This only is tangentially related to the bike trip. When we bring up the subject of using miles to supplement our travel, every third person opines that it is too much trouble to keep track of and bother about airline miles and hotel perks. And, as I say so often, going by myself and accompanying my wife is like night and day. In this day of full airlines with everyone bringing all sorts of luggage with them rather than checking bags, being able to enter right behind first class gives assurance you have a place for your bag. We do not abuse the bag rules: one in the overhead and one under the seat. Flying home from London, we had just the one under the seat, the other two were checked.
We stayed the night before at the Airport Hilton, using points rather than money. Ah, that means free. Because Miss Platinum is also Miss Diamond, we were also upgraded to the executive floor, which means free snacks (sufficient to be called a meal) and drinks, including a wide variety of alcohol. Again, this privilege was not abused, limiting ourselves to one drink each. Breakfast the next morning was included. For anyone who has stayed at an airport hotel in London, this was a minimum of $300 savings, not to mention being shown a better attitude.
There are other perks I won't go into, but after three weeks of heavy exercise, I was happy to be pampered on my way home.