Want to know more about the Faces of FlyerTalk?
For Vilma travel is a necessity … it is her and her husband’s “recharge”; I couldn’t agree more. As a fellow parent and grandparent she has instilled and will instill the value of travel / getting out to experience the world. Vilma has been a member of FlyerTalk as long as I have and yet we have never crossed paths or forums. I guess it shows how big a community we really have … Vilma, thank you for sharing your perspectives and experiences with us all. We’re thrilled to you be a part of “Faces of FlyerTalk”.
When did you find FlyerTalk and how did you find it?
I found Flyertalk shortly after 9/11/01. I was reading constantly about the events of that terrible day and I happened to read a story about this website, FlyerTalk, in which people were reaching out to each other and asking about who was safe and who needed help. It was a very emotional time and I was impressed with those on FlyerTalk who showed so much empathy towards others.
Do you consider yourself an infrequent, fairly regular, or miles and points addicted reader?
I am no longer a miles and points addicted reader. However, mea culpa, at one time I was.
How often are you on FlyerTalk, and what forums do you typically visit?
I am on FlyerTalk every day. I always read the forums I moderate, Delta, TravelBuzz, and Luxury Hotels. In addition, I pay attention to the Delta code share Forums (e.g Air France & KLM). I enjoy reading Dining Buzz as well as TalkBoard. I also go to the California Forum to see if there is anything to add.
Do you travel for business, leisure, or both?
Only leisure travel
What credit cards are you carrying in your wallet right now, and which ones do you recommend to friends?
I don’t recommend any credit cards
What’s the single most successful thing you’ve done to acquire points and miles?
I have done some very well thought-out Mileage Runs, starting in the early 1980′s.
How many miles / points have you accumulated in the past year? In your lifetime?
Not much traveling in the last year..back surgery followed by knee surgery has limited my traveling in the past 2 years. Although, we have managed to go to Hawaii a few times during that period.
Do you use a tracking program to keep track of your miles / points? Which one?
I do not.
How does your spouse / partner / family / friends feel about this hobby?
My spouse has always been supportive. Moreover, when my children were younger, they enjoyed reaping the benefits of my mileage “hobby.” As a result, they share our love of travel and learned at an early age to be unafraid of the world.
What’s your most memorable trip?
Many memorable trips. I will just name 2:
On a small yacht-like ship (100 passengers), called The Sea Goddess (now Sea Dream), we sailed from Bali to the Great Barrier Reef. This was a 3500 mile journey through the Indonesian archipelago. One memorable port of call was the Island of Komodo. Those Komodo Dragons are damn scary. We saw them devour a goat in a matter of minutes. Yuck! On several islands, we were the first cruise ship to ever visit, thus were greeted by curious and enthusiastic locals. Indeed, on most of those small Indonesian Islands we were great objects of curiousity. Rounding Cape York, at the Northern tip of Australia was also quite an adventure.
Another memorable trip was again on the Sea Goddess. Following a Safari in Kenya, we flew to Mombasa and sailed from Mombasa to the Seychelles. Interesting ports of call including Zanzibar, Comoros Islands, and Madagascar.
So many great memories of years of travel.
What suggestions can you give to rookies and newbies on FlyerTalk?
My advice to rookies and newbies: Do a little homework. Try and read as much as you can about the Mileage Programs. As well, look at the regional forums. Much to be learned by exploring the regions of the world well-represented on FlyerTalk.
Are there any particular fellow FlyerTalk members whose advice you follow?
A particular flyer whose advice I follow? Tough one … I am a great fan of L’etoile’s Trip Reports. I also follow my own advice. Start traveling as young as possible. Sadly, too many folks put off travel until retirement age. My husband and I started traveling early in our marriage and had the opportunity to see and explore so much of what few travelers had seen. I would like to say we helped pave the way for others.
What’s the one thing you’d like to see change on FlyerTalk?
The one thing I always hope for is a bit more civility and respect for others differing points of view.
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any FlyerTalk related events?
Next up is The Moderator Workshop in Chicago. I’m not a fan of DOs, preferring instead to travel with my husband, and explore on our own. I do love the Mod Workshops.
As Vilma is also a moderator at FlyerTalk we’ve put together a couple of moderator specific questions just for her:
When did you become a moderator at FlyerTalk?
I believe I became a Moderator about 10 years ago. Randy Petersen put out a call for members who would be interested in moderating the Delta Forum. I recall that one of the questions on the application was “why do you believe you are qualified to be become a Moderator?” My answer was: “Having raised 4 boys, all rather close in age, every family meal was an exercise in using moderating skills.”
What do you see as a benefit of being a moderator?
The greatest benefit of being a Moderator is being a familiar and welcoming presence to new members as well as old. I also enjoy directing members to the forum which will be of most value. Best benefit of all, is having the opportunity to meet my colleagues at the Moderator meetings. Many have become dear, close friends. We shared a Thanksgiving meal in Venice with another Mod and her family, we have been house guests of another Moderator and his family; I love working with my co-moderators. I have the best co-mods of all, in the DL Forum, TravelBuzz and Luxury Hotels. All are so bright and we have a great deal of trust in one another.
If you weren’t a moderator, would you still spend as much time as you do on the forums? More?
If I were not a Moderator, I doubt that I would spend 2 hours a day on FlyerTalk (average day for me)
Do you have a favorite post or discussion?
Favorite post or discussion? I am going to take a pass on that one.
If you could make one rule on FlyerTalk that everyone would always abide by, what would it be?
A rule: One can’t legislate civility or compassion. So, no one rule, but a wish for common sense and decency.
Vilma, thank you for sharing with us. The stories and friendships you’ve built through FlyerTalk are truly what I think this is all about. Your avatar will now show you, as one of the Faces of FlyerTalk for years to come.
Here are some pictures Vilma has shared with us:
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day Gogo is donating 10 one-time use passes (up to $17.95 value each) for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (make sure to include your first name, last inital, and home airport) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.