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593rd Friday Blog Roundup

I recently received an email from an airline, let’s call it Flights-R-Us.  So Flights-R-Us tells me that I need to use my frequent flyer reward points or lose them.  I go on the site and see that I can either apply those points toward a future flight or use them on hotels, restaurants, or gift cards.  I decide to make things simple and get myself a gift card.

I click on the item and it tells me that in order to use my rewards, I also need to open a special Flights-R-Us credit card.  This doesn’t sound quite right in terms of how loyalty reward programs usually work, so I call Flights-R-Us and explain the conundrum to the representative on the phone.

Flights-R-Us: The numbers you see on the site are the number of points you’ll receive if you buy that item.

Mel: But I’m on your reward website.  There are no prices.  There are only points.

Flights-R-Us: That’s right.

Mel: You’re going to tell me that if I click on the… let’s say… Kindle Paperwhite, I will pay an undisclosed amount and receive 80,000 points in return?

Flights-R-Us: Yes.

Mel: And where do I use all these points I’m collecting as I purchase items from your reward program website?

Flights-R-Us: You use them on the website.

Mel: Okay, so that’s what I want to do.  I have all these points, I would like to use the points.

Flights-R-Us: So click on the Kindle Paperwhite to use the points.

Mel: So I use points to get the Kindle Paperwhite?

Flights-R-Us: No, you get points by buying the Kindle Paperwhite.

Mel: For an undisclosed amount since there are no dollar amounts listed anywhere on the site.

Flights-R-Us: Yes, that is correct.

I ended up calling a different number and speaking to a different representative who informed me that my first understanding was correct.  I could not use my frequent flyer rewards on anything other than flights unless I opened up a credit card.  Since this exchange (1) inspired no confidence in the airline itself and (2) sounded like a complete scam on the part of the airline, I decided to let the frequent flyer miles expire.  If brands wonder why customers don’t have loyalty in the future, this exchange above is their answer.


Stop procrastinating.  Go make your backups.  Don’t have regrets.

Seriously.  Stop what you’re doing for a moment.  It will take you fifteen minutes, tops.  But you will have peace of mind for days and days.  It’s the gift to yourself that keeps on giving.

As always, add any new thoughts to the Friday Backup post and peruse new comments in order to find out about methods, plug-ins, and devices that help you quickly back up your data and accounts.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

IF Pomegranate has a post pointing out our similarities and differences.  She asks: “Anyone else feel like even though you are surrounded (virtually) by people who are going through IF in their own way, you are still alone in this?”  She has a unique situation, and she is looking to connect with someone who has a similar story.  Click over and see if you connect.

Torthúil has a great story about what can happen when you silence your inner monologue and just show up.  Go over and read what happens when your anxiety and dread doesn’t come true.

My Path to Mommyhood has a great post about turning 40, which seems to be a bit of a theme this week (see below).  She writes: “Things turned out differently than I originally thought they would. But…they turned out more beautifully than I could have ever imagined, even with all the twists and turns and pain and losses and setbacks we never could have seen coming. Maybe in some ways BECAUSE of those twisty parts.”  It’s about honouring where you are now rather than focusing on where you wish you would be.

On that note, Anabegins also has a post about turning 40.  Her point about age being tied to hope blew my mind.  She explains this so much better on the post (hence the ellipses removing all of the brilliant points you need to click over and read), but she states, “I’ve been mourning the loss of possibility that comes with aging; and since possibility amounts to hope, I think its worth mourning, at least in a controlled and limited fashion … I don’t daydream anymore  — I’ve tried — there just isn’t anything big and GOOD* left that isn’t already set … If I think too hard about the future I realize that people I love may be gone, my children will be TEENAGE BOYS, my joints will be creakier & my hair grayer and oh my god this is terrifying STOP. Life, and circumstance, and common sense have taken all the FUN out of daydreaming.”  Go over and read it.

Inconceivable has a post tying organizing into tidying the mind after infertility and loss.  It is a very moving post that will stick with you for a long time, forcing to think about the thoughts you’re keeping.

Lastly, CD1 Again returns with an update after 3 years.  I love the magic of the rss feed which makes posts on dormant blogs pop up as if no time has passed.  It’s a post that is both proof to the desire to keep hearing each other’s stories, as well as the fact that life goes on.  She writes that she is going to repurpose the space, and I, for one, am happy to hear those words.

The roundup to the Roundup: Bizarre reward programs.  Your weekly backup nudge.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between April 22nd and April 29th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Cristy { 04.29.16 at 8:29 am }

Your experience with Flights-R-Us reminds me of the “who’s on first” skit. Laughing painfully on this end because that just sucks.

It’s NIAW, so there have been a lot of posts on this year’s theme. Won’t go into them, but this one from Mali deserves a second shout-out. http://nokiddinginnz.blogspot.com/2016/04/startasking-for-recognition.html?m=1

2 Justine { 04.29.16 at 11:35 am }

Yikes. I hate going around in circles with people whose logic is deeply flawed … !

And thanks AGAIN for the shout out! It was actually a good poke to write more, though I got sick and was in bed for three days last week into this week, which threw a bit of a wrench into my plans … 🙂 That said, it did become a topic of conversation around my college this week, because it turns out that professors and grad students have the same problem!

3 Ana { 04.29.16 at 11:36 am }

First, thanks for the shout out (and the kind words!). Honored to be among some really really excellent picks this week.
Second, ugh that interaction with the airline is comically infuriating. Usually you can cash some in for a magazine or something at least!

4 nonsequiturchica { 04.29.16 at 3:31 pm }

Most airlines will let you buy something to make sure that your points don’t expire. A few years ago I bought socks so that my United points didn’t expire. Annoying but the points helped us get to Spain so it was worth it! Also, that’s so weird that they wouldn’t let you use the points to buy something. That’s the whole point of points…..

5 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.29.16 at 3:55 pm }

What makes the Flights-R-Us promotion even more ridiculous is the amount of time it took a sensible person to figure out a nonsensical scheme. Who comes up with stuff like this??

It must work or companies wouldn’t keep doing it.

6 IF Pom { 04.29.16 at 4:39 pm }

Thanks for the shout out! Unfortunately your Fights-R-Us conversation sounds way too much like some of the conversations I have at work with some co-workers. Ugh. Infuriating!

7 torthúil { 04.29.16 at 5:30 pm }

Aw, thanks for including me. That helps motivate me to keep writing the blog! I liked Unpregnant Chicken’s NIAW post: Start Asking Yourself. Such great advice and not always obvious.

8 Jess { 04.29.16 at 5:48 pm }

Thanks so much for including me in the Roundup, especially for the milestone birthday post–it was lovely to see I’m not alone in thinking on the whole 40 thing! That Flights-R-Us nonsense sounds awful. I feel like some places make points incredibly hard to actually redeem, so they make it SEEM like you’re getting a benefit but you’re really not. To have to sign up for a credit card to redeem your points? Totally fishy. I’m sorry they expired and you were sent on a wild goose chase. Grr, Flights-R-Us, grrrr.

(The posts I was going to add for the roundup are already in it!) 🙂

9 Jess { 04.29.16 at 5:49 pm }

Except one — Lavender Luz’s http://lavenderluz.com/2016/04/perfect-imperfection.html… Loved the thought-provoking nature of this post.

10 torthuil { 04.30.16 at 11:22 am }
11 Mali { 04.30.16 at 11:45 pm }

I had to cringe at the whole air points fiasco. I would be furious at this – my air points are valuable to me! (I’ve been able to fly to see a friend in Geneva on airpoints earned simply by using my credit card.)

Thanks Cristy, for flagging my piece. Loving the reading in all the posts you highlighted, Mel, and those flagged by others too. This is a wonderful service you provide us every week.

12 katherinea12 { 05.02.16 at 3:39 pm }

Thanks for the shout-out. I’m honored. Thanks for highlighting all these posts each week – one of my favorite things is coming home from work every Sunday morning and reading this and the posts.

Ugh to the airline points fiasco – that is so frustrating!

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