Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Catch me on Radio 4 at 11am in ‘Inside the World of the Frequent Flyer’

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If you came to the Head for Points Christmas party in December you may have met Laurence Grissell from BBC Radio 4.  He was – with our permission – looking for interesting characters to feature in a documentary that he was producing.

The finished programme is now ready and will be broadcast at 11am today.  It is 30 minutes long.

This is how Radio 4 is promoting it:

Up in the air with the frequent flyers who’ll go to extreme lengths to achieve airline status and rack up air miles. Are they playing the system – or is the system playing them? Georgie Glen narrates their stories

Many hardcore frequent flyers will stop at nothing to achieve the privileges which go with airline status, planning convoluted multi-leg journeys to maximise their points. It’s a whole sub-economy – a parallel currency which the airlines control, and which the frequent flyers seek to exploit.

The consequence is a life which is spent perpetually in transit, on airplanes and in airport lounges. We hear what motivates these individuals, what they gain and what they lose from spending so much of their lives up in the air.

I recorded a long segment for the programme but I don’t know how much of it has made the finished cut.

My contribution should be slightly detached because as a family man I don’t have the time these days to undertake the mileage and tier point runs which are at the heart of the documentary.  I do, of course, understand the economics of the process from both the point of view of the airline and the traveller and that’s probably where I will pop up.  Part of the reason for hiring Anika was to let me escape much of the day-to-day review travel that comes with this job – the next stop for her is Johannesburg – in order to spend more time reading “Captain Underpants” to an eager 6-year old.

If you have something better to do at 11am – like, erm, working – you can listen online via this link after 11.30am.

Comments (86)

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  • Jas says:

    The programme had the potential to be informative and a show a relatively unknown ‘slice of life’. Instead the presentation style that Georgie Glen took (or was told to take) was supercilious/mocking … which was in sharp contrast with almost all the HFP contributors’ pieces.

    Forgive me Rob, and it was not your fault, but it was certainly an opportunity lost by the mainstream media to give others a window into the (perhaps) crazy, but certainly non-boring TP Runners mindset.

    p.s. there are now approx, 30 of us going on the OTP-PHX TP Run in late August.

  • Andrew says:

    What they didn’t mention was the even more exclusive and invitation only Premier card. However many tier points you earn, this may still be out of your reach.

  • rob says:

    Darn it, just as I thought I was getting the hang if this points collecting malarkey… Can anyone recommend a good book – badly need to play catch up. Ta.

  • Chris says:

    I had a look back at last years flights, Gold cost me less than £2k (and I got some flights I needed to take too) – BA giving me TPs for a DEN-LHR in F that was booked with points did help keep the cost down LOL

  • Jeremy says:

    Having spent ages converting some of my family member around to the FF game I found it amusing but probably a good light hearted look at the FF and the way to get you hooked , did anyone else notice that Gold Guest List crept in. I took this to be a surface look at the FF game. That said I am now a blue member who collect points for my annual long haul holiday in a premium cabin. As such status is less of an issue for me now days. And with seat selection going down an avios option one of the few benefit of making bronze / silver becomes less critical . I did like the fact that they mentioned Hawaii.I did the us Airways route to Hawaii and got 420 tier points out of the deal and got me silver for another year this cost me around £600 however it was a genuine holiday!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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