About Scott Mackenzie

Scott created Hack My Trip while traveling on a budget during graduate school and continues to share his thoughts on better travel. He maintains elite status with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hyatt, and Starwood.
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How and Why to Redeem SPG Suite Night Awards

Suite Night Award request confirmation

I just returned from a weekend vacation in San Diego, which was significant in that it was my first trip all year with Megan alone and not our parents. For a few days the only people who could annoy us were each other. ;) When booking the hotel I made a point to look at Starwood … [Read more...]

I Wish My Math Class Took Field Trips to Atlanta

LoungeBuddy shared a pretty awesome article from Wired this morning on Twitter. The question: Could you observe the curvature of the Earth in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport?  Atlanta has one of the most "efficient" terminal layouts I've ever seen, with multiple … [Read more...]

Up to 60% off Alaska Award Flights and 40% Extra Miles!

Alaska Fall Award Sale

Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan is putting a bunch of their award flights on sale for travel between August 30 and October 31. (You can book these awards starting today.) Some of the awards are as low as 5,000 miles one-way and represent a 60% discount off the normal 12,500-mile price for a … [Read more...]

Targeted Offer: 50,000 MR to Upgrade Amex PRG To Platinum Card

Amex Platinum Upgrade Offer

I don't normally like to talk about targeted promotions, but when it comes to credit cards there seems to be more opportunity than with other companies to talk your way into getting a similar offer once you know it exists. (Chase is a particularly good example.) In this case, my wife was … [Read more...]

Level Skies: An Alternative to Individual Fare Locks

Level Skies Search

I mentioned the introduction of 72-hour fare locks on British Airways this weekend and reminded you about existing options from United Airlines as well as Options Away, which lets you purchase options on additional carriers by taking on themselves the risk of fare increases. When I … [Read more...]

Using United’s “Expert Mode” to Find Upgrades

United SFO-HKG W fare with Upgrade Space

I've had several people ask me recently how to search for upgrades on United Airlines. It's not immediately obvious because United no longer allows tools like Expert Flyer to access its inventory. However, United does have an in-house tool called "Expert Mode" that will display inventory … [Read more...]