The sweet seats on Southwest, a sweet spot from abroad, a Vegas win and more

In this weekend’s Frequent Miler week in review around the web, read about where to sit on Southwest, a niche foreign program sweet spot, a new great FHR option in Las Vegas, and more. Read on for the weekend recap:

The Critical Points: Why the Last Row on Southwest Is the Best Place to Fly

Not quite the last row, but close.

While I won’t go to the extreme of the last row like Richard Kerr, I will firmly concur that the back few rows of a Southwest plane are some of the best places to fly in domestic economy and have certainly contributed to an impressive win percentage in the Southwest Shuffle. My family also enjoys the routine of a familiar part of the plane and the chance to chat with the flight attendant for a minute before anyone else makes their way toward that end of the plane. Being near the lavatory can be epic….but beware that some Southwest planes only have a changing table at the front — the rear seat strategy failed us miserably on one flight.

Award Success: Qatar Airways Business Class Ticket Kuala Lumpur-Berlin Booked Via GOL Smiles

While it seems that even having a GOL Smiles account these days might be difficult for many readers, I nonetheless find it interesting reading about random foreign program opportunities like this and sharing them for those readers who can find a way to take advantage. Loyalty Lobby gives an example of using cash and points to pay 18K miles and $565 for two long QSuites segments on Qatar, which seems like a relative bargain.

Amex FHR Gets Better in Vegas: Waldorf Astoria Increases Credit & Makes It MUCH Better!

Fine Hotels & Resorts Mandarin Oriental

Back when it was the Mandarin Oriental, it also featured a $125 credit — but now it’s not limited to the spa.

I was long a fan of Amex FHR for for Las Vegas bookings, especially in 2-player mode. Unfortunately, FHR credits changed to spa credits at participating Vegas properties this year. But Shawn at Miles to Memories reports an awesome improvement: the Waldorf-Astoria now offers a credit that can be used for dining, and they’ve increased it to $125. Personally, I’ll stick with Delano for Vegas stays since Chase Luxury Resorts still offers resort credit and Delano, which can often be booked for $100 or less during off-peak periods and is all-suites, but those looking for the Waldorf can do well booking through FHR.

I, For One, Will Miss Mini Hotel Toiletries

I think it’s inevitable that hotel chains will eventually all get rid of mini toiletries under the guise of being environmentally-friendly. The grass and trees just aren’t the kind of green that I think this change is really aimed at saving, but I appreciate that the side effect is a net positive even if the motivation a bit disingenuous. That said, my thoughts on this line up with Dan’s: I’ll miss what to me amounted to the elusive ability to save time in a bottle. In fact, just the night before reading this post, I had come across some lost bottles that brought back memorable moments. Guess I’ll hold on to those just a little bit longer.


International Travel Without A Passport – It’s Starting

I’m not surprised to hear that the future of international travel includes your passport information being somehow stored within your phone. It makes sense to me that this information could be digitally encrypted and mobile in terms of convenience. On the other hand, while I worry less about privacy than I did when I felt like it was possible to have some, I can imagine that some will be uncomfortable with creating a window for even easier access to the minute details of our daily lives. I’m sure this will lead to some interesting debate in the future.

That’s it for this week around the web. Next up: this week’s last chance deals.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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On Flyertalk we have discussed endlessly the best seats on WN for trying to get an empty middle. Consensus is the seats just behind the exit row. That’s because people looking at the empty middle there continue toward the back hoping for something better. When they arrive at the rear and see there is nothing but middles on the whole plane, they grab the first one they see so they can get their luggage stowed before overhead space is gone. They don’t swim back upstream ten rows.

Next time on an almost full WN flight, check to see where the last few empty middles are.

This of course does not apply if you want to be near the lav.


I wonder if Nick has the personal ranking for the Mini Hotel Toiletries.