TWO BLOGGERS IN ONE!:
When I leave India it’s with a tremendous sense of perspective. The experiences I have there always remind me of what is really most valuable – like the importance of family and the importance of being a good person. Concepts which sometimes seem lost in pursuit of the “American dream.”
“Who wants to pay for my Etihad Residence Ticket? No, Really!”
BANKS FORBIDDING CUSTOMERS FROM SPEAKING ILL OF BANKS: Remember when Capital One tried to shut down Saverocity? Reuters reports that they’re not the only ones trying to restrict the public’s free speech:
Mortgage payment collectors at companies including Ocwen, Bank of America Corp and PNC Financial Services Group are agreeing to ease the terms of borrowers’ underwater mortgages, but they are increasingly demanding that homeowners promise not to insult them publicly, consumer lawyers say. In many cases, they are demanding that homeowners’ lawyers agree to the same terms. Sometimes, they even require borrowers to agree not to sue them again.
Last year, Bank of America tried to have a man imprisoned for 13 years for writing on a sidewalk with chalk outside of a B of A branch. Fortunately, he was acquitted on all counts.
AIRLINES WITH MULTIPLE TRANSFER PARTNERS: Thanks to Frequent Miler for producing a handy chart showing which credit card programs transfer miles into which airline frequent flier programs. The only three programs which are transfer partners of UR, MR, and SPG are British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic. As FM points out,
The great thing about airline programs being available from multiple transfer partners is that it is then easier to collect the miles needed for specific awards. And, since there are quite a few airlines in the table above, its possible to pick and choose the airline to transfer to based on which one offers the best availability and value for your specific needs.
TIPS FOR WORKING THE AA REDEMPTION SYSTEM: Gary had some good advice about redeeming for American Airlines awards:
If you have built most of an award itinerary, but you need space on an American flight to complete it, you can ask for that seat to be released even if it isn’t showing award space (“to complete an itinerary”).
If you have found space for part of your traveling party, but need one more seat than is showing as available, you can ask for that seat (“to complete a party”).
Factors like how full the flight is and your perceived value as a customer affect whether American will approve these requests. They are responded to automatically and near-instantaneously by a system called “QMAX.”
In recent times there have been fewer approved requests, and those that are granted are usually done so close to departure. But the process remains.
I had no idea you could do that–thanks Gary!
DETROIT DECAY: I have a morbid fascination with photos documenting the ongoing collapse of Detroit, so here are some Google Street View before/after shots of the beleaguered city. A sample: