April 26th, 2016
Ever since the Mets traded R.A Dickey to the Blue Jays for Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, I’ve been anxious to visit Toronto to see our old friend. In addition to Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas play on the Blue Jays, so it would almost be a mini-reunion. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays play in Toronto, and I’m in New York, which is just about my limit of where I wouldn’t want to drive and would have to take a plane. Looking at my options, Air Canada, WestJet, American, Delta and United Airlines all have about the same fare, around $200-$250 roundtrip. WestJet and Air Canada frequently do US Fare sales, and I was thinking that since I didn’t have any specific time that I would want to visit, I would sit on the fare for a while, hoping something else would pop up. So, three days later, instead of flying on a small regional jet on American or Air Canada for $230 round trip, I’m going to Toronto, in a lie-flat bed in internationally configured business class, getting lounge access, having the ability to check three bags (which I won’t do on a two-day trip and getting priority everything going through the airport. Now you might be saying, you booked seats in a huge widebody plane for a 90 minute flight, and you are sitting in business class? How much did you pay, $1,000?
Well, I actually only payed $213, that’s right, $213, all thanks to a separate tickets feature available on Google Flights. And all of the credit goes to ThePointsGuy.com, a blog I have been reading for years. In addition to Trip Reports, a premium YouTube show (called TPGtv), and credit card deals, The Points Guy showcases great hidden deals, like this one, which I took advantage of. At the helm of The Points Guy is “The Points Guy”, or Brian Kelly, who has been featured on various major publications like The New York Times, CNBC, and Bloomberg. In addition to Mr.Kelly, or TPG, I communicate with a lot of the writers on “The Points Guy” in addition to aviation fans in general. Two of my favorite Twitter follows are @AirlineFlyer, or Jason Rabionwitz, and @ZachHonig, who is the editorial manager for The Points Guy.
While traveling and watching a game seem like two different things, you can’r really attend a baseball game if you can’t get around, so I had the honor of bringing on Mr.Honig to answer some of my aviation questions, and even asked him about his stance on the Baseball season. Without further ado, here is my interview with Zach Honig:
1) First off, could you give us a brief synopsis about yourself for someone who has never heard of you?
3) What is your airline of choice and why? What “loyalty” to you have with them?
4) Should you pick a hotel brand based on that brand’s partnerships with airlines (like RewardsPlus with UA and Marriott), or should that not be considered?
5) A lot of Baseball fans, beat writers, bloggers, and personalities make travel accommodations with very little notice, especially in the postseason where one doesn’t know who they are going to play next until the respective series ends. While it is not on their own dime for beat writers and personalities, fans sometimes have to pay uber high prices when booking these last minute trips. Are there any benefits that a fan could use to their advantage when booking these last minute (usually Y fare bucket) fares?
6) Often during Baseball games, I see the team advertising their respective MLB BankAmericard Cash Reward MasterCard, even though I rarely ever see anyone with one, and there is little promotion of them outside of the baseball game on any media platform. Is there a reason that these cards are unpopular, or are they actually worthwhile and have just been flying “under the radar”?
7) A lot of my flying is for vacations, to see family, but when I go on trips for my blog, it’s usually to very small cities to the Mets minor league affiliates. (For example, the Mets have affiliates in Binghamton, New York – Kingsport, Virginia – Columbia, South Carolina – St.Lucie, Florida – and similar cities that usually only have five daily flights). How would my strategy be different from a traveler during more popular business routes like New York – Chicago?
8) I’m still under 18, so I’m still ineligible to be a primary cardholder, what can I do to ready myself when I am eligible, and do you think I should wait a little bit to build up my credit score?
9) Ok, now I’m going to ask two very personal questions: What is your favorite airport?
10) I can’t do this interview without asking you…. any predictions for the World Series?