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My first Bluebird experiment is to pay my exorbitant rent by Bluebird check. My landlord wants checks written to some company with a name about double the max for Bluebird so I am waiting to see if cutting the name short poses a problem.
(Best to lead with a gratuitous Bluebird reference since that is the trend.)
With miles and points, the work always continues post-trip. My Gol flights in Brazil have not yet appeared in my Delta account, absolutely no surprise there, I will give them another week before I start chasing Delta. The new website is so slow and cumbersome that it is too much effort even to complain, so maybe they are patting themselves on the back. I love how the itinerary shows all the flight status details except the gate and no direct link to get there.
I went to Ireland over the weekend, rented a car with National, “serviced by Europcar” and that reminded me that when venturting overseas, don’t except any rental elite program benefits to apply. If they do, be happily surprised. Australia is one where Hertz has a similar set-up to the US, but those countries have been few for me, and generally for any agency I am at the counter in a lengthy process no matter what I have in my profile.
Club Carlson has a new credit card with US Bank, following the trend to offer mid or low-tier hotel elite status in exchange for a sub-$100 annual fee. This year I status-matched to get Club Carlson Gold and the benefits have been excellent for Radisson and Country Inn, not much for Park Inn. Radissons, like Crowne Plazas, are generally much nicer everywhere but the US, and moldy chocolate strawberries aside, I have had some excellent stays on several continents for business this year, so will get the card for myself to keep Gold and enjoy the ‘last night free’ benefit on awards. I already have the Chase offerings for Hyatt, Marriott and Priority Club, both Citi Hiltons and Amex Hilton as well. And I don’t even have a Sapphire or Ink yet!
Hmm…lately I just haven’t done much miles and points stuff, not even read much. In the absence of great deals or credit card offers, all these debates about deal killing I just don’t find very interesting. This is an extremely self-serving hobby and arguments that other people should act in a less self-serving way seem futile. New York Magazine’s The Truce on Drugs has a great passage on marijuana cultivation, the parallels with Bluebird and the rest are striking (bold emphasis added):
Part of the price of building a utopia in America is that eventually you must make some reckoning with capitalism. Soon, each neighbor seemed to be pushing beyond the standard by 5 percent, maybe 10. People noticed what was happening, and the hippies had long, dreamy-angsty conversations about whether this was all too corporate, too big (“ ‘Too big’ is always one more plant than you’re growing,” says one longtime grower), but it wasn’t really a hippie game anymore. Now there were out-of-state license plates and landholders who bulldozed their property, crammed it full of cannabis plants, slept in a trailer all summer, and then left after the harvest. (Humboldt’s marijuana economy generates more than $400 million each year.) Dealers from the East were coming through, mumbling to people at local grocery stores that they wanted a connection. A kind of crass instinct had infiltrated the dispensaries, too. “Gamblers, pornographers, illegal-drug dealers,” says Steve DeAngelo, the founder of the Oakland dispensary Harborside Health Center, remembering his rivals. “One guy had $600,000 in the back of his car. Another guy, in his basement there was a gold throne.”
I am curious, though, to listen to the Points Hoarder We Killed that Deal Discussion.
Wandering Aramean (of Points Hoarder, too) has a great post on booking mileage runs with Hipmunk. I need to study it as it is often a challenge to find booking engines to replicate ITA Matrix flight results.