You Don’t Need to Buy Frequent Traveler University Tickets at Auction…

I think we’ve created a monster. The April Frequent Traveler University in the DC area is sold out, with 650 people expected to be in attendance.

Since tickets are freely transferable, I mentioned yesterday seeing a scalping offer online of $200 for a ticket (!).

Now I’m seeing something that I truly never thought I would see. A Frequent Traveler University ticket up for auction on eBay.

That’s why we wanted to make details known about the September event. You may not be able to buy tickets to April’s FTU, the largest frequent flyer gathering to date. But it’s not your last change to join in one of these gatherings, meet great friends, exchange tips with frequent flyers, and hear from experts. September 27-29 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay will be your next chance!

Tickets are now available for purchase.

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’m happy that the person who is trying to profit from a volunteer effort will not be able to come.

  2. I can’t attend and the thought did cross my mine about “what’s it worth now??” But I do believe it is against the spirit of this community as I know it. So my ticket is still available for $100 – as soon as I find it 🙁

  3. Of course it is legal. Is it good for the MP/FTU community? That’s more questionable. I’d personally like to see a list kept of those tickets that were bought and transferred and have them banned from early purchase of the next event. This is going to continue for a while to be a high demand limited availability event and it is now ripe for people picking up tickets selling it out in 20 seconds and then a full 2nd market. FTU should in my opinion discourage this.

    But it is fully legal. They have a limited availability event due to meeting room sizes, logistics, etc and they have created a demand for it. Classic taking a pie and creating more for all.

  4. Yet another sign that we’re at the peak of this “game.” 2 years from now we’ll see a landscape that isn’t so newbie friendly. Get in while the gettin’ is good.

  5. Gary, someone as well-versed on economics as you should be able to devise a way to price FTU admission at a market-clearing level.

    After you accomplish that you can proceed to step 2: price discrimination. Offer private sessions for a premium ticket price. Extra legroom seating for an add-on fee. Bundled hotel room for another add-on price. Discount from your normal award booking fee for premium ticket purchasers who need to travel to attend.

    Step 3 is of course an FTU frequent attendee program.

    Step 4 is continual devaluation of the benefits of the frequent attendee program.

    Step 5 is incorporation into FTU of sessions on how to exploit the FTU frequent attendee program.

    This could be a lot of fun!

  6. @Brabbit – Are you still looking to get rid of a ticket? Trying to find an extra for my wife to join me and you’d really be helping me out. Let me know. sgershman at gmail dot com

  7. If anyone else has a ticket they want to get rid of, I’m looking for one please contact me at

    bzrorg (at)

  8. I am willing to buy an April ticket at face value. If someone is still interested let me know. If not, then I will attend in the fall.

  9. I don’t understand. Someone is trying to make an extra buck on some tickets and he is getting flak for it while bloggers plaster their credit card affiliate links and make so much more money than that?

  10. Gary, I was think Treasury auction, which sounds like the same thing. The problem is the time dimension. Airlines and similar businesses tend to offer lower prices early and higher prices later. This captures more revenue from late deciders, who tend to be less price-sensitive.

    Maybe you should have one auction per month with a higher minimum bid each month. I don’t know how best to distribute the inventory over the auction periods. That challenge is similar to airline yield management. If you do everything right, the winning bid should exhibit only a small increase from the first to the last auction.

  11. @Kris. Precisely my thoughts!

    I love the commentary about whether it is ‘good for the community’. I don’t think ‘good for the community’ has been a factor in anyone’s thinking for about 3 years!

  12. there really is no such thing as gouging.

    scalpers and capitalists create a market.

    the market sets the price.

    nothing wrong with that.

  13. scarce items like hotel rooms can be shared by two families in times of crisis. the price should be higher.

    gas should also be even $100/gallon in times of scarcity during hurricanes etc, so that gas stations continue to have gas and people don’t waste.

  14. I reserved a room but, coming from Israel, was not sure if I would be able to come until a few weeks before the event. Maybe I should sell my room reservation for double the price if I won’t be able to get a ticket by the time I know better my ability to come……which would be early April?

  15. I’m surprised that Hilton has not sold out even with 650 attendees coming… Just reserved a room, hoping that I am able to buy a ticket from someone.

  16. What about a live web feed from the conference ? Hey, anything is possible these days ……

    You are our leader ! 🙂

  17. @Kris

    Thought it too ! It is a great theory !

    “Hate the game, not the player” as the expression goes….

  18. Hey, there’s a win/win/win option available – translating excess demand into social good:

    -Ticket holders who cannot attend offer their tickets in this blog or on MilePoint.
    -Prospective attendees offer to purchase tickets at face value, and in addition to make a charitable contribution (for example, to a charity chosen by the seller, or to an FTU or MilePoint sponsored charity).

  19. Hi

    I have one ticket to sell at face value. Please email me and we can figure out the details.


  20. Travel Splash or Sanjay — I am looking to purchase a ticket. Please e-mail me if it’s still available. Thanks.

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