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Hiring Pros to get your frequent flier tickets

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Jun 27th, 2012, 02:29 PM
  #1
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Hiring Pros to get your frequent flier tickets

I found this article in the NYT interesting and thought others would too.
http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/07/01...escue.html?hpw
Kathie is online now  
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Jun 27th, 2012, 04:04 PM
  #2
 
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I don't pay money for people to do what I can do.

I also don't release personal information to some third party.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 04:58 PM
  #3
 
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All 3 services have been vetted over and over again as providing good albeit expensive services. I have known Mr. Leff personally for over 10 years and he is a true expert at finding award seats for primarily international trips. I wouldn't hesitate to book with any of the 3 services mentioned.
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Jun 28th, 2012, 08:17 AM
  #4
 
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I think this is a good option for some people, especially for people who have miles in multiple accounts. Learning all of the options (carriers, routes, partners, etc) and rules takes time. I could see that a pro would be able to accumulate a lot of helpful knowledge. Even if they can't find exactly what one client wants the information gained in that search might help another (just like my own award search experience has helped fodorites). But I LIKE doing it myself.

>>I don't pay money for people to do what I can do.<<
I get your point, but this reasoning is why my apartment is less than spotless.
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Jun 28th, 2012, 01:36 PM
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I like doing it myself, but sometimes the "expert" is worth the cost.
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Jul 11th, 2012, 03:30 PM
  #6
 
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Leff did a good job for me on a trip to Spain a few years ago. Was complicated (for me) because we flew to Paris, then to Barcelona, then train to MAD, then returned to US from Madrid. Used AMEX membership rewards for first class, and he helped navigate process to convert points by enrolling in what was then Continental One Pass. He is efficient and nice fella. I hate booking and hassle so, for me, was well worth it. Maybe not for others..
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Jul 16th, 2012, 06:07 PM
  #7
 
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I do everything myself as well, but it's very time consuming and I would probably be better off doing my real work and paying a professional.

To convert Amex points (which requires advanced booking skills because you need to make sure there's availability before you transfer points), many of our friends use an expert who posts on FlyerTalk.

He charges $200-$300 and has been gotten some impressive business and first class award tickets for friends, including a first class RTW trip with stops in Copenhagen, Bangalore and BKK for 100,000 miles.

He gets creative - for a high-season trip to Turkey, he broke up a family and have half fly out of two different domestic airports then meet up for the international leg. He also seems to have inside info not available on each airline's award site. I always question whether I could have gotten a better deal, and I could see using a professional.
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