I had fun at FTU – In some instances, I learned a lot – in others, I received validation at how far I’d come in learning about points and miles. Sometimes, even if I knew most of what I heard, there was the “aha” item that enabled me to connect the dots.
I knew which two One World Airlines impose fuel charges and that won me a pair of Asiana pajamas! (thank you Ben and Gary!). Greg taught about his perpetual point machines and his million point spends, Hans about compulsive shopping for points, and Steffan brought us to far away places. Unfortunately I missed Seth’s program, but, as usual, his attendees marveled at his brilliance. MMS continued to dazzle the beginners, and Miles Professor, made her first (but not last) teaching appearance at FTU dazzling her students with the nuts and bolts of travel bargains. I skipped all the lectures on why loyalty was bullshit – I like loyalty – sue me. Ed was like Elvis – everywhere. And Randy was the anti-Elvis – nowhere.
Tampa was a fabulous choice for this FTU. The city is beautiful and so is the Grand Hyatt Tampa. In fact, even with all of the construction going on there, I’d say that this was the most accommodating hotel I’ve visited out of all of the Mega Dos, Freddies and Frequent Traveler Universities I’ve attended. I will post some photos and reviews soon – hopefully tomorrow.
I had dinner with some fellow attendees nearby at Mitchell’s, a quality seafood restaurant. I took a sip of my Manhattan, and got a piece of red plastic in my mouth. The manager solved the mystery: the plastic was from the side of the Maker’s Mark bottle. To my surprise, my dinner (lobster bisque and ceasar salad) was comped! I was so surprised that I hugged the manager!
After hearing Ben and Gary speak about award booking, and after listening to their live conversations with Delta and US Airways reps (trying to book complex award travel), and after my own attempts recently to book an award trip to Japan, I can appreciate the value of hiring an award booking service. A good award booker can perform miracles that are far more valuable than the fee charged!
I ate a lot of chocolate, thanks to Emily.
I got to spend time with friends, get to know some people even better, and made new friends.
I was walking along the nature walk to the OysterCatcher Restaurant with friends when we made a grizzly discovery in the shallow water below us. I shall not describe.
My flight home was delayed 1.5 hours for mechanical reasons. As soon as I hear the word “mechanical” in the same sentence as delay, that means possible compensation. I phoned Delta today to nicely inquire whether I was entitled to compensation, and was offered a $100 credit. Thank you.
In his introduction to the FTU crowd, Gary announced that a nearby CVS had more than 100 Vanilla Reload cards in plain sight. I wonder how many cards were left on Sunday?