The Trick If You Don’t Live at an International Gateway City

With my recent posts about flying to Europe all year round for 20,000 American Airlines miles or flying to South American for negative 7,500 miles, there's one problem for a lot of people.

Using both tricks requires taking a stopover on an American Airlines award.

Confessions of a Hotel Insider Article is a Treasure Trove of Hotel Advice

Right before Christmas, The Week published an article odd in tone and subject matter. The story "Confessions of a hotel insider" and subtitled "If you want the best room, sparkling service, and free booze, just follow these rules" was an excerpt of a new book "Heads in Beds" by Jacob Tomsky, a career hotel employee.

The first few tips fall under the general idea of being polite to the person checking you in because they have a ton of control over whether you end up in a good room or a bad room.

Twenty Dollar Trick: An Ethical Way to Get a Hotel Upgrade?

Last month, I used 145,000 Hilton points to book a four night stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. (This was a 55,000 point discount because I booked an AXON award.)

When I booked, the only room available was one king bed. My traveling party wanted two beds, but I wasn't worried because I knew that would be an easy change at check in.

Tricking’s Award Calendar

I generally love's award calendar, the calendar that shows up at the top of your award search results that lets you know what other days have award availability.

But there are two things I hate about's award calendar. The first is that it is color coded to show economy space, business/first space, or both.

American Airlines Domestic Availability Trick

In February from Nairobi, Kenya, I booked an American Airlines award 331 days out from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles in Qantas business class (with a later free oneway to Tampa.) See my Anatomy of an Award post on that booking.

On that booking, I noticed something odd about the way that American Airlines releases its domestic award space on some routes.