Want to know more about the Faces of FlyerTalk?
John (fti). John, thank you for sharing your perspectives and experiences with us all. We’re thrilled to you be a part of “Faces of FlyerTalk” and look forward to seeing you in October in Chicago!
When did you find FlyerTalk and how did you find it?
Do you consider yourself an infrequent, fairly regular, or miles and points addicted reader?
Somewhere between fairly regular and addicted. I like traveling for free!
How often are you on FlyerTalk, and what forums do you typically visit?
I visit several times a day unless I am traveling and then not as often. I usually visit the Delta, Alaska Airlines, Mileage Run, and sometimes the Miles Buzz forum.
Do you travel for business, leisure, or both?
Both but mostly for leisure. When traveling for business there are few parameters on booking except keeping the cost down. I get to keep all miles and points.
What credit cards are you carrying in your wallet right now, and which ones do you recommend to friends?
I carry the American Express business gold card due to 3x earnings on airlines and bonus earnings on gas/groceries. I carry the AmEx platinum for many purchases, the ability to transfer to multiple airline programs and the lounge access. I carry the Alaska Air card since I am trying to build up my point level in that program for a ticket to Alaska.
Before I recommend any single card to friends I first ask them what their goals are and then I try to match their goals with the right card (and/or talk about if their goals are accurate or not!).
What’s the single most successful thing you’ve done to acquire points and miles?
Probably use the AmEx card for 3x airline tickets since I help others and can use my credit card when booking their flights.
How many miles / points have you accumulated in the past year? In your lifetime?
I have earned over 500,000 in the past year and several million in my lifetime.
Do you use a tracking program to keep track of your miles / points? Which one?
Currently I use AwardWallet.
How does your spouse / partner / family / friends feel about this hobby?
Family enjoys it since they are often the beneficiary of free trips. I think some people think I am super wealthy, when in fact I just use miles to travel most places. I am just starting the process to book a group of 9 of us to Alaska for next summer. That will be a challenge, but it should be possible with Delta miles using Alaska Airlines.
What’s your most memorable trip?
Tough question but probably my Round The World trip in the spring of 1987 was one of my most memorable. It was the first time I took a trip of that length and saw so much of the world. Just before that I had 4 months of virtually unlimited travel on Northwest Airlines using their “USA Airpass” when I was living in Europe at the time. My multiple Alaska trips are almost all very memorable.
What suggestions can you give to rookies and newbies on FlyerTalk?
Read a lot. Ask questions. Attend DO’s.
Are there any particular fellow FlyerTalk members whose advice you follow?
I enjoy reading reports by Seat 2A. We share a common love of Denali NP and I get to see him there on occasion (like in June!).
What’s the one thing you’d like to see change on FlyerTalk?
A minimum post count to access the Mileage Run Deals forum.
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any FlyerTalk related events?
Yes. I have attended two Chicago Seminars, a Mileage Run seminar in Tucson, a couple of Ann Arbor DO’s as well as a couple of informal get-togethers; mostly in Minneapolis.
Any other comments / questions / suggestions / advice?
Think creatively. That is how I learned about maximizing my award tickets with Delta Airlines (if this piqued your curiosity, come to the Chicago Seminars to hear me talk about this in detail!). Don’t let others do all your thinking for you. Take advantage of VDB (voluntary denied boarding). I try not to pack my travel schedule too tight so I can take advantage of such offers.
John, thank you again for sharing with us. We’ve got a couple of thank you gifts to get to you, and your avatar will now show you, as one of the Faces of FlyerTalk for years to come.
Here are a few pictures John 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.