Upgrades and Service Members

20 August, 2011

I posted this in Milepoint to see if there was any type of interest from others in this type of an idea.  The AAdvantage representative had asked about ideas for promotions and such.  I made a suggestion about either earning or being able to donate systemwide and 500 mile upgrades to AA in order for these upgrades to be provided to service members returning home.

These people risk their lives for us and even though upgrades are not much in the grand scheme of things, I do believe that if there is a way to make sure at least some of them are able to return home in a bit more comfort than coach… we should definitely explore this option.

What do you all think about this idea?  Would you support it or participate in it?

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Frequent Flyer

19 August, 2011

Once again this is not exactly new but I am not sure how many people may have seen it or not.  There is a short movie called Frequent Flyer.  For those who are into miles, none of this information is new but it is an interesting film about what we all do.


GlitterGate (AKA AA Miles for Verizon Mistake)

17 August, 2011

I must admit I did not come up with this name, I stole it (while giving credit) from Rick over at the Frugal Travel Guy.  I am not sure it should be glittergate though… since the glittery things were only one option… it began with headphones and also included palm charging stations amongst other things.  So maybe mileage mall gate…

Terminology aside for a moment, AA is backing away from it all (also stolen from Rick, but linked here).  Not that this is a shock.  I know Rick thinks that AA will suffer for this in bad PR, and their online shopping lost his business but I think he may be a bit too harsh here.  First of all, it is not clear that this error was intentional.  I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one, but from that I have seen and read, there is nothing to believe it was an intentional ploy to drive sales.  As a result I do not think it is fair to totally exclude them from future business because of this.  If Cartera had reneged on a non mistake miles award, I would find that to be much more reason to huff and puff and blow their house down.  This however was not the case… they reneged on an offer which we all knew was a mistake but we could not give up the idea of possibly getting miles out of it.  Sometimes these mistakes are honoured so it was not a bad idea to jump on.

Now that it is over however, and now that it is clear that the parties involved know it was a mistake, and there was an offer made for some miles.  On top of this… we can return the items for a full refund.  MOVE ON TO THE NEXT DEAL!!

The longer we dwell on this the more greedy we seem and the less of a chance conditions will be favourable for another great deal to happen.  As one deal ends another one opens… but pigs get slaughtered.


More Verizon Miles Shopping Mistakes? Now it is with Delta

14 August, 2011

Well this seems to be the story (or the mistake saga) that won’t end.  Instead of 83,000 miles for a pair of headphones like the AA version, now it is 2,300 Delta miles for a $5 phone charger.  Gary over at A View from the Wing is covering this in much more depth than I will be but it is interesting to see what will happen with it all.  In addition to Gary, the Points Guy has his own commentary on it.  I am not really a huge Delta flyer so I am not going to hop on for the miles even if it is only $5 or so to get in on it.

As I do find it interesting that it is 2,300 miles offered after some people from the AA mistake supposedly received an email offering 2,500 miles as a consolation.  To date I have not received any email at all about this from Cartera so I really do not know if it is even true.  Gary had discussed a few days ago about the level of trust in mileage shopping malls.  Since it is not always immediately clear who is providing the miles, the vendor, the mileage shopping manager or the airline directly.  Also, the impression given either intentionally or not is that the offers are made by the airline.

He goes on further to address the issue of which offers can really be trusted and which ones cannot be.  Especially after Cartera seemed to give the impression that they are not really obligated to give miles for anything according to their terms and conditions.  While this is likely there to protect themselves from unintentional mistakes, it could be used to justify a deliberate posting of high mileage offers only to later deny them as an effort to increase sales.  I am not saying that this is definitely what happened but it is a possibility worth thinking about.  The fact that Cartera is quite slow/stingy with posting miles (if they even post at all) even when it is only $1 or $3 per mile through their toolbar or their shopping links does not really inspire confidence in the offers they make.  In contrast, I must say that every promotion or mileage offer I ever received through AA directly has always been honoured and been honoured rather quickly.


Followup on the AAdvantage E Shopping Mistake

11 August, 2011

It did not take long for the guys over at Cartera to address the issue of what would happen.  Over at View from the Wing, Gary is reporting that at first Cartera posted in Mile Point that they are not liable to award any miles at all due to Verizon’s Terms and Conditions.

Gary goes on about how it is a bit odd how Verizon’s Terms relieve Cartera of honouring the miles.  In the end he says that some of the people over at MilePoint and FlyerTalk are receiving email messages stating that they will be receiving 2,500 miles as goodwill in the end.  I will leave it to you to read the details from Gary’s blog which I linked at the beginning and the forum threads which he linked in his.


Audience Rewards

9 August, 2011

Okay, okay… this is about miles and other travel related points and such… so who cares about points for Broadway shows and other theatre stuff?  You do!

Let me explain why you care… because in addition to gaining showpoints… you also have the ability to earn USAir or Delta miles or Starwood Starpoints.  This can be done two ways… either by actually buying show tickets in certain cities (currently only; New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Charlotte and Durham participate) or through answering trivia questions.  Granted the trivia questions will get you maybe 10 points or miles a week but it is is good way to prevent your miles from expiring.  Also if you are into theatre shows in those cities you could also use the show points for tickets and discounts instead of miles if you prefer.

Here are the links:

USAir

Delta

Starwood


What are some good free ways to get miles?

14 January, 2011

Many people know about getting miles from credit cards and of course from actually flying but there are other ways to get miles for free as well. 

Online Shopping

One of the most common is through online shopping.  Many airlines have online shopping malls where you enter in your flyer number and use their special link in order to earn miles per $ you spend.  For example you can earn 2 miles per $ you spend at Walmart.com if you do it through the AAdvantage e shopping link.  Air Canada, Continental, USAir, United, Delta, Cathay Pacific and many others also have shopping portals like this.  The miles are essentially free (assuming you were going to spend the money on the stuff you order anyway)

Toolbars

So far, AA and US have released toolbars to download which offer miles for using their search feature.  For every 3 searches you earn 1 mile up to a maximum of 100 miles per month.  The two toolbars mentioned here (also linked on this page) also help with online shopping so that you do not always have to use a link but the toolbar itself will help you get mileage credit.  Not every merchant allows this though, so sometimes you must still use the links.  In addition to the airline toolbars, the Bing Rewards toolbar gives Bing points for searches and various other things.  While these do not help with earning miles for shopping, the points can be exchanged for American miles at present.  For all of you thinking that you can just get the toolbar and make 300 searches in about an hour to get all the miles… think again, the toolbar uses some formula to determine if you are actually using it for searching or trying to game the system.  It will not award miles if you have an irregular search pattern.

Club Bing

Club Bing is a game website which awards tickets for playing various games.  The whole thing seems to be a huge excuse for Microsoft to increase its search traffic because you must search in order to complete many of the games but the games can be quite fun and the tickets can be exchanged for miles on American, Delta, USAir, Alaska Airlines, Frontier and Hawaiian.  You can earn a maximum of 11,100 miles this way to be all on one airline or split up between them in various denominations.  If you are really obsessed you could play the games and get the required tickets in about a month but for the rest of us it will take a while.  If you search on the internet there are various ways to cheat and bot the website but I cannot recommend this because if Microsoft figures this out you will never get the prizes you redeem the tickets for.  In addition to miles, the tickets can be used for all sorts of things such as books, jackets, digital cameras and netbooks.

Dining Programmes

This has had various names over time including Rewards Network and iDine.  I not think the name matters much but the programme itself is quite useful.  After registering your credit or debit card you will earn miles (or points, or cash back or various things) for every dollar you spend at participating restaurants.  This is offered by AA, USAir, Delta, Alaska, United and Southwest.  You can also earn PC or Hilton Points if you wish or even college loan savings contributions.  They all work on the same basic system, you sign up, register the card(s) and earn 3 miles per $ for the first 10 dines and then 5 miles per $ after.  From time to time they have bonuses as well which help miles rack up.

Thanks Again

Thanks Again is a bit like the dining programme but it works with dry cleaning, golfing and a few other places as well as an online shopping mall like the airlines have.  This is available for United, Delta, USAir, Continental and Alaska Airlines.  Instead of miles you can also decide to earn American Express gift cards.  For a while, if you “like” them in Facebook you would get 100 miles for free.  I am not sure if this is still happening though.

Opinion Place

For those interested in American AAdvantage miles, Opinion Place allows you to earn between 50 and 150 miles for surveys.  Qualifying is not always easy so you could go months without getting anything but you never know.  If you have too many miles you can also opt for Paypal credits or AOL credits.

E-Rewards

This is somewhat like Opinion Place except you must be invited to participate.  Getting an E-Rewards invite is not terribly difficult if you are signed up for one of the participating programmes.  After getting invited you answer a bunch of questions about your preferences and such so it can find surveys to match your interests.  Unlike Opinion Place, if you do not qualify you still get some bit of reward, it is not huge but it is nice.  I will not list them all here but some of the partners include Priority Club, USAir, Hilton, Continental, La Quinta and Virgin Atlantic.

E-Miles

E-Miles is sort of a survey site but also gives miles for buying or doing certain things.  For example you may answer some questions for how soon you plan to buy a car for 5 miles but if you buy something from company A or donate to charity B you can earn extra miles.  I suppose if you are really into it you could earn quite a few miles but for the totally free ones you will probably get about 1,000 miles per year.  It is available for Frontier, USAir, Continental, Delta, Hilton, AirTran and Alaska Airlines.  You can sign up for multiple programmes if you use a different email address for each one.

This is all for the intro for now.  As I find other ways I will add some new descriptions


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