Hi, my name is Lucky, and this is my blog.
Oy, that was awkward. I’m pretty bad at introductions, and not great at talking about myself in general. Let me try again.
My name is Ben Schlappig, and I am obsessed with aviation, travel, and more specifically, using airline miles and credit card points to elevate the travel experience.
I also go by Lucky, and occasionally Coins (that’s a long story for another day though).
I love airports.
Seriously, one of the main things I enjoy about traveling is the sense of possibility an international departures board inspires. I could spend all day watching people come and go, wondering where they are coming from, what their story is, and what their final destination might be.
And it’s a good thing that I like airports, because I fly an average of 400,000 miles a year nowadays. That’s more than 16 times around the globe, and the bulk of that is in international first and business class.
I’ve been traveling from a very young age – my family is from Germany, so I’ve been flying back and forth between the US and Germany since I was a child. As it is for most families traveling internationally with children our flights were far from glamorous (we typically flew Condor from Tampa, back when they still had a smoking section), but I still loved the journey, and seeing new places, and most especially – the airport.
I have a soft spot for the old “flip style” Departures board in Frankfurt for that reason.
The summer I was 14 I received a flyer from United in the mail. They were running an outrageous promotion which offered 5,000 extra miles for every segment flown, with a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles. Now, even if you knew nothing about miles and points this would sound like a pretty amazing deal, so I started researching, which led me to FlyerTalk, and my entire world perspective changed.
I did the math, and convinced my parents that allowing their youngest child to fly back and forth across the country all summer was not only a great idea, but would mean our next trip to Europe would be in Lufthansa First Class.
They went for it, and a few months later I was a 14-year-old with top-tier airline elite status, and had spent almost the entire summer in airports.
And I was hooked.
I’ve been chronicling my thoughts and travels here at One Mile at a Time since early 2008. Prior to that I spent a great deal of time doing the same on FlyerTalk, and served on the TalkBoard for four years (including a stint as Vice President, which I mention mainly because it was one of the few things I’ve done in this hobby that my dad could appreciate). I’ve also written articles for TravelSort and other publications, and have reviewed countless products along the way.
I’ve flown over four million miles since that first summer, visiting more than fifty countries on six continents and spending thousands of nights in hotels.
I never set out to be a writer, but am beyond thrilled to have made a career of blogging and writing about the travel industry. My favorite part of my day is literally interacting with people here on the blog, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share my passion with others.
I believe that anyone can elevate their travel experience by leveraging their resources. I’m never going to try and sell the idea that travel is free, because it certainly isn’t, but there are so many opportunities to enjoy truly amazing experiences while spending significantly less than you might think.
So welcome! Make yourself at home.
If you’re new to miles and points, you’ll want to check out the Beginner’s Guide, and if you’re looking for my reviews of the best airlines, hotels, and airport lounges, you can find those in the Trip Report Index. If you need help redeeming your miles, you might want to check out my award consulting service, PointsPros.
If you have a travel-related question that you can’t find an answer to otherwise, check out the Ask Lucky page, and I’ll do my best to answer!
You can stay updated on the latest in the travel industry, from promotions to program changes to mergers, by subscribing to my free daily newsletter.
Meet my contributors
One of the amazing things about this hobby is how many fun people I’ve met along the way, and the friendships I’ve developed over the years. Some of these folks contribute occasionally here on the blog as well, and add an interesting contrast to my travel and perspectives.
These are not professional writers-for-pay, but rather truly passionate people in the hobby that might not have a background in blogging, but do have a background in obsessing over miles & points 24/7.
Thanks for reading, and maybe our paths will cross in an airport sometime.