American Airlines’s pathetic operational reliability record isn’t exactly a new development, and complaints have long been streaming in from major media outlets, “higher flyer” bloggers, and angry mobs in the Twittisphere. Now the Dallas Cowboys, as of the evening of December 22, have every right to complain as well. In addition to the delays that it has subjected its many millions of passengers to, AA has now failed one of the most famous (or rather infamous?) sports teams in the world.
When you go to book a flight, it’s not uncommon to be prompted to purchase trip insurance on top of your fare. If you decline the option, you might get a warning: “You may be responsible for cancellation fees and delay expenses” or, if that doesn’t scare you enough, “The average out-of-pocket costs of medical emergency transportation outside the United States can be as high as $25,000.” Those are potentially frightful consequences, but you should think twice before handing over the extra money. It’s probably not in your best interest as a higher flyer, and believe it or not, getting it might cost you more than it’s worth.
Higher flying doesn’t necessarily refer to the top tier, most-luxurious accommodations. If something presents a good value for your money and makes sense for you and your travel goals, indeed, that option can be just as valuable as one that costs significantly more. If you don’t believe me, ask Barack Obama instead! The Washington Post recently quoted the former president singing the praises of Hampton Inns, one of Hilton’s budget-friendly brands and not one that you would associate with some/one of the most powerful people in the world. They’re far from glamorous, but if they’re good enough for Obama, certainly they can suffice for everyone else.
The title of this article is arguably the most important question in higher flying and yet there’s no clear answer to it. Unlike real currencies (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.), there’s no authority to objectively assess and define how much a mile is worth. This task instead falls to the users of them — higher flyers mostly — all of whom have different perspectives on how award points should function and how they’re best redeemed. No one’s valuation is any more right or wrong than another one’s, but nevertheless, here are The Higher Flyer‘s own for your consideration.
There’s a direct correlation between how happy passengers are and how pleasant air travel is. For that reason alone, it’s in everybody’s best interest to behave kindly and thoughtfully, and in turn prevent negative energy from spreading about. But no matter how far or how frequently you fly, you’re still bound to bear witness to some pretty horrendous stuff in both airports and in the skies. After more than 100,000 butt-in-seat miles in 2018, I experienced my fair share of moments that were uncomfortable at best, downright atrocious at worst. With every unfortunate event, the same thought lingered in the back of my mind: “This sure would be more pleasant if people weren’t like this.” Inspired by those “encounters” from 2018, here are my 10 resolutions for the new year, shared for your consideration going in to 2019…
If you own Hyatt’s cobranded credit card, you may have heard about an exciting, albeit controversial, promotion valid from September through to the end of 2017: you now only need 20 nights to qualify for the program’s highest elite status, Globalist level. You previously needed 60! Continue reading “On Hyatt’s Globalist “Fast Track” promotion: is it fair?”