The Difference Between Award Miles and Elite Qualifying Miles

United RDM and EQM

Ross emailed me yesterday with a question about the United MileagePlus Explorer credit card. His question wasn’t so much about how to earn the bonus miles offered for new applications but what the difference is between award miles, qualifying miles, and qualifying dollars. It is probably … [Read more...]

How to Get Upgraded on Your Next Flight

AA777businessclass

About the only thing worse than waiting in a security line or the crowded airport terminal is actually sitting in coach. Seat 32B, to be exact. As you enter the plane and prepare yourself for the next four hours of misery, you’ll probably pass some happier passengers sipping on … [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...]

Redeem 85 Miles to Keep Your United Account Active

United Digital Media Store

Most airline loyalty programs require you to have some kind of account activity every 12-24 months or else you'll lose your miles. I'll provide a more thorough breakdown of your options in a future post, but I want to call out what I think may be one of the cheapest options available for … [Read more...]

How to Plan Your Itinerary

Award Nexus Route Builder

My guess is 99% of people plan their trip by doing a search from A to B. Not me. I like to know my options before I run my search so I can exclude bad connections or force especially good ones. Relying on a dumb computer to tell you how to get to your destination can overlook a lot of good … [Read more...]

United and Delta’s Revenue-Based Programs Are Bad News for Corporate Travel

I was in New York last year with a day to spare and decided to look for some new travel startups. One of them was Rocketrip, and I had a nice chat with its CEO, Daniel Ruch. The basic concept behind Rocketrip is that it helps companies incentivize their workers to reduce corporate travel … [Read more...]