Win a Seat to the SOLD OUT Star MegaDO 4 Contest

Milesquest readers have a chance to win a seat to the next Star MegaDO4 and sit next to Randy Petersen, the founder of Flyertalk, InsideFlyer, Milepoint, and Boarding Area. The contest is sponsored by Boardingarea.

The schedule for the sold out Star MegaDo4 schedule can be found here.

The prize:
1. A reserved aisle or window seat next to Randy Petersen on the upcoming StarMegaDo 2012, hotel accommodations, and $250 for personal expenses!

In order to enter the contest, you need to do the following:

The rules:
1. Post an answer to this question in the comments section and enter your email address in the appropriate field. “Where do you foresee the frequent flyer hobby going in five years from now?
2. The “Entry Period” for the “Win a Seat with Randy Petersen” Giveaway is from 12:00:01 am Mountain Time (MT) October 1, 2012 to 11:59:59 pm MT October 7, 2012.
3. Entrants are limited to one submission per participating blog.
4. The complete rules can be found here

You can also have additional entries by leaving comments on the contest posts of these other BoardingArea blogs:

View From The Wing
One Mile at a Time
Flying With Fish
Marshall Jackson on Travel
Road Warriorette
The Wandering Aramean
Delta Points
Points, Miles and Martinis
Mommy Points
Frequent Miler
Pearls of Travel Wisdom
Live from a Lounge
The Skeptical Traveler
Plane β€˜n Simple
Miles from Blighty
Getting Status
Rapid Travel Chai
Loyalty Traveler
Hack my Trip
Just Another Points Traveler
New Girl in the Air
Point me to the Plane



  1. don’t expect many changes. miles for a variety of things. award charts increase overtime (simple inflation really). flashes of big miles promotions that last a short period.

  2. Sadly, I think miles will be more linked to the price of the ticket. I could see a combination formula being used, but that would be far too complicated for even very savvy frequent flyers to plan mile earning extras. The airlines are now earning money even in a bad economy. They are not satisfied with those earnings that are now are close to what the airlines made in the 1990s. So cutting miles rewarded to occasional travellers is next. Right now, the only way for airlines to keep high revenue flyers is thru the loyalty programs.

  3. I see credit card bonus becoming more stable at c.30k with higher minimum spends. Are amazing offers will be quickly pulled as too many people hear about them fast BUT competition will still exist and genuine frequent fliers will be rewarded

  4. I can’t see it going any way besides becoming more difficult. Awards and status will become more dependent on revenue than other factors, and signup bonuses for cards will probably become less lucrative for churners.

  5. Sadly, I expect the airlines to much better align awards to actual passenger value by introducing revenue based earning and more expensive premium redemption. It will be harder for infrequent fliers with only average spending to rake in enough points for premium travel.

  6. I see it getting more expensive as carriers continue to consolidate and find that can offer less to maintain the rolls of their most frequent fliers. It will be interesting to see if Virgin or Jet Blue become players in the frequent flier game . . .

  7. I think the interest in FFP programs will decrease except to those who are truly devoted, as miles/ points devalue and rewards become harder to redeem.

  8. I see a continuation of the bonus miles because credit cards are lucrative for banks but award tickets becoming increasingly hard to get.

  9. I see an evolution where money will be rewarded more so than loyalty – meaning, airlines will continue to rewards flyers, but the ones who bring them the most profit rather than volume. Hopefully, if this were to happen, it won’t be at a greater loss for those of us who truly do like flying and could use the extra incentives!

  10. Unfortunately I am not optimistic about the future of FF programs or the FF/miles/points hobby. I see more of these programs becoming revenue driven rather than loyalty driven.

  11. I think that we will see more attempts at taxing of miles and points. The government loves to get more money.

  12. I believe that there will be a period of lower bonuses and higher spend until one of the CC issuers drops a big bonus to grab as much business as possible and then it will be crazy competition for a while. I hope.

  13. More airlines moving to revenue-based frequent flier programs and much less lucrative redemption opportunities.

  14. Will go two ways. Airlines will go with big spenders, two different type. Big spenders in travel, and big spenders of credit card spends.

    Their money making model has changed, they can make money either way. So, they will push both way.

  15. I shared tips on spending miles with a stranger last flight last week. We have become friends and found out that we have something in common in term of research/work!

  16. In a transitional phase with airlines converting to revenue-based programs. Will be a much different game.

  17. Awards will move towards evenue based awards versus mileage based. Credit cards will probably offer smaller initial bonus but also offer a bonus for renewing your annual fee.

  18. More revenue-based programs, but still plenty of opportunities around, particularly from foreign programs.

  19. credit cards will stil offer bonuses although restrict churning – awards will be tighter with less inventory and cost more

  20. I think credit card bonuses will increasingly have higher spend limits, and some airlines will revert to a revenue based system instead of a mileage system, but many airlines will keep the current system which offers great value, especially for premium cabins.

  21. Probably revenue-based rewards instead of mileage-based awards and severely de-valued awart charts; looking at a depression soon =(

  22. The loopholes and amazing deals will likely tighten, but I hope things stay close to the current norm. Fingers crossed!

  23. Frequent flying in the hobby way has gone downhill fast in the last 5 years with mergers and diminishing benefits, and I don’t suspect things to improve for us in the next five. Creativity is the key now.

  24. We travel hobbyists will still be flying all over the world, enjoying travel. It would help if banks would get back to some more generous card offers! Thanks for the contest.

  25. As the traveling companies are more and more online, error fares will be unpublished and specials used to fill the capacity or to make word of mouth promotions.

  26. It will become more monetized and change from a hobby to more of a business due to greater airline restrictions as the airlines also try to better monetize their business model

  27. More people trying to get involved in it professionally. The airlines are stratifying casual travellers more and it makes them either push for Elite or go cheapest (or loyal to LCC)

  28. I think there will be more status tiers as consolidated (huge) airlines will need to better segment out customers. I think for higher tiers perks will stay the same or get better – business travel is becoming more and more optional with technology improvements – incentives to fly and maintain loyalty will be important.

  29. Sadly I don’t see the hobby continuing on with the current bonus levels from the banks. I suspect the airlines will change to more of an Avios model as well, tightening things up. And fuel surcharges increasing as well. I hope I’m wrong though, and intend to ride it out as long as I can!

  30. Companies foraging the employee accounts and claiming the miles for “itself” vs. the employee being able to use the miles for personal use…or else somehow taxing the employee for the mileage usage if on personal time (unfortunately….)!

  31. Unfortunately, the banks and hotels are going to tighten up on the ways that they give out miles/points. We already see that in the “high” minimun spends required to get miles…… $10,000 in 6 months. In the future, miles/points will be awarded based more on spending habits of customers. Ughhhhh….!

  32. As travel gets more and more expensive, more people will jump on the band wagon and it’s going to get more challenging in the years to come.

  33. a lot less easy loop holes to earn lots of miles. Already some of the more ridiculous promotions such as getting miles for mortgages etc have gone away.

  34. More creative ways for airlines to extract value from FF points/miles. This will lead to more tight integration of co-branded credit cards with the FF programs, creating pseudo-elites of the card holders.

  35. they will probably turn into more revenue based point-earning systems. I see partners tightening up availability for first class or even business class redemption, just like what SWISS, lufthansa, and SQ are already doing. more devaluations. maybe easier miles-earning opportunities from credit cards as the economy recovers and people start to spend more.

  36. I think credit card churning will become much more difficult as banks increase minimum spend and crack down on true “churning.” There seems to be a new trend toward prepaid cards/gift card churning.

  37. I think the avenues to get points will continue to grow, but so will the cost of awards. Mistake fares will still happen, but won’t stick around as long due to the fact that info gets around quick.

  38. I think the best deals are gone for good, and it will be much more difficult to get some real bargain just with your points or miles.

  39. Programs are trying to switch to revenue based models for elite status, but there should still be arbitrage opportunities for using redeemable miles/points. I think there will be less value in elite status that can’t just be purchased for a reasonable price, and I will personally have to find more value in just plain old cheap trips to exotic places.

  40. Unforunately, I think the minimum spend for credit card bonuses will continue to go up, leading frequent flyers to find even more creative ways to make those spends. I don’t imagine that the signups will disappear, but I do think that they will take steps to make it harder to earn them.

    I also imagine that miles will continue to be devalued, meaning that you should earn to burn, and not hoard!

  41. I think it’s going to be more restrictive as programs start to move toward revenue based models. It’s unfortunate for those of us on a budget.

  42. Credit companies and Airlines are only getting tighter alliances. While the “signup-spend-mass reward” model will go away, I think the future sign-ups will be much more interesting. They need incentives more difficult to monetize. With something like Chase, I think you could even see hotel and airline blended bonuses.

  43. I think there will be fewer opportunities for the “Big Deals” that often come our way now. Award ticket prices are bound to go up.

  44. I worry that the continued consolidation of airlines, rental car agencies, and potentially hotels will result in fewer grand opportunities. I also am concerned that awards may be taxed in the future.

  45. Devaluation and less benefits offered for those who fly while people can just purchase status if they have the money.

  46. Credit card bonuses demanding higher spends, airlines liquidating for harder redemptions, mileage requirements increasing…….somehow getting worse like the world economy and situation..therefore, carpe diiem!

  47. The hobby will continue to evolve tremendously over much shorter periods of time than five years, that’s a long window.

  48. I just see the hobbyists getting smarter, the airlines getting craftier, and another new “darknet” of frequent flying will grow.

    It’s all cyclical. Seen it before, it’ll come around again.

    Like: did you know that you used to be able to fly SYD-MEL-HBA-MEL-ADL-BNE-CNS-DRW-CNS-SYD for 20k Qantas points?

    Like: did you know there is a subset of Emirates flyers changing their names so they start with ‘Aa’ to maximise chances of op-ups, regardless of status?

  49. Devaluation seems inevitable. For someone who doesn’t fly for business purposes it’s already pretty tough.

  50. Unfortunately I see availability going down, fees going up and credit card bonus offers getting hard to get! Until then I am flying high!

  51. less availability of biz and lst class seats, less lucrative credit card bonus sign up, devaluation of air miles

  52. Five years is a long time. But, pessimisim aside, we are all going to keep finding ways to travel the world through incredible deals. Especially by communicating great finds instantly throughout our unique, if diverse and sometimes fragmented, community. Its always going to be too hard for the average traveller to follow this fastinating pursuit.

  53. If Delta succeeds in making Skypesos a revenue based program, I suspect this hobby will largely die as it will be reduced to a rebate program rather than one designed to permit price discrimination.

  54. I agree that too many people figuring out the tricks will reduce the number of truly amazing bonuses, but I think airlines make enough money selling points and the credit card companies give out enough that go unused that we won’t see it going away anytime soon.

  55. Unfortunately, devaluation of miles and points increases constantly. Let’s face it, they have us hooked, and they know it.

  56. deals will still come, but they will die quickly. Credit card bonuses will still be around, but for big spenders

  57. As airlines feel increased pressure to increase revenue, they will look to add value and amenities for business travelers to justify a rise in prices for premium seats and commuter flights. At the same time, the forward-thinking airlines will come to recognize and even embrace the frequent flying enthusiast community with specialized access and experiences to help differentiate themselves from competitors. These airlines will attempt to shift consumer priority away from pricing (cheapest ticket or lowest cpm) and augment their affinity programs. Industry consolidation will continue while discount airlines and price-sensitive consumers persist, of course; airlines will jockey for the most lucrative routes and loyal customers.

  58. Card bonuses getting smaller, and spend getting higher; Delta going the BIS/revenue route, and others following. The hotel business will still be a decent place to pick up a promo as they are not in such a race to the bottom as the airlines.

  59. It will be harder to find the prime routes in premium seats, but savvy flyers who are flexible will still get great value from their miles!

  60. Devaluations, quicker IT departments for errors (redemptions and prices), and intentional flash sales of points or trips – some good and some marketed to take advantage of the Facebook ‘Me-Too!’ crowd. Oh, and a bit of industry consolidation and a fourth alliance.

  61. I see credit card bonuses coming down a bit, but still being lucrative. Enough people don’t use their miles that I think it will still be profitable for the airlines to sell points.

  62. I fell that frequent flying as a “Hobby” will go the way of the dinosaur. Too many players will slice the pie too small.

  63. I hope it will get me to Asia in the front of the plane at 4 star hotels for two weeks. After that I don’t know.

  64. I see more people becoming aware of what they are missing and sign up in droves leading to more restrictions.

  65. The return of BIS miles having a higher impact on your standing and earning rate then card awards and churns.

  66. We’re all going to wish for the good ol’ days when flights were cheap, and we’ll wish that we had saved more of our miles. Businesses will give discounts for paying with cash and alternative payment methods — largely destroying the mileage earning opportunities from credit card purchases. Delta’s website will still be broken.

  67. Chase will continue to be aggressive with sign up bonuses and capture 90% of the churn market, then go belly up.

  68. I unfortunately expect a lot of the big windfalls to continue disappearing. But I’ll happily be proven wrong! πŸ™‚

  69. Probably pretty similar to how it is, even if the way rewards are paid out is different. There’ll always be some way to game it.

  70. I see the availability of points to tighten up, and the hobby will go back to rewarding those who travel the most.

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