Welcome To The New “Ask Lucky!”

After over 20,000 questions and answers on the Ask Lucky page over the years, it’s time for a refresh.

This had to take a backseat last year during the blog redesign, as the scope of the project was just too big otherwise. There aren’t many blog pages out there with that many comments, so there were some major hurdles to overcome.

Hundreds of hours of work have gone into creating something that I hope will be more than “lipstick on a pig,” and I’m very excited to unveil the new Ask Lucky page.

What’s new?

If you go to the page now, rather than thousands of pages of comments, you’ll see a neat, streamlined list:


Each question can be “tagged” for searching later, so you can more easily look at past questions.

If you want to see what other people have asked and shared in the past, just click on the tag to see everything in that category:


When you click on an individual comment, it will open up a more detailed view, with the question, the answer, and hopefully, more conversation.


The current setup allows anyone to post a question. Your comment may go into a moderation queue at first, but the idea is to allow everyone to participate anonymously if they so choose.

If the spam gets out of control we’ll have to look at changing things, but for now click on the button for “Post New Question” to comment:


This brings you to a page where you enter your name, pass a quick spam check, and then can enter the details of your question.


If you guys can help me out by labeling questions as much as possible that will keep things organized, and make it easier for me keep up with everything.

Beyond just questions

One of the things I’m most proud of is the amazing community of readers on this blog. I love interacting with you guys each day, and I want to encourage that as we shift the format of this page.

So rather than just being questions and answers, we’ll also have tools to make it easier to communicate with each other (for better or worse).

To join the forum, click on the “Join Us” button and fill out some basic details.


Members will have access to more features, including being able to respond to other questions, and “like” posts:


This is a work in progress

There are still things I want to change with the technology and styling, particularly with mobile, and we’ll keep working on the polish. The tech team is also still importing the archived conversations — each question has to be matched with my answer, then reformatted and labeled, so the content will only continue to grow as we build that out.

I also have lots of fun ideas for the future, and look forward to hearing your thoughts as well!

Make yourself at home

Although the page is called “Ask Lucky,” this is really intended to be more of a group space. So please feel free to jump in and help each other out.

It is worth noting this is also a very public space. I’m not controlling access at all, so keep that in mind when deciding what to post and discuss. 😉

So take a look around, register, etc. I don’t want to necessarily bribe y’all here, but there will be some prizes for the first people who register, those who are participating the most in the first week, etc. (details to follow tomorrow).

Bottom line

My goal here isn’t to build another faceless forum, but rather to create an easier medium through we can all communicate.

For example, with the recent Beijing mistake fare on American I set up a Google Group for people headed to Beijing, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great the dialogue was with sharing tips, etc.

So my goal is not only to continue to answer any questions readers may have (the blog gets hundreds of comments a day, and I do everything I can to respond to every question), but hopefully to create a space through which we can all communicate more easily in a simplified, streamlined forum.

Thanks for the patience and continued support!


  1. Hi Ben, I see the old stuff when I click on the Ask Lucky link in your post. When I click the link in the menu bar, I get a blank page (using Chrome).

  2. Did I get the first post on the new forum? I was heading to Ask Lucky anyway and saw the new system before I read this post! 🙂

  3. The confirmation email appears to be lost… and yes, I checked my spam folder, it’s not there.

  4. @ Jonathan @ Shadow Walker — I’ve manually confirmed you. You both have hotmail addresses (and are the only people who have registered so far via hotmail), so that might be the common factor. Thanks for the data point!

  5. Hey Tiffany. I also registered with a Hotmail address and I have not received my email either. Can you help me?
    Brian Jackson

  6. @ Brian Jackson — You should be all set now under the “Brian J” account you tried to create. Sorry about that!

  7. Hi Tiffany, is the confirmation email suppose to arrive immediately? Just in case, I just registered as well and I’m using my gmail account.


  8. @ Thomas — It looks like whenever a username is “close” to another one the system wants us to manually look and make sure it’s not a duplicate, so yours went into a holding queue.

    You should be good now though. So much learning!

  9. @Tiffany: This is odd. It keeps saying incorrect password, but I know it’s the right one (as my password manager auto-fills it.) When I try to reset my password, I don’t get any of the emails.

    I think your email system doesn’t like Hotmail.

  10. This is fantastic. I think one of your most valuable resources on the site is the ask lucky section so thanks for redesigning in a searchable format!

  11. Just wanted to thank you for how responsive you are to us all, not only here but also on twitter. You’ve quickly answered a few really helpful questions for me!

  12. @ Jonathan — Ugh, thanks for your patience. This is all new to us too.

    The tech people tried to fix something, but now I no longer see even an attempt at registration from you, which is probably why you’re having password issues. Mind trying to register again, and I’ll approve it manually?

  13. @ Tiffany – When I tried to use the same email address as before it said there was already a duplicate. 🙁

    I ended up just using another of my addresses instead.

  14. Hi Ben! I’m so excited for your reformatted site! Thanks for all the help you’ve offered over the years and congratulations on continuing to follow & share your passion.

    Just the other day I was thinking about all the fun we used to have on the Coast-Coast/ Coast-Island Dos 🙂

    Best of Luck(y),

  15. It’s good to know that you don’t mind community responses. I’ve often thought, hey I know the answer to that question, but the page isn’t called Ask Gaurav 🙂

  16. Since this blog has gotten so big, curious as to the reason why you don’t just break off from BoardingArea and go it alone. What value do they bring you nowadays?

  17. I just get a blank screen regardless of whether I use Firefox, Chrome, Opera or IE on two different computers or Chrome on my tablet. I’ve done forced reloads and tried an incognito window. Tried to get to the site at work earlier today and they blocked it even though I can get to Boarding Area just fine. At home I *can* get to the site on my phone using wi-fi but that’s not practical for me. Any ideas?

  18. Bug report: the search doesn’t work IF you search for another term right away. Steps to reproduce:

    – Use the search to look for anything.
    – From the search results page, search for something else.
    – Results don’t show up.

  19. @Tiffany, I’ve got a Hotmail account and didn’t get the confirmation email either. I registered on Thursday. Can you manually confirm me?

  20. Ben,

    I was reviewing your detailed post on using SQ miles to get to Australia from last year. I have a similar question about getting to New Zealand. I am willing to traverse Asia (or even the Middle East) for a comfortable trip over to NZ. I live in the Pacific NW so getting to one of the West Coast int’l hubs shouldn’t be too problematic. I’m curious on your thoughts re:

    (1) Using Korean Air Skypass miles to get either to/from NZ via Seoul (originating in the US)
    (2) Using AA miles to get there via HKG on Cathay
    (3) Using SQ miles via SIN
    (4) Using Alaska miles via Dubai on Emirates

    I have plenty of AMEX membership rewards points, Chase Sapphire points, and SPG points (but would prefer to save these for hotel stays)

    I would also be OK with two entirely different routings/airlines on the to/from legs just to get there comfortably (if not luxuriously) 🙂

    Thoughts on preferred routing, where I might find availability, etc…

    Many thanks

  21. @ Steven — I’d say they’re all great options, depending on what exactly you’re looking for. I think KrisFlyer is tough to beat, flying LAX-NRT-SIN-AKL. But otherwise Korean Air and Cathay via Hong Kong (on two separate awards) is a great option as well. You can’t redeem Alaska miles for travel from the US to Australia/New Zealand on Emirates, unfortunately. Good luck!

  22. Hi ben –

    Tried the new Ask Lucky page but all I got was a blank page…

    i got an AA award related question for you.

    I found my perfect NRT-ORD flight late in the year, but I am having difficulty with connecting to NRT.

    CGK-NRT/BKK-NRT/SIN-NRT/KUL-NRT/HKG-NRT are giving me blanks right now and i would really like to hold on to the NRT-ORD flight while waiting for the CGK-NRT or any of the above segments to open up.

    I’ve checked CGK-HKG-ICN-NRT-ORD-Final US destination as a placeholder and if allowed it would be within the 125% distance award.

    Hence, would CGK-HKG-ICN-NRT even be allowed when I try to place the initial “placeholder” to hold on to the NRT-ORD-Final US destination segment.

    Thanks in advance

  23. Hi Lucky,

    I have one question about min connection time at JFK from AA to CX:

    Per expertflyer, is the min connection time is 1.15 hours or 1.55 hours?

    ONLINE 1.00 1.15 1.45 2.00
    OFFLINE 1.00 1.15 1.45 2.00
    ** OR * ARE ALL
    **-CX DI 1.55
    AA-** DI 2.00 TRM 8 – 7

  24. I was searching AA award availability from SJD-DEN on Oct. 8 and found mixed prices. The route that connects in PHX is only 12,500. Why? I thought U.S. to Mexico was 17,500.

  25. Tried using the Ask Lucky page but got a blank page.

    Had a query on what the best options were to redeem points for a business class award ticket on Qatar using Citi Thankyou points to travel from US to Middle East or Pakistan. By the way, thanks for all your great posts on Citi cards – they really helped with earning points! I’ve earned approx 160,000+ thank you points but when I look at award tickets on Qatar airways directly, most awards are shown an Qx2 points (flexi awards). I’d rather not pay twice the number of points on Qatar. Is there a clever way to use thank you points on OneWorld for this travel?

  26. For the National 1-2-Free promo, if I book 2 separate booking for 2 days each at the same location will they count towards 600 points (aka 1 Free rental day) or just 300 points?
    I have a 4 day rental every week and I am trying to double my earnings.

  27. I have a spend $600 get $100 back offer on my Amex gold card. I also have an IHG Accelerate promo offer to basically win 50,000 points after staying 5 nights, staying once, and paying for a stay with IHG credit card. If I booked the 5 night stay with Amex through Amextravel.com site would that count towards IHG Accelerate promo?

  28. I had Hyatt Diamond Status in 2016. However, I only made enough stays to re-qualify for Platinum status for 2017. I will make my 50th night of the year on 2/28/2017. Will this make me I diamond through 3/2019 as this is before the new program officially takes in effect or will I need 10 additional nights? Will I get 4 suite diamond upgrades that are good for a year or will they be subject to the new 120 day expiration under the new program?

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