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Emerging from my Europe contested areas trip, capped yesterday with a trip to Soviet times in Transnistria, I now have been AWOL from miles and points for 2 weeks. I even got greedy and added Kosovo for lunch. I am sure I missed some deals, but taking a break from work and a consuming hobby has been fun, and chasing around every day, crashing in bed exhausted at night, left no time. Readers, your chance to mock me for ‘amazing deals’ that I missed. 😉
For those heading to Eastern Europe, internet speeds pretty much everywhere I went are blazing and free wi-fi is almost de rigueur at hotels and cafes/restaurants.
As I departed I was dimly aware of all the hotel program devaluations. With so many options and generally a premium to stay in hotels of the major programs, I only use them for business or occasional awards and have never chased status. I currently have credit cards for Choice, Club Carlson, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club and Starwood, and might even pare of that back. Only Club Carlson with its promotions and Starwood with its benefits, including the new Crossover with Delta, seem to be making any effort in the past year or so to attract frequent travelers who place program strength highly in their accommodation decisions.
I continued my exploration of SkyTeam with some Tarom flights, perfectly serviceable airline with mini meals even on 1-hour flights. Hurts to get so little Delta credit from the flights post-March 1. Bucharest Airport is quite nice for those needing a place in the region to transit.
I took stock of my roughly two years back in the US and interest in the miles and points hobby. I realize I have a number of programs with small balances that are mostly forgotten other than Award Wallet alerts, so I will take time to re-study Million Mile Secrets’ Airline Miles Expiration and Hotel Points Expiration.
Next week I have lots of catch-up, but that will be in competition with a business trip to Shanghai and all the feasting that entails! For airport code geeks, my flights Sun-Mon+1 are KIV-OTP-AMS-EWR, JFK-NRT-PVG.