A Guaranteed Easy Way To Reach Credit Card Minimum Spend In One Day

Filed Under: Travel

Aw, crap.

So yesterday I was flying from Tampa to Dallas on American in MD-80 first class. I had my laptop out during boarding because I was trying to finish a couple of blog posts. The MD-80 is a bit tight, even in first class, so there’s not much shoulder or center console space.

The flight attendant came around with a tray consisting of water, orange juice, and mini bottles of vodka. Creative — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flight attendant proactively offer minis with the pre-departure service! My kind of lady!

So I’m quite literally morally opposed to airplane orange juice, at least the juice served by US airlines. It’s the nastiest, most acidic from concentrate juice you could possibly drink. I won’t even usually drink it with a mixer. I haven’t had orange juice on a domestic American flight in probably five years.

But I’m not going to lie, it had been a long day, and vodka sounded kind of good. I couldn’t drink it with water and wasn’t going to drink it straight up, so orange juice and vodka it was.

I told the flight attendant I loved her, and grabbed an orange juice and vodka, placing it on the center console.

Only I’m a total freaking moron, and accidentally tipped over the cup on my laptop.

On the plus side, I could spend the rest of the flight catching up on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I nearly spilled some orange juice on my iPad when I saw that they flew Korean Air business class to the Philippines? They need to learn how to earn and burn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, me thinks! The fact that Kandi was eating food out of a styrofoam container is pretty telling as to how much she must have been enjoying Korean Air’s onboard service. 😉


Upon landing in Dallas I hopped in an Uber to the Apple Store, where I picked up a new MacBook Air. On the plus side, that did help me complete the minimum spend on my new Citi Prestige Card… yay?


Unfortunately this wasn’t the first laptop of mine which has died on a plane… though this one was 100% my fault.

What lesson did I learn? Between my luck on this flight and my Cathay Pacific flight from Male to Hong Kong, I’m never drinking orange juice again.


  1. Do you use a external hd or were you able to retrieve data? Losing money sucks, but losing data is even worse.

  2. @Diondi, that new macbook is backed up 3-4 weeks I believe. None of the Apple stores here in NYC are selling them on-site but they are there for people to look/use.
    @Lucky, if you really are a Real Housewife they should be able to afford to fly Cathay Pacific First all the way to Manila. 😉

  3. Sorry Ben, you aren’t guilt of this often, but that was one hell of a click bait headline. Please don’t do that again.

  4. Ok so I’ll admit anyone should be able to use points to travel anywhere regardless of socioeconomic class, but at the same time, First Class international is there because of the 1% who pays for them — and within that 1% are the RHOA! 😉

  5. Not to make this an Apple vs Other debate, but that Macbook Air looks extremely dated now. The bezel around the screen is so thick, looks like something from 5 years ago.

  6. Buy Applecare for the new laptop! They say they won’t cover accidental damage but they always have for me. My wife dropped her Macbook ON the power connector side three times and after the third time she could no longer charge the laptop due the wrinkled aluminum. Apple replaced the laptop. Then the cat tipped over a glass of water and destroyed her Macbook, and they replaced it. There was a third thing I did to a MacBook Pro, it was totally my fault, I told them what I did, told them to send me an estimate, and they called me said “come pick it up.” I was irritated that they didn’t give me a quote. But they did the work for free! All of these events happened post-warranty, but all of them were still covered under AppleCare.

    How’s that for a testimonial?

  7. Similar thing happened to my husband! Was in NYC and his laptop died. Spent awhile at the Apple Store trying to decide what to do. Then discovered the Mac he wanted was slightly cheaper at Best Buy nearby AND we were able to purchase it online through the UR portal for an extra point/dollar. Unfortunately we had no min spend to meet so lost opp there.

  8. Third orange juice spill for you in a week right? You are slippin…

    Delta’s orange juice isn’t so bad. I just hate it when they serve it with ice. Who drinks orange juice with ice at 7am?

  9. Oh and since Best Buy has the whole delivery-to-store thing we just purchased the laptop online, waited 30 min then picked it up. #winning

  10. I hope you didn’t lose any data?

    As Carlos said, the hardware is one thing, but losing data is not cool at all!

  11. I really have to stop reading this blog. That post may have finally pushed me over the edge. Why, oh why, do I read these posts?

  12. Folks if you ever spill water on your devices try packing them over about one inch of uncooked rice in a Tupperware container overnight. The rice will absorb the moisture. It’s saved a few phones and net books of mine over the years. As for orange juice, probably a goner.

    And I don’t think this headline was clickbait (possibly the most overused word of the year?) just healthy sarcasm. I got a kick out of it.

  13. I totally agree with Robert! My business partner and I are in the middle of buying two new MacBooks and going back and forth about Applecare since we are also JointVenture clients. This is a great example of what our rep told us would be covered and I was reminded by Ben’s event that, yes, it can happen. It is still not too late to buy Applecare Ben!

  14. VFTW/Gary’s headlines have gotten nauseatingly click-baity, IMHO. This was not that. This was straight-up, creative humor. Just because it’s genuinely an attractive/funny headline doesn’t make it cheesy clickbait. Clickbait headlines leave you feeling cheated afterward. I knew instantly when reading this headline that it was sarcastic and I did not feel a bit cheated: the headline added to my enjoyment of the story rather than detracting.

  15. Agree with other comments above. A brand new MacBook model with a way better screen resolution was just launched but it says shipping in 4-6 weeks 🙁 If I were you I would try to get the new one. BTW, were you able to get all your files from the trashed one? Make sure you have a backup of all your files.

  16. Macbook Air is bad now. Might as well have gotten the macbook pro 13 inch – it’s hardly heavier or bigger and the retina display makes worlds of difference. It’s also sturdier with a better keyboard. As others said, new macbook is also a much better option. Buying old tech from the get-go is a poor choice. Luckily apple has a 14-day liberal return policy which you should strongly consider using in this case.

  17. Ben – Although I didn’t enjoy this post as much as your normal trip reports I certainly I don’t understand the vitriol in some of the comments. FWIW, it’s “methinks” not “me thinks.” But, I support a bit of archaic language in these posts so happy to see that.

    Thanks as always for the blog. Are you ever going to do the Jet Airways vs. Air India comparison you’ve been talking about? I think that would be very interesting and useful to readers.


  18. I agree with HansGolden. I didn’t think this was clickbait at all. As for the actual macbook itself, at the moment I still prefer the macbook air over the new 12 inch macbook. I went to the apple store the other day to check the 12″ one and I was skeptical with the one port (which means you’ll need adapters galore for the time being.) It may be the future but for now, I think macbook air or macbook pro is better.
    Lucky, why do you prefer the 13″ over the 11″ macbook air? I would think as a frequent traveler the 11″ would be preferable?

  19. @mark: For the same reason we all do, namely, addiction.

    As for the “click bait” thing, Hans Golden hit the nail on the head. In literary circles, this is called “wry humor.” Plus here there’s a nice surprise pay-off at the end of the story, the punch line if you will. Ever read Chaucer? (No? Then never mind.) Anyway, it’s most certainly not click bait. It made me laugh, anyway, in part because we’ve all both done stuff like thus and then looked (usually in vain) for a bright side to the disaster.

    Like the other posters, though, I wonder about the data loss issue. Don’t leave us in suspense . . . which circles back around to my addiction comment . . . !

  20. If one feels the need to hit the comments to complain that they don’t find a certain kind of humor funny that others find hilarious, then clearly there are other issues at work in the commenter’s life and/or in their outlook toward the originator of the humor.

  21. I’d return and get the new 12in Retina MacBook. Even though Apple doesn’t generally have them in stock they’re widely available in most configurations at Best Buy online (can get delivered next day if you order before 9:30am CT). You obviously value the smaller form factor and guessing for most of what you do, the slight performance hit wouldn’t be noticed. You’ll appreciate the retina screen.

  22. ” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flight attendant proactively offer minis with the pre-departure service! My kind of lady!”

    Oh my. You’re young.. 🙂 those were the good old days.

  23. Guess you made some money scamming us for clicks… BTW I have used your links before for credit cards now that money will be going to a competitor. I will hold the bucket for u!

  24. Hilarious.

    Wish your commenters could be as funny as I find your blogs. Love how seriously you don’t take yourself.

  25. I hope you used the buy online pick up in store to rack up the extra point for the portal purchase …. and still be able to grab it in retail a few minutes later ….

  26. Nothing will be the fail story of how my friend destroyer her laptop. She decided to watch some adult films. Needless to say she got very happy, and ended up getting her own pee on the laptop! It died instantly. She let it air out for a few days, and it turned back on a little odd. But there is now pee all over it….Like wth!

  27. …or you can just buy a REAL business-grade laptop (ie: ThinkPad) which are nearly-indestructible AND are have sealed keyboards designed to get drinks spilled all over them. ThinkPads have had the water resistant keyboards for 15+ years now. Yes, they’ll still run OSX if you insist on it.

    The first trip my Macbook Pro went on, TSA managed to drop the padded bag it was in and the corner of the case got a nasty dent/warp in it. Very…first…trip, on the outbound flight no less. Unfortunately I didn’t notice it until I got to the hotel. Overall, the MBP hasn’t been a bad laptop for me, BUT it will be the last one I buy. Between Apple’s lack of business-grade on-site support to the lack of upgradeability on the new ones, it’s back over to ThinkPad land for me.

  28. The reason your juice spilled on your laptop was because of the retrograde karma you received for writing this click bait article 🙂

  29. @ Joey — I spend all day on my computer, so do prefer having a slightly larger screen. I find it to be a nice compromise between a “travel” laptop and one which can also be used as a primary computer.

  30. @ Django — Thanks! Actually hoping to do the Jet Airways/Air India thing by June. Stay tuned. 🙂

  31. Oh, dear. So many people whose lives have been utterly ruined by click bait.

    Get over yourselves, you whiny drama llamas.

  32. Click bait whiners are annoying. The headline was clearly in jest. Plus, if you’re a regular reader you likely at least click every article, no?

    Lucky, I still say you should get the MacBook Pro 13 inch – the retina is a huge advantage over Air. I have a 13 inch Air and 13 inch Pro and the Air doesn’t really get any use anymore. The retina screen is SO much better. Computer performance is better too, and it hardly weighs more than the Air. Plus, it’s sturdier – I’ve had multiple issues with the Air body warping, which caused the track pad to break multiple times (this is apparently a common issue with the Air). Anyway, just my two cents, but if I were you I would strongly consider the Pro. And like I said before, you’re still in the 14-day return window, so it would be no issue to do the swap.

  33. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t a spilled orange juice on your laptop prompt your initial switch from United to American several years ago? Something about them compensating you fairly well for the incident? I still find it a bit coincidental that many of the major BoardingArea bloggers suddenly switched to American several years ahead of the UA devaluation in MileagePlus (okay, not Delta Points).

  34. Actually, there’s a much easier way. 1) Get yourself a Square card reader at sqaureup.com, 2) Link it to your personal checking account, 3) swipe your credit card for whatever amount you need, 4) check your bank account the next day, you’ll have all of that money (less the 2.75% square fee), so on $2,000 this is typically $55. Which, for some people might be reasonable if you’re in a hurry to rack up a 50,000 mile bonus. 5) Use the money in your check account to pay the balance on the card.

  35. First off, whats wrong with flying Korean business class to the Philippines?? I did it last month lol and also hit me up next time you need an Apple product, I can get you 15% off!

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