Welcome To One Mile At A Time!

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To long time readers, I apologize for the somewhat lack of “regular” content at the moment, but things will get back to normal shortly. **I’ve pinned this post to the top, but you can scroll down to find new content as it’s posted.**

In the meantime, I wanted to welcome new readers and give them a good place to start. With that in mind:

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British Airways Starting A380 Flights To Vancouver In May 2016!

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British Airways has just announced their next Airbus A380 destination, which comes as a bit of a surprise. British Airways is one of the more recent airlines to begin taking delivery of the A380, so they’ve been flying it almost exclusively to airports which already receive quite a bit of A380 service — Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Singapore, etc.

Well, British Airways’ next A380 destination comes as a bit of a surprise, as it will be the first scheduled A380 service this airport ever receives.

British Airways will be launching A380 flights between London Heathrow and Vancouver as of May 1, 2016.

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Last Chance: Join Me In An SPG Suite At A One Direction Concert!

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Just a friendly reminder that you only have a few days left to enter if you want to join me in the SPG Luxury Suite at a One Direction concert this fall. Which you of course want to do. 😉

The entries so far have been awesome, and I’m loving how creative, funny, and inspired they are. I can’t wait to share the top entries for everyone to vote on next week!

You can find all the details over on the official contest entry post. Entries will be accepted until Friday, July 31, 2015, at 11:59PM Pacific.

Good luck!

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IHG Offering Mystery Bonus On Purchased Points

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Through August 31, 2015, IHG Rewards Club is offering a “mystery bonus” on the purchase of points. The bonus seems to range between 50% and 100%, so you’ll want to log into your account to see which version of the bonus you’ve been targeted for.

My account was targeted with a 100% bonus. The cost to purchase points varies based on how many you buy, as follows:

— 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
— 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
— 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points

So with the 100% version of the offer that I was targeted for, if you max out this promotion and purchase 60,000 points you’d end up paying $690 and would get a total of 120,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

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So Etihad Claims Demand For The Residence Is Strong, Eh?

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Around the middle of last year Etihad announced the details of their new A380s, which they started flying in late 2014. While Etihad is far from the first carrier to fly the A380, they really innovated unlike any other carrier in terms of the onboard product.

I had the opportunity to fly the Etihad A380 inaugural flight in a First Class Apartment, which is simply an incredible product. I’d argue it’s by far the best first class “hard product” in the world.

I’d say that the First Class Apartment actually outshined The Residence, which is the part of the plane which got the most attention. The Residence is a private, three room suite (you have a living room, bedroom, and private bathroom with shower) with butler service. It’s unlike anything which has ever been offered in commercial aviation… and not surprisingly it came at a steep price tag.

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Video: Chatting Miles And Points On Nightline

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As I mentioned over the weekend, this past week has been absolutely crazy. This is due in part to a profile story in Rolling Stone, and even more so because of the rather sensationalist treatment the story got in social media.

Fortunately, I also had the chance to speak with several other media outlets last week in the hopes of setting the record straight. I’m a bit shy about sharing video of myself, but David Wright and the team at Nightline did a really fantastic job on this segment, and I thought you guys might enjoy watching it:

I’m still not sure how I feel about all of this, but a few notes on the video:

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More Citi Prestige Card 4th Night Free Data Points

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I’ve written extensively about the Citi Prestige Card. I’d argue it offers the all around most compelling value proposition of any card at the moment, between the sign-up bonus, perks, and return on everyday spend.

The card has a $450 annual fee, though has so many benefits which more than justify the annual fee, in my opinion. Among other things, these include:

— A sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months — those points can be transferred to one of their airline transfer partners, or be redeemed for $800+ worth of flights on American/US Airways
— A $250 annual airline credit (with your first year’s annual fee you actually get two of those — that’s $500 of airline credits with your first year’s $450 annual fee)
— Access to American Admirals Clubs
— A fourth night free hotel benefit
— The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
— A $100 Global Entry fee credit

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6 Words You Should Never Hear At Hotel Check-In

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On a high level, I think the major hotel chains do an amazing job delivering a consistent experience and executing elite benefits.

There’s an important distinction to understand between airlines and hotels. Airlines operate their own planes, train their employees in a consistent manner, etc. In the case of hotels, the major hotel chains basically just have management contracts with the individual hotels, and don’t actually own them.

This is why you’ll notice that some hotels are really stingy with elite benefits, while others aren’t. Some hotels only reluctantly “buy” into the loyalty program business model, while others are huge supporters of it, and see the value in treating guests who are loyal to the chain (as opposed to just the individual hotel) well.

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Delta Is About To Offer The Ultimate Paid Upgrades

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Early last year I had the opportunity to fly on a Gulfstream IV between Seattle and San Diego, which changed my perspective on commercial aviation a bit. Being able to skip security and walk right onto a private jet is an incredible experience.

The funny thing is that I walked away from it seeing the value for domestic travel, though for longhaul travel I almost felt like I’d still prefer a top first class product. After all, unless you have a Boeing Business Jet or are the Qatari royal family, a private jet can only get so spacious (though that won’t stop Creflo Dollar from “believing” God for one).

But Delta is trying something now which is truly unique. While we all know that Delta has a huge fleet of commercial planes, most people don’t realize that Delta also has a fleet of 66 private jets, which is in a separate business unit.

Delta is the master of trying to squeeze extra revenue out of passengers, and they’ve just found yet another way to do that. Via BloombergBusiness:

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Should You Buy United Miles With A 50% Bonus?

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Through 11:59PM CT on Thursday, July 30, 2015, United is offering a “Flash Sale” on the purchase of MileagePlus miles. The bonus is targeted, with two different versions that I’ve seen:

— Buy miles now and save 35%
— Buy miles and earn 50% more

With the 35% discount you’re capped at buying 100,000 United MileagePlus miles, so you’re looking at a purchase price of ~2.45 cents per mile. With the 50% bonus you can still only purchase 100,000 United MileagePlus miles, but then receive the 50,000 mile bonus, for a purchase price of ~2.33 cents per mile.

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750 Free United Miles From MyPoints Post FAST

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Last week I explained how you could get 750 free United miles just for joining MyPoints. The signup is really easy and takes barely a minute. They don’t even ask for your life history, just some basics like name, email, United Mileage Plus number, zip code, and birth date. That’s pretty much it.

Well, I’m happy to say that the miles have already posted. In fact, they posted ridiculously fast. I signed up on Monday, July 20th. And according to my United MileagePlus account, they posted two days later on July 22nd.

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Review: Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa Johannesburg

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My friend Mike recently shared his experience with an SPG Moments event, whereby he got two tickets in the SPG Suite at a Paul McCartney concert, followed by his experience using the American Express Platinum concierge to secure reservations at Jules Verne, the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

Mike seems to get more value out of his American Express Platinum card than just about anyone I know, and is back with a report on a truly memorable hotel stay in South Africa. It isn’t often that I’m jealous of hotel rooms, but damn!

**Trip Background**

I’ve always wanted to do a safari and finally persuaded my wife to let me plan a trip to South Africa. Because we have young kids and can’t be gone for too long, it was a relatively quick trip.

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I Gave Up Drinking Soda, And How It Relates To Travel

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This post is mainly for my mother, who was on such a mission to get me to quit drinking soda that she started sending me articles over Facebook about how bad it is for you. 😉

I’ve realized that living in hotels full time has taken somewhat of a toll on my health (mentally and physically), so I’ve tried to change that. After all, your single most important asset in life is your health.

I’m trying to work less, which is tough to do, since I don’t really view my “work” as “work,” but I also recognize that I lack any sort of balance in my life. And I’m also trying to be healthier — I’ve been going to the gym almost every day, am trying to eat healthier, and trying to get more sleep (which has sort of been a challenge the past week!). 😉

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