Sep 3, 2013

New Blog: Flight Leverage Introduction

Friends who follow my travel escapades have long said I should start a blog, but I’ve resisted: there’s a wealth of other resources with great content, and I was never sure I contribute beyond all the other great blogs out there.

Since leaving my home in May and becoming a travel-full-time digital nomad, I’ve been immersed in the travel world and have focused on leveraging as much travel value as I can. Coming up with interesting travel hacks has become my passion. Sharing my thoughts, tips, and experiences seems to make sense, and I think now’s the right time to start.

There are a few reasons why I think I bring a unique angle to travel hacking:

  • My academic background is in economics: I bring an analytical approach to miles/points and flights, always cognizant of trade-offs, opportunity cost, and the importance of resisting bias.
  • I write computer software: I apply an engineering mindset to most problems, love tinkering, and am passionate about learning how things work. I think there’s a surprising amount of cross-over between curious softare engineers and travel hackers.
  • I’m a digital nomad: I travel full time, so travel decisions affect me every day. In order to survive without running out of money, I have to leverage small amounts of money into lots of travel.
  • I find extreme flying invigorating: I mileage-run frequently, primarily for redeemable miles, on less-than 3.0 CPM fares. This year I’ll fly on about 150,000 miles of mileage runs, in the process hitting UA 1K, US Chairman’s Preferred, and AA ExecutivePlatinum for 2013.
  • I travel with a stuffed penguin: you can always expect a healthy dose of sillyness and some random penguin pictures. I am proud to help flightless birds become less flightless.

My approach to travel blogging will be different:

  • No Monetization: I have no intention of ever monetizing this blog with ads or affiliate links, at least not for a while. I make my living as a software developer, and to the extent a reader might have interesting project work for me in the future, that’s monetization enough.
  • No Credit Cards: I don’t find the “credit card game” to be particularly interesting. I prefer to earn miles from actual BIS flying, and I won’t ever have anything to say about credit cards.
  • Low Throughput, High Quality: Fewer articles, each one of higher quality.
  • Open Source: This entire blog is completely open sourced on GitHub. Nothing is hidden except my deployment credentials.

Here’s a preview of some articles you can expect over the next few months:

  • Mileage Running as a Hobby
  • Hyatt Diamond Challenge for United Golds and Above
  • Flying Thai Airways 747 First Class for $79
  • Mileage Run Report: Double-Back Red-Eyes at 2.0 CPM
  • The Mile Value Curve: Increasing, then Decreasing Marginal Value
  • Mileage Running to United 1K, US Chairman’s, and American ExecutivePlatinum in One Year
  • Staying Classy in International First Class with a T-Shirt and a Stuffed Penguin
  • Fifth Freedom Routes for Bargain International First Class
  • Tracking your Miles as a Financial Asset on Mint.com
  • Trip Report: First Class Extravaganza in Asia

I’m looking forward to writing about my favorite hobby. I hope you enjoy the content!


Flightless Bird on Cathay First Flightless Bird on Emirates First Flightless Bird on Lufthansa 747-8i Business
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