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Old 01-23-2008, 10:16 PM   #11
TheJadedDog
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I am a road warrior so here is the scoop:

It takes many many miles (like 25,000 or something) to earn upgrades and you have to earn those miles within a calendar year. There are several levels of benefits based on miles (like silver, gold, platinum). Once you reach a benefit level it is good for the rest of that calendar year and the next one.

The way upgrades work is this, a week or so from the flight the airline will start upgrading the members booked on the flight starting with those in the highest benefit level. If you are in the lowest level you usually don't find out about the upgrade until a few days before the flight. You can use miles to upgrade, but it takes a lot of miles and is a waste of them imo since I usually get upgraded automatically.

If your wife is only traveling 8 times a year and only going short distances it may not be enough to qualify for a benefit level, it really depends on how far she is going.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:01 PM   #12
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While I know this is low compared to a lot of my compatriots I have to agree with two things I have read:

1) It is too easy to get silver status on airlines if your goal is to get free seat upgrades, but not to get that 25% mileage bonus. Besides a lot of carriers are moving to smaller planes regardless of the distance - some of which don't have more than one class, unless it is a coast-to-coast flight.

2) +2 to the Marriott program. I make enough points every year to pay for a two week vacation to Europe. Plus, you can turn those points into airlines miles with any airline. Besides I find that their service and quality is most consistent between hotel chains, something I appreciate. Yes, some other chains may have nicer rooms and whatnot but there are not as many of them and thus, I can't use my points (er... SWMBO's points where I like.

My wife also travels for work but she uses Hilton, which is great because we can always find an open hotel that we can stay for free. Right now we are planning a week in Phuket, and two in Europe, all on points.

 
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:06 PM   #13
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Yeah, Continental onepass actually gives you a 50% bonus on mileage while you have elite status. I travel 8x a year for business on a reg basis but sometimes get an occassional extra. Last year it was Athens and that put me right over the 25k limite for Silver Elite.

Oh, you get to board the plane any time you want but the truth is, EVERYONE crowds the gate the moment anyone pushes the intercom button. I have to be an EAC and push my way through.

Hilton points are cool too because you also get Onepass miles for your stays.When I'm told to travel, I pick Hiltons mostly and always take Continental even if it's a few bucks more.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I have to be an EAC and push my way through..
Yes, but Continental has a special EAC line, just for us flying EAC's. I love it! Just walk right by that big ol' line and Continental will take you next, if you have EAC flyer printed on your ticket.

 
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:02 AM   #15
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Ok Ed, I've been sitting here wondering what you do for a living?

 
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melana
Ok Ed, I've been sitting here wondering what you do for a living?
Jack of all trades for a tech company. I do Technical Sales and lots of Sales & Technical training for our large Fortune 100 customers.

 
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:59 AM   #17
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i travel about twice a year...usually back to visit family in the midwest. i always use Northwest Airlines (NWA, mofo) and have finally accrued enough miles to get some deals. it only took me like 4 years

but i'm hoping to go to europe later in the year and they keep sending me all sorts of deals if i use up 20,000 miles or so. A couple times i've seen tickets for around $400.00. from what i saw looking around before that, i'd save around $800! pretty neat, better than the deals they give for domestic flights, anyway.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:15 AM   #18
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i'd rather drive if i can. i haven't flown in almost ten years, and have no intention of doing so domestically.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #19
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Thanks guys, good info here. I'm surprised that almost only paying members have chimed in though. Its not like this is Fight Club...
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:20 AM   #20
Bobby_M
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What I meant was, there's something about that initial boarding announcement that causes everyone, even the A-holes in row 10 to crowd these tiny gate areas to the point where EACs like us can't even make it to the special line. I start spying the boarding passes and when I can see row 10 or something without the elite logo, I kick them in the shin and roll over their toe with my rolling carryon.
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