Sunday, March 10, 2013

Earning and Using Frequent Flyer Miles - Part 2

Last Sunday, I gave a basic introduction to Frequent Flyer Points and Miles in Part 1 and I hope to continue that tradition every Sunday until I run out of helpful hints and tips.

As I already mentioned, I don't consider myself an expert in travelling cheaply.  I don't travel more than a few times a year and they are usually short haul domestic flights.  If you want to get real expert information, I would suggest the following blogs and forums.  Their authors travel a lot and really know the ins and outs of the different programs and are able to make a living blogging about it.  Much of my knowledge comes from them as well:

Here are my favorites:

  • - My favorite blog to read by far is  I check his blog every day, often a few times a  day, and his knowledge is unquestioned.  His amazing skills are especially on display in knowing how deals can be used by orthodox jews, but it is certainly not limited to that. 
    • He knows more about airlines than the employees of those same airlines.  This is just one example from this post
      • -If the agents in the airport are all clueless you should direct them to look up “gg onestandby” in their system (they’ll know what this is) and look around lines 85-89 which spell out the details of the procedure for this award. (Parenthetically, when trying to get a gate pass to access a club when I’m not flying I sometimes need to tell an agent to look up “gg checkpoint line 53″ which instructs agents to give you a security pass for you and your guests to access post-security United and USAirways clubs even if you aren’t flying.) 
    • If you can get past some of the airline jargon, you will learn a ton.
  • - After that comes or DDF (Dans Deals Forums) where like minded people come to share their insights and stories.  Since it is a forum not every member is quite as trustworthy as Dan, but there is quite a bit of information that never makes it onto the dansdeals site that is still great.
  • - His information is great, but his writing style is wonderful as well.
  • - This is one site that has a lot of bloggers that write for it.  My favorites are dealswelike and frequentmiler but I always go to and check the latest posts to see if anything interests me.
  • - flyertalk has by far the most information out there.  It is a forum site with over 470,000 members who just about only talk about flying and miles.  It is an overwhelming site but if you can learn to navigate it, you will learn more there than anywhere else.  Once again, since it is a forums site, you can't trust everything everyone says but you will quickly learn which members know what they are talking about and they will correct any errors.

There are lots of other sites out there as well, but I don't personally read them regularly so I can't personally recommend them.  What I can say is read, read, read.  Knowledge is key to learning how to maximize your rewards.

If you missed last week, here is part 1

Also check out  Part 3 for a discussion on the big Airline alliances and how that affects how to collect points and miles.  Stay Tuned

In Part 4, I discuss finding frequent flyer flights