Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 10:42 am
Welcome to 2014! Let’s take a quick look back at the past 12 months.
-2012 ended off with a bang. After sub $400 tickets to Israel on El Al and Alitalia earlier that year Delta got in on the fun with sub-$500 tickets to Israel.
-Then I was able to cap off the year with a last-minute trip to Paris with my wife in a Singapore couples suite on their A380 thanks to 114K AMEX points for both of us (26K of which were refunded due to lack of lounge access and kosher meal).
-In January 2013 Delta decided to let people who got glitch tickets to upgrade to nonstop flights for free. That came on the heels of El Al allowing folks to do so for a $75 fee.
-An apparent AMEX glitch released a targeted 100K Platinum offer to the public for less than a day.
–ANA stopped collecting fuel surcharges on United and USAirways flights, creating amazing bargains that are still around today like 38K miles to Europe and 60K miles to Israel without surcharges. Air Canada flights to Europe and Asia are also exempt.
-Staples had several great promotions like this one on which you could earn boatloads of miles and cash for free.
–My wife said on Friday afternoon that it would have been nice to be in Kansas for her brother’s sheva brochos and by 2pm we were sitting on the plane on our way there before shabbos. All made possible with just 40,000 United miles round-trip as opposed to paying $1,700.
-In February a free virtual Israeli landline phone option opened up to the public and DD readers immediately went onto crash their enrollment system.
-Singapore also stopped charging fuel surcharges on United and USAirways.
-I also got to fly on the longest flight in the world with United miles, spend 2 nights in the stunning Maldives, and flew home via Singapore and Seoul in Korean First via Chase points.
-In March I posted a BRG free hotel offer that didn’t cause nearly the trouble that the next one would cause.
-Some folks also went really crazy with this Starbucks promotion…
-Longtime DDF member AsherO got married and it was quite a party. And I got a phone agent to change my 4.5K Avios flight on American over to United.
-We went to a wedding on the stunning grounds of the Hyatt Huntington Beach and tried out lots of LA eateries.
-El Al went on strike in April.
-The Airspace lounge Cleveland opened.
-We flew to Buenos Aires for the 2nd time within 12 months (home to an awesome Park Hyatt and Asian, my favorite kosher restaurant in the world) though this time just for a single night…long story for another time:
-In May nearly 700 people attended DD seminars in Boro Park and Lakewood.
-Google Wallet Conga!
-The head of Google Wallet loved the conga, joined DDF, and answered questions about the service!
-Another very short lived AMEX glitch, this time on the gold card.
-I got to take a really special lifelong dream road-trip with my brother and maternal grandfather to see all 3 major halls of fame as well as see the Indians trounce the Red Sox in Fenway from atop the Green Monstah’
-I’m a die-hard Indians fan and this was definitely my coolest use of 25K miles ever!
-In June I posted my final BRG free deal as readers took down the phone lines. People online from other forums weren’t amused to say the least and I agreed to no longer feature BRG opportunities as the point of this site isn’t to kill deals that would otherwise be sustainable. I had posted them previously without incident but they had never been so popular until this one.
-Free miles and cash hits Office Max.
-Ink cards offered 60K for just 1 week.
-The Chicago seminar was the most organized to date, kudos to Kehilla Fund! And the Milt’s Burger+Chili, and Shallot’s sushi and strawberry shortcake rocked my world.
-In July the Freedom 10×10 program died for most people.
-JetBlue had 90% off for several days in a row but eventually killed the program early as there was too much demand for their servers to handle.
-I compiled a knowledgebase for using British Airways Avios.
-SodaStream decided to give 2 soda making machines to folks who ordered a single machine on clearance!
-Several DDF members flew to Chicago with their Avios for a DDF DO Extravaganza that will be hard to ever top:
-In August USAirways had tickets to Israel for as low as $200 from some cities and $460 from NYC. The deals lasted for over a day. USAirways didn’t take kindly to those shenanigans. But people who had their Philadelphia-Toronto legs cancelled had the real last laugh…amazing!
-I wrote up a guide to using Starpoints to get to Israel to complement my guide on using miles to get to Israel.
-I highlighted an underutilized Flying Blue mileage option to Israel.
-I typed up our July trip notes from Banff, one of the most stunning places I’ve been to. Emerald lakes, wild bears and caribou, glaciers, and so much more:
-On September 16th, on her exact due date, my wife gave birth to our 2nd beautiful child, Talia.
-Verizon allowed grandfathered unlimited plans to upgrade their devices without losing their unlimited data.
–Chase ended the gift card gravy train.
-Inspiring others to use their miles for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Does a bar mitzvah present get cooler than this:
-In October award winning Turkish Airlines continued to drive the cost of tickets to Israel downward.
-I wrote 4 parts in a series of where Avios can take you on the cheap.
-Sprint gave out free no-contract Androids.
-Chase waived the annual fee on the BA card and people continue to report being able to still match to that offer.
-Bluebird turned a year old.
-I helped a reader navigate hidden-city ticketing.
-In November I celebrated my 5th anniversary and thanked G-d for helping me find such an amazing wife and mother. Apparently that’s controversial.
-Chase started giving car rental insurance in Israel on all of their cards.
-I gave a DD seminar to my hometown crowd.
–I typed up my BBQ judging trip notes and made good use of my connection in Chicago.
-I had dinner with DDF members who chartered a jet on the cheap.
-WalMart ATMs got even easier to load to Bluebird.
-WalMart had glitches of which some people hit the jackpot while the losers got $10 for trying.
-CVS gave $50 in ExtraBucks for spending $4.95 Some people cashed in to the tune of thousands of dollars of diapers and other shelf-stable freebies.
-Small Business Saturday got smaller indeed but lived on.
-I gave thanksgiving for 9 years of blogging.
-Wideroe sold tickets on United to Europe for $127 and to Israel for $287.-Then Wideroe did the same thing with Air Canada to Milan.
-In December folks that capitalized and had lots of AMEX primary and secondary cards for Small Business Saturday were also able to lock tons of massive savings on Amazon.
-There was lots of fun thanks to the Canon printer rebate.
-The American-USAirways merger was finalized.
-Wideroe resurfaced for one last hurrah.
-Toys R Us had some insane closeouts on baby items.
-A&P and Pathmark gave away the farm with their unlimited use gift card promotion.
-I wrote all about United Plan B, an incredibly valuable tool for business class awards.
-I ran a DD seminar in Los Angeles.
-Delta had first class tickets for $25 transcon or $50 to Hawaii. They honored them all, even those who never were ticketed properly. They now even have a notice on their website with a new email address if you don’t want to wait on hold. People are flying across the country on the cheap!
-It’s always worth knowing the rules of the deal.
Traffic was way up in 2013 and the Delta glitch brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to DansDeals, bringing my servers down to their knees. Luckily DDF user BAHayman was there to work his magic and keep things running as smoothly as possible under the circumstances. He and I were so busy keeping things up and coming up with creative solutions that we didn’t even have time to book glitch tickets 😀 BAHayman has now migrated DansDeals over to a much more powerful platform that can handle traffic spikes so hopefully next time that won’t be an issue! Have to really thank him for his tireless help, folks give him an equal share of thanks if you were able to get the Delta deal.
Of course there’s no need to have to pounce on a glitch when you’ve got the miles to do it for free on your terms. Life is too short…start seeing the world on the cheap by playing the mileage game 🙂
Wow, what a year…here’s to an even better 2014!