I am definitely not a frequent flyer... just because I do not travel frequently
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Obviously I am a frequent flyer in the sense that I fly very regularly. I am wondering if I am a frequent flyer by AFF standards?
Over the past 6 months I have attended numerous AFF events and have witnessed behaviour which is a little foreign to me.
I would like to be 100% clear....... Whilst it is not behaviour which I PERSONALLY undertake......... I am not in ANY way implying that it is at all negative. It's just not something I do.
For example...... I see a flurry of activity around the table when a bill arrives at a restaurant. With the bossreggie AKL lunch, I went to the bank and took cash out. The bill was well over $20kAUD and it didn't even cross my mind that there were some 40,000 frequent flyer points I was missing out on. I just told the restaurant that I would pay cash, so I did. (Just to clarify. I have an account with Euro. It is nothing formal as such. It's just that I dine there so often.... There has been the odd occasion when I forget to pay before I leave. Once it was nearly $5K NZD. They simply reminded me when I was next in, some 2 weeks later. As the BR lunch was going to be such a large sum.. I said I'd pay cash, meaning I'd fix up the bill rather than pay it later. They would have been OK to use my MasterCard)
I see people trying to maximise every last point and it's just a bit unusual. Especially for small amounts.
I will quite often settle my hotel bill using cash. If I am leaving the country, I pretty much give the hotel all my local currency PRIOR to using my credit card.
As I use the same drivers when travelling, I generally tip them 3 or 4 times a year a larger sum, rather than every trip. They appreciate this, as $50 here and there is easily forgotten. $500 is something they could actually use.
I have just over 9,000,000 frequent flyer points. I tend to use them for my family members to allow them to have a decent holiday. Their travel plans are usually able to be made a lot further out than mine, so generally I don't bother using points for my travel.
The other thing that makes me wonder whether or not I am a frequent flyer........ I actually HATE flying. It makes me nervous and I am NEVER comfortable on an aircraft. I do envy those who just get on board and relax. I so wish I could do that.
So..... What do others think?? Are YOU a real frequent flyer??? OR....... Are you like me??
Last edited by bossreggie; 21st May 2012 at 02:33 PM.
Well you are a frequent flyer - you are just not a frequent flyer fan(atic)... [FFF]
I am not as bad as some here but I now try to maximise my points - I would never consider paying cash when I can use my CC. Not just the points but in your case above I would not feel safe carrying $20K in cash. Last week I had close to $1,000 in my wallet which I immediately used to pay a CC bill to avoid having that much cash in my pocket.
Not meaning any disrespect but to a certain extent you don't need to be a FFF - you can afford to fly in premium cabins whenever you want - for us who are not in the same financial position we have to leverage where we can - it is not just about the addiction to point collection but it is about needing to be focussed on the points/status accumulation to provide ourselves with a level of comfort that we could otherwise not afford.
Also I fall into the camp of not being fussed about being on a aircraft - never stressed or worried - in fact the only time I get nervous is when we hit turbulence and I have a glass of red wine in my hand - that gets me worried. Conversely I love diving but am nervous almost every time I get into the water...
I think BR that you dont need to points to fund the style of travel you prefer. So finding incremental points earn is not on your radar (nor need it be).
Others are not so "fortunate" (for want of a better term) and so odds and sods of points added up here and there massively improves their chance of a better flying experience.
I personally wont go out crazy of my way to earn points (as the return is typically not worth the effort), but I cant afford to outright pay cash for travel at the front of the plane for the amount of travel i do, but if presented with two equal choices, i'll go the one that earns points over one that doesnt. eg. Coles and WW are equally convenient for my chore shopping, so IMO the EDR is a better program so i'll choose WW. Having shopped at both, the "basket cost" ends up the same. I'm getting a "better deal" in my definition which is to earn without paying more for the privilege. Of course, the counter to this is the "cost" of the points is built into the deal so YMMV.
Of course, your deal with the restaturant in NZ was for cash payment - so that's what they'd expect, and also they might have had to "pad" the price to take the cc - although arguably you've given them $20k in business so they could "wear" the 2.5% fee.
Edit: simongr beat me to it - i think we essentially say the same thing. Forgot to add also: usually pretty relaxed, although i do have periods (especially a few yearsa go) where I felt distinctly uneasy on takeoff or whenever there was a engine noise change - no idea why, and now I seemed to have gotten over it!
In some ways I am the opposite.I rarely use cash these days-even paid for my $7.45 Maccas brekkie today by Amex-but not for the points but a chance of winning a gourmet trip to HKG!
Also through my professional life I always operated on an overdraft so delaying expenditure was always a good idea.
On top of that I really love to travel.Since retiring from full time practice I can now relax on planes.Even flying BNE-SYD as soon as we have taken off i can be asleep only waking as the Captain announces the descent into SYD.On long haul this has meant an end to jet lag.
However one thing that we appear to agree on is eating.Cost is irrelevant if the food I am served is great.It may be street food in Asia or a 3 star Michelin restaurant it is the quality of the product not the cost that is important.
So I will own up to being an Australian Frequent Flyer Fanatic.
I do love it when I see a thread started by bossreggie, it is almost always a good one!
I think simongr has a good point, without any offence intended. Most don't have the financial ability to fly in the upper cabins - which is after all the ultimate target when travelling, so anything we can do to maximise our chances is worth it. Apart from trying to win lotto every now and then that's using good old points.
Personally I am 21 years old and still studying (i.e. without a regular income). Because of that I can't get a credit card, but even if I could I wouldn't spend that much anyway (although I swear 90% of what I earn ends up with either an airline or hotel ).
I know that our family business purchases (major) stock in once per month - we always have the cash on hand for it, but we always pay with Amex and earn the points. It's probably about 300k points per year split in 2 separate accounts - for us a family of 4, these go a long way to affording holidays. Other items we pay with cash.
With the points we earn Dad sometimes upgrades to J when he flies back from MEL (he has back issues, the upgrade is nice for him). We went to Darwin to join family and have a big christmas in December which was half funded with awards and I used 50k to get back from Wellington in J - that is just some of what we have used points for in the past few months.
This could be an interesting thread. I am not a P1 like some others here. However, I am mostly a domestic red e-deal WP flyer. This is due to work... For personal travel, my wife and I travel back to Europe once or twice a year in business.
However, it sounds like you are talking about the game in getting points, maximising SC etc. I can see both sides of the story as I am not particularly well off. So, I understand the desire to play the game to get every last value out of our spending dollar. And I used to be like this many years ago. However, my wife's family is very well off (they pay for the flights back to Europe). Courtesy of my wife and her family - they have (over the last 7 years) changed my way/habit of spending.
So, I can say that I am not a true AFFer. My flight to Europe is always on QF1 without changing the flight code in SIN. I don't go on SC runs, I don't bother with the long route to a destination. I also pay cash for most of my usual expenses (groceries, restaurants, bars, taxis etc...). I don't bother with the Coles or Woolworths loyalty cards (or any other loyalty program) and I don't usually have much change on me. I do have two credit cards that are linked to QFF - but these are used for internet purchases, big bills (hotels, airtickets etc).
Why don't I maximise my points? It's strange and I know that it is probably an incorrect way of looking at things (and perhaps old fashioned) but my Father in law taught me that cash is respected and he wants to show appreciation for service in cash. I will never forget the face of the Cessna pilot when he tipped him $500 for flying us from ADL to Ayers Rock (via Wilpena, Williams Creek and Cooper Pedy). Also, I have plenty of points (only 1 million) that I rarely use. I do redeem for upgrades on work flights (my bosses dislike it when I sit up front and they are at the back) - but it's not a big deal to have points or otherwise.
I also hate flying. It is a means to an end. There was glamour and novelty in it when I was younger, but that all changed as I flew more regularly. I realised that I was stuck in someone else's idea of quick transportation, unable to exercise my free will. The air is dry and recycled, the food bland and the service contrived. So, the direct route for me to spend more time with family and friends.
Finally, I don't have reward cards or much change as it ruins the form of the wallet. This is something I have learnt the hard way from the wife as well...
I fly - but I am not a true AFFer.
Forgot to add- I also don't drink my value in a lounge or on the flight. In fact, I don't drink much at all. My wife taught me to enjoy eating (she's French) and to eat what I want and how much I want. So it regularly means that I will have a nice meal before a flight and turn down the in flight offering even if it is in J. SO in this respect I don't think I am a true AFFer at all. Having said that, when I didn't have the means, I used to eat and drink everything... and I think that's a reasonable attitude to have.
Last edited by kezsco; 21st May 2012 at 12:22 PM.
I guess everyone is so very different.. we all have different, wants, needs, dreams & desires..
I always carry certain sums of cash in various currencies when travelling, just in case the terminal is 'down" or I can't find or access an ATM in certain parts. This has provided a blessing on several occasions.. & the smaller amounts come in handy for gratuities etc.
At times when I have decided to pay cash for hotel stays, I often get frowns from other guests, whether I could be some type of 'underworld figure", but that is just me, a bit out of the ordinary these days, not paying for everything by card, & also I'm not really into the 'points chase" by CC, at least.
I used to always be a nervous flyer, due to some incidents I have experienced whilst flying... I have learnt to overcome this element of 'fear" & these days I tend to relax so much more & feel so much better in the premium cabins.
On the whole bossreggie, just a word of thanks for all your honest & inspiring contributions. I haven't yet met you, though from what I can gather, you are an all round good bloke, & the offer for juddles was simply a most kind gesture.
I would like to be 'your driver" with your generous tipping allowances.. I always also consider that a little love goes a long way.
I certainly would not call myself a frequent flyer. I don't fly for business, and we do a couple of OS and a few DOM flights per year. All leisure. Most of my flying has been in military or Search and Rescue birds. To that end I don't get nervous in an aircraft at all. Well, fixed wing anyway. Single engine helos make me nervous. And hanging off the wire even more so. That said, I actually get more nervous sitting in the passenger seat of a car.
Although until I joined here I never really gave any thought to maximising points, getting op-ups, or trawling over seat maps and flight loadings. I just bought a ticket and sat 'wherever' in the type of cabin we bought for.
Now I'm paying for $2.50 sundaes at Maccas with the AMEX, and looking to see what EDR bonus point I can pick up this week.
AFFer? Probably not.
Maybe an Australian Frequent Points Maximiser (AFPM)
First up, great to see a truly different thread topic!
As to the question as to being or not being a true AFF frequent flyer, I offer my own humble thoughts:
A few years ago I enjoyed/suffered a work location change that meant I had to suddenly commute from family in Australia to work in Colombia. Probably the longest FIFO that exists in the world (due to crap connections average 40+ hrs each way). Prior to this I let travel agents do the bookings (wife worked for Flight Centre years ago), but after a couple of crap bookings, I suddenly took a greater interest in things. I learn fast, and now have a very good grasp of international flight idiosyncracies. And I have learnt so many tricks thru AFF that I remain addicted to the forum.
Unlike BR, I actually do like flying. On each flight I cant wait to get to the destination, but if I dont get to travel for a month or two I get a bit itchy. And as I had to suddenly start from scratch back with the QF FF program, I cared about SC, etc. But that was only until I reached WP. I rejoined the QF program starting as bronze late one year, and failed by 10 SC to reach silver the first round trip. I had never even heard the concept of status matching. I clearly recall at that point how just the ability to preselect seats was so valuable to me (am 6´7¨ and was flying Y) I phoned QF and they agreed to bump me up to silver. Hence my loyalty to QF for that simple act. The next year with QF I did just under 5000 SC and since then I have been WP and will probably never drop below that.
I totally understand and agree with BR regarding the irritation of the incessant search for points. I used to include my QF number on my car rental bookings, but seriously, earning a couple of hundred miles for a car rental is ridiculous when you are earning 30,000 odd on the flights. It isnt even worth the few minutes to add the FF program to the car booking.
But I also understand the situation where you want to claw every single point/SC. Because I have been there.
Yes, I am a true AFF in that I like to learn tricks and maximise things. But I also think that people should be very aware of exactly the value of what they are seeking. If you have to do special flights every year to retain a certain status, you could well be throwing time and money away. Save those resources to just enjoy a good weekend away.
Last comment, I love the way BR handles tipping. I totally agree. I also enjoy making a meaningful gesture that someone can really appreciate and use. Gives me personal joy. And so I try to do it, even though I dont have the capacity to equal BR. But I think if everyone took a few moments to think they can find ways within their means to make someone elses day that bit better. ´That to me is the true BR ongoing influence and legacy here!
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