Frequent Surprises

It's harder and harder to cash in those bonus miles for a seat on a plane, but travelers are getting the darnedest other freebies these days

Steve Graham, a lifelong R.-and-B. fan, had a fantasy: to spend time with the legendary B.B. King. The Minneapolis-based business-development manager for electronics manufacturer Avnet thought he had about as much chance of doing that as he had of becoming Governor of Minnesota. Until last New Year's Eve, that is, when Graham, 49, and his wife Janet plunked themselves down beside King following a concert in Indian Wells, Calif. The couple spent 45 minutes chatting with the blues great, whose work Graham has adored for nearly 20 years. Along with the cherished face time, the Grahams also got round-trip airfare to...

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