Best in Miles, Points, Credit Cards, Travel and More: Around the Web Sep 12 — Sep 18 2021

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Lençóis Maranhenses

To access publications hidden behind the paywall, I have three words for you: Firefox. Bypass. Paywalls.

Planes

This is a story about someone who booked a United award flight via the Chase portal, then his flight got rescheduled and the new scheduling didn’t work for him, then he canceled the flight, then United refunded the money, then — three months later — he’s yet to receive his points backThis Reddit thread is not just about Chase or United. The tips in the comments are really good, so bookmark and remember to use if you get wronged by a travel provider or credit card issuer.

This is an OMAT’s guide to the UK Air Passenger Duty. Not that I really feel the need to know much about this banditry. I mean, knowing it’s nothing but highway robbery is quite enough. Of course, this highway robbery pales in comparison to a much bigger robbery — the gloriously outrageous UK airlines $1K+ carrier-imposed surcharges, so there is that. Still, this article is a great reminder why you should try to avoid the following:

  • Flying from the UK over the pond (connecting flights via the UK are fine)
  • Redeeming miles over the pond on a UK airline (BA or Virgin Atlantic)

Hotels

Here is a nice Frequent Miler’s overview of overwater villas in the Maldives bookable with Marriott points. I have no idea why I’m so fascinated with overwater villas. I have no desire to spend my precious vacation time like that. I know a “captive” vacation is not my cup of tea. I know I’d get bored in no time. And yet, every time I see a topic dedicated to these overwater villas / bungalows, I get curious all over again. Maybe I should try it already just for the BTDT (been there, done that)?

Another Frequent Miler’s post, this time on yet another (stackable) Radisson promotion. Radisson America seems on fire lately.

God Save the Points informs that Hilton extends the elite status into 2023 even if you (like me) haven’t done anything Hilton since the pandemic hit. I received my Hilton Diamond status (not that it’s worth that much more over the Gold, mind you) with the Aspire card back in 2019, which I canceled in winter 2020.

In other Hilton news, Hilton opens a new ultra-luxury hotel in Kyoto, with a basic room cost over $1,000 or 95,000 points. Nice! Per Loyalty Lobby.

Credit cards

Activate your 5% quarterly bonuses now. Per US Credit Card Guide.

If you’re interested in award flights on Delta (and haven’t yet had all AmEx Delta cards at one point or another), AmEx is offering some record, never before seen welcome bonuses (think Delta Platinum Business with a 90,000-point bonus and $100 statement credit). Just keep in mind that Delta has effectively become the first U.S. airline that has removed Business Class awards from the realm of the possible, unless you consider paying 300,000 miles per one way ticket possible. Per Award Wallet. Still, Delta’s flash sales can be a decent way to use SkyMiles, and, operationally speaking, it’s arguably the best major U.S. airline, and that’s worth something. I guess.

Mark from Miles to Memories wrote a piece aptly named How Me Being A Complete Moron Cost Me 28,000 Ultimate RewardsI must’ve uncontrollably chuckled more than once reading it. Every hobbyist, including us, “the pros,” (LOL) have made costly mistakes (some of us, like yours truly, multiple times), and anyone who says otherwise, is lying. 🙂

Covid-19

Excellent Politico article about Las Vegas and Nevada politics: Vaccine Mandates Crash Into America’s ‘Don’t Tell Me What To Do’ State.

A restaurant hostess in New York was physically assaulted by unvaccinated patrons.

Adults Are Throwing Tantrums—in Restaurants, Planes and at Home. Blame the Pandemic. Great WSJ article!

“When you anticipate something is going to be temporary, you’re able to absorb a higher level of stress,” says Pauline Wallin, a psychologist in Camp Hill, Pa. “When things don’t work out as expected it makes us more prone to be aggressive with ourselves and with one another,” she says. 

Yes! This is exactly how I feel! I had my second vaccine shot in March. And I wasn’t the first who got vaccinated. This goddamn thing should’ve been many times over by now!

Another Anti-Vaccine Radio Host Is Killed By Covid—Adding To A Growing List from Forbes. I never have and never will gloat about anyone’s demise, but this man, it seems, was an ‘exceptional’ human being.

On his show, entitled “Real Science Radio,” Enyart falsely claimed the vaccines were developed using aborted fetal cells and wrote on the show’s website blog in August advising “everyone to boycott Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson to further increase social tension and put pressure on the child killers.” According to a Washington Post report, Enyart “used to gleefully read obituaries of AIDS sufferers while cranking ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen,” and repeatedly called for women who received an abortion to be sentenced to death.

Other tidbits

Apparently, this tier-match in Atlantic City can get you free nights at Wynn and a free cruise too. A follow-up piece by Dave from MilesTalk.

I had no idea you can rent a movie theater for your kids (or whoever) and it actually doesn’t cost too much. I’ve found prices in New York as low as $239. Not a bad idea for your kid’s birthday or something. By Johnny Jet.

This dude has been squatting living mortgage-free in a 3-bedroom house in Long Island for over 20 years. Unbelievable! I nominate him King of Squatters People Who Live in Comfortable Houses Rent- and Mortgage-Free. By New York Post.

Farmers’ Almanac is predicting a “frosty flip-flop winter.”

TBB

Here are my favorites:

This you must read, IMHO, even if you skip everything else.

  • ‘I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE PEOPLE’

The manager of Windows on the World survived 9/11, while 79 of his employees died. He’s still searching for permission to move on.

  • Half Baked: How A Would-Be Cannabis Empire Went Up In Smoke
  • Inside Pfizer’s labs, ‘variant hunters’ race to stay ahead of the pandemic’s next twist
  • Afghanistan’s last Jew leaves after Taliban takeover

And now just for fun

Dangerops prangent sex? Oh yes!

 

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Anon

RE the anti-vaccine host who died… The thing I don’t see anyone talking about is the added cost that the anti-vaxxers are burdening the country with. Most of these guys are stanch small-government types, but when they get sick and are hospitalized, I’m sure they are happy that hospitals are required to take them in and care for them. But that’s costing the rest of us real $$ (eith in gov debt or eventual higher insurance fees).

Why is no one talking about this? Is it just too crass and insensitive? (Maybe it is. And that’s why I’m posting anonymously.)

anon

I dont think any of these people should be denied treatment, but they should have to pay for it themselves, either out of pocket (where possible) or via insurance.

And, yes, I believe insurance should charge you more if you are a smoker, you dont/wont take your shots, or you are morbidly obese.

TimmyD

Oh wow, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. The Luigi board one is pretty good too.

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