I did it. I went back and forth on the decision for a long time. Like someone who just couldn’t let go, I continued with the relationship even though I knew, deep down, it was over.

But there’s always a tipping point when you must face reality — and that point was when I realized I’m just not going to fly all that much this year.

So I did it: I finally split up with American Airlines.

After years of being loyal to them and the Oneworld alliance, paying extra for flights to ensure I kept my status, and championing them on the web, it’s time to face the truth: they’ve ruined their once-stellar loyalty program and given me (and basically everyone else) no incentive to fly them over any other (crappy domestic) airline.

A few years ago, both Delta and United devalued their award charts — awarding fewer miles per flight (unless you bought high-priced tickets), requiring more miles when redeeming them for a flight (The Points Guy just recently showed a screenshot of Delta requiring 255,000 miles to go from NYC to LAX! Crazy!), reducing benefits, and requiring customers to spend a certain amount of money to maintain their elite status. Their message was clear: “We only value you if you spend lots of money with us.”

Yet (in part because of their merger with US Airways) American held out — often increasing benefits. American AAdvantage was a shining jewel in the airline industry, lauded by journalists, insiders, and consumers alike.

I went out of my way to fly American because I felt my loyalty was valued. I was upgraded often, their employees were friendly, customer service issues were often solved swiftly, it was easy to find award seats, and they were often generous in their benefits.

What’s wrong with American AAdvantage?

  • They now require elite-qualifying dollars (EQDs), but unlike United and Delta, they offer no waiver if you spend a lot on American’s branded credit cards.
  • They have upped the cost of award tickets – a lot.
  • They severely reduced saver rewards availability. It’s basically impossible to find saver rewards these days.
  • Confirmed upgrades for anyone but the top elites is basically impossible. I can’t remember the last time I got an upgrade.
  • They have slashed miles earnings on their partner’s flights.
  • They now prioritize upgrades based on status and spending (take that, million-mile status folks!).
  • How they calculate EQDs is opaque and not straightforward. One dollar spent is not one EQD earned, even if you purchase full fare business and first class tickets.

We understand that the market is a competitive one. So, once you’ve secured a rental property it’s important to build a good rapport with your landlord. You want to ensure you are a great tenant so they will not only continue your tenancy, but also recommend you to future landlords. To help you with your journey, we’ve got five top tips on how to do just that:

1. Communicate, plan and schedule your first inspection

Ahead of moving into your new home, confirm with your landlord how they’d prefer to communicate; via email, text or phone call. Next, if you haven’t already finalised a pre-inspection, it’s a great idea to schedule one in. This should take place with yourself, other tenants and the landlord. You’ll have the opportunity to go through the property, take pictures of blemishes and note down anything which wouldn’t normally pass an inspection. It pays to check if there are working smoke alarms installed and obtain the insulation report. Make sure you keep a copy of all images and documentation, just in case you end up at odds with the owner.

2. Ongoing inspections

Inspections normally take place on a bi-annual or quarterly basis. Remember that an inspection only requires 48 hours’ notice from the landlord, also it can only take place between 8am and 7pm. It’s a short notice period, so it’s best to form a good relationship with your landlord, to ensure you’re not caught off guard.

3. Be prepared

Ahead of your inspection, take the opportunity to note down anything which isn’t quite right after living in the home, e.g. non -functional appliances such as: heat pump, oven, dishwasher. If you’re unable to be present for the inspection you can always download this form and fill in the details (on page 7), or leave a note for your landlord should there be any issues.

4. Follow-up

Always be courteous. It’s important to follow-up with your landlord and ask them how the inspection went. Find out if there is any feedback or changes they’d like to make to how you treat the property. This is also an appropriate time to follow up on any changes you’ve asked the landlord to make following the initial property inspection.

If you need some things fixed and these have been agreed upon by the landlord, it’s reasonable to expect these to be completed within 30 days, unless communicated otherwise. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the lease agreement if you’re unsure.

There are lots of factors to consider when buying a stroller, which can make the process quite daunting. Especially when it comes to safety. So we’ve put together a baby stroller safety guide to help you make the right choice for your family.

Things to consider when selecting a stroller

Where you live – Are you in an urban area that requires a lot of walking, or in a suburb? Choosing the correct stroller for where you live is a vital part of stroller safety.
Your family dynamic – Do you have one child or six? Is a double stroller a good idea? Do you need a travel system that is customizable? Picking the right stroller for your family dynamic ensures that your baby (and other children) will be seated safely and according to their age.
Activity level and accessories – Are you planning on using your stroller for running or jogging? Do you absolutely have to have a cup holder or a stroller caddy? Make sure the stroller you buy can handle your activity level and has the accessories that you want to ensure that you use it properly.
Picking an age-appropriate stroller

One of the most important things you can do when selecting a stroller is choosing one that is age-appropriate. If you are buying a stroller for a newborn, you need to be aware that not all strollers are suitable for newborns. Please consider the following:

Umbrella strollers or other non-reclinable strollers are not suitable for children under six months. Your child should be able to sit up on her own before using these types of strollers.
Most jogging strollers are not suitable for children under six months for the same reasons as above. If you really want to jog with your baby, make sure your jogging stroller has an adapter for your baby’s infant seat, and secure her in the stroller that way.
If your stroller comes with a bassinet/carrycot, don’t use it at home unless it’s been approved for home use. Also, don’t place soft bedding in the bassinet with your baby, as it creates a suffocation risk.
Be aware of any weight or height limits that are associated with your stroller.
Final tips

Familiarize yourself with all of the stroller’s features, and practice them all before placing your baby in the stroller. Fold and unfold the stroller, buckle and unbuckle the straps, raise and lower the backrest, and attach and remove an infant seat to the stroller frame. Make sure it’s always clicked into place before placing the baby in the seat. And test the brakes.
ALWAYS strap your child in. Just do it.
Make sure to always use your stroller’s brakes when it’s not in use or you’re not moving.
Be aware of any safety recalls associated with your stroller. If it’s a new stroller, make sure you register it with the company, and you can track the model, manufacturer, and manufacturer date here.

Page 8 of 10« First...678910