13 Responses

  1. jorge
    jorge at |

    Wonderful story. I love to listen to senior citizens. My generation kind of bores me, talking about Kardashans, Paris Hilton and iPads. Older adults have so much to share, wish I had been born a few years earlier.

    And finding someone who is also interested in airlines and miles is a true gem!

  2. Mommy Points
    Mommy Points at |

    Love it and well done inviting them to join in. No doubt they could probably teach a thing or two themselves!

  3. ES
    ES at |

    “Smaller conversations among more intimate groups naturally tend to be more interesting, more educational and more valuable than huge lectures.”

    With 600 people in attendance and many of the “superstars” spending time with colleagues and old friends, how hard is it really to experience the casual conversations that end up being more valuable? I have considered trying to attend FTU or the seminars, but wonder whether newbies may find it hard to have access to the info that goes beyond the blogs, public areas on flyertalk, and public lectures. While a summary is never the same as being there, the blogs seem to do a decent job sharing info with those of us who did not attend.

    Perhaps the crux of this question – do you have to already be “in with the in crowd” to make it worthwhile? If you’ve done your homework by reading widely on flyertalk and are a knowledgeable newbie, do the sessions provide new info?

    Thanks!

  4. Paul B.
    Paul B. at |

    To ES, yes, the small conversations happen all over – nor newbies and semi-pros alike. Last year I learned about Thank You points over drinks with folks I’d just met, tricks and tips for getting to Easter Island at breakfast, and pros and cons of TK status just walking up to a group chatting in the hall. Also had a great talk about Argentina strategies from a participant who mentioned she’d just been there during one of the breakout sessions. There are multi opportunities for informal discussion at these events — and as mentioned, much of the learning takes place outside the formal sessions.

  5. Connor
    Connor at |

    “Fortunately, being that awkward guy rarely stops me” THIS made me giggle!

  6. Aptraveler
    Aptraveler at |

    Great piece, and glad to know you had such a fun time sharing some stories. It’s amazing the things we can learn by leaving our comfort zone more often!

  7. Mark
    Mark at |

    @ES and Paul B.

    I had the opposite experience of Paul. Maybe I am just not social enough, but I didn’t feel like it was easy to get in on the conversations. I met a few people that all only wanted to discuss which cards to churn, so I heard some opinions on cards. But I didn’t find anything about airlines, awards, status or tricks that I didn’t learn from FT already.

  8. Michael W Travels
    Michael W Travels at |

    Awesome! Definitely not what I expected to read.

  9. Brad
    Brad at |

    What a great story. That’s cool!

  10. RJ Brown
    RJ Brown at |

    It was interesting to me that the demographics of FTU skewed younger than I would have expected as I would expect retirees as a prime audience but that did not prove to be the case………these three probably are more likely candidates for FTU graduate school when that becomes available………..

  11. RJ Brown
    RJ Brown at |

    I flew from the West coast so I am determined to make sure I got in every session and then on breaks I drove back and forth to Tyson’s II to use my Starbucks gift card………it is my loss I didn’t strike up more conversations but perhaps on the next FTU “west coast” I can……..
    Again, thanks for your contributions to the conference and especially to the “Boarding Area”………it’s like drinking water from a fire hose sometimes……….

  12. MidTierStatus
    MidTierStatus at |

    LOVE IT!