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Troy Liu went to the US when he was 17. He was a student of economics at the University of California in San Francisco. On his first trip home to China, the girl at the airport counter asked him if he wanted to be a member of the airline’s frequent flyer program. “What’s that for?” he asked her.
“Whenever you hear the word ‘free,’ it’s pretty much like a joke. So I didn’t believe it, but I got a frequent flyer card, anyway,” he tells me in his irrepressible manner.
The miles addict
He first started flying around the US – notching up miles and collecting cheap tickets. Eight years ago, he went back to live and work in China. He started writing a blog at the side on his travels, which were becoming more an exploration of local cultures. One of these was a bike trip across India.
Miles + Life = Mileslife
He became a formal consultant for airlines in 2013. The feedback he gave them, from his own experience as well as followers of his blog, was invaluabIe. A couple of years ago he took an extended trip that stretched over three months – from China to the US, the Caribbean, the UK, Turkey, the Middle East, and West Africa, where he ran into the Gambian police check-points.
Soft launch in Singapore
An English version of Mileslife is ready, and Troy plans a soft launch in Singapore this month. He has already onboarded a good selection of Singapore merchants. Chinese travelers to Singapore will earn miles from local merchants, and so will Singaporeans traveling to Chinese cities – apart from the frequent flyer miles they get from the airlines for traveling anywhere in the world.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here