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Flight Review: South African Airways Business Class JFK-JNB

January 7, 2013

This is the second post of my South Africa Series. Follow along to read my reviews on several different aspects of my trip. Other posts in this series include: Come Along With Me To South Africa!; Hotel Review: Westin Cape Town; Trip Report: Watching African Penguins at Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope; Cape Town Dining; Hotel […]

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Flight Review: Swiss Business Class ZRH-LAX

December 8, 2012

Although I flew Swiss business class from Zurich to San Francisco with the rest of the Star Megadoers last month, we were all  busy catching up, talking shop and taking stock of the service on the flight (and resting up for the busy week ahead!). But TPG Managing Editor Eric actually took a separate flight […]

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Evaluating US Airways vs. Avianca 100% Buy Miles Bonuses For Star Alliance Awards

December 4, 2012

Two Star Alliance airlines are offering 100% bonuses on purchased miles right now raising the question: which miles should you buy, US Airways Dividend Miles or Avianca/TACA Lifemiles? First, let’s look at the two promotions. 1. US Airways 100% Bonus Buy Miles Promotion I’ve written about this promotion a couple times since it was announced […]

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Aeroplan.com Now Blinding Users From Seeing Taxes and Fees on Award Searches

December 1, 2012

I absolutely hate getting on the phone- especially when it comes to airlines. I’m one of those annoying people who will ignore your call and then text you back to see what you want. Perhaps its my Gen Y techie background, but I just feel like I’m wasting my life away when picking up the […]

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(Video) Sunday Reader Question: What Exactly Does the ANA Search Tool Show?

November 18, 2012

One of today’s questions came from TPG reader Yun, and is about the kinds of awards that come up when searching for Star Alliance availability using the ANA tool: “When you are searching for Star Alliance availability with the ANA search tool, how do you know what level award it is. I see the availability […]

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My Chicago Seminars Presentation: Transferrable Points Programs and Credit Card Bonus Categories

October 15, 2012

Another year, another great Chicago Seminars! I had a fantastic time in Elk Grove, Illinois (about 20 minutes from O’Hare) meeting and greeting tons of other highly engaged (and slightly obsessed) frequent flyer and points hounds. My talk was on transferrable points programs and credit card bonus categories. In it I covered the big three: […]

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Star Alliance Megado #GreatSeatMate Finalists – Vote Today!

October 15, 2012

People submitted a lot of great entries for my great seatmate giveaway for a free seat and hotels on the sold-out Star Mega Do 4, coming up in a few weeks. The competition was so fierce, it was extremely difficult to narrow the list down to the top five. However, after a ton of laughs and […]

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23 Hours Left! Win a Seat on the Sold Out Star Megado

October 13, 2012

This is your final reminder that you have until 4:00pm EST tomorrow – just 23 hours left! – to enter my great seatmate giveaway for Star Mega Do 4, coming up this November. There have only been about 20 entries so far, so if you’re passionate about flying and you are interested in coming along […]

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Reminder: Enter Contest To Be My Star Megado Seatmate

October 11, 2012

This is just a friendly reminder that you only have until 4:00pm EST on Sunday October 14, 2012, to enter my great seatmate giveaway for Star Mega Do 4, coming up this November. There haven’t been a lot of entries yet, so if you’re passionate about flying and you are interested in coming along for […]

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ExpertFlyer Adds Search For 20 More Star Alliance Airlines

October 9, 2012

Until now, the best ways to search for Star Alliance award availability have been to check the best search engines of member airlines like ANA and United. You could also have used Expertflyer to search availability on Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa, LOT, Swiss (though ExpertFlyer shows the […]

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Photo Contest to Be My Seatmate on the Star Alliance Megado!

October 8, 2012

The fourth Star Alliance Megado is coming up in November, and even though it sold out within minutes, as a sponsor of the event I managed to snag an extra ticket for the domestic portion – and I want to take a lucky reader along with me for the ride like I’ve done in the […]

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Tips for Searching Star Alliance Award Availability

September 17, 2012

With so many ways to earn and buy Star Alliance miles, like the current 100% US Airways buy miles bonus and the 40% United discount, I thought it would be helpful to summarize the best ways to search for Star Alliance award availability. I’ll be doing the same for Oneworld and SkyTeam in the near […]

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Finding Value in US Airways 100% Buy Miles Bonus Until September 30

September 17, 2012

US Airways has launched another 100% bonus on purchased miles now through September 30, 2012. This promo isn’t targeted and there is no need to register. You will receive the 100% bonus automatically when you go to the airline’s Buy Miles page. However, one rule they have when buying miles, is that you must be a […]

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United Domestic First Class for only 50,000 US Airways Miles

August 29, 2012

This past Sunday’s reader question asking whether US Airways miles are useless got me thinking about the airline’s Dividend miles program and interesting ways that to pull value from them specifically as opposed to miles on any Star Alliance carrier. I remember reading a blog comment recently that the US Airways partner award chart lists […]

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Sunday Reader Question: Are US Airways Miles Useless?

August 26, 2012

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business. TPG reader Pierre asked a great question regarding the usefulness of US Airways Miles: “I have 40,000 US Airways miles, but unlike United miles I don’t see a lot of options to use them. […]

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Destination of the Week: Bratislava

August 3, 2012

For today’s Destination of the Week, we decided to pick a city that currently has a hotel on the most updated Priority Club PointBreaks list (5,000 point discounted free night) list so we are heading to the little-known European city of Bratislava, an undiscovered gem of history and culture in the heart of the Continent […]

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Amazing Singapore Airlines Award Availability

July 7, 2012

Singapore Airlines is extremely stingy with releasing saver award availability to their Star Alliance partners. I recently snagged several business class awards on the non-stop Newark-Singapore premium flight, though they usually only release seats in the couple weeks leading up until departure. They hold many more seats for their own frequent flyer program (Krisflyer) members, […]

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Star Megado Domestic Portion Tickets On Sale July 9

July 4, 2012

A Mega Do is an event set up by frequent flyers and the airlines, where we charter a jet and fly around to different cities and the airlines/hotels set up really interesting events that provide access to places few people ever get to see. On past Mega Dos I have gotten to use a United […]

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Sunday Reader Question: Best Ways to Get to Australia Using Miles and Points

July 1, 2012

TPG reader Ryan has Australia plans and wants to get the right credit cards to get his flight Down Under as cheaply as possible: “I’m looking to book a flight to Sydney, Australia, in the coming months, and rather than pay for it I’d like to use points. I am due for a new round […]

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Tuesday Travel Top 10: How to Use Miles for the Best First Class Products

May 8, 2012

On Friday, CNN published a list of the best first class cabins in the sky with contenders from all over the world. Interestingly enough, no US airline made the list. But what good is a list of amazing first class cabins if you don’t know how you can fly in one of them without paying […]

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Sunday Reader Question: What If My Work Travel Doesn’t Mesh With My Personal Points Strategy?

February 5, 2012

TPG reader Jen writes: I recently started a job where I take business trips to various countries in Africa. The good news is that I get to fly business, accrue serious miles for free and get Delta Diamond status. The bad news is that per company regulations we must fly an American carrier. Pretty much […]

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Singapore Airlines to Allow Saver Awards on A380, 777W and A340

February 4, 2012

Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines is one of the best airlines in the world. However, they have one of the worst frequent flyer programs because they block a huge number of their flights from their partners and charge outrageous rates to redeem for their own members. For the last several years they blocked almost all […]

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Swiss Award Availability Now Showing on Continental.com

February 3, 2012

Continental.com is one of my favorite airline websites when it comes to searching for award seats. They’ve continuously been adding more and more Star Alliance partners and while I was searching for Virgin Atlantic award availability (since they will no longer be a partner after February 13) I noticed that Swiss airlines availability was also […]

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Star Alliance Carrier Spanair Ceases Operations

January 28, 2012

Spanair, a Star Alliance carrier based in Barcelona, ceased operations yesterday stranding thousands of passengers. As many of you know, Spain is one of my favorite destinations and while Spanair didn’t have US routes, they made Spain very accessible via connections when flying Star Alliance partners like Lufthansa and United to Europe. If you have […]

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