TravelStories Episode 24: Festivus Edition

Festivus: The non-commercial holiday’s celebration, as depicted on Seinfeld, occurs on December 23 and includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength”, and the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles” 

0:15 Intro, some history about Festivus as we held it on the Observation Deck.

03:27 Airing of Grievances:  Everyone gets two each. ONE towards an airline or loyalty program, ONE towards a bank.

  • Sam:
    • No Knock Devaluations in general.  Trevor shared one of these happening in real time.  
    • Bank: Bank of America. Fraud happy, and full of themselves. 
  • Tom:
    • Alaska Airlines end of 50K to asia
    • MGM stays get bonvoyed
  • Trevor:
    • Loyalty program: Another Alaska no notice devaluation, making JAL awards even more expensive, from 70k to 100k for JAL F to Japan, one way.
    • US Bank: I have a history of being unimpressed, such that I stayed away for a while, however I went back to the well, with a $500 business checking bonus. This may have been self inflicted, but US Bank is not the easiest to work with.

13:45 Alaska/Hawiian Merger Talk 

20:20 Hyatt requalification and “Settle for Good Enough”

23:20 Feats of Strength

Traditionally, it’s “Your favorite redemptions/miles and points usage over the course of the year. But lets switch it up som: ONE towards an airline or loyalty program, and one towards a bank. Doesn’t have to be the “best” or “best value”, but just the one that defined your 2023 or you will remember going forward” 

  • Sam:
    • Japan for 4 in Business class both ways.  Not that this was an especially strong feat of strength but it seems like it is.  I’m 
    • Bank: AA miles with a Citi Business card
  • Tom:
    • Award trip to Australia exact dates i needed for a 
  • Trevor:
    • Loyalty Program: The incredibleness that has been Aeroplan with the super cheap lap infant that let us travel at a ludicrous pace.
    • Bank: AMEX Business Gold + Employee cards (though I can of course try picking something else, but having done 80 employee cards on 1 card, and 5 on 3 other cards they moved the needle for me).

37:55 Festivus Miracles

This is your deal of the year, or really anything. Whatever brought you the most miraculous joy in the miles and points game this year.

  • Sam:  Vacasa with Wyndham Rewards.  1 year ago I bought 300,000 of these for cash on This year I earned 2x that many from the comfort of my living room. 
  • Tom: Surprise Elite Status (thanks Delta) Delta Gold 2024, AS MVP,  Spirit, Frontier
  • Trevor: 68k/night Bonvoy points for St. Regis Maldives

To close out we ask you to share your Festivus Grievances, Miracles and Feats of strength! Share here in the comments or on Slack! 

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