Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’04:
Frequent Flyer Miles

Many people recommend that, if you like to travel, you need to work on Frequent Flyer Miles. This means taking any trips on carriers that allow you to bank your miles with a single carrier (e.g., Continental, Delta, and Northwest). In addition to that tactic, you can use a credit card that awards miles or points based on how much you buy.

This all seems quite sensible and we have tried to live by it. All my miles are on Continental and I can usually take my business travel on a partner. With the credit card idea, though, Lea Ann and I have been mysteriously slow to move.

Having finally decided to get a miles / points credit card, we debate for weeks about just the right combination of percentage rate, annual fee, miles versus points, specific airline, etc. The conclusion results in a card that awards points that can be redeemed with multiple airlines, hotels, car rentals, for merchandise, or for cash.

Of course, the Big Adventure is the perfect opportunity to use the combination of frequent flyer miles and points from our card. Naturally, though, our planning gets off to a slow start and, as a result, getting a ticket using frequent flyer miles is next to impossible.

Lovely place “impossible”; having been there many times, I can highly recommend it.

Lea Ann is not daunted by the impossible task, so she sets about the ticket task. On one call they tell her flatly that she can expect nothing. On another, they give some crazy options. On another, they remove all hope.

Finally, she manages the impossible: she speaks to a friendly, courteous, and helpful service agent, who is also knowledgeable! This agent, who surely represents a rift in the space-time continuum, helps Lea Ann book the perfect ticket: we are flying first class to Edmonton and back.

Now, if we only had someplace to stay along the way.

Having established tickets for the Big Adventure, we rest assured that we are actually going. No backing out now. But we do have one odd problem (several really, but only one you care about now): What do we do with the points we acquired on our credit card? After all that work to pick a credit card that works perfectly, we did not use the points to get the airline tickets.

Well, hopefully, those points can turn into a pretty decent digital camera to help illustrate this site. (Yes, we have a boat-load of points.)

The previous installment:
Laws of Physics -- Reality (part 3)

The next installment:
Liberal Guilt

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All materials © 2004 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler