any changes are forthcoming on Twitter. But I think the information on these flights are useful so I'm posting this anyway. These are still good flights to book, and potential devaluations are always a nice reminder to earn and burn. So, I was about to go to bed around midnight last night when I caught wind of a possible British Airways devaluation that can happen any minute. It's not official, but it makes sense that it's going to happen. The first people I saw write about were Free-quent Flyer, View from the Wing, Milenomics, and PFD (plus KennyBSAT on Twitter) - so you can read more about the details there. Anyway, at times like these, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the [...]

Deciding Between Miles, Points, or Cash for Short Haul Flights

If you've just started the miles and points game, the temptation might be to use your newly earned miles for everything. Or, you might be in the situation where you have a ton of miles but don't know what to do with them. I play the miles and points game for two reasons. First, I want to experience things that I'd never be able to afford in cash (namely, international premium cabin flights). But the second reason I play this game is to make travel more affordable. If you're in this game for the second reason at all, it's important to know how to make judicious decisions about when and where to use your miles. This post was prompted by an e-mail a friend sent me: "Hi Joe, I need to [...]

Using British Airways Avios to book American Airlines tickets

A friend asked me if I could do a post on using British Airways Avios for flying on American Airlines flights. It may seem counterintuitive, but there are times when you want to use one type of airline mile to fly on one of its alliance partners. In this case, British Airways and American are Oneworld partners, and you can save some miles by using BA Avios in the right instances. Here's how: Part I: Determining when to use Avios for American Airlines flights The key to using Avios is to use them at the right times. There are two factors that make this tricky. The first is that British Airways charges fuel surcharges on a lot of their flights, making award redemptions lose a lot less valuable (because you [...]