10 best hotels in the Maldives, AA loses more bags than any other airline and Amex ditches Google Fi (Saturday Selection)


AA loses more luggage than any other airline, Amex officially excludes Google Fi from its wireless credit and the ten best luxury hotels in the Maldives. All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

The 10 best luxury hotels in the Maldives

a deck with chairs and a pool overlooking the ocean
St Regis Maldives, one of Luxury Travel Expert’s top ten hotels in the Maldives.

When folks ask to join our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group, we ask them to answer a question (primarily to weed out bots), “name a place you’d love to visit” Easily, one of the most common answers is the Maldives, an island group in the Indian Ocean famous for its blingy hotels, white powder-sand beaches and a seemingly endless stream of high-filter Instagram posts taken during sunset from an overwater bungalow. Some folks might think that the Maldives is overhyped, but it arguably has the highest, bougiest concentration of luxury hotels in the world…so much so that it can be slog to sort through them all. Luxury Travel Expert recently weighed in, giving their take on the top ten properties in the islands. Not surprisingly, only two of them can be booked with points, but even in funny-money, they cost four arms and three legs to book – so you better be in 2-player mode.

American Airlines loses more luggage than any US airline

The combination of pandemic foibles and a series of highly-publicized holiday meltdowns has made the quality, or lack thereof, of airline performance a little more top-of-mind over the last couple of years. While Southwest and budget carriers like Frontier and JetBlue have received much of the shade, it turns out that the grand dame of mishandled bags and mad passengers is a familiar face: American Airlines. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released its quarterly report on domestic airline performance and AA was positively dominant…in all the wrong ways. The airline was dead last among the major carriers for flight delays, bumped more passengers involuntarily than any other carrier besides Frontier and was dead last among all US airlines (including the budget carriers) in bags mishandled per 100 passengers. AA’s “You’re Fairly Safe in our Hands” guarantee started out as a joke, but it’s looking like it might be an appropriate marketing campaign. Gary Leff breaks down the DOT report in the linked post.

American Express officially excludes Google Fi from wireless credit

The American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cards are two of the most expensive and exhilaratingly exhausting coupon books in the world. According to the company’s chat reps, each card provides untold riches to those willing to mine the depths of the vast expanse of yearly, bi-annual, quarterly and monthly credits (hopefully some weekly credits will show up soon).

Cardholders have their own sentimental favorites. Some like the Platinum’s Saks Fifth Avenue’s credit, which allows them to browse the Saks website for hours to find that perfect $36.45 pair of socks that comes out to exactly $50 once tax and shipping are added in. What a rush! Others like the Business Platinum’s $200 Dell credit; if you have two cards, you can split the payment between them to buy a $350 set of late-model Bose headphones and then wait with baited breath to find out whether or not Dell will cancel your order. My spine tingles just thinking about it. My personal favorite is the Business Platinum’s monthly $10 credit towards wireless cell service providers. I currently have eight household BizPlat cards, so the first of the month is an exciting time to log-in to T-Mobile and make eight $10 payments, half of which have to be $10.01 because T-Mobile thinks I’m hacking my own account $10 at a time. That particular credit has been a frustrating one for Google Fi users, as Amex has historically not seen those payments as wireless on the back end, requiring a visit with a chat or call rep to get your $10 back. This appeared to be fixed back in March, but it turns out that was just a prelude to Amex officially banishing Google Fi in its terms and conditions earlier this week. Doctor of Credit has the details.

The worst things that you can do on an airplane

Wine on the plane
Getting drunk on a plane will get you some stink eye according to a recent YouGov poll (Image courtesy of KLM)

Once those aircraft doors close, bizarre things can start to happen to some folks. The gloves come off, the bare feet go up on the bulkhead and that stinky tuna salad sandwich is unwrapped. While I think most passengers tend to be kind and considerate, some can be strikingly oblivious to the space that they’re sharing; others turn into rage monkeys once the seatbelt sign turns off and they’re at 35,000 feet. We most likely all have our own pet peeves during air travel; what gets under my skin might not phase the person next to me. To help us into a broader sense of aviation understanding, YouGov does an annual poll trying to divine what in-flight behavior US air passengers find most appalling. Although the poll left out what I’d consider to be some of the worst offenses (looking at you, barefoot bulkhead dude), the most common gripes were letting children play in the aisle, getting drunk and watching entertainment without headphones. On the other hand, as long as it’s your children getting drunk and watching shows with earbuds, we’re all good.

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I died at the Amex credits section. Thanks for the laugh


The “10 Best…” Now that’s pretty subjective. with 170+ resorts you could probably get 5 different people to give you 5 different lists.


Maldives is a cultureless and boring place that works best for cultureless and boring people. The “blingy” hotels are on remote islands far from real people and you might as well be anywhere . . . but there are lots of places that are nicer, have a more interesting culture, that you didn’t need to risk your life or freedom or self-respect to see, and you don’t have to travel so far to find them.


Tell us how you REALLY feel…


Actually I spent my time in Maldives on Malé, Hulhumale and Himmafushi Islands which do have culture, reasonably priced hotels and meals, and actual local people to interact with. I don’t know that it is risky to your life or freedom to be there, but undeniably it is a very restrictive country whose people can’t dream of the kind of world the seaplanes take the multitudes to.


Ah, I love your Saturday roundup with the wry humor.