Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
I have some flight tracker fare alerts set for various destinations, and one of those is from Houston to Vail. Before we scaled back our travel plans a bit for 2015, I had originally planned to head there this weekend for some skiing, so I still get daily alerts from Kayak about the price of tickets. Historically they have been about $500 per person, though they will sometimes briefly go a bit above or below that number. At that price it makes more sense to just use miles than to buy the tickets, but you never know when prices will drop, which is why I love tracking prices without having to manually check them daily.
Today the daily tracking email looked much different than normal, so I want to share the deal in case you want to head to the mountains this weekend, but also just as a reminder that these sort of tools are out there.
I saw the tickets for departure this weekend drop $225 to to $354 each in the email, but when I investigated a little closer they are actually cheaper than that. You can fly from Houston to Vail nonstop round trip this coming weekend for just $276 round trip as that route popped up on the United Weekend Specials list!
That list used to hold some real gems, but it has more often than not been less than impressive in recent years. However, $276 nonstop to Vail during ski season is an absolute gem, and there were a few other routes on the list that didn’t look too bad, either. At that rate, you are better off using points from a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® to pay for the ticket instead of airline miles as it will just cost about 25,000 points on the Barclaycard after you get 10% of the miles redeemed for travel back, and it will actually earn a few thousand United miles in the process.
If you do put together a list minute ski trip to the Vail/Beaver Creek area and want to stay on points, it looks like the Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek should have some standard room availability if you call (not showing online) for 12,000 points per night. The ski-out Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has double rooms available for 30,000 points per night (instead of $800+ per night!), and the Hyatt Mountain Lounge has a studio suite for sale on dollars (call to see if it might be available for points).
I have to say that price is quite tempting, and I hope some of you can take advantage of an impromptu trip to the mountains, or at least start tracking some fares of your own.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.