Welcome to episode 22.5 of the PointsHoarder podcast. Why the half number? Mostly because I rounded up from where it probably belongs. One of the problems with a show about travel put on by folks who actually do travel is that getting everyone online at the same schedule to record can be a challenge. We’ve met that challenge reasonably well over the past year but this time around, well, not so much. Instead you’re going to get a relatively short monologue from me (Seth) recorded in Aalborg, Denmark. That’s not to say there isn’t some (hopefully) useful stuff in there, but it isn’t a typical episode so it doesn’t get a typical episode number.
So, what am I talking about in the short recording? Believe it or not, mostly points. American Airlines has a pretty slick new tool out for their award search. Rather than requiring you to know where you specifically want to go they allow searches across regions (e.g. Europe, Asia, Continental USA) or even by destination type (e.g. ski or beach). I gave it a couple quick tests and it was pretty accurate, though I did manage to get one successful search which actually didn’t have any flights available so it isn’t quite perfect. Still, for a traveler with some flexibility in their plans, this is a great tool. And, yes, it includes the partners for which AA has online inventory in the search results.
I also touch on both my current trip in which I maximized the routing permitted by United Airlines on a single award, including two open jaws in between the destination and stopover. That’s not something which is easy to book and the United computer systems often choke on such bookings; give a listen to hear my repeatedly tested and repeatedly successful approach to convincing the agent to book it for me.
I stole some of Stephan‘s thunder, spilling the beans on the trip he was on for his spring break and talking about his booking just a bit. Unlike my long-haul coach trip he was living the high life in Lufthansa‘s first class cabin back and forth across the Atlantic. Hopefully in the next episode we can get a few more details from him on how he booked it and how the flights were.
Finally, I lobby for the small towns of the world, explaining why places you’ve likely never heard of are just as good of destinations, if not better, than the big cities you already know.
And I do it all of that in about 7 minutes.