Thank You, Welcome and Giveaways!


Who Wants Free United Giveaways?!

Welcome to all the Million Mile Secrets readers who have come by and supported the blog! The past 2 months of blogging have been fun and a learning experience. In order to thank all new visitors and my existing readers I would like to give away some goodies. Since I appreciate items with real value, that is exactly what I want to give away. How much value? The GPU’s are potentially worth $1000 or more depending on the route! Here is the list of prizes:

  • Four United Global Premier Upgrades (expiring 1/31/2014)
  • Fifteen United drink coupons (expiring 1/31/2014)
  • Two United Club One Time Passes (expiring 1/31/2014)

How do you enter? I am interested in your thoughts and what topics interest you the most. I’m also trying to build a social media presence and your help is very much appreciated. You get one entry per action below. Doing all 3 takes less than 5 minutes of your time and gets you 3 entries. Additional entries are also possible. Winners will be picked from each of the different medias.

  • Comment: Leave a comment below stating which topics you would like to see explained in a blog post or series (some ideas below)
  • Facebook: Follow me, like my facebook page, and leave a comment stating which topics you would like to see explained in a blog post or series (can be same as your comment)
  • Twitter: Follow me and tweet me which topic you would like to see investigated in a blog post or series (can be same as your comment) and include #GTHQwin. Example: @globetrotterhq I want to see more Euro Award chart comparisons #GTHQwin
  • Earn an additional entry by posting a separate comment below, Facebook and or twitter with a different idea/topic.  Up to one entry per media every 24 hour period. You can have up to 21 entries per week.

Some upcoming posts to get your ideas flowing: European airline award chart comparisons, Mileage earning possibilities in Europe through credit cards and other means by country, Hotel reviews, Flight Reviews…  If you would like a review of hotels or sites in one of the 70 countries we’ve been to in the Voyages page, let us know.

In order to use the Global Premier Upgrades, please visit this site and keep in mind the rules for upgrades on United Airlines (certain fare restrictions, must be used for travel on or before January 31, 2014, etc). As soon as you know your flight details, let me know so that I can apply it to your reservation. The drink coupons and the United Club Passes have an expiration date of January 31, 2014 (although there are reports that flight attendants and United Club agents don’t always enforce this policy.)

United Upgrade Chart

I reserve the right to re-assign the Global Premier Upgrades if the original winner will not be able to use them on an international flight. Once the winner is confirmed, I’ll reach out to them to see if he/she will be able to use the GPU. If not, we’ll pick a runner-up from the comment/facebook/twitter entries.

The giveaway runs from today and for the next 4 weeks through Wednesday, January 8th 11:59 PM (Central European Time). At least one United GPU will be given away each week. Please submit your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Fine Print:  I make all final decisions regarding the giveaway and there is no appeal. I’m giving away my hard earned prizes, so let’s make this fun and easy!

I’m blogging live from the Maldives which is a balmy 28C. Last week we were at -11C. Can you guess where?

MH & Beer



About Author


    • I will be discussing the different European Airline programs in future posts. I’ll do M&M first. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Congratulations Rose! You are the winner of the 15 drink chtis and 2 United Club Passes. Email me with your address information so I can mail them out to you.

      • Awesome! Although I would have preferred the United GPU 🙂 But my family and I will make good use of the drink and passes. I’ll email you my shipping information. Thank you!

    • Do you mean smaller by size or traffic? I’ve been through quite a few small airports but I think some of my favorites are: Zanzibar, Tanzania, Siem Reap, Cambodia and Manaus, Brazil.

      • Just smaller in general. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some smaller airports here in Canada and it certainly is a totally different experience than the larger ones.

        • I agree. I prefer my trip to start from a small airport where security and check in lines are short (or non-existent) and people are usually friendly. You can usually go from curbside to gate in less than 10 minutes.

  1. Matterhorn looks beautiful, not to mention the matching foam art! 🙂 The last (and the only) time I was in Zermatt, it was covered in clouds the entire time. As someone who is learning more about various award travel redemption options/techniques, I would like to see more airline award chart comparisons.

    • Well it sounds like you need another trip to Zermatt when the sun is shining 🙂 Maybe miles will take you to Switzerland again! Great suggestion on the award charts and this is something I plan on doing in the short term. Thanks.

      • Great! I just saw that you have a new blog posted. 🙂 I hope to be able to go back to Switzerland again – I’d love to stay in Park Hyatt Zurich using my award certificates and travel to Zermatt and Graubunden via train to check out the mountains again… 🙂

    • Any particular airline you fly often? Or would you like an overall comparison on the various Premium Economy cabins?

  2. I’d love to see more alternate ways of collecting and amassing points – and not necessarily directly with an airline. With the change and devaluation of mileage and rise of PQS, there MUST be a better way of earning and burning points…

    • Accruing points via other methods besides flying is how I amass the majority of my miles. I may fly 100,000 miles per year but will bring in up to 1 million total miles and points. The majority will be through other means. I’ll definitely cover this.

  3. I mostly fly short hops, so I’m interested in hearing more about how to get more Avios or if there’s a better program out there for me.

    • For short hops distance based programs are usually better. Other programs like the ANA mileage club are also distance based and have some gems. I’ll be comparing distance based programs as well. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. I’d love to see some posts about each airline’s redemption hot spots. Tell me what is the most I can get for X amount of miles in any program.

    • The comparison charts will help you see the areas where you can get the most bang for your miles. Let me know if I don’t touch on what you’re looking for when the charts are complete.

  5. Pingback: Free Upgrades on United, Free Money from Southwest, and Free Stopovers on Alaska (Bits 'n Pieces for December 13, 2013) - View from the Wing - View from the Wing

  6. I would also like to see the comparison of airline award systems based on the rules such as stopovers, one-way award redemption, open jaws, etc. I am somewhat familiar with UA, AA, and DL rules, but if some of the smaller(?) airline rules can be covered, it may useful. (2nd post!) Thanks

  7. Best/cheapest (in each class) way to get to Asia [Japan] using any of the major mileage programs (Delta, AA, United, US)

    • I second this request for how to get to Asia (especially from Florida).
      Note: leave me out of the contest. I can’t fly before they expire.

  8. I’m also very interested in the comparison charts. I have two sons in their early 20’s that have started their careers and would like to know which airlines they should be using most.

  9. I always like reading the “anatomy of award” and how to maximize value of mileage with things like stop over and free one way.

  10. I’d like to learn the advanced features of ITA. I have learned a lot about its power and uses on FT, but it’d sure be nice to see everything in one place as a point of reference that I could refer back to.

  11. I’d love to see more information about the following topics:

    – How to take advantage of free oneways and stopovers on international award tickets
    – Hidden city ticketing tips and examples
    – More biz and first class trip reports on various airlines
    – The advantages/disadvantages of earning rewards on a credit card that allows you to transfer points to several different airlines (eg, AMEX Plat) versus a card that’s connected with a single airline (eg, Mileage Plus Explorer)

  12. The topic that would interest me the most is a simple, well laid out plan for obtaining minimum-level airline status, which could then in turn be used to reciprocate with other carriers. Which status is the easiest to get that would go the farthest? I realize that this is not “one size fits all,” but there has to be some good, simple strategies for the novice like me. Any help is appreciated.

  13. I think it would be great to evaluate and analyze whether or not airline / hotel loyalty programs benefit from targeted promotions in today’s digital “no hiding” world.

  14. Also, as many airlines make changes that devalue their frequent flyer programs I’d like to see updates on those changes and what they mean for the program’s members. And, of course, any updates on increased valuation (we can hope!).

  15. I am trying to find availability and to use the least miles to get a family of 4 from USA to Australia traveling together in biz class. (stop laughing I’m serious). Suggestions on an airline or alliance appreciated. Doesn’t have to be in December but it would be preferred.

  16. Great Switzerland photos; I was just in Interlakken at the end of November. Hate to leave that country! More information on routing possibilities to gain more miles is always interesting!

  17. I want to know more about spending miles post-evaluation for United and strategies I should use during the transition period of US/AA,

  18. A little nuanced, but creative routings using multiple award programs in one trip to create (more) epic itineraries would be pretty cool.

    • Any specific ones in mind? Have you been to the Voyages page? We’ve been to about 70 countries so if its not listed, there’s a good chance we may be planning a trip there 😉

  19. The ideal time to buy coach tickets for flights US-EU for all seasons.
    Lots of comments around the blogs but would like your opinion

  20. I would like to see a series about how to diversify your miles collecting into something like 2,500 miles/week so I could have a routine to get me at least 1 or two business class trips per year. I like the idea of having a routine way to generate miles. Perhaps you could have tiers for different budgets!

  21. I am always looking for help to navigate through the complicated process to book and maximize award tickets..

    Would love a Global Upgrade.. have a trip to China in early Jan!


  22. hi globe trotter! i would like to see more posts and reviews/redeeming for economy/coach seats. most of the bigger name blogs always discuss the lounges/business class seats, but what about for people that don’t care for that and would rather stretch their miles by redeeming miles/points for economy/coat seats?

  23. I’d love to see some information on how to search for korean airlines award space. thinking about using my Chase UR points on them now that United has sounded the death knell. Also, maybe some analysis on the best star alliance partner to credit future flights too…

  24. “The Best Way to Get Good Customer Service On United”

    A challenging topic to say the least, but worth it for those trying to book over the phone, etc. 🙂

    • That’s a complicated one 🙂 All kidding aside, I’ve actually had pretty good service when booking award travel over the phone but since I made 1K last year the agents on the 1K line tend to be more knowledgeable and professional.

  25. I’d like to see a post or two on the thought process behind (and best tools) for searching air award availability and maximizing use of miles/points held, assuming you have destination and rough dates in mind. A kind of soup to nuts, behind the thinking, guide to reward redemption.

  26. Thanks!!

    I would like to learn the tip of accelerate getting higher status of UA member. (other than just take flight for certain amount of segment)

    • So I am going to travel every Monday to Thursday start 1/1. According to UA website, I need 30 segment to be silver. If I fly round trip per week that is 2 segment per week (Assume non stop flight, short distance).
      That will take 4 months to become Silver, 8 months to become gold, almost 1 year to become platinum.

      Is there anyway to make it faster?

  27. I’d like to learn more about how to handle IRROPS situations like figuring out the best re-routes to suggest to an agent and how to get them to re-book you in full Y, as this hardly ever seems to happen to me.

  28. Best use of Avios. My wife and I both have 100k plus and I really dony know the best options from a US starting point.

  29. I would love to see more unique content, like the best ways to acquire miles outside of the standard credit card offers/churning (although a compendium of which cards are truly churnable would be useful). Many blogs cover credit cards so if there are other interesting opportunities, that would be much appreciated.

  30. That looks like a bit like the Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) visible from Pokhara, Nepal.

    Would like to see an enumeration of the 4 paths to SEZ using airline miles, and every type of mileage currency / program that can be used to fly those routes, with a comparison of the number of miles (and taxes). There are quite a few here, some rarely mentioned, and all the options are expensive (but some are *much* cheaper than AA miles on AUH-SEZ, which is 120k RT for two).

    Would love the GPUs!

  31. I love reading about how you construct an award. What is your thought process. What did you check first and build from there.

  32. scott patterson on

    I would like to learn more about the tools used to research using FF miles (rather than counting on reservation agents).
    Thanks! Scott

  33. Were you in Zermatt? (Matterhorn) great pic!
    I would like to see more on the blog about taking advantage of routing possibilities and maximizing them. Thank you!

  34. I would like to see how to redeem a first class ticket on Emirates which I heard is one of the best in the world. That includes what points we can transfer from

  35. I’d like to see reviews of some of your South American voyages for purely selfish reasons as we’re planning a trip soon and are completely open to which destinations to visit first.

  36. Pingback: Miles and Points in a Minute: Free Points, Disappearing Award Availability, and More… - Mommy Points

  37. like to hear about getting to SYD for NYE (next year) on FF miles and what to do there while there….from Chicago (or states).

    Thanks. Keep up the hard work.

  38. I’d love to see you write a post on the best way to easily redeem miles on the Star Alliance. For example, how does one book awards through carriers using United miles that aren’t bookable on

  39. It would be great to cover the temporal patterns of award inventory release by major airlines on TPAC and TATL routes. Thanks.

  40. It’s easy to apply for credit cards, lets see more advice about when and how is best to cancel those we don’t want to keep.

  41. Would be neat to have a ‘Most remote mileage award trips’ topic to discuss.

    One I worked through was a small regional airport in California to Danang Vietnam. Amazing and with 1st class redemptions and stop-overs.

  42. Great site- as someone that’s new to this, I’m most interested in what FF program is the best to accumulate miles into or transfer into.

  43. I travel with family (spouse and three kids) and it is hard to collect enough points for business award, not to mention the limited availability on business class. Can you do a quick overview of comfortable economy seats?
    We flew Air France, United, Lufthansa and Cathay in recent years and they are not comfortable to sit on for more than 6 hrs 🙁
    Air France is the best out of the four above… but still not comfortable …

  44. It would be great to learn more about strategic status matching! Just got aa plat through a promotion and I’m starting to realize that all it takes is one status to open many doors

  45. I would like to hear your thoughts on the united aircraft with the best complimentary upgrade odds. First vs coach seat numbers and the plane types that have wifi or live TV and the upgrade may not be as crucial since there are other ways to pass the time.

  46. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on how AA and US would integrate their million-miler program. Would folks who flew on US, but credited the miles to their UA account, get those same miles applied towards the new AA’s million mile program?

  47. Airline award mileage redemption comparison chart would be a pretty cool tool. Furthermore, you could include routing rules such as “How many stopovers / open jaws are allowed with each airline, what are the most amount of segments allowed… etc.”

  48. I would like to hear more about what to do at popular destinations, not just how to get there and where to stay (though I do like that to)

  49. I’m flying to the middle east via United next month and would love to get upgraded. I’d also love to hear more about cheap hotels or alternatives to hotels.

  50. I would appreciate your advice on gaining access to airline lounges now that AmEx Plat will no longer get me in. I have had the card for many years and have come to expect lounge access when ever I fly. I guess you don’t know what you have until you loose it.

  51. I would like to see information regarding the differences between the upgrade certificates from different airline programs and the pros and cons of each.

  52. I can’t use your upgrades in the time frame, so I’m not entering the competition, but appreciate the generosity it shows. But I’d be interested in how as a Canadian I can get in on credit card sign-up bonuses etc such as the ones available in the States. The options for us seem to be really limited compared to yours, but perhaps I’m missing something.

  53. Would like more comparisons on Hotel awards and now that they have all devalued, how we can still maximize stays and points.

  54. I’d like you to write about how long you have to wait to re-apply for sign up bonuses on different cards from different banks.

    • I did but since I flew less this year and didn’t quite make it to 1K, I’d rather give them to those with solid travel plans. My schedule is still fluid for the next 2 months.

  55. I would like to see posts about the best redemptions from particular programs…..instances when it is cheaper to use a certain type of miles for a certain trip compared to other airline miles…aka sweet spots

  56. I’d like to see you explore best Hotel/Airline/Credit Card double dipping opportunities to earn miles. Thank you!

  57. HockeyCoachBen on

    With all the devaluations and seemingly alliance-dumping activity lately, is there really a future in mileage earning as a worthwhile hobby. (Let’s use 1 first class international round trip per year on mileage as a near using stick to determine “worthwhile”.)

  58. I would like to know more about business and first award tickets available on Lufthansa Swiss and Austrian, if using United miles.

  59. I’d be interested in seeing more about hotel rewards programs. I’ve never been able to fully understand the value, versus doing all bookings on a site like

    I’d love those upgrades on a flight from LHR to ORD by the way! Would be a nice Christmas gift 🙂

  60. One topicI would like to get the insights on – truth of review sites such as tripadvisor, yelp, etc. I used them a lot for finding tours/accommodations/restaurants when traveling.

  61. I would love to see a comparison of major airline award chart sweet spots between non-US destinations. For example, US Airways allows business class redemptions anywhere in the South Pacific for only 30k miles, meaning trans-Tasman flights or flights like SYD-RAR on AirNZ are incredible bargains!

  62. I’d like to see some creative ways of earning points and miles that don’t involve the same credit card sign-ups that most bloggers push.

  63. Manufactured spend is becoming more difficult in California in that it is quite fifficult to buy gift cards with a credit card. I would like to see this topic addressed and alternatives provided.

  64. I would like to know what international destinations are good value for money and the best times of the year to travel there. I am looking to explore in 2014. Thanks.

  65. I’d love to hear tips on how to get better customer service from airline call centers. e.g. get transferred to someone who has the ability to give you an upgrade as compensation vs an agent reading from a script. Anything from tips on citing policy, giving the agent additional info on something that they’re not necessarily asking for etc.

  66. Hi, I’d like to see more off the beaten path redemption ideas, and some cool strategies for revenue travel on a budget. Thanks

  67. Hi,

    I’d really like to see the best ways of earning/utilizing miles for US based programs for ex-pats currently in Australasia, including the picks for best hotels in the region for conversion/redemption in the US.

    Currently a Marriott and Hyatt frequent stayer, but have noticed that properties with these programs are pretty thin on the ground in Australia/New Zealand. Any ideas?


  68. I’d like to see advice on when to book flights to Europe (mostly Star Alliance/United). When is the best availability for reward redemptions? When can I book the cheapes fares?

  69. I’d love to find out more about mattress running strategies specific to each hotel chain. For example: Which chains allow for multiple rooms in one hotel one night to count for numerous elite nights?

  70. Luis Espinoza on

    With all the devaluations in the big US programs…and more to come…I’d like to learn more about the foreign programs and how to maximize an overall portfolio

  71. Jeremy Brenner on

    I would love to see some details on how to sign up for European credit cards and accumulate miles. What is need (i.e. dual citizenship? Residence, etc.) and what are the best options.

  72. I’m confused on whether to change allegiance from one airline to another. Including: whether to switch from delta to one world. whether to credit miles on delta and others to alaska. whether to go for a status match with Turkish or Aegean, and if so, what i need to do. Wouldn’t mind this genre of topics covered in more and simpler detail…

  73. I’d like to see more on non credit-card ways to earn miles (my wallet is getting a bit too fat on credit cards :-)).

  74. I would love to see a story on developing a comprehensive credit card churn program. This could include a recommended card every other month. There are promotions that come up from time to time that could be included.

  75. I would love it if you can analyze the old/new United award chart with focus on how we can make use of the reduced routes! And going forward what should our strategy be, regarding the balance of elite qualifying and mileage accumulation (with 2 different programs).

  76. You may think this suggestion sounds morbid, but I’m very interested in knowing which of my points and miles programs can be bequeathed in my will. Every adult should have a will, and, with my points and miles running at over a million and a half, I don’t want them to expire if I were to die unexpectedly. I also want to make a conscious choice of which friends and relatives would actually use my hard-earned miles and points and not just throw them away by failing to maintain accounts or ignoring expiration dates. Everyone knows what to do with money and real or other personal property. I can think of very few people I know who understand the care and maintenance of mileage and point programs. Knowing which of these programs live beyond the grave could make these decisions a lot easier for me and for your other readers.

    Thanks! I have 3 international trips in economy planned for the first 3 months of next year, including to India, and one of those upgrades would come in very handy.

  77. Dear Globtrotter HQ. Would love to learn more about best/worst airports to connect through. My favorite airports for this include Dallas/DFW (Amex Cent Lounge), Las Vegas/LAS (shopping, slot machines) & Miami/MIA (food). In Europe, I favor Frankfurt/FRA (lounges), Zurich/ZRH (shopping) Barcelona/BCN (shopping, food). Singapore/SIN is supposed to have it all. Thanks. (I have 2 UAL flights in Jan 2014).

  78. Hi G-HQ – I’m interested in the best ways to use my United and Air France miles for Economy tickets. Too often blogs focus on the outrageous first/business class tickets and that is just out of my league in point value. Updates on how best to use United Mileage Plus interest me. Thanks!

  79. Would love to see a few posts on how to book a flight to some of the popular destinations and the best miles to use.

  80. Another topic I am interested in is the valuation of different miles and points. With the recent devaluation it is difficult to keep track of how much a point/mile is worth in differnt airlines and hotels. I would also like to find out which rewards program has the best redemption value in your opinion.

    happy to see that your website is getting TONS of traffic! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  81. I’d like to understand free one-ways in a much better fashion. I’d also like to understand how to make the hard pulls fall off of my credit report more quickly.

  82. I’d like to hear about the best ways to request for compensation from the airlines due to major flight delays and cancellations.

  83. I would love to see a series about how to maximize rewards being based out of North Asia. I fly Star Alliance mostly and have most of my mileage in United.

  84. I would love to see info on how to book award availability on partner awards (i.e. Koren Air for Delta, Alaska for Delta or AA).

  85. It would be interesting to see a summary of how the leading carriers are devaluting their FF programs or taking away perks in a given calendar year.

  86. This might not apply in general to your primary readership, but I’d like to know how India-based travelers can maximize miles. (A subset of this question: how best to reach Star Gold?) Perhaps you know of other sites which follow this more closely.

  87. Interested in reading about a newer version of stopovers and open jaw and if there are any new rules in place for Europe or Asia!

  88. I think I saw someone else post this, but a handy guide of options when a flight goes awry (cancelled, overly delayed, or something else) would be very useful. What exactly are our rights? And how do they differ by airlines? By fare class? Thanks.

  89. It seems that you’re quite successful with getting extra upgrades at hotels from your trip reviews. I’d like to see a post on how to communicate with the hotel personnel to score complimentary upgrades, maybe a list of do’s and don’ts.

  90. Would also like to see more about Alaska Airlines– as well as what our best options are now that MileagePlus has devalued. Also, is there any way to access Swiss First anymore?

  91. I also am interested in maximizing miles earned on car rentals. I usually can’t make it work without paying through the nose for the miles.

  92. Traveling to Hawaii for 5-year anniversary on Jan 29 and would love some drink coupons or club passes! Please talk more about Best Rate Guarantees on your site. Thanks!

  93. How do I redeem Korean Air miles on Delta or Hawaiian Airlines? How do you search for award availability to do this?? Thanks!

  94. I’d like to see some more about discounts or clubs or various ways to get into club lounges both domestic and intl

  95. I would like to learn about different aircraft editions and what some of the latest models offer for their economy and business seats. During my recent travel over the weekend, I noticed a HUGE difference between 767-300 vs. 767-300ER. I also got a chance to be on 737-900ER which was only a month old that offered a beautiful lcd entertainment system.

  96. Great blog! I would love a post comparing point accruing credit cards with airline-specific credit cards and discussing their relative value (and how to get the most out of them!)


  97. Great blog!

    I would love to see a post comparing point accruing credit cards against airline-specific credit cards (and how to get the most out of them!)

    Thank you!

  98. It would also be helpful to see a post about online tool like expertflyer and how to get the most out of them. For example, I don’t know much about getting free upgrades and would love to learn how to leverage my international travel towards better seats and other perks.

    Please help! Thank you.

  99. Pingback: Week 1 Winner is... - Globetrotter HQ

  100. Globetrotter HQ on

    The 1st winner has been announced! See the latest post to find out who it is. Continue adding your comments here, on facebook and twitter to enter the next 3 weekly contests!

  101. Pingback: US Airways miles - Best redemption options?! - Globetrotter HQ

  102. I would love to learn more about crediting flights to carriers within an alliance. For example how to get status faster by crediting flights from one carrier to another. What is the best way to control points and gain status?

    Thank you!

  103. Pingback: Week 2 Winner Announced... - Globetrotter HQ

  104. I would like to see more on what the AA/US merger means for frequent flyers in either program. An how to maximize off of this merger starting Jan 1st.

  105. I would like to know how to get cheap or free hertz rentals international with the gold point devaluation. Automatic transmission is a plus lol.

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