Zero to Top Elite Status in 17 Days and $8 Airfares, Last Call for Star Alliance Awards (Bits ‘n Pieces for March 6, 2014)

News and Notes from Around the Interweb:

  • Six things that every smart traveler should do this month. My contribution to Wendy Perrin’s Conde’ Nast list was to redeem US Airways miles for travel on Star Alliance airlines before they depart for oneworld at the end of the month.

  • Inside the World of Mileage Runners from finance site Minyanville. They offer my case that mileage runners can be profitable for an airline, remembering the ‘Baht Run’ and giving props to wanaflyforless (whose name doesn’t appear in the piece) for making Executive Platinum on American in 17 days plus a shout out to The Flight Deal.

  • American opened a new club in Philadelphia located in Terminal A-East between gates A4 and A6. That brings US Airways/American to 4 clubs in Philadelphia. British Airways has a club there as well.

  • Even as I’m often critical of many points-related charitable efforts, I have a real soft spot for doing good while doing well for yourself. So I like that Chase is donating a quarter for every restaurant purchase made with the AARP Credit Card in 2014 (not a referral link). It’s capped at $1 million, and given their past generosity to the AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger my guess is it’s the same gift they’d make anyway regardless of any cardmember’s restaurant activity. But I love to see some of the overall profitability of rewards cards going to benefit the less fortunate. Kudos to Chase for that!

  • Fascinating travel-related effect of the crisis in Ukraine:

    Russia’s takeover of Crimea is already so complete that commercial flights to Kiev from the region’s main airport, located outside Simferopol, the regional capital 50 miles from Sevastopol, now leave from the international terminal instead of the domestic one as they did until last week.

    (HT: Marginal Revolution)

  • The US Travel Association-American Express Daily Getaways deals will be back May 19 – June 20.

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. The accomplishment of “wanaflyforless” in achieving EXP in 17 days was very impressive, since he did it during a period of regular EQMs. But several guys I met made it in about a week during 2012’s TEQM.

    One fellow left work Thursday, did 6 RTs ORD-SFO Fri/Sat/Sun and went to work Monday. 2/3 of the way to EXP in a long weekend.

  2. Your link led to this piece
    He paid with points to get points?
    and it was worthwhile?
    Unless it was a cash back visa card or US Flexperks…..

    Ing, whose ticket was entirely paid for with points from his Visa (NYSE:V) credit card (which he thinks were worth sacrificing for the greater cause), gained 24,523 frequent-flyer miles for his whirlwind, round-the-globe trip, with which he was extremely satisfied. The 75-year-old had embarked on what’s known in the airline industry as a “mileage run,” or cheap flights taken solely to accumulate frequent-flyer miles, with no regard for the destination.

    Read more:

  3. @toomanybooks yeah a bunch of people were doing that all weekend. I did mine in 8 SFO-DFW & 3 SFO-ORD. Could’ve done 9 SFO-ORD but I didn’t want to risk ORD weather in January. I’m more impressed the person you mentioned made every single flight.

  4. @Gary — “Zero to Top Elite Status in 17 Days and $8 Airfares” — Best Lifetime Supporting Blog Title!!!!!”

  5. wht is the deal with star alliance which you mentioned has a last call.? who do you get milage with if u get a barkleys card?

  6. @reva – US Airways is leaving Star Alliance after March 30. So if you want to use US Airways miles on Star Alliance flights rather than oneworld flights you have to make the booking by March 30. At this point it is not likely you’ll get credit card signup bonus points from a new card application before that happens.

  7. GL,

    Fail to see the $ 8 connection. Also if ING paid with points, how did he earn 25 K miles ? Did the EXP last year in 10 days (took a break !) under Toomanybooks tutelage ! Thanks TMB

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