I’m Max Prosperi.  I’m finishing up my junior year at a college preparatory high school in St. Louis, Missouri and I’m addicted to travel.  I’m sure my travel addiction was assumed being that I’m writing for the people who brought you Ben Schlappig and Boarding Area.  I’m not going to go into how my passion arose for aviation and travel mainly because I can’t articulate the depths and complexity of nearly 17 years.  What I can articulate is tha man in a suit making a faceis; I despise the monotony of the high school routine and the mundaneness of the midwest.  Since I’ve had the means and freedom to travel pretty much since I popped out of the womb, I do so as often as I can.

Essentially, that last idea about hating the monotony of being a midwestern teenager can save me 17 years of family and personal history while still allowing me to introduce who I am today.  I’m a frequent flyer, I’ve recently become addicted to airline, hotel, and credit card programs designed for travel, and I’m a teenager.  That third tidbit, the one about me being a teenager, is pretty much the only thing that sets me apart from other bloggers.  However, I personally think that’s a pretty big difference compared to by colleagues and other travel bloggers out there.  I’m neither a child nor am I truly an adult.  That’s why I’ve branded my blog as The Unaccompanied Flyer.

So, to begin what I hope will be a long and fulfilling journey here on TravelUpdate.com, I thought I share with you what loyalty programs I’m going to be investing time and money in.

Before I begin, I think these travel programs help in defining who I am.  Since many of the programs I decide to invest time and money into might not be the easiest and most beneficial programs understand this; I like them and these programs best reflect my interests.  You can learn a lot about a person from their frequent flyer programs.  Know this; I am not a forty-something business traveler, I have no reason to travel other than to travel, I am young and I am stupid.

Finally without further ado, here are my preferred loyalty programs.


{Airline Loyalty Programs}

[#1 American Airlines AAdvantage]

AAdvantage Logo

AAdvantage (C) American Airlines Group

Sure, there’s some bias towards American.  After all, I was raised in a household where my mom worked for American.  Plus, I live in a hometown whose airport once served as a major hub for American Airlines.

It’s not just my bias that has lead me to invest so heavily in the AAdvantage program.  Even after all of the devaluations, the AAdvantage program is such an amazing program.  American has some of the most generous premium cabin bonuses and it’s super easy to become elite at American.  An addition to the clarity and ease that comes with the AAdvantage program, American Airlines is the largest carrier in the world and has some of the most fantastic employees in the industry.  As an added bonus, earning at American gives you the opportunity to redeem with Etihad Airways, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian, Qatar, Qantas, and Cathay Pacific.

The AAdvantage is also one of the few programs that will advertise to anyone, no matter how old.  Occasionally, you’ll see American advising parents of newborns to create an AAdvantage account for their newborns.  The AAdvanatge program is the program I feel most at home with, especially as a teenager.

For all of these reasons, most of my travel is done on American Airlines and most airline miles are earned through the AAdvantage program.

[#2 Virgin America Elevate]

Elevate Logo

Virgin America Elevate (C) Virgin America


Unfortunately, the Elevate program will soon fall prey to consolidation.  I love Virgin America and the Elevate program, but I know my miles are in good hands and soon I will be the proud owner of tens of thousands of Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

For now, I will continue to fly Virgin America.  Virgin features some of the best premium cabin sales with some sales allowing passengers to purchase first class at 25 to 50% off.  Virgin’s main cabin and main cabin select are also one-of-a-kind and I love the modern branding.  From the RED Entertainment System, to the hip flight crews, and great buy-on-board program, I really can’t get over how much I love Virgin America.  Plus, I’m Elevate Silver and Elevate is one of the most simplistic frequent flyer programs out there.

|Bonus Program|

Also, look for some flying to be done on Delta Air Lines.  I admit I’m not a big fan of the SkyMiles program nor am I a big fan of Delta in general, their premium cabin fares are often unbeatable.  For that reason, I do have a SkyMiles account.

{Hotel Loyalty Programs}

[#1 SPG Starpoints]

SPG Logo

SPG Starwood Preferred Guest (C) SPG


I really can’t get over how much I love the SPG portfolio of hotels.  I love the W, love the Aloft, and love the Westin.  That’s the main reason I went with SPG.  I find myself in need of accommodations near airport quite often.  Most of the time, I choose an Aloft hotel.  The Aloft is my favorite brand and I mean that in all sincerity.

The SPG program is also fairly reason to earn and redeem points with and their elite perks are pretty extensive.  From automatic upgrades to suites, to free wi-fi, to welcome gifts, the SPG program is unique and very attractive to a teen traveler like myself.

[#2 Hilton HHonors]

HHonors Logo

HHonors by Hilton (C) Hilton Worldwide


I also like most Hilton properties.  They are very consistent and their elite perks are also fairly extensive.  I do have an issue with some of their brands not reflecting my needs as a next generation traveler.  Other than the Home2 properties and a few Hilton properties, there really isn’t a brand like the Aloft, the W, or the Element that caters to my generation.

But Hilton does offer some pretty awesome rates and there’s always bound to be a Hilton property somewhere nearby.

Car Rental

[#1 National Rent-A-Car]

Emerald Club Logo

National Emerald Club (C) National Rent-a-Car


Though I can’t personally rent cars yet, my family can.  We’ve all come to love National Rent-A-Car.  My dad’s Executive Emerald and I love the Emerald Aisle.

National Rent-A-Car is a reliable brand with amazing customer service and reliable cars.  Plus, there Free Day program is fairly easy to start racking up Free Days with.

So, there you have it.  My goal is to optimize points and miles through these fine frequent flyer and traveler programs.  I hope I provided a nice little intro that hinted to who I am as a traveler and writer.

Thanks for stopping by,

Max Prosperi

[-The Unaccompanied Flyer]