As it turns out, crafting a proper noose is rather difficult. The parents we never had never taught us things like how to tie knots or even shoelaces, though the latter skill is of course useless when all you ever wear are airline slippers. Really, the only knots we’re familiar with are those in the pretzels in Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal. And so with suicide, as with all things in life, we simply gave up after our first couple attempts failed.
The only knots we know
Since the “incident,” we’ve had a lot of time to reflect. Last night, as we gazed at the sky through what is now a giant hole where we tried to hang ourselves from our trailer’s roof vent, we realized that this was G-d’s way of telling us that we should choose life. So what if we aren’t the only game in town when it comes to blogging about points and miles? We are clearly the best. And maybe it’s not so bad to spend our days flying around the world in first class and writing a trip report every year or so.
We’ve made mistakes along the way, perhaps a billion of them. But there is still some good in this world, like the new quarter of Chase Freedom bonuses that will net us at least 150,000 Ultimate Rewards points. We also recently realized that the oft-shat-upon United devaluation was really a blessing in disguise, as it will mean less riff-raff crowding our Star Alliance first class cabins, unsure of when exactly to change into their pajamas or whether it is appropriate to hit the call button before you even finish your current glass of champagne.
With eyes reopened and liver miraculously intact, our intention is to move forward with the vigor of a GE90. We may not always have fodder for posts or be sober enough to write, but our work here is patently bigger than us; it just might save the world.
After all, this is Points Envy, motherfuckers. Time to get some new assistants.
P.S. We are currently accepting applications for new assistants. Anyone ready to apply should be aware that virtually all qualified current Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Korean Air, Emirates, Etihad, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Asiana, and ANA stewardesses have already submitted applications.
As we mentioned in our most recent Week in Review, we were really excited to attend this weekend’s Frequent Traveler University in Los Angeles. We’ve been tweeting enthusiastically about the event and looking forward to meeting our fans and fellow travel bloggers (a subset of the aforementioned fans).
Today, after waking up from an epic night of partying with the Japanese crew from our flight to L.A., we decided to head over to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel LAX. Of course, we stopped first for a quick breakfast of six (or maybe more?) bloody marys. Eventually we found our way to FTU, but we were stopped by someone sitting behind a table as we tried to enter. This “person” told us that we were not on the list for the event, to which we responded with the usual, “Do you know who we are?!”
Of course they knew who we were, but apparently there is a $99 registration fee for the event, a fee that clearly should have been waived in our case. This was heartbreaking: $99 just to hear some alleged “experts” teach us about things we already know? Still, we wanted to meet some people while we sobered up, and we have some credit card spending requirements to meet, so we agreed to pay. We were then informed (for the fifth time, supposedly) that the event was sold out. We again yelled, “Do you know who we are?!” While this has always worked for us in the past, especially at higher volumes, in this case we were simply asked to leave.
Before departing, however, we made a quick trip down to the basement, where we were able to put into action our latest attempt to take over the travel blogging industry. All we needed was a few minutes of access to the hotel’s plumbing and things were set. Unfortunately, judging from #FTULAX tweets, it’s clear that someone noticed our tampering and shut off the entire water supply before we could take care of the competition.
Needless to say, for many reasons, we will not be showing our face at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel LAX for a while. We will, however, be chillin’ on the Frequent Traveler University frat row later tonight if anyone wants to play some beer pong and help us hold auditions for our new assistants.
Just in time for Hanukkah, word has it that there will soon be a way to save some serious gelt when traveling to Israel. According to an industry insider, El Al and other major airlines with service to Tel Aviv are planning to reduce the points required for award flights to Israel by as much as 90%! Oddly, only flights bound for Israel will be eligible for the discount, as flights leaving the country will still be full-price. We have no idea why, but these inbound redemption costs are dropping like Arab armies during the Six-Day War. If you like aggressive taxi drivers and hummus, this one is a no-brainer.
Given these circumstances, we plan on using 2970 Matmid points (a Membership Rewards transfer partner) for a roundtrip LAX-TLV first class ticket. All told, this is a great opportunity to visit what some religious fanatics refer to as “the Holy Land.” We, of course, have always reserved that term for the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, but to each her own.
Act now, because there’s no telling how long this deal will last. See you all in the King David lounge!
Don’t miss out!
We at Points Envy are what you might call apathetic when it comes to politics, at least in the sense that we don’t give a shit about it. But a Beltway insider friend of ours recently let us in on a little political rumor that caught our attention. Apparently, Republican candidate “Mitt” Romney plans to outlaw economy class on all domestic flights within these great United States if elected President.
While we are not otherwise even remotely familiar with Romney’s platform, this is an idea we can get on board with. In fact, we simply can’t understand why nobody has thought of this plan before. We have never actually flown in economy class, but we understand from our assistants that it is horrifying compared to first class, and that it even manages to somehow make business class seem inviting. If this is true, then Romney’s plan sounds like a no-brainier to us. Finally, everyone on board will be able to enjoy all the champagne they can handle, just as Marx and Ingles envisioned!
We want to remind you that this is just a rumor, but, as with all rumors, we are inclined to believe it is true. This news is almost exciting enough to motivate us to vote. Just think, once everyone is flying first class, each airline will soon have to introduce a new, extra-premium first class. Seeing as first class has been getting a little predictable as of late, we can’t wait to try out the new product!
The next step in premium travel?
The entire (points) world is abuzz this week with the arrival of Bluebird, the newest Airbus model powered solely by the collective sadness of the French. (Zing!) No, Bluebird is allegedly the best thing since buying dollar coins from the U.S. Mint: a new scheme to manufacture “millions” of points. While the prospect of mere millions doesn’t usually entice us, we at Points Envy decided to spend a few minutes browsing other blog posts about Bluebird to find out what all the hubbub was about. Below we have compiled that information into a completely superfluous post repeating useful bits of what other bloggers that you follow have already told you. We are a points and miles blog, after all.
Bluebird seems to be a new offering from American Express, the folks who periodically give you money to not use a superior points-earning card. We can’t understand the real reasons behind their launching this product, but the key for the points world is that you can use Bluebird to pay for things you cannot normally use a credit card for, like your mortgage, credit card bills, and drugs (assuming your dealer will accept a check).
For the best value, all you really need to do is: (1) have a Chase Ink card that earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points on office supply store spend; (2) find an Office Depot that stocks Vanilla Reload cards; (3) purchase all of the Vanilla Reload cards in stock with said Ink card; (4) load Bluebird with said Vanilla Reload cards; (5) immediately withdraw all of the money from your Bluebird account at an ATM; and (6) head to the nearest club and have the time of your life, knowing you are earning five points for every dollar bill you use to make it rain!
So, there you have it. As Amex continues to roll back many of the most beneficial features of its cards, they appear to have thrown the points world a bone with this one. If history has taught us anything, Amex will soon cancel Bluebird and then also revoke the lounge privileges associated with its Platinum card, just for good measure. Get while the gettin’ is good points fiends! That is, until American Express gets sued by Twitter.
How well do you know your avian silhouettes?
In a huge win for the frequent flyer community, a Dallas man became an instant hero Sunday night at a local 7-Eleven after foiling a robbery attempt with his Chase Sapphire Preferred card. “I was just buying some Fritos, planning on using my United MileagePlus card because of a targeted 1.5x miles on every dollar spent,” said Reginald Logan. “But when I saw this guy pull a gun on the clerk, I instinctively reached for the Sapphire Preferred.”
Thinking Logan was simply grabbing his preferred method of payment, the robber turned his attention back to the clerk and things were over in no time. During a subsequent police interview, the robber stated he was hit over the head with a large blunt object, but video evidence shows that Logan simply threw his Sapphire Preferred card at the back of the holdup artist’s head. “He dropped just like a sack of Idaho potatoes,” continued Logan. “I picked up my card, wiped off the blood and then proceeding to pay for the Fritos with my United card. Nothing was going to keep me from my Frito Pie.”
Our hero’s preferred choice of crime-fighting fuel.
In a press release yesterday, Chase praised Logan’s heroic actions, but the bank was also obviously concerned about the Sapphire Preferred’s potential as an instrument of violence:
We cannot thank Mr. Logan enough for his brave actions and for his many years as a loyal Chase customer. We consider all of our cardholders to be heroes, but Mr. Logan has outdone himself this time. That being said, we would like to caution others against attempting to use the Sapphire Preferred card as a weapon, whether stopping crimes or committing them. Chase in no way condones such violence, as is made crystal clear in the “Inappropriate Uses for Your Sapphire Preferred Card” section of every cardholder’s agreement with us.
Intrigued by the press release, Points Envy took a closer look at our Sapphire Preferred card agreement today, and it does in fact state that the card is not to be used to commit any acts of violence or rebellion. Additionally, it makes clear that the Sapphire Preferred is not to be used as a jack when changing a spare tire, a bullet proof shield for your other cards, or the foundation for a small house.
Chase can put any ridiculous restrictions they like in the agreement, but we at Points Envy take our hats off to Mr. Logan this week for making the world a slightly less horrible place. We would also advise that he send Chase a secure message requesting a nice chunk of Ultimate Rewards points as a thank you for the free publicity. New vigilante points-earning scheme anyone? YMMV.
News has been making its way around the blogosphere this morning that we are all going to pay for Chase’s recent bender. As reported by Lucky and Daraius, it seems the current Ink Bold offer is set to get worse due to an increase in the minimum spending requirement from $5,000 to $10,000. We therefore send this advice out to all of you enterprising young businessmen and businesswomen: jump on it now!
The anticipated raising of the minimum spend is in line with the recent trend of big bonuses being tied to high spending requirements, exemplified most recently by the new Capital One Venture and British Airways offers. Given the spending habits of our business (I will be expensing the two bottles of Veuve Cliquot I drink while writing this post), we don’t personally think this will be such a big deal. But for those of you with “businesses” selling old CDs on eBay or buying used IKEA furniture on Craigslist, that extra $5,000 could be a dealbreaker.
Dip your pen in Chase’s ink before it’s too late!
So dear readers, if you do not already have an Ink Bold card, we encourage you to get one before these changes are fully in effect and the card is only within the province of the one percent. And for those readers who are the one percent, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow in first!