A lifetime status hack, virtual reality seat maps, wishing the Conrad Maldives restaurant were cooler, and more


In this weekend’s Frequent Miler week in review around the web, we recap a nice little hack for those of you with the nights for lifetime status but not quite enough points, why some won’t mourn the end of SPG, a great overview on how to save time booking both award seats and cheap sales, and more. Read on for this week’s recap.

Marriott/SPG Loophole to Lifetime Platinum Premier Status!

While this post from Points MD is a little over a week old, it was a good breakdown of a great hack for those people who have the nights necessary for lifetime status with Marriott but find themselves a little short on the points required (you’ll find it referenced in our guide to the transition, but this post lays it out in more detail). This won’t help you earn more nights, but it’s a great little hack if you don’t yet have the points you need for lifetime levels – especially since there will be no Lifetime Platinum Premier in the new program unless you get grandfathered in this year.

Why I Won’t Mourn The End Of Starwood Preferred Guest

This post from Traveling for Miles kind of sums up why I am less sad about the end of Starwood Preferred Guest than those folks whose jobs take them to an SPG property week after week. Don’t get me wrong — I’m sad about the end of the credit card as we now know it from the standpoint of earning easy miles and Marriott points on everyday spend. But looking at it as a hotel program and from the standpoint of someone without Platinum status, I’ve generally found it hard to redeem my Starpoints: the redemption levels in large cities often seem very high in comparison to the effort required to earn the points. Furthermore, I am sacrificing the free breakfast I could get at a Hilton or Marriott or a Hyatt with a Guest of Honor booking. That said, I’ll be intrigued by some of those off-the-charts properties when the programs merge.

Virtual reality tool to help you choose a better aircraft seat

In one more post-I-missed (from a bit more than a week ago), RunwayGirl Network covers one of those things that you’ll wonder how we lived without once it gets widely adopted. When booking award flights, I often Google the airline and plane used to operate the route in a search for pictures that can help me choose a seat. A VR map would be a great way for the airline to show off their product while also helping us better choose the perfect place to sit. Of course, the downside is equipment swaps — and for that reason, I could see some of the large legacy carriers that operate a lot of different planes being resistant on this since I can imagine unruly passengers arguing about how it looked different online.

How to Use ExpertFlyer Like a Pro

This week, I’ve had a couple of posts about booking an upcoming trip. Searching for award availability can be time-consuming; Expert Flyer can be a handy tool for those who book a decent amount of award travel. This post from Prince of Travel is a great overview on how to use Expert Flyer, and it includes some tidbits I haven’t explored — like using it to find the routing rules on a great paid fare you see posted by The Flight Deal, Secret Flying, et al. I could defintiely see that saving time when looking at an abnormally cheap fare and trying to quickly determine the answer to “Can I ….?” without wasting time on trial and error.

Dining at Ithaa, the underwater restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

From the fun files, this post from Dem Flyers gives you an idea of what to expect if you can find fourteen friends willing to fork over four hundred bucks each for a late lunch under the sea (perhaps a-la-carte prices are more reasonable than renting it out completely?). While I’ve always thought it would be cool to check this spot out, it seems it’s anything but cool during the day. I will say that this post helped me plan if ever I should be able to make a trip there as I’ll be sure to book an even later afternoon / early evening meal even if prices are cheaper for lunch.

That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

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