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7 ways for an AvGeek to keep occupied during a pandemic

Nov. 07, 2020
11 min read
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England is back in lockdown and with climbing COVID numbers, the U.S. may not be far behind.

If you've had enough banana bread and Zoom quizzes to last you until at least 2030, then we've put together some AvGeek-themed ideas to keep you distracted during the pandemic.

1. Treat yourself to a remote control plane

Grown-ups are just big kids at heart, right?

Why not combine your inner child and AvGeek and invest in a remote control aircraft? Call it an early Christmas present from you, to you.

They don't have to break the bank, either. At $105, this Top Race Remote Control Plane promises hours of fun distraction. It's advertised for kids and adults, too -- fun for all the family.

(Image courtesy of Amazon)

2. Plan your elite status strategy

Our beloved travel and aviation industries continue to be two of the hardest-hit during the current pandemic. Flight cancellations galore continue to plague our inbox and departure boards and routes are being axed left, right and center.

While airlines and hotel chains alike have gradually introduced extensions to elite status and other frequent flyer perks to mitigate many lost points and miles, it might be an idea to delve into your various frequent flyer programs and rethink your strategy for at least maintaining your desired level of status in the time you have left before renewal.

Related: Complete guide to airline elite status during the coronavirus outbreak

With that in mind, plan as far in advance as you possibly can to reduce the risk of having to cancel plans once again.

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3. Update your flight log

Many of you will probably know of FlightRadar24 as being an excellent tool for checking out live flight information. What you might not know, however, is that there's a built-in social section where you can track and log your own flights. Simply click the Social tab at the top of the screen and then My.flightradar24, where you'll be asked to create a profile -- if you haven't already.

(Image courtesy of Flightradar24)

Once that's done, it's time to put aside a few hours to log every single flight you've ever taken. If you log your flights close enough after the time of departure, it will even automatically pull the aircraft type and tail registration of the plane simply by inputting the date of your flight and the flight number -- but if they're old flights you're logging, then you'll have to find this stuff out yourself.

(Image courtesy of Flightradar24)

There are also other flight-logging sites like Openflights.org and myflightbook.com, but I really like the visual of FlightRadar24, how easy it is to use and the detailed statistics you can get about your travels.

For example, you can take a snapshot of any year for which you have data and see the stats broken down into several categories including class, type of aircraft flown, top routes flown and even whether you sat in the window, middle or aisle seat the most.

Related reading: Stuck at home? Here’s what to do with all your travel wanderlust

(Image courtesy of Flightradar24)

4. Plan ahead

As of right now, we don't have any clear idea of when or if travel and flying will return to how we know and love it. So, why not make the most of non-flying time to plan for future trips, update your bucket list and do some research on the best business class, first class and airlines around the world. That way, you can start to make a plan of how you're going to fly them.

First class

There are fewer and fewer airlines operating first-class cabins these days, so it's not always easy to know which airlines do, and if so, on which routes.

(Photo by Liam Spencer / The Points Guy)
TPG's Liam Spencer flying in his first-ever first class experience on a Lufthansa A340 from Munich to New York. (Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)

Here are a few recent TPG reviews if you're in need of some inspiration:

Business class

There are far more options to choose from when flying business class, meaning it might make it harder to decide which ones you want to fly. Here are a few recent TPG business class reviews to help you decide.

Jean Arnas onboard BA's new Club Suite. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

Also, check out our guides of the best and worst business-class cabins in the sky.

5. Try running your own airline

I don't mean literally trying to take the reins from Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss. But, you can pretend to be like him and practice your hand at what you would be like at running an airline thanks to some AvGeek video games like Airlines Manager Tycoon.

Be careful, though, it gets quite addictive -- so I hear...

6. Update your ExpertFlyer alerts

Using ExpertFlyer is one of the best ways to keep your future travel plans in order. You can see what redemption availability there is on certain flights as well as set yourself alerts for when availability drops in and even when your favorite seat becomes available.

(ExpertFlyer is owned by TPG's parent company Red Ventures.)

7. Organize your aviation stash

And finally, many AvGeeks have something that they collect on every flight they take. Whether your thing is sick bags or safety cards or everything you can possibly sneak into your hand luggage, now is a good time to get your stash in order.

(Photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy)

Not just that, but if you're like me and keep every single boarding pass stub, why not take yourself on a little trip down memory lane and find a creative way to store your memories.

Bottom line

Just because we're having to take some time out of the sky, it doesn't mean that we can't still enjoy the wonderful world of aviation. Hopefully, it won't be long before we're back in the air where we belong.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
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4 / 5
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Rewards

1 - 5X points
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The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
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TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.