Expiring Upgrade and Perk Exchange

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I’ve been involved in the frequent flyer community for years and the thing I love the most is when people go above and beyond to help each other out and expect nothing in return. When US Airways launched their Barclay’s credit card in 2006, they ran a crazy promotion where they sold 50 cent fares to various cities around the world. I remember a fellow Flyertalker couldn’t go on one of the trips they won and gave it to me out of the blue. I remember being completely stunned that a complete stranger would give me a free flight to Paris and want nothing in return. I’ve had many moments like that over the years and I hope I’ve been able to help some people out along the way.

Over the past week several TPG readers have graciously offered me the use of their expiring airline upgrade certificates. February 28 is usually the day that many instruments expire, so it’s a matter of “use them or lose them.” As nice as it was to offer these upgrades to me, I’m all set for the next couple months. However, it got me thinking that there must be so many people out there with expiring upgrade certificates that will just let them expire because they can’t be bothered with trying to find someone to use them.

That’s where I come in. I’d like to set up an exchange where those with excess items such as systemwide upgrades, lounge passes, drink certificates, etc can gift them to those who can use them. I don’t have the technology to create some sort of automated matching system, so let’s try and do this very simply. If you have anything you’d like to give away, simply comment on this post with “HAVE: XYZ upgrade instrument, expiring X date. Restrictions: For example international vs domestic, fare restrictions, etc”

If someone posts something that they have and you’d like to be considered for it, simply respond to that comment and give a quick reason why you need it and make sure you include your travel dates and class of service to make sure you are eligible for the upgrade. Do not give any personal details or even your email address in the text of your comment. Just be sure to login to Disqus or register as a guest with your correct email address if you get selected for the item we can contact you.

I’ll wait for the person who is offering the item to reply to their original comment with who should get it. I’ll then send an email to both parties putting them in touch. From that point, you take it from there.

To make this fun for those who are giving away items, I’m putting together a pool of prizes to give away that include tickets to the Freddies (frequent flyer award ceremony on April 26, 2012 in New York), a lifetime supply of travel karma, Boeing merchandise we picked up at the official Boeing store on the Oneworld Megado, and swag from the Grammy’s, including a Coldplay strobe light bracelet they gave to us for use during their performance. By the way, a huge thanks again to TPG reader Steve for taking me to the show – it was incredible. Once again, I was humbled by a TPG reader’s generosity!

I’m hoping this goes smoothly, but if it turns into a mess or people start trying to sell items (which is strictly forbidden by every program), I’ll shut it down.

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