An incredible AirBnB scam, plans for prosperity, lifetime memberships ended prematurely and more


This week around the web we have a must-read about a huge AirBnB scam that you’ll want to avoid, motivation to make a long-term plan, a head-to-head between Cathay and Alaska and more. Read on for the weekend recap.

I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb

Hacked Hyatt Gift Card

Reason #7368 why I’m not a fan of AirBnB. This. is. nuts. This piece from Vice is not short; do not stop reading halfway through thinking you got the idea. It’s worth the 15 minutes of your life it takes to read if for no other reason than to make you aware of how deep the scam is running so you (hopefully) don’t fall prey. That said, while the story is surprising in its scamification and in AirBnB’s lack of interest in stopping it, I am not surprised. I’ve long said that I’m not a big fan of AirBnB. Sure, I’ve had some great experiences. Yes, I get the appeal of “living like a local”. Of course I know that there are gems out there to be found. But the thing that miles and points have spoiled me to expect and value is consistency. I knew that the Residence Inn I stayed at near Times Square last night would have a comfortable bed and a suite-like room with a fridge for my son’s milk and a microwave to heat up leftovers and I wouldn’t have to deal with this kind of shenanigans. Major props to the reported for the tenacity to pursue this one as well as she did. Enjoy.


I also give a lot of credit this week to Harlan at Out and Out for putting his finances out there for the world to see and laying out a plan to improve his situation over the next five years along with a commitment to offer updates. I’m not a FIRE guy myself, but I can recognize the importance of having a plan of attack and holding yourself to your goals — and I think when Harlan shares this, rather than offering a plan for others to copy, it should be some motivation to put together a goals and plans of your own.

Head-to-Head: Alaska Mileage Plan vs. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

I’ve really been enjoying Canadian blog Prince of Travel lately, and this week he’s got a post comparing Alaska Mileage Plan and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. Skip over the stuff about Canadian credit cards at the beginning that likely won’t be relevant for you, but then when you get into the comparison points between programs you’ll see there are quite a few places where these two programs are more comparable than you may expect. Asia Miles is a program that may be worth a look.

Today United Breaks Trust With Customers Who Bought Lifetime Club Memberships

This read at View from the Wing points to the many reasons why it’s sad to see United decide to change the rules on lifetime memberships that they sold people, but I think the biggest lesson to come from this post is that lifetime doesn’t mean your lifetime. It means until the program decides the fun is over. Personally, I wouldn’t pay for “lifetime” anything these days with the expectation that it’ll last forever. To be clear, that doesn’t make this right — it just seemed worth sharing to remind readers not to get too invested in similar things in the future.

Intriguing new Avios promo – open virtually ANY seat for Avios, on any flight, if you hit a qualifying target

Head for Points has the details on a promo that could be really interesting if you are a frequent European traveler and need to force some seats available for peak dates. This is pretty niche, but if you fit the niche it’s worth a look.

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

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