Business Week, Ass-Kicking, and the Upcoming ‘Frequent Flyer Master’ Project


Greetings, friends and readers. I’m back from the Oregon coast with only a couple of domestic trips planned for October.

Earlier this week I published an article for Business Week on How to Negate the Competition by Owning Your Space. I always appreciate the chance to write for traditional magazines and newspapers, and I wish them well in their transition to the world of the social web.

One funny story, though: Business Week didn’t edit much of the article itself, but they did change “ass-kicking” to “butt-kicking” in my bio. I’ve always thought of ass as a mere descriptive word, but apparently it’s too edgy for some media outlets. A couple of people suggested I use “arse-kicking” the next time and see what happens.


This is the Sunday Store Update. I use this time every Sunday for a brief update about the small business behind the AONC site.

As promised two weeks ago, I’ve removed the Discount Airfare Guide from the store. It’s been a good guide and has helped a lot of people, but in the future I’ll be updating the material in a different format. My next guide will be all about maximizing Frequent Flyer Miles, one of the most frequently requested topics from readers.

I currently have more than half a million miles in the bank, and I’ve received the majority of these miles without actually flying. Through strategies like the infamous Frequent Flyer Mile Challenge, carrying $9,000 in coins in a shopping cart to the bank, and more (much more, really), I’ve been able to earn hundreds of thousands of miles on at least half a dozen airlines.

I then use the miles to get to all kinds of faraway places in the world– including Hong Kong, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Bosnia, and a fair number of less exotic places too. Every year I take at least four international trips using the miles I earn, saving thousands of dollars and having fun at the same time.

Of course, I don’t know it all– and many AONC readers are far more skilled than I am with Frequent Flyer Miles and travel hacking. That’s why I’m going to do some crowdsourcing as I work on building out this project.

For now, I’m looking for the following two things:

1) Short stories (100-300 words) of creative and high-value trips you’ve taken with miles.

2) Specific tips on earning and redeeming miles– the more unconventional, the better.

If you have something to share, please hop over to this form and send me a note. All input is welcome. The airline pilots, airline executives, and travel journalists who regularly read AONC are also welcome to contribute too — and if you’d like to contribute something more substantial, just let me know.

If I use your story or tip, I’ll attribute the info to you in the guide (unless you’d prefer to be anonymous, which is fine too). I’ll also award a free copy of the product to the top five stories or tips, as judged by me and a couple of travel industry reviewers who will be helping me with copy-editing.

By the way, I’m really excited about this one. It’s going to be great.


Continuing with the travel theme, tomorrow I’ll explain how to request an airline status match. It’s a little-known travel fact that once you qualify for elite status with one airline, you can leverage the status over to several other airlines. I’ve recently done this to obtain Platinum status (the highest) with all three major airline alliances, despite the fact that almost all my flying this year was only with one of them.

Later on, we’ll also look at more unconventional business ideas. Have a great week, wherever you are.


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