I have read the One Mile at a Time blog to learn about getting miles more wisely, but while amazed at the stories of flying internationally in first class on miles, I hadn’t followed any of the hints yet. I just came upon an article in Rolling Stone about Ben Schlappig a “Hobbyist,” i.e. a person p who as a hobby fly all over the world gaming frequent flyer programs. They accrue miles and fly the world in first class far cheaply. It’s an interesting profile. Since he was a young teen Schlappig has been flying for fun and figuring out the system. He’s not alone. There’s a community of people who almost compete to see how many miles they can rack up or how little they can pay for the ability to do so. From this group are some helpful websites.
Skiplagged.com is designed by Hobbyists and it’s like a Kayak. It’s a site that searches and find the best fares. It’s so good that United tried to sue them to stop posting fares which their system posted erroneously.
Flyer Talk is a forum for Hobbyists and it appears that they’ll help newcomers by giving information e.g. which credit cards give you the most miles or which Star Alliance (or other) group is the best to join based on your travel or spending patterns.