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A few times a year I pack up and head off to a frequent flyer conference to talk miles and points with anyone who wants to listen and chat. I almost always have a great time and learn something new at those conferences. If you like learning and chatting face to face, then one of the hardest things to do is to actually narrow down which one of these types of conferences to go to since there have been an increasing number of them in the last couple of years.
The biggest miles and points conference these days is the Frequent Traveler University. They had been hosting 2 or 3 different Frequent Traveler Universities in different cities around the country each year, but for 2015 it has been decided there will be just one main FTU. There will still be multiple, smaller, FTU Advanced sessions this year.
However, if you are newer to the hobby, and to attending these type of conferences, your only chance to attend a regular Frequent Traveler University will be April 17th – 19th in Dallas at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport Hotel. The official schedule was just posted this morning, and there are still tickets available to the event for $149 for the weekend. The ticket price includes the FTU sessions (not the FTU Advanced sessions), the cocktail reception Friday night, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
If you need a place to stay, the conference rate for the Hyatt Regency DFW is $99 per night. If you would rather use points, you can burn 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night to stay there and save the cash. However, at $99 a night, I’d value Hyatt points too highly to do use them in this manner unless you were points rich and cash strapped.
If you are interested in attending one of these conferences this year, I recommend checking out the schedule to see if the topics and presenters align with your interests. They have done a good job at covering many different hotel and airline programs, types of travel, and topics related to both earning and redeeming miles and points. I’ll be presenting in Dallas with Ed from Pizza in Motion on both “Ten Ways to Make Family Travel Cheaper and Easier” and “Getting Started with Miles and Points”.
While I think there is a lot that can be learned in the sessions, the connections you can make with other miles and points junkies at these types of events can’t be understated. Some of the deals and opportunities I learn about are because I am on “private threads”, email lists, and other similar things with my miles and points friends. The only way to make real miles and points friends is to get out there and say hello. It is weird at first, but you will find you probably have a lot in common with others who share this same hobby.
I hope to see some of you in Dallas!