Want to know more about the Faces of FlyerTalk?
Robin (rwoman) was born and raised in California. Her first flight ever was on Continental, Portland to Orlando through Denver (PDX-DEN-MCO) to Navy boot camp in Orlando, and 4 years in the Navy took me around the world – Spain, Italy, Greece, Guam, and various parts of the USA. She works for NATO as a civilian in the UK; and has so since 2009. Prior to moving to the UK, she was deployed to Afghanistan as a Navy Reservist for the better part of 2007-2009 and, before being mobilized, taught middle and high school social studies in Atlanta.
She’s truly her father’s daughter; he was a wandering spirit too. While he used an old truck, car, or motor home to see places (mostly on the West Coast), she uses her passport and a plane. Robin, thank you for sharing your perspectives and experiences with us all. Most importantly, thank you for your past and continued service. We’re thrilled to you be a part of “Faces of FlyerTalk”.
When did you find FlyerTalk and how did you find it?
I do not remember exactly how I first found FlyerTalk, but know had already seen it before joining in February 2010. I imagine I was doing a Google search of some sort and came across a link. I’d moved to the UK in September 2009, so, by February 2010, the frequent Transatlantic flights had begun!
Do you consider yourself an infrequent, fairly regular, or miles and points addicted reader?
I’m pretty much an addict; FT is a fantastic means of keeping up with what is going on in the frequent flier/traveler community. I spend the most time on the Delta and UK/Ireland forums.
How often are you on FlyerTalk, and what forums do you typically visit?
Typically a few times of day. At work it depends on how busy my team is with various projects – when things are slow, it’s easy to keep up from my desk. Otherwise, I’ll check in online from my iPhone or my computer at home.
Do you travel for business, leisure, or both?
Both. My job books travel based on price – as long as one of the carriers’ flights on alliances I use (SkyTeam, oneworld) is competitive, I can typically book with them. Free baggage allowances does help me in getting the flights I want! I am able to keep all miles and points from flights and/or hotel stays. On an amusing note, our travel coordinator is always dumbfounded I am more than willing to make a connection when going somewhere!
What credit cards are you carrying in your wallet right now, and which ones do you recommend to friends?
Delta American Express , Chase United, Chase US Air Force Services. I get a decent rewards rate on my Chase USAF card and use it more frequently, especially since I get double points on base.
What’s the single most successful thing you’ve done to acquire points and miles?
I’m not sure if it was successful per se, but I did LHR-JFK with JFK-CDG-WAW-AMS-JFK sandwiched in the middle for about $1100 … 5 countries and a lot of miles in 5 days. LHR-JFK-IST-AMS-JFK-LHR is coming in the fall!
How many miles / points have you accumulated in the past year? In your lifetime?
So far this year, I’ve re-qualified for Delta Diamond Medallion and qualified for American Airlines Platinum. I’m at about 90k this year on DL/Sky Team and 30k on AA, along with 3k or so on Safi Airways between DXB and KBL. Lifetime – I’m around 750k on DL and 120k on AA, along with another 50k or so on UA, US, and contract flights.
Do you use a tracking program to keep track of your miles / points? Which one?
This year, I started a spreadsheet to track my cost per mile on AA and DL. I think I have a gomiles account, but never look at it.
How does your spouse / partner / family / friends feel about this hobby?
My friends, family, and co-workers think I’m crazy, but they also think it is pretty cool, especially when I get upgraded to business on a coach fare. They also enjoy going places on my miles – Europe, meeting in the US, etc.
I’ve also introduced several of them to the wonders of elite status – my friend (pictured with me on visits to Paris and the UK) quickly learned Silver Medallion status really can help get better seats, especially exit rows that are rarely available for non elites; ironically, she got an upgrade on her first flight after becoming an FO (Silver Medallion) last year. For my oldest sister, it’s become more of an ordeal … she’s currently working to return to Gold Medallion status … balancing it with kids, band, water polo, swimming, and her love of travel.
What’s your most memorable trip?
May-July 2005 – my first work trip to the UK. This set in motion what would become today’s obsession. During my weekends, I was able to visit Paris, Amsterdam, and many parts of the UK for the first time. I was hooked very quickly. I made Silver Medallion later that year and began to learn about elite status, upgrades, etc.
What suggestions can you give to rookies and newbies on FlyerTalk?
Many of us have questions when we start looking at the various threads out there. Asking questions is great, but I think many (including myself) appreciate it when new folks do some research themselves before asking questions that others have answered many times.
Are there any particular fellow FlyerTalk members whose advice you follow?
Absolutely. I think there are some who willingly provide insight and advice. There are many I’ve come to respect on FT!
What’s the one thing you’d like to see change on FlyerTalk?
At times, it seems like many immediately become snarky or accusatory when a poster (new or veteran) posts about something that seems unusual or inflammatory. There’s nothing wrong with doubting what someone says, but I think it can put some off from engaging in the community.
In the end, being nice, probably never hurt anyone, including me.
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any FlyerTalk related events?
I plan to attend the Tokyo DO in March 2013.
Any other comments / questions / suggestions / advice?
Initially, it’s important to be patient in gaining knowledge about the travel world. :) I also want to thank those who have shared loads of knowledge with me and helped me become a more seasoned traveler. More importantly, a shout out to my coworkers who take great humor in hearing travel related stories and enjoy the Dunkin Donuts I typically bring back upon return from the US or Magnolia Bakery cupcakes from NYC.
Robin, 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 Robin 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.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases