My Week in Points: Medical Jade Pillow and FTU

Is SPG Too Hot To handle? (Blocked In Some Countries) from Loyalty Lobby spoke to me as I am spending most of May on trips to China, fortunately with the leadership transition past, the blocking has loosened up slightly, and SPG has never been too bawdy for China. Loyalty Lobby came in handy with some new Priority Club promo codes as I had to try a different hotel after a 20-night stay at Starwood’s The Hongta Hotel. I am at another corporate approved hotel, the Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong, just another chain hotel, most interesting thing is the wide selection on the pillow menu, including Wheat Cereal Pillow and Medical Jade Pillow.

I avoid hotel restaurants other than when breakfast is included, and who better than View from the Wing to wax lyrical on hotel breakfast benefits? Gary wrote about Preparing for the Dreaded American Express Financial Review. Once was more than enough for me, horrible experience.

Last weekend was Frequent Traveler University, a gathering where a fair number of attendees don’t seem to like travel, especially the frequent kind, see Hack My Trip’s summary and the comments. Points Summary plays anthropologist, identifying 10 cliques at the event, the couch-bound One Mile at a Time groupies are my favorite at these events. There must have been gasps and sighs of delight at his stylish new spectacles, and I am blown away by his knowledge, here is a post from the archives introducing airline alliance liaisons to solve tricky multi-carrier issues. Points Summary is planning a summer ‘DO’ to UAE and Oman where they will do a heck of a lot, I highly recommend the trip.

I learned the most at Wandering Aramean’s presentation on United, see the extensive Q&A in the comments. Million Mile Secrets has a thoughtful commentary on potential changes to comparatively generous US frequent flyer programs. I made the non-credit cards, non-miles and points contribution to the weekend, and a few people actually showed up!

The only miles and points news actionable for me lately is the American Express Membership Rewards 35% transfer bonus to British Airways. I can’t get enough Avios, I love them for short, otherwise expensive flights.

The good people at GoGo will no doubt be surprised that people have actually found ways to browse the internet on their BlackBerry phones, thanks to Hack My Trip’s workaround on Delta’s free wifi promo through June 30. I confess that I still have not gotten used to virtual keyboards and am tempted to try the new BlackBerry for my next phone.

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  • Scott

    I keep reading about Avios and they sound great, but I’m having trouble with them (good subject for a future post??)

    Basically, my issue is that I have many MR points, but 0 Avios in my account. I’m reluctant to transfer before I can determine whether they are actually useful or not. When I search on BA site, I can not see any partner AA availability. None. I tried many different rountings, and dates. I looked on AA site and tried the same date — nothing.

    So my question is: do you know if the availability is not showing because of my 0 balance? Or do you always need to call BA and pay the phone booking fee to use Avios on AA US domestic flights? Please help.

  • Joey

    thanks for the summary! That post on the top 10 groupies at FTUDC was hilarious! I wasn’t in DC but am planning to go to Tampa so I hope you’ll have a similar presentation there as well since I’m more into travelling to destinations versus mileage runs & credit card churning. BTW, there are aviation tours to North Korea provided by Juche Travel where you get to fly soviet-era planes!

  • I didnt see a lot of people who dont like to travel frequently. I heard from people who dont like to pay for travel frequently. I like the destination not the flight to get there. Public plane travel is a really nasty experience so I always feel better about it when I get it at a greatly reduced price.

  • @MileageUpdate – I certainly will be happy some day when we have transporters and can forgo the planes!

  • @MileageUpdate – I feel like the only conversations I hear are Vanilla, gift cards, airplane seats, club lounges, next time I will hang around with you and talk destinations.

  • RakSiam

    So how was the medical jade pillow? I think the best hotel pillow I ever laid my head on was the foam pillow offered at the Hyatt Taipei.