Excitement Builds for the “Chicago Seminar DO” October 16-17

Flyertalkers have over 300 rooms reserved at host hotels. Many people are sharing rooms, of course. Still others are staying at properties of their own choosing. And many more are local. So it’ll be interesting to see (and Frugal Travel Guy, the organizer, would actually know) if we hit 500 actual attendees.

Regardless, this will be by far the largest in-person event in Flyertalk history. It’ll trounce the London DO and the first Star MegaDO even if anyone who reserved a room through the event itself was on their own, no one stayed off-site, and no local attendees had signed up.

The main Flyertalk thread for the event has over 1100 posts and has been viewed over 86,000 times. There are at least two other large threads for the event as well, one for RSVPing and another for event t-shirts and paraphernalia.

Saturday morning I’ll be giving a 1 hour 45 minute presentation on booking awards. I’ll be talking about what’s possible with points, the most valuable points and the best value awards (and how to extract maximum value out of less valuable points), finding award seats and preparing for your phone call, what routes have the best award availability, and even talking your way out of change fees.

Sunday morning I’ll be presenting on Star Alliance as part of the ‘Alliance Roundtable’ and Sunday afternoon I’ve been asked to participate on a session of “The Legends of Flyertalk” alongside actual legends like the Pudding Guy himself, a man who earned 2 million miles buying coins from the US mint, and another who actually hired Thai rice farmers to earn United’s top tier elite status. I’m humbled, to say the least, and will be the least interesting part of that session for sure!

From the volume of emails I’ve received about the event, I’ll be looking forward to meeting many of you next week in Chicago. Where I actually am as I write this, so ORD I’ll be back in just a few days!

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. For those of us unable to attend, any chance we could get the audio (podcast) of the presentation on booking awards?

  2. @Simon I don’t believe the event is being recorded. I may post something up about my notes after the event and take questions of course.

  3. I am with Simon, unable to attend, but interested in the audio/video, or at least some detailed notes from your session.


  4. And I personally am thrilled to have Gary as a speaker. In addition to his presentations I would like readers of this blog to know about his unselfish willingness to do whatever he could to make this event a success. Gary really has stepped up, and I can’t wait to hear his presentation on Award Booking. It is Gary’s advice I seek when I need help in that area, and he is always there with a suggestion and idea. A truly unselfish leader.

    Thanks Gary


  5. Continental DO IV was sweet. My first and only DO unfortunately. Have a blast and I regret my absence already.

  6. Thanks Gary, I’m catching up on my sleep as I expect this Chicago Do to be information overload. I’ve done my homework – i.e. have the 241 BA voucher, know my award wallet list of miles/points, held off on churning for a while (6 mos), my credit is in great shape – I’m itching for more cards, have some dream trips in my head… I tell family/friends my miles/point-collection habit is my secret life, they sure dig the benefits. The husband is staying home. I can’t risk him pestering me to head into Chicago or grab a bite to eat, forcing me to miss something. Living on ACK makes it a bit tough to jump on some deals (3+ hrs to BOS/PVD by ferry+car or $200+ r/t flight). Heading to IAD tomorrow, then ORD Fri morning. I am picking up a car – $9.99/day Enterprise Wend special 1.5 miles from the HI. Airport cars $$$$. – Nancy

  7. Gary,
    I’m sure there are lots of us that are not attending that would gladly pay to receive some form of material on your 90 minute presentation.

  8. Having attended Garys presentation I can say those that missed it lost out on a great opportunity
    The information not only reinforced what some of us already know but showed the ins and out of hidden program gems and how to do interact more favorably will call center front lines while getting the mission accomplished in the most cost effective way.
    Congratulations Gary well done

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