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November 16, 2010

UsingMiles.com Claims to Solve a Longtime Problem for Frequent Fliers

UsingMiles.com
Today I'm at the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, watching tech innovators demonstrate cool travel tools that they either launched recently or are unveiling today. If you've read my latest Perrin Report column—on "magic" travel sites that save you money, time, and headaches—then you know which time-tested online tools I consider to be tried and true. Today I'm learning about tools that I haven't had a chance to test yet, but that are worth having on our radar. UsingMiles, for instance. 

One of the biggest quandaries frequent fliers face is: When should I pay for an airline ticket, versus redeeming miles for it? UsingMiles.com, which calls itself "the world's first frequent flyer search engine," promises to solve this problem. It claims to pinpoint the value of a mile in each individual airline program and tell you when you're better off paying cash, redeeming miles, or using a combination of the two. "Our goal," says UsingMiles.com founder Austin Veith, "is to help travelers manage and utilize their frequent-flier miles like a true monetary asset, just like you would manage your investment portfolio."

Interesting, huh? If you decide to give the site a whirl, let me know what you think!

Addendum on Nov 23: I asked Randy Petersen, founder of WebFlyer and FlyerTalk, for his take on UsingMiles.com.  My question and his answer were via Twitter, so his answer is crunched, but it was so interesting that I thought I should share it here: "You'll see UsingMiles as part of tech re-launch of MileageManager.com, I have been helping them for months now, so good getting better!"  I use MileageManager myself, so this has me intrigued. When I find out more about what Randy and team have in store, I'll let you know. 

Comments

Would like to give it a whirl, but right now it's "invitation only."

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