Take a free ride fueled by Spam or bug souffle Only the wackiest ideas win the airline miles
Mileage maniacs will remember [David Phillips], a Davis, Calif., engineer, for his clever exploitation of a promotion last year that netted him 1.25 million free miles. Shelling out $3,140 for pudding cups, he won between $25,000 and $75,000 in travel (depending on how the miles are redeemed), the moniker "Pudding Guy" and at least 15 minutes of fame. Then he racked up 1 million more bonus miles this year in a promotion by a consortium of Latin American airlines.
A Chevys fan from way back, the Oakland mapmaker maintains a Web site (www.shrinetochevys.com), where she and several friends meticulously rank the chain's outlets, from salsa to service to the enthusiasm with which the staff belts out Happy Birthday. The 26- year-old, who uses the Chevys handle Kathy "a la charra" [Kathy Mikulis], will travel with her boyfriend and fellow Chevys enthusiast, "Guaca" Mark Pilloff, to New York, Miami, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans and Sandy, Utah, which is reputed to have the "Holy Grail of Chevys."
* 25,000 miles each (enough for a domestic round-trip ticket but not enough to fulfill their quirky dreams) -- Debbie Browning of Columbiana, Ala., who wanted to see the penguins in Australia at Christmas; Daniel Hinkle of San Clemente, Calif., who vowed to take his family on a two-week vacation in Hawaii while feeding them nothing but Spam (294 cans); Carol Hines of Canyon Lake, Texas, who proposed a world trip to collect and analyze toilet paper; and Barb McKeown of Salt Lake City, who wanted to take a world tour to show Mr. Potato Head his extensive historical roots (with stops in Lima, Peru; Dublin, Ireland; Paris; Moscow; and Melbourne, Australia).
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