Bits ‘n Pieces for December 3, 2012

News and Notes from Around the Interweb:

  • Lots of great writeups of Frequent Traveler University. The next Frequent Traveler University will be April 26-28 in Northern Virginia.

  • I’ve had quite a bit of difficulty getting any of the recent methods for generating a 50,000 (or 55,000) point signup bonus for the United Explorer card to work recently. Online Travel Review says that if you log into your account and then use this link that you’ll be able to generate one. Although it’s a bit your mileage may vary, and since i already have a card (and folks whose accounts I manage do as well) I’m not able to independently verify this.

  • At the old United, if you wanted to stand by for a different flight, you usually had to clear the flight before you could be added to the waitlist. Matthew Klint says SHARES will let you waitlist for a flight and to upgrade on that flight at the same time. His advice when using confirmed upgrade instruments is to book the flight you can upgrade for sure, then do a same-day confirmed change around 23 hours and 40 minutes when remaining first class seats will usually be offered as confirmable upgrade (but not free upgrade) seats.

    He says if the confirmed upgrade isn’t available on your desired flight, you can even “keep your confirmed upgrade and waitlist for your earlier desired flight.” I don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to but not much about SHARES works the way it’s intended. (Although sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between features and bugs!)

  • Frequent Miler reports that BigCrumbs has increased its cash back payout on American Express gift cards.

  • The chipotle chicken on American Airlines is surprisingly good. Just saying.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I can confirm I have seen my name go to near the top of the upgrade list and top of the standby list at the same time.

    The problem with standby/waitlisting (as opposed to confirmed change) is that you can only do it at the airport. At least that’s what I get told every time I try on the phone.

  2. While not for everyone, per the PT thread, you can walk into a Chase branch and request the 50K offer. People are reporting success even if they don’t bank with Chase.

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