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In the world of airline awards (and hotels award nights for that matter), sometimes when planning a big trip it pays to find something that will work, book it, and then keep on checking for something better to open up.
It can be rare for the perfect flight, with the perfect seats, on the perfect date,s to appear exactly when you are ready to book. It happens, but it doesn’t always happen, and that shouldn’t stop you from going forward with making plans. I’ll give you a real life example of what I mean…
My in-laws are planning a big trip to Europe for this summer, but when it came time to book the best I could get them in business class using American Airlines miles (without fuel surcharges) were tickets on airbelin that required an overnight in Miami. That was fine, and it would work, but it wasn’t perfect. They didn’t want or need an overnight in Miami on the front-end of an already pretty long trip.
Today while we were in Aruba (and mostly off-line) I saw a tweet from @garyleff that there was lots of availability on US Airways this summer in business class on various dates to various destinations. I briefly logged on and saw that my in-laws desired date to travel indeed has US Airways business class availability with no overnights required in transit to get to Europe. I took a screen shot and texted them to let them know of the availability in case they wanted to call in and try to get their ticket changed. Then we went back to the beach…
Since they booked using American miles they were able to change the routing without an additional fees since they weren’t changing the date of travel. Every award program handles fees like this differently, so check before assuming there is (or isn’t) a fee for certain changes on your specific award.
Even if there is a fee of some sort, the message remains the same. When you want to book a big trip for your family, just get something that will work on the books and then keep your eyes open for ways to make it better. You never know when you may see a helpful tweet on the way to the beach.
Anyone else get to optimize an award trip this weekend?