In 1999, I flew from Fort Lauderdale, FL, to Japan for $28.39 round-trip. Previously, a round-trip from Fort Lauderdale to Turkey cost me $17 and change. On the Turkish flight, a computer glitch wiped out my documentation shortly after I landed in Frankfurt, Germany. To compensate, Delta Air Lines upgraded me to BusinessElite class, featuring free champagne and choice of filet mignon or salmon steak served on a cozy table set with sparkling crystal and the finest silver and china. Most of my caviar lifestyle on a tuna budget has been based on United States Social Security and Bahamas National Insurance payments, having worked many years in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. What’s the catch? Basically, it was playing the discount-fare and frequent-flier game to the Nth degree, N as in nothing, in many cases. My best free junkets in senior-friendly skies came via Delta Air Lines frequent flier mileage. My Delta SkyMiles were tallied by such senior-citizen bargains as a Fort Lauderdale- Hawai’i round-trip ticket for as little as $440. That alone added some 10,000 FF miles to my account. Signing for a Delta SkyMiles credit card netted 10,000 miles; a switch to MCI telephone service scored another 5,000 or so. An MCI WorldCom/SkyMiles long-distance card is good for five 10 HAROLD FLAGG miles per dollar spent. There is at least one case where a “motormouth” literally talked his way into a free trip! Investors can rack up major mileage via Delta
The Good Old Days is the latest of four books by Harold Flagg, Anglo-American journalist turned author. He currently lives with a lovable lunatic cat in their land yacht—the nickname for a trailer in boat-besotted Fort Lauderdale FL.