On Taking a Different Flight in Exchange for a Voucher

I do this probably 75% of the time that they offer it. It's usually a cash voucher through United (as opposed to a "free flight" which comes with all sorts of red tape) which I use as a discount on future flights. Protip: don't take the first offer, wait until they get desperate and are offering at least $300.

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm 0

On Stupid Smarch Weather Do 1 Thing

Taxes taxes taxes taxes taxes. Printer is currently printing all my relevant tax forms and I itemized all my expenses for my side business. Also, I refilled a few prescriptions. V. productive. Hooray 1 thing!

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm 0

On How Much Allowance Money Should You Give Your Children?

I never got an allowance or had chores. My parents gave me money whenever I needed it, I guess. My mom gave my brother and I credit cards on her account when we were like 12 and 14, and we had to submit receipts to her every month. It was actually very practical as I was at boarding school and used mine for weekend trips to CVS (going to the drug store was a real treat) and later for gas and food. It got my credit report going at a super young age so that I had perfect credit when I started applying for my own credit cards.

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm 2

On Asking Companies for Recompense

Generally speaking: yes, it is worth it to complain in a calm and fair manner. It's a 10 minute process to send customer service an email explaining your disappointment and what you would like to be done about it. If it's an egregious issue, CC the executives in charge of customer service and the CEO (theconsumerist.com is a good place to start) to get a faster response. That said, you're not going to get an upgrade, especially if you don't have some sort of status with them, but it doesn't hurt to ask (politely!). In this case, there may be a more convenient flight that you would like to take. Research for available flights, contact the airline reservations directly (Alaska here, not the operating airline), and ask them to rebook you with no change fee since their schedule changed. If they don't have flights that work with your schedule, ask them to check their partner airlines for your ideal timeline. To make this process quicker and easier for all involved, research on your own first and have the flight numbers at hand. Here are Alaska's partners: http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/partners/partner-overview.aspx Also, join their mileage programs as most of the time you'll only get miles in response to complaints, but hey 10k miles is 10k miles and it is completely immaterial to the airline. I've complained (politely!) about everything from canceled flights to sub par upgrades and received everything from fully refunded flights (easier if you booked with miles) to $150 for the inconvenience. Also, seconding the comment to book direct through the airlines. You have a lot more control over your itinerary and the airline is a lot more invested in you if you do.

Posted on February 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm 0

On Mr. Biscuit's Rotten Summer

You, sir, are a wonderful writer. I loved this, was on the edge of my seat folded into myself, reading with wide, wet eyes. Then that last line slayed me and I laugh/cried (craughed?) for minutes. Pets! Goddammit. AND I JUST REALIZED YOU ARE THE PROFESSIONAL CAT PHOTO GUY!! My hero.

Posted on February 5, 2015 at 1:27 am 0

On The Cost of Terrible Roommates and Getting Justice From 'Judge Judy'

I'm glad your mom won! My mom once took a moving company to small claims after tacking on hundreds of dollars of charges and refusing to delivery our stuff unless she paid, and she won the max amount you can in small claims too! But then the moving company declared bankruptcy and going after the individuals would have taken years so she never collected. This also reminds me of this time I was flying to LA and a very drunk man was bragging about how he was going onto a different judge show because he'd refused to pay his girlfriend rent and utilities after they broke up and how proud he was of himself that even if he lost he wouldn't have to pay. I hope his potential girlfriends watched that episode.

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm 0

On Agonizing About Vacation Expenditures

I disagree completely that $90 is better spent on other people's drinks when you could be riding a horse in the ocean, which you will surely remember longer and more fondly than the novelty glass you'll eventually lose in a move.

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm 4

On Spiritually Bankrupt: How I Went Broke Trying To Teach Yoga

Wow. This was well-written, but factually incorrect. 500 hour training is not a requirement at any yoga studio at which I've taught. The $55/month Yoga Alliance fee is actually $100 for the first year and then $55 annually. I haven't paid it since my first year of teaching and no one has ever asked me if I am Yoga Alliance certified - it is meaningless. I never expected to make a living from teaching as it would take the joy out of it if I didn't hit a quota per class. I don't know any yoga teachers who make a living exclusively from teaching yoga. Most are also personal trainers, massage therapists, have some other job or jobs, or married rich. And the cliched phrase I was told was, "When the teacher is ready, the student will come."

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm 0

On The Costs (and Potential Costs) of Flying to NYC During a Blizzard

@flickafly Came here to say the same thing. Worth a phone call at least.

Posted on January 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm 1

On How To Get Our Belongings of Questionable Worth Across The Country

@sally885 Bend! Mt Bachelor! My family used to vacation in Sunriver. Ah, memories.

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm 0