Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for September 2004.

Qantas Air Pass

Okay, so I haven’t left for the airport yet this morning – I can pass along Qantas’ new Aussie Air Pass. For $999 you get roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles (or Honolulu) or Sydney. $1299 gets roundtrip airfare from New York, and you even get to fly Qantas on the New York-Los Angeles segment. So far, so good, there are occasionally slightly better prices to Australia but not regularly and not by much. What you also get is three intra-Autralia flight segments included. The price includes “zone one” destinations of Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast Queensland, Hobart and Launceston.For an additional $200 you can add flights to Cairns, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock or Darwin. $400 gets you Perth and Broome, but that doesn’t interest me much…

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I got my desktop!

My free computer arrived today in two gigantic Dell boxes (one for the box, another for the monitor).I’ve managed the perfect trifecta, since I also completed the free iPod and free flatscreen offers. A new Wired magazine piece (hat tip to Ramble On) sounds a skeptical note, reporting that the company operating the free sites is nonresponsive in customer service. True enough, but their business model requires it, and they’re sending out free stuff. They claim to be a victim of their own success, causing too much demand for products that become backordered. Still, the ferris wheel may stop at some point, and the offer will end. But participants won’t be worse off at most offers require no cash out of pocket. As for me, the piece offered some encouragement: Gratis Networks may be launching…

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Earning rewards while revolving balances

I was talking the other day with a colleague who is considering getting a mileage-earning card. He has a card now that he revolves balances on, and was wondering whether it made sense to switch to a rewards card. A fairly detailed CardWeb analysis found that rewards cards tend to charge higher rates of interest, and that consumers who revolve balances are better off shooting for the lowest interest rate rather than the best rewards. That’s only half the story, though, because it doesn’t have to be an “either-or” proposition.Get two new cards: one card with zero interest on balance transfers (often a teaser during the opening months of card membership) and a second card with the rewards you want. Transfer outstanding balances to the first card and put new charges (that you pay off…

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Free computer

I just checked online and my order for a free desktop computer has been sent to the vendor – so I expect shipping in about a week. Not bad for a few minutes work. See this post for a discussion of the economics fo the deal. See this post for a discussion of how to complete the requirements of the offer as easily as possible and at no cost. And of course you can also get a free iPod and free flatscreen TV as well.

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$50 Off Packages at

Consolidator is offering $50 off packages which include air travel.Enter discount code 50PBBF in the special requests field. The discount won’t be taken right away, but rather sent to the purchaser as a rebate check. Booking must be made by October 31, 2004 and travel complete by November 30, 2005.

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Assault With a Deadly Bookmark

I feel so much safer now. Kathryn Harrington was flying home from vacation last month when screeners at the Tampa, Fla., airport found her bookmark. It’s an 8.5-inch leather strip with small lead weights at each end. Airport police said it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. So the 52-year-old special education teacher was handcuffed, put into a police car, and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Charges were dropped, and the teacher says she’ll never take her bookmark to an airport again.Update: This longer story has a picture of the menacing $10 bookmark: Truly appalling. The TSA hasn’t even apologized as far as I can tell. The sad conclusion is that we’ve created an arrogant bureaucracy that terrorizes passengers instead of promoting security.

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