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We decided to come back from Cuba. Actually we never went, but working, traveling and family-ing left little time for blogging, a labor of love that hasn’t seen much labor for over a year. But, I stumbled on something that seemed to deserve a post.

The need for positioning flights is one thing that’s often overlooked or underplayed by travelers who have the luxury of a home airport with vigorous competition and available award seats on foreign carriers. I’ve written more about positioning here. For those of us who have families [click to continue…]


Living squarely in flyover country where we’re an afterthought to legacy carriers (that’s another post), Southwest is our favorite airline for flights to most of the destinations they serve. Unlike legacy carriers who open up placeholder schedules each day that they have no intent to actually keep, [click to continue…]


There’s no good way to spin today’s awful news (which I fist saw on One Mile at a Time) about the Alaska Mileage Plan devaluation for travel on Emirates. As my stash of Alaska miles went from four business class tickets to Africa down to two, it just hurts. But I think it also points to a fundamental rule around all loyalty programs that I’ve been writing about and recommending for a long time:

Before you bother to earn a bunch of points in a given program, learn about what it’s going to take to redeem those points, as well as how to use the rules of that program to your advantage. [click to continue…]


Breaking up is tough.

The last few months have seen one blow after another to the miles & points and credit card churning games. From devaluations, to mass shutdowns, to reports of MSers being detained at their favorite store, to disappearing award seat availability, it’s just ugly out there. Easy churning and MS, combined with a plethora of sites getting the word out about our hobby, have brought an unsustainable number of people to it. [click to continue…]


While we’d all like to think we can redeem our miles only for Saver Level seats on the best airlines out there with stopovers galore while getting approximately 29 cents per mile point in value, this thing called ‘real life’ often gets in the way. If you’re like us, you’re working around multiple school and work schedules (hello, holiday travel), flying to places you want to visit (never mind aspirational ‘products’), and flying from a secondary airport in the middle of the country (positioning, anyone?). That’s three strikes. We’re out! [click to continue…]


AA First and Business Class Seats to Chile

If you have lots of AA miles and might want a trip to Chile (or somewhere in South America that you can get to from Santiago) next year, stop [click to continue…]

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For a while now, Citi has been our favorite bank for credit card rewards. What they lack in marquee programs, they have made up for in number of offers, generous signup bonuses, and retention bonuses. And, [click to continue…]


Using AA miles beyond flight awards

We tend to do dumb things in the miles-and-points game or hobby. By we, I mean me. Specifically when it comes t0 booking hotels. I plan trips way in advance but fail to secure hotel bookings until the price skyrockets. Or I book two different hotels’ nonrefundable rooms for the same night. For this post I’m going to look at an award redemption that everyone knows is all wrong, and see if it might make sense after all. [click to continue…]


We see lots of analogies made in this miles-and-points game (or hobby, The Hobby or Obsession as may apply), but I think the one that best fits when it comes to actually enjoying the fruits of our labor is that of a fisherman. Or fisherwoman. [click to continue…]


The AA awards you should book ASAP

There have been a couple of good blog posts on the US/AA merger this week: Gary covered the timing of AA migrating all US flights over to AA starting next Saturday, and MJ on Travel gave some good advise on booking paid travel and upgrades. [click to continue…]