Thursday Giveaway: Tickets to the LA Times Travel Show and Lunch With The Points Guy on Sunday!

by on January 16, 2014 · 79 comments

in Thursday Giveaway

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I had a great time being a panelist at the LA Times Travel Show last year, and I’m back in the City of Angels for this year’s show this weekend, January 18-19. I’ll be appearing on a panel on Sunday at noon titled, More for Your Money: The Best Value for Your Vacation Dollars along with Johnny Jet and moderated by LA Times Web Buzz columnist Jen Leo.


We’ll be talking about everything from the best travel credit cards, to how to find great deals on airfare and hotel stays, award program devaluations and our personal top destination picks.

So for this week’s Thursday Giveaway, I’ll be inviting two lucky winners and one guest each to hear me speak at the travel show at the Los Angeles Convention Center and to lunch afterwards in downtown Los Angeles.

Here’s how you enter: Before 12:00pm noon Pacific Time tomorrow, Friday, January 17, leave a comment on this post telling me what one question you’d ask me in the Q&A session at the travel show. One entry per person. Shortly after the contest closes, Team TPG will select two winners at random and contact them to give them the details for Sunday. Each winner will receive a ticket for themselves and their guest.

The prize only includes tickets to the travel show and lunch. Winners will be responsible for getting to/from the show and to the lunch location, and any other expenses they incur – so this is probably most suited to our West Coast readers who can get to Los Angeles on their own.

I always love meeting up with readers on my travels, so I hope to see many of you at the LA Times Travel Show whether you win or not since there will be plenty to discuss! If you are planning on attending, but won’t be there on Sunday, TPG Managing Editor will be appearing on the same panel at the same time on Saturday.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Garrett

    I would ask what strategy you would recommend for people who have high spend and are able to generate lots of points monthly. Thanks!

  • Emanuel

    Met you last year @ the same show!
    You are AWESOME!
    The question I have is i am looking to travel to Montreal Canada but am in no hurry……just looking for a AMAZING DEAL. How may i get e-mails when an amazing deal does come out?!?!?

  • Jim Bachert

    I need an excuse to make it Downtown for the show. The question I’d ask is: What is your first memory of an amazing trip using points and miles?

  • Cathy Kim

    Which past offer do you regret not taking i.e. if it came up again, you would snap it up in a heartbeat?

  • Jake

    Rad! I’d ask about the best way to use Avios to get to India!

  • Neer

    If you wanted to be a flight attendant for any airline in the industry (current and de-funct airlines), which would you choose?

  • clairedaelin

    My question is about your strategy to get sign-up bonuses for the same cards over the years. Now that the anniversary dates of the cards I’ve signed up last year are approaching, I am beginning to cancel cards. I wonder how long I’d need to wait to reapply, should good deals come along again for the cards I’ve cancelled.

    Thank you by the way! I started following your blog just last year and have since accumulated enough miles that my husband and I took a one-month trip to Asia and the Maldives, with first and business class tickets that were “free” from the bonus miles. And we still have enough AMEX points left over for another such trip. Crazy…

    Hope to see you this weekend! I live in LA. :)

  • Jonathan Sha

    What do you think are some of the benefits/disadvantages of the AA/US merger to the general public and fellow frequent flyers?

  • Frugal4Life

    If you had to pick one loyalty program today (airline or hotel) to stick with for the next 10 years and that would give you top tier status every year, which program would it be and why?

  • DT

    What is the easiest way for someone who doesn’t fly much to obtain elite status?

  • max

    I’d ask “what is one points-related mistake you made in 2013 that you don’t plan to make moving forward”?

  • Michael

    Is there a clear choice when it comes to a RTW ticket?

    I keep hearing about Oneworld’s RTW but not much about Star Alliance or Skyteam.

    Are there certain airlines within each alliance that are preferred when it comes to open-jaw rules, etc?

    Europe and Asia are where we generally are looking to be.

  • Remington Williams

    I’d ask

    “how can I better predict when ticket prices will go down for certain flights and when will I know now is the best time to book a flight”

    Long time follower and I live in LA. Hope to see you soon.

  • Todd S.

    You rock, TPG! I’m a huge fan, and I’ve been spreading the word about your great site. My question is: How do I search for award seats on-line for all Star Alliance members? The United site doesn’t do this, and I’d love to be able to see availability without having to call and call again to the United phone center which rarely does the same hunting for flights that I would do myself. I’m trying to book award seats to Europe this summer using a Star Alliance carrier, and needless to say I am very behind the eight-ball at this point! Thanks!!

  • Jonathan

    Oooh, I live in WeHo and would love to have lunch with you! I’d ask “What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out in the points/miles game?”

  • Blake Dy

    I don’t travel or fly enough to make a mileage or segment based program worthwhile. What cards offer the best annual spend bonus (i.e. BA companion ticket)?

  • Ted

    Given the recent air and hotel devaluations, which program do you consider best going forward: AMEX Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards?

  • Chris

    Is it ever good to transfer points to Southwest from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card if you only travel short distances, for example from Los Angeles to Vegas or the Bay Area? Or should I save those points for hotel stays and longer flights on United and British Airways?

  • Mitch

    I live here in LA and would be excited to pick your brain over lunch! I made Exec. Plat on AA for the first time, so my question would be what have been your best uses of the SWUs?

  • Dana

    Well, I hope this question wouldn’t be considered off-topic (and void my entry!), but I’d
    love to get your insight on working in the travel industry these
    days–either as an agent or at a company that provides travel
    booking/guidance assistance, and whether it’s a viable career, or if the
    internet is really eliminating the need for anything but top-level
    concierge services.

  • Jack Wang

    What is the best card besides Sapphire SPG Southwest Barclay Arrival?

  • Craig Michael

    I live in a Delta hub city, Minneapolis. My employer is out of Austin, TX. They try to book my Delta preference, but often trying to get the best deal, they book say Southwest or US Airways. Is there a clear go-to second choice as my preference in order to rack up miles/card benefits more quickly?

  • Ernest S.

    What are your thoughts and recommendations on rental car insurance when traveling abroad? I know I can get primary insurance coverage using select credit cards, but I don’t think it applies when traveling abroad. How do you mitigate the risk while not spending excessive amounts on rental car insurance?

  • Philippe

    I would ask you what I can do to get my Ultimate Rewards points back after Chase decided to close all my credit card accounts without any notice.

  • Rich

    I would ask you how to get more points after you have signed up for all the cc bonus’s and doing the vanilla reload thing.
    Still don’t understand how you can get really Big points !!!

  • Michael

    Why don’t you talk more about “IHG’s The Big Win” promotion?
    And the 5K stays around the world.

  • Scott

    I would ask for a cost analysis of acquiring elite status with hotel chains (SPG 75 nights for example) vs. Pricelining rooms and buying Internet/breakfast at hotels.

  • Marland

    Can you set up a 1 or 2 year program of credit card applications to maximize travel redemption’s for both airlines and hotels based on desired destinations?

  • sha457

    How can I get the very best first class airline tickets without using travel reward points?

  • sha457

    can you help me clearly understand the benefits of using Capital One reward cards and which one is the best? I have had issues with this in the past.

  • Daniel Rudov

    What do you think you would be doing if miles/points didn’t allow you to be free?

  • sha457

    I was just thinking how nice it would be if you could include any savings for first class air fares on your webpage. I like to travel but any flights over two hours I prefer first or business class and any help you can advise to reduce the costs wold be great. thank you.

  • valerie

    What is c1 c2 c3 in fuel dump?

  • DanR NYC

    What is the best, easiest and free way to get flight upgrades ? I usually fly AA, but I do not have any status with them, or any other carrier ? Also, any CC with free lounge access, with no annual fee (waived) ? Thanks !

  • jynx

    What would you do in a case where you only had enough points to fly economy and had no other options?

  • Amanda McGowan

    I would ask which credit card do you think is the best for a “Light” traveler like myself that travels about 5 times a year, but would love to still get some free hotels and flights!

  • Pony


  • tizmane

    Comparing dollar for dollar is it best to obtain a universal credit card that offers a variety of travel rewards or obtain a credit that is specific to one type of amenity and then pay cash for the major amenity required travel?

  • James

    I have two for you.

    For questions about credit cards: What are the negative effects of signing up for too many cc’s and how do I improve my chances of getting approved?

    For questions about program devaluations: For 2014, who has the best FF program and what are your speculations about the new AA FF program.

    Thanks bud. Looking forward to meeting you if I win.

  • James

    Hi, love your blog!

    I would ask/discuss the pros and cons of using vanilla reload cards/amazon payments. How it affects your credit score/spending on business and personal credit cards.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Allen

    what are some of the email lists you subscribe to

  • TL

    Who is your favorite writer (other than yourself) and how have they influenced your writing style?

  • Msark

    My daughter graduates college this May and has accepted her first job which will have some domestic travel. What is the best travel program for her to start with and the best credit card to apply for keeping in mind she has the credit to get just 1 credit card… Thanks!

  • Rick B

    With all the hotel rewards cards available now, which one actually offers you the best value for your dollar?

  • Mark

    I would ask you why you don’t give the Hhonors program more respect?

  • J. Keith Van Straaten

    What travel apps and travel sites “pro” features are worth paying for?

    (I live in LA and would even buy YOU lunch!)

  • Mollie

    I’m new to the world of travel rewards and points. What is the best way to get started and accumulate points most quickly?

  • Jeremy

    My wife and I are actually going to be in LA this weekend and would love to go and see this. We would ask you if it makes more sense to focus on obtaining say Hyatt diamond status and American Gold or Platinum vs. maintaining lower level status in multiple programs.

  • frawill

    What will be the best frugal way to get a round the world airfare on short notice ?

  • jctwo10

    I’m new to this, so I don’t know a ton. But one question I have is what is the best credit card to apply for if I am interested in traveling outside of the US?

  • Ac

    What hotel/resort has topped your list as the best?

  • DanR NYC

    hey, i gave it a shot :) the Ritz Carlton Amex did have such a card last year, and it gave you Lounge Access for the year….first year annual fee was waived.

  • Jamison @ Points Summary

    I hope you’re having lunch at Bottega Louie

  • sheepdodger

    AAdvantage Platinum or Aadvantage executive or should I just get both?

  • Alex Golke

    What’s your favourite in-flight cocktail?

  • orsetto

    Do you keep credit cards with annual fees? Typically, how much would I have to be charging, say for Chase Sapphire Preferred, to make it worthwhile?

  • Connie Marble

    My question to you would be: how do you sleep at night knowing you have no had a single useful post in months and months?

  • Courtney Lynch

    I’m curious about how (or if) someone who doesn’t travel every week or have a ton of money can make miles accrue in a significant way. What mileage goals would you set as a person who travels several times a year (mostly weekend trips and maybe one or 2 week-long trips) and how would you meet them?

  • landonjanderson

    Brian – As somebody who spends a large portion of their life in airports waiting for their next flight, which airport in the United States would you prefer to spend a 4-hour layover in and why? (You will likely talk about your favorite airline lounge). Secondly, if you didn’t have access to any airline lounges, is there a different airport you would rather spend the layover in with us “common folk” in the public areas?!

  • Stephanie

    What would you do if frequent flyer programs ceased to exist?

  • FT

    Which airline makes it the easiest/most cost effective to get silver or gold status?

  • r0m8470

    TPG, once the all the sign up bonus is gone, what are the next big points contributors for people who do not have a lot of business travel?

  • Andrew

    I would ask your opinion on upcoming discount airlines. Do you see any new positive stories about up and coming discount airlines in the U.S.?

  • james

    If airlines decided to end milage programs, what one final blow out would you spend them on ?

  • Farhan

    Hi. My question would be how can you maximize your points with different credit cards & transfer partners. For example which cards would earn max points for dining, travel expenses vs gas, groceries, and everyday purchases. Also I would l want to know your strategy on the different hotels and which CC offer the most value to rack up points and which hotels have top tier properties around the world. I would like to know more about Vanilla reload and other gift cards to max points.

  • Claire

    I would ask you if there is a point at which one should stop applying for different credit cards (because of having had so many) and just use ones you already have, i.e. will your approvability be cut off after 40, 50, or however many apps?

  • Susan

    What twitter feeds and blogs do you recommend subscribing to?

  • Jane

    Brian: I am not able to churn credit cards every year. What is the next best way to accrue miles?? I love your blog and read it faithfully every day!!

  • Felix D. Arauz

    What are your thoughts discount Business travel sites? Also, how do you deal with kids on business class?

  • Edy Sulistyo

    My question is, how many miles and points you earned in 2013 and what was the strategy to get there? what about 2014?

  • Michael F

    Any help on getting a second free bag on a United Int’l trip as a member of the Mileage Plus Explorer Card. They call me a “premier member” but everyone gets the one free bag. (and most Asian airlines give two free bags anyway).

  • Carl

    I’d like to know your favorite companion ticket options outside of those offered by Southwest and BA.

  • Nancy Buchanan

    My question: given that each credit card has different ways to maximize points, how do you “keep it all straight”? i.e. how to remember to use which card for a certain category of expenses??? Is there an app for that???

  • Greg Ferry

    What travel deal are you most proud of?

  • Angela Petersen

    My question is: What mileage earning opportunities would you most recommend to an American Airlines loyalist considering the ongoing merger with US Airways? US Airways 100% bonus for mileage purchases?

  • Rene Webb Miller

    Hi Brian, Welcome back to Los Angeles! We enjoyed your presentation at last year’s LA Times Travel Show. The question I would ask you this year is as follows: We like to travel on frequent flyer miles oftentimes coordinating with a tour of another country or area. When frequent flyer flight availability is just not there to coordinate with a big tour, are there ways to find local tours once we get to a foreign country? For instance, if we can get ourselves to London, is there a way to find a tour of the surrounding countryside without having to rent a car?

  • DDB

    What’s the best domestic frequent flyer program for occasional travelers?

  • Preb

    Does united now require a minimum dollar spent on airline tickets to reach a premier level?

  • Jason

    Stop Traffic. If I win the contest, I get to have lunch with you??? Wow, how can I pass that up… Like who do you think you are… Get a life dude u write a blog.

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