Business and first class steals on miles, a better deal on lounge membership, and more


In this weekend’s Frequent Miler around the web, read about the stars aligning between a transfer bonus / award sale / mixed-cabin hacking so that you can potentially fly up front for a lot less — or how you might be able to buy miles today to fly for hours in a flat bed for mere hundreds of dollars. Those tips and more in our weekly recap to follow.

How I fought (and won) a DCC dispute

Dynamic Currency Conversion is a total ripoff designed to eek a few bucks more out of you when you’re traveling abroad and totally wiping out any rewards you may have otherwise earned on the transaction. I always refuse it when I’m given the option — but have you had someone run your transaction in US Dollars even without your permission? Singapore-based blog The Mile Lion covers the process of disputing the transaction with the bank. While I’m sure that the process might be different in the US, one nugget I picked up from this is that if I’m told that I can’t be charged in the local currency, I should not sign but write on the slip that I did not consent to DCC. On an expensive paid hotel stay, the difference could be significant enough.

The dumb thing about how airlines are gutting the concept of lounge “membership” and a possible way to save some money if you’re desperate.

My favorite quote from this post at Windbag Miles was, “since lounges don’t cram you into tiny seats and subject you to the whims of rude flight attendants, an airline’s lounge is probably better advertising for the airline than a flight on that same airline”. How true! It surprises me that the US-based airlines don’t take better advantage of this fact — and that they are now limited access even for those willing to pay good money for the privilege to sit in the airline’s 3D commercial. But he’s also got a good tip about Air Canada lounge membership that’s useful for Star Alliance flyers who would otherwise consider paying for a United club lounge membership.

Citi 25% Bonus for Transferring to Avianca LifeMiles Part 2: Combine It With the Latest Avianca Award Sale for Unicorn-Grade Values

The Lazy Traveler’s Handbook borrow’s a page out of the Frequent Miler playbook and calls an audible by combining it with the current sale on award flights. There are some terrific values to be had if you’ve got ThankYou points to transfer and plans to travel to/from Asia. I’ll add to this post the fact that Asiana releases a ton of business and first class space, making it easy to fly multiple people and a huge discount.

Awesome! Fly Top Business Class Seats in Asia with $310 Worth of Miles!


I’m not sure exactly when the sale on Aegean miles that makes this possible ends (it’s scheduled to end 11/24, but I’m not sure if that was midnight 11/24 or 11:59pm or whether that’s Athens time or a North American timezone), but this post from Running With Miles shows one example of why this sale is worthwhile. Charlie wrote a couple of other great posts about how to use this sale to fly business class for cheap (See: Limited-Time Deal: Fly Business Class to Israel with $655 Worth of Miles! and Incredible Offer! Get 100% Bonus Miles = Transatlantic Business Class from $655!). This is worth a look to know for the next sale even if this one is over/nearly over.

NowBoarding: The Official BoardingArea Podcast Frequent Miler – Nick Reyes – NB 021

Ed from Pizza in Motion has been hard at work interviewing Boarding Area bloggers in recent months and recently it was my turn at the mic. I had a blast chatting with Ed about how I got bitten by the travel bug and how my travel has evolved (first through miles & points and then through traveling with a baby). There are no magical miles and points secrets revealed, but if you like the format of a podcast interview, give it a listen. I’d also encourage you to check out the other episodes as I’m really enjoying getting to know the people behind some of my favorite blogs through Ed’s insightful interviews.

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

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