Comments: 21 • Responses: 8  • Date: 

SirDripsALot15 karma

I used to follow your posts over on Flyertalk. Posts and conversations with you, Nephoi, ISTFlyer, TalkingPoint, WingedWorldExplorer and others have always been amazingly helpful. I haven't seen any new posts from you in a while now. I seem to remember you being suspended. Can you share what happened and what forums you use to share deals now, and if you plan to come back to in the future to FT? I've made a couple bookings over the years thanks to your posts so many thanks for that.

Secondly, what is your favorite airline loyalty program, and do you bother with status? I typically search for deals on OW airlines to credit AS because of how strong the earning rates are for a high value currency. *A J fares credit so poorly and ST has such poor benefits I don't find much value in their program when compared to OWE benefits. Thanks for letting me pick your brain!

mightytravels5 karma

Thank you!

FT and their members have taught me so much over the years - I am incredibly thankful for that! However the current incarnation of FT is not Randy Petersen's Flyertalk anymore. We'd love to be back on FT but I am not sure it will happen.

We share deals via Mighty Travels Premium of course and on our Facebook Page/ Twitter account.

Over the years chasing status has become less and less valuable for me personally. I am in the same boat as you I do have Alaska status and I am happy with that. It pays off nicely not just flying Alaska but also American.

It is sad to see that Hong Kong is closed as major hub (more or less) so we all need to fly through London more :)

If your flights are primarily paid for by your employer (who does not mind somewhat higher fares) I think United Premier 1K is a great status to have.

SirDripsALot2 karma

Thanks for the reply! Good to know you have a Twitter and I'll follow along there!

As I'm sure you know, AS just released SWUs for AA yesterday. Do you 1) have a good routing in mind that has cheap fares and could also serve as an EQM run 2) know of any city pair with good C class upgrade space availability?

mightytravels1 karma

For Alaska Airlines to deals to/from Hawaii have been incredible. Depending on the fare these book into Regular Economy and unlimited and complimentary status upgrades apply. With such few elites on these flights upgrades are almost guaranteed.

As for AA fares to be upgraded I'd look into Ecuador (Guayaquil and Quito) that have low Economy fares and often lie-flat equipment (787) with largely empty Business Class cabins.

NoraFernandez10 karma

What are your favorite countries? Any countries you would not go to?

mightytravels5 karma

Among my favorite countries are:

- Indonesia (Bali! but Indonesian are just the friendliest people on earth)

- Japan (almost equally friendly, so much to discover!)

- South Africa & Namibia (raw natural beauty, incredible value currently, easy to travel in)

- Uzbekistan (Samarkand has incredibly beautiful sights and history, shaky politics in Uzbekistan though)

- Kazakhstan (Almaty is an underrated city and the Alatau mountains are the perfect backdrop)

Tough countries:

- Somalia is just really dangerous (unless James takes you apparently :)

- Iran (political situation is just not favorable but many, many travelers have done it without issues, I am on the fence)

I still have lots of countries (and regions left) that I never had the chance to see for myself.

Have you been to a country that is tough to travel to?

edenkins9 karma

Is Premium Economy worth it for a flight Seoul to Seattle?

mightytravels13 karma

Seoul to Seattle is usually 8-10 hours of flying.

Delta offers Premium Economy (called Premium Select) and gets good reviews. It is like US Domestic First Class.

It really depends on the difference in price and your personal preferences - if you booked Economy already and there are upgrades available for $200 at check-in or less I would always go for it on a flight of that distance.

If you haven't booked check what is the price difference currently (monitor other carriers too, no need to just check Delta).

Also keep in mind if planes are really empty (many intl routes still are from/to Asia) you can likely score a 'Poor Men's Business Class' - i.e. an empty row (usually in the middle and back of aircraft). I have done that many times and find four Economy seats very comfortable to spend 10 hours on (you can often move seat cushions for a more snug fit).

You can use the airline website usually to see how full a plane will be (via the seat map) before booking anything.

joe6910139 karma

Flying Business Class on Lufthansa 747-8 next week. Bad idea?

mightytravels4 karma

Ha! Business Class is always a nice upgrade!

The problem with Lufthansa can be their seats. Lufthansa says it is lie-flat but it isn't really. I still sleep really well though oddly.

It also offers no privacy and while the upstairs cabin in the B747-8 gets a lot of accolades for being quieter it's still an old aircraft to be in (i.e. less humidity, lower pressure) than an A350.

Lufthansa is great in terms of catering and flight attendants can be great too (or really mean) in Premium Cabins.

Unless you are a jaded frequent flyer you'll enjoy :)

Samsafar5 karma

I am looking for cheap tickets from Chicago to SE Asia or India in August. They’re so expensive. Suggestions?

mightytravels5 karma

Indeed. SE Asia was covered very well with sub-$500/$400 fares by Chinese carries before the pandemic.

While South East Asia has opened up by now - China has not and the Chinese carriers have not restored frequencies.

I just checked in the dashboard - keep an eye on Etihad and Turkish which have good deals ($700+) for Round Trips in late summer/ fall. Earlier dates have Korean Air fares around $900.

These fares are more or less the same as before the pandemic - most non-Chinese carriers were in the $700+ range unless there was a fare sale.

TheLastBlowfish5 karma

Haven't flown in quite a number of years, have managed to visit all but one continent so far: South America. Any ideas on good places to go outside of Brazil? Already planning to go there with friends next Summer so I'm kinda fancying a chance adventure to a place that perhaps wouldn't often be considered as much as other more prominent South American destinations! Any guidance would be much appreciated xoxo

mightytravels7 karma

South America really is a great place!

I really liked El Calafate (Patagonia) and have been itching to go further south for a while (Ushuaia). Great adventure to be had there - you may even consider an Antarctica cruise which apparently can be had cheaper last minute from there (though I have not verified that).

Santiago de Chile is a great place for a few days and Valparaiso is a great day trip. Lot's of travelers also swear by the Atacama desert.

I personally enjoyed every single trip to Peru. Lima is a wonderful city, great beaches, awesome food, very quiet and pretty in the seaside neighborhoods just a short walk away from the center. Cusco and Machu Picchu is just a short flight away.

Colombia is a great as well with beaches (Cartagena) and high mountains (Bogota) in such close proximity and many smaller 'heritage cities' as well as Medellin in between. While still a bit dangerous (less so than Brazil!) it's so easy to travel and amazing value right now.

SLChurn2 karma

Can you share more about how your algorithm collects and highlights certain fares? One fare you shared recently, BUD-LAX on AY J has been around for a long time, but you just shared it once a post on FT highlighted it. I've noticed this pattern a lot, although do find things you've posted that haven't been posted elsewhere. Do you browse FT and other forums / websites / groups to find fares your algorithm missed? If so, what work is being done so you are able to find and highlight these fares first?

Additionally, could you help explain the process of combing through a seemingly infinite amount of filed fares between so many city pairs for so many dates and then determining if they are noteworthy? I enjoy looking at fares in EF, having a read through the fare rules, and tinkering around to see what I can build on ITA Matrix but it is a laborious process! Are there any premium fare deals that seem to be recurring that you regularly jump on when they come back around?

mightytravels6 karma

We screen almost all fares that are being updated by the major airlines every day (GDS). In addition we also check most discount airlines that do not file in GDS (i.e. Spirit, Ryanair etc).

We only include fares that are great deals (decided by our 'secret sauce' algorithm).

Now our travel concierges look through those and select which ones might be most appealing to subscribers. Is there overlap with FT or other sites? Quite possibly but it is really up to the individual 'travel concierge'.

In our experience it the majority of great fares are often 'found' by our algos and later published on blogs and other sites without reference. I know that has been a problem for FT Premium fares forum too and much of the debate went into private groups. Well we believe in sharing information - information really 'wants to be free' :)

Experts like you (and others on FT) have a great repository of knowledge about the best fares globally and they often have such deep knowledge that they can make these fares even better (more miles flown or free stops etc).

That is a fascinating process and indeed very laborious. In my experience this is a still a heavily expert driven and manual process. We replicate this to an extent with AI but it's more fair to say we are a pre-screen model for anyone with expert knowledge such as yours who can take the 'best candidates' further for their own research.