So after an epic 5-and-a-half hour train ride each way to get to Brussels, I'm back from Travelmagic!
The best part for me was to meet my readers, thank you for your very kind words of encouragement. I'm really grateful for patronage!
Another great part was to meet with some of my BoardingArea colleagues…who knew that Seth Miller (The Wandering Aramean) could still speak so eloquently having had beer for breakfast and 2 hours sleep?! And who knew Kevin (Ghetto IFE) could actually avoid missing a flight!
And of course, a certain lucky guy was showing us his way of boosting mileage:
My stand-out highlight was to watch some of the trailer footage from Gabriel Leigh‘s forthcoming Frequent Flyer film. Without spoiling any surprises, I was completely blown away by the beauty of his footage. We're all in for a treat!
As with all these frequent flier events you pick up a gem of knowledge here or there, and I certainly learnt some which I'll be implementing in my own travel planning.
But if there are a couple of take-home lessons:
1) Everyone really does hate Skyteam.
I though it was only me being stupid (and it still could be!) but since moving to The Netherlands, I'd considered whether it was worth my time learning the ins and outs of the Skyteam airlines, and it really isn't. Partner first class cabins can't be booked with Delta Skymiles, Air France blocks their First Class, the other airlines aren't really that appealing. It's just a simple no-go. Living here, where KLM is the national carrier, it's going to be that little bit tougher to avoid Skyteam altogether. As with most mileage whores, I'm sure I'll find a way!
2) Buying air miles from Alaska Airlines is one of the most powerful ways for European-based travellers to go to Asia
I hadn't realised that Alaska Airlines doesn't impose Fuel Surcharges on award tickets, and so you can fly Cathay Pacific or Emirates to far-flung destinations. Granted you're still paying off-the-shelf price for points, which isn't too bad (something like $0.02USD per mile), but when added together, an Emirates long-haul First class return comes to around $1600USD. Very good value indeed!
I hope there'll be more lessons like this to learn in future events, and if Bart decides to host another TravelMagic next year, I'd love to come along again.