Start of something..I hope

London Travel Blog

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I had an entry left here on the computer all but ready to go but somehow the virtual dog has eaten my homework so I suppose I will just have to write something new, since the general has been doing some hardcore drinking and can't remember what he wrote last week.

I hope that you all don't mind that I am dropping random discussion in the "tips and tricks" section, although since this is my journal and I technically control the vertical and horizontal I suppose I really don't need to take the audience into consideration.  Just so you all know where I'm coming from, the past 2 years, I've flown on business and pleasure over 100,000 miles.  Last year alone, I flew around 120 flights.  Many of these were associated with my round the world trip but the majority actually took place the five months before I left, flying up and down the west coast of the united states (with a few flights to the east coast).  Anyway, most normal humanoids shouldn't fly that much.

But even if you don't fly all that much, I would suggest that if you're interested in free stuff, that you really should give a think about how much you fly and where to, what airlines you'd like to spend your money on (or in) and what is important to you (extra leg room, generous frequent flyer perks, etc).  For example, I've already mentioned that I'm not a big fan of Southwest.  Partly because well, out of Seattle, they're no better than traditional carriers and often times are far more expensive and partly because they don't have any airline partners that reach outside of the united states.  So, for example, I might have been able to fly southwest to destinations I had been working at, but honestly, I'd rather spend my time, vacation wise, someplace other than the USA.  Southwest can't take me there.

While I have been known to spend a bit more to fly on a carrier because I know they'll get me closer to keeping my status on an airline (united is my airline of choice but that may be changing in the future as I'm moving), cost isn't always my primary concern.  For the most part the airline collude on prices, even though it is illegal.  They just get around this whole price fixing thing by using a common reservations system where an airline decides, I'll drop in a $10 fuel surcharge.  The others immediately know of this and raise their prices accordingly.  Then when sales back off, they drop the surcharge and the rest follow accordingly.  For not fixing prices, it is awful strange that almost every airline has the same price for the same flights on the same days for most destinations.  No?  Sometimes this isn't the case, like where an outlying airport has a direct flight to a destination (since its going into a hub) and another airline has a connection.  Airport taxes and fees alone would make this flight more expensive.  Although with the way the airlines price their seats, you never do know.  I've gamed the bankshot more than a few times for a cheaper price, better frequent flyer mile earning (and status mile earning) in my day. 

I suppose I will leave this at that.. this is the primer for what will probably be a long series concerning status miles, perks, frequent flyer miles and the whole shabang.  I will include fairly long disclaimers as I'm not an expert on these things and much of what I have learned has come from other people who would be considered to be .. and have an awful lot more time on their hands or more initiative or both.
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photo by: ulysses