For the frequent Federal traveler…

The FY13 GSA City Pairs have been announced.

Did your ‘favorite’ airline lose the contract this year between your most frequently traveled City Pair?  No need to fret about orphaning frequent flyer miles if you roll like I do.

I’ve been in the same boat-  In some cases, I’d earn elite status on United in an even year, and then be forced to fly American (without status) for almost every trip during the following odd year.  The miles I was accruing towards status were nearly useless.

Then I discovered a bit of a workaround.  Alaska’s program – Mileage Plan– lets you accrue Alaska miles when you fly Alaska, AA, Delta, or British Airways.  For the past two years whenever I fly AA or  Delta I hand or type in my Alaska frequent flyer code for a tripple whammy- miles banked one-for-one on Alaska, my Alaska elite status is recognized 100% on AA and Delta (check-in, booking, and bag allowance), and I don’t really have to worry about who wins which City Pair contracts next Fiscal Year.

Elite Status is your only ticket to a decent seat unless you meet the above criteria.

The only major carriers who do not partner with Alaska are Southwest and United, so hang on to those cards if you still have them.  But if your ‘favorite’ airline lost the bid on your frequently traveled city pair this year, you don’t have to rack up miles that will be essentially ‘orphaned’- give Alaska’s Mileage Plan a try!




After having some back problems a little over a year ago, I switched to ‘barefoot’ style footwear after reading the 4 Hour Body.  I’ll never wear ‘high heels’ again for walking or running!

After trying a few minimalist/barefoot styles (Sanuk among others), I’ve become a fan of Olukai shoes for their comfort and durability- the only drawback is the price.

A fellow Fed saw my shoes and asked where I bought them.  This pair I had bought at REI because I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket.

He mentioned to try for a ~40% discount.  What a great site!  They have all kinds of stuff there, from Alpinestars to Zamst.  Eligibility for GovX is open to Feds, Active Military, and Vets.

If you have a current .mil email address, use it for instant registration (don’t worry, you only give the .mil address for registration- you can still give your webmail address for communication. I did and have not been spammed by GovX yet).   If you don’t have a .mil address there is a method to upload a copy of your DD214 to gain access to their catalog.

Happy Bargain Hunting!

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I started to provide Personal Finance, Benefits, and life advice for Federal Employees and  Veterans.  I may veer off to other topics on occasion, but I promise to keep the posts informative, timely, and accurate.  My goal is to help federal employees and veterans learn more about the benefits available to them so they have more energy for their families, jobs, and other goals they may have.

About me:  I hold a Master’s Degree in Personal Finance from the College for Financial Planning and a BS in Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.  I am a Navy Veteran (submarines) and Federal Employee (engineering) living in the San Diego Area.   I am working towards earning a retirement in both the FERS retirement system and the Navy Reserve.