Welcome to a new Sunday series that will be a bit like a fireside chat. I count it a privilege to be a part of an amazing group of Travel bloggers here at BoardingArea.com. But just how well do you know “your” BoardingArea writers? Are you reading all the blogs you should be each day? This series will help you get to know them one by one. Now on to this weeks chat.
BoardingArea is not just all about the USA. Tim not only lives outside the USA (he resides in The Netherlands) but he writes for those who love all kinds of travel – not just first class or coach. I like to read Tim’s blog Points to be Made for perspective. I can find deals for me on the other BoardingArea blogs, but for knowledge I like to see what Tim has to say to me. Let’s get to know him a bit better.
Rene – Hello Tim, it is great to sit down with you this week for a chat. I love The Netherlands and had such a great visit to Amsterdam this summer. But let’s talk about you. With so much going on in your life, why blog and why “BA”?
Tim – Good evening Rene! Well my reason to start the blog could be seen as unusual. I had just accepted a new job in NL and needed practice writing about complicated, technical subjects in simple English to eliminate language barriers. Out of all my hobbies, I felt air miles would be the best topic. One of the first things I wrote was explaining the Luhn Algorithm to get Hilton Gold, and also using Maximum Permissible Mileage ticketing. Not easy to keep simple for sure!
Why BoardingArea? In practical terms I was looking for more readership of my material, and secretly hoping BoardingArea’s established American readership could steer to a wider audience in Europe too. It got really tiresome reading about Chase credit cards which don’t exist this side of the pond! One day I arranged a call with Randy Petersen and we really hit it off from there. I was fascinated to hear of his life story of selling women’s stockings one day to writing frequent flier magazines the next. We never really spoke about my blog, and we rarely do still, but I knew it would be safe in his hands.
Rene – Once you meet Randy, your life does tend to change! It is so fun to get this background about you too. So many times we read the words of the blogger but don’t really know the person behind them. So what is next for Points to be Made for the rest of this year and what do we have to look forward to?
Tim – My main goal is to post more frequently, as I’m fully aware that it could be much better than now. But bear with me…it’s not easy adjusting to a new job in a new country where you don’t speak their language! I’m currently writing a beginners’ guide to hotel points which should distill the necessary information for someone brand new to points. I am also conversant in EU residence laws so I am experimenting with a few ways to sign up for foreign credit cards. It could be a while before I write about this one though!
Rene – That sounds exciting. It will be fun to follow. I try to make these chats not about Delta Points readers but I just have to do one little shout out since you fly KLM a bit and are based in The Netherlands – if readers have KLM questions can they reach out to you?
Tim – Most certainly! I’ve only been using KLM as of this year so wouldn’t profess to being the leading expert in Flying Blue. I started this hobby with British Airways so that’s where I feel most comfortable, but since moving to NL I’ve had to learn the ins and outs of Star Alliance and Skyteam. But as I always say: once you know how to study one loyalty program in detail, it’s easy to pick up another.
Rene – Great! So tell us, from your side of the planet’s perspective, what you think the European programs are going to look like over the next few years and what you are hoping to see?
Tim – When British Airways introduced the Reward Flight Saver back in 2011 to slash taxes on award bookings, that was my realization of how big the potential of air miles were. If the other EU airlines are serious about loyalty programs then I hope they follow suit. Whilst they’re at it reduce fuel surcharges too! They are simply farcical and it doesn’t take a bright customer to know they don’t correlate with the market!
Rene – Tim it has been so much fun getting to know you better. BoardingArea brings such a wealth of knowledge from all over the planet to the table and what impacts the rest of the world will impact us as well. I can’t wait to see what is next for Points to be Made!
Tim – Thanks for spending the time to chat Rene, and I wish prosperity for Delta Points too!
In addition to here on BoardingArea – Points to be Made – you can follow Tim on Facebook and on Twitter or RSS feed. I hope you enjoyed this week’s chat and be sure to check back next week when we get to sit down with another one of our top bloggers and to see what they are all about – René