31 Responses

  1. Nathan
    Nathan at |

    I’m headed to Newfoundland in August on my way to St. Pierre (France). I’m excited to tour Newfoundland, but had a few questions: 1.) Rental Cars seem to not have unlimited miles, which is hard to keep affordable if you’re touring the province. 2.) is it possible to get from St. John’s to Deer Lake with miles? I’m interested in see the national park on the West side, but getting there seems expensive/difficult.

    Otherwise, I found saver awards out of Newark on a direct flight, and my rental car was only around $100 for four days (Keeping the trip confined to the East Coast because of the mileage restriction). I’m really looking forward to seeing a slice of Europe in the North Atlantic.

    1. Raphael
      Raphael at |

      We rented a car in Newfoundland last month and it did offer unlimited miles. We were even able to pick it up at YYT and return it at YDF for a rather reasonable extra cost of 150 CAD. It worked out perfectly for us, especially since the west of the province turned out to be even more beautiful than we imagined. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Saint Pierre.

      We rented from AVIS but did so through our local (Belgian) site. That might have given us somewhat better rates/conditions, so you might want to play around a bit with different sites.

  2. Nick
    Nick at |

    I do the same thing, maybe not the extreme, but I do have several (5+) premium cabin trips booked, some of which I won’t end up taking. I do feel slightly guilty for holding premium award space which I may not use, but I figure in the larger picture everything evens out. I have 2 seats in business on SAA in January, but now I’m thinking Patagonia would be nice. And even if go on safari I’m partial to the new Lufthansa 748/380 seats. I would like to fly on the SAA A330-200 as well though. This ability to change award seats at will is what I will miss about 1k most next year when I lose it.

  3. ptahcha
    ptahcha at |

    I’ve done the opposite. Cramming 12 sectors on 7 airlines onto 1 ticket (well, technically 3 sequential ones), and it’s not even a RTW.

  4. Keith
    Keith at |

    Why do you think it is ok to hold several award seats that you are not expectiong to fly? Is that fair to your fellow travelers? I think you went too far.

    1. JB
      JB at |

      Yeah. You should find a fellow passenger and apologize. What if they had to pay a slightly higher fare class? For shame.

  5. tri n
    tri n at |

    i think its a douchey thing to do to hoard award seats.

    1. Keith
      Keith at |

      Exactly. Extremely selfish.

  6. tri n
    tri n at |

    why dont we all just hoard items of limited quantity and release it (or return it) when it suits us?

  7. David
    David at |

    You’re lucky that your bookings are on UA. Had it be on AA, you will be out of 60,000 miles when AA security czar is onto you!

  8. Tiago
    Tiago at |

    This kind of behavior encourages airlines to charge cancellation fees.

  9. Soltatio
    Soltatio at |

    I’m actually disappointed when I hear people do things like this. I monitor space but don’t book anything until my plans are finalized. It becomes very frustrating if there is no space because award seats are theoretically “on hold” and then once people cancel those itineraries they might come back or sometimes not. It really destroys it for the rest of us. Get your plans in order then book. Mutual respect for the community. Same as I think MMS using a “gold coloured card” to get through priority lanes was just as much disrespectful to fellow FF’s. Just my 2 cents.

  10. David M
    David M at |

    Do what you like – and likely you do not care – but – I have stopped subscribing to your blog based upon this practice – this is so unethical – IMHO!

    1. Nate
      Nate at |

      I agree 100% with David M. I too have stopped subscribing to your blog. I will also encourage my friends who I told to sign up for your blog to cancel as well. This kind of abuse of the system is one causes devaluations

      1. Arcanum
        Arcanum at |

        Unsubscribing seems a bit extreme. At least Seth isn’t constantly peddling credit cards like a drug dealer on a playground like most of the bloggers out there.

  11. DBest
    DBest at |

    I’ve no qualms with the strategy, but what I do have a problem with is folks that use hidden city award bookings to use inventory they never intend to fly, just to save a few thousand miles. At least when you end up canceling there’s a decent chance it becomes available for last minute bookings.

  12. ucipass
    ucipass at |

    I think you could easily hold 3 awards with the expectations of only using 1. If you are an elite, this is one of the perks that United officially allows. However it would raise some serious red flags if assuming enough miles you blocked the whole year, right?
    If it feels bad don’t do it, and especially not blog about it?

  13. Arcanum
    Arcanum at |

    @Nathan: If you’re looking for a slice of Europe, go to Quebec City. SP&M is a fishing village of 6,000 people sitting on a rock in the middle of the sea. France would have dumped it years ago if it weren’t for the fishing and mineral rights.

  14. michael d
    michael d at |

    You could only do this because you are 1K and have a bunch of miles to burn. Few people are 1K (relative to the flying populous). Fewer are sitting on X 100,000 miles. Nice war story but hardly useful to most who fly. You won’t be able to write about such adventure next year when your not 1K.

    The 10 CPM minimum spend has put a kink in this and many adventures in travel blog land. The final nails which will seal the lid on these coffins will be AA going to a minimum spend and credit card companies cutting continuing to tighten the noose on the churn.

  15. michael d
    michael d at |

    Kinda thrown off by the ” I had at least ten (possibly as many as 15!!) ” part of your blog. Thought you had 10 to 15 awards booked at one time, not just at some time (I guess).

    How long will the credit card waiver last? Did Delta remove it from their 2015 program? Are American and Delta mainlining the CM’s cash flow as hard as United?