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Thread: Airline Award Miles

  1. #1
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Airline Award Miles

    I feel duped. Looking into a simple one-way flight MGA to MIA for the wife, our 4-yr-old and I with AA, it'd cost $560. But since I've accumulated some 19,000 "award miles" with AA, I thought I could save using 'em. Turns out I needed 37,500 total miles, plus pay a 'fee' of $201 for the same simple flight. So I looked into buying the 19k miles needed. They'd cost me more than $470 (including using 'free bonus' miles). It'd cost me more than $100 more using their 'award' I presumably earned. What a con!

    Normally we'd fly straight on to Philly. That'd cost $2,324 for all of us, one-way, and $2,629 RT, making that return leg (in Nov) practically free. But I can no longer afford such a hit. So I'm looking into renting a car and driving North slowly, over a week. Motel costs can be contained if we sleep in the boonies, but it'll be difficult to drive past Disney World, knowing the wow factor for the kid.

    A rather interesting alternative is the bus, Greyhound. Riding the dog! For us three, the trip from MIA airport to downtown Philly would cost only $110. That's cheap! Problem: it's a 32 hour journey. And the kid would go bonkers - if he didn't sleep the whole way - and my wife would probably divorce me. A married man can't be frugal and happy both.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  2. #2
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    How about Amtrak?

  3. #3
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    How about Amtrak?
    Intersting thought....I like train travel.
    Looked up Miami to Philadelphia 2 adults and a child....$400 to $900 and 24 hours.
    Nice way to travel.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  4. #4
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    Our "Go too" mode will be "drive away" That is where people with cash let people with less cash drive their cars down and back from the Sun (AZ, FLA NM etc)

    You get your expences paid for gas, economical lodging, and a food allowance - I think they give you 2 days to FLA and 3 to AZ/NM (From Ontario)

    Maybe Daddy Yo can find the equiv to Philly?

    For us and scare Canada the rewards program still does us well - Last trip was $ 350is CDN for both of us (and 80,000 points)
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    How about Amtrak?
    Yes, worth investigating. Best price/time = $312.5/25h,20m for 3 reserved coach seats. $1018.40 for a premium sleeper for 3. It's a comfortable way to travel. The main problem is that the train station isn't near the MIA airport (6-8 (bus) miles) or Philly downtown (a $5-7 ride on a PATCO train).

    Years ago, in a prior iteration of this family life, we did an All-Aboard-America deal with Amtrak. Very good price. West of Chicago the trains were a pure delight. (East, they were filthy & service was poor.) They allowed 3 stops, open time. First stop - Seattle, rented car and drove all over: Mt Rainier, Olympic peninsula, Victoria, Vancouver (before the Han invasion). Next stop - Sacramento. The ride down the Pacific coast in the curved window-roofed cars with swivel sofa chairs was unforgettable. Another rental car to see San Francisco (opera in the park), the giant sequoia forests, Yosemite, Zion. Last stop some spa in the Rockies. On the train rides at nite we were able to sleep pretty well putting suitcases between facing coach seats. A real benefit was being able to walk about, snack/meal and 'entertainment' cars - kids went one way, wife & her sis another, and I a third. A joy.

    It's hard to beat the sheer liberty one has with a car. I once could drive 15 hr straight, no sweat with a library book like 'Crime & Punishment' on tape (yes, back then) and a cooler of Pepsi's & munchies at hand, avoiding rush hour traffic (alternate routes). I was younger then. Today looks like skipping motel to motel up the East coast. Know thy limitations.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  6. #6
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Our "Go too" mode will be "drive away" That is where people with cash let people with less cash drive their cars down and back from the Sun (AZ, FLA NM etc)
    I did that, but didn't tell them about the wife & kid going with me. Trunk was pack to the limit with their stuff - I felt like a mule. We took 5 days instead of the contracted 2. They were torqued, but saw all was OK and paid up. My name's probably on their not-this-guy list.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  7. #7
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    A married man can't be frugal and happy both.

    NSS

    They really hit you on one ways, and if you do a rt with the Nic flight on the 2nd leg you get the forwarding flight stress unless you are all residents.

    Check out San Jose flights. Stay a night or 2 in Alejuela and be 5 minutes from the airport. Guate has great flights, but if you have been in Nic for more than 90 days Honduras will screw you and kick you off the bus.

    My frequent flyer experience is with United. a few years ago they killed it by changing ff miles from miles flown to some sort of price paid formula so tightwads like me accumulate very little on cheapy flights.

    United sucks post-coup. I have to go AA to conveniently get to Vegas.

    Next trip I think you should book a rt from Philly. Also look at multicity rates like sjo-philly-philly mga. sometimes getting into mga is easier/cheaper than getting out.



    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  8. #8
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    First of year fares got cheap but have really jumped again. Looked at some Liberia and San Jose flights, they are cheaper but not enough to offset time and hassle of buses and border.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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  9. #9
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airline Award Miles

    The rates are all over the place. Last time I checked mia was good, mex and central america bad. Not just bad in price, but in number of stops and total hours and redeyes. mga is now a sucky place like tegu.

    $400 savings to do Madrid by san jose compared to mga, plus san jose has some nice Argentine restaurants along the way! Hotel Cala in alejuela was nice and 5 minutes from the airport, less than that by foot to central park. bus across the street to get to san jose in 1/2 hour for restaurants ans stuff.

    Problem for residents with sjo is coming back I am loaded with 2 suitcases of expat calache and going thru 2 borders is at least twice the hassle. Also, Nica wife needs consular visa for CR, and maybe 2 of them for a round trip. That's why I am looking at multicity flights, leave thru someplace cheap and come back thru mga for less paperwork and aduanas risk.

    By the way, does anyone know if Nicas still need 2 separate visas to do a round trip thru CR?

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


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