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Ed Pizza: The Joys of Camping, episode number 4,365.
Spotify.

Richard Kerr: What was that? Don't do that again. Make sure we weren't recording. Oh, we're recording.

Ed Pizza: When Richard says, "I had to look down and see if we were recording", you know you missed the good stuff.

Audio: Climb a board. This is the Miles To Go Podcast, your source for the latest in travel news, reviews and strategies you can't afford to miss. And now here's your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.

Ed Pizza: Hey guys. Welcome back to the Miles To Go Podcast. Mr. Kerr is up in the mountains, camping and I am sitting here at home with working heat and thankful that I don't own an RV right now. All is right in the world. How are you doing, Richard?

Richard Kerr: Pretty good, man. I had this lovely idea to go for a nice spring weekend in the North Georgia mountains. And now we're going to get snow tonight. Come on, man. It's going to be super windy too. We were going to do these hikes and stuff and I don't know if the kids are going to hold up in 40 mile an hour, chilly winds in the mountains. So we'll see. We'll see what happens, man, but I'm excited to be back out of here. I'm in a lovely camps spot up in the mountains, right on the river. It's the coolest place.

Ed Pizza: And just to clarify so far on the block is, the stove isn't working and two electrical outlets aren't working, but everything else is working.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. And I just think the airlines or the propane lines to the stove are still full of air from sitting all winter. So I got to figure out how to bleed all the air out, but down two outlets. But everything else, man, you always hold your breath when you're coming out of the winter to see what's working and everything, but so far so good on the old Keystone Passport.

Ed Pizza: I think it's cute that you say you hold your breath coming out of the winter, because I pretty much held my breath every time I hitch the trailer up, something broken pretty much every time. So I don't envy Jeremiah, our podcast producer, but I got to leave at least a little bit in here, because we would definitely be covering up the best parts of camping if I didn't note that, right there in the middle of talking about Richard's camping trip, the brand new super, super fast wifi died at his campsite and he had to disconnect and reconnect his personal hotspot.

Richard Kerr: Always have a backup man. Oh, speaking of... A guy I went high school with messaged me last night. He's looking at buying an RV. But what's interest is, he works professionally, in the rural broadband industry. So his job is to go and get internet to people out in the boonies. And he is testing Starlink right now, Elon Musk's WiFi for everybody across the world deal. And I've looked at it before, but it's not meant to be mobile yet, but he's actually testing the mobile version of Starlink. And he sent me some screenshots and pictures of his antenna outside. He was getting 192 meg download speed from Starlink, in the middle of nowhere with his receiver. And he is like, "I'm going around everywhere with this thing right now." And I was like, "Dude, as soon as that's up and running, let me know, man."

Ed Pizza: Yeah. How much is Starling going?

Richard Kerr: So you got to buy... I think it's 400 or 500 bucks to buy the receiver and the hardware. And then, every month I think it's $90 right now, and it's unlimited.

Ed Pizza: Mm.

Richard Kerr: So if you're going to be living on the road when they make it mobile and it stays that price, then sign me up, man? That's a whole new generation of people working from the road, from RV van life, whatever you want to do.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. And anybody who's listening, who believes that Richard's going to pay $90 a month for WiFi in his RV, hasn't been listening.

Richard Kerr: If I didn't have to pay for WiFi at home and this was my home, then I sure would, if I was getting 190 megs out in the middle of nowhere.

Ed Pizza: But then you'd need two sets of gear, because you need to set of gear at your house and a set of gear on the trailer.

Richard Kerr: Oh, yeah. I guess that's true too.

Ed Pizza: Don't you hate when I bring facts to the podcast?

Richard Kerr: Yeah. Stop doing that. Quit speaking your truths to me. All right. What are we talk about today, man? What's going on in the travel world?

Ed Pizza: We should talk about travel and we'll start with a couple of questions, but for folks who are listening in, we've got a big backlog of questions as usual, which I love, if you sent us a question I promise we've got you in queue. If you do want to leave us a question, you can leave us a voicemail or a text 571-293-6659. You can email Ed at pizzainmotion.com and you can find us on social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all @pizzainmotion and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Richard Kerr: TikTok.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. Still not on the TikTok, but maybe next week. I'll just keep saying that over and over and over. And if you like listening us, to goobers, we would love it if you would take a moment to leave us a five star rating and a review. Spotify spun up reviews a couple months ago and those are really helpful. So if you haven't left us a review on Spotify, please do so, you'll find a link in the show notes. That would be super, awesome helpful.

Richard Kerr: I actually didn't know they did that. Yeah. Keep me informed, man.

Ed Pizza: You really are a podcaster, because I've mentioned that before, on the show.

Richard Kerr: In Spotify?

Ed Pizza: Yeah.

Richard Kerr: Oh.

Ed Pizza: Spotify.

Richard Kerr: What was that? I don't don't do that again. Whatever that was.

Ed Pizza: Yeah.

Richard Kerr: It's spicy this Friday.

Ed Pizza: I am spicy. All right. So first, a little bit of heads up from one of our listeners, Mary, commenting on Richard's research into the world of EV charging and earning credit card rewards. Mary says, "Hi Ed. I recently had to read your question, asking about credit card rewards for electric vehicle charging. Richard's answer left me wanting to dive in deeper."

Richard Kerr: Ooh.

Ed Pizza: "The US Bank Altitude Connect give 4X back on gas and EV purchase. Love your show and the bromance that you and Richard have." I don't really know what a bromance is, but it does not sound appealing in any way, shape or form, to me.

Richard Kerr: Take three things out of it. First of all. Thanks Mary, for writing. First thing I take out of it is, I leave people wanting more, Ed. That's what she said. Richard's answer left me wanting to dive in deeper. That's awesome. Second is, US Bank Altitude Connect card earns cash back or what was it, 4X points or 4%? Was it cashback or points?

Ed Pizza: That's a good question. So it says, it says 4x back. So I'm going to say, gives you 4X back. So I'm going to guess that's cashback, but I'm not terribly familiar with Altitude Connect, you know a little bit more about US Bank than I do. Let me see if I can look while you're talking.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, but gas and EV charging, that's handy if your family has got a gas car and then a Tesla, that'd be cool. And then the bromance comment, we got to do a photo shoot, man. We could get some awesome bromance podcast, cover art going on and sign photos for people. They go crazy over it, man. There's somebody for everybody. Just remember that.

Ed Pizza: There is somebody for everybody. I'm not sure I'm for you, but the US Bank Altitude Connect website does say 4X points on travel at gas stations and EV charging stations. I do know that card has a cashback feature. I just don't know if it's one to one. I would assume it's one to one on points for cashback.

Richard Kerr: You can redeem instantly on travel, through the app as well. People talk about the card. I think it still gets overlooked, because it doesn't have any transfer partners or anything, but I need to go take another look at that again.

Ed Pizza: It's got some pretty solid bonus categories. Up until Venture X came out, 5X on prepaid hotels and car rentals. Would've been nice, 4X on travel and then 2x at grocery stores, grocery delivery services, dining and streaming, which is nice. And it looks like it comes with a... Oh it's only an annual credit. I was all excited. It's a $30 credit for streaming services. But then it says annual, $30 credit a month for streaming services would be Mac Daddy. But this is a $95 annual fee card. So that does make some sense that you'd only get a $30 annual credit. So good stuff there, Mary, thanks for writing in. It's funny because the way she worded it, EV purchase, I almost for a brief minute, thought that meant that you could buy a Tesla and get four point per dollar. And then I was actually thinking, I wanted to get this card and buy a Tesla.

Richard Kerr: But you don't, because I don't want to sit in the parking lot, somewhere for 30 minutes while the car recharges. I want to go.

Ed Pizza: No, I mean I wanted to buy a Tesla on the card.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, don't do that. You don't want a Tesla. I hear wild things about Tesla, man. Some people love them and some people just rant against the quality, and then if something breaks and you need service, apparently it's really bad.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. That wouldn't surprise me. There's no Tesla dealerships too close to me here. So we have a few more loose questions. We're also going to talk a little bit about Hyatt's new, all inclusive awards chart and a pretty nifty way to use SimplyMiles to help get your elite status with Uber on a nice double dip. But before we do that, let's dig in, Josh wrote us a comment as a follow-up to a previous show. And I wanted to reply back on that, because there's two things in here and it brings up a couple of comments that folks have had, asking about the Conrad versus Crockfords at Resorts World. And then also, a question about Cosmopolitan. So first on Conrad and Crockfords, so for folks who may not have listened to last week's show, first off, shame on you. Second-

Richard Kerr: That will teach you if you don't listen to us, we'll shame you.

Ed Pizza: Darn it. Yeah. There's three properties at Resorts World in Vegas, which is the newest casino resort in Vegas.

Richard Kerr: And you're a big fan.

Ed Pizza: I'm a very big fan, yeah. And so they're all Hilton properties. So there's an actual, regular just Hilton, Hilton. There's the Conrad, which is their mid-tier property and Crockfords, which is their top tier property. For clarity, even the Hilton is nicer than many of the rooms in Las Vegas. Pretty much, I would say, nicer than almost everything on the strip, other than when Encore and maybe Venetian. I even would say the Hilton rooms are on par with Bellagio, just because I haven't stayed in a fully renovated Bellagio room yet. The rooms are nice, but the bathrooms are real worn at Bellagio. Conrad is their "mid tier property", but it's pretty, quite luxurious. Now, they don't have the sunken living rooms like some of the nicer rooms in Vegas, but beautifully appointed all the technology stuff you'd expect, things like that. And then, Crockfords is their high end property. And so, the big difference between Conrad and Crockfords is just the luxury touch, the concierge to walk into the elevator, there's T service when you check in at the front desk.

Richard Kerr: Somebody walks you to the elevator?

Ed Pizza: Yeah.

Richard Kerr: Why?

Ed Pizza: That's what they do at luxury properties, brother.

Richard Kerr: Oh, okay.

Ed Pizza: Well, okay.

Richard Kerr: As he sits in his RV.

Ed Pizza: Right, exactly. Yeah. They didn't walk you to your RV?

Richard Kerr: Actually, they did. The dudes escort you on the golf cart and he was... I digress. Yeah, go.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, you do digress. And Crocks rooms, super nice bathrooms, rain shower heads, oversized showers, all that stuff. There are a lot of similarities between the Conrad rooms and the Crockfords rooms in terms of size and amenities. I do think Crockfords is certainly a step above Conrad, but I wouldn't spend a ton. And this goes back to the other question that we had from Peyton, and he was asking about the difference. So the FHR benefits are similar for Conrad and Crockford. So really ,the only reason to jump to Crock in my opinion is if the spread of rate is less than $50 a night, and some people might even make the spread tighter than that on a longer stay. But Crockfords is a nicer sub property than Conrad, subsection quieter, all that stuff. But I wouldn't spend a ton more per night for it, especially because for the most part, if you're staying in a regular room in Vegas, not some Mac Daddy suite, you shouldn't be in your room, there's just a million things to do in Vegas. So you shouldn't spend a ton of time in your room.

Richard Kerr: It's always what I've wondered on. You're in Vegas all the time, but the times I've gone, staying in a nice place is cool, but I'm not in the room.

Ed Pizza: Right.

Richard Kerr: So the folks that's spend $400 or $500 bucks a night on a room in Vegas, I don't know, not for me, but I'm way behind on, going and visiting this Resorts World. I've heard everybody talk about it, heard you talk about it all the time. So you're long overdue taking me for a tour. So let's put it on the calendar for me and we can podcast from Resorts World.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. You just let me know. I would be happy to burn my Hilton points, to put you up at Resorts World so that you could review it. And we can live podcast from Kusa Nori, which is my favorite restaurant there.

Richard Kerr: We can have a crowd, we'll set up chairs. We won't tell anybody we're doing it. We'll just set up chairs and we'll start talking, see how many-

Ed Pizza: How many, three, four?

Richard Kerr: See how many people sit down and start... In Japan, how everybody just stands in a line, if you start line people just stand in it. I saw it. People make that joke, but I literally saw it, for three years. We should do that, how many people can we get to sit down and listen to us at Resorts World.

Ed Pizza: Well, if we're going to do that, then we should absolutely do the podcast in the Hello Kitty, Kitty Speakeasy. So that would be my call there.

Richard Kerr: I keep hearing about that too. Ah, long overdue.

Ed Pizza: Pretty much it. So the second part of Peyton's question was, he wanted to know if there were similar benefits for Cosmopolitan... Sorry. Josh's question. We had two separate questions. So Josh asked about Cosmopolitan and benefits there for booking through our buddy Michael Traeger. And so, Cosmopolitan does have a program called Luminous, benefits are very similar. You get breakfast, you do get the $100 credit to use around the resort, which are both things that a Marriot Titanium would not get. You also get autograph lounge check-in, which I believe you get as a Titanium. And then you also get suite upgrades, obviously, subject to availability. So, there are some good benefits there that you can't get through booking on the old internets that Mr. Traeger can help you with. So hope that helps. If you have more follow-ups on Conrad and Crockfords, Cosmo, Vegas, all that stuff.
Just let me know. Of course, as I am in Vegas every two or three weeks, and I've learned an immense amount about Vegas over the past handful of years as I've been doing that. So let's take a step back here a second and look at this new Hyatt all inclusive awards chart, because I'm curious what your thoughts are on it. I literally put this in the chat between Richard and I, and you and I have literally not talked one minute about it other than, "Hey, we're going to talk about it on the show today." So as the king of value propositions, I am curious what your opinion is on the new A, B, C, D, E, and F award categories for all inclusives at Hyatt.

Richard Kerr: Yeah, the background being eight months ago, Hyatt said, "We're buying 100 Apple Leisure Group properties that are all inclusive." And these are brands that I've always heard of and I'm now I'm super curious to go check out, secrets and dreams, all inclusive things that you see all around the Caribbean and some really obscure places in Europe that would be really cool to visit. And within eight months they've got, what is it? Six... How many properties are up right now?

Ed Pizza: They have six now, crosstalk. And 50 that are coming due in like three weeks.

Richard Kerr: And they created a new award chart for these, which I can't say very surprising, because Hyatt has different award charts already from Miravals and all inclusives Ziva and Zilara. And now they have basically, six tiers and they've numbered them A through F, that's right? Numbered them, A through F, starts at 15,000 points for A, and it's up to 50,000 points for F. Now there's off peak and peak as well. So you're talking as much as 58,000 and points per night for a top tier luxury, all inclusive, which we don't have any live in the F yet. So we're not sure what that's going to entail, all the way down to 12,000 points for a room in tier A. These are for standard rooms. There's also additional rates if you want to do clubs, standard suites, premium suites, and then if you want to add additional people. So the properties that went live look to be in tier C and D.
So 25 or 30,000 points per night. And I think number one, I think it's fair. They have 58,000 points is a lot, but if it's going to be a place that's two or three grand a night, all inclusive luxury, then cool. The only ones that are live right now that I've heard people talk about, not even going to be able to say it right, but Zoetry Paraiso de La Bonita Riviera Maya apparently-

Ed Pizza: Well played, well played.

Richard Kerr: I'm a skilled linguist, Ed. Apparently this place, the base rooms are suites, really awesome place. And it's category C with 25,000 points per night for all inclusive, for a place that at first glance of people's comments is apparently great. The comments about Secrets and Dreams are what I've always imagined it to be where it's like, "Man, all inclusive type food and all inclusive type right drinks."
And if that's your thing, then cool. But I don't know if anything that's convinced me to go do it, except for the sake of checking out what a Secrets or Dreams is. So I think the tiers are fair. Again, we'll see what comes out when it's really expensive, but if it gives you that value prop, Gary Leff did some analysis, and then he's showing two to three cent per point value already at the six resorts that have launched, based on how expensive they are, which is cool. So over all, I think it's a great addition to Hyatt. I do want to see where they plug in the different properties, if they really are luxury or if there are some great values out there. It is a lot of Hyatt points, man. When I look at this chart and just thinking how difficult Hyatt points are to get, but if it represents great value, which so far it does, then cool. Let's keep adding on more places to go visit and see the world with Hyatt points.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. And you brought up Zoetry and I had pulled some rates on that before we hopped on, because that was one that I focused on. I'm in the same opinion of Dreams and Secrets and I'll loop back on those in just a second. But what I saw in Zoetry was, I think the cheapest rates I found were $600 a night plus taxes and fees and stuff like that. So to Gary's point, I don't think it's hard to get what I would consider to be a reasonable value for your points at these places. Just as a side note to Mary's comments earlier, the Zetry does have the romance ocean front, one bedroom suite. So I guess if you and I went, that would be the bromance, ocean front, one bedroom suite.

Richard Kerr: I am not sharing all inclusive room with you, because I'm not all inclusive. You got to pay al la carte for me.

Ed Pizza: I will not be getting any sides or dessert. So this is actually, the Zoetry is in what's called Riviera Maya, which is south of Cancun, in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It's actually roughly, the area where my wife and I honeymooned, very adventurous honeymoon, many, many, many, many years ago, 20 years this year, by the way, Mr Kerr.

Richard Kerr: Oh. You got married when you were 48? That's weird.

Ed Pizza: I know. So I'm not a huge fan of Cancun proper, I do like the Riviera Maya area. There's some pretty awesome properties down there. Didn't you go down there to that Riviera Maya, Maya Coba, right?

Richard Kerr: We did. We went down Maya Coba with Summer and Julian.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I was supposed to go, we actually had a trip planned before Summer's party, and then I couldn't make it to Summer's birthday party, but that's a sweet property. There's a Rosewood down there. There's definitely some luxury stuff in Rivera Maya. So definitely think there's value there. I've always had the same opinion of places like Dreams and Secrets as you have. And I think this goes back to just how fortunate that we've been with points and miles. I've always found that I could get reservations at really great hotels for vacations. It never really felt like I needed to compromise on the all inclusive sort of thing to be able to afford a vacation. And so, we've done some of the Hyatt all inclusives, and I'm going to apologize ahead of time because I can never remember if Ziva or Zilara is the family brand.

Richard Kerr: That's funny. I can't either and I've said them a hundred thousand times.

Ed Pizza: So, Hyatt has two brands that they started and these were properties that they acquired from other timeshare folks. So Zilara is the family friendly one. Sorry, Ziva is the family. So we've done-

Richard Kerr: Thanks for clearing that up.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, see. But I wish they had different letters to start them, because I'm too dumb to remember. So we actually did the Hyatt Ziva in San Jose el Cabo, which is just outside of Cabo San Lucas. And we really enjoyed it. I was shocked at how good the food was on the buffet. And so, it was one of those throwaway vacations that we threw together. And I ended up being really pleased, I got a huge suite upgrade there. We had a massive two bedroom suite, and the food was really good. So I was cautiously optimistic about all inclusives and I think Hyatt did a really good job with the Ziva product.
It's not the only one that we've visited so far and I've heard positive comments from other folks that have visited Zivas and Zilaras, Dreams and Secrets. Those are the things where, from folks I've heard of these are more affordable all inclusives. I would expect that the food quality there wouldn't be super awesome. And I'm also not a huge drinker, which is I think where you get a lot of the value from all inclusives, for some folks. And that just wouldn't bring up a bunch of value pounding Coors Lights beside Richard at the bar.

Richard Kerr: And that's what you need, to drink there.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. Right, exactly. So I think that I'm going to be interested to see the next chunk of properties that come on board, because I think there'll be some really interesting ones. As you said, the ALG has some interesting properties and some little nooks and crannies around the world. And I think the prices are relatively fair. I also think that one of the things I like is, the way they built this award chart, now there are defined prices for additional points per person, which was a little bit of a gray area in the beginning, with Ziva and Zilara. So if you're bringing more than two people, the room price is based on double occupancy. And then from there, you can add on a third or a fourth person. And the other nice thing about these properties is, all these properties will fold in for the globalist suite upgrade, a benefit as well.
So you can actually score a suite upgrade ahead of time at one of these all inclusives, which could make it a huge value prop.

Richard Kerr: It's huge.

Ed Pizza: And the other thing that... I think Gary touched on this in his story, we'll link to Gary's story in the show notes. But I think the other thing to point out here is, again, the big knock on Hyatt, which I've consistently debunked is that they have so many fewer properties than the other hotel chains. And I've always said, having six mediocre properties in Williamsburg, Virginia, doesn't make you six times better than Hyatt. I'm looking at you Marriott. And the nice thing about this all inclusive add-on is, it is going to bump into some cities where Hyatt doesn't have properties now.
And so, it'll continue to round out the map with some interesting places to visit. And that's what I really love about something like this. You might not necessarily want an all inclusive, but you'll probably pick up 50, maybe 60 new markets by the time all this is done, where you'll now be able to stay with your Hyatt points, where you didn't used to be able to stay before. And again, you might not have seven properties in that market, like Marriott or Hilton, but you'll have a legit option to redeem your points there.

Richard Kerr: I'm looking forward to finally trying these out. I still have not been to Ziva and Zilara, which is embarrassing at this point, because people ask me about it all the time. So it's time to, although we had a couple years off, it's time to book these. And then I'm really looking forward to, I think, in May another 50 properties are going to be on board. So I'm sure there's going to be some awesome locations that wouldn't have been able to use points to go visit before. I think they got what is it, the Canary Islands and some places in Portugal, so just I'm really looking forward to it. And I think it's obviously a great value for Hyatt points.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, exactly. Some of those places I think, are going to be great dots to get on the map. And so we'll certainly be eager to see that stuff come up, and more to come on that as well. I also want to touch on one other story that you put in the notes that was also from our buddy Gary, of View from the Wing. And then, we'll see if we can't squeeze in a few more listener questions, but I love the bits and pieces that are coming out of SimplyMiles that are helping folks get elite status. And on this one, why don't you tee it up? It's a nice double dip if you have your Uber account connected to Marriott as well.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. So if you haven't used SimplyMiles, you just register MasterCard, link it, and then you activate the offer on SimplyMiles website. And offer can be for any kinds of different merchants. And in this case, you earn bonus American miles, both redeemable and loyalty points. So the offer that Gary brings up is get 465 American miles on any Uber trip purchased through the Uber app, expires May 31st, and you can do it four times. So 465 times four, let me do a quick math in my head, 1,860. I can do it that fast, or I can just read what Gary wrote here.

Ed Pizza: I was going to say, there's no way you did that math in your head.

Richard Kerr: I think I could do it. 1,860 loyalty points, which it's just another great double dip, to go and get miles and status for American without flying, which has rubbed a lot of people in the wrong way. I personally am enjoying the new program this year, continue to enjoy American miles. And then, SimplyMiles is just great. And then, I got to take Ubers for work so I link my card, pay for the Uber ride with my MasterCard and 1860 loyalty points closer to another year of Executive Platinum. American is forcing my hand to engage with the program, by offering me value. That's all I can say. There's an article this week and the points guy that was talking about the new programs, "What's the point of being low anymore." And American continues to give me value on everyday life. Things like commuting to work and is forcing my hand to engage with the program where otherwise I wouldn't. So that's why I'm bullish on this.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, I agree. And this is the only way I'm actually earning Marriott points right now, because the Marriott stays I've had in 2022, have all been on my Venture X card. So my Uber rides are how I'm earning Marriott points. And for folks that are in the miles and points world, it's always been second nature to us to look for double dip opportunities. But I think for folks who listen into the show, who maybe are either newbies, or only have a card or two in your wallet and you're trying to figure out how to travel for free or for cheap. I think double dips are the way that the everyday person really supersizes their points balance. So in this case, being able to earn some Marriott points and being able to earn American Airlines miles, and being able to earn credit towards elite status, that's a great plus.
And maybe you won't have enough spend on SimplyMiles style transactions this year to earn elite status, but at a bare minimum, it's a great double dip. And if you can somehow, as Richard said, somehow uses to leverage your way into some level of elite status with American. Well that's a big plus, for folks who don't have status, you're talking things like free checked bags, maybe the occasional upgrade. I think we've really got to wait to see how many people qualify for status and what it looks like for complimentary upgrades. I'm still a little skeptical on how many complimentary upgrades I'll clear. I think that's probably the biggest draw back to what American has rolled out, but to Gary's point and Richard's point with this, 1,860 points is 6% of elite status on American. So it's not going to be hard with these opportunities throughout the year, to earn some level of status with American Airlines. And some level of status is never a bad thing, especially when things go sideways as they often do.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. Or if you just want that better economy seat. Engage with the American program and make your life a little bit easier if you're ever going to fly American. And you might as well take the bonus redeemable miles, which you can use, whether you detest American or not, you still want American miles because you want to redeem on their partners. So I don't see the downside here, but I agree with you. It'd be interested to see how the upgrade process works. I flew to Philly twice in the last few weeks, which is obviously an American hub. So instead of competing with nobody, for upgrades out of Atlanta, I was competing with a few folks. And now, the upgrade list is first by status. And the second by how many loyalty points you have.
So I was curious what I was going to be on the upgrade list, still number one or down on the flight to Philly. And I was number three on the upgrade list, which is the first time in two years I haven't been number one or number two. So I guess there's a lot of other people engaging with the program as well. Because I have close to 40,000 loyalty points now, and it's just the beginning of April. So two other folks at least, had more than 40,000 loyalty points already. So I just thought it was an interesting to add a point.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, it is interesting to add a point, and you bring up a good point which I hadn't thought of, because I just booked a trip for my cousin to come hang out with us for spring break this year. And because she doesn't have status and I can't select seats for someone else, and somebody will correct me if I'm wrong about this, but when I'm booking a ticket for someone else, it won't let me give them preferred seats with my status, like United used to do.

Richard Kerr: Correct.

Ed Pizza: And so, she's traveling with her daughter, who's nine and the only seats together in the plane were ones that could be purchased. And it was one of those things like it's spring break. I didn't really want to gamble on her, not being able to sit with her nine year old daughter. So I paid for seat assignments for them. And I think I paid $85 for the two of them for a one way, connecting flight from upstate New York down to Florida. So that was a little painful.

Richard Kerr: Ouch.

Ed Pizza: And you're absolutely right. If earning elite status got me out of spending money like that, I would definitely be key on focusing. I think the other thing here too, to note is, especially with this promotion, but I think with a lot of the stuff that's coming up, it's not like you have to give up something else here, because a lot of these things are through portals. So a lot of times the portal offers are similar. So maybe United has a bigger bonus promotion right now on say, Apple versus unit versus American, but they're typically all run by the same company or companies. And they typically offer roughly the same sort of value. So unless you're taking cash back and deciding to take miles instead, you aren't really giving anything up by just making sure that you're focusing your airline portal usage more on America than on the other carrier.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. The art of the stack continues to be crucial. Whether you're saving on groceries or you're saving on gas, or whether you're trying to earn points or miles, I constantly think about how am I going to stack this. Which actually gets to a very annoying point in your own brain where you get decision fatigue and you can't make a transaction, because you feel like you're leaving something on the table. So don't get to that point, but just be aware of what's going on.

Ed Pizza: And be aware of Richard's humor thing. When you get to that point.

Richard Kerr: Ah, I'm a poet and I didn't know it.

Ed Pizza: You see how I built that up there?

Richard Kerr: I see what you did there.

Ed Pizza: Yeah. I know you saw what I did there. And because our recording software decided not to cooperate with us today, we are running later than usual and I am up against a little bit of a hard stop to record my other podcast. If you want to hear me say semi-intelligent things about the business world, you can check out the Results Junkies Podcast.

Richard Kerr: I just want to hear you say semi-intelligent things anyways. Why do you save that for the other podcast? I feel like I'm being cheated down.

Ed Pizza: I need an eject button. Anybody wants to put in an application to be a co-host, just shoot us an email or a text.

Richard Kerr: You just chill out with that talk, all right?

Ed Pizza: I'll see you at the Zoetry.

Richard Kerr: Ooh, yes.

Ed Pizza: Vidanta Riviera Maya. But anyway, that's going to be a full wrap this week. I still didn't... Oh, no. Sorry. Okay. I got to leave one last thing, because it was a huge win for me. So long story short, everybody who says you should get to the gate at the last minute, I think there are a lot of reasons why you should get to the gate early. That's just me. And one of them is the fact that I showed up my normal, early, by the time they call it, usually at least 10 or 15 minutes before boarding starts. And the the gate agents in New Orleans, when I was coming back from the Final Four, still crying in my beer about Duke, losing to North Carolina, they were completely flustered from problems earlier in the day. And they weren't waiting at all to see how things would shake out. They needed one volunteer and they went right to saying, "We need one volunteer for this flight to take a later flight. And we are offering a $2,000 voucher." And my ass was at the counter-

Richard Kerr: Yes, please.

Ed Pizza: In a heartbeat.

Richard Kerr: That's fast as Ed's moved in 20 years.

Ed Pizza: Exactly.

Richard Kerr: Hurdling the chairs at the gate area.

Ed Pizza: And while they had me coming home Tuesday, when I was supposed to be flying home Sunday night, I very quickly started like, "Mm-hmm (affirmative)..."

Richard Kerr: We'll sort that out later, just give me the two grand.

Ed Pizza: Yeah, exactly. So I refresh, refresh, and over the course of the next 45 minutes while they boarded my flight, improved my flight three times. And since my original flight was delayed two hours, the dust settled on a total of, just shy of a four hour delay for a $2,000 voucher, which I then set a world record for quickest voucher redemption time, ever.

Richard Kerr: Yeah. You got rid of that real fast.

Ed Pizza: Yes. And before I even boarded the flight, I had the voucher spent on a family vacation to Halifax for the summer, to go visit family. So I feel pretty awesome about that, largest voucher I've ever by far.

Richard Kerr: Man, it's been years since I got a voucher. I was actually offered one for the Elite 8 game. I was flying Atlanta Philly, landing three hours before tip off. And whenever you check in for a flight on American, sometimes they say, "Hey, we're already looking for volunteers. Put your number in here." And I always max it out, whatever the max is like, "Sure." And when they started boarding, they pulled me to the side and they're like, "Oh, Mr Kerr, we saw you're on the list. Can you do it for $600?" And I was like, "I can't miss the game." I was like, "Oh, come on. Any other time, yes." But I was like, "I can't." So I always put it in there, not that they've never called me before. So whatever, but daggummit man. Yeah, I would've done it if we could.

Ed Pizza: I always get called when I have to be there for a meeting. So that's the first bump voucher I've taken in a very long time. And family was happy to have me show up a little bit later in order to pay for our family vacation, which is a great segue into, we still have not had enough time for me to go over my family vacation plans for the summer. So we're going to have to punt that at least another week, especially if we get Summer and Julian to get out with us next week and we punt it, yet another week. You traveling this week, other than freezing your ass off camping?

Richard Kerr: Nope. Staying here for a long weekend. By the time everybody's listening to this, I will be able to recap how cold I was.

Ed Pizza: Nice.

Richard Kerr: I'll be home.

Ed Pizza: And we are spring breaking. So I'll have more on my spring break trip when we record again. Truly special. Can't wait to see you, Mr Kerr, at the Freddy Awards just right around the corner.

Richard Kerr: It is man. It's right around the corner. You going back to your old home in New Orleans where Ed lives now.

Ed Pizza: Good Lord, feels like I'm there every week. But I have bribed the guy at the door at Acme Oyster House multiple times, over past few weeks.

Richard Kerr: I'm counting on it. I need gumbo without waiting.

Ed Pizza: Yes. Gumbo. And don't forget to get the fried crawfish tails on top of it inaudible. All right. Well, we got family vacations coming up, recap of spring break. We'll find out how many more things break on Richard's trailer between now and the time that he leaves the mountains. And I promise that we'll outline what we're planning for our family travel plans this summer. All that and more, as we try to hunt down Summer and Julian for a fearsome foursome on the podcast again. Until we upload again, we've got miles to go.

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