Later this year will mark 8 years since the creation of RenesPoints for Better Travel. It has been a crazy wild ride. As a blogger I have had the privilege of meeting some simply fantastic and honorable folks in the world that I would never have met had it not been for RenesPoints. I count myself truly humbled. But beyond this I have also had some experiences that have blown my mind. Some of these I have shared on the blog, some I have not. Today I thought I would expand on some of the most amazing ones that happened to me or I was told due to my career in blogging.
This one is truly the one that I think about almost every day I fly. Having an airport manager email me (while on Gogo) and telling me he values my Diamond status and reads the blog and that not only will my connecting flight be held until I can make it, but also that my upgrade has cleared, and that the gate has been MOVED for me right across from my arrival gate! Oh and a gift bag with treats since I will have no time during my connection to visit the Sky Club. Just crazy right?
I really enjoyed the invite to the stunning Atlanta B Sky Club private opening. All the Delta big wigs were there including Delta’s current CEO, Ed Bastian. It was great to get a chance to see this club day one and to share one of my biggest gripes most medallions still to this day gripe about. Sad to say the issue I raised with Mr. Bastian is still a mega problem for elites.
One of Delta’s favorite jets is the 737-900er (not that everyone else loves it that much…). But the 737-900er inaugural flight was basically done with zero fan fare unlike the A350 that was a mega event. Both of these flights I paid for on my own. I always pride myself on the fact that I never have accepted “free” flights or comps from Delta Corp (unlike so many in the media who do).
You only cross 1 million miles with an airline once in your lifetime. Yes, you may cross many more million mile thresholds, but the first one is something to treasure. Mine was on a 747 and I had the stunning privilege of popping out of the escape hatch and having the copilot take my photo from the jet bridge (he climbed up on top of the bridge to get the shot). #BestMomentEver. Oh there was more, but some things I just can not share on the blog (thanks Dave – you are one of a kind)!
One of the most fun things about being a blogger is organizing AVgeek or fun run events. Perhaps the most memorable was the run to Maho Beach in St. Martin. But a very close second was the “fun run” to the boneyard in Arizona. Then again there was the Texas BBQ meat-up. Oh and a visit to Boeing in Seattle and my last Delta 747 flight (paid for 2 seats in coach). There have been a bunch more that have been so much fun! Gosh this has been great adventure.
This one may not really be a byproduct of being a blogger (as anyone can learn most of this) but I doubt I would have pushed all of this and learned so much had I not been blogging. As a Skyteam focused blogger I love love loved flying Lufthansa 747-8 1st class cheap on points (until United trashed their award program). Many stunning trips to Grand Cayman and diving plus a visit to the Concord museum in Barbados. There have been many more but these were some of my favorites.
Have you ever flown a real airline simulator (you can do that at the Delta museum btw – another reader event)? OK next question… have you ever flown a real life Delta 747 sim in ATL? Yeah, this is one of the moments in my life I will never, EVER, forget as long as I live. Just mind blowing coolness.
One of the best ever Delta people, who sadly no longer works for Delta, gave me a personal tour of the OCC in ATL. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. This place is the machine that keeps Delta running and never canceling a flight (just about ever).
Very few readers know that becoming the official launch site for the final push to unload millions upon millions of soon to be worthless SkyMiles from Skymall was one of the things that exploded RenesPoints from a new blog to “THE blog” for Delta flyers. Some readers just crushed this one and that was back in the day when SkyMiles had real value!
My last, maybe most amazing and impactful part of my blogging life, is the unique privilege of knowing and meeting Randy Petersen. This man is THE guru of the travel world. He is a legend. I am humbled that I can call him, not only boss, but a friend. Few on this big blue planet can say that.
Overall, these past 8 years have been an amazing ride. Thank you loyal readers from the bottom of my heart! Oh and I will still be around and posting now and then here on the blog and vlogging as well. I hope to see you in a Delta Sky Club or up in the air on a Delta jet or even on a mileage fun run to who knows where! – René
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