I have been running this blog for a little over a year. In that time I have scribed 242 posts and fielded dozens of comments. Compared to more established blogs like “View From the Wing” or “One Mile at a Time” mine is extremely sophomoric. Nevertheless, my key messages got out, that The Trip of a Million Lifetimes is easier to make happen than you think and that human freedom and the primacy of the individual is the key to enjoy travel and existence on the earth.
The trip of a million lifetimes
I have slowed down on posts as of recent. While I enjoy documenting the infringement of natural rights that is the TSA, I am not sure I want to 100% commit this blog to that endeavor. And I don’t have the time or noteworthy insights to keep up content like the established blogs. So I will keep this blog up for occasional musings and to keep the pages and links up for the Trip of a Million Lifetimes, which still gets thousands of views each month.
This weekend I’ll take a quick trip to Seattle to attend Frequent Traveler University (FTU) and hopefully meet some of the other bloggers and thought leaders in the frequent file mile arbitrage game. It should be a fun trip. I can’t wait to hear about other people’s epic vacations they have taken thanks to the frequent flier mile game.
In a report provided to me by reader Sarah K., News.Com.AU flags the story of Kwong Wah Yit Poh, a Chinese man who used a current loophole in airline ticket policy to eat like a king for almost a year.
Basically with airlines if you are flying internationally in business or first class you get free lounge access. Some lounges are nicer than others. Some, like the US Airways club offer a bare minimum of food like cheese, crackers, yogurt, and fruit. Others, like full service lounges (like the Thai First Class Lounge in Bangkok) offer a full menu of hot food, waiter served, and more.
So Kwong bought a refundable China Eastern First Class ticket and then went in the China Eastern lounge, being admitted by his First Class (presumably international) boarding pass. After eating, instead of taking his flight he contacted a China Eastern agent and changed the flight’s departure for the following day. Then the following day, he would do the same thing, and so on for 300 days. After 300 days I am guessing the Airline started getting openly hostile to him so he decided to quit exploiting the loophole. He had the ticket refunded back to his original method of payment, presumably a credit card.
Back in the day I have been known to buy a refundable coach ticket to access a Delta SkyClub to enjoy free drinks when staying at a nearby airport hotel. But those days, at least for me, are over. And some people really stretched this loophole to the max.
So a few months ago, United and Marriott announced their RewardsPlus Partnernship.
The key details are, from the site:
We appreciate your loyalty to United® – and now your MileagePlus Premier® recognition and benefits just got better. Together MileagePlus® and Marriott Rewards® bring you RewardsPlus, a new program with great benefits to enhance your travels.
Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K® and Global ServicesSM members can now register for RewardsPlus and enjoy complimentary Marriott Rewards Gold Elite status and benefits. Also, all Premier members can convert their MileagePlus award miles into Marriott Rewards points at an exceptional rate, and all MileagePlus members can enjoy greater value when they convert Marriott Rewards points into MileagePlus miles.
Basically as a Marriott Platinum Premier member, I got my United account upgraded to Silver status. This was nice because United Silver members can choose an EconomyPlus seat within 24 hours of the flight. On a recent United Chicago to Houston this paid off for me and instead of a middle seat way in the back I had a middle seat in Economy Plus which had generous legroom.
Don’t forget to sign up at the link above if you haven’t already and enjoy the reciprocal elite benefits.