FrequentMiler, who I had the pleasure of meeting at KivaDo recently, recently posted about earning miles for free via Staples rebates, by buying hundreds of dollars of software that are free after rebate. Staples also has their EasyRebate system, which takes a lot of the annoyance out of the rebate process. FrequentMiler has posted step by step instructions, so I recommend checking out his blog for the details on this, and for other inexpensive ways to generate miles!
This is one interesting indication of some airline business playing out…Points, Miles, and Martini’s has picked up on a report that US Airways has bought several domains indicative of their interest in purchasing American Airlines. Of course, they could be doing this just to cover their bases if they decide to make an acquisition, so nothing is necessarily going to come of this. The Wall Street Journal has picked up on this too
Registration for the 2012 Chicago Seminars are now open. They are a great place to meet other mileage enthusiasts and bloggers, and to learn a lot of information about these programs. There aren’t really “secret handshake” type information given out at these, but there is a lot of opportunity to network and learn from others, and to hear about some of the famous exploits in the community.
This could probably become a regular column 😛 A couple weeks back, Wandering Aramean posted about TSA pulling a person’s pants down in public while performing a pat-down (complete with pictures).
I had my own TSA resentment story. While flying to Dublin last weekend out of EWR, I opted out of the millimeter wave scanner, <sarcasm>because I really wanted a massage </sarcasm> (and I wanted to do something in my life to potentially avoid cancer). Anyway, they pulled me aside and called for male assist. Almost immediately after I stepped aside, they started redirecting others through the regular metal detector, because they had to clean the scanner. None of those people were pat down. When I asked why I couldn’t just walk through, they told me I was “suspiscious” since I opted out. I understand the logic, but I don’t understand what the point of the machine is if we just randomly let people through without it. Apparently the five people behind me didn’t need to go through that machine, so why does anyone need to?
Honestly, I am not one of those terribly concerned with the privacy invading characteristics of those machines, although that is a legitimate concern. But since there is potential for causing cancer, I do think that is a good reason to not use those machines.
To hell with security theater…
I’ve got articles from a few weeks back that I wanted to post…so here goes nothing. I ran across this post by Flying with Fish, where El Al’s CEO claims that anti-Semitism prevents his airline from joining an alliance. Pretty odd claim, but Flying with Fish points out some other possible reasons for why El Al doesn’t have a place in any alliance.
A bit late on this…but AA has joined the premium economy party, with plans to create a Main Cabin Extra section which has more legroom and priority boarding. The seats will be sold for prices between $8-108, but will be free to elite members.
United was the first to add this feature on its planes, with Delta following last year, and now AA. I am really thrilled about this announcement, since I will hopefully soon be a newly minted AA Executive Platinum member. United’s Economy Plus, which is United equivalent product, was one of the reasons I became interested in going for UA elite at all. I “accidentally’ earned United low level elite status in 2008 because I happened to fly a bunch of Star Alliance carriers during a long trip to Asia, and managed to barely get 25k miles by the end of the year. After I realized that elite status on UA got you free access to Economy Plus, I was generally motivated to put all my travel on United and earn miles with them.
Here’s a picture from AA illustrating Main Cabin Extra:
Now, since I’ve switched a significant amount of business to AA, I’m glad they will be having the same feature. I’m not really sure if I will make United MileagePlus Silver this year (much less Gold, my current status), but I know in the future, I can count on extra leg room with either carrier 🙂
Via the Heels First blog, the Volokh Conspiracy has posted about how elite lines at airport security are a misuse of government resources favoring “people with great resources.” Since I am generally able to use these lines 🙂 I’m obviously biased to disagree with this view. However, there are some valid reasons for these lines to exist.
First off, these lines have been around for a while, as Gary at View From the Wing points out in his rebuttal, and additionally Jeanne at Heels First points out that the SFO security is actually run by a private company. I recommend reading over Heels First and View from the Wing rebuttals, but TSA security lines are not as much a resource provided to the tax payer as much as an extension of air travel and airline service. This the policies for the security queue are set by airports and airlines as they see fit, and TSA does there thing with people who arrive out of the queue (showing my time in Ireland), whether it be groping them or potentially causing cancer. As Jeanne points out, the TSA itself concedes this point.
There’s also some other points made by the bloggers, such as the fact the elite lines would tend to move faster because the people in it are more used to traveling, and also this whole debate isn’t as much about rich vs. poor but frequent (generally business) travelers vs infrequent (generally leisure) travelers.
Well whatever, I’m just going to continue enjoying the shorter elite lines at airports 🙂
Mommy Points posts about the glamorous experiences of mileage collecting jetsetters. They include rummaging for buffet coupons while dealing with a spouse’s “gender crisis” 🙂