Monday, August 4, 2008

Seldom Frequent Flying

I'm a treasure horder. I have a basement stocked with ancient Belgian ale, a bookcase full of carefully-chosen DVDs, and a list of over six thousand restaurants to try someday. 

Progress is slow; I'm eager to gather, but loathe to consume. That has meant plenty of overaged beer and wine, lots of eager stops at long-closed restaurants, and a stockpile of more books than I'll ever read. I have trouble finding the sweet spot of buying and enjoying at a proper and coordinated pace. My impulse is to pamper my future self, to the point of denying my present self. I suppose I just like him better.

But finally it's paid off. I've been gathering frequent flier points for years, never using them. And in an era where a $900 roundtrip fare from NYC to London is considered a good deal, this trove is valuable indeed!

If you've been sitting on frequent flier credits, this is the time to use them. For one thing, airlines are so strapped for cash that they're starting to put the squeeze award travel even more than their value will likely decline. And, like my musty wine and half-disintegrated cigars, miles can expire if you don't watch out!

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