Weekly Review: January 2, 2016

Filed Under: Weekly Review

Happy New Year!

I’ve spent much of the past week in the Maldives, which has been extremely relaxing.


Now before I get yelled at for going to the Maldives again, let me explain that this isn’t a trip I’m taking for the sole purpose of reviewing, but rather one I’m taking because I actually want to spend quality time with Ford. So while I’ll be writing a trip report about the flights, I realize it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, given that I was in the Maldives in April.

The good news is I’m reviewing several new business class products in January, which I think you guys will really enjoy.

Featured Stories

How I Scored An AMAZING Award By Making 7 Ticket Changes!


I’ve often said that the key to securing the perfect airline award ticket is to lock something in as early as you can and then keep checking back to see if you can improve on that.

Here’s an example of a case where I modified an award reservation seven times to create what I consider to be the perfect award.

Are Airlines Killing The Golden Goose?

Cathay-Pacific-First-HKGI’d argue frequent flyer programs are one of the best ideas the airlines ever had. I think it would be any capitalist’s dream to be able to make hundreds of millions of dollars selling a “currency” where you control every aspect of the earnings and redemption rates.

But there’s one huge mistake I think the airlines are making.

Is It Wrong To Travel To Countries Where Being Gay Is Illegal?

MosqueHere’s something interesting I’ve noticed. I certainly respect if others feel differently about this topic, though I figured I’d write this post so that people can hopefully at least see my perspective.

As is well documented, I spend a fair amount of time in countries where being gay is frowned upon/illegal/punishable by law. Almost every time I write about traveling to one of these places, I get comments about it.


TIPS: Earning Miles & Promos

A New Year Of Credit Card Airline Fee Credits!
Last Chance: Buy Starpoints For 25% Off
Buy A Discounted Starbucks Gift Card Through Groupon
Amazing Deal: Business Class To Asia For ~$1,350 Roundtrip!
10 Best Credit Card Offers For December

TRICKS: Redeeming Miles

Is This The Dumbest Award I Could Possibly Book?
25% Off Select Air France/KLM Business Class Awards
Hilton HHonors Category Changes 2016
Awesome: Etihad A380 First Class Awards To New York Available In Advance!
IHG Points + Cash Awards Improved
American First & Business Class Awards To Sydney!
How I Scored An AMAZING Award By Making 7 Ticket Changes!

TRAVEL With Ben (Lucky)

Hello, Live From Etihad Economy!
OMAAT’s 15 Most Read Posts Of 2015
16 Airlines I Want To Review In 2016
Are Fisheye Travel Pictures Useful Or Annoying?
Ford’s Thoughts On Booking Flights Last Minute
I’m Flying Air India First Class… For 30 Hours!
I’m Going To Changsha!
Is It Wrong To Travel To Countries Where Being Gay Is Illegal?
OMAAT’s 10 Most Read Flight Reviews Of 2015
Impressive Hotel Service Recovery
My New Toy: iPhone Wide Angle And Fisheye Lens
The Most Baffling Hotel Welcome Gift I’ve Ever Received
I’ll Take My Domestic Flight Without A Flat Bed, Please

REVIEWS & Trip Reports

Review: Qatar Airways Business Class 777 Bali To Doha
Review: Premier Lounge Bali Denpasar Airport
Review: St. Regis Bali Restaurants & Activities
Review: St. Regis Bali Lagoon Villa

NEWS & Updates

Is Uber Surge Pricing Unethical?
Flight Attendant Recruiting Or Beauty Pageant?
ANA Places Order For 3 Airbus A380s!
German Court Rules Against Etihad & Airberlin Codeshare
Delta Basic Economy Spreading To Transatlantic Flights
You’ll Never Guess American’s Most Profitable Hub
Azerbaijan Airlines’ Intriguing New York To Baku Flight
China Extends Transit Without Visa To 6 Days
What Did Atlanta Airport’s Hundred Millionth Passenger Get?
Are Airlines Killing The Golden Goose?

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and is enjoying the New Year so far!

  1. Happy new year and thanks for a good year of reviews. I’m so glad you have grown so much emotionally the past few years. I recall when you first reviewed Maldives back in 2011 and you hated it, recommended people to skip it and go to Bali (aka Australian Cancun) instead. I think Maldives definitely target people at a different stage of life than where you were back then. After 60+ countries and 6 continents (soon to be on 7th continent next month), it is still our favorite place in the world, more so than Bora Bora and the other French Polynesian islands (which is a lot easier for us to travel to from west coast). So glad you have found a special someone to grow emotionally together and enjoy life experiences together. Have an exciting 2016.

  2. Ben, I say this with a lot of love, but I am disappointed. I was surprised to learn today that AA’s bonus RDMs for booking J/F has been extended until the RDM earning structure changes later this year. I depend on your blog in order to learn these sorts of things in advance, especially anything related to AAdvantage 🙂 Did you report on this, and I missed it?

    Anyways, happy new year, and I’m glad you had a chance to spend quality time with your family and Ford over the holidays. Cheers!

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