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Mega FTU in Arlington, VA December 5 2014

Mega FTU in Arlington, VA December 5 2014

Old Sep 28, 14, 11:32 am
  #1  
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Mega FTU in Arlington, VA December 5 2014

http://ftuniversity.wpengine.com/eve...washington-dc/

Deets:

Program: lots and lots of bloggers (plus Randy), cocktail party, 2 breakfasts and lunches
Date: 12/5/14
Venue: Hyatt Regency Crystal City
Cost $149

Looks like the goal of the organizers is to be 'the biggest frequent flyer gathering in history.'
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Old Sep 28, 14, 1:25 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Looks like the goal of the organizers is to be 'the biggest frequent flyer gathering in history.'
Crud... why do they always plan these things when I will actually be traveling somewhere cool?

I'll raise a glass from Bali as I finish out my two week cruise....
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Old Sep 28, 14, 1:45 pm
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Rumor is the advanced is $249.00, the $149.00 is just basic,

First Class or Economy...
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Old Sep 28, 14, 2:57 pm
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Just got the email myself
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Old Sep 28, 14, 4:29 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by satman40 View Post
Rumor is the advanced is $249.00, the $149.00 is just basic,

First Class or Economy...
Yep. After being confused for a while, it turns out that there is a separate website for that event: http://ftuniversity.wpengine.com/eve...washington-dc/

According to that page, the extra $100 gives you:

The small group setting will allow our experts to delve beyond the basics, and Q&A sessions with each speaker will give all participants an opportunity to engage at a high level to discuss complex issues and address your most difficult questions.

Topics will include the following general areas:

— Award Booking on American Airlines
— Award Booking on United Airlines
— Award Booking on Other Airlines (Delta, Alaska, Avios, etc.)
— Using KVS Tool & Expert Flyer to Search for Fares and Availability (fare construction)
— Maximize your spending (beyond Bluebird)
— Maximizing Hotel Loyalty Programs and Promotions
— Visas, OTAs, Car Rentals, ATMs, and More Tips for International Travel
— Advanced booking techniques for revenue tickets
If that's advanced, I shudder to think what's covered in the basic classes.

Last edited by kokonutz; Sep 28, 14 at 4:39 pm
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Old Sep 28, 14, 8:15 pm
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I was going to go until I saw that's what $249 got you for advanced. Not that I think I'm going to learn a ton, but I'd like to come away with something, and more importantly, meet other people in the hobby. I'm not going to pay $249 (+flight and hotel) to BS with people and not learn a thing, though.

To be honest with you, I've paid less for 12 hrs of CLE, and we're required to do that.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 12:13 am
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I learn something every time, and many times it is from someone in the audience.

It is often more about the people you meet.

I have been doing this 30 years, and it just keeps changing,

This was my best year, AA EX,, got, 500,000 and a little help from CVS and Serve..

Almost as good as the mint,
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Old Sep 29, 14, 3:51 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
If that's advanced, I shudder to think what's covered in the basic classes.
I would think that the more senior FTers would be have knowledge at/around the advanced level material being taught, yet probably still learn a thing or two. It's hard to write descriptions for it because so much of the content is audience driven; if there is huge interest in high-value AV rewards (for instance) that might be covered in-depth, but if nobody is it might be skipped over.

As for the level of knowledge at the basic one, it really ranges. Most know a little, some know a lot, but there are also many starting with near to zero knowledge. We have to define CPM and why it matters, we have to explain SDC and why it's often a useful benefit, we have to literally walk people through a CC application. That is obviously annoying for people who know it already, but OTOH, the people trying to learn the basics find it very frustrating if we don't explain everything. It's very hard to cater to such a wide audience; hopefully we'll be able to do it better with the extra speakers and sessions that a larger event allows us to work with.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by rehoult View Post
As for the level of knowledge at the basic one, it really ranges. Most know a little, some know a lot, but there are also many starting with near to zero knowledge. We have to define CPM and why it matters, we have to explain SDC and why it's often a useful benefit, we have to literally walk people through a CC application. That is obviously annoying for people who know it already, but OTOH, the people trying to learn the basics find it very frustrating if we don't explain everything. It's very hard to cater to such a wide audience; hopefully we'll be able to do it better with the extra speakers and sessions that a larger event allows us to work with.

I think FTU is a great way to meet people in the hobby and catch up with old friends, especially if you have gone to past FTU events. However, I went to FTU advanced Chicago back in July and I met someone who asked me what a United 1K was. I answered the question but in my head I was like... this is advanced?

Either way, all the presenters will answer any questions you have especially if you ask them during their session versus 1-on-1. I did notice the speakers are always the same and I wish the organizers at least added non-bloggers (or minor bloggers) as co-presenters or co-speakers in some sessions to freshen it up. I'm sure there must be other FTers out there who are on the same level of knowledge as Lucky or Gary but chose not to be bloggers.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by trigleek View Post
I think FTU is a great way to meet people in the hobby and catch up with old friends, especially if you have gone to past FTU events. However, I went to FTU advanced Chicago back in July and I met someone who asked me what a United 1K was. I answered the question but in my head I was like... this is advanced?

Either way, all the presenters will answer any questions you have especially if you ask them during their session versus 1-on-1. I did notice the speakers are always the same and I wish the organizers at least added non-bloggers (or minor bloggers) as co-presenters or co-speakers in some sessions to freshen it up. I'm sure there must be other FTers out there who are on the same level of knowledge as Lucky or Gary but chose not to be bloggers.
We brought some lesser known bloggers to the event this weekend and it was quite well received. We'll try and keep that up, especially when they have specialized knowledge.

As for asking what 1K is.... prime example of the difficulty we have trying to organize these events. We advertise everywhere we can that it's an advanced event for people who have been doing this for years, and yet some beginners still signed up. Short of making people take a test to buy a ticket, there isn't much more we can do on that front.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 8:05 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post

To be honest with you, I've paid less for 12 hrs of CLE, and we're required to do that.
But you don't get booze and breakfast at CLE events.

(then again, for $250 you could buy a lot of booze and breakfasts)

I'm probably not going to register for this event, but as it's a few miles from my house I may take up a post in Lobbibar and say hi to old friends. Heck, maybe I'll arrange a Classic FlyerTalk Do in Lobbibar (no admission fee, byob) one of the nights!
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Old Sep 29, 14, 8:09 am
  #12  
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Many have suggested that the sidebar conversations are where the real value of these events comes from. It is hard for me to believe that an event with 1500 people is going to offer an intimate enough setting where such conversations will be readily accessible to a newbie. <shrug>
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Old Sep 29, 14, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by trigleek View Post
However, I went to FTU advanced Chicago back in July and I met someone who asked me what a United 1K was. I answered the question but in my head I was like... this is advanced?
It's also possible the person may have been an exclusively AA/Oneworld or DL/Skyteam flyer and simply not have been familiar with UA's specific elite titles. Unless he just didn't even know conceptually what elite levels are, which would indicate a newbie.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
But you don't get booze and breakfast at CLE events.

(then again, for $250 you could buy a lot of booze and breakfasts)

I'm probably not going to register for this event, but as it's a few miles from my house I may take up a post in Lobbibar and say hi to old friends. Heck, maybe I'll arrange a Classic FlyerTalk Do in Lobbibar (no admission fee, byob) one of the nights!
Ah, a lot of the ABA "Institute" type CLEs have breakfast and booze. I haven't been to one a while since I moved out of the DC area, but the price wasn't always too bad on those.
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Old Sep 29, 14, 10:35 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by satman40 View Post
I learn something every time, and many times it is from someone in the audience.

It is often more about the people you meet.
Have you ever been to FT Dos? You get to meet other FTers over a nice meal, a few drinks or in some interesting places and you can discuss miles and points among other things. You obviously have to pay for your food/drinks and your travel but you don't have to pay a fee to attend.
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