ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Our applications were deferred at first, but Mrs. PFDigest and I were ultimately approved for one Chase Ink card each. Assuming we don’t mess up the minimum spend, 120,000 Ultimate Rewards points are coming our way! Unfortunately, we have no idea what to do with them because not a single blogger thought to post any suggestions about what to do with UR Points. Can you use them to fly? Are there any angles to work with hotels? Perhaps we’ll never know. Frankly, we were lucky to find out about this obscure, unpublicized deal in the first place, so we’ll count our blessings.
Anyway, this has actually been a quiet year for the PFDigest household on the credit card front, what with my forthcoming book and of course blogging soaking up a lot of time and energy, so it feels good to get our accounts increasing again. Thanks Chase!
SLICKDEALS DU JOUR: If you’re curious about how much electricity you’re using, the Kill-A-Watt electric meter is available for $14.99 with free shipping, which is about as cheap as that device gets. And if you haven’t already stocked up on office supplies, you can get 25% off one item at Office Depot.
THE AIRLINES ARE OUT OF CONTROL: Those seats in coach? They’re not small enough… yet:
Yes, we all know about shrinking legroom, but the next time you board a flight, count the number of seats that stretch across a single row.
Qatar Airways flight attendant Ilham Zimbi did just that on a brand new 787 Dreamliner. She showed off the airline’s new plane at the Paris Air Show. Her count goes to nine seats across, which is fairly standard for wide body planes. It’s as much as Boeing’s 787 has room for.
Airbus’ Christopher Emerson says that’s where his company’s new A350 has an advantage.
“The A350 is a larger airplane,” says Emerson.
Indeed, it’s a few inches wider, which means — by shaving one inch off an 18-inch seat — the A350 can fit ten passengers across on a type of plane that typically seats nine.
Oh sure, we say we’re not going to take this kind of treatment from the airlines… but we will, and then we’ll write articles on Slate about how unfair it is that other people recline their seats.
One alternative is to figure out how to sneak into first class somehow, and sadly that is getting more difficult. Delta recently instituted spending requirements for elite status, and now United has as well. The upshot is that you now have to pay at least ten cents per mile to get top-tier status.
I’m not an airline elite, never have been, and probably never will be, so I have no skin in the game, but I sure hope this doesn’t mean an end to mileage runs. As a fan of all varieties of gaming the system, mileage runs are probably my favorite hack that I personally have no interest in doing. The fact that there are people who will spend an entire weekend flying back and forth across the country just to pad their accounts is fascinating, possibly more so than buying coins from the U.S. Mint and immediately depositing them or buying a whole bunch of pudding.
But then, the airlines taketh away and the airlines giveth right back. As Rapid Travel Chai reminds us, you can get the Delta spending requirement waived by spending $25,000 on a Delta Amex card. Not only that, but the Delta Business Platinum Amex bonus is currently 55,000 miles. RTC says it’s the best he’s seen, and he pays closer attention to this card than I do, so I’ll take his word.
I can’t help but wonder, thouigh, if the ever-changing rules of travel are part of a blogger-employment program. What the heck would we write about if they kept things simple?