Business Travel

Great Travel Savings & Bonus Gift Cards With Upside

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I’ve written previously about Upside, a new travel tool that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

Now that the public version is live, I figured I’d test a few itineraries and see what kind of deals Upside can offer. My husband has a couple of work trips coming up, and since his trips fit the more “typical” style of business travel than mine, it seemed like a great real-life test.

As a reminder, OMAAT readers will get a guaranteed $200 in gift cards on all purchases until February 28th of this year, which is a pretty fantastic deal. You don’t have to travel by then, but the 28th will be the last day to book with the $200 guarantee. Just use the promo code “OMAAT” when making your booking.

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Upside Adds Domestic Bookings, Offers $200 In Gift Cards

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In case you’ve missed earlier posts, Upside is a new travel tool that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

OMAAT readers have had selected access to the various beta versions for a few months now, but Upside officially opened to the public last week, and now includes domestic bookings as well. To celebrate, One Mile at a Time readers can get a guaranteed $200 in gift cards on their upcoming bookings.

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The New Business Travel Tool Is Here, But Is It Any Good?

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Earlier this year I wrote a post about Upside, a new travel tool that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

One Mile at a Time readers become automatic VIPs, get access to the Beta, and a guaranteed $300 in gift cards for every international trip booked in 2016, which can be a potentially very good deal.

The Upside Beta is now available to those who pre-registered over the summer (if you enroll in the VIP program through OMAAT you should receive an email this week with instructions as to how to create your account), so I thought I’d take the program for a spin and see how the technology measures up.

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Blacklane: An Alternative To Uber & Pricey Hotel Cars

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We’re on record here at OMAAT as preferring to avoid taxis, as our rides nearly always end up being highly entertaining, and not particularly efficient. When public transportation isn’t reasonably available, our defaults are Uber, Lyft, and even hotel cars — probably like many of you.

Hotel cars can be expensive, and of course Uber and Lyft have their problems as well. There are some alternative companies, however, including Blacklane, which specializes in airport transfers (though they provide other car services as well). Blacklane promotes itself as a “global professional driver service,” not a ridesharing provider or transportation app. They utilize licensed and regulated drivers throughout their network of 200+ cities.

I used Blacklane for the first time this week, and I think it’s a service that will be useful to many of you, so figured I’d share my experience and the details.

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9 Answers To Upside Travel Questions

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Last week I introduced Upside, a new travel app that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

As a reminder, One Mile at a Time readers who register this week receive a guaranteed $150 in gift cards on any trips booked in 2016, which is potentially a very good deal!

The app itself is simple, but as with anything new, there have been quite a few questions, so I figured I’d go through some of the most common.

**Will I still earn frequent flyer miles with Upside?**

Yes! Upside is trading gift cards for flexibility, so while the app might steer you towards a less expensive flight, you won’t be buying a consolidator fare. You can still earn miles on your ticket, just like you normally would.

On top of that, you can still leverage your airline elite status — including potential upgrades.

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Upside: The Travel App That Rewards You For Saving Money

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“What is your flexibility worth?”

That’s the question being asked by Upside, a new travel company aiming to revolutionize the way business travel is booked.

As we all know, airline and hotel loyalty programs incentivize individuals to make choices that primarily benefit the travel provider (and if you’re a savvy One Mile at a Time reader, the traveler). This is reflected in the move to a revenue-based system by all the major airlines in the US domestic market. If you pay a higher fare, you’ll earn more miles. If you shop around for a cheaper hotel room, or a less-convenient flight schedule your employer might save money, but you earn fewer miles.

So the question becomes: if business travelers can be incentivized by loyalty programs, could they instead be incentivized to make choices that save their company money?

Essentially, what Upside is hoping to do is nudge travelers towards choices that also save their employers money. By offering gift cards as an incentive, Upside thinks business travelers might be more open to considering a connecting flight, or a hotel across the street. Options which ultimately save employers money too.

It’s an interesting idea, and we’re always looking for unique ways to save or improve the travel experience, so when Upside asked if we would be a launch partner we agreed. You guys will also have early access to the app, and will earn extra gift card credit on trips booked through Upside this year.

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NFL Quarterback Fired For Missing Flight

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Earlier this week the Houston Texans of the National Football League fired Ryan Mallet. What was his offense? Well, he missed a flight.

It turns out he was late to the team meeting on Saturday and then missed the team’s charter flight over to Miami, where they were to play the Dolphins. He apparently was able to catch a commercial flight and arrived later that day. He was active for the game, but the team started Brian Hoyer instead, and Mallet stayed on the bench.

Apparently the team wanted to sack him on Saturday, but decided it would be better to keep him around for the game on Sunday, rather than go into the game with only one true quarterback on the roster.

Then Monday rolled around.

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