Monday Musings – Some Scattered Thoughts on Our Hobby, Travel & More

I have a lot of thoughts and ideas about travel and “the Hobby” in general though many of them don’t necessitate a blog post on its own. I am going to try out a new weekly post on Mondays where I rattle off a few thoughts I have that mostly relate to our Hobby and I might highlight other posts/news/nuggets I find interesting from the past week. For those that are football fans and read Peter King’s MMQB, think of this as similar to his “A Few Things I Think I Think” section.

1. First, my thoughts are with the victims and families of Metrojet 9268. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the crash but there are reports the plane was having technical difficulties and the pilot declared an emergency landing. Either way, very sad news to hear.

2. For those that don’t get “The Hobby” references, I am referring to travel hacking. The Hobby apparently is the way to describe what we do at least per this Rolling Stone article that went viral.

Snipet from the Rolling Stone Article

Snipet from the Rolling Stone Article

3. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen some great awards become available using AA miles. We had crazy availability to London during summer on AA direct flights (so no surcharges), first class to Chile and last week, first class awards on Qantas for travel to Australia. I held two awards including first class on SYD-DFW but unfortunately I let them go as I wouldn’t be able to get the time off from work for it.

4. Speaking of the above, the 5 day hold on American Airlines award tickets is a vastly underrated tool. It really comes in handy when hard to get awards become available and you don’t know right away if the dates/times/routing etc., work. It buys 5 days to figure it all out which usually is sufficient for me.

5. Great post by Mile Nerd about questions that aren’t easily answered – such as which credit card should I get? To truly make the best recommendation, you need to learn about their travel goals, credit history, ability to spend etc. This is why I have a consulting service to better help people with this.

6. Lastly, I saw MileValue released an e-book on how to become a travel hacker and “fly first class for free”. Few issues I have with it – The title is misleading as no flight is truly ever free (taxes, fees, annual fees on credit cards to get the miles etc.) so I don’t appreciate the hyperbole to try and sell the book. Additionally the price is $67 dollars!!!, which seems overpriced and set to increase again in the next few days! I wonder if there will be a Citibank application link on each page #zing


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