Please Enter to Win the Australia Gold Coast, My Contest Entry Thread is Lonely

BoardingArea is running a giveaway of a trip for 2 to Australia’s Gold Coast — airfare, 7 nights hotel, and meals.

You can enter here.

Each of the Boarding Area blogs offers a chance to win, the list of participating blogs is here.

Honestly, I was late to the party, flying on the other side of the world when we were allowed to post this. So I currently have fewer entries on my blog than Lucky has on his.

But I want to win! I want to show that my blog’s readers are the best, the strongest, and most deserving of the prize. So I want us to have the most entries — so do me a favor? Enter to win!

I appreciate it. 🙂

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Subscribe to the RSS feeds on all the good blogs (like this one), use your mileage credit cards for everything (if you can pay off your bills each month) and look for ways to accumulate lots of small mileage increments through such programs as mypoints, e-miles and e-rewards.

  2. Fly within one global airline alliance and credit all of your miles to one FF account. That way, your miles aren’t spread around to different accounts, making it hard to ever accumulate enough to redeem them for anything.

  3. Concentrate your miles and flights on one Alliance and exploit it for all its worth: car rental, dining, flying, purchasing toilet paper from… 🙂 Be sure you also sign up for all the bonus mileage offers that your airline of choice offers, even if you aren’t planning to fly the route immediately. You never know where IRROPS will take you. Subscribe to ExpertFlyer. Check Flyertalk obsessively.

  4. When redeeming your miles it is always better to avoid school holidays and to travel off season to get the best value for your miles with airlines and hotels.

  5. Don’t always choose the frequent flyer program of the airline you fly on. Check their alliance partners, another program may be better suited to your needs and wants.

    Happy Flying!


  6. Ask my friend Sandy Y. She knows everything about frequent flying. That, and read FlyerTalk.

  7. Top tip is to make sure you choose one airline partner and stick with the program. If you really want to maximize points, make sure that partner is one which has partnerships with hotels.

  8. Don’t use your points on low cost/distance trips! Save them for the expensive ones!

  9. work your way to becoming elite in a reward program, the bonuses then start to pile on. if you must sleep/fly/drive through someone else’s program, sign up for it anyway as you never know if you’re travel patterns will permanently shift that way in the future.

  10. Pick a milage program and stick with it. The milage program you chose depends on the type of traveler you are – what kind of hotels do you like? Rental cars? etc. If you ever have questions about milage programs, checkout


  11. Bottom level elite is a great benefit for the occasional business traveler. No checked bag fees and better treatment when things go wrong. Focus on one alliance and pay attention to the promos.

  12. Checkin with and Flyertalk daily, don’t miss out on the 100000 mile deals when they come around

  13. Read blogs like this one and grab the deals when they are there. Be sure to only apply for the most rewarding credit card and combine offers with your travel plans. If you don’t have one, just create.

  14. Plan ahead of time and grab the deal before figuring out what it is! Stay tuned and be loyal.

  15. Pick the best alliance for your travel needs, and back that up with another airline. For me, in Seattle, United (Star Alliance) and Alaska offers a good mix of earning and redemption choices.

  16. Read Flyertalk everyday, seriously. Due to their advice I scored 200K UAL miles for a grand total of $53. That was my best score and was due to the Chase HELOC program.
    There have been many others in the 5 years I have belonged but for pure ROI that was the best.

  17. Concentrate your efforts on one or two programs. Use the Boarding Area blogs and FlyerTalk to find great deals and tips on making the best use of your miles/points.

  18. Sign up for your points provider’s newsletter- and actually read it! You’ll often be pleasantly surprised by chances for bonus points. Consider buying points in small denominations when they are sold at a discount- I see them often listed at 20-30% off.

    And follow your faves on Twitter, IHG_Deals & Lufthansa_USA (I mention IHG because I scored 50,000 priority club points for tweeting with them!) for example have in the past offered points or flights as promotions- If you have a good experience with a travel provider, talk them up on social media sites since they all like to build their reputations up with positive comments, etc. And it’s a good way to keep up with special offers.

  19. Burn your miles for a few nice vacations with your better half. This way, you’ll at least find your keys still working when you get back from a MR.

  20. Make sure your miles aren’t expiring.. redeem for a magazine or use the iDine service

  21. First, make sure you are earning miles/points on the major airline serving your home airport. Secondly, do the research on the best credit card for earning miles/points for the way you travel. There are many websites that will help you compare the various credit cards programs

  22. Keep track of your credit score and if it can stand the small hit, apply over time, for a steady stream of credit cards that give you a sign-up bonus. Those bonuses are the foundation for building miles in many programs. You can easily earn 150,000 miles a year doing this, with no appreciable affect on your credit score. And you can do this for several years before exhausting all of the card possibilities.

  23. Save your boarding passes. After your travel is finished, check your frequent flier account for the miles you traveled to show up. Once they do, you can toss the boarding passes. I use my boarding passes as bookmarks since I often travel with one or more new books. See, there’s two tips for the price of one!

  24. Time your trips and mileage runs to take advantage of overbookings, and reap the opportunities for dollars-off vouchers that you can use on future mileage runs!

  25. Don’t overreach. If your travel is moderate, stick with one program and milk it all you can.

  26. Use miles only for upgrades. It’s the biggest bang for the buck. It’s a total waste of miles for hotel nights etc. as well redemption reward tickets.

  27. concentrate your earning in one or two programs, and learn the rules, the ins and outs, so you can maximize earnings and redemptions

  28. Do a bit of research and decide which alliance network is best for your travel style. Join and work to put all your flights through that alliance. This way all your points are put into one source. Additionally, finding a credit card with the main airline of this alliance increases your base of points and sometimes your status. When you purchase tickets make sure that the tickets count towards your miles.

  29. Check your account regularly to make sure all miles get posted. Keep your boarding passes to retroactively get any miles to post that slip through the cracks.

  30. I’d suggest reading up on all programs offered by those you most frequently use, and spend points smart…get the most out of it, but also be aware of all the rules involved with spending the points.

  31. My travel tips:

    For airlines:
    Get to elite status as soon as possible. Do Mileage Run if needed.

    For hotels:
    Use the promotions as much as possible. Do Mattress Run if needed.

  32. Choose a loyalty program that allows you to earn points over a wide variety of opportunities, airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, meals, shopping opportunities, as well as bonus offers.

  33. my tips: read boarding area blogs; browse flyertalk discussions; use Starwood Preferred Guest Card from America Express.

  34. Gary-

    You sounded lonely so I posted my comment on the main contest thread, but I’ll also post it here since in the case of a tie they might count related thread comments as well. 🙂

    [Full Disclaimer: I am one of the founders of the site, so consider this a shameless self-promotion!]

    My hint is to use to manage all your frequent flyer program information – it’s like for points.

    It will pull in all of your points (flights, hotels, car, and others) and show it to you in a 1-page dashboard, while also showing the detailed information just 1 click away. What makes it different (and better) than other point management sites is that, in addition to showing your points, it will show what you can buy (eg “how many round trip coach tickets to Europe can I buy?”) with your points!

    It’s in private beta right now, but I’ve set up 100 invites for users so that they can test it out themselves and see how it makes managing points easier than anything else out there.

    To Sign Up:

    Thanks for a great site!
    Michael Komarnitsky

  35. If you get an agent that is unhelpful – hang up and call back until you get an agent who is knowledgeable and willing to help. Be nice to the rep – that goes a long way.

  36. Be very flexible. Be willing to travel to another airport on your own dime to get an international flight to your desired destination.

  37. Use a single credit card for everything you purchase including travel, household and personal expense, utilities, and paying your taxes. The card you use should be the one that has the best rewards program and flexibility for your personal lifestyle.

  38. Enjoy reward flights sooner with a Household Account.

    You and up to six other members of your household, including children, can earn and spend British Airways Miles together. Each member has an individual account, which is linked with the others so you can pool BA Miles, making it easier to take reward flights sooner.

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