ExpertFlyer is an Impressive Tool for Finding Award-Seat Availability

Sometimes it’s easier to accumulate frequent flyer miles than it is to spend them economically. This happened to me this week, when I was trying to find award-seat availability for travel to Japan, with very limited time and date flexibility.

ExpertFlyer came to the rescue. It’s a subscription service, with a no-cost option, that assists in finding empty seats bookable with frequent-flyer miles.

When I checked on Tuesday, the flights I needed to be on simply had no available seats. So, I set some alerts with ExpertFlyer, so it would send me an email if anything opened up.

Sure enough, this morning there were three applicable emails in my Inbox. Seats on American Airlines flights had become available overnight, and I was able to put them on Hold.

ExpertFlyer saved the day for me, and I expect to continue my paid subscription. If you have frequent-flyer miles, it’s worth checking out the free option and see if it’s useful for you.

Photo by mripp / Flickr

Austin to London, All Summer, Only $755 Round-Trip

United Airlines and Air Canada. This is a very good price for summer travel. When you have arrived in London you are not stuck there, because you can take a train or one of the many ULCCs (Ultra Low-Cost Carriers) like Ryanair and EasyJet to other European destinations.

London is Great for Sightseeing. Photo by @Doug88888 / Flickr

Cheap Flights: Austin to London $736 r/t – American

Passport-pocalypse Set to Happen This Year

Nine years ago the US government mandated that all air travelers, including US citizens traveling to Mexico and Canada, needed passports. Millions of passports were issued. Those passports are good for 10 years, then they need to be renewed. That means in 2016.

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2016/01/a-few-tips-on-how-to-beat-the-mad-dash-of-passport-renewals-coming-this-year.html

If your US passport is slated to expire in 2016, you will avoid substantial delays by getting it renewed now.

Passports of Various Nations, Photo by Baigal / Flickr

Not Even Kanye West Can Cut the Line at Franklin BBQ in Austin

Franklin’s in Austin has the best barbeque in the known universe…I know, I’ve eaten there 3 times. That’s three times more than Kanye West, who tried to cut the line.

http://austin.com/kanye-west-gets-shut-trying-cut-line-franklin-bbq/

The only person in that same known universe who was permitted to cut the line was President Barack Obama.

Kanye visited Austin, but midded out on Franklin BBQ. Photo by  jurvetson / Flickr

Possible Hyatt – Amazon Link Coming

It’s mostly speculation, but in the future Amazon Prime members might earn Hyatt points for purchases on Amazon. For some of us, that could be a ton of points.

It seems like a no-brainer for Hyatt, even if they just give the points to Amazon. So many people are Amazon Prime members, and each would automatically start accumulating a few Hyatt points…therefore starting to think of Hyatt as their first-choice hotel brand.

New Ways to Earn Hyatt Points Coming?