Archive for May, 2012

“Did you know…Scoring a frequent flyer award seat is getting easier?”

(Chicago Tribune)

Seat Upgrade

Seat Upgrade (image courtesy of eHow)

Putting author, Ed Perkins’ skeptism (and ours, for that matter) aside,’s recent annual “Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey,” suggests that the overall average first-try availability for a frequent flyer award seat rose five percentage points over last year to well over 50 percent.

What’s your experience been?

Read Ed’s full story in the Tribune and for more info related to airline awards programs and uncovering seat upgrades and award opportunities, check out our One-on-One with chief, Christopher Barnard and ExpertFlyer’s Airline Upgrades and Awards feature.

“Did you know…Tips on how to fly around the world for free?”

(CBS News –

Travel Free

Travel Free


How one man figured out a way to turn airlines’ overbooking habit into a bumping bonanza of free travel, Diamond flyer status and thousands of award points.  You can do it, too, and our seat maps feature may even make it easier!  Read the complete story on


Hotel Safety — Part 3 of 3: In Public Areas

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

In this week’s final installment of our Hotel Safety Hot Topic Series, Nancy Dunnan, editor & publisher of the TravelSmart Newsletter, gives smart advice for hotel and motel guests while they’re in public areas of a property, such as hallways and elevators. Check out last week’s tips for staying safe post check-in, and remember, ExpertFlyer blog subscribers are eligible to receive 3 complimentary copies of  The TravelSmart Newsletter by visiting:


Hotel Elevator

Hotel Safety in Public Areas

  • Note the nearest fire exit. Then count the number of doors from your room to the exit.
  • Report anyone loitering. In a hallway or other public space.
  • Don’t get off on your floor. If you’re uncomfortable with someone on the elevator. Instead, push the button for the lobby. Then explain the situation to the concierge or security person.

If it’s a huge hotel and the restaurant floor is closer than the lobby, get off the elevator there, provided you know the restaurant is open.

  • Stand at the rear of an elevator. This makes it much more difficult for someone to grab your purse or wallet.

“Did you know…The Top 15 Travel Destinations in the World?”

World Tourism Barometer

World Tourism Barometer


Would you have guessed that the United States is the Number 1 travel destination in the world?  According to the United Nations World Tourism Barometer and based on international tourism receipts from 2011, $116.3 billion was spent on travel to the U.S.  Even at number 2 and 3, Spain and France’s receipts only totaled $59.9 billion and $53.8 billion, respectively.

Read the full story on CBS MoneyWatch.

One-on-One with Naveen Thattil, Founder & CEO of TripTwit

In this month’s One-on-One blog, ExpertFlyer talks with Naveen Thattil, founder & CEO of  TripTwit, a powerful technology that searches millions of tweets each day to find breaking travel deals based on a user’s origin, destination or brand preferences.

Soon-to-be travelers simply sign up and plug in up to 20 origin, destination or brand alerts and they receive daily emails informing them of last minute deals from across the Twittersphere.

Naveen Thattil, CEO, TripTwit

Naveen Thattil, CEO, TripTwit

“We have found a way to cull the Twittersphere and extract the travel deals YOU are interested in from the millions of conversations that are happening everyday.”

— Naveen Thattil, CEO, TripTwit

There are no shortages of travel search engines.  In fact, ExpertFlyer has interviewed at least four top sites over the last couple of years, including Hipmunk, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor and Momondo.  Can simply culling Twitter for daily travel deals really compete with these players?

Yes it can, because we focus on a different part of the purchase cycle than most travel sites. If you need to be someplace on a specific date and time then traditional booking engines like Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and Hipmunk make sense. Pre or post-purchase sites, like Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor are useful for advice and recommendations about your destination.

TripTwit is for travelers that say “I want to travel, but I’m waiting for the right deal before I pull the trigger.” Continue reading →