Tips & Tricks for Earning Elite Mileage Status

LATAM First Class Upgrade

Over the Christmas holiday I flew a domestic flight on LATAM Brazil from Fortaleza to Rio de Janeiro.  The flight was very full and upon checkin I discovered my seats had been moved from row 40 to row 2.  Not being very familiar with LATAM equipment I quickly checked my Seat Guru app to see if this had landed me in first class (the board pass was still saying Y class).  In fact Seat Guru was showing this... Read More

by Marc CainDecember 30, 2017     

Worn Out Airplane Power Outlets

You are running on empty – down to single digits of battery life hoping you will have enough when you land to still request an Uber.  You would also love to power that laptop and get a few final slides done on that presentation. I always make sure my flights have power outlets, but what I am finding more and more is an outlet that is so old it won’t stay plugged in unless you hold it the... Read More

by Marc CainDecember 10, 2017     

United Announces Major Changes To Customer Experience

After becoming a national punch line and watching their stock price take a billion dollar hit in one day United Airlines announced major changes to the customer experience.  These changes are in direct response to the horrifying event on April 10th, where a United passenger was bloodied and literally dragged from a flight by police to make room for a dead heading crew. United’s CEO Oscar Munoz made an embarrassing first response stating, “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at... Read More

by Marc CainApril 27, 2017     

Flight Miles App Updated

For those trying to earn the last minute EQM, MQM, and PQM the app Flight Miles is a simple little tool that can help you plan and optimize the best routes to squeeze out those last few need miles to hit your status.  The app supports American, Delta, and United Frequent flyer programs.  Easily search by city code or airport.  Enter your current elite status and ticket fare code along with the ticket price to determine your elite... Read More

by Marc CainNovember 9, 2016     

Elite Status Match On United

Shorty after American Airlines announced the huge devaluation of their frequent flyer program I made the decision that keeping all my eggs (miles) in one basket wasn’t going to provide any real benefit in the future. Maybe I was just feeling a little rejected after showing all my loyalty to American.  In any case I decided to explore other programs via their status matching programs. Being based in Chicago and traveling more than 250,000 miles a year my next... Read More

by Marc CainSeptember 6, 2016     

American Airlines Flight 996 A lagoon of raw sewage

Sunday night’s American Airlines flight 996 from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Dallas (DFW) turned into a horror show when the lavatories on the aging 777 completely backed up.  About 7 hours into the flight passengers first noticed the lavatories backing up.  Within minutes raw sewage was flowing down the isles into business and first class, eventually making its way into all cabins.  Passengers described the scene as a “lagoon of raw sewage” on the entire plane. Flight attendants gathered up... Read More

by Marc Cain     

Air Passenger Rights

Knowing your rights as an Air Passenger and  what you are entitled to when flights are cancelled or delayed can mean the difference between a nightmare trip and an inconvenienced trip.  Flights cancel and are delayed – it is just part of traveling.  Spending 12 hours sleeping in an airport is never fun – and I have done it enough times to know.  But was that delay or cancellation really due to weather? Weather has become the airline... Read More

by Marc CainJune 20, 2016     

Get 500 Free Miles at Marriott

Marriott Rewards is giving anyone 500 free miles just for following them on Instagram before June 21st.  Search for @marriottrewards and follow the link at  Enter your email address associated with your Marriott Rewards account on that page to receive the miles.

by Marc CainJune 14, 2016     

Alliance Partners

Here is a chart of the three major airline alliances and their partner airlines. One World Star Alliance Sky Team airberlin airberlin American Airlines British Airways Cathay Pacific Finnair Iberia JAL LAN TAM Malaysia Airlines Quantas Qatar Royal Jordanian S7 Airlines SriLankan Airlines Mexicana Adria Aegean Air Canada Air China Air India Air New Zealand ANA Asiana Airlines Austrian Avianca brussels airlines Copa Airlines Croatia Airlines Egyptair Ethopian Eva Air LOT Lufthansa Scandinavian Singapore Airlines South African Airways... Read More

by Marc CainJune 8, 2016     

American Airlines Guts the AAdvantage Program

From the best elite mileage program to the least valuable program in less that 6 months.  That has to be a new record.  With American’s announcement of upcoming changes to their Advantage Program there is a strong response from fellow flyers.  And it’s not good!  The blogs are all buzzing and the vitriolic comments are pretty strong.  American has a lot of loyal customers really unhappy.  Here are a few of the policies that changed this week: Starting August... Read More

by Marc Cain     

Why I fly half way around the world for the weekend!

The strange looks I get from friends about my weekend plans is enough to know that people don’t get the whole mileage run concept. Yes, I fly all the way to Hong Kong and back on a 3 day weekend, and yes I choose to go through DFW instead of the non-stop, and yes I actually look forward to it. The best part was that it had only cost me about $9.  I had opened a Chase Sapphire... Read More

by Marc CainMay 15, 2016     

Earn those miles

This blog was created by hobbyists and business travelers with the frequent traveler in mind.  We have no paid advertising on our site and we are not sponsored by anyone.  It just our own honest jaded opinions.  No Agenda except to share some of the tricks a secrets we have learned over the years. Right now their are two voices  on this site.  Marc, a 25 year road warrior veteran, and Chris, one of the entitled millennials working... Read More

by Marc CainMay 8, 2016     

Mileage Run Istanbul: American Airlines 14,234 EQMs for $928

While not the best EQMs for the buck, IST was certainly a bucket list destination.  But for a few extra dollars why not enjoy the run.  It also gave us a chance to stay at our sister club, the Soho Istanbul. The routing chosen for this trip was designed to maximize EQMs on American. The following options from Chicago were available: ORD – IST  the non-stop on Turkish Air = 10,982 RT miles and 0 EQMs on American.... Read More

by Marc CainApril 27, 2016     

British Airlines First Class Lounge LHR

There are few things I enjoy more after getting off an 8 hour flight than a nice hot shower and a great glass of scotch.  BA’s First Class Lounge provided both.  And in amazing style.  I was so bummed on the return trip when they wouldn’t let me go over to terminal 5 to use the lounge because I was flying out of terminal 3. Champagne bars, JW Blue Label Scotch, a cute little buffet, and friendly staff... Read More

by Marc CainApril 26, 2016     

Elite Program Comparisons

First Tier (Silver/Gold) AAdvantage Gold MilePlus Premier Silver SkyMiles Silver Qualifications  25k EQMs or 30 EQSs + $3000 EQDs  25k PQMs or 30 PQSs + $3000 PQDs  25k MQMs or 30 MQSs + $3000 MQDs Benefits Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less* 24-hour upgrade window 25% elite mileage bonus 50% off Main Cabin Extra Seats (complimentary at check-in)* Complimentary Preferred Seats* Priority through the airport  Priority boarding Complimentary same-day standby Discounted Admirals Club 1 free... Read More

by Marc CainApril 10, 2016