On Episode 25 of the Saverocity Observation Deck, I went on a little rant about how Delta gets so much crap even though they release a lot more award space than they are given credit for, especially from the East Coast to Europe. Meanwhile everyone keeps talking about American Airlines as if they are the best program for this game (I understand there is going to be a push due to the devalution but still).
I’ll admit, six months ago I was all about AA as well. In fact I had moved to AA miles being my principal source of investment. But I’ve realized with all the criticism (much of it deserved) that is directed at Delta, it had become a major blindspot in my strategy. I got to the point where I didn’t even check Delta award space anymore.
When I was talking about the award space on the podcast, Trevor or Joe said (paraphrased) “yeah but it probably costs a ton.” Except using United miles to Europe only costs less if you are flying on United metal in business class, and it costs more if you’re flying on partners. The coach price is the same. After AA’s devaluation in two weeks, AA will only be 5K cheaper in business, same in coach.
But Delta has a bad rep, so lots of people in this game ignore it. Which works out great for myself and others in the know, of course. (At this point I realize nobody’s going to listen so I’m not afraid of “killing” anything).
This got me thinking about blindspots in general. To me, a blindspot is something that you ignore due to bias or preconception, usually to your detriment. Delta award space was a major blindspot for me while I was listening to “conventional wisdom”, until I looked for myself and found otherwise.
Another blindspot I have is low cost carriers, or even an airline like Southwest. I have never flown on Southwest (crazy, right?) and when I’m booking travel I often am searching for prices using OTAs and forget to even check prices on Southwest’s website. I hadn’t flown a flight on Jetblue for five years until our recent trip from Aruba, mostly because I’d been busy chasing premium cabin space.
To give one last example, a blindspot that often rears its ugly head for me is cash back. I often forget the value that can be had in just earning cold hard cash back, especially as my family is shifting to more and more domestic economy travel.
The great thing about having kids is that they blow up your entire life – they create fundamental changes in your priorities not only in life but also in travel. This has really helped to reveal my blindspots and make me reconsider my overall strategy.
But you don’t have to have kids to identify your blindspots. You probably already know what some of them are, those programs or strategies that you ignore because you don’t have the energy to be bothered or that just seem too confusing for you. Or maybe you don’t, because you’re so fixated on one or two things that you haven’t been able to identify them.
Everyone has blindspots. The most successful people in this game (not me) and probably in life (also probably not me) are those who are constantly evolving to ameliorate and eliminate those blindspots.
So I encourage you to spend a few minutes this week: what’s your blindspot?