Learn even more.
The home page links to answers to the four most commonly asked questions at THF Consulting…
- Why hire THF Consulting?
- How does THF Consulting work?
- How much does THF Consulting cost?
- Where do I sign up?
…but there’s still a lot more that hasn’t necessarily been answered. Hopefully this page gives you an even better idea of how THF Consulting can serve you on your adventures. If it doesn’t, feel free to direct questions to Paul@THFConsulting.org.
What exactly does THF Consulting do?
THF Consulting can assist you and/or your small business with…
- Planning itineraries: Leave the nitty-gritty logistics of trip planning to THF Consulting. Just say where you want to go and for how long, and we’ll make sure you get there satisfied.
- Analyzing and optimizing itineraries: THF Consulting will look at the various means to get where it is you want to go, and then make determinations and recommendations based on what gives you the most bang-for-your-buck.
- Maximizing award points: The points you earn from flying, staying in hotels, and through credit card spend offer unique travel opportunities that cash does not. THF Consulting can help position you to take advantage of these.
- Route/property price monitoring: Thanks to THF Consulting‘s proprietary technologies, we can track airline, hotel, and destination price trends to help you get the best possible deal for whatever/wherever it is you’re interested in.
- Researching flight and hotel award availability: If you find yourself unable to redeem your points because of restrictive costs, blackout dates, or otherwise frustrating hurdles, THF Consulting can develop creative solutions for you.
- Opportunity cost analysis: You make certain trade-offs depending on whether you book a flight/hotel with cash or with points. THF Consulting utilizes its proprietary tools to determine what’s better for your wallet and what’s better for your goals, and then makes recommendations accordingly.
- Cash and award point bookings: THF Consulting is both capable and eager to book any itinerary that we plan together with you, thus saving you the tedious hassle of having to do so yourself.
- Client advocacy/compensation: If you get mistreated by an airline or at a hotel — think lost luggage, delays, and abominably poor service — and THF Consulting will advocate on your behalf for just compensation.
- All of the above and more: Need help with something that’s not mentioned here? That’s fine; just let us know what we can do for you and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request.
All of the above is included with both the standard $125+ offering and the subscription plans. Furthermore, subscribers are entitled to complimentary access to…
- Award point portfolio management: Over the course of your travels, you’ll earn award points and, more often than not, you’ll have a choice of what kinds of points you earn. Based on your preferences and goals, THF Consulting can assess and recommend which are the best for you to collect.
- Award point acquisition strategies: If you don’t have a lot of frequent flyer miles, hotel points, or credit card reward points, fear not, because THF Consulting can devise a plan that helps you accrue these quickly and efficiently.
- Elite status strategies: With such crowded airline and hotel markets, it’s easy to get lost and confused in the masses. If you’re a road warrior with specific needs and preferences, THF Consulting can help you find the best fit for you.
- Elite status running: If your elite status is about to expire for the year, or if you just want to upgrade your standing, THF Consulting can plan efficient AND affordable mileage runs for you. We can even help you circumnavigate those pesky spend requirements!
Is THF Consulting a travel agency?
Not exactly. THF Consulting can more-or-less do the same things that travel agents can, but instead of making cheap and quick bookings, we take a detail-oriented approach that focuses on maximizing consumer purchasing power.
What does “maximizing consumer purchasing power” even mean?
It’s a fancier way of saying that THF Consulting will work to get you the most “bang-for-your-buck” on your investments. This includes finding ways to save you, the client, as much money (and points) as possible, and, when available, creating opportunities for you to elevate the quality of your travels.
Why focus on this value-based approach to trip planning?
If you’re gonna spend money and/or redeem points, you might as well get exactly what it is you want…right? No one likes wasting their hard-earned riches after all!
Not all airfares are created equal — some come with complicated restrictions and tacked-on fees — and the same can be said with award point/frequent flyer mile redemptions. THF Consulting considers your goals and preferences for the trip and researches the best possible options that satisfy them. Then we make recommendations (and bookings on your behalf later on) based on what matches your objectives and preferences.
Having an actual human to help you makes all the difference too. A professional understands the intricacies and nuances of both the travel industry AND you and your interests much better than any generic computer algorithm.
What else differentiates THF Consulting from travel agents?
While we do most all of the same things as our counterparts do, THF Consulting‘s commitment to maximizing your purchasing power is one of its defining features. Most travel agencies rush through the trip planning process, trying to get you the lowest price possible in the shortest amount of time. There’s nothing wrong with this method per se, but you do sacrifice more nuanced itineraries — among other things — in the name of expediency. Thoughtfulness and patience are almost always rewarded with a much better value for your spent dollars.
THF Consulting is also proudly independent of any other company in the travel industry. It’s common practice for agents to partner with airlines and hotels and cruise lines. Whenever an agent books a client on a certain flight or reserves a room at a specific property or bundles a cruise package together, the companies involved will pay out a bonus to the salesperson. Such a practice isn’t illegal, but it seems unbecoming of someone who’s supposed to be providing a customer service. When travel agents do this, they are effectively abdicating their obligations to their own clients and instead working for the other side.
THF Consulting is solely interested in fulfilling the goals of its clients at the best possible prices. Unlike many travel agents, we never work for commissions and we won’t ever try to sell you something that’s a sub-par value.
Can you give an example of how this works in reality?
Yes. Would you rather pay $100 for a standard airfare in economy class, or would you rather pay $85 for a restricted airfare that levies fees for your luggage? A typical travel agent will, without any consideration of the implications, go ahead and book the latter simply because it’s cheaper. THF Consulting takes a more analytical approach than this. If you’re only trying to save money, we’ll book the $85 ticket. If we do that however, you will likely to be in for a nasty surprise later on. Unless you plan on flying exclusively with a small personal item, a baggage fee, one that will cause the airfare to balloon well over $100, awaits you.
In a situation like that, you’re better off buying the more expensive fare from the start because it already includes a luggage allowance. THF Consulting weighs the pros and cons of every decision you might have to make (like this one), and then makes a recommendation according to what’s best for you and your goals. As a result, you’ll be a more-informed consumer when you travel.
How is THF Consulting different from online travel agencies like Expedia or Kayak?
The answer to that comes down to the kind of service you receive. Expedia and Kayak are known as online travel agencies. These are generally simple to use in theory — you choose where you want to go, you input your dates, and you build your own package consisting of flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. — and then you pay up and book it yourself. If you have to make a change, then that falls to you too.
Expedia and Kayak are otherwise no different than traditional travel agencies. You simply don’t have the added bonus of an actual human to help you along every step of the way.
Can THF Consulting really improve the quality of my travel without making me spend more?
Yes! THF Consulting can help you maximize the resources that you have available — whether it be cash, award points, and/or frequent flyer miles — to help you get a better return on your travel investments. There are a number of ways that these can all be leveraged to your advantage, and THF Consulting specializes in determining which is the best for you. Depending on what you want to do, it’s possible that you could fly in business class halfway around the world and stay in a five star hotel all without spending a dime. It’s cliché to write this, but the possibilities really are endless when you hire THF Consulting.
What if I’m not a frequent flyer and don’t have any award points available to me? Do I need to hold elite status with any airlines and hotels?
All of that’s perfectly fine. You don’t need to be an experienced or frequent traveler in order to maximize the resources available to you. Despite what airlines and hotels might suggest, the fun isn’t limited to anyone. THF Consulting prides itself on making “higher flying” accessible to all.
Then what’s the point of having frequent flyer miles and/or status?
Both can help you by making aspects of your trip easier and more comfortable, but they’re not required.
If I want to earn elite status and lots of award points, can you show me how I can?
Yes! There are so many different award point currencies, frequent flyer miles, and elite status levels, and even more ways to accrue them all. THF Consulting offers subscribers personalized earning strategies for each and all of them. We consider you and your travel preferences, and then develop ways for you to amass the award points and/or earn the elite status(es) that will make the most sense for you. In other words, we’ll devise plans for you that result in you getting exactly what you need to enhance your travels.
What qualifies you to be a travel consultant?
I’ve long been a frequent traveler myself, and I hold top-tier status with American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels, as well as mid-level status with United Airlines, Hilton Hotels, and Marriott Hotels. Every year, I fly over a hundred thousand miles, spend dozens of nights in hotels, and redeem several hundred thousand award points and frequent flyer miles. I know the ins-and-outs of airlines, hotels, and their loyalty programs by way of extensive hands-on experience spanning the past 15 years, and I can provide unmatched insight and analysis as a result. I’d love to help you with your own travels!
References and testimonials are available by request as well.
Will you plan an itinerary for me?
It depends on what kind of itinerary you’re looking for. THF Consulting is available to book flights, reserve hotels, and arrange for train and bus transportation options between towns and cities on your behalf. We do not offer planned sightseeing excursions, although we’d be more than happy to make recommendations. If you’re still looking for inspiration, check out the following resources:
- The “36 Hours” features published by The New York Times
- Both expert and community picks in Atlas Obscura
- Free travel guides from Lonely Planet
Is my personal data safe?
Yes. THF Consulting is devoted to protecting the privacy of its clients; the data you provide is kept confidential, and all personally identifying information is stored offline in a secure location. As an added precaution, we also encrypt all incoming and outgoing correspondence.
How much do you charge?
More-thorough details and descriptions can be found here on the “Pricing” page, but THF Consulting would be happy to plan your next trip for $125, plus $25 for each additional traveler. Alternatively, if you anticipate lots of upcoming travel, there are subscriptions available too at discounted rates. All quoted prices are inclusive of taxes and fees; what you see is what you pay.
Are the subscriptions worth it?
It depends. How many trips do you plan on taking in the next six months or a year? How much do you value being able to call your personal travel consultant whenever you have a question, need professional advice, or want to strategize your next move as a higher flyer? If you’re only going to be taking a couple of trips per year and/or you’re willing to let THF Consulting do most of the planning on your behalf, then you’re probably better off paying as you go. If you’re a road warrior on the other hand, a subscription is probably your best bet.
Do you offer any free services?
THF Consulting‘s sister site, The Higher Flyer, offers plenty of travel-related content. There you can find some reviews and tips & tricks — hopefully they’re informative and inspiring and can give you a sense of what’s possible with miles and points — and then there’s a comprehensive, five part beginner’s guide that introduces readers to the concepts behind THF Consulting‘s business model.
The key difference in websites lies in the amount of service you receive. THF Consulting will “do the thinking for you” — a professional consultant will figure out your travel logistics — and thus save you time. The Higher Flyer merely helps you to “get the ball rolling.”
What if I still have a question that’s not addressed above?
We’re happy to answer any and all questions! Feel free to send an email to THF Consulting; we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.