Bitcoin Songsheet: Airline Miles Are The Original Altcoins
Airline miles are the original altcoin, allowing zombie companies to issue
value for nothing while encouraging people to be “Miles Chasers.”
Apr 11, 2022
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Confessions of a Miles Chaser
I used to be one of those Miles Chasers. I’d spend an hour looking for a way to earn miles so I could get the equivalent of $8 in miles. Somehow, it never registered that I was giving myself a job at $8/hr. The sadder thing is that the work didn’t really benefit anybody or build anything. It was as productive as doomscrolling through Facebook. Unfortunately, Miles Chasing is a hard habit to break because of the scarcity mentality that’s so common to fiat money: You can take the miles from my cold, dead hands.
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I was once a “miles chaser”, but I never bought into the credit card offers and other ”extra miles” gimmicks.
I had a job at AT&T where I was doing database trying for a new footprint side roll out. I had to visit an absurd number of cities in — as I remember it — in 8 week window. The United plan had some number of miles and “segments” for a few week in Hawaii including free round trip first class tickets for two people. Getting miles was the “easy part”; segment were much harder. Reading the “rules”, a non-stop counted as one segment, but stops along the route counted as segments. Since I was allowed to chose my flights, I took the roll out schedule and figured out how to do the training and collect the required number of segments. Laugh! (Just tell me the rules and I’ll figure it out.) So I was doing two cities a week Monday / Tuesday in City #1 and then Thursday / Friday in City #2. So Sunday night I went Trenton to Pittsbugh to O’Hare then proceeding to City #1. On Wednesday I’d fly from City #1 to City #2; non-stop unless I needed more segments. And finally on Friday night, inbound to home from City #2 to O’Hare, Pittsburgh, and Trenton. Laugh! No problem. Then Frau Reinke and I went to Hawaii via LA and San Fran with side trips to Las Vegas and Reno.
Made it all worthwhile. Got a great appraisal for doing the training with a raise, bonus, and promotion. No much of a life for those 8 weeks but everything in life was a trade off. I even got kudos for “saving travel money” since the price of direct flights at the time was about triple my connectors.
It was a great “life hack” and I learned to always study the rules.
I never used or collected “miles” after that.