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Scott and sister on an award trip to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific in 2015 Although I’ve been writing my travel blog for several years, it surprises many people to learn that I first became interested in frequent flyer programs when I was a graduate student in neurobiology. It was the first time I had this much freedom to set my own schedule, and I had spent most of the last 22 years feeling a little stuck in… Read More

Journalist and bestselling author Jo Piazza has long considered herself an independent feminist woman who didn’t need a man to complete her. She was pretty ambivalent about marriage until she met the greatest guy in the world on a boat in the Galapagos islands. They got engaged three months later. Piazza had no idea how to be a partner while also maintaining her independence. To try to figure it out she set… Read More

Some travelers earn elite status by accident, a byproduct of traveling for work. Other people are tempted by the possibility of upgrades and bonus miles and do everything they can to qualify. Whichever camp you fall into, Alaska Mileage Plan has some unique benefits that go over and above the competition. By familiarizing yourself with some of these perks you can earn more miles and potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars each… Read More

Last year was a big year for Alaska Mileage Plan members. While the airline was busy adding new benefits, members were literally flying around the world. Over the course of 12 months, Alaska’s frequent fliers said goodbye to foreign transaction fees on their Alaska Airlines Visa Signature cards and enjoyed new perks including lower prices for award travel, increased mileage earning on select global partners, and upgradable award tickets for elite members…. Read More

With the merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America complete, two award-winning airlines are joining forces to provide a great customer experience. This week, Virgin America Elevate members are being invited to activate new Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan accounts and convert points to earn and redeem rewards across both networks. You can take your Elevate points with you, too! Alaska Airlines has created new Mileage Plan accounts for Elevate members and is… Read More

Today Alaska Airlines announced a few major changes to its Mileage Plan. First, the Seattle-based airline is upping the loyalty game by making its award-winning Mileage Plan more generous with the announcement of four flier-friendly enhancements. Second, its relationship with Delta Air Lines will end April 30, 2017. So what does all this mean for travelers? Alaska Airlines’ Charles Breer, managing director of alliances, and Ryan Butz, managing director of loyalty marketing,… Read More

Alaska Airlines premium class

Now, it’s easier than ever to treat yourself to a little something extra. Today Alaska Airlines customers have the option to upgrade to its new Premium Class section, providing more opportunity for customers to upgrade to an elevated onboard experience.

Scotland's celebrity kilt-maker

“How do you become a celebrity kilt maker? The guy who makes man skirts for the cool guys?” Howie Nicholsby, Edinburgh’s kilt maker to the stars, pours me a generous tumbler of whiskey before he answers my question.

Scotland's hunter-gatherer chef

“Come here girls!!!” I leap out of the pick-up truck parked haphazardly on the side of a too narrow country road and scamper up a muddy bank. “Oh, I wasn’t talking to you,” Tom Lewis tells me. “I was yelling for the pigs. Come on girls. Get your dinner!!” Before I can return to the truck, a hoard of hungry beasts barrel down the mountain towards Tom, kicking up mud and dung… Read More

loch-ness-monster-hunter-steve-feltham

The Loch Ness monster hunter is making me a cup of coffee and I just can’t stop thinking about how normal he seems. It was a little over twenty-five years ago that Steve Feltham gave up his house, his girlfriend and his job to move into a camper van at the end of a parking lot next to the stony beaches of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands to search for a… Read More