This Week Is Insane — Weekly Review: July 25, 2015

Filed Under: Weekly Review



Hello from Chicago, where I cannot even begin to process this week.

Many airports LGA-Runway + dark TV studios TV-Camera = I’m not sure yet

To give a bit of context to the week, there has been a huge influx of media attention here on the blog, but more particularly on my travel consulting service. Receiving more than 100 times the typical amount of traffic on our site has resulted in tech problems I don’t even understand, though thankfully others do. I’m grateful for my amazing colleagues on a daily basis, but even more so this week, and can’t imagine what my life would look like right now without them.

In the meantime, I’ve flown from Los Angeles to Tampa to New York to Chicago, and have been on the phone or in front of a camera nearly constantly.

It’s all very surreal.

I’ll have more thoughts on everything happening once I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, I promise.

I have two other promises as well:

  • Long term, nothing on the blog will change. I’m excited that we’ve been able to provide some entry-level content — I too often write as though everyone has read every post since 2008 — but circles and arrows will never be the norm around here.
  • I have no plans to stop blogging, nor to hire a bunch of ghostwriters. Blogging is my absolute passion, and I truly love writing and engaging every day. This week is just insane, and not an indication of a new direction.

Featured Stories

Best Contest Ever — Join Me In An SPG Suite At A One Direction Concert!


I might be more excited about this than anyone else, but SPG is opening up their Luxury Suite just for One Mile at a Time readers at a One Direction concert this fall!

I’m giving away five sets of tickets, and entries will only be accepted until Friday, July 31st at 11:59PM Pacific. If you haven’t submitted your entry, do it soon! Late entries won’t be considered, and I’d hate for anyone to miss the deadline.

How To Get 750 Free United Miles

United-747Right now you can get 750 free United miles just for joining MyPoints. It literally takes about 1 minute.

Not only can you get miles for FREE right now, but in many cases the miles are posting within days.

Having any activity in your account will reset the expiration date of your miles, so this is a no-brainer.

How To Make Sure You’re Earning The Best Miles

Park-Hyatt-Sydney-45The first step to the miles and points “game” is to make sure you’re earning the right miles for your travel goals.

Airline partnerships have many nuances, but regardless of how much you travel (or where you are in the world), getting your miles into the right accounts to begin with will help tremendously.


One Week at a Time Logo

TIPS:Earning Miles & Promos

How To Find Mistake Fares And Fly For Cheap
What’s A Status Run, And Should You Book One?
How To Make Sure You’re Earning The Best Miles
Great Deal: US To Europe For $550!
Are Mileage Runs Still Possible?
Citi Prestige Vs. Citi Executive AAdvantage Card
How To Get 750 Free United Miles
10 Best Credit Card Offers For July
How To Maximize MQMs On Delta
How To Value Elite Qualifying Miles Earned Through Credit Card Spend?
5 Credit Cards That Can Help You Fly For Nearly Free
How To Credit American Flights To Alaska Mileage Plan?
Best Credit Card To Use For Airfare Purchases

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

The Park Hyatt Maldives Just Got Cheaper On Points!
Does American Allow First Class Awards Between The Middle East And Africa?
Book These Hotels For 5K IHG Points Per Night Starting Monday!
When To Use Your Miles, And When To Pay For A Ticket Instead
How Many Miles Are Needed For An Award Ticket?
You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles For Travel On US Airways
What Determines The Value Of Transferrable Points Currencies?

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

Welcome To One Mile at a Time!
The World’s 6 Best First Class Airline Products
The TSA’s War On Metamucil
I’m Airline & Hotel Status Complacent — Are You?
Best Contest Ever — Join Me In An SPG Suite At A One Direction Concert!
What Constitutes A Hotel Suite?
The Lengths I’ll Go To Avoid A Domestic Redeye

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A340 London Heathrow To Los Angeles
Review: Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse London Heathrow

NEWS & Updates

New Lightbulbs To Make Heathrow Way Better
Alaska & Hainan Announce New Partnership
Next American Express Centurion Lounge To Open At Houston Airport
Are Airlines Cracking Down On Throwaway Ticketing?
American Same Day Flight Change Restrictions Added
Delays In Virgin Australia’s New Business Class?

Thank you as always for reading, especially those of you who have been reading for years. Thank you thank you thank you — none of this would be happening without your support, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

A special thanks goes to those of you who have taken it upon yourselves to answer the influx of questions in the comments and on Ask Lucky. I’m blown away by how helpful you guys are being, and can’t thank you enough.

Finally, thanks to my incredible contributors. Nick, Travis, and Tiffany are already far too busy, and I’m humbled that they’ve each taken further time out of their lives to pinch-hit this week. I’m incredibly appreciative, and hopefully the extra content is useful to many of you as well.

  1. In front of a camera for what? Coverage of coverage? Makes no sense, like Kim Kardashian……God, I hope you dont turn into that kind of garbage. It is so sad that American culture destroys everything with celebrity.

  2. Lucky
    I really hope your blog does not change! I really love your old Blog. Please don’t get star struck. But enjoy your short term fame but please come back to us.

  3. Ben, I’m a loyal reader. Like every post (or just about). And this is the first time a post made no sense to me. What are you talking about? Why have inquiries spiked?

    You start by saying, “To give a bit of context to the week, there has been a huge influx of media attention here on the blog, but more particularly on my travel consulting service.”

    But that doesn’t give any context. AT ALL. What happened that gave you and your blog sudden interest? We’re loyal followers, we wanna know. This tells us nothing.

  4. It’s been a sad week – Ben has sold out and now his blog will be just like all the others.

    He already sticks credit card referrals wherever he can and he’s given up with writing trip reports like he used to.

  5. @ David H. @ Martin — That’s the gist of it. The main story has been in the print edition all month, but just hit the internet on Monday. Several international media outlets ran a rather sensationalized version on Tuesday, and well…it’s been a very interesting few days.

    I’m sure Ben will explain more once he’s had a chance to breathe, but if you want to watch the circus I’d recommend following along on Twitter or Facebook. It’s just madness.

  6. Classic blogger problem. Blog gets bigger and bigger. Eventually the conversation generalizes to the point where the original readers are too advanced to even look at it. Case in point: The Points Guy. Number one pet peeve — when the pop-blogger hires so many interns that hotel reviews no longer reflect any status recognition. TPG: “I’m just a Hyatt Platinum from the credit card … loved the free Internet!”

    The TPG Mandarin Oriental review was priceless. Dude is raking it in. Can’t wait for the Ben Schlappig Etihad SELF-FUNDED Residence review.

  7. Ah Ben – Fame could not have come to a nicer & more helpful guy! Of course with it, comes some insanity, but the positive impact is worth it. You have helped so many of us through FlyerTalk, Milepoint, Boarding Area, your newsletter+blog, FTU seminars, etc., that I for one, am very glad to hear your consulting business is reaping fame rewards! Time to get a permanent abode!

    a long-time fan & follower,
    aka Travelsavant

  8. Hi Ben,

    So like all the other newbees I found out about you from the recent article. Went way down the rabbit hole reading your old blogs and researching your interesting style of working the system to your advantage, inspiring stuff.
    I was very impressed to see you respond to people’s comments in spite of what is obviously a very demanding schedule.
    Cut to the chase… I want to learn more, I am ready to travel far and wide and am positioning myself to do so.
    Is it still possible to access your knowledge?
    I wanted to sign up on your thingy but it was overwhelmed and shut down due to your new found fame.
    I guess my question is, will I be able to join up to PointsPros at some time?
    So many questions, would love to get on board.

    Aloha and respect!

  9. @Aaron Anawalt: the PointsPros section is for people with miles who need help booking award tickets. Unless you need help with that you will find more information on the main page of the blog.

  10. This appears to be a week of progression for Lucky n team in terms of exposure n readership hit rates, but regression in terms of content. (Every post is about bare basics which to be honest can be found everywhere. Omaat’s differentiation is about how advanced the blog posts are. Like “breaking” reviews of Apartments on EY.)

    There was no real content for the loyal readers to read in the past few days though i am happy to join others to give my applause for Omaat’s breakthrough, but real content needs to be back soon.

    Hopefully the new found fame increases funding sources that will allow Omaat’s team to review more things like GA F, Hainan Int’l J n domestic F, Meridiana’s longhaul J and they award redemption availability, etc. Was China Airlines new J covered or China Eastern F/J?

    I look forward to a new advanced era, n progressive content going forward.

    Lucky, please be back soon.

  11. Hi Lucky!

    Congratulations on the article!! It was amazing! Anyway, I just wanted to give you a restaurant recommendation. I recently moved from Chicago to SW Florida. And so when we lived there, there was only one pizza place we would order from, and that was Lou Malnati’s. So, while you are in Chicago (and you have the time) you should try the deep dish sausage pizza from there. I hate sausage pizza, but this is an exception! So I hope you have the chance to check it out, and I promise it’s going to be the best deep dish you’ve ever had. And plus, who goes to Chicago and doesn’t get any deep dish pizza?? 😉

  12. Calm down, get over it, and go back to posting regular, substantive content that your long-time readers actually care about. Enough of the pandering to the newly acquired masses already.

  13. Regular subscriber here who was attacked by a wicked pop-up inviting me to subcribe to your site. Almost wasn’t able to read it.

    Also I wish your other writers would be identified at the top of the story. It’s very confusing, the different voices.

  14. @ Ingrid — Uh oh, that shouldn’t happen! Do you mind sharing what browser/operating system you were using?

  15. @ Ingrid — Thanks for the feedback. Hmmm, you should see who the writer is at the top of each story. Is that not displaying for you?

  16. @ flyingfish — I think I’ve proven over the past 7+ years that my true passion is writing and sharing the deals/tips that I enjoy most. I’ve literally been doing a dozen hours a day of media the past week, and I’m certainly going to do what I can to convert as many of the hundreds of thousands of new visitors this week into long term readers.

    My hope is that long time readers will look at my track record over the past 7+ years and realize my passion (hopefully that’s why you read my site), even if it’s a slow week on the new content front. I think anyone else in my position would do the same.

  17. @ stvr — Hah! Seriously, I’ll let my passion/content over the past 7+ years speak for itself. I don’t write this blog because it pays my bills, but because I want to. It was years before I made a dime from the blog. Heck, even if I could retire tomorrow (which I definitely can’t) I sure wouldn’t want to, because I’m not sure what I’d do with my life. So unfortunately you’re stuck with lots more content from me — sorry! 😉

  18. @ – Gaurav I was hoping to get help using my miles for booking tickets by using PointsPros, I guess my question actually was: when might the site be open to new subscribers again?
    Thank you for your reply and I’ll keep reading my way through the blog(s)… fascinating stuff!

  19. I’m actually impressed that despite all the media attention Lucky had managed to post himself and pitch in in comment.

    Actually, seeing a confirmation that Lucky spends a ton of time blogging & answering questions was one of the nice things about RS article.

  20. @aaron anawalt, I think PointsPros is a great resource for booking award tickets but as lucky mentioned they seem to be a little swamped right now. You could try posting your question on the ask lucky page and if it is straightforward someone might be able to give you pointers on how to book it yourself. If this is urgent you could email Ben directly to see if someone can help or wait a little for things to calm down so that someone can help you. Alternately, you could look at other award services if you need something right away, other options do exist.

  21. @ aaron anawalt –Gaurav is right that we’ve been a little swamped (and have had some tech meltdowns which have made it all more exciting), but if you want to share a general idea of what you’re hoping to do I’d be happy to point you in the right direction. We will hopefully be back up and running shortly!

  22. @ Tiffany & Gauvav – Thank you for your advice, I am new to blogs and find it very cool that you take time to read all this and reply personally, very cool indeed.
    No need to continue this conversation though, I have realized I have a lot of homework and basic financial restructuring to do before I begin my travels. To that end I will be learning all I can about what it is that Pro travelers do and setting things in place so I can do a baby version of that when I am ready.
    Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to reading your blogs.

    All aloha!

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