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Old Sep 7, 17, 11:56 am   #31
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I would question whether anyone signing up for a seminar to learn more about travel/points/cc's/how to increase such & learn tips/tricks is an 'innocent victim'.

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Old Sep 7, 17, 2:32 pm   #32
  
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No problems.

Sir, I am African frequent flyer prince having many millions in miles and am needing a partner to help me. I will give you some of these millions for your help in transferring them. Kindly forward your name, social security number, bank account number and frequent flyer number and I will process the transaction where we win and win together. Your haste in doing this is well and good. Do not tell anyone though as this is only secret benefit for just you.



I happen to be in Tanzania right now so this offer seems apropos.
Sir/ Madam: Thank you for your timely response. Hope this finds your goodself in excellent health. I am very interested in your offer. Please forward the forms to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington D C.

BTW do you have coconuts for export also ?
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Old Sep 8, 17, 12:53 am   #33
  
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Do you think all humans are Christs or Gandhis that they want nothing more than a loin cloth and a slice of bread ?
As Indians used to say, it cost them lot of money to keep Gandhi fashionably poor.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:11 pm   #34
  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I have millions of miles too. Because it's often impossible to use them. Or less expensive to buy a business class ticket.
Why do people always say it's (often) "impossible to use them," and yet I manage to use somewhere between 400k to 900k a year? Of course, the "currency" points (we are deep into MR) are much more valuable to me. Though, even "sucky" currencies like Avios have pretty high value to me (intra-Europe, intra-USA).

The only way I can see someone not being able to use them is if they don't travel very often or have zero flexibility (or a combination of such). And, I'm very picky, I pretty much only use airline miles for nonstop flights. I also understand I have a family or five that needs to travel quite a bit throughout the year. So, yes, that helps since I have many individual tickets I am working on at any given moment.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:14 pm   #35
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I have millions of miles too.
That's probably a mistake you made.

If the points really are "free" as so many (erroneously) claim then just spend them, even if cash seats are cheap. After all, free is better than cheap, right?
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I don't remember them benefiting from me save I recommend their blog to newbies.
You do realize that's the most significant benefit possible, right? At least financially.

They're not stupid. Sponsoring the event was an investment, not an altruistic gesture. And I'm quite certain it paid off very well for them.

Most such conferences are financially motivated. Of course they are. Maybe the Chicago Seminars are an exception, though I'm not 100% convinced of such. Doesn't mean that the event itself turns a profit nor that all the participants are paid. But if you think that everyone speaking at the event is doing so just because they love others and want to share how brilliant they are rather than having some economic motivation I believe you're mistaken. Maybe a few still, but far from all. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, despite the many rants in this forum.
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Last edited by sbm12; Sep 10, 17 at 12:20 pm
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:20 pm   #36
  
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
That's probably a mistake you made.

If the points really are "free" as so many (erroneously) claim then just spend them, even if cash seats are cheap. After all, free is better than cheap, right?
I believe with some (not this poster per se), there is a heavy psychological factor. We had our MR rewards account up to around 2.5million, IIRC, and it was hard watching the balance drop to where it is now (around 350k). It bothered me a lot that I wasn't using the points since I knew they were devaluing every day. But, we also had someone else paying for the majority of those tickets at that point (and also earning us the points). I am much more relaxed now. It was tough watching the balance drop though, and I couldn't figure out exactly why. Sort of like you were collecting something, and now you were losing your collection.

So I can "sort of" understand the conflict in one's head. Or perhaps, I just have more voices in my head.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:45 pm   #37
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I won't fly coach domestic much less international. It makes AA miles very hard to use except through London on BA for Around the same cost of a discount business ticket. Particularly when booking for two.

I will have a Lot more flexibility going forward. Maybe that will change things a bit. We shall see.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:57 pm   #38
  
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I love AA miles, mostly to get to Asia with JAL direct from Chicago, which is within driving distance from me. Also plan to use them next year to get to Egypt from Chicago. Both uses in business class, which I'm never going to be able to afford on my own. So, your circumstances, location, travel desires, etc. can definitely change the perception of value. Skymiles are going to be a key part of the trip to Egypt as well. I'm very happy to have the miles as an option.

And much of what I've learned regarding points/miles came from Chicago Seminars or the connections I made there. I may not be a hard-core MS-er, but my travel lifestyle is absolutely elevated b/c of the points & miles I've accumulated over the last 3 years.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 1:12 pm   #39
  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I won't fly coach domestic much less international. It makes AA miles very hard to use except through London on BA for Around the same cost of a discount business ticket. Particularly when booking for two.

I will have a Lot more flexibility going forward. Maybe that will change things a bit. We shall see.
I won't fly economy class is my "broad stroke." (though, it happens from time to time...), I barely like flying business class and prefer First Class. I punish the kids selectively with economy class.

Very few situations in life, unless involving ethical boundaries ever involve the word "won't" for me. I am much more of a "maybe" or "rarely" person. Though, on FlyerTalk, there always seems to be a lot of "won't."

AAdvantage Miles have great value outside of just Europe. I'm guessing you probably don't have multiple family members and such; which I do see as an issue when you just have one or two people with limited itineraries trying to use miles.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 3:13 pm   #40
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
That's probably a mistake you made.

If the points really are "free" as so many (erroneously) claim then just spend them, even if cash seats are cheap. After all, free is better than cheap, right?

You do realize that's the most significant benefit possible, right? At least financially.

They're not stupid. Sponsoring the event was an investment, not an altruistic gesture. And I'm quite certain it paid off very well for them.

Most such conferences are financially motivated. Of course they are. Maybe the Chicago Seminars are an exception, though I'm not 100% convinced of such. Doesn't mean that the event itself turns a profit nor that all the participants are paid. But if you think that everyone speaking at the event is doing so just because they love others and want to share how brilliant they are rather than having some economic motivation I believe you're mistaken. Maybe a few still, but far from all. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, despite the many rants in this forum.
I can at least tell you as the organizer the event isn't financially motivated.

I am not paid, Sharon is not paid, Rick is/was never paid, the speakers are not paid, the volunteers are not paid. The speakers get their hotel room covered for the event and a travel stipend, which in some cases means they're paying partially out of pocket. Speakers also receive complimentary access to the event.

We give away all of the meeting planner points earned from the event. That said, I do get to earn points on my credit cards for paying the catering and hotel bill, at which point I get reimbursed for those bills.

I do it to see friendly faces and meet some new ones that often have their jaws drop or glassed over eyes -- and I'm confident that most all of our speakers are in the same boat.

Either way, we'll all get together next month.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 5:56 am   #41
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I can at least tell you as the organizer the event isn't financially motivated.
I'm willing to bet that statement does not apply to all those involved, especially the folks presenting. Doesn't take a direct payment from the organization to be financially motivated.

And, again, there's nothing wrong with that.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 7:06 am   #42
  
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I'm willing to bet that statement does not apply to all those involved, especially the folks presenting. Doesn't take a direct payment from the organization to be financially motivated.

And, again, there's nothing wrong with that.
I'd make the same bet and agree that it's not good or bad, it just is. Business promotion is part of, well, business.

Of course there can be multiple motivations for a person to do something. A business can present at a conference because it's a good promotional opportunity and because they enjoy doing it...and for any number of other reasons, too.

When I get something useful from a presenter then I'm happy, whatever their motivation may have been for showing up. Naturally, sometimes it's wise to corroborate the information before taking action (e.g., a credit card offer to check for better offers).

IME, often with events such as this, some of the best information comes from informal discussions with other attendees.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 7:44 am   #43
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I'm willing to bet that statement does not apply to all those involved, especially the folks presenting. Doesn't take a direct payment from the organization to be financially motivated.

And, again, there's nothing wrong with that.
Yet you specifically quoted and responded to what I said as the event organizer.

Rather than focusing on perhaps a handful of people that you might think are primarily driven for their own benefit, which I think you'll see with everything in life, instead take a step back and look at the event as a whole.

The event is not driven by personal gain, and the people I try to have participate are those that fit that mold through personal interaction and experience at the event.

At most you're getting 500 faces -- sure, large if you compare it to a get together of 20 people, but in the grand scheme a tiny number.

I get being a cynic, because most of the time it isn't too far off, but in this case, suggesting that is being off.
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Old Sep 11, 17, 11:28 am   #44
  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I won't fly coach domestic much less international. It makes AA miles very hard to use except through London on BA for Around the same cost of a discount business ticket. Particularly when booking for two.

I will have a Lot more flexibility going forward. Maybe that will change things a bit. We shall see.
Perhaps you should switch to BAEC for 2-4-1 on BA ? But of course you knew this before anyone else....
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Old Sep 11, 17, 3:41 pm   #45
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Yet you specifically quoted and responded to what I said as the event organizer.
When the Chicago Seminars started they were run by someone who also happened to have a profit-seeking website about the same topic, right? Now tell me how there was absolutely zero financial motivation to have a successful event.

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Rather than focusing on perhaps a handful of people that you might think are primarily driven for their own benefit, which I think you'll see with everything in life, instead take a step back and look at the event as a whole.
Believe me, I am.

Look at the list of speakers. How many of them do not have potential for personal financial gain by presenting. It is a tiny minority.

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The event is not driven by personal gain, and the people I try to have participate are those that fit that mold through personal interaction and experience at the event.
I've met most of the people on the list of presenters. I like most of them. I think they're upstanding, qualified, smart and in many cases generous with their time and knowledge.

And also likely to benefit financially from participating.

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Originally Posted by thehowieee View Post
At most you're getting 500 faces -- sure, large if you compare it to a get together of 20 people, but in the grand scheme a tiny number.
Well, that's also not the whole number. How many of the presentations end up as a blog post or series of posts? How many of the presenters use their appearance on the stage as a means to establish/demonstrate authority on the topics, either to new readers or to industry references. What is the true reach of these presentations beyond what happens in that room on that stage?

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Originally Posted by thehowieee View Post
I get being a cynic, because most of the time it isn't too far off, but in this case, suggesting that is being off.
Maybe you personally as an organizer aren't personally getting financial gain. But do you think having you present as an AwardWallet employee doesn't bring financial value to the company? Do you really think the other websites don't benefit financially from participating.

Would you like me to tell you about how I personally benefited from speaking at FTUs several times, despite never being paid for an appearance and often not having my full travel expenses covered? The outright denial that such a thing is even possible is amazing to me.

And, again: There is nothing wrong with benefiting from also helping others. It is wrong when you seek personal benefit at the expense of others. But most of these events are not that.
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