Let’s go on a wild ride learning about a new Starwood bonus to American miles, Being Smart with this MS thingie, get more Europe awards seats, make money with the Capital One Bank promo, see the first new bloggers at Randy Petersen’s Prior2Boarding “new” blog network, look at landmarks, visit Dubrovnik and Kilauea, see how Millennials Travel, how to avoid Divorce & retirement plan disaster, and cry together with Team USA’s exit from the Brazil World Cup.


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How to Add Your AAdvantage # to a British Airways Avios Award Ticket on US Airway. By Points Summary. Good info to know!

There is 20% bonus when you convert Starwood points to American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Good to top off an account I guess.

Be Smart Yo. By Marathon Man. At Mileage Update. Still a good read.

Eric of Hack My Trip had an amazing blog post if measured by the amount of research that went into it! Hacking Award Seats to Europe All 403 Routes

Capital One has its annual independence sale again! The best deal is the free $76 you get for opening an online savings account with $500. Must be a new customer. Don’t bother with the other ones, I wouldn’t. I have been a happy customer of the Savings account for many years. If you sign up with my referral link they give me some dinero and I will spend it on coffee at Panera or a greek salad in a local Coney island, muchas gracias!  Pays 0.75% interest and its website rocks. And the obligatory…Hurry! Must sign up by July 3rd at 11.59 pm!

Randy Petersen’s team started another blog network and named it Prior2Boarding. You would be surprised to see some names of blogs we know who were formerly on their own, such as Travel Summary and Travel with Grant. You can see all of them here. I am sure it is going to get bigger.  Apparently the main Boarding Area was getting a bit crowded for the front page real estate and apparently the blogs in here do not post as often? Not sure of the criteria applied between the two areas. Is it a traffic or posting frequency requirement? Will blogs from Boarding Area be moved to this one and vice versa? Dealing with the url’s and rss feeds must be a bitch! So…do I have to redo the feeds into my Feedly? I am amazed that blogs just keep on coming. So many blogs, so much duplicate content and so little unique useful information and I am pretty sure we will have more of them telling us to hurry to apply for a Chase credit card. And what’s up with the name? It sure sounds similar to…umm, I don’t know, say First2Board?

Top 10 Greatest Landmarks in the World. By Bored Daddy.

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Ancient City Walls

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Ancient City Walls


 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, Part II. At the Atlantic. Some old ones but many news ones!

Kilauea, Big Island, Hawaii. The most extreme place we put our kayakers to paddle to date. (© Alexandre Socci/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)

Kilauea, Big Island, Hawaii. The most extreme place we put our kayakers to paddle to date. (© Alexandre Socci/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)

Millennials want to see the world—and know they can afford it. At Quartz. The younger people are more interested in traveling and it is becoming easier. Interesting…

Retirement Plans Thrown Into Disarray by a Divorce. At the New York Times. Great article on the subject.


Greece out. USA out. From the World Cup. Might as well cheer for Costa Rica then amigos and amigas!

swimming pool party wild

Found here


We are down to just 8 games left in the 2014 Brazil World Cup…It’s been quiet a ride, time to refocus on priorities :-)

soccer grocery store cabbage

Found here




Check out my updated blog lists: Blogs I Love, Blogs I Like, Blogs I Ignore

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53 comments on “Starwood bonus to American miles, Be Smart Yo, Europe awards seats, Capital One Bank promo, Prior2Boarding “new” blog network, Landmarks, Dubrovnik, Kilauea, Millennials Travel, Divorce & retirement plans, Soccer fever

  1. Blogs that do well on P2B will be moved up to BA. Since I believe TS and I are staying self hosted, all RSS and Feedly data should stay the same. I am rooting for the Netherlands and Germany going forward :)

  2. Prior2Boarding was formed as a second blog platform, not merely as a group of “wannabe” or “can’tmakeitto” Boarding Area bloggers. The vision is that with time it forms it’s own personality, and that the scope and breadth of topics is broader or at least different than that of Boarding Area. Yes, Randy does also envision that there will be cross-posting from one to another, that the bloggers of the two boards will be part of the same family, that the staff that serves Boarding Area and Prior2Boarding will be the same, and even that there may be some movement of bloggers from one board to another.

    I am enthusiastic about joining Prior2Boarding (although I wish we’d been informed of the launch 24 hours before so we could each post and been on the “board” at launch-time) and seeing where it leads. For P2B bloggers to announce that P2B is merely a ladder for them to get to BA is a disservice not only to themselves, but to the direction and success of P2B altogether. Only time will tell, but I hope P2B takes on it’s own personality – and a respected one at that – of interesting blogs not serial posting the same affiliate links.

    And with that, my post today will be about a Greek Monster exhibit I happened upon in NYC yesterday. Take that, Medusa!

    • Nice attempt to put lipstick on that pig. Anything associated with Mr. Petersen’s “family” is about pumping cc links and making money–no matter if you’re pumping for the Mud Hens or the Tigers. At least have some integrity about it.

      • That’s not true at all. You should know by now that Randy is all about the page views/ads. He has stated many times that he has no part in the credit card affiliate links. His only contribution is the exposure/page views that the big aggregate site brings.

    • This is so dumb. Boarding Area bloggers are almost all bad. Now even more mediocre bloggers actually feel proud to have their own “home.” Grant talking about “doing well” and “moving up” sounds so sad. These people need more ambition.

    • You’re enthusiastic about the name? Really? Moving networks is fine, but the new network name is just about the most classless, bullying, and downright scummy behavior I’ve seen in 20 years in business.

      Add a new verb to the glossary, George. “2ing”: the shameless disregard of class in chase of $$.

      Example: Kim and Kanye just 2ed their wedding.

  3. @ Tahshir21: Finally!

    @ Indy: Obviously no, too much real work and soccer lately :-)

    @ Grant and Kathy: Hmmm, looks like you are not on the same page on what prior2boarding represents :-) I just don’t want them to mess up with my url’s and rss feeds into my Feedly lol. I am not sure this new “platform” can form its own personality as it looks like all the other platforms, just a collection of blogs blogging about travel, miles, points, deals, credit cards, trip reports, promos, etc. I just didn’t think it was necessary. Randy’s ventures and business model is all about the clicks so they either come on BA or other sites in addition to the BA does not make much difference in the bottom $$ line I think. Unless, as I now see boardingarea.eu, they are all being packaged nicely together to look more attractive to a prospective buyer? You know the ultimate goal of a startup online venture is to find a sucker to buy you out big and I think we have a year or two max for the dollars to roll…Just thinking out loud, do not have any inside knowledge!

    @TWA44: I will love to shop with her!

    @ Leslie H: I added your blog to my Feedly, fyi.

    @ msmcmotown: Ouch, harsh words. I disagree. No one ever doubted the business acumen of Randy. I disagree with the cc characterization. Blame the individual bloggers about that but not Randy.

    • Thanks TBB! I don’t blog much about miles & points (there are enough people who do that), but I am a secret miles & points addict and play the game probably one level up from casually. Blog is mostly about the logistics with travel with kids, kid-friendly recommendations, and an analysis of all the confusing air travel rules and policies that affect those of us who travel with kids. Hope you enjoy it.

      • @ Leslie As a former F/A here is some advice for folks sending kids out on a trip by themselves. #1 don’t do it, buy a ticket go with them and then drop them off. #2 If leaving a kid off to fly alone, don’t leave the freaking airport until the plane lifts off. Cannot tell how many times flight cancels or is massively delayed and parent already split. #3 Be sure person picking them up does not get drunk at the bar and notshow up for the flight, happens more than you can imagine. We had 11 parent no shows flying into Anchorage one summer, how many kids went home with an agent for the night, many. This station has many dysfunctional exmarrage situations and frankly scary problem ed people. #4 Send the kid out 1st departure of the day, not last. How many times did we divert or go non routine with a UNAC (kid) onboard and one of the f/a’s has to bring the kid to her hotel room for the night, happened often. #5 It is bad for the kids self esteem to fly alone, as kids are shuttled between ex’s every summer, I spent countless hours trying to cheer up despondent kids going to a destination they do not want to.

        • Excellent advice. Not planning on sending my 5 year old as a UM any time soon! ;-) World has changed a lot since I did it and a lot more can go wrong. Would only do it at a much more advanced age with lots of safeguards in place.

          • In my last 5 flights there has been 1 flight delay and public threat of cancellation by the fa due to UM tantrum and a no show picking up a slightly special needs minor. Luckily a member of the AS flight crew stayed with him until relatives could be found.

  4. There is a lot of money that can be made in the blog hosting business. I suppose the revenue sharing model in the P2B section is different too.

    Look at the details I posted about another blog hosting platform on the EM&PR forum and the aggressive response to it. Tells a story ;)

  5. I was wondering why no big “travel” blogger was promoting Cap one’s $100 and $76 and this adds further credibility to the data point that George had already provided on how much these bloggers must be making out of CC referral links. I am sure it must be in the range of 10x more, so obviously they are not interested in peanuts. Well, i already am a Cap one customer with both checking and savings (i didnt know that this kind of offer will come out later in the year :( ), otherwise i would have happily clicked George’s link above. I guess this is the right time for readers to show their loyalty to this blog and our dear friend George by clicking the above referral link and also earn some good money from cap one. From my experience with cap one, I have been paid promptly after meeting requirements and they also send out reminders to ensure that you meet the requirements :)

    • Same reason reputable blogs don’t push the Disney card.

      It’s not worth using a hard pull to make $100. Especially considering that you’ll be 1099d for that as well…

      • Savings acct. (for $76) does not require a hard pull; the checking account ($100) does. I considered the first option to be a good return on $500, 1099s and all. I haven’t opened a checking account.

    • I have been very happy there with the savings account for many years.

      The money in this business is in the credit card conversions…

      The rest of the other methods is for idiots…

      Thanks to the one reader who bought one book in my Top Ten list…no doubt now I am going to get rich lol.


  6. George – i am thinking of starting an “educative” “travel” blog to offer the “best” credit card deals for my nearest and dearest to be readers and add some travel “stories” occassionally in between. What would be the offer from “TBB marketing team” to takeover my blog after i rack up say 3000 readers – just curious what is the going rate for “travel” blogs in the market, from an expert :)

  7. WoW, Prior2Boarding… R.P. picks a name so close to First2Board what a sh#tty thing to do!!!! Something Ingy almost did to you! What does he want world domination? Very selfish!! I wish Frequent Miler would join the boys over at Saverocity or go independent. He is getting lost in a sea of Blogs and Credit Card Salesman over there and deserves better,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,My2Cents.

    • This avatar is the best…one…ever!

      Yeah…that name…out of so many names…that name…really?

      Frequent Miler is an outlier in this credit card push infested world we live in :-)

      • I do have to say that the name choice was really disappointing. As the co-founder of First2Board (and in our first 18 months), I/we are still working hard to establish our brand, loyalty, readership, etc. To have someone clearly hijack our name/brand and effectively replicate what we are doing is just sad, and confusing.

        But, hey, this is business (I guess), and some people like to play games.

          • The name didn’t exist a long time ago. Dennis, Lufthansa Flyer, was the one that came up with the name, and it was original. There’s no way he would have copied something that already existed. Take a look at the whois records for prior2boarding and you’ll see the name was first registered in March 2014 and the landing page that was up before the launch said “a new project”….if Randy owned the name “a long time ago” he would have registered it then.

            • Just because that is when he registered it does not mean it was not part of the BA stable before this (or was not owned/used by Randy at some other point). It could have been part of subdomain structure or something else.
              As far as copying, I thought First2Board sounded close enough to BoardingArea to sound like you were trying to edge out BA. As of right now, it looks like you are bleeding bloggers and Prior2Boarding jumped out of the gate with over 20 established bloggers. I don’t think they need to copy you…

  8. Anyone know when George will be back to get the blog cranked up again? Even the troll doesn’t come around no more.

    • The old George is focusing on higher priorities…

      Including World Cup. Some health issues too.

      I am tired of pointing the obvious conflicts of interest in this business! Like today’s post by Howie at Frugal Travel Guy telling its readers that he is in the business of making miles/points instead of…selling credit cards for money! Mentions all kinds of credit cards without linking to them only to post a link to credit card that pays the site (which, by the way, he hates the Freedom card) lol.

      And care to guess how long it will be before Family Dollar shuts it down…so please go thank MMS for killing another deal.

      Get your tickets to the Chicago Seminars to listen to these guys, they go fast….oops, still not sold out.

      I can go on and on….no time for this stuff anymore. Yeah, I know it is boring. I hope the troll gets back here and inspire me to get going again :-)

  9. Buzz is there any truth to the rumor that DansDeals is changing it’s name to DansAmazingAmazonDiaperDeals?

  10. I’d be happy to eat out all summer – ok, 10 times at $40 a pop – to make 10,000 miles if the restaurants in the program were better. We have so many great places to eat here but I always have a hard time finding a place to go when one of us is eligible to join a new dining program. The one or two places we’d use for that have dropped it. So unless we coincidentally end up at listed restaurants when we are traveling, no 10,000 points for me.

    As I told you on twitter, I opened a Cap One Savings Account via the TBB link. I already had a checking account but was still eligible for the $76. In fact because we had an account there already, it literally took under 5 minutes. So if you are on the fence, it really is fast bucks. I hope you get the commission from the referral.

    Between that and syncing two Amex cards with the $25 offer, I made an easy $126. Not bad for sitting at my computer. Too bad my other Amex cards didn’t have the Costco offer.

    Gotta go make a spreadsheet for the minimum spends we need to do after H’s AOR. While he did not get any immediate approvals, he got no denials. We called in on 5 and waited on 2, and in the end he got all 7. BB’s new limits are just in time.

    • Already got it, thank you! I got 4 total Capital One referrals on this, we all take money from the banks, what’s not to like :-)

      Deal ending tonight July 3rd at 11.59 pm , see referral ink in body of the post!

      10 dines at $40, no way!

      Gotta run…but I can’t. Some type of injury…not sure what is wrong, ultrasound done and waiting….

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