web Musings of The Global Traveller

Friday, July 31, 2009

Frequent Flyer Friday #2

Celebrating Friday with a short interview with a frequent flyer.

Brett - Cranky Flier

Brett is a proud airline dork who writes the popular consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier. He has worked for several airlines in revenue management, marketing and strategy. Through his blog he shares his industry insight with a snarky twist.

First, some questions to see what kind of frequent flyer Brett is.

What is your home airport?
Brett - Long Beach, but I fly out of Los Angeles LAX just as often.

What is the airline you usually fly?
Brett - At Long Beach it is JetBlue more often than not. My wife is from Indiana, so we usually take the Northwest, er, Delta nonstop from LAX on that trip.

Which of the following best describes your flying pattern?
- infrequent (eg annual) leisure trip
× jetsetting for pleasure
- frequent (eg monthly) business travel
- road warrior
- mileage runner- I live on planes

How do you mostly earn your frequent flyer miles?
- promos
× credit card spend
- business and leisure travel
- taking extra flights on trips I need to take
- mileage running

Please describe how you travel in 4 words
Brett - nonstop, good value, convenient

Travel would be very different today if it always matched those four words! Now for some advice from Brett.

What is inside your carry-on bag right now?
Brett - I've used the same bag for 5 years now - a soft-sided gym bag that can fit under the seat or in the bin. It's mostly full of clothes, but you'll also find my flight log, a book or a magazine or two, headphones, and a couple of ziploc bags with my toiletries.

Please give a tip on travel.
Brett - Pack light. That's probably the best tip I have, because the tendency is always to overpack when you travel and its a waste. Just pack light and you'll be just fine. It'll make for easier travel.

What is your preferred airline for regular travel?
Brett - I like flying JetBlue because I can fly them out of Long Beach and that makes life much easier for me. Plus, I love the TV and the extra legroom. When it comes to the big guys, I like Delta these days. The TV on longer flights is nice, and the buy on board is really good. I'm looking forward to trying wifi sometime soon. They can also fly me from Long Beach, and connecting in Salt Lake City is fine. The nonstop to Indianapolis is a big bonus for us.

What is your preferred airline for a special trip?
Brett - One of my favourites is Air New Zealand. I've flown them once between London and LA, and it was a special experience. I really like the whole onboard product, the concierge, the more casual kiwi style, and the New Zealand wine. I like British Airways as well. I'm kind of an anglophile and the proper British service always appeals to me.

What is your preferred frequent flyer program?
Brett - I actually don't have one. I keep my points with Starwood, and I have my SPG Amex by my side at all times. When it comes to airlines, I'm miles agnostic. I make my choices based on a combination of schedule, onboard product, and price.

Please give a tip on frequent flyer programs.
Brett - Don't get hung up on them. If you're a super frequent flyer, it makes sense to get elite status, but if you're not then you're much better off just looking for the best experience. Stick with a program like Starwood and you can use your points with tremendous flexibility.

Finally, I have to ask about some posts on your blog. You've given Alitalia the tagline of "worst airline ever". What would it take for you to fly Alitalia?
Brett - That tagline is mostly about the way the airline is run and not necessarily their onboard product. I actually want to fly them in Europe just to say I've flown them. I don't think I'd fly them over the Atlantic because there are better options. I prefer to fly with airlines that don't experience random strikes.

Thanks Brett for sharing some great advice. I haven't given up hope on reading a future Alitalia trip report on The Cranky Flier. Have a great weekend.

Editor's note - SPG has a very wide range of airline partners. Gary Leff of View from the Wing describes SPG Amex as the single best all-round mileage earning credit card.

For other frequent flyer friday posts please check out the index. If you have any questions you'd like answered, or wish to nominate someone for an interview, please drop me a line using the please use the contact me link. For all sorts of reasons I can't make any guarantees, but if you're interested chances are others are too and so we'll get some good interviews.

1 comment:

Anil said...

Nice interview and good advice from Brett.