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Travel Industry

$100 Global Entry Fee Now Waived for Amex Platinum Card Members

April 5, 2011

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.  Have you ever gotten off a long international flight and then had to snake through a brutally slow line at US immigration? To me that’s worse than waiting in a security line upon arrival at the airport, […]

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Massive Email Hacking Affects Loyalty Programs

April 4, 2011

So far today, I’ve received emails from Hilton Honors, Best Buy Reward Zone and Chase notifying me that my email address and names were potentially stolen by hackers who breached the systems of their marketing vendor, Epsilon. The emails stress that financial information was not stolen and that the only risk will be an increase […]

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Be My Guest at the 2011 Frequent Traveler Awards at Citi Field

March 23, 2011

On Thursday April 28th, frequent travelers and travel industry representatives from around the globe will converge for one night to honor the top loyalty points and miles programs. The awards are voted on by frequent travelers and if you haven’t done so already, submit your ballot here. Since the event is being held in NYC at […]

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United to Install Lie-Flat Seats on Transcontinental P.S. Flights

March 23, 2011

United had their Investor Day yesterday and CEO Jeff Smisek spoke at length about the newly merged carrier’s plans. Key things to note: 1) More changes coming to the frequent flyer program that both customers and shareholders will like 2) Fully lie-flat seats on transcontinental (JFK-LAX/SFO and possibly more) flights. This would put United way […]

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Buying Discount Business Class Fares vs. Upgradeable Economy

March 15, 2011

As I’ve written about lately, there have been a ton of super cheap business class airfares recently – even to Europe during peak season. Continental also usually runs a pre-summer sale on business class, so I expect more low fares (and subsequent matching by competitors) to appear in the next month or so. These fares are […]

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My Thoughts on Domestic Air Travel in Spain

March 13, 2011

I’ve been in Spain for the past couple days and while this  isn’t my first time,  I have to say I’m pretty impressed with their style of travel. The facilities at  at Madrid’s new Terminal 4 and at Barcelona, were stunning. Spacious and well-designed with lots of nice shops and restaurants. In both airports, there […]

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Poorly Trained Phone Agents Can Cost You Time and Money

March 11, 2011

Airline phone agents are the bane of my existence. As part of my award booking services, I call the airlines every day, so I’ve had the unique opportunity of speaking to hundreds of phone reps. While a few are truly gems who are fast and know the rules, many are clueless and their mistakes can […]

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Do People Still Use Traveler’s Checks?

March 8, 2011

I personally have never used a traveler’s check. I don’t really see the value in them- they cost money, many companies don’t accept them, and you don’t earn points on them. However, I’m sure there are still people who use them out of habit. I just wish they saw the light and used debit/credit cards that […]

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Pan Am TV Show in the Works

February 28, 2011

I generally don’t watch much TV, mostly because I travel all  the time and my DVR queue gets so backlogged I don’t know where I left off.  However, this is a show I may actually watch: A new pilot about the golden days of flying on Pan Am – back when air travel was sexy. It definitely […]

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Am I Becoming a High Maintenance Traveler?

February 21, 2011

I’d like to think I’m a savvy traveler – I’m not easily stressed and I can usually handle whatever is thrown at me, whether it’s a pesky cancelled flight or a rogue gate agent who doesn’t know the rules of the game. My frequent travel entitles me to top status on Delta and with Hyatt and Starwood and some […]

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Sad Fact of the Day: Only 30% Of Americans Have Passports

February 7, 2011

I found this CNN article ,which outlines the key reasons why Americans don’t travel internationally, to be extremely interesting and on the money. The key fact is that only 30% of Americans have passports compared to 60% of Canadians.  While the US and Canada are two very different countries, I have to agree that 30% […]

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My Travel Tips and Thoughts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

January 19, 2011

I booked New Years in Rio de Janeiro early in 2010 when I stumbled across perfect award availability- it was kind of like a light shining down from above: 2 United first class saver level 67,5000 mile tickets from LGA-IAD to Rio and 2 American first class saver level 62,500 mile tickets from Buenos Aires to JFK about 10 […]

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American Airlines War With Travel Agencies Heats Up

January 6, 2011

UPDATE: American and travel agencies have resolved this issue. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about American Airlines pulling its flights from popular online travel agency Orbitz. To sum it up, American wants all of the companies selling its tickets to use a new, proprietary system and not the standard ticket pricing systems (GDS) that most […]

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10 New Years Resolutions for Miles and Points Addicts

December 31, 2010

UPDATE: Few airlines continue to offer debit cards, severely limiting choices. We can all (myself included) do more to become better points masters. Here are 10 quick tips to maximize your points in the new year. 1) Open up a points-earning checking account/ debit card. Most major airlines have them, like Continental, United, US Airways, […]

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My Top 20 Loyalty Program Christmas Wish List

December 24, 2010

As a loyalty program junkie, I often think about how each program could be enhanced. While no perfect program exists in my opinion, here are my 20 wishes that, if granted, would make me a very, very happy frequent traveler. Feel free to add yours in the comments below! In no particular order: 1) Delta changes their […]

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Vayama.com $40 Coupon for International Flights

December 24, 2010

Vayama.com, an online travel agency similar to Expedia and Kayak, is offering $40 off international flights booked. I tested this out for a few upcoming flights I’m looking at and sure enough, $40 was taken off the lowest available price. Click here for details- good until December 31, 2010.

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Tips For Weather-Related Flight Cancellations

December 21, 2010

Weather can throw a major wrench in travel plans, like its doing to thousands of people around the world, due to the snow “storms” in Europe this past week. So what do you do when you airline says you can’t fly for another, oh say, 6 days? Get creative. Don’t take their answer as the […]

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9 Flyertalk Tips for Newbies

December 21, 2010

Flyertalk.com is the online bible for points and miles. I’ve been a member for over 5 years and learn something new every single day. As I wrote about, their Iphone app just launched so now is a great time to join if you don’t have a free membership already. But beware- the site is very addictive! […]

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Flyertalk IPhone App Now Available

December 19, 2010

Flyertalk.com is one of the best sources for the most up-to-date miles and points news. The Iphone add just hit the App Store so I just downloaded it and so far I’m impressed.

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Tips for Securing a Brazilian Tourist Visa

December 17, 2010

I’m going to Rio for New Years, so now that I’m done with my international mileage run, it was time to apply for a tourist visa. Brazil requires a touruist visa for all US citizens (in reciprocity for the fee the US charges Brazilians to visit) so my journey to secure a tourist visas had […]

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Do Frequent Flyer Programs Make Money for Airlines?

December 16, 2010

Absolutely! The airlines are raking it in with their frequent flyer programs. I just read the Delta Investor Day presentation (great reading for any airline dorks) and on slide 15 it shows a chart with ancillary revenue sources: Cargo: $900 million, Commercial Aviation Services $1.5 billion, SkyMiles $1.6 Billion, Unbundled Ticketing aka fees $2.1 billion. […]

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Top 10 Travel Gift Ideas for the Frequent Flyer in Your Life

December 15, 2010

If you are a procrastinator like me, you haven’t done any of your Christmas shopping yet. I’ve personally been too busy mileage running, but now that I’ve qualified for  Delta’s Diamond status, I can start thinking about gifts. Several readers have emailed me asking for gift suggestions for the frequent flyers in their life, so […]

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The Points Guy Makes Hotelchatter.com’s Holiday Gift List

December 13, 2010

I’m more than honored to make hotelchatter.com’s holiday gift list! If you want to give my professional award booking and program consultation services as a gift, please email me at [email protected] This is the perfect time of year to assess your loyalty and come up with a strategy for 2011!

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In-flight WiFi a Threat to National Security?

December 7, 2010

I mean, come on! Seriously? Apparently the Association of Flight Attendants has asked the government to ban in-flight wi-fi due to concerns that terrorists could use it to connect with bombs on an aircraft. Okay- shouldn’t we be focused on not allowing bombs on aircrafts to begin with? I love my in-flight wi-fi and I’m […]

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