It’s March “Mayhem” (hey I don’t want to get sued, ya know)! Since this is one of my favorite times of the year, I thought I’d celebrate by running a bracket competition so we can determine the best miles and points tool out there.
I used the tools from those articles, along with others that have come up over the last few months. I did my best to “seed” them, and here they are – links go to the my review / description of the tool, when appropriate.
- Award Wallet
- Autoslash (SEE ALSO: my #2 miles and points tool comes through for me again)
- Google Flights / ITA Matrix
- Airline Route Mapper
- Award Mapper
- Hotel Hustle
- Flight Aware
- Check My Trip
- Expert Flyer
- The Flight Deal
- Cashback Monitor
- Boingo Wifi
How Travel Hacking March Mayhem will work
Here’s how this mini bracket contest will work – we’ll use my list of 16 different miles and points tools – the full bracket is provided below (pic generated by Challonge)
Over the next 4 days, we’ll have the 8 first round “games”. Each day will have a post with 2 sets of tools – just vote for the tool that YOU feel is the most useful for miles and points collecting, redeeming or general travel. There is no set criteria for your vote (stop over thinking this!)
- Thursday March 17th – #1 Award Wallet vs. #16 Boingo Wifi and #6 Rome2Rio vs. #11 Check My Trip
- Friday March 18th – #8 FlyerMiler vs. #9 Seatguru and #2 Autoslash vs. #15 Osmand
- Saturday March 19th – #3 Google Flights / ITA Matrix vs. #14 Cashback Monitor and #5 Award Mapper vs. #12 Expert Flyer
- Sunday March 20th – #7 Hotel Hustle vs. #10 Flight Aware and #4 Airline Route Mapper vs. #13 The Flight Deal
Each post will run at approximately noon EDT and voting for each of the first round matchups will stay open until next Monday morning (the 21st). So if you miss a day, you can use the links above to catch up on voting. Next week we’ll continue with the 8 first round winners and the rest of the bracket
So…. on to the voting!
#8 FlyerMiler vs. #9 Seatguru
FlyerMiler is one of a variety of tools that have sprung up recently to try to answer the question of how many miles does it take to go from Point A to Point B, allowing you to compare the award costs for a given route across a variety of different frequent flyer programs. A couple of the other tools out there that try to do this are Award Ace,Travel Codex’s Award Chart Search Tool, Miles.biz, and the Ultimate Frequent Flyer Mile Award Calculator. I had attempted to build a tool called the Mile Matrix that also played in this space, but have retired that tool. Frequent Miler did a two part series trying to figure out which of these tools was best. I think there isn’t necessarily a clear consensus on that, but of all the tools I looked at – FlyerMiler was the one that worked the best for me.
I often use Seatguru when booking a first or business class flight. When you need to know what type of plane is flown on a given route, or whether the plane will have lie-flat seats, Seatguru is my go-to app. It can give you the seat configuration for a given plane as well as what types of seat it will have. While equipment changes can and do happen, Seatguru can be a great resource. Seatguru also has a feature that lets users review specific seats which I don’t use as often
So which will it be? #8 FlyerMiler or #9 Seatguru? Vote below!
#2 Autoslash vs. #15 Osmand
I’ve written before about Autoslash, which is a tool that you can use to get the best price on a rental car. They have an option that can let you book your rental car directly with them, but I have not found that to be as effective. Where the magic happens is that you can book a car anywhere online, and then enter your details into Autoslash. It’s how I got a car that Avis was renting for over $100 / DAY for just over $100 for AN ENTIRE WEEK! More recently, I had another huge success with using Autoslash to save about 50% on my car rental
I just wrote about Osmand recently – it’s my go-to tool when traveling somewhere where I don’t have any Internet access. This is especially useful internationally (unless you happen to have an international data plan. The way Osmand works is that you download maps from the Open Street Map project before you go, and then Osmand uses your phone’s GPS to plot where you’re at. I once used Osmand to make sure my Italian bus driver wasn’t taking me into the woods to murder me.
So which will it be? #2 Autoslash or #15 Osmand? Vote below!
Make sure and vote on our other first round games as well – #1 Award Wallet vs. #16 Boingo Wifi and #6 Rome2Rio vs. #11 Check My Trip
A note on shenanigans – this contest is meant to be in fun and there are no prizes for winning. While I don’t mind if you encourage friends, family members and others to vote for a particular tool, please don’t try to rig the system by voting multiple times. I do reserve the right to disqualify entries and/or just arbitrarily pick a winner if I feel like it.