Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nate Silver says “Fly Early, Arrive On-Time”

Interesting post at FiveThirtyEight about how your flight departure time affects how long you spend delayed.  This is based on aggregate statistics across all flights, and doesn’t take into account traffic patterns in particular cities or airline scheduling and on-time performance, but the general premise does seem sensible with certain assumptions.  Flights later in the day will suffer from delays incurred earlier in the day, if the airline has not built this into their schedules.  All in all, the conclusion reached in the post doesn’t seem terribly insightful, except that hard data does seem to back up intuition in this case.

First time through TSA PreCheck

Apparently One Mile at a Time also just had his first PreCheck experience, but on my mileage run/mini vacation to Puerto Rico this weekend, I also got selected for PreCheck for my United flight out of DCA.  It’s kinda funny, because as I was handing my ID and scanning my mobile boarding pass, I was dreading at having to remove all the crap I needed to from my backpack (toiletries, laptop, iPad).  Since it was only a one day trip, I had decided to just take a backpack along.  But then, once the TSA agent was done looking at my documents, they directed me to the PreCheck line :-D.  It was amazing, not having to take off your shoes or belt, OR even removing anything from your bag.  I mentioned this on Facebook already, but it’s like 1999 security all over again!

And the kicker on top of that…The guy behind me in line got swabbed for explosives on the hands, so I even managed to avoid that.  In case that doesn’t make sense to everyone (because I’m not sure a lot of airports even do this), at DCA, they just randomly swab people’s hands in the security line while they are waiting to show their ID, and they run the swab through some machine which detects explosive residue.

Make a Kiva Loan for Randy Petersen

To reiterate posts made by Mommy Points and Frequent Miler, Randy Petersen, who launched the whole miles and points community way back with Flyertalk, had his house seriously damaged by weather while he was traveling.  Traveling to New York to meet with all the Boarding  Area bloggers at the Blog World conference.

Right now, if you sign up for Kiva (and preferably join the Milepoint Kiva Lending Team), you can get a free $25 trial loan to get things started!  Frequent Miler has detailed information and screen shots of the whole signup process, so I encourage you to visit the link to his post.

Star MegaDo IV Launch Party

I’m a bit late posting on this, and the details have been posted by a certain lady (who I hear was also tweeting like mad at the event :), but I was fortunate enough to be able to secure a spot to the SMD IV Launch Party, which was in my backyard at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.  I think because it was in my backyard, I would’ve been particularly disappointed if I hadn’t gotten into this one.  Here’s some pictures of the party:

We first had a presentation from Hyatt (who also hosted the event), which was pretty cool.  This was a slide from their promotion right before they announced their promo associated with the SMD IV:

Well, their big promo turned out to be a call for our frequent flyer community to suggest to them what the promotion should be.  To me, this seemed like a cop out, a call that they’ve run out of  good ideas.  The whole presentation built on how terrific their previous two promotions were, and wondering how they could possible top it, so it was a bit of a let down.  On the other hand, I did hear some people complain that the OneWorld MegaDO promotion was too hard for most people to achieve, so perhaps it is a smart move to solicit our input (if nothing else, they’ve also partially shifted responsibility for a good promo over to those interested now).

Anyway, after that, then we had the main show of the night, which was the MegaDO itinerary, presented by tommy777.  There were several firsts, namely a wide-body and a brand new aircraft.  For more coverage, see View From the Wing’s post (which also links to a few other blogs that covered the party).

Lastly, the night ended with drawings for 25 lucky attendees who were guaranteed seats on the MegaDO.  Like Heels First Travel (who also won United 1K status in the raffle, her lucky night!), I was lucky enough to be among those 25!  I’ll definitely be clearing my schedule and preparing to buy tickets for the MegaDO, and I may do the international portion as well!  I’m waiting on cost and final details before I commit to it, but I think that part would be a lot of fun, if taxing.

Hotel and Social Media

The Points Guy posts about Hotels possible taking social media too far, performing stalker-ish antics.  I think the answer is pretty simple though.  Don’t put information you want private online.  These companies have as much right as anyone to use your info if you put it out there.  And regardless of what privacy controls or settings exist, you should expect anything you put online to be publicly accessible.  Especially given the privacy track record of a certain social media giant whose stock has been tanking since it was listed…