Learn About Miles and Points in Person: Tampa FTU Schedule Announced

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I’ve been lucky enough to attend and present at several miles and points conferences, including the Frequent Traveler University. I guess I haven’t yet been voted off the presenters list since I have been invited back to speak at the Frequent Traveler University that will be held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa September 27 – 29th. I’ll be participating in a talk on family travel as well as an intro to miles and points for those newer to the hobby. I spoke on both of those topics at the last FTU, but we will be changing things up a little this time.

This time Ed from Pizza in Motion will be my partner for the intro to miles and points session, and again during the family travel session. We will be adding some info relevant for larger families and those with older children to the family travel session. This will include looking at obtaining houses, apartments, condos, etc., instead of hotel rooms in some cases. Because of my flight schedule, I will only be participating in the first half of the family travel session, but anyone that attends will be in fantastic hands with Ed after I have to leave.

Tickets to the event are $100 and this includes a welcome reception on Friday, sessions all day Saturday and Sunday, and lunch both days. You can read more about the event and purchase tickets on the FTU website.

Even if my sessions don’t sound like they are up your alley, I hope you are still able to make it to Tampa this weekend. Many tickets have already been sold, but some still remain. Here is the full schedule:

9:00am — 9:10am | Welcome

General Session: Opening Remarks and Event Directions
with Gary Leff

9:15am — 10:30am | Session 1

A: Beginner’s Workshop: Introduction to Miles and Points
with Summer Hull (MommyPoints) & Edward Pizzarello (Pizza in Motion)
B: Mileage Runs 101
with Ben Schlappig (One Mile at a Time)
C: Earning Unlimited Miles Through Shopping Portals
with Hans Mast

10:40am — 12:10pm | Session 2

General Session: Launchpoint: Resources for Road Warriors/Frequent Flyers
with Randy Petersen

12:15pm — 1:00pm | Lunch

1:15pm — 2:30pm | Session 3

A: All about Miles, Points and Credit Cards
with Daraius Dubash (Million Mile Secrets)
B: Family Travel Made Easy(ier)
with Summer Hull (MommyPoints) & Edward Pizzarello (Pizza in Motion)
C: Introduction to International Travel
with Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)

2:45pm — 4:00pm | Session 4

A: Beyond 5X Everywhere: Earning More Points & Miles Than You Ever Dreamed Possible
with Greg Davis-Kean (Frequent Miler)
B: The World’s Best Airline Products You Can Get with Your Miles
with Ben Schlappig (One Mile at a Time)
C: DYKWIA? Successful Strategies, Pitfalls To Avoid, Getting What You Want
with Nathan Rau & Michael Rubiano

4:15pm — 5:30pm | Session 5

A: Inside the Program: American AAdvantage
with Edward Pizzarello (Pizza in Motion)
B: Free Online Tools to Make Travel Easier
with Seth Miller (The Wandering Aramean)
C: Award Booking Basics: Making the Most of Your Miles
with Gary Leff (View From the Wing) & Ben Schlappig (One Mile at a Time)



9:00am — 10:15am | Session 6

A: Beginner Q&A: Your Questions Answered
with Edward Pizzarello (Pizza in Motion)
B: Advanced Q&A: Your Questions Answered
with Gary Leff (View From the Wing) & Ben Schlappig (One Mile at a Time)
C: Travel Photography
with Hans Mast

10:30am — 11:45am | Session 7

A: Inside the Program: United MileagePlus
with Seth Miller (The Wandering Aramean)
B: Million Mile Madness: The Story Behind the Attempt to Earn 1 Million Miles in 1 Month
with Greg Davis-Kean (Frequent Miler)
C: How to Book Rental Cars for Less
with Daraius Dubash (Million Mile Secrets)
12:00pm — 12:50pm | Lunch

1:00pm — 2:15pm Session 8

A: Time to Walk Away? The End of Elite Status
How ‘Green/$$$$$’ (simply buying what you want a la carte—mileage, upgrades, Economy Plus, lounge access,etc.) is actually a better value proposition than gunning for status in the new era of revenue-based program changes.
with Steve Belkin
B: A Waste of Money? the Case Against Hotel Chains & Loyalty
with Seth Miller (The Wandering Aramean)
C: Theory to Practice: How to Find Award Space and Construct Your Booking
with Gary Leff (View From the Wing) & Ben Schlappig (One Mile at a Time)

2:30pm — 3:45pm | Session 9

A: How To Earn 40 million miles and Not Go Bankrupt, Get Divorced or Get Arrested
A nostalgic review of how dozens of Thai handicapped people, New Zealand college students and partially employed LA actors, hundreds of Swiss chocolates and empty hotel rooms, thousands of magazine subscriptions, tens of thousands of luggage tags, a $200,000 second mortgage were strategies to earn over 40 million miles. Most of these anecdotes are not replicatable, so this session is more about entertainment about the glory days of FFPs rather than current education.
with Steve Belkin
B: The World Less Traveled: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Haiti and Other Places to Consider
with Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)
with TBD

4:00pm — 4:30pm | Getting To The End

General Session: Closing Remarks and Prize Draws
with Tommy Danielsen

Of course, while the schedule looks great, part of the real draw of these events are the talks that happen informally between sessions, at lunch, and well into the evening. Whether you are coming for the official events or the informal chatting, I hope you can make it!

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  1. Looking forward to going to my third FTU (LAX and DC before). Great to meet other travel junkies and share stories. Then it’s off to GPS for a few days from MIA ($388 RT on AA).

    @MP, anything us youngsters without children can learn from your session Family Travel Made Easy(ier)?

    • Grant, some were there last time who didn’t have kids, but I would think a fair amount of the info would be of limited use. I linked to a post that had the slides toward the beginning of this post. Doesn’t have all the info we cover, but should give you a decent idea. Hope to run into you that weekend!

    • Sorry about the date typo – it is indeed September 27 – 29th. Glad some of you are going to be there!

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