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Welcome to the next interview in our interview series where renowned mile and point gurus share their insights on having Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: TM Travel World
Troy used to write one of my favorite miles and points blogs, before moving to China where he writes TM Travel World. So I was looking forward to chatting with him!
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
I have started to collect miles and points since 2001 as I came to States for college, but did not actively collecting until late 2004.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I started my blog around November of 2009, what’s special? It’s still the only Miles/Points loyalty program blog in Chinese.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
In China, miles are not easy to get compare to the States; the most effective way to accumulating foreign miles are using those miles Buy one get one free promotion. For Chinese frequent flyer programs, credit card and hotel promotions are the best ways.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
Continental’s North Asia to South Asia business class award only costs 30,000 miles before, and it allows one stopover, one open jaw and one destination with maximum 11 flight segments. I flew around the Asia using 8 Star Alliance carriers in a single award.
I also spent 25,000 miles United miles for an Intra-Europe with leaving from Yerevan, Armenia to Longyearbyne, the most north commercial airport with stopover in Prague and open jaw in Skopje, Macedonia.
For the most memorable one? It will upcoming trip using Delta, British Midlands, US Airways, Aegean airline, American Airline for around the world trip in all three alliance and 5 different company with A380 in Business and First. Total miles? 267,500
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
Back to many years ago, they don’t understand, but now they all support me as miles and points can truly change the way they travel.
Is there any tool or trick that you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
Look what is around you, miles/points are everywhere. Even if you are not a business traveler and you are in China. Miles and points are still everywhere
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
Three years ago, due to my miscalculation, I was short by 4,000 miles to keep my American Airlines Executive Platinum status. But one day, one of my award flight from London to Vancouver on British Airways using American Airlines miles posted as Elite Qualifying miles and just over 4s000 miles.
That saves me another trip as it’s hard to get American Airlines miles in China.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
I was lucky because I found all miles and points thing when I was still in college in 2004, so I did not miss much and had enough time to learn all these while in college.
Start early, better when you are still in college, so you can have a hobby and more time to learn everything. Don’t be afraid of complicated miles world, once you get through the beginning, you will know, there are more fun in it.
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
I am an addict to miles, but I use most of my time travel to many undeveloped countries, miles can not only change the comfort of getting there, but also increase the flexibility to those isolated counties.
When I travel with my wife and children, we use miles to stay in luxury hotels:)
Any parting words?
Thanks Daraius for giving me this opportunity to introduce myself. Miles and points are way of changing travel experience, I hope everyone can benefit from it. A great vacation should start from the moment you step out of the door, flying is part of the vacation, not just transportation.
Troy– Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!
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