Points Miles and Bling

Anshul was a hyper mobile professional, with travels across 5 continents. Now he travels mostly on points and loves to share his personal travel gaffes and triumphs on Points Miles and Bling!

Airline bumping and my travel gaffes

That one time was pure luck; won’t happen again. Then it does. You fumble, stumble and faceplant. This is true for so many things in life but today I want to talk about Voluntary Bumping. What is Bumping? Simply put – Airlines overbook a flight to compensate for the no shows and last minute cancellations, but everyone shows up at the gate. The airline has two options, see if there are volunteers who could take the next flight OR involuntarily bump a few passengers. In both cases, the airline is supposed to compensate the passenger being “Bumped”. Compensation US...

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College Residences as Summer Hotels

University or College residences present a tremendous cash saving proposition for those that are looking at non-hotel “Hotel” options. Peak summer travel can be expensive and accommodation bills tend to burn holes in travel budgets. Hotel rates see a significant jump during city events like music festivals, conferences, major sports events. You are looking at x2 standard rates for those times during summer. This is where campus residences shine through. Over the past decade, universities and college residences have spent millions upgrading and renovating on campus accommodations to ensure comfort for their students. Grubby dorms and shared bathrooms are things...

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Award Flights vs. Cash bookings

One thing I learnt pretty quickly in this hobby is the “Earn and Burn” philosophy.  Unless I am saving for a unique trip, I try to earn and use my points within a 8-12 month cycle. Summer plans were pretty much decided when we learnt that my brother would travel from Australia to San Diego for an internship in June. I wanted to fly him on points from Melbourne and back. Having never been to Los Angeles myself, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to tag it as city 2 on our trip. So two sets of booking: MEL-SAN; LAX-MEL  for my brother and YOW-SAN; LAX-YOW...

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How to value your Miles and Points?

It’s all about that bass. Base worth of your miles and points that is. Cents Per Mile or CPM is a commonly used term in this hobby, to describe value of redemption.  Simply put, the idea is to assign a $ value to miles and points to help compare with the cash price of that ticket or hotel. It enables you to decide if it’s worth using your miles or simply paying cash. When is it ok to buy a toaster using points? NEVER. Seriously, NEVER!! Hopefully the rest of this post can drive this point further. Formula: CPM =...

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My Favorite Free Travel Tools

Each one of us has our ways. Travel tools come very handy not only in decision making but also help us navigate the finer details of all things loyalty. I am forever grateful that smarter folks than I have invested their time, money and career building tools that help us make sound travel decisions. Here are my favorites; Finding cheap flights: ITA Matrix and Google Flights Totally my first go-to sites. If you haven’t heard about ITA Matrix yet, you have got to check it out. This ultra-powerful tool, developed by MIT geeks, is the brains behind Kayak and Google flight...

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