Getting Ready for Frequent Traveler University, Freddies, and More!

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I’m very excited to be heading to the Washington DC area today to spend several days with tons of other miles, points, and travel junkies!  Here’s what’s on tap so that you can follow along via this blog and/or Twitter (@Mommy_Points):

  • Thursday Night – Freddie Awards:  When I attended for the first time last year I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Who knew that the arena of miles and points had such a big and long running awards show?!  This is not a little rinky dink operation attended by a few people who wanted an excuse for a mileage run.  This is a big and expensive production that is attended by the heads of loyalty programs from all over the world.  Not only do they attend, but they really want to win!  I voted for my own favorites for the Freddies, and am looking forward to seeing who the winners are this year.  I was surprised by a few last year, and I hope more of my own favorites bubble to the top this year.  You know it is important when the host hotel has special key cards made up for the occasion.  😉  I plan to Tweet and blog about the winners almost as it happens. 

  • Friday Morning – Randy Peterson Executive Summit:  This event raises money for charity, and is also well attended by those in the credit card and loyalty program industry.  Last year it provided an opportunity to hear directly from those who are involved in designing promotions and card programs – both formally and through informal chat at the tables.  On tap this year are a session on “The Plastic Fantastic” (i.e., credit cards).  There will be representatives from all leading credit card brands and individual cards, and a discussion as to how credit cards helped pull loyalty programs through the recent economic crisis, how much longer will (or can) sky high acquisition bonuses be offered, and some of the trends they see into the not so distant future.  The second session will include discussions with Bob Crandall (former CEO American Airlines), Jeff Robertson (VP, SkyMiles, Delta Air Lines), David Lim (CMO, Amtrak), Avis, National Car Rental and Hertz, Tim Doolittle, Avis Budget Group VP CRM/Marketing Analytics].  I’m looking forward to both sessions and anyone can purchase a ticket to attend this event for $99.
  • Friday Night – Frequent Traveler University Kick-off Social Hour:  I’m not sure what the official name for this event is, but it starts the weekend fun surrounding the FTU.  There will be registration details to be covered, and cocktails galore flowing.  Since I am presenting the next day I will try to avoid most (but not all) of the flowing cocktails.  We’ll judge my success or failure in that endeavor the next morning.
  • Saturday and Sunday – Frequent Traveler University: This should be the largest miles and points conference ever held, and it has been sold out for months (with some tickets even being re-sold over face value?!).  I am presenting in two sessions on Saturday.  First up will be a presentation with Daraius from Million Mile Secrets on an “Intro to Miles and Points for Beginners”.  If you are new to the world of (almost) free travel, then this is the session for you.  We will help get you started and heading in the right direction.  My second session will be Saturday afternoon with Ed from Pizza in Motion on Making Family Travel Easy (or at least easier).  Both Ed and I have young kiddos and are happy to share some unique challenges (and solutions) to award travel with children.  We will also be covering many logistical tips and gear suggestions to make family travel as easy as possible.  There are tons of other great sessions going on that have nothing to do with me.  You can view the entire schedule here.  I hope to have a chance to pick up tips at some of the sessions myself!

If some of this sounds interesting to you, but you aren’t going to be at this event then consider the next Frequent Traveler University in Tampa this September or the Chicago Seminars in October.  If you are attending FTU this weekend, then be sure to read this post by New Girl in the Air to make sure you are fully registered to earn as many points as possible via Hilton promos that should help you at the host hotel!

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  1. @ Travel Splash – I’m pretty sure the deadline to transfer tickets has passed. However if you can figure out a way to make it happen, I’d be happy to pay for your unused ticket so my wife can attend.

  2. Anyone flying into the event be prepared for air traffic control delays. I was on a flight from ORD-PHL yesterday and got delayed almost an hour before taking off, then had to circle around PHL for almost 40 minutes before we could land. Ended up getting to PHL almost 2 hours later than expected. So cross your fingers that your travels are less annoying than that. Also, be nice to the flight attendants, so you don’t get kicked off the plane like the guy on my last flight, sheeeesh.

  3. Thanks @SG. I only now found Gary’s blog post that said 3/31 was the last day for transfers. I guess my ticket will go unused.

  4. @ Travel Splash. No problem. If you can work any magic and find some “secret” way to transfer, please let me know. 🙂

  5. Caroline, same here!
    Travel Splash, sadly I do think the deadline to transfer has passed. So sorry you can’t make it!
    Grant, being nice is always good advice. 😉

  6. Hi Summer. We are really excited to be here too. I just happen to pick up Kathryn yesterday from the airport. I will keep my eye out to meet you tonight or then during the weekend. Cheers Ankur

  7. @ Travel Splash, ditto to what SG said. I live in DC and am totally bummed I missed out on getting a ticket. Would love to go!

  8. Have a great time in DC for the Freddies and FTU! I wish I could come but sadly can’t. Will your little munchkin be with you during this trip or is FTU stricly all adults?

  9. Thanks MP for all your info on the event! I am looking forward to it and to meeting you as well as other bloggers and FTU goers. Should be a fine time indeed!
    Anyway, since it is related to travel… I wanted to share something with people that I think is important… some may be aware but many are not. I have no affiliation with this group mentioned below but if you read what I’ve pasted in here, please consider how to make travel easier for all of us!… I just thought I would pass it on and since I am up and online and about to attend the FTU, I figured this may be as good a place as any to share it! Sorry for its length but hey, the word has to get out, right?!
    Thursday, April 25, 2013
    Urgent: Deadline re. airlines 3 hour rule suspension request by the airlines has an incredibly short public comment period that closes tomorrow at 5 pm.
    Comment now!!submitComment;D=DOT-OST-2013-0084-0001
    I will be drafting comments for today and submitting them tomorrow but I encourage all air travelers and organizations to submit their individual opposition to this ridiculous request by the airlines.
    They are requesting to be allowed by the DOT to warehouse passengers on the tarmac for over 3 hours, without adequate food, water or even working toilet facilities, and not return to the terminal during the FAA sequester cuts in FAA air traffic controllers or for the next 90 days, whichever is longer.
    This hard fought consumer rule was enacted in 2010 and already provides reasonable flexibility for situations involving safety, security or air traffic control orders. The DOT also has enforcement discretion which has resulted so far in no airline being fined anywhere near the maximum of $27,500 per passenger, zero fines for 90% of the cases involving violations of the three hour rule.
    The rule has been highly successful, drastically reducing 3+ hour tarmac confinements by up to 98% (from 250,000 passengers per year to a still too high 5,000 per year since 2010), all with no significant adverse effects on airline operations.
    . is making a plea to the public who is already incensed by the sequester and the impact on their air travel, to do the same and document in any visible way their experiences with their flight delays and long on ground tarmac delays.
    As of this AM there is 9 public comments against granting the airlines’ suspension request and none for. The DOT needs to see that the public is firmly and massively against the airlines requested suspension of the Three Hour Rule. Please feel free to forward this email to all interested persons.
    Best Regards,
    Paul Hudson
    President, or

  10. Is there ever an FTU event in Denver, or anything else frequent flyer related in Denver? I figured with Randy Peterson in Colorado Springs there’d be more stuff going on here.

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