Bits ‘n Pieces for August 30, 2013

News and Notes from Around the Interweb:

  • United MileagePlus is auctioning a seat on the upcoming Star MegaDO frequent flyer adventure trip. The package includes airfare to Toronto and back from San Francisco, and lodging during the events. Current bid is just 51,000 miles.

  • Frequent Miler reports that Marriott status challenges are no longer available. The Star MegaDO this year gives you Marriott Platinum status, United Premier Golds and above now get Marriott Gold as well. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa is an easy (though not cheap) path to Gold as well.

  • A few folks have commented on old posts that Hyatt appears to have removed a bunch of hotels from participation in their stay certificates program (a technique for saving big on hotels). Lucky provides coverage as well. I’ve pinged the person who runs the certificate program at Hyatt, but he’s on vacation. I’ll update when I learn more.

  • How to be a better business traveler. I don’t think the part about ‘ask for an upgrade’ will work that often with airlines, but it being worth asking, especially with hotels and rental cars, is certainly sound. The rest of the piece is true.

  • Matthew Yglesias writes in Slate that the only travel tip that matters is to get elite status, but that if you don’t have airline status you’re ‘screwed’. He misses that US airlines generally give what approximates entry level elite status to their co-brand credit card holders (such cards usually available with $0 fee the first year), and that since airfares are lower in real terms than they were 5, 10, and 20 years ago and airlines have unbundled most of their services, it’s not that unreasonable to buy the comforts you want a la carte. (HT: @A_W_Gordon)

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Matthew Yglesias is one of those guys who has to pontificate about EVERYTHING, even concerning matters on which he knows squat.

    Take a look at his archives. Every conceivable topic under the sun. Anyone who pays any attention to him is foolish.

  2. In fairness, Matt’s point is pretty much spot on. If you fly frequently, and you can stick with one alliance, do so. Then you don’t have to pay to get comforts a la carte.

  3. So you get the 5000EQM and the flight eqm for this package? I see the bid is up to +/- 80K miles now.

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